Nearly two dozen Birmingham restaurants and shops were named the best of the best this year, in categories ranging from the Best Place to be Seen (Social Kitchen), the Best Place to Buy Women's Jeans (Caruso Caruso) to the Best Restaurant to Rediscover (Big Rock Chop House).
Released each February, the winners in Real Detroit Weekly's "Best of Detroit" series are voted by Real Detroit readers.
"(The) Best of issue is a go-to guide, a collection, a historical reference for the things we've collectively excelled at and the advancements we've made as a community rich in food, ambiance, music, art and design," Real Detroit editors wrote.
While several chains with locations in Birmingham were also listed — including Jimmy John's, SEE Eyewear, Yoga Shelter, Sanders Candy and Chase Bank — it was Birmingham's independent businesses that received the most love.
Here's a look at the Birmingham businesses named 'Best of Detroit' this year and a look at what Real Detroit editors had to say:
Luxe Bar & Grill — Best Bar to Visit Solo
"In a city filled with restaurants that might feel a bit stuffy, Luxe's charming atmosphere and excellent burgers are enough to make anyone feel welcome."
Churchill's Cigar Bar — Best Cigar Bar
"In as much as a bar can be said to have swagger, Churchill's has it in spades. It's suits, cigars and steaks. So if you're looking to go somewhere and feel fancy? Oh, they FANCY."
Dick O'Dow's — Best Irish Bar
"But this isn't just a great place to eat. As the act of drinking is as celebrated and revered as much as religion in the land of leprechauns, the tradition of sharing a drink before a story is still upheld at Dick O'Dow's."
The Corner — Best Bar to Run Into Professional Athletes
"If meeting an athlete is on your bucket list like it is on ours, The Corner in Birmingham is your best bet."
Big Rock Chop House — Best Restaurant to Rediscover
"The food is excellent. And do you know what else is also excellent? The house brewed beer. There are layers to Big Rock."
Social Kitchen — Best Restaurant to Be Seen In
"Opened by one of metro Detroit's hottest up and coming chefs, Social Kitchen is the place where everyone wants to go but only a select few are lucky enough to secure a seat."
Hunter House Hamburgers — Best Food Challenge
"Here's the deal: walk into Hunter House and tell them you want to be part of the wall of fame. You'll be required to eat a certain amount of beefy, oniony sliders along with some fries and maybe some other stuff. Consume it all and your photo will hang forever on the wall of fame."
Elie's Mediterranean Grill — Best Mediterranean
"Elie's has been around for 16 years serving traditional Lebanese dishes including popular items like hummus and grape leaves as well as mainstream fare like fresh seafood and lamb chops, plus fresh-churned raw vegetable and fruit juices."
Pancake House — Best Pancakes
"Two words: bacon pancakes."
Caruso Caruso — Best Place to Buy Women's Jeans
"Yes, Caruso Caruso has a fantastic selection of denim. And yes, their staff have some mystically fantastic skills in helping their customers find the right fit."
Astrein's Creative Jewelry — Best Store to Buy an Engagement Ring
"Astreins in Birmingham is fully stocked with the prettiest of diamond rings. From simple designs to elaborate and ornate settings, you're sure to find just what will make your soon-to-be fiancé as happy as a clam."
Roma Sposa — Best Place to Buy a Wedding Dress
"There are bridal shops and then there is Roma Sposa."
Double Up — Best Streetwear
"A unique boutique, Double Up deals in gear favored by sneakerheads and hat lovers alike."
Don Thomas Sporthaus — Best Ski Shop
"Carrying the best brands in equipment, apparel, accessories and sportswear, you're sure to find everything to gear up and enjoy your skiing extravaganza."
What do you think of the list? What other Birmingham businesses do you think should have made the list?