Places to get your late-night calorie fix
Published: June 8, 2011
$=$5-$10; $$=$10-$25; $$$=$25-$50; $$$$=$50+
Armando's 4242 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-554-0666: Armando's opens at 10:30 a.m. daily and stays open until 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays (until 2 a.m. the rest of the week), and the post-bar crowd that spills over from Dearborn and downtown Detroit's clubs can choose from the regular Mexican fare or Mexican breakfast selections. They roll in at 2-3 a.m., and, depending on what's happening in town, there can be a line outside at 3 a.m. The management approves of the late-night crowd, saying that watching buzzed patrons, churlish lovers and new friends can make it worth working late.
Bray's Hamburger 22941 Dequindre Rd., Hazel Park; 248-542-8878: Anybody who's driven by this 24-hour Hazeltucky greasy spoon can recall its dramatic mascot, a braying donkey. And the bar crowd answers the donkey's call, soaking up the booze with cheapie hamburgers that come with mustard, ketchup, pickles and onions. Seats 15.
Campau Tower 10337 Joseph Campau St., Hamtramck; 313-873-7330: They've been a fixture in Hamtramck for as long as anybody can remember, as a ghost of the old White Tower chain, a tiny building that looks like it had to wedge in between those on either side of it. And, day after day, this slider joint serves the few characters who always seem to be waiting for a burger. But at night, when the bar crowd rolls in, the handful of stools in front of the counter fills up with night-clubbers and bar-hoppers, still eager to fill up on Campau's sturdy fare.
Comet Burger 207 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-414-4567: Comet is your classic post-bar eatery, pulling in a crowd from Royal Oak's many bars, and serving solid greasy-spoon fare in a charming classic diner environment enlivened with such music memorabilia as framed LPs. Thursday through Saturday nights they're open til 3 a.m., and the grill is so jammed with boozy burgerphiles that it can get livelier than many watering holes. Open until midnight Sunday-Wednesday.
Country Boy 821 E. Nine Mile Rd., Hazel Park; 248-543-7080: If it's 3 a.m. on any night of the week and you're a Southern-transplant insomniac (or barfly) and happen to be in the Hazel Park area, Country Boy is worth checking out. Family-owned since it opened 47 years ago, CB's food smacks of Mom's kitchen with everything made from scratch daily. Everything from the grits to the biscuits and gravy, soup, cornbread and pinto beans get made fresh daily. The Super Special breakfast is a pile o' meaty goodness, with ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns (or grits), and biscuits and gravy. The ham and scalloped potatoes pack the locals in on Wednesdays. Fried okra is always up, just like everything else on the menu. Open 24 hours.
Duly's Place 5458 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-554-3076: Duly's is a tiny coney island with counter stools and a few tables in the back. They have a whole legion of followers raving about things like their chili cheeseburgers and atmosphere of controlled chaos. They've got breakfasts and coney dogs and they serve it all up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The staff might be a little gruff with you, but it's a fun kind of gruff, and if you're really nice they'll tell you which pie is fresh and might even give you a lollipop when you leave. Duly's is cash only, and doesn't abide indecision when they're slammed (this truly is a tiny space, folks), so hit the ATM on the way over and be sure to know what you want.
Dutch Girl Donuts 19000 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-368-3020: They've got a loyal following — perhaps because $6 a dozen makes the most economic sense in the middle of the night. Open 24 hours except Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening, Dutch Girl has been slinging fried dough without pause since 1942. The fryer runs all day and night to bring you crispy-on-the-outside, cakey-on-the-inside blueberry, chocolate, maple, crumb and other classic donuts. Sneak around the corner of Seven Mile on your way to or from Club Gold Coast for a mixed dozen, or the highly recommended cinnamon rolls.
Fleetwood Diner 300 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor; 734-995-5502: The Fleetwood Diner is distinctly Ann Arbor but the only place there that's open 24 hours a day. You can get a mysterious-sounding dish called "Hippie Hash" — hash browns grilled with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, broccoli and feta cheese — with eggs and toast for a paltry $6.35. Adding meat costs extra, but they make their own corned beef, gyros and chicken gyros. On any given night you might find hungover hipsters scarfing down breakfast or a few night owl students drawing comics and talking over coffee and fish and chips.
Grandy's Coney Island 4004 E. Outer Dr., Detroit, 313-368-8180; 1200 Holbrook St., Detroit, 313-875-3000; several other locations: Grandy's isn't a true 24-7-365 joint, 'cause they do in fact close every Sunday at 5 a.m. and resume service Monday morning at 6:30. But you can get coney island favorites and hearty breakfasts at whatever weird hour you want — people rave on its huge portions, great when you're more than a little unsober, and cheap to boot. Hey, where else can you get a 7-piece jumbo shrimp dinner at three in the morning?
Greene's Hamburgers 24155 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington; 248-474-7980: Greene's has been family-owned and packing them in for 53 years now. They still serve old-fashioned sliders to the tune of $1.40 for regular and $1.50 if you want cheese. The people are friendly and service is fast. It's a classic joint, serving greasy, deliciously unhealthy little burgers with grilled onions. The menu is limited, but who really wants to read more than a handful of words when they're looking for sliders at 2:30 a.m.? It may not be as gourmet as Denny's (or even White Castle), but if your arteries survive you will enjoy it. Open 24 hours a day; closed holidays.
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