The new restaurants at Little Caesars Arena offer a wide variety of dining and drink options that are too good to wait for a game or concert to try.
The name Little Caesars is quite recognizable to Detroit natives. While it is most commonly known for its pizza, Little Caesars is now the central force behind a budding local hub for sports and entertainment. Opened in early September, Little Caesars Arena in Midtown is the new home of the Detroit Red Wings, the Pistons and plenty of musical guests. Detroit-based Olympia Entertainment provides facility management services. On a larger scale, the state-of-the-art venue has already made a huge impact on Downtown Detroit’s development. It is one of many businesses along the 50-square block neighborhood known as The District Detroit, which includes Comerica Park and Ford Field.
In the recent past, it was customary to head Downtown for an event and zip straight home. Now, The District Detroit makes it possible for visitors to spend a leisurely day eating, shopping and catching all the action. “I see the way people go to events as changing from 10 to 20 years ago,” says Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “As things evolve, people are now looking at events as the Highlight of a longer evening.” The dining options not only are geared toward arena patrons, but also to people who work and venture Downtown regularly. These spots are open on non-event days, catering to anyone eager to explore this up-and-coming area.
This beautiful space features six quick-service food stops and grab-and-go snacks. Central to the market is On Ice, an eye-catching bar where patrons can sample beer, cocktails or Corvin- preserved wines by the glass. For a morning pick-me-up, enjoy a cup of Zingerman’s coffee and a pastry at Sugar and Brew. In the mood for something healthy? Customizable salads and pressed juices are freshly prepped for you at Greens. For lunch, check out Handmade, featuring hot soups and loaded sandwiches, or swing by Mex & Co. for tacos and burritos. To get you game-time ready, the Grill serves hot dogs, burgers, fries and shakes. Or, try a twist on a classic sausage — the Moroccan Lamb & Fig and Buffalo Chicken variations are unbeatable.
2645 Woodward Ave. Detroit
A tribute to pizza veteran Mike Ilitch, this spot has it all. The interior is bright and inviting, with a pizza prep station in full view. The back wall is filled with historical snippets from Ilitch’s past, illuminated by a neon green Haig’s sign in honor of the bar where he first invented Little Caesar’s pizza.
Diners can indulge in artisanal pies made with local produce, meats, and cheeses. General Manager Darrell McNall notes there isn’t a freezer in sight. A flavorful,
medium crust is around $12, while deep-dish renditions range between $15.50-$18.50. Meatballs are another specialty — the Tower of Meatballs appetizer or the meatball grinder are both satisfying options.
Mike’s Pizza Bar
2515 Woodward Ave. Detroit
Nestled near the Comerica entrance at Little Caesars Arena, this laid-back sports tavern features screen after screen, with tables and booths for your entire crew. There’s even an outdoor patio suitable for warmer days to come. Must-tries are the Crispy Chicken Strips, the Stuffed Chicken Quesadilla and the massive plate of nachos topped with zesty queso, black beans and pico de gallo. Accessible from inside the arena, visitors are encouraged to swing by for a cold beer during halftime.
Sports & Social Detroit
2645 Woodward Ave.
Kid Rock is pretty savvy when it comes to the restaurant business. While he understandably contributed to the decor, filled with concert memorabilia, fun artwork and plenty of guitars, the Detroit icon also had a big impact on the food offerings. Despite its location within the arena, Kid Rock set out to create a restaurant that could easily stand alone. He consulted with Chef Drew Hall, who executes the star’s ideas with ease. Southern fare and Detroit-style cuisine is the essence of the menu, with specialties like the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich and the Hamtramck Burger. Even Kid Rock’s family played a part — diners should aim to save room for Mama Sue’s famous chocolate chip cookies for a rockin’ finish.
Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit
2645 Woodward Ave. Detroit