12 Best Restaurants in Sterling Heights, Michigan

Sterling Heights is a city in Wayne County, Michigan, known for being a welcoming and diverse community with a variety of dining options. From farm-to-table eateries to traditional ethnic cuisine to popular fast-casual spots, Sterling Heights offers something for every palate.

Town TavernAmerican cuisine with local ingredients
Mae’sModern twists on Italian classics
OWLElevated sandwiches and salads
Urban RestNew American cuisine in a unique setting
Bangkok96Authentic Thai food
Mitch & Luigi’s Italian KitchenFamily-style Italian comfort food
Pho LuckyVietnamese noodle house
Al-Ameer RestaurantLebanese cuisine
Otus SupplyModern American brasserie
Ron’s RoadhouseUpscale steakhouse
El Charro Tacos & TequilaAuthentic Mexican food
John D BistroNew American bistro in a historic mansion

When choosing the 12 best restaurants in Sterling Heights, great care was taken to highlight local favorites that use high-quality, seasonal ingredients in their cooking. Additionally, restaurants specializing in different types of international fare, like Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, Japanese, and more made the list to showcase the city’s multicultural spirit.

The dining destinations featured below have exceptional service, cozy and charming ambiances, consistently delicious food, and reasonable prices. Whether you’re a long-time resident or visiting Sterling Heights for the first time, be sure to visit these must-try eateries during your next meal out.

1. Town Tavern

Name and Location: Town Tavern is an American gastropub located downtown at 316 S Main St in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2010 by restaurateur Aaron Belen, Town Tavern modernized the classic American tavern with an emphasis on craft beers and elevated pub fare like gourmet burgers, small plates and shared appetizers in a lively brick and wood setting overlooking the Royal Oak Farmers Market.

What to Expect: Ever-evolving seasonal menus tempt with items like pretzel wrapped hot dogs, truffle fries, mac and cheese plates, tacos, salads and creative takes on wings, burgers and sandwiches. Extensive Michigan-focused beer list.

Visitor Information: Town Tavern serves lunch and dinner daily. Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more. Walk-ins otherwise accommodated. Validated parking in nearby municipal deck, street metered options.

Town Tavern is a gastropub known for its delicious American cuisine made from locally-sourced ingredients. The rotating menu features appetizers like baked brie topped with orange marmalade and crushed pistachios, salads featuring produce from regional farms, and hearty main plates like beer-braised pot roast and cast iron seared salmon. They also have 30 regional craft beers on tap and an extensive selection of unique cocktails.

Inside, Town Tavern has a laidback atmosphere with brick walls, string lights lining the bar, and bold blue and yellow decor touches. Outside, there’s patio seating perfect for enjoying your meal al fresco when the weather permits. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm with unbeatable drink specials and discounted bar bites.

Overall, Town Tavern is the best place in Sterling Heights for elevated pub food in a charming setting. The owners work directly with nearby farms, orchards, and fisheries to serve the community fresh, seasonal New American fare.

2. Mae’s

Name and Location: Mae’s is a cozy contemporary American restaurant located downtown at 306 S Washington Ave in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2017 by husband-wife proprietors Amanda and Matt Buskard, Mae’s brought personalized modern dining focusing on small shareable plates and craft cocktails creatively presented in a romantic storefront location emphasizing quality over quantity.

What to Expect: Ever changing menu explores flavors like Korean fried broccoli, burrata bruschetta, bacon wrapped dates, chicken confit, steak frites presented as small plates encouraging exploration of diverse options versus standard entrees. Reservations essential.

Visitor Information: Mae’s serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday nights in season, closed in summer months. Limited seating due to size constraints so reservations strongly recommended well in advance. Street parking.

Mae’s is a cozy neighborhood bistro serving modern twists on Italian classics made from scratch using family recipes. Their menu spans hearty meatballs in marinara to lemon ricotta pancakes for brunch to exquisitely crafted pastas like squid ink orecchiette, with vegetarian and vegan options as well.

Dinner service features a relaxed vibe with dim lighting, brick walls, and smooth jazz playing as patrons laugh over glasses of wine. Their weekend brunch has a brighter, airier feel thanks to ample sunshine pouring in through picture frame windows. No matter when you dine at Mae’s, expect genuinely warm hospitality from their family-owned staff.

Everything pairs nicely with wines from around the world or Mae’s signature lavender lemonade. Be sure to leave room for dessert here too – their housemade tiramisu with imported ladyfingers is legendary in Sterling Heights.

For scratch-made Italian food in an intimate setting, Mae’s can’t be beat. Their dedication to creating soul-nourishing flavors from family recipes passed down through generations makes dining here special.

3. OWL

Name and Location: OWL is a late-night American diner located downtown at 124 W Fourth St in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2015 as an offshoot next door to longtime Royal Oak favorite Bastone to fill the void for quality midnight dining options downtown beyond typical fast food offerings. Retro-inspired atmosphere serving creative diner classics and craft cocktails.

What to Expect: Open Wednesday through Saturday until 3am, the scratch kitchen dishes all-day breakfast, creative sandwiches, burgers, entrees and appetizers alongside adult shakes and a thoughtful craft cocktail program. Counter seating treats guests to exhibition-style open kitchen.

Visitor Information: Reservations accepted but walk-ins generally accommodated at the small diner. Adjacent paid public parking deck at Troy St, metered street parking where available. Carry out also an option from online ordering menu. Cashless payments only.

OWL stands for “Outstanding Working Lunch” which should tell you everything about their specialty. This fast-casual spot serves elevated sandwiches, salads, and soups made to order using high-quality ingredients sourced locally whenever possible.

Their signature sandwiches come piled high on fresh baked bread – think shaved ribeye with caramelized onions, horseradish mayo, and aged gouda or the “Flying Pig” with smoked ham, crispy bacon, Swiss, and maple sage aioli. Soups like roasted tomato bisque and clam chowder are creamier than average while salads feature nutrient-dense add-ins like quinoa, avocado, seeds, and dried fruit.

While OWL’s industrial-chic interior is ideal for grabbing a delicious quick lunch on your work break, they also offer online ordering for takeout plus delivery through popular apps. That means you can sample their scratch-made, chef-inspired food no matter how busy your schedule. For an outstanding working lunch in Sterling Heights, OWL offers quality, convenience, and professionalism.

4. Urban Rest

Name and Location: Urban Rest is a farm-to-table new American restaurant located downtown at 326 E Fourth St in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2005 by executive chef Aaron Lowen, Urban Rest set out to pioneer the sustainable dining movement in Metro Detroit emphasizing creativity, quality ingredients from regional farmers, and scratch preparation in a laid-back upbeat atmosphere.

What to Expect: Reflecting the seasons, the concise menus tempt with hearty upscale options often organic, free range or local like spice rubbed pork chops, braised short ribs, fresh Great Lakes fish, creative pastas, pizzas, salads and market vegetable sides.

Visitor Information: Urban Rest serves dinner nightly, Sunday brunch. Limited reservations for 5+ diners strongly recommended. Small lot behind restaurant off Troy St, street metered parking. From scratch menus accommodate most dietary needs.

Urban Rest delivers an eclectic, playful take on new American cuisine inside a stunningly renovated former auto shop. Now, exposed ductwork, brick walls, and oversized factory windows lend an airy, modern ambiance to this award-winning eatery.

Their seasonal menus marry unique flavors beautifully – think seared scallops with corn puree, crispy pork belly, and pickled Fresno chilies or their signature Urban Rest burger piled with Brie, fig jam, truffle aioli, and fried leeks on a house-baked pretzel bun. Every ingredient sings in each perfectly composed dish.

Besides dinner, Urban Rest also serves weekend brunch starring specialties like vegan pancakes and creative eggs Benedict variations alongside build-your-own Bloody Marys and mimosas. Lunch diners can enjoy a limited menu of their greatest hits as well. Whether it’s date night, girl’s night, or just wanting an extraordinary meal, Urban Rest delivers.

5. Bangkok96

Name and Location: Bangkok 96 is a casual family-owned Thai restaurant located downtown at 322 S Main St in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2017 by Bangkok native Chef Gabe and his wife Anna, Bangkok 96 authentically imports Thai street food traditions to Royal Oak in an approachable fast-casual environment focused on wok-seared noodles, curries, stir fries and other staples at an outstanding value.

What to Expect: Signature pad thai and Thai fried rice join curry dishes, noodle bowls and classics like gang gai, tom yum soup and papaya salad made with high quality ingredients and thoughtful preparation true to Bangkok’s exceptional cuisine reputation. Vegetarian friendly, gluten free possible.

Visitor Information: Bangkok 96 serves lunch and dinner daily. Counter ordering for dine in or carry out. Metered street parking, public deck. Reservations only needed for large groups. Beer and wine available. Cash, credit cards accepted.

For the most authentic Thai food in metro Detroit, look no further than Bangkok96. Family-owned and operated since 1996, Bangkok96 serves fragrant Thai classics like pad Thai, green curry, drunken noodles, and more using time-honored recipes straight from Thailand.

Their cozy but contemporary dining room lets you immerse yourself in Thai culture while enjoying traditional music and ornate decorations from Thailand itself. All dishes capture the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spice resulting in explosion after explosion of hard-to-resist Southeast Asian flavors.

Best of all, Bangkok96’s menu indicates spice level from 1 through 5 along with gluten-free and vegan options making it easy to find the ideal Thai meal to satisfy your personal taste, dietary needs, and desired heat level. For Sterling Heights residents, commuters, and visitors alike craving true Thai flavor, accept no substitutes for Bangkok96.

6. Mitch & Luigi’s Italian Kitchen

Name and Location: Mitch & Luigi’s is a casual family Italian restaurant located downtown at 316 S Main St in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2018 by cousins Mitch Hepburn and Luigi Cutraro, this neighborhood trattoria revolves around family recipes perfected by their Italian grandmothers using high quality ingredients in a relaxed, affordable setting footsteps from the Royal Oak Farmers Market.

What to Expect: Menus fresh with the seasons feature homemade pastas, sauces, soups, pizzas and Italian American favorites like lasagna Bolognese, chicken piccata, eggplant Parmesan in generous shareable portions. Full bar offers Italian wines, spritzes. Gluten free accommodated.

Visitor Information: Mitch & Luigi’s serves lunch and dinner weekdays plus brunch weekends in season. Reservations recommended for groups 6+. Street parking, public deck nearby. Carryout available, picnic packs to Oakland Park offered.

Family-style Italian comfort food served in hearty portions is what Mitch & Luigi’s does best. Located in a small strip mall, Mitch & Luigi’s humble appearance hides the mouthwatering flavors created inside this charming local favorite.

Their chicken Parmesan arrives hot and crispy under layers of bubbling mozzarella and marinara ready to be mixed with penne pasta. Other specialties include Italian wedding soup loaded with meatballs and spinach, braciole steak rolled with pecorino cheese and parsley, and garlic & herb focaccia bread hot from their pizza oven. Don’t skip dessert here either – diners rave about their scratch-made cannoli and tiramisu.

Besides hearty cuisine, Mitch & Luigi’s offers a laidback dining experience paired nicely with carafes of red or white wine. When seeking traditional flavors served by friendly folks who make you feel like family, Mitch & Luigi’s hits the spot for residents and visitors alike.

7. Pho Lucky

Name and Location: Pho Lucky is a casual Vietnamese restaurant located downtown at 407 S Washington Ave in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Established 2011 by Lien Tran to spotlight authentic fast-casual Vietnamese favorites like pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches and rice plates at affordable prices in an approachable cafe storefront location suited to carry out and delivery.

What to Expect: Extensive pho menu offers combinations pairing steak, brisket, tendon, tripe, meatballs with rice noodles in rich housemade broth alongside Vietnamese iced coffee and other traditional drinks. Counter seating, some tables but carryout focus.

Visitor Information: Pho Lucky serves lunch and dinner daily. Order at counter for dine in or carryout. Online/app ordering, curbside pickup available. Cash, credit cards accepted. Metered street parking. Reservations generally not needed.

Ask locals where to find Sterling Heights’ best Vietnamese fare and most will recommend Pho Lucky – and with good reason. This ever-popular Vietnamese noodle house serves steaming bowls of pho alongside other Vietnamese staples like banh mi sandwiches, noodle bowls, and spring rolls bursting with authentic Southeast Asian flavor.

Savory beef broth brimming with just-cooked rice noodles, tender meat, bean sprouts, herbs, and lime is what makes their pho so sought after. Try it with steak, brisket, meatballs, chicken, or seafood along with something spicy like a side of Vietnamese chicken wings glazed in chili garlic sauce.

Beyond their namesake noodle soup, Pho Lucky impresses with classics done right. Their shrimp and pork Imperial rolls pop with flavor thanks to shrimp, pork, and vegetables fried up crispy while their caramelized five spice chicken banh mi overflows with chicken floss, housemade pâté, cucumbers, cilantro, and irresistible sweet-savory five spice glaze.

When that pho or banh mi craving hits, Sterling Heights locals head to Pho Lucky to get their fix of Vietnamese comfort cuisine.

8. Al-Ameer Restaurant

Name and Location: Al-Ameer is a Lebanese and Middle Eastern restaurant located downtown at 319 S Main St in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Since 1992, owner Ali Malaeb has represented Lebanese hospitality at this Royal Oak institution introducing guests to traditional favorites like grape leaves, hummus, tabbouleh, shawarma, kebabs, spinach pies and housemade baklava served nightly at Al-Ameer’s vibrant, welcoming tables.

What to Expect: Authentic Lebanese classics span appetizers, salads, rich lamb and chicken dishes accompanied by fresh warm pita bread baked in house. Full bar offers festive drinks and music often inspires spur-of-the-moment dancing. Gluten-free items available. Reservations recommended.

Visitor Information: Al-Ameer serves dinner seven nights a week. Parking validated for nearby municipal deck. Take-out available. Belly dancing performances Friday and Saturday evenings. Cash accepted plus major credit cards.

Al-Ameer has anchored the Sterling Heights Middle Eastern food scene since 1989 serving their regionally loved Lebanese cuisine inside a spacious dining room decorated intricately with art, textiles, and lighting inspired by Lebanon itself.

Top menu highlights include Al-Ameer’s chicken shawarma spun perfectly on their rotating rotisserie then shaved into pita stuffed with garlic sauce and pickles. You also can’t miss their fattoush salad packed with pita chips, tomatoes, radish, parsley, mint, onions, and sumac vinaigrette or the memorable Lebanese meat pies called Sambusac. Complete your meal with Lebanese coffee spiced with cardamom or their transcendent Lebanese sweets and baklava.

Open since the late 1980s, Al-Ameer creates a welcoming oasis for experiencing authentic Lebanese culture and cuisine through hospitality, music, and phenomenal food originating from family recipes. Their Sterling Heights location has expanded over the years but retains the same delicious flavors and gracious service that first made it a local legend.

9. Otus Supply

Name and Location: Otus Supply is an upscale farm-to-table restaurant and event venue located just outside downtown Royal Oak at 345 East Nine Mile Road.

History and Significance: Launched in 2018 through complete renovation of a 1939 bus garage into a modern loft-like space with soaring ceilings and exposed beams envisioned as a community hub supporting local growers and integrating dining with music, art and social good mission.

What to Expect: Globally inspired seasonal menus tempt with refined shareable plates and entrees spanning wide culinary influences. Full bar program incorporates craft cocktails. Shared dishes encourage exploration. Sunday brunch served. Regular programming includes live music, comedy, trivia nights and more.

Visitor Information: Otus Supply serves dinner and weekend brunches. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Valet parking on site. Large parties may reserve The Garage event room. Casual upscale dress. Reservations strongly recommended.

Among Sterling Heights most popular destinations for drinks and dinner is the award-winning Otus Supply. This converted warehouse now houses a modern American brasserie serving seasonal New American plates alongside exclusive house cocktails and one of the area’s best craft beer selections including 20 options on tap.

Inside, Otus Supply impresses with exposed brick walls, mammoth steel beams, and a see-thru glass walled fermenting room. Their outdoor beer garden lets you soak up live music by local bands with a locally brewed craft pint in hand.

Must try dishes from their seasonal menu include confit chicken with foraged mushrooms and truffle vinaigrette then brick chicken served with charred scallion salsa verde. Otus Supply also offers weekend brunch starring specialties like fried chicken & waffles Benedict along with bottomless mimosas or Bloody Mary’s topped with everything from bacon to oysters to mini corn dogs.

With its one-of-a-kind setting, ever-changing New American fare, and focus on supporting Michigan-made beer, wine, spirits, Otus Supply stands out as a singular destination for elevated drinking and dining done the Michigan way.

10. Ron’s Roadhouse

Name and Location: Ron’s Roadhouse is a polished tavern and eatery located at 22912 Woodward Ave in downtown Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Owner Ron Gurdjian debuted his namesake gastropub in 2008 after success operating Streetside Seafood next door, combining a lively upscale bar atmosphere with quality renditions of classic American fare emphasizing burgers, steaks, seafood and tableside preparations.

What to Expect: Crowd-pleasing starters, salads and hearty entrees like braised short ribs, seafood bucatini, roast chicken share the menu alongside signature dry aged burger options and tableside caesar salad and steak diane. Gluten free accommodations possible. Full bar.

Visitor Information: Ron’s Roadhouse serves dinner daily, Sunday brunch. Reservations recommended for weekends and groups. Valet parking available behind restaurant off N. Troy St. Separate private dining seats 22 guests.

When seeking steakhouse cuisine in an upscale setting with white glove service, Ron’s Roadhouse is the cream of the crop in Sterling Heights. Known for USDA Prime steaks cooked over an open wood flame grill alongside seafood flown in daily, Ron’s Roadhouse masters the vintage American steakhouse experience yet with a sleekly modern ambiance.

Premium cuts like filet mignon and bone-in ribeye headline their menu alongside sea bass almondine in lemon caper sauce, meaty King crab legs, and diver scallops with bourbon-bacon glaze showcasing a delicate touch with seafood. Shareable sides like creamed corn, crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon lardons, and truffle mac ‘n’ cheese take these American steakhouse staples to new taste heights.

With a swanky interior befitting special occasions plus a dazzling wine list and craft cocktails, Ron’s Roadhouse polishes off the steakhouse tradition by pairing exceptional cuisine with four-star hospitality and polish.

11. El Charro Tacos & Tequila

Name and Location: El Charro Tacos & Tequila is a colorful contemporary Mexican eatery and bar located downtown at 508 S Washington Ave in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened summer 2022 by El Charro Hospitality Group, this casual cantina imports vibrant modern design combining neon signage and traditional Dia de Muertos iconography to showcase diverse authentic Mexican street food options alongside signature margaritas and tequilas in a lively atmosphere.

What to Expect: Tacos star with creative takes on al pastor, carnitas, steak, shrimp and vegetarian fillings across housemade corn and flour tortillas. Shareable appetizers, burritos, bowls and salads offered as well. Full bar has $5 margarita happy hour specials.

Visitor Information: El Charro serves lunch and dinner daily. Order at the counter for dine-in or carryout. Reservations accommodated for 8+ people. Metered street parking available, municipal decks nearby. Walk-ins welcome.

Searching for authentic Mexican food in Sterling Heights? Follow savvy locals to El Charro Tacos & Tequila serving classic tacos, enchiladas, tortas, and more inspired straight from Mexico City. This colorful cantina slings exceptional Mexican fare like al pastor tacos sliced right off the trompo (rotisserie) then topped with onion, cilantro, and lime on double corn tortillas made in-house.

Beyond tacos, theirtender chicken mole enchiladas baked in earthy mole poblano sauce satisfy while their Mexican Tortas tower with your choice of meat, beans, avocado, onions, peppers, cheese and mayo pressed between toasted Bolillo bread. Daily lunch specials include all-you-can-eat tacos, enchiladas, or chili rellenos to satisfy big appetites.

To drink, margaritas made from scratch with 100% agave tequilas steal the show. Choose from dozens of funky flavors like mango chili, rose petal, hibiscus tamarind, and more to sip alongside authentic Mexican food done right. With a laidback cantina vibe and friendly service, El Charro stands above typical Mexican spots in Sterling Heights.

12. John D Bistro

Name and Location: John D Bistro is an upscale American bistro located downtown at 23839 Woodward Ave in Royal Oak, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened in 2007 by brothers John and David Lacko to bring creative upscale dining to Royal Oak emphasizing artful presentations of meat and seafood entrees prepared classically and contemporarily, wine pairings, craft cocktails and attentive service in an urban modern setting.

What to Expect: The Chef’s Tasting menu traverses selections like ahi tuna tartare, halibut with cauliflower puree, filet mignon with cabernet demi glace. A la carte options explore diverse flavors and preparations across fish, chicken, steak and seasonal vegetable dishes. Desserts shine.

Visitor Information: John D serves dinner nightly. Reservations strongly recommended, especially weekends. Separate Gluten Free menu offered plus vegetarian options. Valet parking available behind adjacent garage off Troy St. Signatures cocktails change seasonally.

For a romantic date night ambiance matched with beautifully executed cuisine look no further than John D Bistro. Nestled inside a historic 1930s mansion, this refined New American bistro impresses with nightly specials crafted from locally-sourced ingredients when available alongside a seasonally inspired menu in the elegant yet relaxed stone room with flickering candles and a glowing fireplace.

Start your meal with creamy burrata cheese served with shaved prosciutto, smoked olive oil, and fig mostarda followed by melt-in-your-mouth tender braised beef short ribs or pan seared Atlantic halibut in Champagne beurre blanc. Save room for their standout Grand Marnier brown butter cake too.

Extensive wine list spanning over 100 bottles provides the perfect pairing options. Thanks to gracious service in an intimate romantic setting plus stellar contemporary cuisine crafted with a delicate hand, John D Bistro remains a favorite fine dining hotspot for special occasions or just celebrating life’s everyday joys.


The 12 restaurants discussed above represent the best Sterling Heights has to offer foodies today. From small neighborhood bistros to fine dining institutions, ethnic eateries to all-American steakhouses, these dining establishments feature phenomenal cuisine served up in charming and unique settings citywide.

Whether celebrating a special milestone or simply looking to sample new flavors, you’re guaranteed to enjoy an exceptional meal at any of the must-try restaurants mentioned here. With talented chefs sourcing high-quality ingredients to create wonderfully executed dishes diners rave about, Sterling Height’s impressive food scene offers temptation and satisfaction in every bite for both residents and visitors.

So open your mind and appetite to new culinary experiences in this vibrant Michigan city. Treat yourself to an outstanding meal at the best restaurants Sterling Heights offers among its diverse, mouthwatering dining scene.

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