18 Best Restaurants in Pontiac, MI

This article was written by local contributor Lily Perkins & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Pontiac, MI

As someone who has lived in Pontiac, Michigan, for quite some time, I can confidently say that the city's dining scene has truly blossomed over the years.

This growth has led to a diverse range of eateries, offering something for every palate and mood.

From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, here are the best restaurants in Pontiac, Michigan.

Lupita's Kitchen

One of my favorite spots to grab authentic Mexican food is Lupita's Kitchen.

I was initially drawn to this hidden gem by the high reviews on their Facebook page.

Tucked away in a liquor store and offering take-out only, I've learned that the best places are often unassuming, and Lupita's Kitchen definitely proves that.

I've tried the birria and carnitas tacos, as well as the Mexican corn, salsa, and chips.

Everything is just so delicious, and the prices are quite reasonable considering the outstanding quality of the food.

The birria tacos, in particular, are absolutely to die for.

They are so good that they make me question everything I've ever eaten before.

The tacos themselves are perfect, and the sauce is the best I've ever had.

Moreover, their chips and guacamole are so fresh and packed with flavor, making me feel like I'm eating proper guacamole.

Lupita’s Kitchen · 952 Joslyn Ave, Pontiac, MI 48340, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Liberty Bar

One thing I absolutely love about living in Pontiac is having the Liberty Bar just a stone's throw away from my place.

I've spent countless evenings there, and I find that it's the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy some quality time with friends.

The bar boasts of a New York–themed setting, and the atmosphere is always buzzing with liveliness.

I particularly appreciate how the Liberty Bar fosters an inclusive environment, often hosting gay-friendly events and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.

The food served at Liberty Bar is not your average pub grub; it's genuinely delicious and well-prepared.

I'm a sucker for their brown sugar bourbon wings, and I simply can't resist ordering them every time I visit.

The drinks selection is fantastic too, and I've never been disappointed.

My personal favorite is the Diamond District, which comes with a diamond-shaped ice cube – a unique touch that always leaves a lasting impression.

One more thing that makes Liberty Bar a go-to spot for me is the outdoor patios.

Whether it's the front patio for people-watching or the more secluded back patio, it's always a pleasure to spend some time outside, enjoying the fresh air and good company.

Liberty Bar · 85 N Saginaw St, Pontiac, MI 48342, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Alley Cat Cafe

One evening, I decided to give a new spot a try - Alley Cat Cafe located in downtown Pontiac.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the romantic and intimate atmosphere of the place.

Upon browsing their menu, I decided to go for the lamb chops, which turned out to be an excellent choice.

The dish was cooked to perfection, and the flavors were absolutely delightful.

My friends, who accompanied me that night, also enjoyed their dishes - the catfish and the Mediterranean plate which didn't disappoint.

We also shared the shrimp and sausage appetizer, and it was a huge hit among us.

During my visit, I noticed a group celebrating a birthday party.

It seemed like a perfect spot for hosting events, and I'll definitely keep that in mind for future gatherings.

On another occasion, I found myself near Alley Cat Cafe after missing my bus.

I popped in to grab a quick bite and opted for a turkey and cheese croissant, a large macadamia cookie, and an Arnold Palmer to go.

The counter clerk was extremely helpful and attentive, making my experience even more enjoyable.

I relished every bite of my meal as I made my way home.

Alley Cat Cafe · 31 N Saginaw St, Pontiac, MI 48342, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Fillmore 13 Brewery

I've always enjoyed trying out new breweries in my area, and Fillmore 13 Brewery has been on my list for quite some time.

The moment I walked in, I knew I was going to have a great experience.

The ambiance was cool and relaxed, making it an ideal spot to hang out with friends or even enjoy a solo drink.

You can check their website here.

As a beer lover, I was impressed with their extensive list of beers on tap.

I decided to try their creme brûlée beer, which was absolutely lovely.

They even make a cocktail with it!

If you're into sour beers, you need to give this one a try.

The goat cheese was a perfect complement to the salty meat, making it a delicious meal.

Another time, I tried their pulled pork and mozzarella cheese bread appetizer, which was divine and filling enough to be a meal on its own.

It's easy to see why this place is popular among locals.

I visited early in the evening, and the bar seats filled up quickly, while the tables remained empty.

Fillmore 13 Brewery · 7 N Saginaw St #1d, Pontiac, MI 48342, United States
★★★★★ · Brewery

Pura Vida Jamaican and Costa Rican Cuisine

As someone who loves exploring new flavors, I couldn't resist trying out Pura Vida Jamaican and Costa Rican Cuisine.

Hidden away on a quiet street, this little gem offers some of the most amazing jerk chicken I've ever tasted in the US.

The gravy that comes with the rice is simply heavenly, and the spice level is just perfect.

My food was served quickly, fresh, and accompanied by three complimentary side dishes, which was a delightful surprise.

The vibrant decorations created a festive atmosphere, and I appreciated the fact that the unisex restroom included a baby changing station.

The outdoor seating area was spacious and pleasant, making it a perfect spot to enjoy the flavors of Jamaica and Costa Rica.

I tried the oxtail and rice and peas, which were absolutely delicious, along with some tasty plantains.

The jerk chicken, although not as fresh as I would've liked, was still quite enjoyable.

And don't even get me started on the Ting – a refreshing and authentic beverage!

Pura Vida Jamaican and Costa Rican Cuisine · 44768 Woodward Ave, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

The Bronx Deli

One of my favorite spots to grab a bite in the neighborhood is The Bronx Deli.

I've been coming here for years and it never disappoints.

The food and service are always top-notch, and the atmosphere is lively with pictures of New York City and famous deli signs adorning the walls.

Plus, they offer a selection of beer and other adult beverages to enjoy with your meal.

When I'm in the mood for a delicious sandwich, I often go for the turkey club with a side of their famous fries.

The deli has a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, and sides to choose from, so there's always something new to try.

The enclosed outdoor seating area is perfect for taking in the sunshine during lunchtime, or you can choose to sit inside the deli.

The Bronx Deli offers ample parking, handicap parking, take out, and delivery through DoorDash, as well as curbside pick-up.

They accept credit cards and even offer a 4% discount when using cash or debit cards.

One of the highlights for me is their choice of pickles (old or new) – it really takes me back to my last trip to New York.

The Bronx Deli · 247 S Telegraph Rd, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Deli

D'Antons Coney Island

D'Antons Coney Island has been my go-to place for quick and delicious meals.

Their hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries are simply amazing.

Every time I have friends or family visiting from out of town, I make sure to take them to this local gem for a taste of Pontiac's best Coney.

Their breakfast options are also a must-try - their pancakes are to die for!

It's no wonder that so many people have left glowing reviews about their experience at D'Antons.

Whenever I need a quick meal, I know I can count on D'Antons for a tasty option that's ready within minutes.

D’Antons Coney Island · 411 W Huron St, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Fast food restaurant

Pete's Coney Island

My go-to spot for a quick and satisfying meal in Pontiac, Michigan has always been Pete's Coney Island.

This vintage diner has been a staple in the community for as long as I can remember, always serving up delicious American classics.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, they've managed to keep their doors open and continue providing top-notch food.

When I visit Pete's, I usually can't resist their navy bean and ham soup or their gumbo.

On days when I'm craving something a little more indulgent, their Coney Dog with all the fixings always hits the spot.

The chili is just the right amount of salty, and the onions add a nice crunch.

I've even tried their burger, which is just as tasty!

Pete’s Coney Island · 839 W Huron St, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Hot dog restaurant

Zara Shawarma Grill

Let me tell you about one of my favorite places to grab a bite in the neighborhood - Zara Shawarma Grill!

I stumbled upon their Facebook page a while back and decided to give it a try.

It was love at first taste.

Their Middle Eastern food is so authentic and full of flavor that it keeps me coming back for more.

I remember ordering the 5 person party tray for a get-together with friends, and everyone was blown away by the amazing taste and presentation.

The portion sizes were generous and the food was arranged beautifully on the tray.

The lentil soup, lemon chicken soup, chicken and beef shawarma, falafel, fried chicken cutlet, pita bread, and rice were all mouthwatering.

Their shawarma bowls are another favorite of mine.

I love being able to customize it by replacing rice with lettuce and adding extra veggies for a healthier meal.

And they don't skimp on the garlic sauce, which, if you ask me, is the best part!

Zara Shawarma Grill · 304 S Telegraph Rd, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Middle Eastern restaurant

Pontiac Super Chief

As a longtime resident of the area, I have had my fair share of visits to the Pontiac Super Chief over the years.

I remember when the chili was an absolute must-try, made fresh in-house and packed with flavor.

In those days, the menu was a la carte and you could swap out the usual fries for something different, like their fantastic onion rings.

The burger used to be huge and juicy, making it an ideal meal for anyone with a big appetite.

I appreciated that they offered indoor dining, as the establishment was always kept clean and well-maintained.

Of course, the option for takeout was always there for those busy days when you just wanted to grab a quick meal and head home.

Their coneys were once the talk of the town, with their top-notch taste setting them apart from other local joints.

Pontiac Super Chief · 340 W Walton Blvd, Pontiac, MI 48340, United States
★★★★★ · Hot dog restaurant

Señor Tacos

One of the best taco spots I've ever been to is Señor Tacos.

I stumbled upon their taco truck when I noticed the new brick building on Baldwin and ever since then, I've been hooked.

The steak burrito and chicken tacos are absolutely amazing, and I've gone back multiple times just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

I can confidently say that Señor Tacos has some of the best authentic Mexican food in the area, and it's definitely worth the drive.

In fact, it has become my go-to spot whenever I have a craving for some delicious tacos or a hearty steak burrito.

What's even better is that they recently added a second truck specifically for drinks and desserts, like Mangonada, Mexican corn, and other tasty snacks.

I tried their elote and Mangonada drink, and it definitely hit the spot.

To top it all off, the prices at Señor Tacos are incredible - I can feed five adults without breaking the bank.

Señor Tacos · 1249 Baldwin Ave, Pontiac, MI 48342, United States
★★★★★ · Taco restaurant

Flavors of Jamaica

I can't help but rave about Flavors of Jamaica every chance I get.

This hidden gem is worth the drive even for those who live 45 minutes away, and I've personally been there multiple times, always bringing along friends and family who are equally blown away by the authentic Jamaican cuisine.

What sets Flavors of Jamaica apart is their dedication to crafting everything from scratch, even their ginger beer infused drinks.

The atmosphere is always buzzing with energy, complete with a live view of the kitchen where you can watch your food being prepared.

One thing I love about this spot is that they offer a variety of dishes, including vegan-friendly options.

I've tried the Veggie Plate with Rice and Peas, Plantains, and cabbage, and it was absolutely delicious.

The Sorrel Juice was the perfect accompaniment to the meal.

They even have a Saturday brunch from 11 am to 2 pm, featuring traditional Jamaican dishes with a twist.

With its mouthwatering cuisine, warm and welcoming atmosphere, and exceptional service, Flavors of Jamaica is undoubtedly a must-try for anyone in the area.

Flavors of Jamaica · 406 N Telegraph, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Jamaican restaurant

The Captain's Table Fish and Chicken

One of my go-to spots for a delicious meal in town is The Captain's Table Fish and Chicken.

The seafood and chicken plates served in this laid-back, counter-service space with dark-wood walls never disappoint.

I'm always impressed with the generous portions they provide at a fair price, especially considering how expensive everything seems to be nowadays.

Just recently, I had a minor issue with my order, and the management called me personally to apologize and make it right.

It's that kind of service that keeps me coming back as a loyal customer.

I also love their unique offerings, like the deep-fried corn!

It's a must-try, trust me.

I've heard from several Doordash drivers that they're always well taken care of at The Captain's Table, which is yet another testament to their excellent customer service.

The Captain’s Table Fish and Chicken · 226 S Telegraph Rd, Pontiac, MI 48341, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Other Restaurants Nearby

Soops 'n Sanz (Waterford Twp)

I can't believe I only recently discovered Soops 'n Sanz in Waterford!

This delightful little place truly deserves every bit of praise it receives.

My first taste of their club sandwich was heavenly – it simply melted in my mouth, and I knew I had found a new favorite spot.

I've also tried their incredible soups, chili, and cornbread, which are all equally delicious.

I haven't ventured to the salad side yet, but I've seen plenty of options available.

One of the best things about Soops 'n Sanz is their reasonable pricing.

It's so refreshing to find a cozy spot with such great quality food at affordable prices.

Soops ’n Sanz · 2617 Dixie Hwy, Waterford Twp, MI 48328, United States
★★★★★ · Sandwich shop

Square One Eats & Treats (Waterford Twp)

I recently stopped by Square One Eats & Treats on my way to a Pine Knobs Concert and can't help but rave about the amazing experience I had there.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by a clean and comfortable setting with well-lit and semi-dim areas, perfect for any mood.

As a health-conscious person, I'm always on the lookout for natural and flavorful options.

Square One did not disappoint!

I ordered the shrimp gnocchi (without the shrimp), and it was light yet filling, with a delicious butter sauce.

My friends tried the Cuban sandwich and the house salad, which were both incredibly fresh and tasty.

We loved that they even had bendy straws - a fun touch that brought back some childhood memories!

What truly stood out about Square One was our Sunday brunch experience.

Despite a 30-minute wait time, it was definitely worth it.

The crepes and french toast were full of flavor, and the portions were just the right size for a brunch meal.

The friendly and efficient service made us feel welcomed from start to finish.

Square One Eats & Treats · 4750 W Walton Blvd, Waterford Twp, MI 48329, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Tokyo Pho Thai (Waterford Twp)

I've been visiting Asian Cuisine Tokyo Pho Thai for years.

It's been a favorite spot for a delicious meal, especially when I crave some authentic Asian flavors.

The restaurant's location is convenient, and you can easily find it on Google Maps.

I must admit that they serve some of the best pho in Michigan.

Their homemade meatballs are soft and have the perfect amount of chew.

Plus, they offer a tasty papaya salad and vermicelli salad on hot days.

I love the Hmong sausage and chicken, too, and the pepper cup that comes with it is simply amazing.

Asian Cuisine Tokyo Pho Thai · 3420 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48328, United States
★★★★★ · Asian restaurant

La Marsa Waterford (Waterford Twp)

One of my favorite places to dine in the area is definitely La Marsa Waterford.

The first time I visited, I was blown away by their delicious food and generous portions.

It's evident that this family-owned restaurant puts their heart and soul into the food and service, making it a must-visit spot for anyone who appreciates Mediterranean cuisine.

The warm pita bread and garlic butter were such a delightful surprise that I couldn't help but keep coming back for more.

During the holidays, I decided to order the sampler platter for a carryout with extra rice pilaf as one of the sides.

The presentation and taste of the food were just perfect for our Christmas eve luncheon celebration.

La Marsa Waterford · 4176 Pontiac Lake Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48328, United States
★★★★★ · Mediterranean restaurant

Mor-Tacos (Bloomfield Twp)

I recently stumbled upon Mor-Tacos in my neighborhood and decided to give it a try.

I was immediately drawn to the street taco theme that's evident in both the menu and decor.

I found the seating arrangements pretty creative, with milk crates stacked together to serve as chairs.

At first glance, the tacos seemed a bit pricey at $4 each, but they had a special deal where I could get 3 tacos for $9, which seemed more reasonable.

I was impressed by the quality and variety of flavors offered in their tacos.

I loved how tasty the meat was, and I found the pricing to be fair for authentic tacos.

Apart from the tacos, I also tried their baked potato with barbacoa, which was absolutely delicious.

Mor-Tacos · 2442 Franklin Rd, Bloomfield Twp, MI 48302, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Final Thoughts

Pontiac has an impressive and diverse selection of restaurants to satisfy any craving.

From the authentic Mexican flavors at Mor-Tacos and Señor Tacos, to the irresistible dishes at Lupita's Kitchen and D'Antons Coney Island, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

I'm lucky to live in a city with such an incredible food scene, and I highly recommend exploring these culinary gems in Pontiac.

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