Atlanta Bread Company 19181 Mack, Detroit, 313-640-8200; $, Lots of sweets and bagels, sandwiches galore, soups, salads, breakfast sandwiches till 10:30 a.m., specialty coffees and smoothies, all at decent or even bargain prices. If you find favorites, they’re worth returning for, but everything seems homogenized; each food is allotted one flavor and one only. Open until 9 p.m. daily.
Avalon International Breads 422 W. Willis, Detroit, 313-832-0008, The biggest seller at this Cultural Center mainstay is the farm bread, a traditional French white sourdough. But if you like your sandwiches made for you, show up at lunchtime as the focaccia comes out of the oven. It might be topped with organic roasted zucchini, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan. Avalon has branched out from the baguettes and crusty peasant loafs that have brought bread-starved customers flocking for years. Now brioche, scones and cinnamon rolls expand the meaning of “bread.” But it’s still the best.
Bonnie’s Kitchen and Catering 6527 Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Twp., 248-540-4001; $, The “kitchen” here is a place where you can eat in for lunch or take out dinner or just stop by for cappuccino and a piece of one of the memorable pastries. Point to what you’d like from their refrigerated display cases and pay by the pound. A place where carnivores, vegetarians and vegans can dine in harmony. Desserts are a point of pride. Open daily except Sunday. Closes at 7 p.m., 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Cannella Patisserie & Creperie 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 248-203-9704; $, The shop combines breads and an array of fancy pastries sold at the counter, with a short menu of crêpes, sandwiches and salads served at glass-topped tables. It opens for breakfast and stays open until midnight on weekends for the post-movie crowd across the street at the Uptown Palladium 12. Cannella uses sturdy boxes that are bad for the environment but good at protecting the pastries, so carry-out delicacies are secure. Closed Mondays; closes 5 p.m. Tuesday nights.
The Chocolate Gallery Cafe 3672 Chicago Rd., Warren, 586-979-1140; $, The Chocolate Gallery Café seems an incongruous name for a breakfast and lunch place, but this little eatery was built on desserts. The chocolate is spectacular and picture-perfect. And there are usually some non-chocolate options like carrot cake or lemon cheesecake. Breakfast choices include eggs and omelets, pancakes (buttermilk, chocolate chip or potato), French toast and eggs Benedict. The prices are sweet too. Open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.
Guernsey Farms Dairy Family Style Restaurant 21300 Novi Rd., Northville, 248-349-1466; $, You can go to Guernsey Farms just for an ice cream cone, or to buy dairy products from a little convenience store, or you can go for a meal. In the restaurant, broasted chicken is the special. Save room for the desserts, including the Black and White sundae — a combination of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with marshmallow and hot fudge, sprinkled with nuts, piled with whipped cream, and a cherry. Wow!
Little Cafe 22180 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, 313-565-8680; $, Little Café offers well-made salads of the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink variety, and decent sandwiches too. But coffee and dessert are where the café shines thus far. Coffees come from a microroaster near Seattle. There’s a long list of ice cream sundaes and sodas, including imported Italian confections and gelato, and gourmet ice cream from Oak Park-based, family-owned Ashby’s Sterling. Overall, a sweet place to sit, linger and read. Open 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Lou’s Deli 8224 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, 313-861-1321; $, Lou’s has a friendly atmosphere where everyone seems comfortable. Diners can select from 41 different sandwiches with names such as Sherry’s Schtick (triple-decker of salami, coleslaw, Russian dressing), Felicia’s Chutzpa (triple-decker of ham, pineapple, cream cheese, lettuce, mayo), and Leo’s Yolk (two fried eggs, beef bacon, mayo). Open until 1 a.m. Sunday, 2 a.m. Monday-Thurdsay, and 4 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
New Yasmeen Bakery 13900 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn, 313-582-6035; $, If you don’t mind eating with a plastic fork, you’ll find some exceptional and unusual Lebanese dishes at this deli and bakery (the bakery offers over 30 kinds of sweets). Co-owner Hussain Siblini says that’s because he employs old ladies who make traditional, really old, old handmade dishes. However traditional it may be, you’ll always be sure to find something new next to the chicken shwarma and shish tawook.
Pinwheel Bakery 220 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale, $; Downtown Ferndale’s newest confectioner, Pinwheel Bakery, offers a gourmet baked goods and desserts, from the favorites you grew up with to brand-new flavors. Such as? How about Indonesian spice cake, chai-almond tea cakes or a Key lime tart? Oven-fresh scones, muffins and coffee cakes can be washed down with coffee, tea, milk, juice, Izzy sodas and fresh lemonade. Also offers catering and cakes made and decorated to order, for everything from birthdays to weddings. Hopefully, this attractive little spot will help sweet-toothed neighbors get over the closing of the nearby Frostbite ice cream parlor.
Rowland Café 500 Griswold St., Detroit, 313-963-1440; $, Sandwiches and coffee at the new Rowland Café are first-rate, but of necessity they take a back seat to the setting. The café’s small black tables and chairs sit in the middle of the magnificent arched mezzanine of the 1929 Guardian Building, an Art Deco splendor — and National Historic Landmark — that was re-opened to the public in 2004. The café has some of the area’s best artisanal foodmakers as their suppliers, and they’re careful to let customers know where each nosh comes from. Beverages, on the other hand, are mostly from Italy, including fancy teas, San Pellegrino limonata and aranciata (fizzy lemon and orange sodas) and Illy coffee. Open 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday.
Sanders Candy & Dessert Shop 16837 Kercheval St.; $, Grosse Pointe Park, 313-882-4966, You’ll find plenty of flavors of ice cream here: Moose Tracks, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies and Cream, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, Mackinac Island Fudge, mint chip, black cherry, Bumpy Cake ’n’ Cream and Superman. All can be made into sundaes, shakes, sodas, malts or Detroit Coolers (a Vernors ginger ale float). Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday.
Shatila Bakery & Café 14300 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn, 313-582-1952; $, Don’t be confused by the fruit names — these are not sherbets. They combine fruit purees with butterfat to produce that rich taste and velvety texture that only cream can bestow. Nonfruit ice creams are equally inspired. The array of Mediterranean and European pastries is vast and changes daily. Shatila has a few nonsweet offerings, and they are quite tasty, not also-rans at all: sausage rolls, a tangy and flaky spinach pie and tiny star-shaped cheese pastries. Shatila’s high-ceilinged space is filled with customers sipping coffee or raw fruit juices, busting their diets, and enjoying the air-conditioning. Open 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.
Sweet Potato Sensations 17346 Lahser Rd., Detroit, 313-532-7996, You'll find plenty of sweet treats at this quaint carry- out bakery. This potato palace churns out all sorts of sweet potato confections including cookies, candied yams, cheese cakes, pies, cobblers and even ice cream and is a home town hit, especially around the holildays. Open 10 a.m -6 p.m Tuesday- Friday, 11 a.m -6 p.m Saturday.
Zingerman’s Next Door 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor, 734-663-5282, $$, As fine a deli as anyone could wish for, and more than just a haven for panini-like sandwiches and dill pickles. In addition to its array of imaginative sandwiches, soups and salads, it stocks top-of-the-line products, from tea, coffee and mustard to cheese, jam and olives, from small, proprietor-run companies literally across the globe. Breads from its own bake house have become almost as famous as the deli itself.