The “Soul” of the Riverfront

Steve's Soul Food - Detroit, MI

By Jeffrey Buck

Ever since the casinos failed to relocate to their Riverfront home, the area hasn’t been the same as most storefronts and restaurants were either left or forced out. It’s an enclave of old factories and warehouses that are now seeing new life with the help of a vibrant River Walk section and entrance to the highly regarded Dequindre Cut path. Tucked away in this area between the RenCen and Chene Park on Franklin Street sits a staple of the area since 1986. A cafeteria-style restaurant opened by a retired police officer called Steve’s Soul Food.

Steve’s is a place that won’t be seen by those who stick to the main thoroughfares. It sort of sits in an area that normally doesn’t see much foot traffic on weekends, though I hope that changes with the potential that the Elevator Building holds. With that in mind you need to drive yourself over there and experience it in person. It’s nothing fancy, it sort of reminded me of my childhood days of going through the lunch line, but don’t let that deceive you as the food blows away any Lunch A or B choice.

The main dining room is housed in a beautiful brick building that also offers an outdoor patio. Taking up nearly the entire east wall is a magnificent soul food spread that includes several options to choose from, including a number of meats to mix with an array of side dishes. The sheer amount of food may scare you but the prices won’t. I had my first visit last summer with my brother and his girlfriend and we were not only blown away by the amount of food, but also how tasty everything was.

My plate consisted of mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, chicken, ribs and corn bread. I was stuffed to say the least. Have no fear though because a nightly stroll on the riverfront, which is conveniently only a few blocks away, will help you burn off your new found calories.

Steve’s offers secure free on-site parking located across the street. It accepts all major credit cards and you can either enjoy your food there or talk it away to anywhere your heart desires. They also offer room for private events and can cater off-site events as well. Below are hours and their address:


Monday – Thursday, Sunday 11 AM to 9 PM

Friday – Saturday, 11 Am to 10 PM


1440 Franklin St.

Detroit, MI 48207

(313) 393 – 0018

If you’ve checked out Steve’s before, let the Spine know how your experience was!

About Jeffrey S. Buck

I'm currently a Project Manager at Cypress Partners, LLC in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I graduated from Wayne State University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism. Looking to broaden my view of the world, I spent a semester abroad studying at the University of Salford, a Greater Manchester University in England. I enjoy doing an array of activities, including following Detroit sports teams, SCUBA diving, traveling, reading, playing tennis, hand-written letters and going to the movies. I am the co-founder of the Woodward Spine, a blog about Detroit and its surrounding communities. The Woodward Spine aims to inform its readers about relevant news and events through creative and informative posts in these core areas: news, opinion, entertainment, history, sports and development. The Woodward Spine serves the tri-county metro Detroit area, concentrating mainly on the communities that lie along the Woodward corridor.
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