Thought I'd lighten things a bit with a topic that everyone in the metro Detroit area can enjoy. I, for one, have incredible memories of places I could/can walk to for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in-betweens, from everywhere I've lived.
As I child, it was the Sander's counter at Grandland (Grand River and Fenkell) for a donut and milk. We also did breakfast almost weekly at Cregar's (corner of Grand River and Outer Dr. W.) And Maria's and the giant sit-down Lil' Caesar's at Grand River and Warwick were our standard pizza joints.
I don't think much changed as I grew older, except that I drove to most places because, well, I could, so I'll skip those years. Cregar's and Sander's had closed by then, and Maria's had moved to its short-lived Southfield address; Lil' Caesar's just wasn't that interesting anymore. There really wasn't anything worth walking to, but we always kept our eyes open (still do).
My first place on my own after graduating college was in Ferndale. You bet your bippy I walked everywhere. My favorite was Hambo for breakfast; and that will never change. I loved Monday nights at the Woodward Ave. Brewery (do they still do half-off food?) and pints at Danny's.
I moved to Clinton Twp., Shelby Twp., and Grosse Pointe Park after that. There was nothing walkable in either Clinton or Shelby Twps. from where I lived, but in GPP I adored having a bar right across the street (Nolan's) and a few others just blocks away (Rustic Cabins, Tap Room), whose "walk-to-ness" my friends would debate.
So this brings me to my current favorite little diner, right in my own Dearborn backyard: The Great Ham Co. (formerly Jouli). It's a place I've only tried for breakfast since their ownership recently changed, and I'm happy with the quality and prices. It's fun to have a good breakfast joint to walk to. That's something to love no matter where you are :)
Would love to hear about others' favorite neighborhood places; not reviews, necessarily, but stories and mentions.