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We have a 4 hour layover in DTW, can someone suggest a nice restaurant near the airport?

We have a 4 hour layover in DTW, can someone suggest a nice restaurant near the airport?

Old Aug 26th, 2003, 07:48 PM
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We have a 4 hour layover in DTW, can someone suggest a nice restaurant near the airport?

We have a 4 hour layover in Detroit (DTW) before leaving for London (LGW). We get to DTW at 5:25 p.m. and don't leave until 9:30 p.m. Anyone have an ideas of where we can take a cab to? We like all kinds of food, especially Italian. Thanks!
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 08:06 PM
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I would definitely not leave the airport. Most airlines require a minimum 2 hour advance check-in for International flights. And security could take a few minutes or it could take 45 minutes - especially since you are landing at the busiest hour of the day.

I'd just dine in the airport and wander through duty free or read a book . . . .
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 08:25 PM
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I appreciate your response, Janis, I really do. But since we are beginning our trip from Lexington, Kentucky, and flying to London through Detroit, we will already be "checked in" when we arrive 4 hours early for our flight. I understand that it could take a few minutes to get through security again if we leave the airport, but even if it takes 45 minutes, we still would have over 2 hours to safely get to our gate. Surely there's a decent place to eat close to the airport which we could patronize.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 08:51 PM
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Just in case you don't get any good responses for a restaurant to eat at outside of the airport, the Detroit airport has an enormous food court. Some of the restaurants are sit down style places, and others are takeout like McDonald's and Burger King. The terminal reminds me of a mall - there's plenty of shopping too, and you can spend hours in the duty free shop. There are also some stores that sell Detroit-type stuff that you won't see anywhere - model cars (Detroit is the motor city) and Motown stuff. In case you do have to stay in the terminal, there is plenty to keep you occupied, including comfortable seating, and an interesting water fountain.

Just an FYI, I did exit the airport to have a cigarette outside of the terminal, and it took me nearly an hour to re-enter the airport, and that was at the end of February. I also had 4 hours to kill, and it did take about a 1/2 hour to walk from end to end in the terminal. If you don't want to walk it, there is a tram that runs on the upper level, along with people movers (conveyor belt) on the lower level.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 08:52 PM
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Forgot to mention that there are some major hotels connected to the terminal, so you might find some better restaurants in the hotels, or at least different places to people watch.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 09:05 PM
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One more thing, the international flights begin boarding 45 minutes prior to departure (I flew to LGW also), and you might be flying into a different terminal than the main one, so it might take 15 minutes or more to get to the main gate. Also, since you are arriving during rush hour, you'll need to take into account that your flight from Lexington might get to the gate after 5:25pm, and you'll need to take into account time for getting to and from the restaurant, and time to dine. I believe that there was a prior thread that said that there were some restaurants within a 15 minute cab ride of the airport.

Guesstimating, if your flight from Lexington arrives on time and that it will take you 15 minutes to get from the plane to a cab (you'll have to hustle), your travel time will be 30 minutes roundtrip to a restaurant, that it takes 45 minutes to get through Security (all international flights leave approximately within a 1/2 hour of each other), you have to be at the gate 45 minutes prior to departure, that will leave you 1 hour and 45 minutes to have dinner, barring no other delays.

A better suggestion so that you won't feel rushed is to go to your favorite restaurant in Lexington and have them pack a picnic for you that you can eat at your leisure in the Detroit terminal.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 09:10 PM
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That's excellent advice, Leslie. Thanks.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 09:23 PM
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I take it your flying Northwest? The new NWA McNamara terminal is very very nice and you'll have no problem filling your time. The lounge chairs near the fountain are a good place to relax, and check out the "acoustic art" display in the tunnel connecting councourse A with B & C. Seriously your restaurant choices in the terminal are just as good (perhaps better) than those surrounding the airport-which are all chain type places. http://www.metroairport.com/ lists dining options and maps.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 09:30 PM
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One more vote for not leaving DTW.
I fly in and out of DTW often, and depending on what airline you are flying, could make or break your layover.

If you're flying NWA/KLM or Continental, I would take advantage of the many shops, restaurants, or even the spa that's available in the new NW terminal (Macnamara Terminal). I'm not positive, but I think there's a Pizza Papalis in the Macnamara terminal, if there is, I would highly recommend it. It's a small DT pizza chain that does Chicago style pizza, go figure.

If you're not flying NWA/KLM or Continental, go to that terminal if you're looking for a bite instead of leaving the airport proper. I believe there's even a free "terminal to terminal" shuttle that you can take.

Unfortunately, DTW is not domiciled in an area that's condusive to a "quick trip" to a restaurant that's not a chain or anything that would be better than what's available in the Macnamara Terminal.

When you have more time in Detroit, I have a ton of suggestions for great dining experiences.

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 27th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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I agree with all the above advice and especially the last post, but if you do decide to go for it, take a cab to the The Grill at the Ritz Carlton 15 minutes away in Dearborn.
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Old Aug 27th, 2003, 05:21 AM
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I agree with the other posters. Inside the Northwest terminal there's a Mediterranean Grill, Diego's Mexican Village, Chili's, Online Bar & Grill and several other bar&grill places for table-service type eating, and dozens more food court places with deep dish pizza, Japanese and other kinds of foods.
Plus, the Westin Hotel attached to the terminal has a great restaurant with an Asia/California-themed menue.
And you can always get a massage at Ora Oxygen. It's part airport terminal, part upscale shopping center.
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Old Aug 27th, 2003, 06:34 AM
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I used to fly in and out of Detroit all the time and honestly there is not much close to the airport.

I would suggest heading to one of the hotels in the immediate area for dinner, if you have the time. There are usually good restaurants in the major hotel chains.

Have a great trip.
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Old Aug 27th, 2003, 07:55 AM
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I'm originally from Detroit.

That new terminal is beautiful--very nice, lots of shops & restaurants.

But if you do leave, I would recommend the 15-minute cab ride to Dearborn. There are many restaurants, a large mall (Fairlane Shopping Center) with restaurants, or the Henry Ford Greenfield Village. The Dearborn Inn, a historical Inn near Greenfield Village, has a charming restaurant.
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