Where to dine bright and early in Eastern Market now that Farmers Restaurant has closed

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
The Russell Street building that hosts five independent operations — Russell Street Deli, Supino, Zeff's Coney Island, Mootown Ice Cream Shoppe and Detroit Kung Fu Academy — sold for $20 million in late June. The building holding Farmers Restaurant also sold this week.

With the closing of Farmers Restaurant this week, Detroit diners and Eastern Market visitors lost a longtime go-to for breakfast and lunch. 

Known for early hours, a killer Reuben and more than two dozen variations on the omelets, Farmers closed without warning after the building was sold to developer Sanford Nelson. The owners slapped a note on the window saying they've retired. 

According to reports, developer Sanford Nelson purchased the property. Nelson, along with his father bought two other landmark buildings last summer that house other popular restaurants including Russell Street Deli, Supino's Pizzeria and Bert's Marketplace. At the time of purchase there were no plans to move those businesses. 

Farmers, however, did shutter with the sale after decades of business. Here are some greasy (and not-so-greasy) spoons still open and serving bright and early in the Market to help satisfy those skillet-sized breakfast cravings. 

Louie's Ham and Corned Beef: Spacious and seemingly always hopping, Louie's serves a huge menu of breakfast and lunch items 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays. Dine in or roll through the drive-through. 3570 Riopelle, Detroit. (313) 831-1800. 

Milano Bakery: It's not just cookies, buns, bundts and breads in here. Milano Bakery has a cafe inside that offers grilled sandwiches and some of the cheesiest personal pizzas we've ever seen. They're open 7 a.m-5 p.m. every day but Sunday. 3500 Russell, Detroit. (313) 833-3500. 

Frank's Deli & Grill: Serving Wigley's famous corned beef, this American diner is open six days a week at 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Besides deli sandwiches (including a one-pound, triple decker for $9.99), you'll find breakfast anytime, steak dinners, Amish chicken, burgers, coneys and pitas. 3405 Russell, Detroit. (313) 285-9551. 

Mike Coney Island: A classic Detroit coney with Greek and Middle Eastern influences on the menu, including falafel, hummus, shawarma and gyros. Open 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 5 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sat. 2719 Russell, Detroit. (313) 259-8151. 

Zeff's Coney Island: Another one of the few Market diners open on Sunday, Zeff's serves a huge menu of breakfast and lunch classics seven days a week, 6 a.m-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. In addition to coney/diner favorites, Zeff's also has Mexican and stir fry dinners. 2469 Russell, Detroit. (313) 259-4705. 

Russell Street Deli: A go-to for quality ingredients and many options for vegetarians and others with dietary needs, this Eastern Market mainstay is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays. This hoppin' spot was waving the local, organic food flag before it was en vogue. 2465 Russell, Detroit. (313) 567-2900.

More food: Eastern Market is also home to bars and restaurants that cater more to the afternoon or nighttime crowd, with the exception of some brunches. Cutter's Bar & Grill (2638 Orleans) is open 10 a.m. Mon.-Sat. and Vivio's Food & Spirits (2460 Market) opens at 11 a.m. daily except for Saturday when their popular brunch services starts at 8 a.m. Stache International (1416 E. Fisher, Detroit) is open at 11 a.m. every day except Mondays. Some of the most popular pizza in the area is slung 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tues.-Sat. at Supino's Pizzeria (2457 Russell). Bert's Marketplace (2727 Russell) starts serving barbecue and soul food at 11 a.m. daily and has live music in the evenings. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens