1. M Cantina
Chef Junior “Liquid Chef” Merino’s temple to modern Latin street food extends beyond the typical Cinco de Mayo fare with the inclusion of items like empanadas and papas bravas, but even the tacos and tortas are not your typical Mexican standbys. Merino subscribes to the cocina de autor style of cooking, and his cuisine, though influenced by his upbringing in Puebla, is far more chef-driven than traditional. Think: duck carnitas tacos with guava-chipotle sauce and crispy onions, and spicy-sweet popcorn shrimp wrapped in butter lettuce. You know the place is different the moment they bring out their house salsas, a colorful array of 18 different squeeze bottles housing everything from creamy avocado salsa verde to oil-based salsa infused with chiles. A former mixologist who made a name for himself in New York City and created the first official cocktail of Mexico, Merino recently began showing off why they called him the “Liquid Chef,” employing the largest collection of agave-based spirits in Michigan.