Celebrate Scottish-American Heritage Month with these Michigan restaurants

Brief history of Scottish immigrants’ impact on Metro Detroit

LONDON - JANUARY 23: Haggis and Whisky are the dinner star attraction for people who celebrate Burns night on Monday on January 23, 2010 in London, England. Scots across the world annually celebrate on January 25th the life of Robert Burns, the country's most famous bard, with recitations of his poetry, the eating of haggis and imbibing of whisky. (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images) (Marco Secchi, 2010 Marco Secchi)

April is Scottish-American Heritage Month, and what better way to celebrate a country than with food?

A little history of Scots in Metro Detroit

Celebrities like Tim Allen and Eminem help represent the Scottish population in Metro Detroit.

Southeastern Michigan is home to a wide variety of ethnic groups and cultures, but it seems that those from the highlands aren’t mentioned too often.

People from Scotland have been immigrating to North America for hundreds of years, even before the United States was established. In Michigan, Scottish immigrants founded a Freemasonry branch in the late 1800s, and were recruited for labor in the automotive industry in the early 1900s.

According to a study by Thomas J. Sugrue, a professor from the University of Michigan, Ford Motor Co. would recruit skilled workers from industrial cities across Europe, Mexico and the Middle East.

The Scottish community has significantly impacted the mason community here in Metro Detroit. The Scottish Rite, now located out of Dearborn, is one of the branches of Freemasonry that was founded by Scots. According to their website, the fraternity flourished around World War II. Henry Ford is one of many people who took part in the Scottish Rite Freemasonry. The National Heritage Museum writes that Henry Ford received the 33rd degree -- a significant honor -- at the Masonic Temple in 1940.

Click here to learn more about the history of Metro Detroit’s Scottish community and the automotive industry.

Now, to the food

Here are a few restaurants in Michigan that serve Scottish dishes.

Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery, Redford Charter Township

Opened initially as a small Scottish butcher shop in 1949, Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery has been serving Metro Detroit with traditional Scottish meats and sweets. This family-owned business also sells food items online and via curbside pickup.

The Celtic Knot, Leonard

This tavern will have food lovers feeling like they’ve been transported to Great Britain. Primarily an Irish restaurant, customers can find Scottish-influenced dishes and beer at the Celtic Knot. Located off of Rochester Road, many can enjoy ethnic and Americanized entrees with a side of live music.

Scottish Inn, Saginaw

This family-owned restaurant has been around since 1967. According to their website, they serve the best Rueben in mid-Michigan. This Saginaw restaurant specializes in appetizers and hand-helds.

Kilgour Scottish Centre of the St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit, Troy

Known as one of the oldest clubs in Metro Detroit, the St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit was founded in 1849. Although you can’t get food here regularly, the venue hosts many events that include food and whisky. According to the Detroit Scots, St. Andrew’s Hall in Downtown Detroit was where the St. Andrew’s Society signed the original membership, which included 35 men, on Nov. 30, 1849.

Sean O’Callaghan’s Public House, Plymouth

This traditional Irish public house located in Downtown Plymouth is great if you’re looking for Scottish Eggs in west Metro Detroit. The traditional breakfast is served as a small plate dish and made with fresh farm eggs wrapped in sage sausage, and complemented with Guinness-whole grain mustard.


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About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.