Batch Brewing Company is Motor City’s first nano brewery and was founded by two close friends who lefts their corporate jobs in order to pursue their passion: craft beer. Here you can enjoy more than just fantastic nanobrews. Try the tasty sandwiches, burgers, or nachos – a separate gluten free menu is also available.
Two James Spirits is Detroit’s first licensed distillery since the Prohibition. Dedicated to reviving the craft movement and to revitalize the community, the distillery makes handcrafted spirits from locally sourced products. Step inside the tasting room to try the cocktails made in-house with craft spirits or to sample the tasting flights. Of course, you can also pick up a bottle or case of Two James spirits to take home.
A heaven for beer lovers, 8 Degrees Plato Detroit is a shop AND bar that offers a huge selection of beer, cider, and mead in a friendly space with an open-plan design. The rotating taps provide a range of beers from micro breweries. Which means that you can actually drink while shopping for cans or bottles of craft beer to take back home. Oh, and the shop also has Build-Your-Own 6-packs.
One of the oldest operating jazz clubs in the US, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge opened its doors to customers in 1934 and has entertained locals and tourists ever since. In 1986, it was even named a Historic Site by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, a designation that finally marked the club’s importance in the world of jazz. Go for a cocktail and a bite to eat and stay for the incredible music and laid-back atmosphere.
Wine lovers should put The Royce at the top of their list. This wine shop and bar provides an expertly curated list of wines sourced from small-batch producers in the US and worldwide. Here you can buy a bottle or two to take home, order a glass of white or red along with a plate of food that complements your choice, and even browse through the shop’s selection of beautifully designed home goods.
Opened in 2011 in the historic Corktown area, Sugar House is one of the finest cocktail bars in Detroit. You can order classic cocktails or try the seasonal menu with original creations made with a range of interesting and even rare liqueurs. Apart from the fantastic cocktails, the bar also offers an extensive list of beers, wine, American whiskey, and single-barrel bourbon.
Green Dot Stables seems to have found the right balance between affordability, quality, and friendly atmosphere. This slider joint has a menu filled with beer, cocktails and wine along with a range of appetizing food. If you’re an adventurous meat eater, try the mystery meat of the week slider. That way, you may get your first taste of camel, alligator, or kangaroo.
In a dark alley with exposed brick walls, a lantern emanating warm light marks the entrance to Standby, which awaits behind a large wooden door. Beyond thick curtains, customers discover a cozy and dimly lit space with a chic décor. The bar has a cocktail lab with a centrifuge and liquid nitrogen, to create all kinds of classic and creative cocktails. The menu also includes good food, so you can go for drinks AND dinner.
Classy but laid-back, the Cliff Bell’s club offers classic drink, specialty cocktails and good food in a stylish art deco-style décor. There are no windows and plenty of soft, warm lighting, along with jazz and blues music that fills up the interior to create the perfect ambience. Ideal for a romantic night out or an evening with friends.
One of the most popular watering holes in Detroit, Cafe D’Mongo’s Speakeasy welcomes its customers with live music, a fun atmosphere and plenty of fantastic drinks. The décor is quirky, eclectic and vintage-inspired, which complements the bar’s personality perfectly. You may even have the chance to see a famous face or two, but you may also have too much fun to notice.
Trinosophes is a vegan-friendly, modern coffee shop that serves coffee, locally sourced products, in-house made pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch dishes in a minimalist interior. And since you’re in the birth place of the iconic Motown Records, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this café also hosts live music shows. Along with art exhibits and other cultural events.
Ashe Supply Co. Café & Roasterie brings together good coffee, a cool lifestyle, art, and clothing in one space. The coffee shop’s motto is “Drink coffee, live wild”, which gives you an idea of the urban adventurer vibes you’ll find here. The menu includes beans sourced from various countries, including Guatemala and Colombia, and coffee brewed in several different ways.
Those who love retro design will feel right at home at the Urban Bean Co. café. This coffee shop serves locally roasted coffee and local food in a charming interior that reminds of the ‘60s. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer the opportunity to watch the world go by while sipping a good espresso and enjoying the delicious fresh pastries. Like many other places in Detroit, this coffee place supports the music scene, specifically electronic music, with a DJ playing on certain evenings.
Balancing the art and the science of bean roasting, Dessert Oasis Coffee provides an exciting range of coffees full of gorgeous flavors. The café sources the beans from respected farms, roasting them on site to perfection before creating each cup of aromatic coffee. The industrial-style décor also creates a special kind of atmosphere here. Customers can order desserts baked in-house and pastries with their cup of joe and even listen to live music in the evenings.
Roasting Plant has amassed a loyal following. No wonder, considering that the coffee shop has introduced a new technology, the Javabot, to fulfill its mission of delivering the perfect cup of joe to each and every customer. This ingenious system allows the café to roast the beans on site and then transport them to the grinder with every order. The result? Just-roasted and brewed-by-the-cup coffee that tastes fantastic.
Come for the coffee, stay for the art. And coffee. Founded by a photographer, Oloman Café has an unsurprisingly creative décor. Murals, artworks and photographs can be found throughout the chic café. This coffee shop also serves a great range of hot drinks, pastries, and paninis to complement their espressos.
You’re probably gonna visit the Detroit Institute of Arts anyway, so why not drop by Kresge Court for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat? The interior courtyard is stunning – think cathedral with an industrial vibe and exposed brick walls. Eclectic and stylish furniture completes the décor. Here you can order anything from coffee and sandwiches to salads and delicious desserts.
If you’re a New Yorker, then the name The Red Hook will certainly be familiar. The owners of this popular coffee joint come from Brooklyn and named the café after one of its neighborhoods. Go earlier in the morning to make the most of the café’s quieter times and grab a cup of coffee along with some pastries to start your day the right way.
Germack Coffee Roasting Company has a richer history than one would expect from a coffee roaster and café. Established in 1924, the business has been run by the same family from the beginning and it’s still located in Eastern Market. The company launched its small batch roasted coffee selection in 2012, offering customers the opportunity to watch the roasting process in the roastery while enjoying a cup of joe in the espresso bar.
The first pour-over café in the city, Astro Coffee has transformed into a beloved neighborhood hub thanks to its selection of fantastic coffee, organic and natural products, as well as delicious sandwiches and baked goods. The interior is also cozy and welcoming, which makes this shop the perfect stop for your morning coffee or midday battery recharge.
Anthology Coffee rejects the “craft coffee” or “specialty coffee” labels. Instead, it aims to offer something much more straightforward: a great cup of joe. Sourcing beans from all over the world, the coffee shop blends tradition, contemporary tools and good ol’ fashioned quality with experimentation to highlight the unique aroma profile of each type of bean. And the result? A coffee so good that it has found its way into several popular cafés around Detroit.
Welcome to bagel heaven. The Detroit Institute of Bagels offers a selection of traditionally made bagels – which means boiled and baked, not mass-produced. Chewy and tasty, the bagels come as plain, with herb or seed toppings, with spreads, or as sandwiches with an array of filling options. Of course, you can also get a great cup of coffee here to wash it all down.
Extremely popular with the locals and tourists in equal measure, Russell Street Deli serves hearty dishes and high-quality products in a friendly atmosphere. Breakfast is only served during the weekends – when the place gets quite busy – but the community-style seating means that it’s easy to start a conversation over good food with the locals.
Stepping inside Zingerman’s Delicatessen, you’ll stumble upon a cornucopia of mouth-watering food and ingredients. Fresh cheeses, hand-shaped bagels, Tuscan olive oil, roasted beans, pies, handmade harrissa, hearth-baked bread, and many other delicious products. And the best part? You can sample many of the products, even those you’ve never heard of before.
While Whole Foods Detroit offers the usual organic and natural groceries and ingredients you’d expect to find in the eco-minded chain store, it also provides a huge variety of products in the heart of downtown Detroit. Here you can buy cheese, meat, deli items, wine, or bakeries, as well as soap and grooming products. After completing your shopping, you can also stop by the buffet and coffee shop to refuel.
Craving for some Mexican food? Honeybee Market is the place to go to. For over 50 years, this family-owned store has brought the aromas and spices of Mexico to Detroit. Apart from the store’s bestseller, the chorizo made after a secret family recipe, here you can also buy fresh fruits and veggies, meat and seafood, as well as a range of Central American ingredients and delicatessen products.
A destination in of itself, Eastern Market has a rich past, a venerable age (over 150 years!) and a gorgeous design. It’s also the largest historic public market district in the entire US. Put aside at least a couple of hours to explore this place properly, as you’ll need plenty of time to see all the fresh food, flowers, handmade products, farmer’s markets, and other hidden treasures. Restaurants and food trucks also offer tasty hot food. And since this is Detroit, there’s art and music everywhere.
If you want to buy some local groceries, produce, and deli items, a visit at The Farmer’s Hand is a must. This farmer’s market and coffee shop is located in the popular Corktown neighborhood, so you’ll probably go to this area anyway while exploring the city. Here you can find anything from vegetables and meat to organic ingredients and baked goods. Keep in mind that everything (as in, 100%) is either locally grown or locally made.
Sister Pie is a seasonal baked goods company that values quality ingredients as much as it loves creativity and rustic flavors. Melt-in-your-mouth pies, delicious cookies, and hearty breakfast and lunch options are some of the things you’ll find here. Oh, and the décor is quaint and simply charming, so you’ll have plenty of eye-candy to enjoy while devouring what some say are the best pies in Detroit!
New Palace Bakery should be at the top of the list for all lovers of Polish-style bread and baked goods. This family-owned and family-run bakery has been making quality products for decades, delighting locals and tourists alike with a range of bread, pastries, cakes, pies, donuts, and cookies. And we didn’t even scratch the surface with that list.
Dilla’s Delights was founded by the uncle of the renowned hip-hop producer J.Dilla as an homage to the late creative. A family company through and through, this donut shop offers a selection of house-made treats. The donuts are organic and available in a variety of finger-licking flavors, with vegan options also provided. Good music and a great ambience complete the experience.
Avalon International Bread made history back in 1997. That year, the popular company produced its first 100% organic flour baked goods in a hearthstone oven. Over the years, this small bakery shop transformed into an icon of the city’s economic revolution and even introduced the “Agri-Urban” concept. Now, over 1,000 customers enter the shop every day to buy freshly baked goods, with Avalon products found in over 40 restaurants and markets throughout Detroit.
Located in downtown Detroit, Library Street Collective features contemporary artists, putting the focus on the creatives who have developed their skills in a public sphere. The gallery showcases both local and international artists, as well as iconic names and upcoming young creators. As the exhibitions change regularly, you’ll always discover something new and exciting here.
For art lovers, the Heidelberg Project is a must-see place. This outdoor art project aims to transform and improve the lives of local people through the power of art. It was created in 1985 by artist Tyree Guyton who, encouraged by his grandfather, slowly began reclaiming abandoned lots and buildings and transforming them into outdoor art installations. The Heidelberg Project has received a Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence in 2005, was featured in the W magazine, and was one of the 15 projects that represented US at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008.
If you want to relax for a couple of hours while still seeing some fascinating parts of the city, then The Riverfront is a great choice. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy project transformed the area, creating new parks, walkways, plazas, and gardens. Walk along the waterfront and admire the flowers in bloom and the butterfly gardens if you’re visiting in spring/summer, ride a bike to see the entire East Riverfront transformation (the West is currently in development), or buy some quality food and make a picnic out of it.
Dedicated to promoting experimental art and sculpture, City Sculpture features a large selection of artworks created by artist Robert Sestok. This non-profit organization allows locals and tourists to wander among the welded steel, bronze, or aluminum sculptures. The park has a rotating exhibition schedule as well as a visiting artist program. A perfect choice for a sunny afternoon.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is not just any museum. It holds the world’s largest permanent exhibition dedicated to African American culture and history. Established in 1965, the 120,000 square foot museum now houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival items, as well as a theater where visitors can watch performances, films, or lectures.
An homage to one of the most iconic record labels of all time, Motown Historical Museum opens its doors to welcome music lovers from all over the US and the world. Motown artifacts, rare photos and memorabilia are just a fraction of what you can discover here. Indeed, you can even enter the famous Studio A and see some of the original equipment and instruments that helped make musical history.
Many tourists overlook this art gallery. Don’t be one of them. The College for Creative Studies Gallery features vibrant and ultra-cool exhibitions from both established artists and young creatives. The contemporary visual, literary and performance arts forum promotes local, national, AND international artists, so you’ll surely find some amazing things to see here.
A beautiful (but also convenient) way to discover more about Motor City’s past. The Detroit Historical Museum was established in 1928. Apart from chronicling the history of Detroit, the museums also features an array of interesting collections, including a fur trading post from the 18th century, an auto assembly line, and the signature exhibit Streets of Old Detroit, which shows the city’s incredible transformation between the 1840s to the 1900s.
More than just an amazing gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) is a hub for the city’s best contemporary, visual, literary, and performance art, along with music, film, lectures, and much more. A former auto dealership, the museum’s expansive 22,000 square foot space is always filled with incredible art. And before you get back to exploring Detroit, you can recharge your batteries in the museum’s cafe.
If you want to dress the part while visiting Detroit, a visit at SMPLFD is a must. This cool shop sells cool apparel and accessories in a cool interior. Everything with a SMPLFD label has a Detroit or athletic-inspired design and is printed in-house on high-quality materials, but the store also provides a range of vintage items.
You can’t visit the birthplace of Motown Records and not enter at least one records shop. Hello Records Detroit is a perfect choice, because it offers a large range of vinyl and shellac recordings from the 1940s all the way to the 2000s. Apart from the many records you can browse through here, you can also check out stereo equipment and memorabilia – all in all, a treasure trove for music lovers.
Like many other Motor City companies, Detroit Denim leads the way in the expansion of American manufacturing. Proudly designed and made in Detroit, the brand’s collection of jeans feature the finest domestic raw denim, and they are all handmade with vintage shuttle looms and sustainable practices. Jeans don’t get more American than this.
Founded in 1893, Henry the Hatter has a rich history – president Eisenhower wore a Henry the Hatter hat at his inauguration in the 1950s. Moving with the times, the store offered Indiana Jones hats in the ’80s as well as Kangol hats for hip-hop fans in the ’90s, continuing to adapt to the needs of its customers over the years. After changing its location numerous times across the decades, the store found a new home at the end of 2017 in the historic Eastern Market.
Originally founded by Jack White – none other than White Stripes’ frontman -Third Man Records is not an ordinary records store. Sure, you can find a huge selection of vinyls here, but this place offers much more than that. The shop includes a novelty area filled with the treasures that can make music fans shed tears of joy, a performance stage, a record booth, and a window that offers a direct view of the vinyl pressing process – the very same records that will go onto the store’s shelves.
The art of letterpress printing is alive and celebrated at Signal-Return Press. Located in the Eastern Market area of Detroit, this art studio and shop supports the city’s ever-expanding community of artists and creatives. In the store, you’ll find an array of prints, cards, and posters created by local artists as well as gift items and letterpress printing books.
An American success story and a perfect example of Detroit’s spirit. Shinola makes bikes, watches, and leather goods in Motor City, bringing back the quality of ‘made in the USA’ products. Beautifully designed and expertly made, every item you buy here supports American manufacturing and the local economy. It’s a win-win-win!
Passionate about good design, Nora’s founders have curated an exquisite collection of Scandinavian and Japanese-inspired housewares as well as handmade items and jewelry made by Detroit artists. Quirky designs and unusual objects make the shop even more charming. All of these things come together to put Nora high up on your ‘must-visit’ list.
Go to Source Booksellers if you want to buy niche non-fiction books that you can’t find anywhere else. This independent bookseller opened its doors in 2002, welcoming customers into a cozy space filled with many Detroit-focused books, history and culture tiles, as well as a large selection of books written by women.
The largest bookstore in Michigan and one of the largest in the US, John K. King Used & Rare Books offers a huge selection of books spread across four floors. Customers can use a map (!) to navigate through the topics, request the help of the friendly staff to find a specific book, or simply browse through the shelves to discover hidden gems.
El Asador Steakhouse. The name offers you some hints. Yes, here you can order Mexican food and steaks make to perfection. What you can’t tell just by hearing the name? This restaurant is obsessed with quality and fresh ingredients. How obsessed, you ask? Well, it doesn’t even have a freezer. Every dish is made from scratch with local and responsibly sourced ingredients. Before entering the restaurant, don’t forget to Instagram the mural painted on the Southern wall by street artist Marka27.
Like many places in Detroit, Gold Cash Gold has a special story. Located inside a vintage pawn shop – hence, the name – the restaurant welcomes customers with a charming bistro-style décor and laid-back atmosphere. The New American menu features plenty of delicacies, all expertly crafted by the chef and his dedicated crew. Whom you can actually see in action if you make a Kitchen Table reservation. In summer, the restaurant’s outdoor space is perfect for enjoying lunch or dinner.
Grey Ghost is a steakhouse and bar that takes its name after the alias of the most notorious smuggler of rum on the Detroit River during the Prohibition era. The menu includes both the expected meat and seafood dishes as well as vegetarian options. The drinks menu is extensive and features numerous creative cocktails. Of course, you can also order a rum drink in honor of the infamous Grey Ghost.
You can find Mudgie’s Deli in the historic Corktown neighborhood. Ideal for brunch, lunch, and dinner, this deli and wine shop offers a menu filled with artisan-style food, premium ingredients, and fine wine, cocktails, and beers. Even if you’re in a hurry while exploring the city, it’s worth it to stop by for a delicious sandwich, a cup of great coffee, and some free Wi-Fi.
Selden Standard was named Restaurant of the Year (two times!) by Detroit Free Press and Hour Detroit, so you know you’ll discover good food here. Designed as a place where friends can enjoy a meal together in a cozy atmosphere, the restaurant offers a creative New American menu that relies on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Passionate about American comfort food, the Townhouse restaurant transforms old favorites into fine cuisine. Premium ingredients and a flair for modernizing classics in inventive ways put the restaurant into a category of its own. The menu ranges from burgers and sandwiches to sushi and chowder, with the signature 28-day-aged burger being the star of the show.
There is always time for pizza, so if you want to take a break from exploring Motor City, stop by Supino Pizzeria in the Eastern Market area. This restaurant serves artisanal-style pizza with a thin crust and high-quality ingredients that are local and organic where possible. So it’s no wonder that this joint is quite busy, with customers sometimes creating a line outside.
Completed in 1891, 1500 Woodward was occupied from 1920 to 1978 by the Wright-Kay jewelry firm. The Wright & Company restaurant celebrates the building’s past by referencing its history and maintaining as many original features as possible in the interior. Apart from the gorgeous décor, the restaurant also stands out thanks to its shared plates concept and exquisite menu created by Marc Djozlija, the former executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Group’s MGM Grand Detroit.
Bobcat Bonnie’s is a neighborhood gastropub which has earned its reputation locally by serving consistently great food in a friendly ambience. The menu is diverse and includes something for every taste, including a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options, with a list of craft beer and cocktails also included.
Stepping inside the Apparatus Room located in the Detroit Foundation Hotel, one can’t help but marvel at the perfect blend of historical details and modern design. Arched windows and an ultra-high ceiling make the restaurant feel airy and welcoming, while refined decor details enhance its chic character. And the food’s not too shabby, either. Chef Thomas Lents has previously won the impressive two-star Michelin rating while working as an Executive Chef at Sixteen in Chicago. Safe to say, this restaurant should definitely be at the top of your list.
For the perfect brunch, drop by Dime Store. Here, you can order traditional and creative takes on brunch specialties, along with locally-roasted coffee and organic teas. Opened by three friends in 2014, this restaurant has quickly gained a loyal following by serving finger-licking food. And if you’re in a hurry, you can also order your food to go from a special menu!