It was about 4 hours into my visit to Detroit that I realized I was in one of America’s greatest cities. Have you spent some time in Detroit? Did you fall in love with the architecture, the heart, the real the raw, the great people?
When I only have a few days in a city, I have to hit the ground running and there’s no sense / not much time to linger in a tiny hotel room (Trumbull and Porter is pretty great if you need a place). So! Knowing that I only scratched the surface of this incredible city, here are some of the things that I enjoyed in my short time in Detroit.
If you’re a Detroit local (or enthusiast) please feel encouraged to leave your suggestions in the comments below for all of us.
1 • Please know that the burger at Grey Ghost is one of the best I’ve ever had. Actually, scratch that. This was the best burger I’ve ever had and I hope you too are lucky enough to share it with a rad friend like Megan.
2 • The ladies at Bon Bon Bon make some stellar chocolate bites. Don’t sleep on visiting their shop in Hamtramck where the walls are pink and red and the chocolate tempers to create super creative flavor bites. I mispronounced Hamtramck no less than 14 times until I blurted out to my Lyft driver… OH LIKE HAM SAMICH! No disrespect and I still mispronounce it. Once you get the knack of Hamtramck, go for the chocolate and the girl-power vibes.
3 • Definitely explore the art and vision of The Heidelberg Project where a struggling neighborhood and vacant lots were turned into an expression of strength and imagination. You can read more about it here.
4 • Speaking of art. The Detroit Institute of Art makes for a very well spent afternoon. It’s easy to lose track of time. The Art of Rebellion exhibit is important.
5 • Oh heeeeey Sister Pie! I love me some lady bakers and this place is earnest and charming and badass and they make a real good cookie too. Go for a post breakfast coffee, cookie, and sit if you don’t have time to snarf a whole pie.
6 • Rose’s Fine Foods is the most comfortable and lovely diner… so much so that if you’re like me you’ll think you can open your own equally lovely diner with with edible flowers on your homemade cakes and a badass lady rocking the griddle top.
7 • You’ll make friends of strangers and have a very fine cocktail at Selden Standard.
8 • I try to hit up a yoga class in every city I visit because it helps me balance all the burgers and pie and cocktails. I invariably misjudge how close I should lay out my mat next to another student. It’s honestly strange how different each city is about this. Denver gets real cozy with their mats, y’all. Detroit folks want a bit more space. If you’re visiting, Citizen Yoga has an affordable visitor rate for $25!
9 • The best way to really know what’s up with a city? Go to a weekday baseball game. Here’s what I learned at the Tiger’s Game, Detroit is down to party on a Wednesday and I say OK!
10 • First a cup of coffee at Astro in Corktown… then a bowl of noodles at Ima– no need to order the extra noodles unless your eyes are bigger than your stomach like meeeeee.
Thank you to each and every one of you that took the time to come to my book signing in Detroit. It really means so much to me and it was so SO great to meet you. Thank you for sharing your vibrant city with me!
My love to you… now get yo body to Detroit!
So glad you visited and bummed I was out of town for your signing! Next time you’re back, clear your schedule for Supino in eastern market (such good pizza!) and Green Dot (corktown) for the best sliders…like, for real. enjoy! :)
As a Detroiter, I have to say that for a short visit, that’s a pretty good list. Those are some of my favorites and one new place that’s on my list. Glad you enjoyed your stay. So nice to meet you at Pages! Cheers.
Next time try Green Dot Stables – lots of fun sliders to try, awesome atmosphere! And if you want something classic – American or Lafayette Coney Island.
Thanks for saying mice things about Detroit. It’s always been a great city and I’m so happy that folks are now recognizing it. Next time you’re in town, check out the Dequindre Cut (old rail line that was converted to a biking/walking/running path and has some of the best murals in the city). It connects my two favorite spots in Detroit, the Detroit River and Eastern Market. After almost twenty years away, I’m closing on a co-op in Detroit TODAY!!!
susan in detroit
So many cool things to do, see and so many great people. Thanks for swinging by and sharing the good news!
For next time, Detroit Experience Factory (detroitexperiencefactory.com) offers up awesome tours with tons of information. NOT your typical, cheesy tour at all. And don’t miss a drink at Two James distillery (twojames.com). YUM! And maybe stay out late for some banging, original Detroit Techno and House…..
I suppose I could go on and on…. :)
A few suggestions for another set of trips:
– the Detroit Zoo, always a lovely visit
– Royal Oak – a great walking community, with some great opportunities for people watching, in addition to the shopping
– Orchestra Hall – one of the only acoustically perfect performing halls in the country (literally, not a bad seat for sound in the house), and it’s absolutely beautiful inside to boot
– the salt mines under the city. seriously. take the tour.
– the Motown Museum (which is about to undergo expansion) – pop music and culture history!
And yes, I’m a Detroit area native. :)
I need a slice of that Toasted Marshmallow Butterscotch pie in the 5th photo!! Also, I’d be interested to see where the burger from Holy Grale in Louisville (where I live) ranks on your burger list. I’m not as well-traveled as you, but it’s the best burger I’ve ever had.
Agree with other commenters that the Eastern Market is a must. Also, let me help you, it’s ham-tram-ick.
If you make it to Detroit again, get yourself a meal at Detroit Vegan Soul. It’s amazing and unique!