Thursday, April 25, 2024

Hip in Detroit's Guide to Visiting Detroit - 2024 NFL Draft Edition

Whether you're visiting from out of town for the NFL Draft or headed downtown from the 'burbs, Downtown Detroit is the place to be this weekend! Here are some tips on staples you'll want to check out while you're in town as well as some spots that you might not find on other lists. We're keeping this list strictly to the downtown area, so you can get there quickly by using public transit or by calling a rideshare. If you're looking to venture out a bit, we always suggest checking out Hamtramck and Ferndale too! 

(Location Guide - C= Corktown, D=Downtown, M=Midtown, N=New Center, SW= Southwest)

Food:

Breakfast/Brunch

  • Bobcat Bonnie's: A great spot for brunch on the weekend, or lunch or dinner any day of the week! Features unique bar fair, with plenty of vegan options on the menu! We suggest starting things off with the Fried Goat Cheese, whenever you decide to go. (Tip: They usually close the kitchen between brunch and dinner on the weekend for about an hour. So, plan accordingly.) C
  • Lager House: Swing by for brunch, then come back in the evening for a drink and live music! This is a great spot to grab brunch with your friends if you have vegetarians or vegans in the group! C
  • Hudson Cafe: Located right on Woodward in the heart of Detroit, this is one of Detroit's most popular brunch spots! We highly suggest making reservations at this restaurant. D
  • Brooklyn Street Local: Open until 3 p.m, Brooklyn Street Local is a cute quaint spot with an amazing menu! Another great spot for vegans that are craving breakfast items, plus they have poutine! C
  • Avalon Bakery: With locations right downtown on Woodward and also in Midtown, Avalon is a great spot to grab a pastry and a coffee for a quick breakfast or snack. They also have great breakfast sandwiches, including vegan options. D&M
Detroit Style Pizza
  • Michigan & Trumbull: If you had to ask us our favorite restaurant in Detroit, this would be the answer! The best pizza around, and amazing starters and sides! Get them all!!! The broccolini, the teader fries, salad, pizza, everything on the menu is amazing! The dining room is small, but even if you get this to go, it will be worth it! (vegan options available) N
  • Grandma Bob's: A close second in line for best Detroit style pizza in our books is Grandma Bob's. Their pizza is great, plus they have a lot of vegan options, including soft serve ice cream! C
  • Buddy's: Buddy's Pizza is the original Detroit style pizza with locations all around town, but also conveniently located right near Comerica Park. You can't go wrong with Buddy's and if you're looking to try OG Detroit style pizza, this is it! Make sure you get the Antipasto Salad or Minestrone soup with your pizza too! D

Lunch/ Dinner
  • Mudgie's: Mudgie's is an amazing deli featuring great sandwiches and a wine bar. If you grab a sandwich for lunch, you'll probably still be full at dinnertime too! Also great vegan options available and a small outdoor dining area that's awesome. C
  • Mercury Burger Bar: Great burgers, hot dogs, and adult milkshakes in a cute old school diner vibe. Don't let the small size fool you, Mercury has a great patio and seating in the basement as well. C
  • Lafayette or American Coney Island: An age old debate on which Coney is the original and which is the best, but really, you can't go wrong with Lafyette or American! If you've never had one before, grab a coney dog with everything on it. If you have had one before, you know how good they are! D
  • Jolly Pumpkin: A great brewery with amazing thin crust pizzas, great sandwiches and more!  M
  • Detroit Shipping Co.: If you're with a group that can't decide on a restaurant, Detroit Shipping is your spot! This food hall is in a structure made of shipping containers and really has something for everybody! Plus there's a full bar and a patio. M
  • Los Galanes: Whether you're in the mood for tacos or great Mexican food, this is our go-to spot! There are a ton of great Mexican restaurants in Southwest Detroit, but you can't go wrong with this one! SW
  • Union Assembly: Just as with any of the restaurants in the Union Joints family, this spot is known for being stylish and for having some great mac & cheese! There are two stories, and when the weather is nice, the windows open wide to welcome in a great view of Woodward Ave. and Comerica Park. Plus, Mom's Spaghetti is in the alley outside! D
  • Seva: This is the go-to spot for vegetarian and vegan cuisine in Detroit! You won't be disappointed by anything on the menu! Tip: Get the General Tso's Cauliflower to start. You can thank us later. M
  • Takoi: If you're in the mood for Thai food with a twist, Takoi is the place to check out! The restaurant is super trendy and super delicious too! C
  • Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails: This restaurant is upscale while still feeling homey at the same time. They feature farm fresh ingredients and are conveniently located right next to the DIA. M
  • Freya: Another great option if you're looking for a little fancier dining experience! Freya offers a price fixed 5 course menu and can accommodate the following diets: Omnivore (no dietary restrictions), Pescatarian (vegetarian + seafood), Vegetarian (no animals) or vegan (no animal-produced items used). N
  • Vincente's: Get a taste of Cuba right in the heart of Detroit! Don't let the understated exterior fool you, once you're inside you will feel like you are transported to Havana. D
  • Cork & Gabel: A great spot for dinner or brunch, Cork & Gabel features everything from kielbasa to schnitzel to delicious salads. Their appetizer menu is on point too! Located just across from Michigan Central Station in a super cool industrial building. C
  • Slow's: A fan favorite for years, Slow's is Detroit style BBQ to put it best. Make sure you get the mac & cheese here too! (We're seeing a trend here, we apparently are really into mac & cheese.)  C
Drinks

  • Mutiny: Featuring tiki drinks in cute glasses, sometimes set on fire too! SW
  • Garden Bowl: This is one of our favorite places and one of the oldest operating bowling alleys in the country! The bar has a great rock 'n' roll vibe and there might even be a band playing while you're there. Cheap drinks, good people, and good times. Grab a slice from Sgt. Pepperoni's while you're there!  M
  • Lager House: We already told you to go there for brunch, but grab a drink there too! Live music most nights of the week and a great little patio out back. C
  • Grand Trunk Pub: Housed in an old train station, this bar features a great list of craft beers and good bar snacks too! D
  • Sugar House: When you're looking for fancy drinks, Sugar House is the place to go! Craft cocktails in a dark yet classy setting.  C
  • Monarch Club: Monarch Club's rooftop bar will give you views of the city that you'll see nowhere else! Located right in the middle of it all, between Comerica Park and Campus Martius, it's a classy bar with craft cocktails, wine, and more. D
  • Kiesling: Another great place to grab craft cocktails, but a bit off the beaten path. Get comfy on a couch, and strike up a conversation with someone. N
  • Woodbridge Pub: Whether you want a shot & a beer or a nice cocktail, Woodbridge has you covered! Great food too! M
  • The Lexington: The Lex features 20 beers on tap and cocktails inspired by music, plus you might even catch some live music while you're there! Right down the sidewalk from Woodbridge, so you can hit both up in one trip! M

Entertainment/Fun:
  • Garden Bowl/Magic Stick/Majestic Theatre: Live music, bowling, pizza and more. This is our favorite place in Detroit. M
  • POP Offworld: A great arcade bar featuring your favorite classics like Pac Man & Mortal Combat! D
  • DIA: Not to toot our own horn, but this is one of the best art museums in the country! N
  • Motown Museum: You can't visit Motown without going to the Motown Museum! Take a guided tour through the spot where classics were made from Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, and more! N
  • Casinos: Hollywood at Greektown, MGM, and Motor City are all fun in their own ways, but Greektown is our personal favorite! Throw a few bucks in a machine and maybe you'll get lucky! Win or lose, we're sure you'll have a good time at any of the casinos, even if just for the people watching. 

Shopping:
  • Eastern Market: One of the oldest and largest markets in the country, Eastern Market is a must visit! The main market is open on Saturday until 4 p.m. but they're having a special market this Friday night in honor of the Draft. Get locally sourced produce, flowers, and handmade goods. Make sure you stop at the surrounding restaurants and shops too! A couple of our favorites are below! 
    • DeVries: On the main floor you'll find amazing cheeses and snacks, while upstairs you'll find cute gifts, home decor, and great Detroit souvenirs! Take a ride on the elevator if you get a chance!
    • Vintage Eastern Market: This shop features antiques, vintage clothing, and all sorts of cool stuff!
  • City Bird: This is a great shop to pick up some Detroit themed souvenirs before you head home. Clothing, glassware, or Detroit made jewelry. Lots of fun stuff in this little shop. M
  • Third Man Records: Whether you're a fan of The White Stripes, Jack White, or music in general, you definitely want to make a stop at Third Man Detroit while you're in town. Shop for records, cool Third Man gear, and check out the record pressing plant in the back. M
  • Old Soul Vintage: A fun vintage clothing shop that you can get lost in for hours! M
  • Peacock Room: The Peacock Room is a great reason to go into the historic Fisher Building, plus it's a beautiful store too! They feature dresses for all sizes, great accessories, and fun gifts too. N
  • Brightly Twisted: Brightly Twisted creates and sells beautiful one of a kind tie dye clothing. They have Detroit themed clothes as well as beautiful dresses and everything in-between. C
  • Coup D'├ętat: Looking for a new outfit before you go out at night or a nice accessory to remember your trip? This is the place to go! N

~C&S

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