So Detroit seems pretty random, and to be honest, I gotta agree with you. Never in a million years would I have imagined Motor City becoming one of my favorites. As a background, my boyfriend, Yash, moved to Detroit when he got hired by Ford. He was there for 1.5 years and during that time I visited 5 times. I didn't expect much out of the city and yet, I fell in love with it during my firstvisit. It's hard to describe its charm. Detroit is gritty, but it's also inspiring. And for us, Detroit is a place tucked away from our home in California where we made so many new memories.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Take an afternoon and spend time exploring the DIA. With over 100 galleries with everything between Matisse and Warhol, there's simply so much beautiful art here. Did you know it was the first museum in the United States to feature a Van Gogh? Be sure to also check out the cafe in the middle of the institute; it has some beautiful architecture!
Red Bull House of Art
So it's not actually a museum, but a live-in residency program for artists, which means there's a rotating set of exhibitions. It's conveniently located in Eastern Market so after a quick lunch, it's the perfect afternoon adventure.
Eastern Market is one of the oldest farmer's market that happens every Saturday in Detroit. From fresh produce, flowers, and so much more, there's bound to be a stall you'll love. Plus, the surrounding area has some amazing mural-covered walls, restaurants, and small shops! Yash and I never really bought anything when we visited, but we simply loved walking through the stalls.
Okay, once you see a picture of the Belt, you'll see why I'm so in love with it. It's an alley that's covered in murals by different artists, has the entrance to a phenomenal restaurant, a fun bar, and twinkly lights. Oh, and in the summer there are kickass concerts too.
One of the very first restaurants I visited in Detroit, and I fell in love with it. They have a rotating food menu, but for drinks, I particularly loved the Thai Basil Daiquiri, That Part, and the Grapefruit Gimlet. They also have a dope playlist in the evenings as the bar gets more packed.
Thin-crust pizza magic. Large, delicious pizzas in Eastern Market. You truly can't go wrong here.
Detroit Institute of Bagels
Even though it would make zero sense for them to expand to the West Coast, I am so upset they don't have a San Francisco location. I DREAM of their bagel sandwiches and anytime Yash would go get them without me, I'd get super grumpy. I always got the TBA (turkey, bacon, avocado, gouda, lettuce, tomato & spicy mayo).
Barbeque. Beer. It doesn’t get more American this and it’s divineee. We had to go lay down in some hammocks at Capitol Park afterwards.
Parks and Rec
The long lines for this diner brunch are so worth it. I mean, they have freaking creme brulee french toast. Like come onnnn, doesn't that sound crazy good? I had a mimosa there as well which I swear was 80% champagne...not that I'm complaining.
I gotta be honest. Detroit isn’t known for it’s huge variety in cuisines. I went to a Thai place once and had to toss the food because it was truly so disgsuting. But this udon place knocks it out of the park.
This is a hella cute little brewery with wooden picnic tables, a bomb menu (GET THEIR NACHOS AND PRETZELS!), and a wide selection of yummy beers. Out of all the places on this list, Batch is probably the one I miss the most.
Okay, I had three cocktails from here and I was pretty much KO'd afterwards. So it was a pretty good time, honestly. I'd recommend sitting at the bar, because the bartenders here know their shit. Their menu is pretty extensive, so our bartender was so great in helping us out. He also put a flower in my last drink and lit it (the drink, not the flower!) on fire, which was a blast to Snapchat.
Detroit City Distillery
DCD has shelves of their own spirits that you can take home with you and that they, of course, use in their cocktails. Check out their flights too!
Bad Luck Bar
I know, I know, there are 4 dollar signs on the Yelp page, but please promise me you'll go here if you're ever in Detroit. While their normal cocktails are in the $11-$15 range, their showstoppers are in the $25-$80 bracket. It's an extremely small space in the alley behind Griswold Street, so be sure to make reservations. Get the Duchess because it has their homemade lavender popping sugar which is super fun with the alcohol.
The Apparatus Room @ Detroit Foundation Hotel
Yeah, it’s a restaurant/bar in a hotel. But look at that interior though. This used to be the old fire department headquarters. The interior is filled with things from local businesses and artists. For me, this is the perfect representation of Detroit. It’s had its rough days, but everyone here wants to rebuild and they’re doing so in such stunning ways.
Annnnd, here are just some photos throughout the years from my visits :)