The ultimate foodie travel guide to Detroit, I’ll show you where to stay plus the top ten things you must do while visiting The D!
As someone who travels regularly, I don’t say this lightly: Detroit is one of my most favorite cities. While this wasn’t my first visit to the east side of my state (check out my 48 Hour Detroit Travel Guide!), I couldn’t wait to get back for another visit.
This time I decided to really tap into the foodie gems including ethnic neighborhoods, farm to table restaurants, local distilleries and more.
Before we get into the top 10 list, let’s start with where to stay while visiting Detroit! If you haven’t checked out the brand new Shinola Hotel, now is the perfect opportunity.
What started as a watch company in 2011 has now grown to include the world’s first Shinola Hotel. Located in the heart of the city’s historic Woodward shopping district, this 129-room boutique hotel offers a completely original hospitality experience.
Believe me, you notice the difference from the moment you step foot into the hotel. Every inch of the property represents Shinola’s unwavering commitment to making lasting things—from timepieces to leather goods, jewelry to audio.
In addition, if you’re visiting Detroit for the first time or simply want to be centrally located, you can’t beat the location. Within walking distance of countless restaurants, attractions, shops and bars, there is no better home based for your visit to Detroit than Shinola Hotel.
Now that we’ve covered where to stay in Detroit, let’s get right into my top 10 recommendations for what to eat, see and do in the D!
First up, head to Dearborn for your Middle Eastern food fix. Located just 10 minutes from downtown, Dearborn is home to Henry Ford and the location of Ford’s worldwide headquarters.
Lucky for us, it’s also home to the largest Middle Eastern population in the entire state which is why it is lined with endless Middle Eastern restaurants and bakeries.
For baked goods, head to Shatila Bakery and grab a box of goodies to go. You’ll thank me later, I promise.
My second recommendation in Detroit is to check out a local distillery at Two James Spirits Tasting Room. Located in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, Two James is Detroit’s first distillery since prohibition.
The craft cocktails are well balanced and made to order – just the way I like them.
Recommendation number three: grab dinner at Grey Ghost Detroit. I’ve dined here several times because I have trouble visiting Detroit without making a stop!
Everything on the menu is thoughtful, inventive and made with love. A true gem in Detroit.
Next, satisfy your sweet tooth at Cold Truth. This popular Detroit ice cream shop offers a wide variety of traditional as well as vegan soft serve flavors and sundaes including this glorious s’mores sundae.
Next, take in the views with rooftop cocktails at Monarch Club. One of the popular recommendations I received from friends, this hyped up spot did not disappoint!
Between the views, the vibes and the craft cocktails, you will want to be sure Monarch Club is on your Detroit itinerary. (Bonus: it’s across the street from the Shinola Hotel.)
Next up on the agenda: enjoy a hearty, scratch-made breakfast at Folk.
Every item we sampled was delicious but you’ll also be happy to know that Folk uses humanely raised meat, artisan breads, small batch dairy, heirloom grains, local and organic produce and create as much from scratch as possible.
After breakfast, get your caffeine fix at Madcap Coffee. This Grand Rapids based coffee company has a special place in my heart as they were founded right down the street from my house.
The Detroit location marks their fourth coffee shop here in Michigan but you’ll be happy to know it’s distributed nation wide.
Pro Tip: On your drive or flight home from Detroit download episode 3 of my podcast where I interview Trevor, the Co-Founder and CEO of Madcap to talk about branding.
Next recommendation: explore Mexicotown’s restaurants, shops and markets. Mexican families began settling in Detroit back in the early 1920’s and you can read more about their rich history in the community here.
For dinner, transport your taste buds at Flowers of Vietnam. As someone who LOVES Vietnamese food, I had high expectations of this popular foodie hotspot.
Let me assure you, Flowers of Vietnam was, hands down, the best meal of the trip.
Don’t worry about what to order, everything on the menu was better than the last. Do not miss Flowers of Vietnam when in Detroit!
In fact, most nights they even offer live music so be sure to squeeze in a little time to enjoy a cocktail at Candy Bar Detroit during your next visit.
Alright friends, there you have it! My latest and created top 10 things to do in Detroit for my fellow foodies out there!
What did I miss? What do I need to check out next time? Because believe me, I will be back soon.
Your passport is waiting.
Disclosure: Visit Detroit hosted my meals during my visit and Shinola Hotel hosted my travel accommodations. All thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible.
Where’s your next vacation? Check out my Pinterest board for some travel inspo!