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10 Things to Do in Detroit: The Foodie’s Travel Guide

    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!

    detroit skyline

    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.

    Liz Detroit Walking

    This time I decided to really tap into the foodie gems including ethnic neighborhoods, farm to table restaurants, local distilleries and more.

    shinola hotel

    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.

    Shinola Hallway

    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.

    Shinola Guest Room

    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.

    Shinola Guest Room Bar

    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.

    Monarch Club Detroit Views

    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!

    Dearborn Al Ameer Hummus Plate

    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.

    Dearborn Sfeehas

    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.

    Dearborn Al Ameer Combo 1 Plate

    My recommendation for Middle Eastern food is Al Almeer or La Pita. Both offer incredible, authentic Middle Eastern food that reminds me of my family’s Lebanese recipes.

    Dearborn Bakery Shatila Baklava
    Dearborn Bakery Shatila Pastries

    For baked goods, head to Shatila Bakery and grab a box of goodies to go. You’ll thank me later, I promise.

    Two James Distillery Detroit

    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.

    Two James Distillery Cocktails

    The craft cocktails are well balanced and made to order – just the way I like them.

    Grey Ghost Detroit Fine Dining

    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!

    Grey Ghost Detroit Restaurant

    Everything on the menu is thoughtful, inventive and made with love. A true gem in Detroit.

    Cold Truth Detroit Vegan Ice Cream

    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.

    Cold Truth Detroit

    Pro Tip: It’s located inside Grandma Bob’s Pizza but follow their Instagram account to keep tabs of additional pop up locations.

    Monarch Club Detroit

    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!

    Monarch Club Detroit Views

    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.)

    Folk Detroit

    Next up on the agenda: enjoy a hearty, scratch-made breakfast at Folk.

    Folk Detroit Waffles

    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.

    Madcap Coffee Detroit

    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.

    Madcap Coffee Pour

    The Detroit location marks their fourth coffee shop here in Michigan but you’ll be happy to know it’s distributed nation wide.


    Mexico Town Detroit

    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.

    Flowers of Vietnam

    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.

    Flowers of Vietnam Steak

    Let me assure you, Flowers of Vietnam was, hands down, the best meal of the trip.

    Flowers of Vietnam Platter

    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!

    Candy Bar Detroit 1 e1569178239145

    Last but not least, be sure to grab a nightcap at Candy Bar located inside the Siren Hotel. You see how beautiful this photo looks? It’s even more beautiful in person.

    Candy Bar Detroit Seats 1 e1569178266607

    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.

    Detroit The Alley Liz

    Alright friends, there you have it! My latest and created top 10 things to do in Detroit for my fellow foodies out there!

    Detroit Vernors Sign

    What did I miss? What do I need to check out next time? Because believe me, I will be back soon.

    Detroit Liz Mural

    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!

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    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

    7 Comments

    1. Off to Detroit for the weekend and the first place I looked for things to do was your blog – The Lemon Bowl always has great travel tips! Thanks for the great recommendations.

    2. Hi, I liked your article. Next time you are in Dearborn, MI go to M Cantina in East Dearborn. On Michigan Ave , East of Schafer. Food is Mexican, owned by Husband and wife team. He’s known as Liquid Chef (search web for more). Website https://www.mcantina.com/

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