Day 1 You'll See:
- Eastern Market
- Dime Spot
- Ottava Via
- Belle Isle State Park
- Lafayette Coney Island
- American Coney Island
- Astoria Pastry Shop
Empty your stomachs and fill your wallets, you’re about to have the culinary adventure of a lifetime in Detroit Michigan, aka Corktown. We want you to experience the best of Detroit’s cultural and culinary flavors, so enjoy your day and don’t get too overwhelmed by the amount of stops on the itinerary, you only spend about a half hour to 45 in most restaurants sampling their best! The Eastern Market and Belle Isle State Park will be your longest stops, so really try to relax and enjoy those two especially!
See more great Detroit outings here!
Day 1 -
(Proposed Times Included)
(8 am) Eastern Market - Welcome to one of the most culture-filled spots in all of Detroit, the Detroit Eastern Market. Located along Russell Street, this conglomerate of local vendors holds 125 years of local history, claiming the title of ‘one of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the U.S’.Inside the market your senses may overload at all the tantalizing sights and smells from all around, but we think a good place to start is with a Detroit Eastern Market Tour, filling you in on local tidbits from history like the sites use of the Underground Railroad and evolution of regional farming. There are also other tours, such as the ‘Strolling Brunch’ Tour, Urban Ag Biking Tour, and Art in the Market Tour. The Saturday Market happens all year and is considered to be an ‘undeniably Detroit’ thing to do, with over 225 vendors and 40,000 guests in the busy season (April - November).
(11 am) Brooklyn Street Local Brunch LLC - After walking around and sampling all the local Detroit goodies from the market you may be ready to sit down and actually get a heavier meal on your stomach, (but not so heavy, you have a full day of eating ahead of you) so we think you should steer your group over to a local brunch favorite, Brooklyn Street Local Brunch. This popular morning spot is located on Michigan Avenue and was opened in 2012, a locally sourced eatery tackling issues like sustainability, community growth, and breakfast time hunger! The food here is both healthy and delicious, so go nuts and try the freshly baked scones, handmade granola, filling lunchtime Canuck Sandwich, or all-time brunch favorite, the Breakfast Club Sandwich. There are also omelettes of every sort, quiche, and even an outstanding AM grilled cheese!
(1 pm) Roma - We are going Italian for lunch, our first (out of two) lunchtime stops actually laying claim to being the absolute oldest eatery in Detroit, Roma! Roma provides guests with a ‘nostalgia via old school decor and traditional Italian fare’, first set up here in 1890! This Riopelle Street classic holds so much rich Detroit history, plus so much rich Italian food! Sample everything off the appetizer menu, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t walk away too full! For more substance go for the Tortellini, baked lasagna, sirloin burger, or special tuna salad sandwich (the variety and authenticity here is amazing!). You’ll also enjoy learning all about the Marazzi family founders, once serving the vendors of the Eastern Market with a local inn and eatery, an evolution you will fully appreciate after one bite of Roma’s best!
(2 pm) Ottava Via - Experience a whole different kind of Italian in Detroit at our next essential culinary stop, Ottava Via. This is absolutely one of the best restaurants in Detroit, this Corktown classic providing all the best in pasta, pizza, and paninis. The eatery itself is a ‘stylishly quaint, antiques adorned space’ along Michigan Avenue, an overall really calm and comfortable place for groups, students, and families to enjoy for lunch and dinner. Try the specialty Italian Pizza here with salami and Italian ham, or perhaps the Prosciutto Di Parma, Rucola, or half Farmhouse Chicken. If you are a Nutella fan then you should skip the savory treats and head to the dessert menu, the Nutella Panini a true hidden gem of a dish in the city of Detroit that you aren’t going to want to miss!
(3 pm) Belle Isle Park - Belle Isle Park is a 982-acre island park located in the Detroit River, right in between the U.S and Canada borders. This spot is rich also, just not in taste! No, this spot is ‘rich with history and natural beauty’, a true Detroit gem that was made into Michigan's 102nd state park in 2014. There is so much to do on this island, you could certainly spend all day here if you wanted to. Besides the natural beauty of the isle itself, you and your group can also visit the Belle Isle Conservatory, James Scott Memorial Fountain, and even the Belle Isle Aquarium. Before making the trek to Belle Isle, be sure to be fully aware of the site-specific Recreation Passport, something most Detroit city motorists get with their drivers licence plate renewal. This is the perfect spot to run off some of that food and energy and still enjoy a Detroit-essential attraction!
(5 pm) Lafayette Coney Island - There’s one thing you probably didn’t know about Detroit that you probably should by now, no, scratch that, that you definitely should by now. DETROIT HAS CONEY WARS. That’s right, just like the great Philly Cheesesteak Debate, Detroit has a bit of a culinary argument to settle as far as Coney Island Dogs go, Lafayette vs American Coney! This first stop at Lafayette will give you a great look at the 1970’s style hot dog diner with it’s cash-only service, no-frills menu, and to-die-for delicious chili topped dogs, burgers, and fries. They also serve great gyros, pitas, and wings, keeping their Greek roots visible throughout. This place is great for groups and kids and has constant happy customers chowing down, making it easy to see why this eatery is still in the race with American Coney.
(6 pm) American Coney Island - Some in Detroit say there is no real competition, that American Coney takes it all! We will agree as far as publicity goes, it seems American Coney blows Lafayette out of the water with it’s coverage on local and national news, The Travel Channel, and even Food Network. The simple menu of classic coney’s here at this Detroit stalwart diner will sell you instantly, and that’s before you even try the island style steamed bun hot dogs and crunchy fries, the recipes dating back to 1917. Dearborn sausage, Keros family secret chili sauce recipe, a steamed bun, mustard, and onion make this dog so special, something you can find out for yourself with a visit, a Coney Kit order (ships anywhere in the U.S), or a visit to the new Las Vegas eatery, The D. Did we mention the owners of this classic and Lafayette are brothers? Talk about a delicious family business!
(7 pm) Astoria Pastry Shop - If you can possibly muster up enough room in your stomach and energy overall, then get ready to head to your next stop for a sweet treat, the locally loved Astoria Pastry Shop. This Monroe Avenue specialty shop serves up all the best smelling, freshest, and most delicious pastries in Detroit, a few fan favorites being the Baklava, Apple Danish, Honey Curl, and Black Forest Torte. The dessert items are of European quality and tradition here, something you may not get to experience all the time but are going to wish you did after a few samples! Take an assorted fine chocolates box home (or eat them all on the way back) or perhaps go share a massive 18 by 26’ torte before hitting the road!