The unfortunate thing about SF is that apparently there are only 2-3 options for flights on Delta to Detroit. We took a red eye and made it just in time for a blurry eyed morning arrival in Detroit. One of my college friends is getting married so it was a good excuse to get with the gang and explore all day Saturday ahead of the wedding later that evening. Below are some of the best spots we found and our recommendations if you’re in town for a short while.
We arrived running on fumes after a delayed and then delayed again red eye flight from San Francisco. So after visiting the bride and groom to be in their suite, we made our way to brunch.
10 am – Brunching on the Other Side.
Rose’s Fine Food
I honestly can’t say more good things about this place. The coffee is great, the food is great and the ambiance is…well, great. We had the Bang Bang Breakfast Rice and a short stack of pancakes that were stuffed with the fruit of the day aka pears. If we could eat more we would, specifically the Chick Pea Hash and Hot Lamb Bling which were strong contenders. They also do fresh bakes with organic mill flour from a nearby mill. The establishment itself is known as the place that pays all it’s employees $15 an hour and the prices somehow are still very reasonable. We got out of there with breakfast and bottomless coffee for three people for under $40.
noon – This little piggy went to market.
If you’re into markets, this is the place for you. One thing I noticed as we were riding was that Detroit is wall heaven, you can find a great mural or street art on almost every brick laden building. Eastern Market was no exception. We were blown away by the price of produce and meat, swooping up a 2 for $3 two pounds of strawberries and blueberries and drooling over pork tenderloin under $3 a pound. Anyways if you’re not geeking out over that, this market is still for you. Wander through all the sheds and little shops in the area. Feels like we could have honestly stayed longer and I definitely plan on going back next visit.
1 pm – Art in the Wild.
The Heidelberg Project
We went in a little naive to the situation. In a nutshell this is a series of houses that have been turned into art. Gaggles of teddy bears stapled to trees, dangling shoes and upside down clocks. It’s like a junkyard Dali. This project got it’s start as artist Tyree Guyton along with his grandfather started the outdoor project in 1986 as a political protest to the neighborhood’s deterioration after the 1967 riots. Interestingly, these art houses continue to be a reflection of the sentiment in the city. There have been a series of fires here – from 2013 to today, houses like the Doll House, Clock House, Birthday Cake House, Penny House and War House just to name a few are all now gone. We had no idea we were actually looking at the one or two houses that had survived. Our bartender later that day had some theories on the reason for the arson but ultimately no one has been caught.
3pm – Stop, Coffeetime.
I’m trying to explain this place in the best way… hmmm. Set up is basically one little island cart with an espresso and pour over station all in one. The barista stands in the middle and serves up your order. Definitely happy to have found such a great coffee on our walk. Also it’s quite close the river front, you can wave to Canada and sip your coffee before heading to your next destination.
We went to Dimespot for lunch and scarfed everything down before a picture. This pick was purely location based but still good. We actually really wanted to make our way to Slow’s BBQ or Parks & Rec but this was too tough due to our timing constraints with the wedding but that being said I highly encourage you to check it out. You haven’t been to Detroit if you haven’t hit up one of their delicious diners.
12am – Midnight Snack
Lafayette’s Coney Island
If you’re still hungry, here is our pick for an extra hearty midnight snack. Our 24 hours was cut short by wedding time but we did make it to this little hole in the wall on our way out. There is no Coney Island here but the Brooklyn beach has it’s effect on the city – lots of chili, chili dogs, chili fries a la Nathan’s. Also for reference a “loose burger” is basically hamburger meat in a bun. There is no argument from me about this, but…a strong suggestion you get a fork. Do not get this confused with American Coney Island, which is next door and has a fressssh paint job.
Of course we were there for an actual wedding so here is a little video to my lovely friends Jordan and Ryan.