Detroit: the birthplace of Eminem and the American auto industry, the city that inspired and shaped the rise of jazz, hip-hop, and rock & roll, and the oftentimes misunderstood little brother of last week’s featured spot, Chicago.
This city’s name carries more preconceptions than perhaps any other American city, but Detroit is in the process of shedding its skin and blossoming into a proper metropolis for all things music, sports, and entertainment. As Detroit moves away from its rough-and-tough image, there’s no better time to explore this city and all that it has to offer.
It’s worth noting that the food and entertainment gems of Detroit are not limited to just the downtown Detroit area. Like New York City, this city sprawls across a number of little borough-like towns and counties. From Royal Oak to Ann Arbor to the proper suburbs, there is no dearth of new locales to explore here.
For brunch, this city offers up an overwhelming number of options, scattered all across the ‘metropolitan-Detroit’ area, as it is referred to by the natives. While here, I managed to hit up two unbelievable spots for brunch. I can say from experience that Detroit truly knows how to do brunch.
Our first spot, The Dime Store, is named after the ‘dime stores’ of old. Back in the early days of Detroit’s metropolitan youth, there were stores wherein everything was sold for just a dime, or so the legend goes. While the food at The Dime Store was certainly a bit above that price range, the extra coinage was more than worth it. Their brunch fare spans the spectrum of sweet to savory-from brioche French toast to duck leg hash (with bulgogi)-and everything in between. On top of the unbelievable flavor profiles, The Dime Store serves up Zingerman’s Coffee-a metro-Detroit staple, based out of Ann Arbor. Being the complete coffee fiend that I am, I’m still dreaming about the iced latte I had here.
Looking for something a little more high-end? You need a brunch spot worthy of your sundress and platform heels after all. Try Parc located on Campus Martius, right in the center of downtown Detroit. This sleek, standalone building exudes class, and their Bloody Mary and mimosa bar seal the deal. With an assortment ranging from oysters to Croque Madame to an exquisite pancetta & egg poutine, you’ll feel as though you’re seated right on the Seine enjoying a lavish brunch in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Instead of the Seine, however, you get live music, a huge variety of people, and the Detroit River just two blocks away. Not such a bad exchange.
In need of a little pick-me-up? Check out the Roasting Plant, located right off of Campus Martius. Here you get joe and a show. Pick your poison and watch as the coffee beans for your chosen drink shoot through tubes spanning the store to be roasted, ground, and brewed right in front of your eyes. Their coffee is fresh to death and the tubes system is added entertainment value to be sure!
Up late and need a coffee fix? Atomic Coffee in Royal Oak has you covered. I stumbled upon this coffee shop around 11:20 pm. To my surprise, the shop was hopping with patrons-working, studying, and just enjoying a nightcap latte and some good conversation. Atomic Coffee is open till midnight for all my night owls, and they boast a huge drinks and cafe-style food menu. With four different types of nitro cold brew on tap and latte flavors the likes of cardamom-rose, there’s something for everyone here.
In terms of entertainment and activities, Detroit is teeming with things to do. There are concerts every single night at various venues across the city, including the Fox Theatre, the Fillmore, and St. Andrew's Hall, sporting events at Comerica Park and Ford Field, and the occasional music festival (keep an eye out for our upcoming feature on MoPop Festival, Detroit’s premier, annual music festival). Do some research and scope out which shows and events are right up your alley.
For those with more classical tastes, the Detroit Institute of Arts is home to an impressive collection of incredible and historic artwork. From Van Gogh to Matisse to Picasso, and everyone in between and beyond, you can spend entire days wandering the halls of this highly underrated museum. Entrance fees are reduced for children, seniors, and college students, and free for some metropolitan-Detroit county natives.
Detroit is rapidly flourishing into a city jam-packed with personality and excitement. There is so much available in this hidden-away metropole for those who are willing to look and dig deeper than the surface of what Detroit has, for so long, been known to be.
There’s only so much that can be done on one Date in the City, so let me know which of your favorite spots I missed, or let me know which one of my favorites you enjoyed in the comments section below!
Until next time, daters.