Eat Your Way Through Detroit, Part 2

Detroit Eastern Market Best Restaurants in Detroit best food

When the going gets tough, the tough get eating….The second part of our look at the best in Detroit’s hometown food. And one bar…because we know you guys. (Here’s the first)

5—Slows

Slows is a BBQ restaurant that’s a shining example of what young Detroit hopefuls are capable of. Many Detroiters point the the 2005 opening of this affordable, quality and chill indoor/outdoor spot in 2005 as the impetus for revitalizing Corktown, the oldest neighborhood in Detroit. Five Sauces for experimenting are always on the table and anything with meat or fish in it will be good, especially the triple threat pork sandwich and their take on the po boy, called the Old Man, but the mac ‘n’ cheese rules them all. 

6—Baker’s Keyboard Lounge

Now that you know this is officially the world’s oldest Jazz Cub, you’ve already decided if you have to make a pilgrimage to see it or not. It’s a landmark in and of itself—since it opened in 1934 it’s seen Fats Walker, Cab Calloway, John Coltrane, hell, some even say Liberace got his idea for a Piano shaped pool from the keyboard shaped bar here. Today it’s still going strong as a stop on the Jazz circuit, but the recently upgraded kitchen serving the perfect soul food to go along with the notes is reason enough to come by. Think: wings, fried chicken, Chicken Livers & Gizzards, BBQ ribs and peach cobbler.

7—Dearborn

With the highest Arabic population in the US, Dearborn also has the most authentic Middle Eastern delights. Do as the locals and hit up a bakery, which here are more like full service delis; great for sampling small bits of a lot. On the sweet side look for date filled bread, cream filled Kashta or Baksam (sweet cookies). And of course the schwarma or one of the meat pies for lunch. The two places we enjoyed were Shatila and Yasmeen Bakery (a Tipper Gore Decision 2000 stop), which aside from serving up confectionary masterpieces, also gave good conversation.

8—Detroit’s Eastern Market

Beneath the shadow of the Detroit Lions’ Ford Stadium and about a mile north of downtown lies one of the oldest, continually functioning urban farmers markets in the country. Four blissful acres of stands hocking all manner of all-natural, organic, GMO-free, farm-to-table perfection, surrounded by classic local restaurants like Russell St. Deli (go for breakfast) and Supinos Pizza (the locals fave) and plenty of BBQ. Sprinkled about are performance artists like, “Sundays Notice,” who are a guy jamming out classics on an acoustic guitar and a young girl tap dancing to the beat.

Once you’ve had your fill of samples and your bags are stocked with culinary souvenirs, head over to Salt-Cedar—a design firm/gallery/artists salon just off the market. It’s a great place to get some inside tips on things to see all over the city, like the self-guided “graffiti” tour starting right in their backyard.

Public Market Hours are Saturdays 5a.m. – 5p.m. year round
Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays will run through October 29, from 9am – 3pm. In addition they will host a special Thanksgiving Market on Tuesday, November 26. 

9—Sugar House

When the food’s all done, wash it down at this chill pre-prohibition inspired bar that takes after the likes of Milk and Honey in New York or Violet Hour over in Chicago. The dimly lit Corktown space is replete with an actual 100-year-old bar and is like taking a step back into halcyon days of Detroit, just as it was assuming it’s place as Motor City. They make all of their own syrups, juices and use a menu that comes with a glossary, which can be clearly explained by their friendly bartenders and serving staff.