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Detroit - 3 days in July

I will be visiting Detroit (actually staying in Dearborn, in the Adoba Eco - former Hyatt hotel). The sole purpose of this solo voyage is tourism - art, architecture, food, and whatever fun stuff I can find. I will have a car. Budget is not an issue, but prefer fun atmosphere to foodie temples. Looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner recs (as well as fun cocktail spots). I assume that my touristy stuff will keep me in Dearborn one day, and more downtown another day. I'd definitely like to check out Eastern Market. Any recommendations would be most appreciated!!!

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  1. Don't stay in Dearborn with its immense Arabic population without having some Middle Eastern food. My favorite place is Al-Ameer on Warren Avenue. My Lebanese-Greek friend compares the food to what he was served at home as a child. They bake their own pita and serve it warm. It's fantastic. Go there for dinner.

    If you like burgers, go for lunch to Jon's Goodtime Bar on Cherry Hill Road in Inkster.

    There are several good places for lunch or dinner in Mexican Town. I like Armando's, Xochimilco, and Mexican Village.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Michigander

      "There are several good places for lunch or dinner in Mexican Town. I like Armando's, Xochimilco, and Mexican Village."

      Xochimilco? *Really*? That's...an awfully low bar to set. I don't disagree with the suggestion that there are some decent Mexican offerings in the city, but your suggestion of Xochimilco causes me to run in the other freaking *direction* of Armando's, and I've never even been there! I have, however, been to Xochimilco. I still shudder.

      1. re: Michigander

        All kidding aside I would NEVER send an out of town guest to Inkster. That's not an area for tourists to wander especially after dark on a weekend.
        There are lots of good spots downtown as others have mentioned. The Eastern Market, Slows BBQ, Supino's Pizza,
        Lafayette Coney Island. It's a long list. Greektown is fun and safe as is Mexican Village as long as you stay on the beaten path.
        Hopefully since you are in Dearborn your visit will include The Henry Ford/Greenfield Village. The food there is often over looked and frankly pretty darn good. I've yet to find a better frozen custard any where.

        1. re: TraderJoe

          > I would NEVER send an out of town guest to Inkster. That's
          > not an area for tourists to wander especially after dark on a
          > weekend.

          +1

      2. If you're feeling adventurous, you might try one of these places, probably better than comparable Mexican spots in Cleveland. Honey Bee is a supermarket, not a restaurant, but has some premade foods (like awesome guacamole).

        http://soliddudeskitchen.com/?p=2280

        For more upscale Mexican, try El Barzón on Junction just south of Michigan Ave. Nice new patio; also has good Italian food. Leave nothing in your car, but SW Detroit is not terribly unsafe otherwise.

        1. Can't recommend Eastern Market enough, but be aware that it's got to be a Saturday thing. Breakfast at Russell St Deli is fun, communal tables and good food, but generally a line to get in. Farmers Restaurant will usually provide good corned beef hash and speedy service. You'll find food trucks at Eastern Market as well; look for the beignet one if you like that sort of thing, they're quite tasty.

          If you plan on taking in a ball game, Angelina's or the Ellwood by Comerica Park are good. Angelina's is more sophisticated (not fussy though), the Ellwood is more a burger/beer/atmosphere kind of place. They're not that far from the DIA or Mocad either.

          If you plan on checking out Shrine Church in Royal Oak (architecture is amazing as well as the history) or Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, you could either hit Ferndale or downtown RO for lunch or dinner. My favorite meal in Ferndale recently has been at Local Kitchen. One Eyed Bettys also good for food, huge beer selection, and hipster atmosphere.

          RO is more of a "scene" (lots of restaurants, people-watching). I'd probably try Monk based on recent reviews, it's fairly new though.

          And Saturday night on Woodward north of 12 Mile, if the weather is decent, will be prime time for watching classic cars, and stopping at the Custard Hut just south of 14 Mile for a cone. Across Woodward from the Custard Hut is Montchalet with good bar food. Looks divey but inside not so much.

          If you do go to Mexican Town, the parking lot at Los Galanes is supervised, we've never felt unsafe there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: coney with everything

            Thanks for the excellent suggestions! Keep'em coming!! If I get to Eastern Market early (like 7am), will it be crowded already? That is one of the parts of my visit to which I'm really looking forward!

            1. re: ClevelandRandy

              Really smart move if you are, in fact, planning on seeing a baseball game at Comerica Park: as you make your way out of your seat at the stadium, call Bucharest Grill (313-965-3111, and a couple of easily walkable blocks away) and put in an order for a chicken shawarma sandwich for under $5 out the door.

              By the time you walk there in the crowd, your sandwich will probably be waiting for you, and you won't have to stand in the *ridiculously* long line to put in your order. You'll pay, you'll leave (or, if you get *massively* lucky, you'll find a single seat at the Park Bar attached to the Bucharest Grill), you'll eat, and you'll have some great, cheap food. If you do get that bar seat, you can have some nice cocktails with that really good sandwich.

              1. re: ClevelandRandy

                I think you will be OK at 7 am, but since we never heed our own advice and get there early :) I'm not sure if all the restaurants are open.

                I know Boagman loves the Bucharest, the only reason I didn't mention it is that I've not had the pleasure of eating there. But I'd trust his judgment.

            2. For cocktails check out the Sugar Shack in Detroit - http://www.sugarhousedetroit.com/ or The Oakland in Ferndale- http://theoaklandferndale.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: aea6574

                :-) Good luck finding The Oakland in Ferndale. It is hidden behind a boarded up, closed looking store front, with some tiny letters saying "Art and Novelty Co." Many of their homemade craft cocktail concoctions are pretty gross. But, yes, I love the place. They play records and have vintage furniture and are located in Ferndale, so you gotta love it. Note-- iPhone usage is discouraged inside.

              2. One block west of Inkster Road on Cherry Hill (only one block from Dearborn Heights) is a perfectly safe place for any tourist to drive for one of the better burgers around. There are nasty parts of Inkster just like most anyplace else, but this isn't one of them. Remember that most of the country wants to trash all of Detroit with the same kind of ill informed generalization.

                1. A list of my favorite's for out of town folks,,not far from downtown,, I'm a food blogger and number one for reviews around Detroit.

                  Green Dot Stables,,,, unique fun hip eater spot

                  Los Alto's,,, Favorite real deal old school Mexican

                  Hygrade Deli,,,, Breakfast and Corned Beef 60 years

                  Dulys,,, 24 hour classic for 80 years

                  Vince's,,, 53 years old school Italian

                  Al Ameer,,,,, Best Middle Eastern a 15 minute drive

                  Bucharest,,,, Best Chicken Shawarma in Town

                  Enjoy most of these have Facebook sites,,,those that don't see the Urbanspoon reviews and food photo's and enjoy your trip in the D