Detroit's Most Exciting Food Destination

Conde Nast Traveler

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Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler

In the comeback-kid city of Detroit, the Eastern Market neighborhood—named for one of the oldest outdoor food emporiums in the country—is among its greatest revivals. Every Saturday, the nearly 125-year-old market springs to life with farmers, food trucks, butchers, bakers, jam makers, and spice mongers. Recently, a new crop of businesses have joined the mom-and-pop stalwarts that ring the main arcades, creating a vibrant homegrown food-and-culture destination.

Antietam Artist-owner Greg Holm brought his impeccable taste to this Art Deco space, adding glowing blue pendant lamps, red oak walls, and industrial-chic chairs by Holm and local furniture designer Aaron Blendowski. The equally inspired menu features reenvisioned French classics, including bacon rillettes with pickled onions and toast, and specialty cocktails made with market-sourced ingredients like smoked kale, celery juice, beets, and lemon-thyme shrub (1428 Gratiot Ave.; 313-782-4378).

Detroit Mercantile Co. Robert Jameson, Sherri Lawton-Jameson, and Robert Stanzler stocked their shop (located in a former fire department repair facility) with what they call "provisions for the urban pioneer"—meaning shelves stocked with masculine-leaning Michigan goods such as flannel Stormy Kromer caps, Carhartt gear, totes by Detroit Denim, and custom bikes by the Detroit Bicycle Company. The decor—vintage soda crates and antique maps—is also for sale (3434 Russell St.; 313-831-9000).

Megan O’Connell and Leon Johnson in front of Salt and Cedar, their gallery and printing press. Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler Close

Megan O’Connell and Leon Johnson in front of Salt and Cedar, their gallery... Read More

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Megan O’Connell and Leon Johnson in front of Salt and Cedar, their gallery and printing press. Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler

Salt & Cedar Megan O'Connell and Leon Johnson's Salt & Cedar does triple duty as a printing press and bindery, a bookstore specializing in art editions and letterpress posters, and a gallery featuring exhibitions of works by artists such as New York–based multimedia artist Alison Knowles. They also lead Book & Bread workshops, which sell out months in advance: Guests share a four-course dinner—guinea fowl pot pie and squash ravioli were on the most recent menu—then learn to hand-bind a soft-cover journal (2448 Riopelle St.; 207-671-3462).

Germack Pistachio Company The 90-year-old nut company and Detroit institution recently opened a coffee bar/tea shop/roaster. This is the place to down an espresso before picking up a few of Germack's specialties—pistachios, raw almonds, hazelnuts, dried cherries, and pumpkin seeds—packaged in the company's signature roll-top paper bags. Fresh nut butters, along with varieties of loose tea, spices, and local jams, are also on hand (2509 Russell St.; 313-784-9484).

Cookies at Avalon International Breads. Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler Close

Cookies at Avalon International Breads. Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler

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Cookies at Avalon International Breads. Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler

Trinosophes Spanning three storefronts on Gratiot Avenue, Trinosophes is a multifunctional performance center owned by musician Joel Peterson and Rebecca Mazzei, director of special projects at MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit). When not hosting a wide range of concerts by artists like trumpeter Amir ElSaffar and singer/songwriter Bill Callahan, the light-filled space doubles as a gallery and laid-back café serving a healthy lunch menu during the week, hearty brunch fare on weekends, and excellent homemade doughnuts all the time (1464 Gratiot Ave.; 313-737- 6606; dishes from $5).

La Rondinella Inspired by a trip to his father's village in Lazio, Italy, Dave Mancini opened Supino Pizzeria in 2008, and it quickly became a neighborhood favorite. This summer, he'll debut La Rondinella next door, offering homemade ricotta gnocchi, chickpea crêpes, and brasato (beef braised in red wine). You can expect a well-chosen list of Michigan beer, Italian wine, and cocktails like the I-75, a riff on the French 75 made with Prosecco instead of champagne and named for the nearby freeway (2453 Russell St).

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