Detroit: The greatest comeback city in the USA
Decaying for decades, this once abandoned city has undergone an exciting renaissance. It’s recharged, topped up on raw urban energy, unlike any other city. Artists, entrepreneurs and young people keep moving in, and a DIY spirit pervades. Vacant lots are being converted into urban farms and abandoned buildings are morphed into restaurants and museums.
“Detroit is finally coming back” is the incessant catchphrase from upwardly mobile young people who cycle around Motor City and frequent its new bars, cafés and designer shops.
Detroit, the city better known as a center for motor manufacture, is revving its culinary motor.
An up-and-coming food mecca, Detroit has a diverse collection of new eateries and watering holes, from gastro pubs and distilleries to French bistros and burger bars, most featuring locally grown ingredients. The crazy good culinary scene, is famous for its Coney dog and Greek eats alongside award-winning sushi and steaks, with craft beers and liquors created on-site.
Downtown’s most popular eateries include Dime Store, where brunch is an any time of day meal. Found inside Chrysler House (aka the Dime Building), diners flock here daily for its consistently attentive service and delicious menu like duck bop hash, spicy pork belly eggs benedict.
At Standby, a downtown bar that bridges the gap between classy and casual, they churn out phenomenal, bespoke cocktails. Beverages like their vibrant green ‘Snake in the Grass’ steal the show. The menu is full of delicious dishes like classic cheeseburgers, curry braised lamb, and green chilli stew.
Wright & Co. tows the line between casual and fine dining, striking the perfect balance for downtown Detroit. Looking at the heritage building you'd never guess that on the second floor a local chef serves sharing plates of smoked rabbit rillette, Sriracha chicken skewers and raw Brussels sprout salad - costing around $10. The no-reservation policy means a wait at weekends, which is best done at the long vintage bar.
It’s hot and happening in Downtown Detroit.
Cafe d'Mongo's is a weekend’s-only night spot that has been a fixture in downtown since the 80s. It’s an old-fashioned speakeasy offering no-frills, loads of culture and plenty of Hollywood-types.
Two hotdog diners on West Lafayette Boulevard command a passionate local following. Despite its name, Coney Island Dog is a Michigan institution. You must pop into either the American at No 114 or the pleasingly grungy Lafayette at No 118 and spend a few dollars on a ‘coney’ hotdog heaped with mustard, chili sauce and onions. At the Lafayette, the one (and only) waiter theatrically balances multiple dishes up his arm.
The Hudson Café (1241 Woodward Ave) takes its name from the Downtown store that dominated this block. The café crazy menu serves French toast with warm maple syrup, voodoo eggs benedict, corn cake with chorizo, cheese and a piquant sauce, each for less than $10. Be warned, waits can be long.
Americans love a good story, especially one where the underdog wins, turning this once joke city into a hip destination. Frescoes, farmers markets, cycling greenways, vodka, whisky distilleries and creative chefs are all regenerating the city's groove.
It’s only natural that Motor City would become a haven for meals on wheels. Some of the city’s best food is to be found at downtown mobile street vendors – like delicious pulled brisket at Grill Billies Food Truck (@grillbilliesdetroit); or chorizo poutine from The Grindhouse (@GrindHouseFood), and to top it off, a delicious milkshake from Brome Burgers (@bromeburger).
Darling Detroit awaits! Book your cheap flight to Detroit, Michigan with WOW air and witness the comeback first hand!
Text: Cindy-Lou Dale