242 John R St., Downtown
Run by Herman Hayes, known in Detroit as Uncle Herm, Dilla's Delights honors the memory of his late nephew, the influential hip hop producer J Dilla. When it opened in 2016, the highly anticipated shop quickly—by 8 a.m.—sold out. Hayes uses organic ingredients to make his oft-inventive, sought after flavors. While there are no seats at Dilla's, fans make use of the narrow counter space looking out onto Downtown Detroit.
The Farmer’s Hand
1701 Trumbull Ave., Corktown
There really isn't any place similar to The Farmer's Hand in the neighborhood of Corktown, and perhaps not any where else in the city. The combined market and cafe, opened by two women (one a Detroit native and the other an Australian transplant) in Fall 2016, sells produce and groceries from local growers, along with a thoughtful edit of homeware and beauty products, plus coffee and a rotating line-up of sandwiches. The shop is tiny but that feels like a benefit in this case: You can pick up a latte or take a seat for breakfast, buy organic ingredients for that night's meal, and find a gift in one fell swoop.
Le Petit Zinc
1055 Trumbull St., Corktown
Le Petit Zinc is a sweet, unexpected French escape in an otherwise fairly quiet stretch of Corktown. The fenced-in back patio is arranged with wrought iron outdoor furniture and colorful lounge chairs, made for hanging in warmer months. Behind the zinc metal bar inside, you can watch the crepes being made in the open kitchen space. The savory selections—like fromage de chevre et epinards (goat cheese marinated in olive oil and rosemary, with spinach and pine nuts)—are memorable.
1401 Vermont St., Corktown
Known as the café for discerning coffee drinkers, Anthology is located in the dead-end parking lot where Porter and Vermont Street meet. (The low, grey brick building tatted in murals is easy to miss on a first drive-by.) Drinks are served from a central island coffee bar that's flanked by a row of small tables in the clean, industrial-hip space. Note that Anthology is not opened on Wednesday or Thursday.
525 Monroe St., Greektown
A hole-in-the-wall in the Greektown district of Downtown Detroit, Golden Fleece has been around since the beginning of the 1970's. It specializes in super-clutch, late-night food: gyros, souvlaki, shish kebabs, saganaki, and so on.
8066 Kercheval St., West Village
Sister Pie is everything you want it to be upon simply hearing its name. Housed in an adorable corner spot in West Village, the bakery makes an-ever changing line-up of pies based on what's in season, from salted maple, to apple sage gouda, to cranberry crumble. Pies are available for order two days in advance for pick-up at Sister Pie's L-shaped counter bar. And in-house spots are available around the cozy communal table.
Detroit Institute of Bagels
1236 Michigan Ave., Corktown
The name of this bagel spot says it all. The bagels here emerge from a labor-intensive, 30-hour process that includes both boiling and baking—and lend them the perfect chewy texture. You can opt to try them as one of several egg sandwiches, or pair them with spreads ranging from Butternut Squash Tahini to Sriracha Lentil. The only thing more comforting than the shop’s earthy wood floors and weathered brick is the amazing smell coming from the ovens.
2124 Michigan Ave., Corktown
Astro is the picture definition of a local indie coffee shop: chalkboard menu, painted floral backdrop, vintage globe atop a small wood table, antique-y turquoise kitchen cabinet, lingering locals, on-point egg sandwiches (with rosemary aioli), and of course beloved coffee drinks. Combine your stop here with a visit to the Detroit Artifactry store across the street.
Johnny Noodle King
2601 W. Fort St., Corktown
The owners of the sliders spot, Green Dot, opened a nearby ramen venture in 2014 that has proved to be wildly popular—as in, entire house (maybe 60 seats) packed at 9pm on a weekday. This is not a place concerned with cooking the most authentic dishes, but rather the most satisfying. Many of the bowls draw from classic Japanese menus but there's also combos like the Philly (shaved ribeye, scallions, poblano) and the Southwest (shredded chicken and cheese, tomato, house made créma) that keep things interesting.
719 Griswold St., Downtown
Juice shops are not ubiquitous in Detroit as they've become in many cities. For your juice-fix here, go to Drought. Opened by four sisters, the company makes organic, cold-pressed juices, often using produce grown in Michigan, each one glass-bottled. Green #1 (chard, cabbage, apple, celery, kale, lemon) is a favorite. Drought also has oat and chia shakes, cold brew coffee, and packaged one-day cleanses. The new "Biocean" seawater shots at the checkout are said to be effective boosters, too. There are four Michigan locations; the Detroit storefront is located inside the Chrysler House, and is just meant for grabbing a juice on the go. (Fair warning: A quality chocolate shop with gift-worthy packaging, called Bon Bon Bon, sits directly across the way. Also inside building: the Dime Store restaurant.)
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