Establishment neighborhood
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 Ave., 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.
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.
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.
2135 Michigan Ave., Corktown
Owner Gail Kaye and her husband John work with local artisans and dealers to fill their vintage store with a variety of Detroit-based gifts, décor, and furniture. You’ll find a great selection of jewelry and delightful repurposed items, such as lamps made from old speakers. Wood paneling and paned garage doors warm up the industrial space, which is located in the revitalized Corktown next to Mercury Bar and across the street from Slow’s and Sugar House.
Two James
2445 Michigan Ave., Corktown
There are a number of distilleries in Detroit; Two James is the OG. Housed in a warehouse-esque building in Corktown with a garage-door front, Two James has a circular bar that serves the house liquors, crafted in small batches that draw largely on local ingredients, including: Catcher's Rye whiskey, Grass Widow bourbon, Old Cockney gin, 28 Island vodka, Nain Rouge Absinthe Verte. You can take a tour of the distillery itself on Friday evening, or Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
UFO Factory
2110 Trumbull Ave., Corktown
This place even smells like a dive bar (which you get used to after the first drink). The entertainment here begins with a juke box and a handful of old-time arcade games—there's a pin ball machine, Centuri, Pac-Man (oh boy), surrounded by 70's styles chairs. They have live shows regularly (local bands but also some international players—there was an Aussie band playing last time we were in town) and dedicated movie nights, which all draw a young crowd. They've also got a popcorn maker, and somewhat low-key mostly vegan menu (with the exception of the hot dog) by Laika Dog Kitchen.