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City Guides Lifestyle Things to do in Metro Detroit

Birmingham City Guide

January 12, 2022

Birmingham is home to a growing food scene, stylish shops and family-friendly parks – Check out some of our favorite places to eat, shop and things to do in our Birmingham City Guide.

BY JAISHREE DREPAUL-BRUDER

We highlighted just a handful of the incredible restaurants, retailers and things to do in Birmingham. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few of our favorites.

Where to eat in Birmingham

 

HUNTER HOUSE HAMBURGERS

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Hunter House Hamburgers

Everybody knows Hunter House, a family-run Woodward Avenue staple since 1952. The sliders, especially, are renowned; they’re served up juicy with sweet onions smashed right into the meat and sandwiched between steamed buns. For the full experience, add fries and a milkshake.

35075 Woodward Ave.
hunterhousehamburgers.com

 

STREETSIDE SEAFOOD

Streetside Seafood Restaurant

Delicious, fresh seafood, an impressive wine list, and a cozy, convivial ambience explain why Streetside Seafood is a long-time local favorite. Whether you order the ever-rotating daily special or a stand-by like sesame-crusted tuna or Maine mussels, you can’t go wrong. Just don’t skip the Key Lime pie.

273 Pierce St.
streetsideseafood.com

 

PHOENICIA

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Phoenica

Specializing in upscale Lebanese fare, Phoenicia — which launched in High-land Park in 1971 before moving to Birmingham in the early 1980s — has earned several accolades over the years, including a spot on Esquire magazine’s list of the top 40 restaurants in America. That’s not surprising, given its top-notch food and service. Pro tip: Order the off-menu “Samy-style” ribs, which are dry-rubbed, crispy, and named after the restaurant’s founder.

588 S. Old Woodward Ave.
phoeniciabirmingham.com

 

ADACHI

Adachi Restaurant in Birmingham. Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Photo by Viviana Pernot)

Opened in 2018 in the Ford-Peabody Mansion, this stylish, Japanese-inspired restaurant is known as much for its full sushi bar and craft cocktails as it is for its see-and-be-seen vibe. That’s especially true come summer — just ask the patrons packed onto the restaurant’s patio.

325 S. Old Woodward Ave.
adachirestaurant.com

 

FOREST GRILL

Forest restaurant in Birmingham. Friday October 26, 2018. (Photo by Viviana Pernot)

With its refined atmosphere, attentive service and stellar food, Forest Grill is no doubt a worthy place to celebrate a special occasion. But its casual elegance makes it approachable on a weeknight, too, with a modern-European menu featuring inventive apps (try the black rice), house-made pastas, and tasty takes on everything from chicken to Bronzino. Let staff help you choose the perfect bottle from the extensive wine list, and save room for dessert — especially if Baked Alaska is on the menu.

735 Forest Ave.
forestbirmingham.com

 

MARKET NORTH END

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Market North End

This lively neighborhood hotspot is an ideal place to grab a drink with friends, but it’s more than just a fun place for happy hour. The global-inspired food holds its own here, especially the pizzas, garlicky chicken wings, and the House Bread, a crispy, big-as-your-head pita accompanied by zhug and labneh dipping sauces.

474 N. Old Woodward Ave.
marketnorthend.com

Did you know? Birmingham Restaurant Week 2022 runs from January 24 – 28 and January 31 – February 4. Check out there website for participating restaurants. 

Where to Shop in Birmingham

 

CLAYMORE SHOP

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of The Claymore Shop Facebook

For more than 50 years the Claymore Shop has outfitted men in fine, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear shirts and accessories. Their plentiful selection and the obvious quality of every piece is what has earned this shop lifelong customers.

908 S. Adams Rd.
claymoreshop.com

 

PRIMI PIATTI MARKET

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Primi Piatti Market

Fresh pastas of all shapes, sizes and flavors — basil, porcini mushroom, roasted beet and more — await at Primi Piatti Market, where imported meats, cheeses and other specialty foods will also vie for a spot in your shopping basket. And since you’re there anyway, why not pick up some unique, authentic Italian housewares or a made-to-order sandwich?

550 N. Old Woodward
primipiattimarket.com

 

CARUSO CARUSO

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Caruso Caruso

Jeans line the walls at this 6,000-square-foot denim mecca, which has been serving up style to local men and women since 1981. There’s way more than pants, though — Caruso Caruso carries tops and accessories as well as some great home-town clothing lines, including Detroit Bad Boys, Free City, and Retro Brand Black Label.

166 W. Maple Rd.
carusocaruso.com

 

MY HOUSE OF STYLE

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of My House of Style Facebook

Every season, this charming little shop offers a rotating, carefully curated selection of beautiful jewelry, stylish house-wares, and fashion accessories from designers near and far. Need the perfect hostess gift or a little pick-me-up for yourself? You’ll find it here.

574 N. Old Woodward Ave.
myhouseofstyle.com

 

FOUND OBJECTS

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Found Objects

Tired of shopping for the same old things at the same old shops? Break out of the rut at Found Objects, which specializes in items from luxurious pajamas to conversation-worthy caviar dishes, plus chic women’s clothing, baby items, and house decor.

168 S. Old Woodward Ave.
shopfoundobjects.com

 

SUNDANCE SHOES

Sundance Shoes bills itself as a store for “shoe lovers, boho babes, rocker gals, and everything in be-tween.” In other words, there’s a cool pair of kicks or an on-trend closet staple for everyone at this bright and cheerful shop.

235 S. Old Woodward Ave.
sundanceshoes.com

 

LORI KARBAL

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of Lori Karbal Facebook

Lori Karbal has been a local household name since she opened her shop 30 years ago, and for good reason: The boutique is filled with a unique and extensive selection of posh sleepwear, books, trendy home goods, and an impressive array of skincare items.

560 N. Old Woodward Ave.
lorikarbal.com

 

Things to do in Birmingham

 

BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM

Birmingham City GuideImage courtesy of the Birmingham Museum

Visitors of all ages will delight in learning more about the city’s rich history at this quaint (but award-winning) museum. Enjoy the exhibits on your own, or call ahead to book a tour with one of their friendly and knowledgeable staff members. Don’t skip the museum’s immersive Creem Magazine Charlie Auringer Reading Room, which pays homage to the rock publication — second in circulation to Rolling Stone — headquartered in Birmingham in the 1970s-1980s. Visitor hours have been reduced, so check the website before you go.

556 W. Maple Rd.
bhamgov.org

 

BIRMINGHAM FARMERS MARKET

Farmers MarketVia Birmingham Farmers Market Instagram

Open from May to October, the Birmingham Farmers Market touts the best in local produce, meat and dairy, artisan goods, fresh foods, and more. This local community hub also hosts lively entertainment and family-friendly events. 660 N. Old Woodward Public Parking, Lot #6 SHAIN PARK There’s nothing sweeter than a Wednesday-night summer show at Shain Park. The joyous atmosphere is positively contagious at their popular In the Park Summer Concerts that run from July to September. Lounge on a bench, or cuddle on a cozy blanket in what is considered to be the heart of the city.

270 W. Merrill St.
allinbirmingham.com/visitors/farmers-market

 

MICHIGAN SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Believed to be the oldest state Sports Hall of Fame in the United States, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame is a local gem, committed to preserving the State of Michigan’s sports history through memorabilia like plaques, trophies, and interactive displays celebrating Michigan’s best athletes.

370 E. Maple Rd.
michigansportshof.org

 

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE TOWNSEND HOTEL

Birmingham City GuideJACOB LEWKOW, Courtesy of the Townsend Hotel

You don’t have to travel far to indulge in a “royal” experience: Just visit the Townsend hotel any afternoon from Wednesday to Sunday. Their Afternoon Tea service is traditionally elegant, with classical music, pretty serve ware, and, best of all, scrumptious scones, mini pastries, and adorable tea sandwiches.

100 Townsend St.
townsendhotel.com

 

LINDEN PARK TRAIL

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about this beautiful, 1.5-mile trail that runs along the Rouge River — it’s hidden in plain sight! And if you want to feel like you’ve left the “city” behind, it’s definitely worth visiting. Walk (or run)on the trail — depending on when you go you’ll see wildlife including deer, fish, and birds or beautiful foliage, but the scenery is stunning any time of year. The park can be accessed from Maple Road, Brandon Street, and Shirley Road.

 

QUARTON LAKE PARK

Birmingham City Guide

Nestled in a neighborhood just north of Maple Road and east of Lake Park Drive, Quarton Lake is somewhat of a hidden gem. But if you’re familiar with it, you know that the lake, which is set in a 29-acre park, is a local favorite for ice skating in the winter and fishing in the summer. It’s worth walking along the path that leads to the waterfall steps and “Dancing Fish” sculpture just off Maple Road.

499 Lakeside Dr.

Other Awesome Things to do in  Downtown Birmingham:

  • Concerts in Shain Park – Check the City of Birmingham’s website for details on concerts in Shain Park throughout summer.
  • Day on the Town – a huge downtown-wide sidewalk sale in summer with huge deals to score, food and other fun entertainment.
  • Winter Mrkt – For one weekend in December, Shain Park is transformed into a European-style outdoor market with retailers, artisans, and more selling their goods among roasting chestnuts, hot cocoa and plenty of holiday spirit.
  • Birmingham Restaurant Week – Every January, Birmingham’s incredible restaurants take center stage with special coursed menus allowing you to sample their culinary delights at an affordable price.

 

Read about more great Metro Detroit cities: SEEN City Guides

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