Candice Simons, founder of Detroit lifestyle blog J’adore Detroit, gives the low-down on where to eat, drink and shop in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
By Candice Simons
The Farmer’s Hand
1701 Trumbull Ave., Detroit
The Famer’s Hand is Corktown’s neighborhood gourmet grocery and take-out counter located on Trumbull Avenue and Bagley. The store works to strengthen the relationship between shoppers and sources the food, beverages and products. The store has a farm-to-home commitment by sourcing 100 percent of its products from humane and organic small-t0-mid-sized food partners.
1701 Trumbull Ave., Detroit
The sister restaurant of The Famer’s Hand, Folk was founded on the desired to create a space where people could dine around wholesome food and share experiences, and they nailed it. Folk’s menu offers a nourishing assortment of feel-good meals that are humane and organic. The restaurant also gives a nod to local favorites, Sister Pie and Reilly Craft Creamery ice cream, which I highly recommend ordering.
1300 Porter St., Detroit
Mudgie’s Deli is a favorite in the city of Detroit, winning best deli in the city seven years in a row. The deli is open for lunch and dinner, serving salads, sandwiches and soups all made from mostly local products and in-house roasted meats. Mudgie’s also sells fine cocktails, more than 100 beers and boutique wines. Make sure not to miss out on their great patio during these warm summer months.
2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit
For an out-of-this-world experience, head over to Takoi. This Thai-inspired restaurant won a handful of awards as Katoi before becoming a victim of arson in 2017. Nonetheless, the restaurant reopened as Takoi, bringing the party back to the D. Check out the greenroom and patio for a great spot to gather with friends and listen to live DJs.
1800 Michigan Ave., Detroit
If you’re looking for a DIY-type mimosa bar, Bobcat Bonnies is your place — offering a plethora of juice options to top off your bubbles. This place pays homage to the city, with a foundation built from bricks that come from a well-known Wayne county insane asylum, Eloise, and a game room sign from its old neighbor, Tiger’s Stadium.
2163 Michigan Ave., Detroit
In 2012, Mercury Bar brought life back to the corner of Michigan Avenue and 14th Street. This burger joint located near Detroit’s historic train station is easily a favorite for Detroiters. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger, tater tots, milkshake or a brew — Mercury Bar has a great atmosphere and a patio that is open year-round.
2015 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Ima is your neighborhood noodle spot. This chef-driven restaurant located on Michigan Avenue features an ever-evolving menu of signature noodle soups, rice bowls, curries and small plates. This is another great place to hang out year-round on their covered patio.
Green Dot Stables
2200 West Lafayette Blvd., Detroit
Green Dot Stables is a classic for Detroiters. Whether you go for a chill night out with friends or for a visit after a Tiger’s game, this is like a rite of passage for visitors to the city. Not only is it a great place to hang out, but it is super affordable. The menu features a wide range of sliders for only a few dollars. If you’re brave, try whatever they are serving up for mystery meat that day.
Gold Cash Gold
2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit
For another taste of Corktown’s history, dine at Gold Cash Gold. The restaurant is in the former home of Sam’s Loans, a pawn shop that opened on the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Fifth Street in the 1940s. If you’re lucky enough to get there in the summer months, it offers a great patio. However, no matter what time of year you visit, be sure to get their famous fried chicken.
Brooklyn Street Local
1266 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Brooklyn Street Local is a great spot to go for breakfast or lunch if you are in the Corktown neighborhood. The restaurant was built on the idea of serving only locally sourced food in an environment that is warm and friendly. They have a great menu and daily selections that come from Detroit urban farms.
Slows Bar BQ
2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Slows Bar BQ opened on the corner of Michigan Avenue and 14th Street in 2005 and has since become a destination in the city. The smokehouse has a fresh spin on barbecue and an interior to match. Not only is Slows a great place to dine and gather, but it’s also an anchor for the revitalization of the city of Detroit.
1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit
When it comes to Italian food, Ottava Via gets it right. This place has the charm of Italy with classic dishes served at an affordable price point. Ottava Via also has a great patio with a fireplace and bocce ball.
2124 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Courtesy of J’adore Detroit
Astro is the cutest little coffee shop that rotates a cast of roasters from all around the country, including one of my favorites, Anthology Coffee. The shop offers a variety of drinks from lattes and pour overs, to Detroit-based Joseph Wesley Tea. All which pair great with their small selection of baked goods and sandwiches made from locally sourced and organic products. If those aren’t enough reasons to stop in, you won’t want to miss the hand-painted mural from Detroit’s beloved artist Ouizi.
2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Sugar House is the spot if you’re looking for a great craft cocktail. This speakeasy-type bar features the best versions of all the foundational drinks, as well a rotating seasonal selection that shows off the talents of the bartenders.
Motor City Wine
1949 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Motor City Wine has the best party patio in Corktown. The patio has a backyard vibe and comes equipped with a fire pit. You can also hang out inside and get down to some of the best DJs in town. The bar doubles as a wine shop and is one of the best places in town to buy vino to-go.
Two James Spirits
2445 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, so it would only be right that it would be home to the city’s first distillery since prohibition. Two James Spirits has a tasting room that offers flights and craft cocktails where patrons can mingle around the distillery’s round bar. The distillery also offers tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Batch Brewing Company
1400 Porter St., Detroit
Batch Brewing Company is the best place in town to stop for locally brewed beer. The brewery has a patio decorated with vines of hops that will be used to brew the beer they serve. Not only is the beer fantastic, but the food is brag-worthy. Get the nachos, you’ll thank me later.
1422 Michigan Ave., Detroit
If the man in your life isn’t shopping at George Gregory, then he should be. George Gregory is the perfect mix of great style and masculinity. The store owner, Caitlin Riney, has created a shopping atmosphere that makes everyone feel at ease. The store’s cool aesthetic is just as good as the clothing. Whether it be for a chill Sunday, formal event or a night out, this is definitely where to get male clothing that looks effortlessly cool.
1701 Trumbull Ave., Detroit
Mama Coo’s is a hip neighborhood vintage and resale boutique that carries one-of-a-kind handmade pieces. The store’s collection of clothing isn’t the only thing with history. Mama Coo’s owner, Lana Rodriguez, was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. Her grandparents lived in the storefront’s building when they first moved to the city from Mexico and Texas. Rodriguez continues to have one foot in business and the other in giving back to her community through involvement with local nonprofits.
Eldorado General Store
1700 Michigan Ave., Detroit
This well curated general store is a one-of-a-kind vintage shop. Eldorado General Store is stacked with vintage clothing for men and women, worldly household items, locally made goods and other trinkets that reflect free spirits and magic. The outside of the store will make you wander in, but the great finds will make you stay awhile.
1459 Bagley St., Detroit
There is something incredibly charming about browsing through a record store. Hello Records on Trumbull Avenue is the go-to friendly neighborhood record shop. The atmosphere is welcoming, and the eclectic selection of vinyl and shellac records are ever changing. Expect to come across music from all areas and speeds, but especially funky jams with a focus on party and dance music from the 1940s through the 2000s. The store even buys records with no appointment needed.
John K. King Used Book Store
901 W Lafayette Blvd., Detroit
In the age of iPads and Kindles, there is something nostalgic about a real book. Since 1965, John K. King shared a love for books with the people of Detroit. He opened his first store in the Michigan Theatre, where scenes from Eminem’s movie “8 Mile” were filmed. Decades later, John K. King Used Books now has two storefronts, over a million books and two dogs who keep customers and workers company every day.
2117 Michigan Ave., Detroit
With a special thanks to Slow Roll founder Jason Hall, biking has become an increasingly popular and eco-friendly way to navigate the city. Whether you are in the market for a modern race bike or want to tune up your old school cruiser, Metropolis Cycles is the one-stop-shop for your needs. The friendly and experienced staff will help you with everything from building a bike or a tune up, to finding the right accessory. This place will have you rolling on two wheels in no time.
1401 Vermont St., Detroit
There is no lack of artists and creatives in Detroit. Ponyride is a nonprofit founded in a 30,000-square-foot building in Detroit’s Corktown. This warehouse-turned-activation space functions as an incubator and collaboration space for entrepreneurs in the community. Ponyride allows artists to grow, fail and mature, making the city a better place for all. Some of our favorite resident artists are The Lip Bar, Not Sorry Apparel and Motor City Soap.