Candice Simons, founder of lifestyle blog J’adore Detroit, explores Ferndale for the best places to eat, drink and shop!
By Candice Simons
Photography by Daniela Lisi
23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Located north of downtown Ferndale, this diner-style restaurant packs a punch with its bright décor and hip spins on classic breakfast and lunch items. People fill the unique space to enjoy avocado toast, eggs Benedict and fresh pressed coffee. Toast is the perfect place to gather with friends over mimosas or to treat kids to their magical “unicorn hot chocolate.”
22828 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Think hipster-meets-honky tonk in the best possible way. This bar/restaurant serves Mexican-inspired dishes with a contemporary twist. The menu features monthly taco specials and dressed up hot dogs at a working-class price. Imperial is a must-try for anyone living in the Detroit area. If you enjoy the heat, order “the ring of fire” to embrace the bar’s playful tribute to Johnny Cash.
600 Vester St., Ferndale
Nestled in the industrial part of town is Voyager, an oyster-focused seafood restaurant. The sister restaurant of Lover’s Only in Capitol Park has quickly made a name for itself. Stop in to sip rosé alongside a platter of crab legs or a dozen oysters. They also host an occasional fish fry, clam bake and an every-so-often brunch.
241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale
Coming from the same owners are Imperial, Public House is self-described as “your neighborhood stop after a long work day.” This is a cozy-chic spot for modern comfort food and specialty cocktails. Their menu offers a variety of sliders with a contemporary spin, appetizers and soft-serve ice cream. The best news yet is their brunch was just extended from Saturday through Monday.
175 W. Troy St., Ferndale
Come to One Eyed Betty’s for pinball, good beer and modern takes on classic bar food. Whether you come for brunch, lunch or dinner, I recommend coming early. The place is always busy because it’s the perfect place to eat and drink with a group of friends. Also, their onion rings and donuts are a must to order.
215 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
GreenSpace is Ferndale’s vegan haven, serving soups, salads and other unique entrees in a stylish environment. The restaurant’s mission is to provide guests with delicious, fresh, plant-based food that is both good for you and good for the Earth — and boy, do they deliver. They also serve innovative craft cocktails and offer great drink specials.
280 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
Pop’s for Italian is a family-owned restaurant that serves up Nana’s greatest recipes. Enjoying family meals together at Pop’s is true to the Italian tradition of gathering around the dining room table. From the handmade meatballs to the wood-fried pizzas, all the food served is meant to be shared and enjoyed together. They also serve up mimosas and garlic-infused bloody Mary’s at brunch and carry an impressive wine selection.
205 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
Located on 9 Mile in the heart of downtown Ferndale, Soho is the city’s chic, yet casual and comfortable gay bar. The bar caters to members of the LGBT community, but all are welcome! The bar features a friendly staff, a fun weekly line-up of karaoke and trivia, and signature martinis and other cocktails.
22646 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Woodward Avenue Brewers, also known commonly as the WAB, has a casual and slightly gritty atmosphere with a true Detroit vibe. All their specialty beers are brewed in-house and range from light to dark, hoppy to fruity, etc. Although beer is the focus here, their food menu includes specialty and build-your-own pizzas, as well as sandwiches and salads.
345 E. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
Otus Supply is both aesthetically pleasing and serves as a music venue. Its Parliament Room often features both local and national acts that range from indie rock to Southern revival. Enjoy the interior’s exceptional style, perfectly executed small plates and carefully crafted cocktails before attending a show.
201 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
Ferndale’s Oakland is a speakeasy-style bar that makes you feel sophisticated and back in the good old days. With velvet seating and chandeliers, the atmosphere is the perfect blend of sophisticated, antique and cool. You’ll feel like a true cocktail connoisseur when you order one of the many inventive and carefully curated drinks.
344 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale
It is the season of flannel shirts and the perfect time to channel your inner lumberjack at Detroit Axe. Friends, co-workers and lovers alike gather at this bar for brews with interactive entertainment. Give your best throw at the wooden target board while laughing with friends over cocktails.
177 Vester St., Ferndale
It doesn’t get much homier than M-Brew. This craftsman style house was converted into a cozy bar with old-school arcade games and pizza. Chill on the front porch, or challenge friends to a game of Pac-Man while enjoying Michigan made craft beer.
161 Vester St., Ferndale
Schedule a tour or visit the tasting room of this local distillery. Valentine distillery has stepped away from mass-production of spirits to prove that quality American products still exist. Stop in to enjoy craft cocktails in a speakeasy-type setting or book a private event in the beautifully rustic space.
567 Livernois St., Ferndale
This American interpretation of the classic European beer hall is one of my favorite places to hang with friends. The Livernois Tap pulls inspiration from urban parks with an outdoor gathering space equipped with bonfire pits and cornhole. It is a family-friendly space, perfect for conversation over creative dishes and specialty brews.
22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
The Rust Belt Market vendor showcase room and event venue is homemade and craft heaven. The market consists of over 40 rotating local businesses that sell handmade items, art and more. There is also a full bar, so feel free to sip while you shop! The market also has an event space that is perfect for wedding receptions and other parties.
22524 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Lovers of books are in for a treat at the Ferndale location of John K. King Books. This quiet space along the busy Woodward Avenue has shelves lined with books, both used and rare. The iPad and Kindle have made reading materials readily available at your fingertips. However, there is something I admire about turning the pages of a paperback. If you like the classic nostalgia that comes with holding an actual book, then this is the shop for you.
224 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
Ferndale’s Boston Tea Room is unlike your typical gift store or boutique. Teas, tarot cards, books and more are available for sale, but this is also the area’s No. 1 spot to schedule a psychic reading or take part in a group meditation.
2141 Hilton Road, 2nd Floor, Ferndale
Vogue Vintage is the ultimate go-to for mid-century modern furniture and furnishings for your household. The antique store was recently resurrected after closing the doors on its former Pleasant Ridge home. This store has everything from dressers and couches to leather jackets and jewelry. Come prepared to give your best go at negotiating prices. Items this cool come with a “finder’s fee.”
234 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
Ferndale favorite Found Sound is a new and used record store that has been around for decades. Whether you’re coming in to buy or browse, the store’s T-shirt, sticker and vinyl-covered walls will help you feel closer to the music.