Detroit Neighborhood Tour: Midtown

Each of the different neighborhoods in Detroit has their own personality. In continuing our Neighborhood Tour series, today we’re sharing our full guide to our favorite places in Midtown. It’s a busy and friendly part of town with much to do and see, and we had a hard time narrowing down the list!

Breakfast:

Avalon International Breads | Photo Credit: Dig Downtown Detroit

Avalon International Breads | Photo Credit: Dig Downtown Detroit

Our favorite spot to start the day off at is Avalon International Breads. A Detroit classic, their original location is in Midtown, where they serve delicious bites like Chocolate Cherry scones and Frittata Sandwiches alongside their famous breads (Our favorite is the Scallion Dill!).

Honest John’s | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

Honest John’s | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

If you’re looking for a sit-down restaurant, right down the street is Honest John’s. It’s a casual spot that makes a great Breakfast Burrito and has indulgent dishes like Fruity Pebble French Toast and Butterfinger Pancakes.

Coffee:

New Order Coffee | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

New Order Coffee | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

Our favorite coffee shop to do computer work in Midtown is New Order Coffee, which is bright and airy and has an outdoor patio in the warmer months. They have an extensive coffee selection and everything is roasted in small batches in-house.

Great Lakes Coffee | Photo Credit: Jesse David Green

Great Lakes Coffee | Photo Credit: Jesse David Green

Another great coffee spot in this neighborhood is Great Lakes Coffee, which has been in business for 25 years. This location has communal wooden benches and tables, and all of the coffee on their menu is specialty-grade.

Lunch:

Detroit Shipping Company Food Hall | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

Detroit Shipping Company Food Hall | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

If you’re looking for lunch for a group, a great spot to go to is the Detroit Shipping Company. Opened just last year, it’s a two-story building made from shipping containers that includes an excellent food hall. You can try tacos & tapas at Brujo, Thai food at Bangkok 96 Street Food, Caribbean food at Coop Caribbean Chicken, Nepalese dumplings at Momo Cha, and liquid nitrogen ice cream at -320 Coffee & Creamery.

Right off Woodward is another spot we love, Seva Detroit. This casual cafe is 100% vegetarian, and everything is delicious. Our favorites on the menu are their General Tso’s Cauliflower and Cilantro-Peanut Stir Fry.

Dinner & Drinks:

Selden Standard.jpg

Our go-to celebration spot in Midtown is Selden Standard. Their specialty is New American style food that’s seasonally and locally sourced (and delicious!). We love their extensive vegetable selection, rotating homemade pasta options, and find it hard to leave without ordering dessert.

La Feria | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

La Feria | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

Located down the street is another favorite, La Feria. They specialize in classic Spanish dishes, and have a great happy hour. Our favorites are their Berenjenas Fritas and Paella (which is only served on Tuesdays!).

Castalia | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

Castalia | Photo Credit: Michelle & Chris Gerard

A unique drink experience in Midtown can be found at Castalia. By day it’s the storefront of their sister company Sfumato Fragrances, and at night, it’s a cocktail bar where they offer a natural scent experience with every drink on the menu. All of their cocktails are great, but In the summer months our favorite option is their scented popsicles.

Shop:

Nora Detroit | Photo Credit: Arthurious

Nora Detroit | Photo Credit: Arthurious

The Cass Corridor area of Midtown is full of great shops. If you’re looking for elevated homewares or special gifts, we highly recommend stopping by Nora. They stock a curated selection of beautiful goods, many of which are from Japan or Scandinavia. We’d be remiss to not mention that they stock our Desk Clocks and Wall Clocks too!

Right next store is Hugh, with an equally beautiful collection of homewares and furniture. The vibe here leans masculine, and their wide-ranging selection includes products like vintage Braun appliances and miniature Marvin toothpaste tubes. If you’re decorating your home, this is the block of Detroit to shop at!

Monger’s Provisions | Photo Credit: Monger’s Provisions

Monger’s Provisions | Photo Credit: Monger’s Provisions

On the same block is Monger’s Provisions, a new shop that specializes in cheese, charcuterie, and craft chocolate. Not only are they incredibly generous with offering samples, but they also make incredible cheese boards for events which we highly recommend!

City Bird | Photo Source: WSJ

City Bird | Photo Source: WSJ

Around the corner, you’ll find City Bird and Nest, neighboring sister retailers owned by siblings. City Bird specializes in Detroit-themed housewares & gifts crafted by local artists (including our Turbo Flyers and Sling-Slang YOYOs!), while Nest has homewares, plants, candles and more. This is a great place to stop by for a gift if you’re in town for a visit.

Across the street is Shinola’s flagship location. They’re a global lifestyle brand that designs and manufactures watches, bicycles, leather goods and other gifts, though they’re most well-known for their watches, all of which are assembled by hand here in Detroit.

See:

Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts | Photo Source: Detroit Institute of Arts

Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts | Photo Source: Detroit Institute of Arts

Midtown is the home of Detroit’s largest public institutions. If you’re interested in art, the Detroit Institute of Arts is right on Woodward. They have one of the most significant art collections in the country, including the famous Detroit Industry Murals, a series of frescoes by the Mexican artist Diego Rivera that fill an entire room aptly named Rivera Court.

MOCAD | Photo Credit: Art Jet Set

MOCAD | Photo Credit: Art Jet Set

Just a few minutes away is MOCAD, Detroit’s contemporary art museum. While they don’t have a permanent collection, their rotating exhibits focus on a wide variety of visual, literary, music and performing arts. It’s best to check their website before you go to see what’s currently on view!

Charles H. Wright Museum | Photo Source: Charles H. Wright Museum

Charles H. Wright Museum | Photo Source: Charles H. Wright Museum

Right in the same area is another incredible museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Founded in 1965, they have the world’s largest permanent exhibit on African-American history and culture. If you’re visiting from out of town, it’s a must-see!

Detroit Public Library Main Branch | Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina

Detroit Public Library Main Branch | Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina

Lastly, the Detroit Public Library’s main branch is in Midtown. Over 150 years old, it’s housed in a gorgeous, expansive Italian-Renaissance style building. It’s the second largest library system in the state of Michigan, and a beautiful place to sit down with a book.

Do:

The Garden Bowl | Photo Source: Hour Detroit

The Garden Bowl | Photo Source: Hour Detroit

In the mood to bowl? Check out The Garden Bowl, a 16-lane bowling alley that was built in 1913. It’s all decked out with glow-in-the-dark lanes and live DJs. There’s also a tiny pizzeria right inside, Sgt. Pepperoni’s, so you can eat a slice after your game.

The best (and only!) arthouse movie theater in Detroit, Cinema Detroit shows independent, foreign & classic films. It’s a tiny, funky spot with great movie options – definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area!

CCS | Photo Source: CCS

CCS | Photo Source: CCS

Midtown is also home to The College for Creative Studies, who hosts a great Lecture Series for the community during the school year. Impressive speakers come from around the country, if you’re looking for a more educational (and free!) night out.

As you can see, there’s a lot to do in Midtown! Any favorite spots that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!
Audrey / Co-founder

Audrey Elkus

Co-founder of TAIT Design Co.