Geek out at these shops and restaurants in metro Detroit

September 13, 2022 | Story by Max White

The stereotype of being a geek doesn’t hold up nowadays, and being a self-described nerd or geek is the same as being cool, and Detroit is the perfect place to geek out.

There are so many different ways to geek out in the city, from different restaurants to shops and museums, you can show your nerd side in Detroit at some of these spots below.

POP + Offworld in Detroit

Located above Checker Bar in the heart of Downtown Detroit, POP + Offworld is a fun, retro arcade bar in the city.

There are dozens of games on the second floor of the bar, including Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, and more.

There’s a full bar, so you can have a drink in your hand while playing, and you can’t miss the pizza! The Napalm Breath pizza is named because of the garlicky smell your breath will have after trying it.

Vault of Midnight in Detroit and Ann Arbor

There are two different locations for Vault of Midnight, and the store’s goal is “to act as ambassadors for all things geeky.”

The shop offers different adventure leagues online where you can start playing Dungeons and Dragons, and they sell a variety of comics, games, and more.

They also have a book of the month club where you can subscribe to read different books each month.

Third Man Records in Detroit

Being a nerd isn’t all about comics and movies. It can also be about music, and that’s why Third Man Records is a perfect spot to geek out. Started by Detroit’s own Jack White, the store in the Cass Corridor features great music, vinyl records, and more.

On top of shopping, there’s a fully operational vinyl pressing plant in the back. You can peer in as workers press vinyl for some of the biggest names in music, and on certain days, you can tour the plant.

Photo by Peter Wardowski

The 37th Shield Library in Detroit

Located in Eastern Market, The 37th Shield Library is a store selling different used media, which includes music, comic books, books, vinyl, and more.

John King Used & Rare Books in Detroit

If you like books, then John King is the place for you. They have about a million books in stock on four floors in the building on the outskirts of Downtown Detroit.

The store has been open since 1965, providing used and rare books to visitors and people throughout metro Detroit.

They also have a rare book room that contains over 25,000 items including fine books, bindings, maps, first editions, autographs, and more.

Grand Trunk Pub in Detroit

There are plenty of historical buildings in Detroit, but Grand Trunk Pub is a great spot to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal with Michigan-focused food and drinks.

The location opened as a jeweler in the late 1800s and was sold to the Grand Trunk Railway in 1905 where it served as a ticket station for the railway. It has a beautiful interior and has been renovated after the pandemic.

The food is great – try the Reuben egg rolls, and the drinks on tap are from Michigan breweries.

Also, for the magic nerds, there are also rumors that Harry Houdini once had a magic shop in the basement.

Detroit Historical Museum in Detroit

Learn more about the City of Detroit at the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown Detroit. The museum has self-guided tours and several permanent exhibits showing off some of the best parts of the city.

The exhibits focus on a variety of Detroit history, including the history of the Motor city, its role in World War II as the Arsenal of Democracy, the city’s role as a doorway to freedom on the Underground Railroad, and more.

Detroit Historical Museum

Detroit Historical Museum

The Henry Ford in Dearborn

Perfect for any history nerd, The Henry Ford will have history buffs walking around for hours taking in the sights of the museum.

It showcases American innovation, and some of the major items on display include the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated, several presidential limousines, the bus Rosa Parks was riding on and more.

You can also check out Greenfield Village, a historic outdoor village that showcases 80 acres of American history with seven historic districts.

Green Brain Comics in Dearborn

“Feed your brain” at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, one of the best comic book stores in metro Detroit.

The store sells hundreds of comics, some of which are rare, and a variety of other items like action figures, books, games, graphic novels, and more.

Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills

One of the more unique museums in metro Detroit, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is more than 5,000 square feet of vintage coin-operated machines, oddities, macabre and more.

Along with the machines, there are movie posters, ceiling fans, model airplanes, and crazy memorabilia covering the walls, and there’s a café with snacks and drinks.

They have one of the largest pinball collections in the area, and admission is free.

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