There’s nothing more classic Detroit than a day spent at Eastern Market – the huge outdoor farmer’s market that has been feeding Detroiters since 1841.
Many people flock to the market in Spring and Summer – for events like Flower Day or Murals in the Market. However, fall is arguably the very best time to explore Eastern Market thanks to the Michigan fall harvest! Soak up the crisp fall air, rows of fall produce, and the smell of cider with a full day spent in and around Eastern Market.
Eastern Market has market days on Saturdays (6 a.m. - 4 p.m., year-round), Sundays (10 a.m. - 4 p.m., June-September), and Tuesdays (9 a.m.-3 p.m., June-September). Saturday is the biggest market day, with the most produce options. It’s also the only market that stays open into October and November. If you truly want to witness the fall harvest glory at Eastern Market – from colorful pumpkins and apples to freshly fried donuts – then you should plan to visit on a Saturday.
1 DAY | 7-10 HOURS
1. 9 A.M.: Grab Your Morning Coffee at Germack
For those who need their morning coffee, there’s no better coffee shop near Eastern Market than Germack.
This coffee shop is also the nation’s oldest pistachio roasting company, and you’ll find walls lined in nuts, spices, teas, fruits, chocolates, kitchenware, and more. Spend some time perusing the shelves, and then order a hot drink to start your day.
Germack has traditional barista coffee drinks, but also a few fall specialties. Try a lavender hot chocolate, if you’re still yearning for end-of-summer flavors. Or for a more autumnal (and spicy) option, order the Chili Mexican, which is a thick mocha spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
2. 10 A.M.: Peruse the Fall Produce in Sheds 2 & 3
It’s time to start exploring the market!
Eastern Market is the largest outdoor farmer’s market in the United States, but its vendors are still organized into numbered “sheds” to protect from the elements. Fun fact – there actually isn’t a Shed 1! This shed was demolished in the 1960’s, and is now the large parking lot at the market’s southern end.
Instead, you’ll begin your journey in Shed 2. This is one of the biggest sheds, and full of fall produce from Michigan farms.
Stalls to visit in Shed 2:
Jentzen Farms: Located in stall 222, here you’ll find tons of seasonal fall produce including corn, squash, pumpkins, and more.
White Lotus Farms: Has some fall produce, including apples, but come to this stall for the 100% organic fresh bread and the freshly made mozzarella.
Hoxie Farms: Located in the open air between Sheds 2 and 3, this stall has rows of pumpkins, apples, butternut squash, and end-of-season tomatoes and plums.
From Shed 2, you’ll wander directly into Shed 3, which is enclosed and lined with market vendors.
Stalls to visit in Shed 3:
NW Kaltz and Sons Farms: One of the largest produce vendors in Eastern Market, located at the southern entrance to Shed 3. Among the fall produce you’ll find squashes, pumpkins (including pie pumpkins), black kale, and sunflowers.
Stadler Farm: Another produce stall in Shed 3. Be sure to stop here for the adorable “squirrel picnic tables” (a tiny picnic table with a dried corn cob in the middle).
3. 11 A.M.: Grab Donuts, Cider & Fall Decor in Sheds 4-6
At this point, you might be weighed down with produce purchases. Take a short detour to drop those off at your car if you drove to Eastern Market (tip: bring a cooler with you to keep your produce fresh, so you can spend all day at the market!).
Then, return to where you left off, with Shed 4! Shed 4 is located in the middle of the market, and is a bit different from the other buildings as it’s much more open. There are still plenty of stalls here, though, including some Michigan fall favorites (think: donuts and cider!).
Stalls to visit in Shed 4:
Fusilier Family Farms: Located in stalls 420-422, this is your go-to spot for Michigan grown apples, including the popular honey crisp apples.
Hy’s Cider Mill: It wouldn’t be fall in Michigan without donuts and cider. At this vendor, you can pick up a pint of Michigan apple cider, plus fresh donuts (in flavors like glazed chocolate, cinnamon sugar, and sour cream glazed).
Flowers by Rosey: Located in the open area between Shed 4 and 5, this stall has fresh-cut fall flower bouquets, plus Osage oranges, “pumpkins on a stick,” and other fall décor.
Shed 5 is the last big warehouse shed. It feels more spacious than the other sheds because there aren’t as many vendors – so you can relax and wander a bit more without the crowds!
Stalls to visit in Shed 5:
That French Cow Creperie: A popular crepe shop selling sweet and savory crepes – perfect if you need a little pick-me-up!
Canton Floral: Sells a variety of floral arrangements, including fall-themed bouquets with mini scarecrows.
Finally, you’ll find Shed 6 at the northernmost end of Eastern Market. Like Shed 4, this is more of an open air structure with a raised roof.
Shed 6 is dedicated to flowers, live plants, and garden décor. Take your time wandering the stalls, which all have a variety of autumnal floral arrangements, produce plants, and more.
4. 12 P.M. :Grab a Sit-Down Lunch Near the Market
It’s lunch time! Drop off any extra purchases to your car, and then get ready to experience the foodie scene around Eastern Market.
There are also plenty of restaurants around the more bustling area on either side of the Sheds.
In the mood for a classic Detroit coney dog? Head to Zeff’s Coney Island, which is highly regarded as one of Detroit’s best spots for coney dogs. If you’ve got a craving for pizza, then go to Supino Pizzeria for their signature Supino pie. And if you want Mexican food, but don’t want to venture all the way to Mexicantown, then definitely eat lunch at the new outpost of Jose’s Tacos. It’s a favorite with the downtown lunch crowd, so it’s sure to be popular in the market, too!
5. 1 P.M.: Explore the Eastern Market Murals
You’re probably stuffed from lunch (and those cinnamon sugar donuts…), so it’s now time to walk it off by exploring the street art around Eastern Market.
It’s hard to miss the massive, colorful murals that surround Eastern Market. Spend your time wandering, or alternatively head straight to Division Street which is lined in murals on both sides.
Ready for an afternoon pick-me-up? Just past the famous shark mural on Division Street you’ll find Anthology Coffee, which has a spacious patio, comfy chairs, and is one of the best coffee shops in Detroit.
6. 2 P.M.: Do Some Window Shopping Around the Market
Why not have an afternoon shopping spree? In addition to the restaurants and coffee shops, Eastern Market is also surrounded by some top notch boutiques and thrift stores.
3 Dogs 1 Cat is the perfect stop for any pet lovers. This urban pet boutique not only holds adoption events on Saturdays, but they also have a superb selection of Halloween costumes for your cat or dog!
DeVries & Co 1887 should also be on your radar for not only their specialty foods, but the wide selection of fall décor – from scarecrows, to skeletons, to Halloween yard decorations, and more.
Looking for menswear? Then head to Cyberoptix, which sells face masks, bow ties, ties, and cuff links, including many autumnal (including Halloween) designs.
7. 3 P.M.: Take a Side Trip to the Cut
You might be in the city, but you can still experience the Michigan fall colors without going too far from Eastern Market. If you’re up for an afternoon stroll, then head over to the Dequindre Cut Greenway.
This paved urban path can be accessed from Gratiot Avenue near Eastern Market. Spend an hour wandering the path, admiring both the street art and the fall colors.
Alternatively, you might want to do a last lap of the Eastern Market Sheds at this point. The Saturday market wraps up at 4pm, so be sure you’ve got all the produce, fall décor, and food that you want!
Hint: Sometimes you can find extra good deals on produce or plants at this time. Vendors will try to get rid of all their stock by lowering prices.
8. 4 P.M.: Time for Happy Hour
Finally, it’s time to celebrate a fall day well-spent. As the market closes down for the day, find a bar to enjoy an early happy hour, some appetizers, or both.