On the outskirts of the downtown-core area, Midtown Detroit is flush with shopping and food options from new players and old favorites.
The hype couldn’t be more real: Midtown, Detroit is the place to be. An area of the city sandwiched between two Detroit neighborhoods with their own unique personalities – New Center and Brush Park – Midtown is the perfect connector.
Home to the majority of Detroit’s cultural gems, Wayne State University and a revitalized retail and restaurant district, Midtown has quickly grown into a stop for tourists and locals alike to grab a five-star meal before a show or spend the night bar-hopping between old dives and new patios.
But, Midtown hasn’t just become a cool neighborhood in recent years – the area has always been home to a number of Detroit’s best haunts, many of which set the groundwork for the neighborhood’s new businesses.
Here’s the breakdown on where to eat, stay, play and shop in Midtown Detroit, ranging from the neighborhood favorites to the new kids on the block:
The Classic Midtown Detroit Restaurants
Mario’s Restaurant: Serving up traditional cuisine in Midtown for decades now, Mario’s is Italian at its finest. With its classic and comfortable atmosphere (with a valet option!) Mario’s has Midtown staying-power and remains a community anchor.
Avalon Cafe & Bakery: A staple in the Cass Corridor since the 1990s, Avalon Bakery was one of the first businesses to re-invest in the Midtown neighborhood. Now with a few locations outside their original Midtown digs, they continue to bake up delicious treats and savories in shops across the city.
Detroit Symphony Orchestra: One of Detroit’s oldest and most cherished establishments, playing since the 1880s, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s presence in the city is unparalleled. The sweet symphony sounds make a magical addition to Midtown adventures.
Garden Bowl: The longest continuously running bowling alley in the country (yes, you heard that right!) the Garden Bowl is home to the city’s best glow-bowl. Sharing a block with the storied Majestic Theatre, a night of both live music and strikes is not unusual at this Midtown classic.
The Whitney: Once home to one of Detroit’s most wealthy and famous residents, David Whitney Jr., The Whitney is now a go-to for fine dining and upscale cocktails. Aside from their traditional dining experience, the third floor is home to The Ghost Bar, aptly named for the home’s longtime paranormal history.
Detroit Institute of Arts: A trip to Midtown, and Detroit itself, isn’t complete without an afternoon spent at the DIA. From Degas to Van Gogh, the museum is one of Detroit’s crown jewels and recognized for its historical and cultural prestige across the globe.
The New Favorites
The Peacock Room + Frida: Complimentary shops, both located in the historic Park Shelton Building, offer an amazing and diverse sampling of women’s clothing. Whether you’re looking for a sassy pair of sunglasses or a dress for an upcoming wedding, these shops are the place to stop.
The El Moore Lodge: A new hotel option in the heart of Midtown, The El Moore is a green-efficient, sustainability-geared lodging space. Filled with comfy rooms and a modern aesthetic, the El Moore is a very popular hotel for Midtown guests.
The Block: Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Block serves modern American cuisine with a twist. The restaurant’s easy access to some of Detroit’s cultural institutions and its wonderful service makes it a great stop for any visit.
Selden Standard: Selden has quickly become a Midtown hotspot for delicious small plates and tasty cocktails. On the west side of the neighborhood, this modern restaurant has made upscale dining easy, casual and yummy.
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD): One of the newest additions to Detroit’s museum scene, MOCAD not only holds an impressive collection and rotating exhibits, it is also a space for community events and gatherings. MOCAD is a nice alternative to the usual-suspect museum visits.
With a seemingly endless stream of new shops and stops popping up across Midtown, a visit to this neighborhood will always be different than your last. Whether you’re on your way downtown or heading north up Woodward, Midtown is one of the most exciting neighborhood stops during any trip to The D.
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