Things to Do in Detroit During the Auto Show

January 19, 2018  |   Story by Kayla Putz  |   Photos by Michelle & Chris Gerard

In town for the North American International Auto Show? After exploring the show floor and picking out your dream ride, there’s plenty more things to do in Detroit outside of Cobo’s walls.

Hop on the Detroit People Mover

Not a fan of the cold? That’s okay. Hop on the People Mover at Cobo Center to avoid a chilly walk. Here are some of our favorite stations to stop at:

People Mover at the Ren Cen

Detroit People Mover leaving the Ren Cen Station. Photo by Bill Bowen

Broadway: If you’re looking for a place to grab some food, you don’t have to stray too far from the Broadway People Mover stop. Detroit Beer Co. serves up homemade brews and hearty fare. If you’re in the mood for sharing, head to Small Plates to sample everything from shrimp and grits to Detroit-style pizza. Looking to pair some fun with your food? Stroll over to Punch Bowl Social for unique cocktails and eats mixed with bowling, ping-pong and arcade games.

Greektown: Did someone say “opa”? Get your flaming cheese fix at one of Greektown’s staple restaurants – Pegasus, New Parthenon or Santorini. If Greek fare isn’t your forte, try out Wahlburgers or Red Smoke Barbeque.

No trip to Greektown is complete without a visit to Astoria Pastry Shop, the only challenge is picking what you want to try. Make a night of it and press your luck at Greektown Casino. Polish off the night with a stop at Golden Fleece for the best gyro in town.

Astoria Pastry Shop

Astoria Pastry shop.

Renaissance Center: Check out Michigan’s tallest building and Detroit’s iconic skyline staple, the Renaissance Center. While you’re exploring, you’ll have 29 restaurants to choose from, including Joe Muer Seafood, Andiamo and a 1,100-seat food court.

Take a Ride on the QLine

We have a new set of rail this year for the auto show – the QLine. Stroll over to the Congress station to jump on the QLine and you’ll be on your way up Woodward Avenue. Here are the best stops to hit:

Steetcar on Woodward Ave.

QLine courtesy of

Campus Martius: If you’re not at Cobo Center the weekend of Jan. 26-28, Meridian Winter Blast at Campus Martius Park is the place to be. Sample delicious food from area restaurants, listen to local bands and skate the day away at this family-friendly festival.

Experience winter in Detroit – it makes braving the cold worth it. Check out the Cadillac Square Market for unique Detroit goods and stop by the Cadillac Square Lodge to warm up and grab a drink.

Sproat Street/Adelaide Street: The QLine isn’t the only new Detroit addition to gawk at. Check out the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons new digs at Little Caesars Arena. You can grab a bite to eat at any of the attached restaurants – Sports Social, Mike’s Pizza Bar or Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit.

Canfield Street: Explore a bit outside of downtown in one of Detroit’s hottest neighborhoods – Midtown. The Shinola flagship store and Jack White’s Third Man Records are must-sees. Midtown is foodie-heaven. Grab a bite at Traffic Jam & Snug, La Feria or Selden Standard, and wash it down with a brew at Jolly Pumpkin, Motor City Brewing Works or HopCat.

Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Detroit People Mover (Detroit Transportation Corp.)
    535 Griswold St., Suite 400, Detroit, MI 48226313-224-2160 Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Cobo Center
    1 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226313-877-8777 Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Detroit Beer Co.
    1529 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-1529 Highlight on map | More Details
  4. Small Plates Detroit
    1521 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226313-963-0702 Highlight on map | More Details
  5. Punch Bowl Social
    1331 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226313-749-9738 Highlight on map | More Details
  6. Pegasus Taverna Restaurant
    558 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-964-6800 Highlight on map | More Details
  7. New Parthenon Restaurant
    547 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-963-8888 Highlight on map | More Details
  8. Santorini Estiatorio
    501 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-9366 Highlight on map | More Details
  9. Wahlburgers
    569 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-209-4499 Highlight on map | More Details
  10. Red Smoke Barbeque
    573 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-2100 Highlight on map | More Details
  11. Golden Fleece
    525 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-7093 Highlight on map | More Details
  12. Joe Muer Seafood
    400 GM Renaissance Center, Ste. 1404, Detroit, MI 48243313-567-6837 Highlight on map | More Details
  13. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront
    400 GM Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI 48243313-567-6700 Highlight on map | More Details
  14. Detroit Red Wings
    Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-349-5777 Highlight on map | More Details
  15. Shinola
    441 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201313-285-2390 Highlight on map | More Details
  16. Third Man Records
    441 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48202313-209-5205 Highlight on map | More Details
  17. La Feria Spanish Tapas
    4130 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-285-9081 Highlight on map | More Details
  18. Selden Standard
    3921 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-438-5055 Highlight on map | More Details
  19. Jolly Pumpkin
    441 W. Canfield St., Ste. 9, Detroit, MI 48202313-262-6115 Highlight on map | More Details
  20. Motor City Brewing Works
    470 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201313-832-2700 Highlight on map | More Details
  21. HopCat Detroit
    4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-769-8828 Highlight on map | More Details