Eastern Market, in the heart of Detroit, is a neighborhood with over 125 years of stories involving fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, holiday trees, specialty shops, restaurants and a whole lot more. Recently, I was invited by Feet on the Street Tours to go on a tour around the historic market.
Before the tour, I had a chat with the founder, Linda Yeliin. Yeliin has always had a passion for Detroit and started the company on her own by giving friends and family tours of Eastern Market and the city. In 2007, she founded Feet on the Street Tours because she wanted people to experience what Detroit has to offer, and she wanted to show them how to support and connect with the city.
“Detroit needs more Feet on the Street no matter how they get there.”
– Linda Yellin, Founder
I went on their most popular tour which is the food-based “Come Hungry, Leave Happy” tour of Eastern Market. As we walked within the market, I tasted foods from local vendors in the outdoor sheds as well as in private stores. The varieties of family-made humus at Gabriel Import Co., the chickpea pasta of Banza Pasta, the peanuts of Rocky’s, and the garlic-mustard dip of Boardwalk Kitchen were just some of deliciousness that I experienced.
Along the way, our knowledgeable and passionate tour guides gave the 25+ of us some history behind Eastern Market along with the current and future plans for the district. It’s not only a destination for foodies and Flower Day goers, but it is becoming known as an art and entertainment destination as well.
We took our feet off of the street for a bit to dine at Supino Pizzeria. Once featured on the Food Network, their crisp thin crust pizza and unique toppings leave market visitors always yearning for more. Chicken wings and sunny-side eggs on a pizza anyone? We walked off the pizza with a stroll through Gratiot Central Meat Market, a warehouse for meat and seafood lovers. I found myself staring in awe at the display cases. You will find colorful artwork outside and within to help lead the way through the meat market.
Throughout the tour, we also got a taste of the aforementioned arts and entertainment scene. We walked by several large colorful murals donning the walls of buildings through Eastern Market, many of which came about during the recent Murals in the Market festival. I spent a few extra minutes capturing the Eastern Market Farmer’s mural which sits on the side of the Cost Plus Wine Shoppe.
“We encourage people to experience, explore and enjoy the city through fun, food, art, architecture, history, music and unique neighborhoods.”
– Linda Yellin, Founder
We made a stop in the Inner State Gallery, a recent addition to the area, which features contemporary art pieces, many from local artists. The tour ended at Bert’s Warehouse Theater, a jazz, blues and live entertainment venue, checking out the murals depicting the history of Detroit along its inside entrance walls. The one depicting the Bob-Lo boat moving along the Detroit River brought back memories of my youth.
Feet on the Street Tours offers a mural focused walk, “Murals in the Market.” They also have other public tours and give you the option to create a custom, private tour anywhere in the city for that next family, company or small group outing. The tours can be on foot or by bus or car.
After the tour, I walked back through some of the venues for some goodies, using discount coupons I received as a tour attendee.
View more of what you can expect to see on the Feet on the Street Come Hungry, Leave Happy tour in Eastern Market: