Detroit is full of diverse neighborhoods with vibrant communities just waiting to be explored. A good way I suggest to get the feel of each part of the Motor City is to seek out the coffee shop scene in each area. Mingling with baristas and locals, experiencing the coffee and atmosphere of the shop, all while looking to see what’s outside the front door will give you the inside scoop on what that neighborhood has to offer.
Since it is mostly still autumn, the fall colors outside and warming up with hand-crafted coffee drinks are bonuses if you take the time to explore this time of year. Well, it’s time to get out in the neighborhood!
Germack Coffee and Eastern Market
Right along Russell Street is Eastern Market, a historic foodie paradise where every weekend countless fruit and vegetable vendors line up, meat and seafood markets open their doors, and patrons start filling up the parking areas as the sun rises. Before or while you dive into all the market has to offer, find refuge from the chilly air and warm up to a pour over at Germack Coffee Roasting Company. While taking in the espresso bar, scope out all the nuts, teas, spices, coffees, candies, chocolates and gift basket friendly options for purchase as the holidays are fast approaching.
As you exit Germack, the heart of the market is straight ahead, but if you’re hungry turn to the right and grab breakfast at Russell Street Deli, or later in the day, a pizza at Supino Pizzeria. If your feet take you in that direction just a bit further, keep your eyes open for the beautiful skyline views that await.
The Red Hook and West Village
Near the entrance to Belle Isle State Park, is a neighborhood many people are flocking to these days to experience Detroit urban living. Because of that, a bunch of dining establishments have sprung up in West Village including The Red Hook. Grab a pour over or basic latte with a locally made pastry from Pinwheel Bakery or Zingerman’s. Warm up to your coffee as you checkout the fall colors on the tree lined streets, especially Parker Street. You’re bound to see a lot of locals walking the dogs, riding their bikes, or joining you on an autumn day stroll.
Cafe Con Leche and Mexicantown
Take a drive down Vernor Street with the Ambassador Bridge behind you and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Southwest Detroit of which Mexciantown is an integral part of. Along Vernor, you should make a stop inside Café Con Leche. Enjoy some south of the border themed coffee drinks while getting your first taste of what this neighborhood is all about. Grab a Mexcian Mocha and soak in the community atmosphere within, or head across the street to take in the autumn colors of the neighborhood at the well-maintained, Clark Park. Of course, their namesake, the Café Con Leche is worth a sip as well as any latte.
While exploring, head one block down Vernor and grab some of the biggest pastries you’ve ever seen at Mexicantown Bakery. Drive back towards the downtown skyline until you each Bagley and checkout the scores of restaurants within the heart of Mexicantown. The nachos at Xochimilco Restaurant are my go to, but there are definitely a lot of options.
Astro Coffee and Corktown
The oldest talked about neighborhood in Detroit lies along Michigan Avenue. In the heart of the commercial area along Michigan, make your way into Astro Coffee. Grab a Flat White (the best in the city) and hang out in a space devoid of Wi-Fi. With less laptops, there is space for more in-person conversations, and you’ll get to enjoy that coffee and the funky atmosphere even more. They also offer pastries and sandwiches made in-house using organic and natural ingredients.
Right next store, grab some pulled pork and cocktails at one of Detroit’s hotspots, SLOWS BAR B Q. If you’re looking for some history, head across the street and checkout the historic, photo friendly and abandoned Michigan Central Station.
Great Lakes Coffee and Midtown
Arguably the most well-known coffee shop in Detroit, it sits within the neighborhood that is home to Wayne State University, the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. In the morning hours, grab a Lavender Latte and a pastry and sit amongst the high ceilings, hip décor, students and business people starting the day off the best way they know how. If your exploration takes you there later in the day, hang out with the Happy Hour crowd when local artisanal beer and wine is an option.
This coffee shop, along with the heart of Midtown, sits on historic Woodward Avenue known as “Detroit’s Main Street.” As you exit the shop, look to the right on the National Byway and grab a shot of the downtown skyline. Head across the street and you’re bound to find opportunities to capture the colors of the season. If it’s evening, head left and you can bowl, grab some eats and listen to some tunes at the Majestic Café.
View more images of my coffee shop adventures as well as the fall colors and neighborhoods you’ll experience when hopping around Detroit in autumn:
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We know this list doesn’t nearly cover it. Help us make our next list of coffee shops! Are there any other neighborhoods and Detroit coffee shops that you would recommend checking out?