Things to do in Detroit when you're cold.
February 23, 2015 10:30 AM   Subscribe

I'll be in Detroit for two days next week, never been there before and really know nothing about the area. Would love recommendations for where to go, what to see, what to eat. I will be staying in Greektown.
posted by Cosine to Travel & Transportation around Detroit, MI (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My one visit to Detroit was for the sole purpose of visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts. It's got a world-class collection, especially of Northern Renaissance pieces, e.g.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:43 AM on February 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yes to the DIA! And if you get to Corktown, it has great barbeque, amazing cocktails, and you can take a picture of the famous train station.
posted by ldthomps at 10:52 AM on February 23, 2015

The Henry Ford Museum, though that will take up a full day.
posted by Lucinda at 11:04 AM on February 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

Thirding the DIA, its fantastic. If the weather isn't too bad, Belle Isle is definitely worth a visit. I'm also a fan of the art museum at Cranbrook, but that's a decent hike to the suburbs.
posted by anthropophagous at 11:25 AM on February 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is probably at least somewhat out of date, but also has a lot of good ideas!
posted by anthropophagous at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2015

John King Bookstore. It is a used bookstore on steroids. A bit magical and a bit overwhelming, but certainly a destination for us whenever we go to Detroit.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 12:35 PM on February 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

Another vote for the DIA. Depending on your schedule/interests, I think there are a couple of home games for the Red Wings next week. You can take the people mover to the arena (if it doesn't breakdown) from Greek town.
posted by ghost phoneme at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2015

The DIA is fantastic, and then right down the street is the Museum of Contemporary Art which has a funky little cafe inside it too. Catch a movie at Cinema Detroit, located in an old school. Definitely eat at Slow's BBQ in Corktown (even their veggie dishes are to die for).
posted by Ms. Toad at 1:05 PM on February 23, 2015

The DIA -- and the magnificent Detroit Industry murals there, by Diego Rivera.
posted by LonnieK at 5:33 PM on February 23, 2015

The DIA is great.

If you want to see some more local color, though, I highly recommend that you check out The Heidelberg Project. Residents have turned this neighborhood with lots of demolished houses and empty lots into an open-air, free art project. Great murals, sculptures, painted houses, etc.
posted by number9dream at 5:49 PM on February 23, 2015

No one talking about food yet? Ok...

Buddy's is a great place for pizza. GQ called it one of the best in the country. I like Greene's for sliders. Serious Eats speaks very highly. Lafayette Coney Island for coney style hot dogs. They get media attention any time the subject is hot dogs. Union Woodshop for BBQ. A local magazine called it the best new restaurant in Detroit the year they opened.

Roses's Fine Foods says this on their website: "Made-from-scratch food with quality local ingredients." The menu is small, but I was tempted by a few different things during my one visit. I think I learned about them on They have an occasionally updated list of the 38 best restaurants in Detroit and this was one of them. Four others that really made me wish I had more time to spend eating in Detroit:
Detroit Vegan Soul
Russel Street Deli
Selden Standard
Mudgie’s Deli

Other things I'd look for on a visit to Detroit: Middle Eastern Food, tacos and Polish food. I don't live in Detroit and I'm trying to limit my recommendations (mostly) to those that I can make from personal experience, but I think these are some of Detroit's culinary strengths
posted by stuart_s at 6:21 PM on February 23, 2015

#1 is to go to the DIA - my mom grew up in Detroit so that was the highlight of every family visit back when I was a kid. No joke, it's got a collection to rival what you'd see in New York (which is why Christies was trying to get their hands on it for fire sale prices to cover the bankruptcy).
posted by gov_moonbeam at 8:50 PM on February 23, 2015

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