(Image: Bakers Keyboard Lounge)
Just a short ride up M-10 or Woodward from downtown, this neighborhood is just again hitting its stride along the aptly-named “Avenue of Fashion,” originally made famous by retail giants in the early 1900s.
This top 10 list ranges from innovative retail to iconic jazz, based on our trip data from 2016 and a conversation with Lauren Hood, the Director of the Live6 Alliance in Detroit – a nonprofit whose mission is to “enhance the quality of life and encourage economic opportunity” in the neighborhood.
#10: Good Cakes + Bakes
This innovative bakery offers fantastic, creative pastries – and tons of delicious vegan options. According to Lauren, “The Red Velvet Cupcakes are always on point!”
#9: Detroit Fiber Works
Billed as a “fiber arts studio,” this retail location sells unique, handmade clothing and hosts classes and workshops to help you create your own wardrobe pieces. Lauren: “The owner, Mandisa, is the kindest and most creative person ever. She always has a minute to share her love of the neighborhood.”
#8: Jo’s Gallery
This gallery and frame shop features work from local artists alongside unique and original collectibles.
#7: Dutch Girl Donuts
A model of consistency in a fast-changing city, this classic donut shop has been operating in the same location and has featured the same basic recipes since 1947. Lauren: “Buttermilk Glazed all day. Literally. You can get doughnuts at midnight!“
#6: 1917 American Bistro
Serving up classic American dishes ranging from pasta to soul food, this elegant spot lets you soak in Livernois from their top-notch rooftop deck.
#5: Art in Motion
Part retail gallery, part community studio, this place is home to some of the most creative ceramics and handmade goods in Detroit.
#4: Uptown BBQ
For over 25 years, this classic family-owned barbecue spot has been slanging ribs and comfort food favorites like collard greens, black eyed peas and mac and cheese. A must-visit for fans of soul food.
#3: Tom’s Tavern
This wonderfully run-down dive bar with a world-class jukebox has survived cars driving through the walls (literally) over the last 80 years, which has solidified its status as a Motown icon. Says Lauren: “You’d be surprised at the caliber of patrons in this unassuming spot. Elected officials, academics from the nearby university and hipsters making the pilgrimage from all over the city. I grew up around the block and I didn’t make it in until my 30’s – who knew?”
#2: Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles
Opened in 2015 by former Detroit Lion Ron Bartell, this breakfast-all-day haunt set the tone for the revival that has been sweeping through the neighborhood the last few years. Try the Tender Love, Lauren’s favorite, with a side of grits.
#1: Bakers Keyboard Lounge
Billed as the “World’s Oldest Jazz Club,” this art deco hideaway has hosted Miles Davis, “Cab” Calloway, Nat “King” Cole and Dave Brubeck. If you want to get to know “real” Detroit, this is a mandatory stop. Lauren: “Recently learned they were open for lunch. Where else can you get a full meal with a side of live jazz in the middle of the day?!”
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