Forget What You Heard About Detroit, Hear From Locals


Forget what you think you know about Detroit and consider this your final boarding call for getting to the hub of the Motor City before it becomes The Next Big Thing. In the past decade, the city’s redefined what it means to be Midwestern – and re-upped its cool factor in a big way. If you don’t believe us, just read what some of Detroit’s locals have to say.

Detroit Belle Isle Park Michigan Boat Water
Photo courtesy of Localeur

Belle Isle Park – Detroit River
“Take some time to check out Belle Isle while you’re in Detroit. Not only is it a sight to see in and of itself, its attractions are plentiful. The Belle Isle Aquarium is pretty cool, but my favorite is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, a greenhouse and botanical garden that’s got some history to it (it was built in 1902). Pack a light snack, some drinks and a blanket to set out as you sit by the water and see Windsor, Canada to your left and Detroit, USA to your right. And definitely head down there before dusk to check out the beautiful sunset that casts over the Detroit River.” – as recommended by Detroit Localeur Cory Klinakis


Detroit Institute of Bagels Michigan
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Detroit Institute of Bagels – Corktown
“Bagels, bagels and more bagels – if you want to start your day off right, hit this local spot. Their cinnamon raisin bagel with flavored cream cheese is all the food you need – but you can also go for one of their tasty sandwiches (their egg, cheese and avocado version is to die for). Grab a warm coffee and head outside for some super-chill patio seating to enjoy the fresh Detroit air!” – as recommended by Detroit Localeur Cory Klinakis



Detroit Brooklyn Street Local Michigan Egg Fries
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Brooklyn Street Local – Corktown
“The vision was to open a restaurant that would feature all locally sourced ingredients on its menu, use environmentally sustainable practices and support community growth. Mission accomplished. As much as possible, Brooklyn Street Local offers local, seasonal, organic ingredients, many sourced from urban farms in Detroit – and they’re dedicated to composting, recycling and waste reduction. If you’re looking for a delicious meal with a small environmental footprint, this is your spot.” – as recommended by Detroit Localeur Erin Pat


Detroit Cliff's Bell Michigan Chandelier
Photo courtesy of Localeur

Cliff Bell’s – Downtown
“A Detroit staple, Cliff Bell’s is a restaurant and bar with a lounge-y feel. Most well-known for being a jazz venue, it plays host to a number of events – like their take on The Moth storytelling series, plus Speakeasy Sundays with burlesque performances. While I’m not by any means an avid jazz listener, I love that Cliff Bell’s offers its stage to local jazz musicians who often go on to do bigger and better things in the music industry. It’s a great place to take a date where you can listen to fantastic music and have a great dinner and cocktails, all in one place!” – as recommended by Detroit Localeur Clare Perreault


Detroit Two James Spirit Drink
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Two James Spirits – Corktown“Two James is a great spot for a pre-dinner cocktail. They’re known for distilling their own spirits, including gin, vodka, rye whiskey, bourbon and absinthe. Gin is not typically my go-to liquor, but theirs is so smooth and contains no sharp taste of pine needles! I really like the atmosphere that features a large, circular-shaped bar, vaulted ceilings, and exposed brick. They also offer tastings and tours, which could be made into the main event of your evening.” – as recommended by Detroit Localeur Clare Perreault



Detroit Selden Standard Michigan Outdoor Restaurant
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Selden Standard – Midtown
“Selden Standard’s a great date-night spot. It’s ALWAYS busy. You won’t be able to walk in and be seated immediately Thursday-Saturday, but it’s worth the wait if you put in your name ahead of time. With a menu of New American small plates, they have the most incredible food and cocktails. I was impressed with all the vegetarian options (I loved the roasted asparagus and smoked potatoes), but I can also attest to the lamb bolognese and swordfish. Expect great service and overall dining experience.” – as recommended by Detroit Localeur Clare Perreault