When my husband and I moved downtown, one of the most frequent and surprising questions we heard was, “Where in the world do you grocery shop?” It came to my attention that one of the biggest misconceptions about residing downtown is that there is a lack of places to purchase groceries. Many people actually assumed we’d have to drive out to the suburbs to shop. This is – in fact – light-years from the truth.
Conversely, there are a plethora of terrific options, and some that even make grocery shopping fun, interesting, and – dare I say – an adventure!
One thing I should lead with before I get too far is – I despise grocery shopping. I do everything I can to get out of this adult domestic torture every week. So when I say the words ‘fun’ and ‘adventure’ in the same sentence as grocery shopping, it holds weight.
Speaking of adventure, I’d be remiss if I did not start with Eastern Market. This is an outing my husband and I revel in nearly every weekend. And we do make it an outing in and of itself, at times stopping into Shops on Top for the latest in apparel, accessories, and more, maybe popping into 3 Dogs 1 Cat for a new toy for our fur babies, and at times even stopping at Eastern Market Brewery to quench the thirst we’ve worked up from the “grueling” grocery shopping.
You can count on getting all of your seasonal produce here among the sheds. Head over to Rocky’s for nuts, seasonings, coffee, and staples. Cross over the freeway and hit Gratiot Central Meat Market for your proteins – and some great energy as this place is always hopping and loud. Sometimes we can get all we need for the week in this one trip.
We have an apartment in Capitol Park, and one of my favorite markets is within footsteps of my door, Eatori. This little gem reminds me of an establishment you’d find in New York, with a swanky yet cozy bar upfront, down-to-earth service, an eclectic food menu (try the hand-cut chips!), and a grocery-on-the-go market in the back. On the shelves, and beautifully displayed you’ll find dry goods, some great cheese, and charcuterie options, produce, dairy, wine, beer, and specialty items. They also feature a nice selection of pre-made meals.
Similar in concept, the new Bodega is set to open this month in Brush Park. It will have a fresh market that is stocked with Michigan-made and locally sourced products, an onsite cafe with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a full-service bar, and more
Another top pick is Honey Bee Market. Founded in 1956, this family-owned market is a staple in Southwest Detroit and Metro Detroit as well. It offers some of the freshest, most affordable produce in the area, a great lineup of meats and proteins, plus signature treats such as fresh tortilla chips, salsa, and to-die-for guacamole. Do not leave without grabbing some Tamales to go.
Located in the Millender Center with an outside entrance is City Market. This market has everything you could need, jam-packed into a small, spirited space. Here you’ll find local and national brands, organic, imported, specialty, kosher, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free products. They offer great desserts as well. From every day to gourmet, you may have to hunt a little amongst the crowded shelves but they likely have what you are looking for – and more.
Rivertown is a new establishment off of Jefferson just east of downtown focused on fresh, affordable, and local products to Detroit. This is an urban footprint Meijer store, and it has everything any grocery store might, and some surprises, including concessions such as Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, Pizzaman Pizza and Hissho Sushi.With a full line of beauty products, a floral and gift center, and a Fresh & Fast selection of pre-made sandwiches and meals for those on the go, Rivertown is convenient and easy shopping.
About a mile East of Rivertown is Harbortown Market. What I love about this market is that it’s a full grocery store, with the feel of a small market that’s convenient and quick. Harbortown has been serving Detroit for over two decades and offers produce, hot prepared foods, top-quality meats, and a variety of organic foods. They have a great selection of craft beer and wine and a delicious medley of pre-made sandwiches and unique salads at the Deli counter. We love to shop here for on-the-go food and head to the Riverwalk for a picnic!
In 2013 Whole Foods arrived in Midtown as the first chain grocery store to open within city limits in years. I remember hearing naysayers chiming in that Whole Foods would never work there. It’s thriving. Specializing in organic, natural, and gourmet food and specialty products Whole Foods offers residents across Detroit much easier access to healthy shopping.
Located on Second Avenue in Midtown, Marcus Market is more than just a corner liquor store. In 2020 they added produce and some staples like condiments and dry goods, making this the perfect stop on your way home from work when you need a few essentials. Huge bonus: the market is also home to taco truck-turned-stand El Taco Veloz and fresh juicer Juice Joint, so you can grab a taco and a smoothie while you shop!
And finally, Plum Market – located right downtown at 500 Woodward – is reopening this Spring after having been closed since March of 2020! This beautiful small-format store offers organic and locally grown produce, an extensive wine selection, specialty cheese and deli counter, all-natural, sustainable, and humanly raised meats, seafood, a vast selection of gluten-free and organic foods, and so much more. It’s worth checking out!
Which market will you check out first? With all of these diverse and interesting options, it can actually be tough to choose!
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