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Amy

Guidebook for Hamtramck

Food Scene
The Yemen Cafe is just around the corner, and perfumes the neighborhood with lamb, garlic, and cinnamon. Be sure to order the pizza-sized oven cooked bread and sample the free sweet cinnamon tea located by the kitchen. This is both a great place to get a $4 schawarma and to bring your entire extended family for a multi-course feast.
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Yemen Cafe
8740 Joseph Campau Avenue
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The Yemen Cafe is just around the corner, and perfumes the neighborhood with lamb, garlic, and cinnamon. Be sure to order the pizza-sized oven cooked bread and sample the free sweet cinnamon tea located by the kitchen. This is both a great place to get a $4 schawarma and to bring your entire extended family for a multi-course feast.
Low-key and homey, Cafe 1923 epitomizes the Hamtramck community feel. They make decent coffee and tea, but also source addictive salads from the Zen Center down the street.
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Cafe 1923
2287 Holbrook Ave
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Low-key and homey, Cafe 1923 epitomizes the Hamtramck community feel. They make decent coffee and tea, but also source addictive salads from the Zen Center down the street.
Ever had Bangladeshi food? Very similar to Indian, but with some fun regional specialties (charred okra! be still my heart!). The food here is completely incredible and you'll want to order a feast to share. The service is quirky and often a little slow, so we prefer take-out.
Kabob House & Mouchak Sweets
11405 Conant St
Ever had Bangladeshi food? Very similar to Indian, but with some fun regional specialties (charred okra! be still my heart!). The food here is completely incredible and you'll want to order a feast to share. The service is quirky and often a little slow, so we prefer take-out.
When you say you're going to Hamtramck, people ask if you're going to/have visited Royal Kabob. This is our flagship schawarma shack, admittedly a little more Americanized than some other places in town, with perfectly grilled tender meat and great prices. I really like their mint tea, and the service is generally prompt and friendly.
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Royal Kabob
3236 Caniff Street
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When you say you're going to Hamtramck, people ask if you're going to/have visited Royal Kabob. This is our flagship schawarma shack, admittedly a little more Americanized than some other places in town, with perfectly grilled tender meat and great prices. I really like their mint tea, and the service is generally prompt and friendly.
Kielbasa, borscht, peirogies, and cabbage rolls...If you're salivating at the thought of these, this is the place to go.
Polonia Restaurant
2934 Yemans Street
Kielbasa, borscht, peirogies, and cabbage rolls...If you're salivating at the thought of these, this is the place to go.
Home of the original Detroit-style pizza, Buddy's has expanded over the years to almost a dozen outlets in the Detroit area. But this one is the original and best, right down to the "Cheers" feel of the decor. Detroit-style pizza is rectangular, cheese on bottom and sauce on top, and no one does it better than Buddy's. They have a guarded parking lot, too, so you don't have to worry about your car in an otherwise dodgy neighborhood.
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Buddy's Pizza
17125 Conant Street
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Home of the original Detroit-style pizza, Buddy's has expanded over the years to almost a dozen outlets in the Detroit area. But this one is the original and best, right down to the "Cheers" feel of the decor. Detroit-style pizza is rectangular, cheese on bottom and sauce on top, and no one does it better than Buddy's. They have a guarded parking lot, too, so you don't have to worry about your car in an otherwise dodgy neighborhood.
Okay, I'm biased because I work here. But Sister Pie really is phenomenal--every other person who walks in the door saw our flagship salted maple pie on Instagram and immediately booked a ticket to Detroit. Come for a slice of pie, grab lunch (daily salad + savory hand pie), or pre-order a whole pie to take home.
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Sister Pie
8066 Kercheval Avenue
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Okay, I'm biased because I work here. But Sister Pie really is phenomenal--every other person who walks in the door saw our flagship salted maple pie on Instagram and immediately booked a ticket to Detroit. Come for a slice of pie, grab lunch (daily salad + savory hand pie), or pre-order a whole pie to take home.
Best brunch in the city, hands-down. Rose's sources all their ingredients from local producers, and they make some really incredible buckwheat pancakes. Also try one of the cakes on the counter!
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Rose's Fine Food
10551 East Jefferson Avenue
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Best brunch in the city, hands-down. Rose's sources all their ingredients from local producers, and they make some really incredible buckwheat pancakes. Also try one of the cakes on the counter!
Shopping
Grocery shopping can be tricky in Detroit, as there is only 1 chain supermarket within city limits and it's downtown. The A&C Supermarket is our alternative grocer here in Hamtown. It's the perfect mix of ethnic and American groceries, with a full liquor selection and a good assortment of household products. I do most of my shopping here--proof that you don't need a chain market to get what you need!
9006 Joseph Campau Ave
9006 Joseph Campau Ave
Grocery shopping can be tricky in Detroit, as there is only 1 chain supermarket within city limits and it's downtown. The A&C Supermarket is our alternative grocer here in Hamtown. It's the perfect mix of ethnic and American groceries, with a full liquor selection and a good assortment of household products. I do most of my shopping here--proof that you don't need a chain market to get what you need!
This is a mostly Middle Eastern Market where you can also get many Western staple foods (cereal, chips, etc.), but what really shines is the produce. Cheap and generally in beautiful condition, this is one of my favorite places in the city to buy fruit & veggies.
Holbrook Market
3201 Holbrook Ave
This is a mostly Middle Eastern Market where you can also get many Western staple foods (cereal, chips, etc.), but what really shines is the produce. Cheap and generally in beautiful condition, this is one of my favorite places in the city to buy fruit & veggies.
If you want quinoa in Hamtramck, you won't find it. Fortunately, there is *one* chain supermarket in all of metro Detroit and it's a Whole Foods. Just one exit away down I-75 in Midtown, this miniature Whole Foods focuses on reasonably priced staple items, though you can certainly still buy $8 vegan gummy bears if that's your thing. We also love the deli if we're feeling lazy and just want to eat a box of free-range chicken wings.
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Whole Foods Market
115 Mack Avenue
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If you want quinoa in Hamtramck, you won't find it. Fortunately, there is *one* chain supermarket in all of metro Detroit and it's a Whole Foods. Just one exit away down I-75 in Midtown, this miniature Whole Foods focuses on reasonably priced staple items, though you can certainly still buy $8 vegan gummy bears if that's your thing. We also love the deli if we're feeling lazy and just want to eat a box of free-range chicken wings.
Essentials
CVS
9300 Joseph Campau Ave
Sightseeing
Located in an alley, this is the pet project of a retired automotive worker with a flair for the bizarre. Despite the creator's passing, efforts are underway to purchase the two lots taken up by the installation and permanently preserve them. Drive by, it's weird and wonderful.
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Hamtramck Disneyland
12087 Klinger St
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Located in an alley, this is the pet project of a retired automotive worker with a flair for the bizarre. Despite the creator's passing, efforts are underway to purchase the two lots taken up by the installation and permanently preserve them. Drive by, it's weird and wonderful.
Just for the architecture, this building is amazing. The original library was built in the early 1800s, with an addition straight out of Mad Men built on in the 60s. Check out the map room and the Detroit history section.
Main | Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Ave
Just for the architecture, this building is amazing. The original library was built in the early 1800s, with an addition straight out of Mad Men built on in the 60s. Check out the map room and the Detroit history section.
Diego Rivera. That should be enough to send you running. But also, Detroit has an amazing collection at the DIA. So amazing, in fact, that it moved the generally apathetic suburbanites to cough up some tax revenue in the depths of the recession to keep the collection from being lost during bankruptcy. Give yourself a good amount of time to check out the extensive collections here, and stop by the surprisingly great museum cafe for a coffee or a bite.
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Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
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Diego Rivera. That should be enough to send you running. But also, Detroit has an amazing collection at the DIA. So amazing, in fact, that it moved the generally apathetic suburbanites to cough up some tax revenue in the depths of the recession to keep the collection from being lost during bankruptcy. Give yourself a good amount of time to check out the extensive collections here, and stop by the surprisingly great museum cafe for a coffee or a bite.
If you've been to/heard of Pike Place Market in Seattle, this is Detroit's version. Eastern Market is open year-round on Saturdays and features local meats, cheeses, plants, and produce, as well as food trucks and some locally made thingamabobs. Additionally, don't miss the pared-down, local-producer-only market on Tuesdays all summer. Additionally, there are restaurants and shops all around the market itself, so grab lunch or a cuppa coffee while you're there. Germack Coffee Roasters is one of our favorites.
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Eastern Market
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If you've been to/heard of Pike Place Market in Seattle, this is Detroit's version. Eastern Market is open year-round on Saturdays and features local meats, cheeses, plants, and produce, as well as food trucks and some locally made thingamabobs. Additionally, don't miss the pared-down, local-producer-only market on Tuesdays all summer. Additionally, there are restaurants and shops all around the market itself, so grab lunch or a cuppa coffee while you're there. Germack Coffee Roasters is one of our favorites.
AKA "the largest abandoned building in the world." When you think of Detroit more recently, this is probably the accompanying scene in your head. Supposedly there are only two security guards patrolling, but the plant was recently purchased by a South American investor, so expect that to change.
Packard Automotive Plant
AKA "the largest abandoned building in the world." When you think of Detroit more recently, this is probably the accompanying scene in your head. Supposedly there are only two security guards patrolling, but the plant was recently purchased by a South American investor, so expect that to change.
Open-air art installation that's been around for 30 years in a blighted eastside neighborhood. Very cool to walk around and look at all the wacky houses.
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The Heidelberg Project
3600 Heidelberg Street
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Open-air art installation that's been around for 30 years in a blighted eastside neighborhood. Very cool to walk around and look at all the wacky houses.
Parks & Nature
A glorious park in the middle of the Detroit River, Belle Isle has everything: a beach, conservatory, fishing, and biking and walking options galore. Plus, you can see Canada? Make sure to grab a parking pass either online or at the booth. If there's one thing they're good at, it's passing out tickets.
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Belle Isle
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A glorious park in the middle of the Detroit River, Belle Isle has everything: a beach, conservatory, fishing, and biking and walking options galore. Plus, you can see Canada? Make sure to grab a parking pass either online or at the booth. If there's one thing they're good at, it's passing out tickets.
A relatively new addition to Detroit's woefully short list of biking/walking trails, the Dequindre cut begins just south of Hamtramck and will take you through Eastern Market all the way to the waterfront. The trail is fairly flat, paved, and well-lit, with some great murals and street art along the way. We generally drive down to the north end of the trail and walk to the market or the river front, but you can also bike all the way from our place if you're okay with a few bumps in the beginning of the trip.
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Dequindre Cut Greenway
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A relatively new addition to Detroit's woefully short list of biking/walking trails, the Dequindre cut begins just south of Hamtramck and will take you through Eastern Market all the way to the waterfront. The trail is fairly flat, paved, and well-lit, with some great murals and street art along the way. We generally drive down to the north end of the trail and walk to the market or the river front, but you can also bike all the way from our place if you're okay with a few bumps in the beginning of the trip.
Drinks & Nightlife
The most inventive cocktails anywhere. Period. Come for those, but stay for the cool urban vibe and brush elbows with Quicken employees blowing off steam while enjoying the ever-changing and always incredible menu. Beef tartare is mind-blowing, if you can get it.
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Standby
225 Gratiot Ave
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The most inventive cocktails anywhere. Period. Come for those, but stay for the cool urban vibe and brush elbows with Quicken employees blowing off steam while enjoying the ever-changing and always incredible menu. Beef tartare is mind-blowing, if you can get it.
Great prices during happy hour in a beautiful setting. This is very much a neighborhood bar with super friendly bartenders.
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Craft Work
8047 Agnes Street
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Great prices during happy hour in a beautiful setting. This is very much a neighborhood bar with super friendly bartenders.
Entertainment & Activities
Detroit City Football Club kicked off its first season in 2016 after an extremely successful Kickstarter bid to bring semi-pro soccer to Detroit. The season ends in July, but if you're in town again in the spring and summer tickets are $10 and the fan energy is something else. Also, we usually win, which is a bonus.
Keyworth Stadium
3201 Roosevelt St
Detroit City Football Club kicked off its first season in 2016 after an extremely successful Kickstarter bid to bring semi-pro soccer to Detroit. The season ends in July, but if you're in town again in the spring and summer tickets are $10 and the fan energy is something else. Also, we usually win, which is a bonus.