Midtown - by Wayne State University

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) is a cool place to play when you have some leisure time.  They have modern exhibitions, learning workshops for kids, and various events for adults.

3rd Street Bar is relatively new (new ownership and newly remodeled), and seems like it’s getting off to a slow start.  The crowd is hit or miss, but I like the vibe, it feels comfortable, so I’m rooting for them.

Cass Cafe is not only a cool place to eat, it’s also a cool place to play.  It’s a gallery and a live music venue too!  Again you never know who you’ll run into here.

Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is located in Midtown Detroit, which is the cultural center of the city, so of course you can’t live here and not check out the DIA.

Honest Johns is your local neighborhood bar that has been around for years, but more recently in its current location.  It is a fact that this bar was voted the bar with the best jukebox in the country, yes the country! 

Majestic is an entertainment center.  So in addition to being able to grab a bite to eat, there are lots of other things going on there.

Main Library is just that, the main library in the city.  I don’t think there is any subject that can’t be located in there, it’s also been known recently to hold functions there after library hours.

Downtown - by Marriott Ren Cen

Motor City Wine is one of the newest and cutest wine bars in the city.

Anchor Bar is one of your local watering holes, where a lot of regulars hang out.  They have a shuttle bus to get you to Red Wings, Lions, and Tigers games.

Bookie’s Bar and Grill has relocated, is newly renovated, and has a little something for everyone…from DJs to big screen TVs.

Cliff Bell’s is the place to be, if you want to listen to some great jazz, or a live funk band.

Club Waterfalls is not far from the Riverfront, and it’s a nice little spot where you have your choice of main level, upstairs, or if the weather permits, an outside deck where you can enjoy a waterfront view. For location and more information call (313) 259 6676

Exodus/The Jazz Loft is tucked away on the Greektown strip, and unless you stumble upon it, only the locals know that it’s here.  The rooftop in the summer months usually draws more of a college crowd, but all are welcome. Call (313) 962 7093 for location and information.

Harbor House has great seafood, and that’s not all, they also have live music.

LIV is a new spot right as you enter the Greektown area, and they have rolled out the welcome mat for the local DJs, and I’m sure extending the invites to any DJ that want to hop on the 1s and 2s.

Motor City Brewing Works is probably one of the best places for hand crafted beer and pizza.

Hart Plaza is the home of all the seasonal festivals, the world renowned Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival, and Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF).   Yeah I know they’re calling it Movement now, but it will always be DEMF to me.

Red Grape Lounge is also a new up and coming spot, located right in the middle of the Woodward corridor.

RiverWalk/Dequindre Cut, Bell Isle, and more, are the places to go for outside summer fun in the “D”.  It keeps getting better and better every year, so get ready for next year.

YMCA (Bolls) is not a bar or restaurant, but it’s a good place to get your work out on.

DINING - Downtown

Harbor Househas great seafood, and it’s just on the cusp of what we call Greektown.  The last time I was there, the lobster macaroni was a great choice.

Andiamo is an Italian eating experience you can enjoy with a view of the Detroit River, and a view of the river always makes the experience a little more romantic.

Angelina’s Italian Bistro is an Italian restaurant located in the heart of the city.  You can reserve a table for a nice authentic  meal, or stop in for a yummy appetizer and a glass of wine at the bar.

Bucharest Grill, I think by far sells the best shawarmas in the city, and please don’t tell them I said this, but a little under priced (lol).

The Detroit Seafood Market is what it is.  it’s a seafood restaurant, located in what is commonly known as Harmony Park (and the re-designated “Paradise Valley” historic entertainment district ), and it’s good.

Forans Irish Pub Great fish & chips!

Lafayette Coney Island is the 24/7 go to place if you want the best coney (chili dog) before or after a game, or anytime the feeling hits you.  Every year there is a contest between them and American Coney Island (google the history behind this family rivalry).  I guess you can tell which one I prefer.  Ha! they’re so old school they don’t even have a link (lol).

Opus One, an upscale restaurant, has been a staple in this city for as long as I can remember.  The standards have to be pretty high for them to continue on year after year.

Pizza Pappalis Chicago Deep Dish Pizza never gets old, and just a little too close to home if you ask me.

Plaka’s, located in Greektown, is the all night spot to grab a bite to eat.  For me that would be breakfast.  Chances are if you get there at “bar rush”, you might be in for a wait.

Sweet Water Tavern has the best chicken wing dings in the city!

DINING - Midtown

Union Street has been around for a long time, and that says a lot about a restaurant that can withstand economic downturns until a city can rebound.  With their large portions, and great tasting menu, you get a nice bang for your buck.

Avalon International Breads is in a word…yummy!  It’s nestled in Cass Corridor, but claimed by Midtown, and who could blame them.

Cass Cafe Bar & Restaurant  is in the heart of Midtown/Cass Corridor, and on any given day you could run into a world renown artist, it’s a haven for artists and college students.

Good Girls Go To Paris recently relocated, and expanded.  Known for over 50 delicious crepes recipes, they can be found only steps away from Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Art.

Honest John’s Bar & No Grill is a staple in this city, I don’t know anybody that hasn’t been there, or heard about it.  They serve light meals; I would say bar food, but it seems to be a step above that.

Majestic Cafe is an entertainment center, there’s a whole potpourri of things to do all in one spot.  Their menu has changed in recent years, but there’s something on it for everyone.

Seva is a vegetarian restaurant out of Ann Arbor Michigan, expanding to Midtown.

Shangri-La was 2010 winner for best Chinese cuisine, and for good reason.  The food is enjoyable and it’s a nice relaxing spot.

The Whitney, built in 1894 with all its original beauty and charm, makes you feel elegant as soon as you enter.  Although elegant, it’s warm and welcoming at the same time.  They are open for lunch, brunch, and of course dinner.

Thistle Coffee is not the national big chain coffee house, not that there’s anything wrong with them, but if you want a laid back casual atmosphere then check out Thistle.