Looking for lunch? Dinner for tonight? You need to visit the Eastern Market in Detroit to find farm fresh fruits and vegetables in a six block area. Mix in some art, street music, and a great place to do some serious people watching. This place is pulsing with people, sounds, and smells. Located a mile northeast of downtown, this open air market is the largest historic public market in the United States. On Saturdays alone, over 45,000 people shop here, including chefs of many Detroit area restaurants. You will find everything from farm fresh eggs, kale, other veggies and fruits, organic produce, cheeses, meats, even plants for your garden. Local farmers and vendors dish up a cocktail of food you can eat there or bring home. The smells of chicken roasting, fresh flowers, or fresh roasted peanuts scent the air. You’ll get hungry just walking around! Restaurants (French, American diner, Thai, etc) and businesses surround the market itself so you can spend the rest of your day exploring the area.
We grabbed lunch from a trailer kitchen (think food truck) in one of the areas. The menu was filled with the typical food truck items, hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese,… and gyros. Grabbed a chicken gyro and I have to say it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Ate it while walking around and trying to keep track of my kids who were having a great time exploring.
There are three tours (urban agriculture, historical, or insider’s view) you can take that show you more of the market then just walking through the market stands. Check out the website for more info.
Saturday Market: Year-round, 6 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday Street Market: June–October, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Tuesday Market: June–October, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Wholesale Market: Monday–Friday, April–November, 12 a.m.–6 a.m. Open to the public, must buy in bulk.
Other things to do, so as to make it a day, is visit the Heidelberg Project or Hitsville U.S.A., a Motown museum.
Parking is free but during peak times, you may have to hunt for that elusive parking space. Go early.