Last month, we spent 24 hours in Detroit to celebrate our anniversary. Here’s a behind the scenes look at the Eastern Market area of the city. For the previous post, click here. #VisitDetroit
When planning our visit to Detroit, I knew that Eastern Market had to be on our list. I went last fall as part of a blogger tour and I fell in love. The market is HUGE and the food trucks lured me in for some early morning coffee and beignets. Since the market intrigued me so much, I knew I had to get a behind the scenes tour for us. I feel like there is so much history and community living in that area–so much to learn!
Saturday morning, we were able to join the coattails of a JP Morgan private tour with Dan Carmody, the President of the market. We started off in a meeting room learning the history of the market. Did you know it first opened in 1891? That’s 125 years of history. It was named one of the 15 most iconic public places in the country!
The main point Dan emphasized is that Eastern Market wants to provide a service for the community to lead a “healthier, wealthier, happier Detroit”. They have programs for small businesses such as Kitchen Connect, which provides commercial kitchens to help companies grow. If you have a product to sell, they’re there to help you!
There are four different market days, with Tuesday offering health related activities like Zumba and Sunday being a flea market only. Just as many sell locally grown produce, other goods are also prevalent at the Eastern Market.
I absolutely love that the market strives to educate people about food, as well as provide services. They are helping out the community in so many various ways. For people who are unable to travel to the main market, they offer 25 pop-up community markets.
After the brief history lesson, we took a tour of the area. Each year, the area holds a mural contest and the artwork is amazing. As you stroll around the area, you can catch so many different murals on buildings.
Right away, I noticed how bike friendly the area was. There are bike lanes and paths surrounding the Eastern Market area. We learned that there is a new Link Detroit system which makes it easier to get from one side of town to the other. Since the highway divides the area and public transportation isn’t the best, the bike paths were created to help alleviate this problem. These are all relatively new, but they seem to be really taking off. There were hundreds of bikers going through during our stroll.
We also passed the Detroit Market Garden, where some of the items are grown for the market by community members.
After the tour, it was time to explore the market and eat some lunch! I bought some plants and produce, but mostly just wanted to soak in the energy of the market. Inside the sheds, you can really sense the feeling of community there. Three stands to check out: McClure’s pickles, Love’s (amazing custard pie) and Grown in Detroit.
We seriously contemplated lunch for about 20 minutes. There are SO MANY options around the market. Since Dan said Vivio’s had a great Bloody Mary menu, that was our choice–plus we could belly up to the bar without a wait. Without kids, we almost always sit at the bar…just because we can! Saturday is obviously a super busy time at the market, so most places had long waits.
I chose the burger with Pastrami from down the street and it was fantastic! The classic Bloody Mary was perfect too–you can buy the mix to take home.
As you can tell, we had a pretty adventure filled 24 hours in Detroit! I think to see, eat and do everything on our list would take at least four days. It’s nice to know how quick of a drive it is!
Here’s our 5 things to do in 24 hours:
- M Brew
- Valentine Distillery
- MotorCity Casino Hotel
- Dinner at Iridescence
- Eastern Market
Do you have anything that I should at to my Detroit list? I know we will be back many more times!