So you have friends and family coming to visit Detroit for the first time and you want to give them the best experience ever. Where do you take them? You can go watch a baseball game at Comerica Park or visit the DIA, but that seems so typical. Check out these 20 underrated places in Detroit to take an out-of-towner. They’re places that people don’t go to as much as other popular spots.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Polish Village Cafe
Located in Hamtramck, the Polish Village Cafe serves authentic Polish food and the most delicious paczki's. They are located at 2990 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212.
2. Old Main
Old Main is located on the campus of Wayne State University. Students call this building the Hogwarts of Detroit. It's home to the school's Museum of Anthropology, a planetarium and a dance studio. It is located at 480 W Hancock St, Detroit, MI 48201.
We've all been to Mexicantown, but your friends and family will love the vibrant colors of the buildings and the smell of fresh Mexican food in the air. Dine at restaurants like Pollo Chapin, Xochimilco or Taqueria Lupitas. To get to Mexicantown get on Vernor Hwy to 24th Street to Bagley Ave.
4. Cranbrook Art Museum
Cranbrook Art Museum showcases modern and contemporary art, architecture and design and brings in new exhibitions from around the world. It is among one of the first contemporary art museums in America and is nestled in one of Detroit's most beautiful spaces. It is located at 39221 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303.
5. Ottava Via
Ottava Via serves amazing Italian dishes in a quaint and inviting space. You'll love taking the out-of-towners in the summer, where the patio is opened and an outdoor Bocce Ball court is available. It is located at 1400 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216.
Editor's Note: Ottava Via is temporarily closed, but we hope to see it open again soon!
6. Packard Plant
The Packard Plant is a historical part of Detroit. Luxury Packard cars were once made here and later by Studebaker. Tourists love coming to this abandoned location and so will your out-of-town buddies. It is located at 6199 Concord Ave, Detroit, MI 48211.
7. Cliff Bell's
Cliff Bell's is Detroit's home for jazz. It is a great escape from the usual bars and restuarants everyone goes to in the downtown area. There is live jazz everyday, award winning food and amazing cocktails. It is located at 2030 Park Ave Detroit, MI 48226.
8. Shrine of the Little Flower
The National Shrine of the Little Flower is a Roman Catholic Church designed in Art Deco style with a Christ Crucifixion Tower. The history behind the church is a bit strange: It was the former headquarters of Axis-sympathizer Father Coughlin. It is located at 2200 W 12 Mile Rd Royal Oak, Michigan 48073.
9. Dakota Inn Rathskeller
Dakota Inn Rathskeller was an old Laundromat until Karl Kurz converted it into a German cellar bar. Enjoy delicious German food and beer here. It is located at 17324 John R St, Detroit, MI 48203.
10. Green Dot Stables
Enjoy tasty sliders at Green Dot Stables, where there is always a mystery slider that can be anything from camel to alligator. The spot is super inviting and has a very chill atmosphere. It is located at 2200 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48216.
11. Ford-Wyoming Drive In
Enjoy a drive-in movie where you can bring your own drinks and snacks. The movie lot has 5 screens and offers nightly double features for the price of one. It is located at 10400 Ford Rd, Dearborn, MI 48126.
12. Two James Distillery
Two James Distillery is Detroit's first licensed distillery since Prohibition in the 1920s. You can take a tour and then have a tasting where you'll be given flights and spirits to try and bottles to buy if you're a fan. It is located at 2445 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216.
13. Slow Roll
If your out-of-town friends are looking for something more adventurous, grab a bike and ride with Detroit's Slow Roll. The purpose of the slow roll is to educate people about Detroit and give a unique perspective of the downtown area. It is open to all ages and they always keep a slow pace. You need to sign up for the ride and make sure you check Slow Roll Detroit's website for schedules of future rides.
14. Fowling Warehouse
Fowling is a football bowling pin game and its warehouse houses 20 lanes for Fowling and a full service bar. The out-of-towners are gonna love this place. It is located at 3901 Christopher St, Detroit, MI 48211.
15. The Detroit Masonic Temple
The Detroit Masonic Temple is of classic Gothic architecture. It is the largest of its kind in the world. The temple is made up of three divisions: the ritualistic tower, the auditorium and the Shrine Club. They are open for tours. It is located at 500 Temple St, Detroit, MI 48201.
16. Eastern Market
Eastern Market is not technically underrated, but most people don't know that the market sources all their ingredients locally. The market is opened year round on Saturdays as well as on Tuesdays and Sundays from June through September. They offer fresh foods, restaurants, art and even free yoga classes. It is located about one mile northeast of the downtown area and is bordered on the south by Gratiot Avenue, the north by Mack Avenue, the east by St. Aubin Street, and the west by Interstate 75.
17. Picnic on Belle Isle
Belle Isle is beautfiul and an awesome place to picnic and take in the stunning views of the Detroit River. Belle Isle is home to an aquarium, conservatory and nature trails. It is located at 2 Inselruhe Avenue Detroit MI, 48207.
18. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum is home to a gigantic collection of mechanical games, animatronic dummies and other very bizarre items. You'll end up spending an entire day here just playing electronic games. It is located at 31005 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334.
19. Shatila Bakery
Shatila Bakery is a staple in Detroit and is known for its Arabic sweets, pasteries, cakes and flavorful ice cream. It is located at 14300 W Warren Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126.
Detroit has a bunch of restaurants to check out, but Vicente's is the only place for authentic Cuban food. It is a family-run restaurant that has salsa dancing every Friday and Saturday night. It is located at 1250 Library St, Detroit, MI 48226.
Do you know any other underrated places in Detroit to take an out-of-towner? Let us know! Also, check out these
12 locations all throughout Michigan to take your friends and family while they are visiting.