Updated: Mar 21
Detroit is a fascinating city with a rich and a bright future. There are no shortage of great places to go if you’re looking to impress on your first date.
The city of Detroit has so much to offer in terms of experiences and especially fashion. Interested in getting to know a bit more about Motor City? We can tell you that Detroit is not only home to an emergent fashion industry, but numerous amazing venues and places to go out and have a blast.
Best Places to Go for a First-date in Detroit
Also known as Motor City, Hockeytown, the D, Motown, and Detroit Rock City, Detroit is a fascinating city with a turbulent history and a bright future. And lucky for you, there’s no shortage of great places to go if you’re looking to impress on your first date.
If you’ve got a music lover with you, why not head to Motown Museum? Learn the story behind the music and have a good time while you’re at it at Hitsville USA. Within the record label’s first and main building, including the legendary Studio A, passionate guides will show you where the magic happened and tell you how Berry Gordy turned an $800 loan into one of the most famous labels of all time. Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson are just a few of the artists who have walked through these doors. Legendary stuff!
The Heidelberg Project
Or, if you want to show off your artsy side, look no further than The Heidelberg Project. Constantly changing and evolving, Detroit’s most famous outdoor art project is the work of Tyree Guyton, who created it in response to the ongoing blight and decay in the neighborhood. In a 2017 interview with Culture Trip, Guyton discussed his plans to replace some of the famous installations with a new vision, called Heidelberg 3.0. Of course, there’s really only one way to find out what’s happening on Heidelberg Street: visit it yourself. Prepare to be inspired - you’ve been warned!
Big on farmers' markets?
Then you’ll definitely want to check out Detroit’s very own Eastern Market. One of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the United States, Eastern Market takes place every Saturday (with two smaller markets on Sundays and Tuesdays), offering an eclectic mix of local food, art and music in a friendly community setting. The market is run by a non-profit that does a lot of work to give back to the neighborhood. It operates important programs that increase access to healthy food in the Detroit metro area and helps new food businesses in the city. Stopping by this awesome spot will not only be delicious and a great experience, but also will help out a great cause.
If it’s baseball season, what better way to enjoy a first date than a Sunday afternoon at the ballpark?
Home to the Detroit Tigers, the oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise in the American League, Comerica Park is a great place to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in the heart of downtown Detroit. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, it’s still a perfect place to experience the great city of Detroit. And the cherry on top? The park is also home to a Ferris wheel and a diverse food court, so if your attention span for the game is running low, you don’t even have to watch to have a good time!
Getting to Know the Detroit Bar Scene
Detroit’s bar scene has a diverse spread of wonderful establishments, from old-school jazz clubs to unpretentious wine bars. Here are some great spots to try if you’re looking to explore and have some fun:
Peso Bar: This trendy Hubbard Richard Mexican restaurant serves an extensive list of easy drinking cocktails including 20 different styles of margaritas. The classic Mexican cocktail is paired with a broader selection of mezcal and tequila-based drinks including refreshing palomas and Jaliscan cantaritos served in clay mugs.
Two James Distillery: One of Detroit’s best distilleries is now canning cocktails to-go. Choose from options like a Ryenold Palmer with rye, ice tea, and lemonade or a rum daiquiri. And if you find your way here, heads up! Each can is equivalent to two drinks.
The Sugar House: One bar that helped usher in Detroit’s cocktail revival, the Sugar House is known for training some of the best bartenders in the city (its owners have since opened several other excellent establishments). The bar serves an extremely deep and detailed list of classic drinks and original — often themed — recipes.
Motor City Wine: Motor City Wine defies expectations of what a wine bar should be. This decade-old drinking spot features a quality selection of bottles from around the world for sale in its shop as well as by-the-glass and bottled choices behind the bar. The fenced-in patio is a popular destination during the warm summer season, and the wine bar still occasionally hosts DJs and live music outdoors.
UFO Factory: Indie music venue and bar UFO Factory offers a chill spot to grab a beer or a simple cocktail and a snack. The bar was fortunate to build out a rooftop deck, which is now used for outdoor drinking and free movie nights.
Discover Essential Cocktails in Detroit
For more spots that offer crafty cocktails, here are several quality locations to check out:
Bagley Central: This polished neighborhood bar joined Peso in Hubbard Richard in April of 2019. The bar leans casual with affordable cocktails, beers, and seasonal sangria. Choose from options like the Tope Atomico with mezcal, habanero, cucumber, citrus, and orange liqueur or the classic Pimm’s Cup. Although it doesn’t have a kitchen, Bagley Central does serve jerky snacks and occasionally hosts pop-up. (pictured left)
The Library: While the refurbished Detroit Club is a members-only type spot, the Library cocktail lounge is open to the public. Like the throwback property, the menu at this low-key hideaway pays tribute to classics like Old Fashioneds and Hemingway daiquiris, but there are also original concoctions like the Spring Snow with sake, aquavit, lemon, jalapeno rice syrup, and Angostura bitters. Some of the drinks are even served in porthole infusers.
Evening Bar: NoHo Hospitality transplanted New York’s former Evening Bar cocktail lounge into the Shinola Hotel in January 2019. This high-end drinking spot serves classics like Death in the Afternoon alongside options like the Flunked Summer School with gin, elderflower liqueur, pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon. Folks who are feeling peckish can order items like caviar-topped potato skins and bacon-jalapeno deviled eggs off the snack menu. (pictured middle)
Monarch Club: With panoramic views of the Detroit cityscape and three outdoor terraces, the Monarch Club quickly became a popular spot for al fresco drinking. The public cocktail lounge perched at the top of the Metropolitan Building serves a mixture of classic drinks alongside original options such as the Dark Corners with rye whiskey, amaro sfumato, cherry liqueur, and orange bitters.
Sid Gold’s Request Room: Head to the alley behind the Siren Hotel and duck inside Sid Gold’s Request Room, an intimate cocktail lounge with a mid-century feel, piano karaoke, and burlesque. Crooners can sing along to their favorite songs — be it goth rock or a 1980s ballad — performed by a live pianist. (pictured right)
Discover Amazing Locaitons for Beer Lovers
And if you’re craving a nice selection of beer, check out these fantastic locations to enjoy a brew with your date:
Ye Olde Tap Room: With roots reaching back to Prohibition, Ye Olde Tap Room has cultivated a deep beer list in its long history. Today, the bar serve more than 250 different beers. Sorted by country and style, customers are guaranteed to find something surprising on the list.
Jacoby’s German Biergarten: Still kickin' since 1904, German tavern Jacoby's maintains a solid list of German, Belgian, and English beers in addition to domestics and the typical Michigan beer standard-bearers. Located in close proximity to Greektown, it’s a popular spot for bar hoppers in downtown Detroit. (pictured left)
Wright & Co.: This Woodward Avenue restaurant compliments refined bar food and immaculate atmosphere with excellent cocktails and a brief, but discerning, beer menu. There’s a constant ebb and flow of seasonal and limited-release beers favors German, Belgian, and Scandinavian breweries with a handful of American brewers thrown in. (pictured middle)
Paramita Sound: This record store at the base of the Siren Hotel features a small, but mighty wine bar. Bartender Anna Atanassova keeps beer drinkers happy, too, with a mix of domestics like Miller High Life ($3 for a 17-ounce pour) and as well as Michigan craft beer and imports from Germany and Belgium. Hangout and listen to live DJs while wading into Paramita Sound’s thoughtful list of “low stock” bottles and cans — a source for limited-release and hard-to-find beers.
8 Degrees Plato Detroit: Local, regional, global — if you can think of it, 8 Degrees Plato probably has it in stock. This Cass Corridor bottle shop and bar combo caters to connoisseurs with a rotating selection of local and out-of-state beers on tap. Customers may also choose a bottle or can from the store's shelves. (pictured right)
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are plenty of exciting places to explore in Detroit to make a great impression on your very first date. We hope that you’re able to give some of these spots a try.
What about nightlife and places to go post-dinner? Check out our essential guide on Detroit nightlife to ensure you are experiencing all the city has to offer.
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