Motor City Hop | The Top 5 Bars In Detroit

Photo of Robert Marshall II
9 February 2017

Detroit is best known for iconic muscle cars and the unforgettable Motown Records. Nostalgia isn’t lacking in Detroit and neither is entertainment. Motion pictures are being filmed at a rapid pace and all eyes seem to be locked on this blue collar city. So how do Detroiters relax and enjoy their nights? Here are the top five bars in Detroit to make you fall in love with the city.

St. Patty’s Day, The Old Shillelagh | © Stephen Boyle

The Old Shillelagh

Greektown District

Located in the Greek Town District, this Irish pub has two floors and over 20 beers on tap. The Old Shillelagh has been open since 1975 and is a staple in the downtown Detroit area. Private parties and shuttle buses to sporting events are just a few of the perks visitors of the pub enjoy. Once you’ve chosen your beer, be sure to try the Irish Burger.

The Old Shillelagh, 349 Monroe Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-964-0007

Motor City Brewing Works


While in the Midtown district be sure to stop by this brewery for some Detroit handcrafted originals. Founded in 1994, Motor City Brewing Works is another Detroit classic. With a friendly staff and wide open setting, this bar is sure to become a social oasis for out-of-towners. The beer is made in Detroit and the crab dip is a refreshing change from typical bar offerings. They also serve different varieties of brick oven pizzas that will make you question the value of your local pizza parlor. After your taste buds have been tingled, be sure to grab a Ghetto Blaster on tap.

Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-832-2700



If you’re looking for that homey type of feeling, Nemo’s will oblige. Nemo’s overlooks historical Michigan Avenue in the heart of downtown Detroit. This bar is a classic cash-only establishment, furthering the “back in the day” feel. The delicious bacon cheeseburger and world-famous chili will instantly make you a fan. “Never stingy with liquor” should be their slogan; this bar gives you your money’s worth, with a variety of house-made mixed drinks. Shuttle buses are available for five dollars to and from all major sporting events. Stop in and become a regular for life.

Nemo’s Bar, 1384 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-965-3180

Grand Trunk Pub

Pub, American, Beer, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Jolly Old Timers
Jolly Old Timers | © John Gonzalez/
Campus Martius Ever had drinks inside of an old Railway Station? Grand Trunk Pub gives you an opportunity. This historically engineered dwelling, formally known as Grand Trunk Railroad Station, is all about paying homage. Exposed brick walls and hard wood floors separate this pub from others in the downtown area. If you’re low on cash and want to skip the tip, no worries. The to-go option allows you to just grab a drink or six pack and go. They even offer a kids’ menu for patrons who bring along their tots.

Jolly Old Timers

New Center

Jolly Old Timers may be Detroit’s best kept secret. This bar is off the radar and actually looks like a home front. And you will feel like you’re at home once inside! The drinks are cheap and there is rarely ever a crowd. No food is served, but locals don’t mind. This is the place where everyone goes for last call. Family atmosphere and intact wallet is what you’ll get. Be sure to try the two dollar Long Island iced tea.

Jolly Old Timers, 641 W Forest Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-831-5342

By Robert Marshall II

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