The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Detroit’s East Side

Photo of Kate Harrington
9 February 2017

Detroit’s East Side has been given a bad reputation with Detroit‘s bankruptcy and crime-rate. However, these historical sites, restaurants and museums show that there’s more beyond a reputation. Detroit’s East Side is flourishing (and has been flourishing) with history, culture and enterprise.

Detroit views | © Mike Boening Photography/Flickr

Heidelberg Project

Created in 1986, the Heidelberg Project has been a source of inspiration for the local community of Detroit. It’s essentially an outdoor art project – from miscellaneous objects stapled to abandoned homes to graffiti paintings. Tyree Guyton founded this neighborhood project. It’s wildly interesting and showcases the abundance of talent located within this area.

Heidelberg Project, 3600 Heidelberg St, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-974-6894

Cadieux Café

Cadieux Café, located in the far East Side of Detroit, is a former Prohibition-era speakeasy that dedicates its demeanor to all things Belgian. Serving Belgian cuisine and a variety of beers, the Cadieux Café is ideal for laid-back occasions. Cadieux Café also provides featherbowling, which makes this café a gem statewide and nationwide. The hours are very liberal: open till 2 am daily.

Cadieux Café, 4300 Cadieux Rd, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-882-8560

Belle Isle

Aquarium, Memorial, Park
Belle Isle is a park conservancy located in Detroit’s East Side. Founded in 1972, Belle Isle has been a city-run conservancy that operates an aquarium, greenhouses, museums, memorial sites and other park recreations. Open year-round, Belle Isle evolves during the seasons. Summertime, the park offers free concerts and other activities. Fall and wintertime, the park’s facilities are all open; the greenhouses offer warmth from the riverside cold.

Eastern Market

Essentially, Eastern Market is a mini city. With a number of restaurants, clothing vendors and other shops operating in this area, it’s become one of the busiest districts in Detroit. All these spots are open daily; however, the weekend market is the opportune time to visit. The Saturday Market hosts the vendors, with a main focus on fresh and local produce. On Sunday, the Eastern Market district operates as a street market with stands selling local foods, flowers, and antique goods. There is an Eastern Market pavilion, located in the center of the district that houses local farm vendors. The surrounding shops, however, all function according to the weekend market.

Eastern Market, 2934 Russell St, Detroit, MI, USA

Rose’s Fine Food

Rose’s Fine Food is a necessary and important breakfast and brunch spot. Offering the classic American options, like pancakes and two-egg specials, Rose’s Fine Food works within their genre. However, they are creative with their recipes, especially with their house-made pastries. (All breads and pastries are house-made.) Locally sourced, Rose’s Fine Food is a community-based and quality-based spot.

Rose’s Fine Food, 10555 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-309-7947

Tashmoo Biergarten

Tashmoo Biergarten is an elusive event that happens sporadically throughout Detroit’s East Side (and other districts). Being a popup biergarten, Tashmoo operates through social media to spread the word and spread their beer. These summer/fall popups will be gearing up again soon.

Biergarten Waldwirtschaft München | ©

Pewabic Pottery

Founded in 1903, Pewabic has been operating a non-profit ceramic center for over a century. Pewabic offers visits of their century-old studio home, and they offer their Pewabic designers to aid in customer designs. Pewabic Pottery is a rare and internationally acclaimed artists’ hub.

Pewabic Pottery, 10125 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313-626-2000

By Kate Harrington

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