The Guardian: A Food Adventure in Detroit

Great ribs from Bert at Eastern Market
The Guardian
Max and Liz Haarala Hamilton

Detroit, Michigan, is better known for crime and dereliction than dining, which is why the creative team behind new Boat Magazine wanted to tell a more positive story. In this extract, they track down the best places to eat and drink in the city

Most of us, when we have a lull at work, keep quiet about it, surf the web, catch up on admin, writes online travel editor Isabel Choat. And you'd imagine a couple expecting their first baby to be doubly grateful for a few weeks' calm in the office – a chance to conserve energy. Not Davey and Erin Spens. When the pair, who run a fledgling creative agency in King's Cross, London, realised August was going to be quiet month, they decided they needed a challenge, something that would combine their love of magazines and design and travel

And so they upped sticks and relocated their office and two colleagues to ... Sarajevo, Bosnia, where they set about finding a cast of interesting characters – a war photographer, the author of a cookbook, a film director – who would help them "tell a new story about the city". The result was Boat Magazine, a "nomadic" publication that focuses on one city per issue.

Despite being upstarts in publishing the Spens commissioned an impressive array of writers from Dave Eggers, who introduces the issue with an extract from his short story collection How We Are Hungry, to Scottish writer Sophie Cooke and a host of international names. And of course, as a labour of love by people passionate about design, it looks beautiful - printed on luxurious thick matt paper, clever and smart. You can read Boat online and subscribe to the print version at

So where do you go from war-ravaged Sarajevo? Detroit, Michigan, is ravaged in a different way – but is equally unloved and under the radar. Published this week with an introduction by Detroit-born author Jeffrey Eugenides, it features basketball stars, It Girls, city farmers and a film director. Their next move? Sao Paulo, due out in April.

The following is an extract from the current issue – by photographers Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton – on some of the best and most interesting places to eat and drink in Detroit - and the people behind them.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article!


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