Those of us who know and love Detroit consider it a kind of half-finished heaven. We favor its brawny, threadbare aura, its onion-and-mustard-spangled coney dogs, its rambling thoroughfares from a time when Cadillac Eldorados ruled the roads. The city's lonely Gothic churches, historic Art Deco skyscrapers, and spacious island park are joined by a vast network of urban farms growing all sorts of delicious, fresh things in between swaths of concrete jungle. These farms, together with the city's new restaurants dispersed in pockets all over town, make an urban road trip the best way to explore Motown.
Start your cruise at Anthology Coffee (1401 Vermont St.), the city's newest specialty roaster. The warm, airy café is stashed away behind an obscure yet quintessentially New Detroit spot: a co-working space for local entrepreneurs and creative types in a former Corktown printing factory. There, owner Josh Longsdorf brews his single-origin beans at a Modbar espresso machine and a spacious pour-over bar.
Suitably caffeinated, you'll want to head northeast on Jefferson Avenue, through downtown and past the iconic Joe Louis fist-bump monument at Hart Plaza, keeping Canada on your right, until you arrive at Rose's Fine Food (10551 E. Jefferson Ave.). Run by cousins Lucy Carnaghi and Molly Mitchell, the 30-seat restaurant specializes in refined diner food, like brisket hash, huge cinnamon rolls, and old-fashioned egg creams. Consider taking your meal across the water on Belle Isle, an idyllic 1,000-acre island park with an Albert Kahn-designed aquarium and conservancy plunked in the middle of the Detroit River.
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