Detroit’s Eastern Market is the largest historic public market in the country. It spans six full blocks, about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) from downtown. This weekly shopping stop for many locals has a wide variety of locally grown produce, gourmet deli products, fresh herbs and flowers. There’s also a range of eateries for a coffee and muffin or a meal.
Enjoy the Victorian architecture as you soak up the sights and smells of one of the city’s most colorful destinations. Markets have been in the area since the 1850s, but it wasn’t until 1891 that the current buildings were constructed. There’s something for everyone here: Pick up some delicious fresh produce, or browse the unique art and jewelry. You can try bartering with some vendors, but it’s easy to find bargains and prices are generally set.
Each building is packed with fruit and vegetable stalls. Vendors often bring freshly grown items directly from their local farms. Head over to the meat buildings for fantastic cuts at reasonable prices. For those who prefer someone else to do the cooking, there are gourmet food stalls all around, and a variety of restaurants are available in the surrounding area. You’ll find bakeries, candy stores, and businesses that sell anything from cheese, wine and specialty sausages to nuts and jam. Some vendors will even let you sample before you buy.
More locally made goods are found at the artisan and flower stalls, including jewelry, candles, soap, clothes and much more. In May, the Eastern Market welcomes summer in a spectacular fashion with the annual Flower Day, one of the largest flower shows in the country. But you can brighten any day with a bouquet from the year-round staggering selection of flowers.
The Detroit Eastern Market is open on Saturdays and there’s a smaller market on Tuesdays. Go earlier in the day to avoid the crowds or later to get deals from vendors eager to head home. These are also the best times to find a parking space, although buses from downtown also service the area. It’s a good idea to bring some cash as many vendors don’t accept cards.