Many of you already know the ethnically diverse and culturally rich neighborhoods and businesses that make up the city of Hamtramck, so I’ll go ahead and highlight some of my favorite spots around the city for art, culture, food, and everything in between.
Let’s start with the food! Within 2.08 sq/miles you can travel on a culinary adventure through various cuisines and continents.
Located in the lower level of the Zen Center is the Raw Food Café, a semi-secretive dining establishment with an amazing vegan and raw food menu. Off of Caniff, Palma Restaurant offers its patrons authentic Bosnian cuisine like freshly baked (highly addictive) bread, cevapi, kebobs, and other tasty options. Yemen Café, Sheeba, and Bishr Market serve flavorful aromatic Yemeni dishes. For a taste of Poland I highly recommend Polish Village Café and Krakus Restaurant (located on the outskirts of Hamtown). Lastly, to get your fix of biryani and curry check out Aladdin or Bonoful Sweets for some great Bengali cuisine!
Pssssst….to try some authentic bureks (a soft doughly spinach pie like dish) visit Gina at the American-European Market where she bakes fresh Macedonian bureks every morning – but get there early as quantities are limited.
Speaking of fresh, be sure to visit the newly opened Courage Coffee (located across the street from the Post Office) for a freshly brewed cup o’joe – the best in the city, hands down! If you’re looking for a coffeehouse with a bit more of a homey feel, definitely go to Café 1923. In addition to the cozy space, Café 1923 also serves as a gallery space showcasing local artwork.
Hamtramck is making a name for itself with a growing and thriving art scene, housing studios and galleries such as Popps Packing, 2739 Edwin, Public Pool, and HATCH. The first ever Hamtramck Gallery Crawl was a definite highlight in 2011, and put a spotlight on talented Hamtramck residents like Jide Aje, Carl Oxley, and of course Dmytro Szylak (the amazing creator of Hamtramck Disneyland ).
Other noteworthy spots around Hamtramck are the beautifully constructed and extremely detailed interiors of churches like Immaculate Conception, St. Florian, and Our Lady Queen of Apostles. If you’re looking to do some shopping, then check out the record store/vintage shop - Detroit Threads, or buy some carefully crafted pieces at the Polish Art Center. Need a laugh? Then visit Planet Ant Theatre for great comedic shows or visit them on a Monday where they host their weekly improv night for only $5.
Looking for a place after the show? No need to worry, Hamtramck has a plethora of bars and nightclubs that range from small dives to upscale lounges. If you want to hang with the locals I suggest going to Suzy’s (around the corner from Polish Village Café), Whiskey in the Jar, or the Polish Sea League. If you’re looking to dance the night away, visit Whitestar or 88th Avenue. Hamtramck’s newest addition to the nightlife scene is Mars Bar, a chill upscale lounge where you can sip away a martini, or two. Off the beaten path and into the obscure is Mephisto’s, an industrial/goth bar located in a three story house in the heart of Hamtramck. As for live music, be sure to visit The Painted Lady (a brightly painted pink house with green trim), Small’s, and The Belmont.
Most of these bars will also be hosting a fantastic line-up of bands for the 15th annual Hamtramck Blowout, starting this Wednesday February 29th.
There’s a lot happening in Hamtramck, so be sure to enjoy the fantastic restaurants, galleries, stores, music venues, and people that truly makes this a unique and lovely city!