Hi Guys, Shanley from Hungry in Detroit here!
I realized a couple of months back I had never visited our Canadian neighbors directly to the south (yes, south) of us. So I recruited my friend to join and headed just a couple miles across the river to Windsor, Ontario. We had such a great time that I wanted to share my agenda with you guys! So here it goes!
We crossed the border around 8:30 am after about 45 mins of travel. What is a girl to do that early on a Saturday morning you ask? BRUNCH, obvs. So we headed to Taloola Cafe. Really great coffee and tea. Cheesy french toast. YES, PLEASE. The sweetness of the maple syrup paired with the slightly salty cheese was to die for! Super cute place inside as well - it’s eclectic and comfortable - a place I would want to chill all day.
Next stop, the Art Gallery of Windsor, where we got to see “The Sandwich Project” that features original Andy Warhols and other bad ass, food-centric pieces. I’m a big fan of art in all forms, but I’ve always loved Warhol after studying contemporary art for an entire semester in Europe.
After the museum we were ready for a beverage so we headed to the JP Wiser’s Experience to tour their absolutely massive distillery. It was cool to be able to get behind the scenes on how it all goes down in the distilling world. I love whiskey so I was in my happy place. They have a tasting room that looks out to the Detroit River which is also really special.
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to Canada without some poutine so we hit up The Dirty Poutine Experience put on by Windsor Eats. We started out at Malic's with their “Deli” poutine which is topped with homemade smoked beef brisket. SO GOOD. Second stop was at Mazaar where they had a Mediterranean poutine, a nice spin on the classic which I appreciated. I wasn’t aware there were so many genres of poutine! I’m sitting there thinking,”Ok Canada, you have my attention, let’s have a poutine party!” Next up was Bread MEATS Bread which had my favorite poutine on the tour, a gnocchi poutine. They’re opening a new location in Detroit Shipping Co. very soon, something I’m super excited about! Last stop of The Dirty Poutine tour was Phog Lounge, where they have several takes on this classic Canadian dish. If you’re into spicy foods, definitely get the “Hot Lips” with pepperoni, hot peppers and hot sauce! Best “tour” ever, next to the Grateful Dead of course.
Fully stuffed, we finally went to check into our room for the night, at the Holiday Inn Express Windsor Waterfront. A perfect place to stay in downtown Windsor with a great view of my fave city, DETROIT. After a quick 30 min power nap, we headed to the Windsor Sculpture Park for a beautiful walk among some very cool, creative sculptures that line the waterfront. The thing that’s cool about Windsor’s side of the river is that it’s almost all taken up with parks and walking paths. We actually walked the path a couple miles down the river to dinner at F+B Walkerville.
F+B Walkerville was truly a wonderful experience; we sat at the bar. The bartender was super knowledgeable about the food and beverage program. Brussels sprouts were on point along with the oysters. 10/10 and would highly recommend. We walked our way back down the river to see Detroit’s lights at night. I’m telling you, nothing beats that view!
We woke up feeling great and headed out to The Twisted Apron to do what we do best. BRUNCH. AGAIN. After the previous day’s feasts, we had to start out with a kombucha and some coffee and then got into the heavier stuff, a Bloody Caesar. A Bloody Caesar is like a Bloody Mary only mixed with Clamato, a clam spiked tomato juice instead of the regular tomato juice. It was the perfect start to a Sunday in Windsor.
Post meal we went to Urban Art Market & Shop Eco. At Urban Art Market they have dozens of local purveyors in the space. There is pottery, knitted clothing, jewelry, the whole works. I ended up buying an air plant holder that I absolutely love. Shop Eco has a bunch of all-natural beauty brands and was a super cute space. Another thing that’s great about shopping in Canada is that the exchange rate totally rocks and everything ends up being really affordable.
We had such a blast all weekend that we decided to top it off with some wine. Did you know that just about 40 minutes from the Ambassador Bridge is a booming wine region known as EPIC Wine Country which stands for Essex Pelee Island Coast? This area sits on the same latitude as the Mediterranean and is nestled along Lake Erie. The weekend we visited, the EPIC Vintage Tasting was taking place at Vivace Estate Winery. They had food, they had cheese, they had live music and an absolutely gorgeous setting. Beautiful property with excellent wines from all over the region and great company. WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?!
Windsor Essex, all in all, is a pretty cool place. Hit me up on Instagram if you need any further recommendations from my trip!
Peace & poutine,