NOT a Saturday in Eastern Market: A Delicious Guide
by Carlos Parisi of Aunt Nees, Khana Detroit, and Sandwich Talk
Over the course of its 150+ years of operation, Eastern Market has become a destination for food, shopping, adventure, art, music, and way more! With great places like Supino’s, Devries & Co, and Bert’s Marketplace, people have their normal stops, but what about the places you don’t check out? What about the market during the week?
As a business owner and food enthusiast, I have made Eastern Market my home through my job. In my time here, I’ve fallen in love with way more about this little neighborhood that I hope everyone can explore.
First of all, do you know about the Old World Sandwich?
Enter the Eastern Market Seafood Co. located at 2456 Market Street. As soon as you walk in, turn right, and order yourself an Old World Sandwich. This sandwich comes standard in a pita pocket with the options of lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, and mustard. You get your choice of sausages to get stuffed inside, but if you’re like me, you just say, “give me a mix.” He’ll just go for it. This little $4 sandwich ($6 Bigger Size) has become something that I crave every week now. With the combo of a drink and a bag of chips (or cookie), you’ll be just full enough to keep your day moving.
You might know about Zeff’s Coney, but how about Mike’s?
Mike’s Coney has exactly what I miss about traditional Detroit Diners. Located at 2719 Russell St, a husband and wife team makes good food at a good cost while sharing a conversation out loud about everything and anything. You feel like you’re with family when you walk in here. Everyone is treated the same, with no exceptions. Once you’re in, order, eat, pay, leave. No frills. Just a Coney.
Gotta get cheap produce? Stop in Detroit Wholesale Produce’s back alley entrance.
They used to have a storefront, and are now working on a whole new front of building. While you still can, get a pretty unique Eastern Market experience when you walk through the alleyway between Kaps and Detroit Wholesale Produce, walk through the plastic drapes, and enter the massive back fridge. You can just grab any item you need from the large cases of produce, have it weighed out, and get your produce cheaper than most grocery stores. This trip is perfect when meal prepping. Wear pants in the summer; it’s chilly in there.
Germack has been a standard stop for most market goers and weekday workers. In front of Shed 2, at 2517 Russell St, I love this shop, and their pastries are always fresh (try the buckle. Don’t ask, just try it). Aside from Germack, did you know there are at least 6 other places to grab a cup of coffee within the Market District? To name a few favorites:
Cairo Coffee/Savvy Chic (2712 Riopelle St) - This coffee shop/clothing store/study spot/boutique serves up great service and selection throughout the week, by local women who have been part of the district for a long time.
Anthology Coffee (1948 Division St) - Recently moved from Corktown, this super minimalist industrial coffee shop serves some of the best roasted blends I’ve ever experienced. Through precision and and a very defined palate, the tastes of these roasts are beyond what I’ve ever experienced. Truly an experience in flavor.
Milano Bakery (3500 Russell St)- At the edge of the Market on Mack, this massive bakery serves sandwiches, baked goods, pastries, and (you guessed it) coffee. A good place to grab a few items if you’re shopping and need a cup.
Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Ave)- On the other side of Gratiot, there’s a little shop called Trinosophes. They’re not just a coffee shop, they’re so much more. Inside, you’ll find Warda Pâtisserie, a food destination serving shareable and individual baked goods and treats with plenty of vegan options. Additionally, they’ve been increasing their live music game. Check out the Trinosophes Facebook page for more information.
I need to eat quickly; What do I do?
A slice at Supino’s is always a good quick fix, but what about a good Buy and Fry spot? Al’s Fresh Fish (2935 Russell St) is sure to get you a quick big bite of some fresh market fish and other soulful favorites.
Looking for something healthier? The family at Gabriel Imports (2534 Market St) is stocked with fresh Olives, Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, $3 sandwiches, and the proper tools to make a quick healthy sandwich yourself.
Have you hung out with Diamond? Diamond Dog, located at the corner of Russell and Gratiot, is a Hot Dog Cart run by one of the most loving women in the district, Diamond. Not only will her immediate dog/sausage fix fill you up, but she’s got cookies, pop, chips, and a few words of advice for you when you need it. I’ve had a rough day, and needed some time with Diamond. She’s got you.
The evenings in the market are unique in the summer.
Every third Thursday, Eastern Market now has it’s night market set up with vendors, food, drinks, and events throughout the sheds. However, that’s not the only night market I’ve fallen in love with. Every weekday night, farmers set up after midnight in the sheds and sell large scale local produce to local stores and restaurants. While buying a pallet of watermelons may not be your thing, just watching the ballet of forklifts and trucks is really soothing after a long day.
Additionally, the BBQ, Soulfood, drinks, and music in the market is alive with Bert’s on weekday nights (2739 Russell St). Also, have you heard the experimental Jazz that comes out of Devries once a month on a Thursday (2468 Market St). Visit each of these locations for more information and just an overall great experience.
There’s so much more that I’d love to tell you about my home away from home, but the best thing for you to do is to experience it first hand. Go out to the market, walk around, eat, drink, and explore. If you’d like to join me for a private 2-hour weekday tour of a few of my favorite spots, message me on Instagram @carlos_parisi, or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll have a few bites, meet some friends, and grab a drink at one of my favorite Eastern Market beverage establishments.
Co Owner of Aunt Nee’s Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole
Partner in Khana Pakistani Food Pop-Up
Host of Sandwich Talk Podcast
Food Enthusiast and Guide