Detroit’s oldest existing neighborhood, Corktown is the epicenter of the city’s restaurant surge and home to some of its most beloved bars (both old and new). Located within the boundaries of Southwest and west of downtown, the neighborhood was named from the influx of Irish immigrants who settled in the area during the mid-to-late 1800s. Today, Corktown’s scene feels as dynamic as ever thanks to a mixture of locals and a steady flow of young professionals and creatives into the area, drawn by the eclectic scene.
With the recent investments by Ford Motor Company in a nearby office space and the forthcoming renovations of Corktown’s biggest landmark — the Michigan Central Station — the neighborhood is undergoing major changes. Despite the recent flood of money from property investors, a mix of lowkey pubs, music venues, and restaurants serving inventive food are maintaining the spirited and thrifty, DIY feel of the area for now.
Chances are for folks who are visiting Detroit for the first time, will at some point find themselves in this neighborhood and it’s certainly worth the trip. There’s also an abundance of shops worth exploring and lovely residential streets filled with historic, colorful Victorian homes. Travelers will find the area relatively easy to navigate by foot or by bike and will never find themselves far from a good meal. One can easily spend 24 hours in the neighborhood without missing a thing. It’s all here — hip brunch spots, funky breweries, and award-winning restaurants. For a quick romp through Corktown and a primer on the multitudes of food and beverage options in the neighborhood, let this itinerary guide your visit.
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