I’ve got some best-of-the-best magic for ya today!
At the end of every blogging year for 100 Places in the D, I pen a post highlighting my ten absolute-favorite new-to-me places I visited that year.
Blog Year Five ended wayyyy back on February 7, but in the spirit of better-late-than-never, here are the ten locally-owned establishments (listed in no particular order) I visited that year that I’m still swooning over.
–Detroit Vintage (#359, Detroit): Stepping into this hidden gem of a coffee shop (located in the most unlikely of locations: between a liquor store and a marijuana dispensary on Eight Mile) is like stepping into another world – a vibrant, cozy, supremely pleasant one where I want to reside forever. Pure MAGIC.
–El Barzon (#335, Detroit): Speaking of magic, can we talk about El Barzon? This WONDERFUL restaurant in an unassuming part of Southwest Detroit is serving up the fairy dust something fierce with its exceptional food, drinks, service, and ambiance – plus one of the prettiest patios on which I have ever eaten.
–Detroit Riverwalk/Cullen Plaza (#367, Detroit): I had no idea how gorgeous the Detroit Riverwalk and Cullen Plaza were until I traversed them on my birthday last fall. What beauties – and both are free to visit, to boot!
–Lady of the House (#308, Detroit): The meal I consumed at Lady of the House in February 2018 is STILL one of the best restaurant meals I’ve ever experienced. Those perfectly prepared chamomile-glazed donut holes! That Parisian ham with its sumptuous house-made butter! [Cue drooling Homer Simpson-style.]
–Pages Bookshop (#357, Detroit): The bookworm in me rejoiced when I finally visited this indie bookstore in Grandmont Rosedale. Sooooo much literary goodness is packed into this joint!
–Loui’s (#368, Hazel Park): The pizza place that dethroned Buddy’s as my favorite purveyor of the Italian pie – which is a VERY big deal because Buddy’s is a beloved part of my family history. What can I say except that Loui’s is INCREDIBLE times infinity in terms of the saucy, cheesy goodness!
–Sfumato/Castalia (#371, Detroit): The dual identity of this place alone is enough to land it on a top-ten list: it’s a perfumery by day, cocktail bar by night. Add to that the fact that its perfumes made with natural ingredients are totally beguiling olfactory bouquets, while its craft cocktails, uniquely delicious concoctions in themselves, are inspired by its fragrances and come with scent-spritzed napkins.
–Ottava Via (#358, Detroit): That gorgeous patio! That Ragout Alla Bolognese with its veal- and pork-loaded sauce and house-made noodles! OBSESSED.
–Baker’s Keyboard Lounge (#331, Detroit): Enchanting live music paired with PHENOMENAL ribs made for a night at this legendary jazz club (deemed a historic site by the state of Michigan) that can only be described as spellbinding.
–Holy Moly Donut Shop (#322, Detroit): I still do a gleeful internal happy-dance every time I think about the donut ice-cream sandwich Holy Moly made for me the spring before last, which was hands-down one of the very best things I have ever eaten. That melt-in-your-mouth glazed donut bun slathered with rich chocolate ice cream and warm Nutella . . . YES, YES, YES! I recently got a sour-cream donut slathered in chocolate frosting from its West-Grand-Boulevard-based location, and let me tell you: they still got it!