When I think of The Congregation, I think, “Magic!” And also, “How have I not been back there yet???”
This Detroit-based business is truly special. It’s a coffee house/bar built in a nearly-century-old restored church building. And it has these magical vibes.
Those vibes are due to the wonderfully welcoming staff, the delicious food and drink, and the killer ambiance. And also, there just seems to be a signature je ne sais quoi to the place. That’s a common sentiment among visitors to The Congregation, according to one of the baristas with whom I shared my good-vibes feels.
I visited The Congregation on a Saturday in late May – a warm, sunny Saturday that totally felt like the origination of summer. A friend and I enjoyed food and coffee drinks on the elevated deck, which overlooks The Congregation’s backyard lined with picnic tables and strung with twinkle lights. Guided yoga, a weekly farmer’s market, food trunks, and other fun happenings grace that yard regularly. The Congregation regularly hosts events such as these and others, varying from children’s ballet classes to a weekly house music night.
I was intrigued by The Congregation’s full bar. It boasts an extensive beer menu (including locally produced brews), a selection of wines by the glass and bottle, and signature cocktails.
I’m super appreciative of those signature cocktails – not only because the drinks sound amazing, but because nearly all of them currently cost $8. Can you think of the last time you paid $8 for a signature cocktail? I can’t – and both me and my wallet are admittedly fatigued from paying $14 to $16 for one drink. So I’m super excited to see accessible prices on thoughtfully crafted drinks such as The Congregation’s Burning Bush (lemon-flavored vodka, orange liquor, Campari, orange juice, jalapeño, and lime) and Blessed Bean (Baileys, Kahlúa, and milk infused with cinnamon and topped with The Congregation’s Nitro Cold Brew coffee).
Yes, all of The Congregation’s signature cocktails have names inspired by church (Devil’s Marg is my favorite – though I also get a kick out of Collection Thyme and Pastor’s Swizzle). And yes, a selection of its signature cocktails involve coffee and/or tea! I’m already dreaming about cozying up with the warm version of The Day Cometh (coffee spiked with Jameson, Baileys, RumChata, coffee liquor, and cinnamon) come winter – though I could totally enjoy it iced right now!
I didn’t opt for booze during my visit to The Congregation. I was feeling caffeine. So I started with the iced version of its Lavender Latte. This was one of the BEST coffee drinks I’ve ever had! It had such a wonderfully rich espresso flavor and subtle, floral sweetness. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.
I also had The Congregation’s iced version of its London Fog Tea Latte, which was quite tasty, too. It’s Earl Grey tea infused with steamed milk and the same house-made lavender simple syrup that the Lavender Latte has.
Food-wise, I opted for The Congregation’s Turkey Sandwich, which was utterly delicious with its addictively soft sourdough bread loaded with smoked turkey, mozzarella, fresh mixed greens, fire-roasted tomatoes, and a richly flavored basil pesto. The Congregation’s food menu includes a selection of other sandwiches; salads; and breakfast items such as pancakes and its Smoked Salmon Bagel.
The coffee section of the menu is – as you’d expect – extensive. It includes traditional coffee-house offerings (cappuccino, espresso, and hot tea, for example), plus signature drinks such as the two I enjoyed. I want to return to The Congregation to try another of those signature coffee concoctions, the Spicy Mocha, which sounds fantastic with its espresso, steamed milk, cayenne-cinnamon simple syrup, and chocolate. That drink is just one of the many, many reasons I want to return to this magical place!
9321 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48206