By The Detroit Foodie
If you’re a native Detroiter, you classify yourself as either an Eastsider or Westsider. This designation is then drilled down further with a representation of the mile road, or major road nearest to your hood. Not some trendy name as we’re seeing as of late. Under this criteria, I have always identified as an Eastsider, reppin’ 6 mile (aka McNichols).
Recently, this same neighborhood (where I was born & raised) has affectionately been christened Nortown. Whatever you decide to call it, it’s the North side of Detroit, an area just outside of Hamtramck, home of the original Buddy’s Pizza (located at Conant & McNichols). Besides the pizza fame, it’s a working-class gritty area. The landscape is filled with a heavy manufacturing presence, industrial warehouses, prisons (yes, plural), scrap yards, homes, parks, and a never-ending sea of tire repair shops. Within this mix are a few spots worthy of a visit. Use this as your guide through the neighborhood!
Featured Dish: Potato Pancakes at Krakus
Yes, Hamtramck gets all the notoriety for its rival Polish restaurants but have you ever visited Krakus? On the north end of Jos Campau (in Detroit, not Hamtramck) is THE best Polish restaurant you’ve never heard of. It sits amidst a slew of long forgotten car dealerships. A nondescript building, with a secured gated lot, one waitress, homemade Polish food, live Polka on Saturday nights, and a huge dance hall. What to order? I highly recommend their Potato Pancakes! Other noteworthy dishes include Borscht, Dill Pickle Soup, and their Pierogies with Fried Onions & Bacon. Nuff’ said! (313) 368. 4848
PLACES OF INTEREST
Marcus Hamburgers – Located among the scrapyards is a Detroit institution. Dating back to 1929, this hamburger joint is still slinging delicious patties. But don’t expect traditional round patties. Marcus is known for their rectangular patties served within hot dog buns. Enjoy! (313). 891. 6170
2 Way Inn – Around since 1876, this is arguably Detroit’s oldest bar. Besides its historic appeal, the Two Way Inn is a friendly neighborhood bar with cheap drinks, great service, and home cooked meals. (313). 891. 4925
The Parade Company – Responsible for Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, the company has its headquarters on the North side of town. Tours are available year round to view the impressive collection of floats. Also, be on the look out for their annual Day in Paradeland event that opens the parade doors to the general public. TheParade.org
Bishr Poultry – Equal parts Middle Eastern market and poultry center, Bishr has been around for nearly 20 years. They serve delicious roasted chicken (slow roasted on a spit), along with an array of delicious Yemeni food to go. Ask for extra seasoning on your chicken! (313). 892. 1020
Power House Productions – Much respect to Mitch & Gina Cope for putting this area on the map! A once desolate neighborhood has truly been revived through the Power House Project. A culmination of artistic endeavors that have transformed former abandoned homes into theatres, sound studios, residencies, art installations, and even a skate park. Powerhouseproductions.org
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