Mike’s Travelogue: Detroit-style pizza is one of many reasons to visit Motown
May 12, 2023, 1:16 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2023, 1:33 pm
SPONSORED – For the second straight year, the football gods have given you a reason to travel to Detroit. Maybe it’s time to listen! No, it isn’t a tropical vacation destination. But it has a fun, young team that helped Seattle into the playoffs last year and now we should go visit and pay them back.
And since you are going for football, why not double down? University of Michigan plays Bowling Green at home on Saturday and the stadium is just 45 minutes from downtown so you can see the Big House and Ford Field on back-to-back days.
It also has incredible food and a lot to do. And with a September game, the weather should make it a fun trip.
Before we get to the food, we have to start with the architecture. One of the best attributes of Detroit is that it was in its prime at a time when construction involved some incredible attention to detail. They call it the Guilded Age for a reason! So the buildings you see were crafted with love and conscious choices towards their aesthetics. Not only are they fun to look at, many of them are perfect to stay inside of.
Aloft Detroit is in an old skyscraper (the David Whitney Building) and they preserved the charm and class of the original, while adding a cool, modern vibe. The rooms are tastefully done, but the real attraction is the lobby which looks up to an old glass atrium. It is stunning.
Perhaps no Detroit hotel pays homage to the past better than The Siren. It occupies the old Wurlitzer building, has incredible views, and each room and suite offers its own taste of history. It also houses the famed Candy Bar (named for its candy pink ceiling) which makes you feel like its cocktail hour in another era.
For a truly authentic experience, the Inn at 97 Winder is in a renovated mansion from the gilded age. Its 10 rooms are in the National Register of Historic Places. It describes itself perfectly as “Luxurious, Oh-So-Cool, and Quirky, Like Old Detroit Itself.” Well said.
To truly understand and appreciate the architecture, try a walking tour. Detroit History Tours offers one focusing on the sky scrapers. In two hours, you’ll understand the city (and its skyline) better. Plus you’ll have worked up a good appetite!
Maybe you have noticed recently that Detroit-style pizza is everywhere? Seattle now has multiple spots where you can order this square, deep, Focaccia style pies. It also features crispy baked cheese across the top which is what makes it so good! And they are so good that it can take months to have an order accepted.
Fortunately, there are so many options in Detroit so you won’t have to wait at all.
Buddy’s Pizza is considered the originator of the style so you might as well go there and see what started it all. There are a bunch of locations now, but the original is still downtown and if you’re going…you might as well go all the way.
Green Lantern is another very authentic option known for its incredible pepperoni. And if you need a little extra creativity, Pie Sci has a constantly changing menu full of puns and delicious combinations.
No need to limit yourself to just one pizza stop. Detroit-style pizza is one of the best things in town!
What else is there to do in Detroit? Actually, a lot. This is after all the Motor City and Motown, so let’s get caught up on the car and music culture here.
The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is in nearby Dearborn and I’m sure just the name has you imagining what is inside. Plenty of old cars! Yes, you can see the original Ford and others, but there is plenty more here. The Racing in America exhibit is perfect for sports fans, and there is also a large exhibit dedicated to the history of flight. You can also tour a Ford factory to see how the assembly line works.
For music lovers, the Motown Museum is in an old studio and it offers a look into the history of the genre specific to Detroit. Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson. So much of modern music wouldn’t have happened without their contributions.
If you haven’t had your fill of great architecture and guilded age décor, make some time to see the Detroit Public Library. The interior looks like it almost belongs in the Vatican.
With all that, you should be ready for the game. Detroit is, if anything, a sports town. Though it’s been a while since any of its teams have been on top, the fans are passionate, knowledgeable and engaged. Be prepared!
Stadium: Ford Field
Stadium Food: Michigan Cherry Chocolate Nachos (a sweet and savory combo. Is it dessert? That’s up to you!)
Seattle haunt: Uh…no.