Detroit’s Eastern Market

The Eastern Market is one of my favorite places to visit. Despite the dearth of good grocery stores in the downtown area, and the fact that we have pretty good ones here in the ‘burbs, Detroit’s Eastern Market cannot be beat for the quality, variety and price of fresh foods. We try to go Saturday mornings, at least twice a month, and do a majority of our food shopping there.

The market opened in 1891.

The pictures alone can’t describe the market; you have to be there to experience the food, smells, sounds, and sights, the collective spirit of the thing. It is like a local community created out of the diverse collection of people from across several counties. You can hear music from around the world; Jamaican bands may be in the bandstand; there’s karaoke in one of the restaurants, where in summer they have huge roasters on the street. The smell is amazing!  Various individual artists set up anywhere along the paths, so you may hear acoustic guitars, an African drummer (I didn’t get his picture, but he was great!) or this guy:

I should have shot a video of this guy, he was great, playing "Little Brown Jug." and singing.

It was a cold day, with a storm blowing in, so there weren’t as many musicians, or visitors, around today. I did hear this guy, though.

This guy was pretty good-it was so cold he needed to wear gloves, though!

I love the atmosphere of the Market, and I love the history. I love that all the assumed prejudices and cultural difference don’t seem to matter when you are here. Most of all, I love the food….

Beautiful assortment of fresh, colorful peppers

a strange but delicious kind of cauliflower

Do you see the Pumpkin man in the back on that table?

The prices are typically 1/2 of what you’d pay in a grocery store, and the food is fresher, too. This time of year, a great variety of the produce is Michigan grown.  If you live in the city, this place is a boon to your health and your pocket book!

Giant apples abound! This one is from the Scarab Club. http://www.scarabclub.org/

food isn't the only fragrance, herbs and flowers, both fresh and dried, abound.

Beautiful fall flowers!

I could have taken hundreds of photos, and I’m sure there are better blogs out there that have focused on the Eastern Market. You could easily spend the entire day exploring, and not see everything. We left just before the rain came!

The meat markets are unbelievable, as well, and there are special events throughout the year, like flower day in the spring, and a beer festival in October.

One very nice thing, in my opinion, is that many of the vendors accept the Bridge Card; in a city without many healthy options, this is a great advantage for lower-income families. They even have a program so those on assistance actually double their food dollars when they buy produce! Check out the details at http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com/ If you live in the area, I encourage you to visit the Eastern Market. If you have visited, let me know what you think of it. You already know my opinion!

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About claymire cottage

I'm a museum curator who lives with a wonderful husband, Rowley the golden Retriever, and 2 cats; Mr. Cookie, and Mabel the Magnificent.

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