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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve done the research for you on the best places to live in Detroit, so you don’t have to!
We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods and created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local. (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Detroit movers).
A Little About Detroit and its Neighborhoods
Snug against the Detroit River, this city intersects Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. Detroit residents can sit on their front porches and look across the river at their Canadian neighbors in Windsor. This city’s legacy has been stamped as the Motor City or the home of Motown music. And perhaps you’ve heard of its decline in population and jobs and its increase in crime.
These facts are important and true parts of the city’s story. But the past few decades have transformed Detroit’s legacy into one of affordable living, vibrant culture, and fine dining. Even amid all this change, Detroit is still shaped by the creative arts–its streets lined with urban murals, museums, and record labels.
New residents adore Detroit’s unique dive bars, boutique hotels, and odd record shops. And the recent wave of new chefs and restaurants has freshened up the local food scene. Dedicated communities of locals alongside city leaders have helped Detroit thrive again. And this unique city is starting to see major revitalization. Below, we dive in and take a closer look at the top five places to live in this up-and-coming city.
This charming neighborhood is lined with spacious sidewalks and character-rich, wood-framed houses. Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, and it has gained a lot of attention in the last few years. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a home for under $250k in Corktown, which doesn’t fit everyone’s budget. But for those who can afford it, this spot in the city is a great place for an investment return.
Lots of the older buildings in the neighborhood are being renovated into fixed-up single-family homes or small multi-family units. And the recent addition of the Detroit PAL Ballpark on the site of Old Tiger Stadium has added to this revitalization activity. As the cherry on top, last year, Ford bought the Michigan Central Station site with the plan to rehab the building and create a location for 5000 employees. This area certainly is not on a decline.
Close to Detroit’s top business district, Midtown is one of Detroit’s hottest neighborhoods and sits just a few minutes commute northwest of Downtown. Many locals find a home in the chic urban apartments, high rises, and lofts that fill the housing market in the area. Midtown is the most walkable neighborhood in Detroit. And its streets are packed with cafes, shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries.
Two years ago, Midtown was not lookin’ so hot. But today, things are very different. This neighborhood is home to a revitalized retail and restaurant district and has quickly grown into a spot for locals and visitors to indulge in an award-winning meal and catch a show or spend the evening hopping between bars and breweries.
Home to cultural gems like the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, this neighborhood has become one of the biggest cultural hubs in the city. Midtown is also home to Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies, which fosters the young and artsy feel of this vibrant neighborhood.
Packed with dining options, the area features old favorites (like Mario’s Restaurant and Avalon Cafe & Bakery) alongside new additions (like The Block and Selden Standard). The beautiful and historical mansion, Whitney, offers three-course brunches. Le Petit Zinc serves crepes and quiches. And Seva offers delicious vegan and vegetarian options.
There’s no shortage of drinkeries in Midtown either. Check out popular spots like Bronx Bar, Jumbos, or The Old Miami. Post-drinks, locals don’t have to look far for local entertainment. The nearby Detroit Symphony Orchestra has been playing since the 1880s. The Majestic Theater hosts big-name performances. And the artsy Magic Stick throws shows of local and national indie acts.
Downtown Detroit boasts of the city’s best boutique hotels, award-winning restaurants, community events, and popular destinations. High-rise apartments fill the housing options here, and rent is a bit more expensive. But few seem to mind. Locals and visitors stroll along the 3.5-mile RiverWalk and enjoy beautiful waterside and skyline views. Families break off of the path to explore the nearby parks and green spaces, and couples picnic under pavillions.
Downtown offers a wealth of culture and art, its streets speckled with iconic outdoor pieces and murals. And both MGM Grand and the Fox Theater feature popular live performances. This local creativity bursts out of the local cuisine as well. Bad Luck shows off the most, with its high-priced cocktail concoctions, some of which are garnished with edible gold, and those aren’t even the high-ticketed items on their fancy drink menu.
If you’re looking to follow up your evening drink with a meal, visit a few of the tops spots: Avalon Cafe and Bakery or Grand Trunk Pub for something more casual, or Parc for an award-winning contemporary dish. Or if you find yourself out and about in the late mornings, Downtown is a hot spot for brunch. Visit Hudson Cafe for funky meals like fried catfish with waffles, or stop in at the Dime Store for savory breakfast classics.
Eastern Market offers one of the most potent art scenes in Detroit. Its famous farmers market bustles with vendors who coax locals and visitors out of their beds on early weekend mornings. And the surrounding brick and mortar shops like Market Antiques, Detroit vs. Everybody, and Rocky’s make this shopping experience even more of a drawl.
The historic Eastern Market is packed with dining and drinking options, all the while emitting its unique and artsy personality. There are more than 40 murals scattered throughout the market alone. And numerous art galleries, like Wasserman Projects, and music venues, like Bert’s Market Place, preserve this neighborhood’s unique style and story.
Eastern Market is known for its luxury apartments, and residents often stroll out of their front doors and jot down to Germack Coffee Roasting Co. for an espresso drink. Another local favorite is the eclectic breakfast and lunch hub, Trinosophes. For dinner, visit Gather, and sample their rotating menu of locally-sourced American cuisine. Pop into Detroit City Distillery or Eastern Market Brewing Co. for a post-dinner whistle-wetter.
Prices have blown up in the trendy West Village corner of the city. But new buyers keep piling in, making this neighborhood still a great option for investment. West Village is becoming less and less affordable for a lot of locals, but prices are rising for good reason.
West Village sits between the popular neighborhoods of Island View and Indian Village. Packed with millennials, West Village offers its residents easy access to downtown and the River Town Warehouse District. The neighborhood is walkable, families feel safe and at home here, and investors have their eyes on all the action.
The city’s involvement in including West Village in its large rehab has brought in plenty of new residential and retail space. Nearby, luxury condos are going up. And buyers’ demands, as well as returns on investments, are likely to keep growing in this popular area of town.
There you have it: the best places to live in Detroit!
We hope our guide to the best places to live in Detroit was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Detroit, and we would love to help.
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