–by Jennifer Ruple
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept 17, 2019
Fall is the perfect time for a road trip! If you love farmers markets as much as I do, a visit to Detroit’s behemoth Eastern Market is in order this season. Located at 2934 Russell St., in the heart of The D, the market has been nourishing the Motor City for over 125 years.
On Saturdays the bustling farmers market is the place to be. More than 200 vendors set up booths in the market’s five Sheds to sell fresh produce, meats, baked goods and locally made products.
Freshly picked flowers are in abundance at this time of year, and with harvest season just around the corner, pumpkins and gourds will be making their entrance to the Sheds soon.
Eastern Market is open year-round on Saturdays from 6 am to 4 pm. On Sundays through September, the market transforms from a traditional farmers market to an artisan market and features the work of local crafters, cooks, jewelers and musicians selling Detroit and Michigan-made products. Sunday hours are 10 am to 4 pm.
Free parking (except for on Lions Tailgating Sundays) exists all around Eastern Market. Although it can be a little tricky to find a spot right away, especially at peak hours on Saturdays, they do open up quickly.
For those who have questions or are new to the market, a welcome center is located on the premises at 1445 Adelaide St. between Sheds 2 and 3. Visitors may pick up a map of the market, recipes and use the restrooms. Welcome center hours are Saturdays 7 am to 4 pm (year-round) and Sundays 10 am to 4 pm (June – Sept.).
New this year at the market is the Detroit Foodie Fair, which will be held Sunday, Sept. 22 in Shed 5. The fair will be filled with an array of delicious food, hand-crafted kitchen wares, unique food-related goods, and more to take home with you. Admission is free.
When it’s time to deck the halls and prepare those holiday meals, visit the Eastern Market during its holiday market season, Tuesday, Nov. 26 and Sundays,
Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22. The Tuesday market focuses on food vendors and the Sunday markets feature Christmas trees, Michigan-made gift options, including clothing, art, jewelry and beauty products.
After visiting the market, spend some time strolling the neighborhood which boasts several restaurants, cafes, meat and seafood markets and a wine shop.
No visit to Eastern Market is complete (in my opinion) without lunch or dinner at nearby Supino Pizzeria, 2457 Russell St. Once a tiny pizza joint with only a couple of community tables, the restaurant has been recently expanded and now features a spacious dining room and bar. There may be a bit of a wait for a table, so head there a little before reaching starving point, put your name and number on the list, then spend a little time exploring the area. The host or hostess will text you when your table is ready.
Supino’s hand-tossed, thin crust pizzas are available in two sizes, 12” and 18”. While Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, favored the City Wing Thing Turkey Pizza, I recommend the El Greco with feta cheese, spinach, onion and kalamata olives.
While in the vicinity, head to Sister Pie, a charming and eclectic bakery located at the corner of Kercheval and Parker streets in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood. With a mission “to celebrate the seasons through pie,” the bakery specializes in nontraditional flavor combinations such as Blueberry Plum Balsamic, Salted Maple, and Sweet Corn Peach Streusel. In addition to pies, the bakery serves cookies, breakfast items and lunch. Hours are Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 2 pm.
As the season shifts to cooler weather, carve out a little time to explore the food scene up north. Don’t forget your jacket and a cooler.