Welcome to the largest historic public market district in the United States. You'll eat, you'll shop, take some photos, and go home happy and take a well-deserved nap. Start this tour before 9AM if you want the best selection of stuff, or start later for the best selection of people-watching.
Breakfast option #1. Don't fret if there's a line, it'll go fast. Note (and try not to get stuck between) the very cool phone-booth-double-door entrance. Most seating is community-style, which turns strangers into friends.
This is a good starting point for shopping. Bring cash and your own bags, wagon, or cart. Not only can you look forward to endless amounts of fresh produce and flowers, you can also get yourself a pierogi, a cactus, a bag of spices, a gluten-free baked good, a giant wicker thing, and so much more. Keep heading north to Sheds 3, 4, (5 is under renovation until late 2012), and 6, as well as several outdoor vendors.
Breakfast option #2. So far, there's at least one food truck here on most Saturday mornings. A lovely option for a quickie breakfast.
Drop your goodies off at the car for round 2 of shopping. Two stories of unique finds, and an unfinished section that'll remind you of Grandma's attic. You could easily spend 2 hours in here.
Head south on Market St. and go right along Napoleon St., and you'll come to a walkway that takes you across I-75 to Gratiot Central Market. You could get there via Russell St. but you'll miss out on vendors selling incense, leather goods, and rare items such as Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling on cassette tape.
Lunch option #1. Enter Gratiot Central Market and find a variety of meat counters and delis. If you skipped breakfast or you've done so much shopping you're hungry again, now is probably a good time to experience Hambone's. Do yourself a favor and order a giant sandwich to eat there or take home.
Lunch option #2. Come back across to the other side of I-75, either via the walkway or along Russell St., and follow the billowing BBQ smoke to Bert's just north of Division St. Here you'll find a row of giant BBQ grills and friendly folks ready to serve you. There's usually a long line here too, but it's worth it.
Lunch option #3. You might want to hop in the car for this part because at this point you'll appreciate a shorter walk to the car afterward. Head up Russell St. and turn right on Erskine St.
Lunch option #4. Just down the block from Sala Thai. Old-school Italian, Detroit's oldest Italian restaurant in fact. At the very least, order a cannoli.
If somehow you've not stuffed yourself at any of the aforementioned dining spots, this is a good place to grab a slice of pizza, a sub, or soup from their deli counter. Or treats to take home.