15 Best Things to Do in Greektown, Detroit

Greektown, Detroit
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There are many Chinatowns and Little Italies in the United States, but there aren't many Greektown.

One of them is in Detroit, Michigan, which you should explore.

The historic commercial and entertainment district Greektown is on Monroe Avenue between Brush and St. Antoine Streets.

Ford Field and Comerica Park are both within walking distance of Greektown.

Restaurants in the neighborhood, named after a Greek immigrant community in the early 20th century, still serve Greek cuisine.

Greektown, Detroit's oldest neighborhood, has a rich cultural and architectural heritage.

It's one of the few remaining Victorian-era business streetscapes in the city's downtown area.

In the 1830s, German immigrants laid the groundwork for what is now known as Greektown.

Victorian shops with narrow two- to four-story facades were initially built as local businesses to serve the lively shopping center.

In 1982, the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In March, the Greek community march frequently passes through the neighborhood.

Here are the best things to do in Greektown, Detroit:

Place Your Bets at Hollywood Casino

Exterior of the Hollywood Casino
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With Hollywood Casino at Greektown, you may have a unique and adventurous vacation.

Enjoy Vegas-style gambling in the heart of Detroit's thriving Greektown historic area while staying in the thick of the action.

Play at approximately 3,000 slot machines, table games, and a sportsbook.

The hotel's expansive guest rooms include floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the city.

Along with the standard amenities of an in-room refrigerator and flat-screen cable TV, this room has complimentary WiFi, a Keurig coffee machine, and an ergonomic workstation.

You can also enjoy suites with separate living areas with couch beds and marble baths.

Upgrade your room to get complimentary breakfast and shuttle service to and from the airport.

The Detroit Opera House and Comerica Park are within walking distance of the 30-story casino hotel.

Celebrate Greek Culture at Greektown Heritage Festival

The local Greek community organized the inaugural Greektown Heritage Festival in 1965 to maintain the area's cultural character.

An independent charity, the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, currently hosts the festival every year.

This festival is part of its mission to promote the neighborhood's cultural vitality and economic prosperity.

Live music, Greek dancers, and crafters from across the state descend on Monroe Street for September's annual Greek festival.

Several street vendors sell typical Greek fares like kebabs, cheese pies, and other delicacies.

The festival's highlight is the massive street-side lamb roast, which will require many spits.

Catch the Gigantic Greek Deities at Atheneum Suites Hotel

Exterior of the Atheneum Suites Hotel
Mx. Granger, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Atheneum Suite Hotel provides a unique fusion of cultures.

The sights and sounds of Detroit are just outside the front door as you walk along the magnificent marble lobby.

Today, visitors and locals flock to this downtown neighborhood to dine and shop.

The spacious marble bathrooms in each of its well-appointed suites have deep soaking tubs or whirlpools and traditional decor with a Modern Greek flair.

An enormously beautiful marble inrium has paintings of Greek mythology gods on the walls.

Watch the Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade

Who doesn't love a parade of music, colors, and culture?

Greektown started this tradition in 2002.

Some of the parade's highlights are traditional Greek musicians and dancers, local schools, churches, and business floats.

You'll also see non-profit groups, college groups, Police Honor Guards, mascots, and entertainment from local sports teams.

March 25 is Greece's Independence Day, commemorating the beginning of the 1821 War of Independence.

Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire more than 200 years ago, reestablishing freedom and democracy in the country.

Every year, towns worldwide arrange parades to commemorate this momentous day.

There are over a thousand Hellenes from Michigan, Ohio, and Canada in Detroit's Greek Independence Day Parade, one of the grandest in the United States.

Experience Exquisite Greek Dining at Pegasus Taverna

Pegasus has set the benchmark for Greek dining for more than two decades.

Pegasus, a family-owned Greek restaurant in the Detroit area, has been repeatedly voted the finest Greek restaurant in the area.

As a family-friendly restaurant, Pegasus maintains the coziness necessary for a romantic supper while providing substantial quantities and a friendly wait staff.

Pegasus, the Greektown Casino's restaurant, is a terrific place to start or end a night out in the city.

Don't miss their Saganaki, the table-side setting of kasseri cheese ablaze with "Opa!" cries.

Its succulent lamb chops are the perfect accompaniment to the Greek salad.

Admire the Architecture of Old St Mary's Catholic Church

Exterior of the St Mary's Catholic Church
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St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, or St. Mary's, is the third oldest church in Detroit, Michigan.

It is also known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It was established in the 1800s.

The church features Victorian Gothic architecture, three grottoes, an ornately carved reliquary, and wooden Stations of the Cross.

The Romanesque-Venetian architecture is evident throughout St. Mary's, constructed of red bricks.

Interior of the St Mary's Catholic Church
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A vast rose window and twin towers adorn the building's west façade.

Ten polished granite columns divide the primary and side aisles of Old St. Mary's, an outstanding architectural feature.

The Lourdes Grotto is also stunning, with seashells embedded in the walls and gorgeous candles to light the way.

In 1979, they added St. Mary's to the State of Michigan's Register of Historic Places.

You may take snaps of the church's architectural marvel if you don't feel like attending the service.

Interior of the St Mary's Catholic Church
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Look Back on Black History at the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was the secret financial and material aid network for enslaved people who escaped from South American plantations to freedom.

From the early 1800s to 1865, the Underground Railroad helped enslaved people reach Canada.

Most of the time, enslaved people traveled from town to town on foot, frequently at night.

When they arrived, they were greeted by "stockholders," or "conductors" who were supporters.

There are many stories about bus drivers who took risked losing their jobs to rescue people from the chains of slavery.

These people fed and housed fugitive enslaved people despite the Fugitive Slave Act's prohibition on such activities.

They also made it easier to transfer from one Underground Railroad refuge to another.

In 1836, 13 former enslaved people broke away from Detroit's First Baptist Church to form Michigan's first Black church, the Second Baptist Church of Detroit.

The congregation moved from Fort Street to its current home in Greektown in 1857.

In many cases, Detroit was the penultimate station on the Underground Railroad before escaping to freedom.

Taste Authentic Greek Food at Golden Fleece Restaurant

The Golden Fleece in Greektown is the city's oldest eatery.

They began in 1971.

A Detroit classic for almost 50 years, the Golden Fleece Restaurant is undoubtedly a go-to location for authentic and excellent Greek food.

When you visit, check out their fresh beef or lamb kebabs and their famed gyros and moussakas.

Don't feel like going out to eat?

It offers takeout and a Greek grocery shop where you can purchase food online, pick it up, and enjoy it on the go or in your hotel room.

Indulge in Seafood at Fishbone's

Store sign of Fishbone's
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You'll find several Fishbone's restaurants across the city and suburbs of Detroit, serving Cajun cuisine and hosting live music performances.

It began in 1881 as a warehouse for the D. M. Ferry Company, which operated in this location for more than a century.

Dexter, also known as D.M. Ferry, began selling packed seeds to the public in an eight-story warehouse.

Locals and visitors alike flock to Fishbone's Greektown.

Fine seafood, steak, and sushi are available at this upmarket restaurant.

It also serves Creole and classic American foods such as prime cuts of beef and chicken and a daily changing menu of specialties and fresh fish.

With two large bars and many levels of seating, this Greektown hotspot is sure to please.

Bring Home Souvenirs from Motown Museum Store

When the Motown Museum Store opened in 2021, legendary label photographer Jim Hendin graced the ceremony.

You can see his iconic images on more than 40 Motown record covers.

Visitors worldwide and local Detroiters can discover hand-picked items for everyone who loves Motown.

During the spring, the museum is closed to visitors.

Grab Yummy Pastries at Astoria Pastry Shop

Exterior of the Astoria Pastry Shop
Kelleher Photography / Shutterstock.com

In 1971, the Teftis family opened Astoria Pastry Shop in Detroit's Greektown neighborhood.

The Astoria Pastry Shop has won several accolades, primarily regarded as Detroit's best bakery.

You may pair pastries from Astoria Pastry Shop with their house-roasted gourmet coffees.

Baklava, chocolate walnut, and custard rolls are all included in the menu's section devoted to Greek honey sweets.

Its Greektown and Royal Oak locations sell breakfast pastries such as muffins, croissants, cakes, macarons, and tortes.

Cool Down at Cold Stone Creamery

From ice cream creations to cakes to shakes, Detroit's Cold Stone Creamery has served customers the best and freshest treats for over 30 years.

It uses only the finest ingredients to create your unique ice cream concoction.

Isn't it interesting that your ice cream is prepared fresh in the store?

This super-premium ice cream is made to order in its shop with your choice of candy, cake, fruit, or nut toppings.

See how a frozen granite stone is used to make fantastic ice cream sculptures.

Sip Irish Beer at the Old Shillelagh

Exterior of the Old Shillelagh
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The Old Shillelagh is one of Detroit's oldest Irish pubs, and it's where you'll have the fun of your life in its authentic surroundings.

In 1975, John Brady opened the Old Shillelagh.

When Brady, a former Detroit police officer, opened the establishment, it was an instant hit.

Store sign of Old Shillelagh
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They completed the second story on Parade Sunday, 1976, one year after the first floor was completed.

Bar and tables are available downstairs, and a large dance floor where regulars like boogie.

An actual Irish band may play for the evening if you're lucky.

Have a good time and join in the merriment!

Buy Greek Items and Goodies at Bakaλikon

"Bakalikon," the Greek word for supermarket or store, is a new Greektown establishment.

Bakalikon, a bar and restaurant in Detroit's Greektown neighborhood, wants to celebrate the historical characteristics of Greektown and the expanding vibrancy of the city's bar and restaurant scene.

Aside from a Greek grocery shop, one can only find foreign goods on the shelves.

Buy extra virgin olive oils from Greek farms, imported snacks and sweets from various countries, Greek wines, an almost infinite supply of feta cheeses, and other canned items.

Enjoy freshly prepared sweet and savory pastries with a cappuccino or an original Greek coffee, in addition to the wide variety of high-quality goods.

With a rotating cocktail menu, Bakalikon evolves into a vibrant and pleasant venue to have a drink.

Bring Your Kids to the Underground Railroad Reading Station

UGRR's inaugural Reading Station was in a 100-square-foot janitorial closet that was rebuilt before it launched.

A Christian bookshop and gift shop specializing in historical literature and guided tours has opened in Greektown.

The Second Baptist Church in Greektown owns this bookstore.

Detroit's Black History Reading Station is a cultural experience for visitors who want to learn more about the country's history.

The children's section has novels, coloring books, card games, and more to keep your young readers occupied.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're Greek or not, this cultural, historical, and entertainment center welcomes you with its old-world charm, must-try eateries, and thriving nightlife.

Come back for more in Greektown, Detroit!

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