In Good Taste: Top 5 Bars in Detroit

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In this Month's "In Good Taste" feature, our own Food and Travel expert, Alicia Price shows us her Top 5 Bars in Detroit. Check it out below!

Story and Photos By Alicia Price


The transformation of Downtown Detroit has been quite a sight to see. The once unkempt structures have been renovated to welcome storefronts, hotels and swanky restaurants. While the changes bring about controversy with questions of gentrification and lack of inner city resources, the development has made Downtown Detroit a contender for major national events as well as a hotspot for social gatherings.

The social scene has transitioned into one that’s perfect for a night out. Whether it’s date night or a meetup with friends for drinks, Downtown Detroit has a spot for you.

Here are a few of my favs.

Bad Luck Bar
Tucked in the midst of a lusterless alleyway sits a door adorned with only a serpent. Through the door and behind a velvet curtain is a dimly lit room that exudes intimacy. With seating close enough for an inviting knee graze during a deep conversational exchange, this is an ideal spot for date night. Warm amber toned lighting illuminates the room revealing the liquor collection ascending the wall behind the bar. The mixology is unmatched as each cocktail comes with a presentation; one with pop rocks…another set ablaze. Bad Luck Bar has mastered ambience.

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The Monarch Club
Thirteen floors above the city sits this rooftop cocktail lounge with breathtaking panoramic views of the Detroit skyline. This sophisticated atmosphere is ideal for a happy hour gathering or catching the sunset on a warm summer evening. Crimson curved couches, leather armchairs and a white marble-topped bar makes the interior just as appealing as the terraces. Whatever your palate desires; whether it’s the mature taste of an old fashion or a refreshing Aperol Spritz, the specialty drink menu offers something to satisfy. It’s no wonder why The Monarch Club has already been named among the best rooftops with less than a year of opening.

Candy Bar
The chandelier is made of circular glass molded candy wrappers. The walls are lined with plush, pink sofas reminiscent of cotton candy. Straws are identical to the spiral pattern of candy canes. There isn’t a better fitting name for this Old Hollywood-esque lounge. Located inside the Siren Hotel, this 30 seater has incorporated the sweet themed sentiment into the cocktail menu; the Bubble Rum is a must try. If you are looking for luxury with a bit of romance, add the Candy Bar to your list.

The Keep
The Keep is another bar with a somewhat hidden entrance leading into a speakeasy themed underground. The dimly lit secret nooks make this place a “go-to” if discretion is desired. The vintage decor gives a different feel in comparison to the newer lounges in the area however the laidback, relaxed vibes are a gift. The innovative menu is crafted with unexpected combinations guaranteed to leave an euphoric afterthought. The Keep is highly recommended.

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Castalia
“Flavor and fragrance are inextricably linked…yet rarely are both approached simultaneously”.
This cozy evening bar has brilliantly created a cocktail menu that entices sight, smell and taste. Okay, okay. This one isn’t quite in the Downtown area however it is a must add to this list. The “fragrant cocktails” pairs the scents of florals, herbs and spices with custom drinks that takes the sensation of flavors to another level. Think of it as a harmonious adventure for the senses.

Castalia is the sensory experience you didn’t know existed…until now.