Vegan Nom Noms Does America: Kalamazoo and Detroit, Michigan

After eating everything in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I took it a bit easier in Detroit. A friend of a friend was nice enough to let me take of residence in his apartment for a couple nights, so I even had the opportunity to cook for myself, a luxury during travel. I made simple pita pizzas with Daiya in case you were wondering.

I showed up in Detroit right as an event called Slow Roll began, so at first we sat on his porch and watched a billion bikers go by for about an hour. According to their website, “Slow Roll is Michigan’s biggest weekly bicycle ride, aimed at building community and showing off the great City of Detroit.” Here’s a little video from my Instagram:

It was rad and was the first of many times I wished I somehow threw a bike in the back of my car for this trip. Next time I totally will! Cyclists literally passed by for an hour while we were on the porch drinking beers…so many people participating!

My first night in Detroit my host, Sam, took me to his local, the Woodbridge Pub. Lo and behold, they happened to have clearly labeled vegan options and yummy beer! I got this black bean burger, which sounds boring, but it was probably one of the best black bean burgers I’ve had in my life. There weren’t a ton of vegan options, but definitely a few on there. I believe a pasta dish, a burger and an appetizer were all vegan.

IMG_3532My yummy black bean burger from The Woodbridge Pub

Heidelberg Project Detroit | Vegan Nom NomsI had heard that the Heidelberg Project (above) was one of the quirky, abandoned artsy thing I needed to see in Detroit, so the next day I headed out there to check it out. According to Wikipedia,

“The Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art project in Detroit, Michigan. It was created in 1986 by artist Tyree Guyton and his grandfather Sam Mackey (“Grandpa Sam”) as an outdoor art environment in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood on the city’s east side, just north of the city’s historically African-American Black Bottom area. The Heidelberg Project is in part a political protest, as Tyree Guyton’s childhood neighborhood began to deteriorate after the 1967 riots. Guyton described coming back to Heidelberg Street after serving in the Army; he was astonished to see that the surrounding neighborhood looked as if “a bomb went off”.”

I absolutely recommend checking out this exhibit if you’re in Detroit. You can walk right through and around it as it’s basically a whole street in a neighborhood. It’s also quite informative and gives you some insight into the situation and some history of what’s happened in Detroit.

IMG_3511 After exploring the Heidelberg Project I decided to have lunch at Detroit Vegan Soul. I got the Soul Platter, which consisted of Mac-n-cheese, tenderly smoked collards, maple glazed yams, black-eyed-peas and cornbread muffins The collards were to die for and I am determined to sneak collard seeds back into Germany now so I can grow my own collards to recreate it. This was super yummy and the whole menu, which you can find on their website, also looked fantastic.IMG_3467 I may have already mentioned that I’m working while I’m traveling throughout most of this trip, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in cafes typing away. This place, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company in Midtown, was a recommendation from my host as well and it was a great place to work. Big communal table in the center, lots of outlets, good coffee and a vegan brownie option. Also food and they sell tons of craft beer. I believe it turns into a bar at night. I went here twice.

That’s it for food in Detroit, but I also hit up a yoga class while I was there as part of my stay active during long-term travel plan. If you’re looking for a yoga place in Detroit, I recommend where I went, Be Nice Yoga also in Midtown. Right across from Great Lakes Coffee, actually!

Now off to Kalamazoo, Michigan! This was actually just a lunch stop on the way to Chicago, but it’s a cute medium-sized city with lots of cool things. Most notably, which I was unfortunately there too early for, was the Beer Exchange. It’s a big bar that has a beer stock exchange starting at 6pm. The more a beer is ordered, the more the price goes up, so you can jump on the bandwagon or take a risk and perhaps find an awesome beer for cheap!

Vegan  Woodbridge Pub Food Detroit | Vegan Nom NomsFor lunch in Kalamazoo I stopped at the Crow’s Nest, which If found on foursquare. They were super helpful, knew which things were vegan and had lots of labeled vegan options on the menu, including vegan breakfast. I was on a burger kick from Detroit so got the black bean burger, yum!

That’s it for Michigan, next stop…Chicago!


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  1. […] for mac and cheese recipe here)! Collards were good, but the best I’ve had were still at Detroit Vegan Soul in Detroit. Cornbread was tasty and the chicken fried steak and gravy were deliciouuusss!The Divine […]

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