Detroiters have long known about the old-world charms of Hamtramck. Joseph Campau’s glass storefronts have a vintage 1930s feel, full of Polish imports, discount clothing, and baked goods and meats. Many Polish suburbanites return with their families on weekends to sip czarnina (duck’s blood soup), linger over nalesniki (crepes), and consume pierogi (filled dumplings) before heading home with loaves of fresh pumpernickel or rye and a few Polish pastries such as paczki (plump jelly doughnuts) to enjoy later.
Highlights of Polish Hamtramck include the New Palace Bakery (9833 Joseph Campau St., 313/875-1334, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.), the most popular of the many bakeries; Polonia-Jaworowka (2934 Yemens, 313/873-8432, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $8–13), housed in a former 1930s food co-op; and Under the Eagle (9000 Joseph Campau St., 313/875-5905, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Tues., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thurs.–Sun., $4–12), which locals consider one of the best places to indulge in the chewy rye bread, heaping helpings of roast pork loin, tangy sauerkraut, and out-of-the-ordinary dill pickle soup that are the cuisine’s strongholds.
Afterward, walk it all off with a tour of St. Florian’s (2626 Poland, 313/871-2778), one of the last of the old Polish churches. Completed in 1926, it holds more than 1,800 faithful and is the site of a popular Strawberry Fest in the spring.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel