Ask anyone outside of Detroit what they first think of when asked about the city and they’ll probably mention Motown music, cars, rectangular pizza or all three. The Motor Capital of the World may not be famous for its glamorous cocktail joints, but it certainly has its fair share of chic watering holes for both locals and visitors to enjoy. In fact, a number of exciting Detroit cocktail bars offering a range of boozy concoctions have been sprouting up all over the city in recent years.
Maybe you’re looking for a cool bar to impress a date or perhaps you just want to find a new spot in the city that doesn’t just serve pizza and beer. Either way, our list of snazzy Detroit cocktail bars is sure to help you find the perfect place to satisfy all your cocktail needs. Enjoy a classic porn star martini or go for something a little less conventional at these trendy cocktail bars.
1. Willis Show Bar, Cass Corridor
Hear some of Detroit’s most exciting up-and-coming talents while sipping on a heavenly cocktail at the historic Willis Show Bar. Staying true to their jazz bar roots, Willis Show Bar hosts weekly live music performances as well as DJ sets and cabaret shows. Relive the golden era of swing with tributes to legends like Frank Sinatra or dance the night away with the help of funky tunes played by the bar’s most beloved DJs every Friday and Saturday.
In terms of drinks, we can’t recommend the Late Shift cocktail enough. As the bar’s slightly stronger alternative to the classic espresso martini, this vodka infused cold brew cocktail laced with earl grey tea syrup packs enough of a punch to keep you boogieing all night long.
📍4156 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
2. Candy Bar, Downtown
As the Siren Hotel’s new and improved cocktail lounge, Candy Bar has certainly turned heads in Detroit. As you step through the entrance’s pink velvet curtain, you’ll notice the dazzling 1500-piece chandelier that you may have already seen while idly scrolling through Instagram. Influenced by the grand decor of old Hollywood celebrity hangouts, the bar’s plush pink couches, curved marble bar top and sparkling disco ball all add to the luxurious feel of the place. Each craft cocktail will set you back around $16 per drink which is pretty reasonable considering the gorgeous interior and overall top-notch vibes that the bar offers.
📍1509 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226
3. Bad Luck Bar, Capitol Park
Watchful eyes and illuminati signs surround this eccentric cocktail haven known as Bad Luck Bar. Hidden away down a dark alley, this clandestine bar offers a range of extravagant cocktails that combine interesting ingredients and aromas with beloved liquors. Black lava salt, spicy chili tamarind candy and even spiced cashews are just some of the less-than-conventional toppings called in to complete these fanciful cocktails. Some of the drinks are certainly on the pricey side, but most cocktails are set at $25 each which is definitely worth it considering the unusual ingredients and overall experience on offer.
📍1218 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226
4. The Sugar House, Corktown
Bartenders dressed in tiki shirts and armed with an arsenal of spirits and mixers are ready to whip up your favorite cocktails at The Sugar House. Many Detroit cocktail bars offer classic concoctions beloved by all, and this place is no different. Caipirinhas, Moscow Mules and bloody marys are just some of the tasty cocktail options that keep regulars coming back to this hip Corktown spot. Choose from a never-ending list of delicious drinks or indulge in a cocktail or two at home by ordering from their to-go cocktail menu. That’s right! The Sugar House gives you the option to sit back, put your feet up and watch one of Netflix’s latest offerings while sipping on one of their delectable cocktails from the comfort of your own home.
📍2130 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
5. Ghost Bar, Midtown
Ghost Bar is located on the third floor of The Whitney, a historic 19th century mansion that promises an upscale drinking and dining experience to its thousands of yearly visitors. Tales of ghosts roaming the building’s halls at night have attracted travelers from all over the world to The Whitney and even inspired the bar’s spooky cocktail menu. If you’re planning a visit, you must try The Witching Hour cocktail. This refreshing mixture of white blossom vodka, limoncello, raspberry liquor and fresh lemon is a boozy concoction that’s sure to have you seeing ghosts in no time.
📍4421 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
6. Castalia, Midtown
When it comes to Detroit cocktail bars offering an innovative twist, we can’t recommend Castalia enough. The bar blends the deliciousness of their cocktails with the delightful scents of their sister company Sfumato to create a multi-sensory experience like no other. For $75 per person, you can create your own boozy beverage with the help of a cocktail-making maestro. Combine liquors such as bourbon and elderflower vodka with your favorite mixers before pairing them with the splendid Sfumato aromas. These cocktail classes are a fabulous treat for the senses and make for the perfect afternoon plan in Motor City.
📍3980 2nd Ave Suite E, Detroit, MI 48201
7. Standby, Downtown
Try out innovative cocktails creations or pay homage to the classics at Standby. On entering the bar, tell the bartender which liquors you love the most and then decide which of the cocktails that they recommend sounds most tempting. Rum lovers with a sweet tooth will probably love the Black Beretta cocktail – a tropical mix of pineapple rum, coconut cream, black sesame and clementine sherbet topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon and lime zest. Whether you’re planning to go with friends, take a date or brave it solo, Standby is a great choice if you just want to enjoy a refreshing cocktail at the end of a busy day. Besides, it’s not drinking alone if the bartender is there.
📍 225 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
8. Babs Underground, Ann Arbor
Located east of central Detroit, Babs Underground is a little out of the city, but we just had to shoutout this hidden gem in Ann Arbor. With free pool on a Tuesday and $12 pitchers of your favorite cocktails on a Wednesday, Babs Undergound is the place to go for your much-needed midweek tipple.
From a cheeky margarita to a bitter old fashioned, you can enjoy a range of classic beverages on the more traditional end of the cocktail spectrum at Babs. If you’re up for something a little more adventurous, the bar offers a selection of less conventional cocktails as well as their signature concoction of Jameson, Irish cream and matcha green tea syrup known more commonly as a Matcha Madness. No matter what type of cocktail you’re looking for, Babs Underground is sure to have it.
📍213 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104