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Roma Café started out as a one-woman operation way back in 1888. The Marazza family ran a boarding house for Eastern Market farmers, and Mrs. Marazza would always serve a hot meal to anyone who stayed. Word of her cooking skills spread quickly throughout the Eastern Market area, and her various fans convinced her to open an official restaurant. In February of 1890, Roma Café was born.

Its continuing commitment to classic recipes is apparent from one glance at the menu, where housemade pastas share space with veal scaloppine and broiled lobster tails. Adventurous eaters will be drawn to dishes such as the sauteed sweetbreads and frog legs, and wine enthusiasts can browse an extensive list of reds, whites, and specials.

Although the baked lasagna and chicken parmigiana are certainly Old World staples, Roma Café hasn't become mired in tradition. Its third-generation owner, Janet Sossi Belcoure, takes regular trips to Italy that keep her up-to-date on culinary trends and the latest gossip on who's dating Michelangelo's David. The restaurant also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet on Monday nights, complete with appetizers, pasta dishes, and cannoli. If you stop by on the night of a Red Wings game, there's even a shuttle that will take you to the arena.

3401 Riopelle St
Detroit,
MI
US

Established: 2007
Reservations/Appointments: Required
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Pro Tip: For the tours, dress comfortably and for the weather
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Detroit Eastern Market Tours
Recommended Age Group: All Ages

Q&A with Linda Yellin, Founder

Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
Going back to when I started showing people the gems of Detroit as a hobby in 2001, we strive to take people behind the scenes to see and experience things that they may not discover on their own. We have long-standing close relationships that allow us access to places and people that will surprise and delight our tour guests. Our goal is for everyone to say "Wow! That's cool, I didn't know that was here!"

I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
Prepare yourself to experience, explore, and enjoy Detroit, as we help you to become more familiar with all the fascinating things the City has to offer.

What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
We warmly welcome our guests, treating them like family and friends. Our signature style is fun and engaging, and not too serious. We have a great time while we are learning and exploring. Even people who are long-time Detroit visitors, residents, and supporters learn new things on our tours, and have a fabulous time doing it. We have lots of repeat guests, and we conduct private tours for all kinds of groups and occasions.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Beyond Eastern Market tours, we offer all sorts of outings all around the City of Detroit, private and public, by foot, car and bus, emphasizing the food, fun, architecture, music, history, culture, art, and unique neighborhoods of our City. Customized tours are our specialty: for family groups, friends, co-workers, social clubs, seniors, school children, community recreation departments, social workers, and non-profit organizations.

2461 Russell Street
Detroit,
MI
US

As guests sit down to eat at Taste of Ethiopia, the first thing placed on the table is a bowl of steamy washcloths. True to the traditional style of Ethiopian cuisine, dishes are served family-style and without silverware; instead, patrons eat with their hands, using gluten-free flatbread called injera.

Jane Slaughter of the Metro Times praised the flavors of the menu, crafted by Chef Meskerem Gebreyohannes, as “so deep and so true … you’ve never really experienced a lentil or a collard so intimately.” Doro we’t, a spicy, slow-cooked chicken stew, celebrates generous amounts of onion as well as the traditional hard-boiled eggs it’s served with. Berbere, a distinctive Ethiopian blend of 12 spices, perfumes dishes of split red lentils and marinated cubes of lamb with rue seed, basil, cardamom, and other aromas.

In her article, Slaughter also relished the restaurant’s distinctive and convivial experience. To encourage the family-style experience, patrons rest around a traditional wicker table with their muskets in plain view, and chef Gebreyohannes makes frequent appearances in the dining room to chat.

2453 Russell St
Detroit,
MI
US

Sifu Owen Matson trains students on the ving tsun kung fu techniques taught to him by a line of Moy Tung sifu and grandmasters. Matson's classes cultivate students' balance of body and mind through the practice of three open-hand forms and two person drills.

A well-weathered teacher, Matson began his training in 1999 under the expert tutelage of Robert "Moy Yat Tung" Squatrito, who helped him master the swift movements and powerful strikes of the kung fu discipline. After becoming a member of the Moy Tung's MY4 and ICC inner training circles, Sifu Owen traveled to Detroit to open his ving tsun studio.

1353 East Fisher Freeway
Detroit,
MI
US

From not chewing with your mouth open to abstaining from sniffing strangers, human beings are constantly encouraged to quell most of their animal instincts. During Animal Behavior classes at RetroFit LLC, however, instructor Shana Byas encourages ladies of all fitness levels to tap into their inner beasts. Students strengthen and sculpt with exercises inspired by the animal kingdom, crawling, crouching, pushing, and pulling their way to increased fitness and confidence.

When she isn't indulging her animalistic side, Shana leads classes through calorie-burning dance routines scored to old-school tunes from '70s disco to '90s new jack swing. Along with retro music, she incorporates retro toys into her exercises during hula-hoop aerobics, which burns more calories than a tug of war with Stretch Armstrong.

1353 E Fisher Freeway
Detroit,
MI
US

Vixen Fitness’s certified instructor Danielle Green was fed up with the lack of exercise programs designed to empower women. After a year of throwing private dance parties in her clients’ homes, Danielle realized that many women pursue fitness to feel desirable, which involves not only simple aesthetics, but also self-confidence. Her insights panned out. Today, her all-female fitness operation includes two studios where she and her team of sultry instructors help women unleash their inner Aphrodites. In a comfortable setting, women swivel into leaner bodies during pole-dancing and sensual-dance classes. When they’re not teaching lap dance and aerobic strip-tease classes, teachers help students carve out fitter frames with Zumba and yogalates—a hybrid of yoga and Pilates—and host the original bachelorette and girl’s night out parties that inspired the studio's beginning.

1347 E Fisher Fwy
Detroit,
MI
US