Theatre Bizarre 2018

It’s been about two months since Theatre Bizarre, and I’m still in awe about what I saw that night. I remember the dapper mime in the DJ booth, with phonographs surrounding him, playing electro-swing to all those dressed in costume below. The memories of burlesque are burned in my mind. The words “Hail Zombo” ring through my head, and we worship who brought us into this other world.

Let me rewind a bit.

First of all, Theatre Bizarre is a yearly Halloween party thrown in Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple. This venue is huge, and this party fills up the space appropriately. I wouldn’t even call it a party, but more of a create-your-own-adventure. With eight floors of interactive art, music, shows, etc., there’s no limit to what you can do in a night. John Dunivant started this masquerade illegally in a studio space in an old warehouse in Detroit, but eventually went the legal route and opened it up to the public. For those who love Halloween, it’s a spiritual experience. For those who don’t, it’s still a fun time.

Your night doesn’t start at the party. It starts with getting ready. A costume is 100% required for entry, and everyone gets really into it. I dressed up as a dead Playboy bunny, full in a leather skirt, corset, fishnets, and a leather pair of bunny ears. I also took the opportunity to play with prosthetic’s, and fitted myself with an awesome gash across my throat and blood spattered everywhere.


Ready for the party!

After your costume is ready, you are finally allowed to enter Zombo’s world. We walked in, and started the night by visiting the Sinema. They were playing old vintage horror pornos (???), and giving out popcorn in exchange for your most embarrassing story. The other partygoers were chatting all around the theatre, hardly paying any attention to the movie.

When we had our fill of shame-ridden popcorn, we made our way to the Burlesque show. The room had a long catwalk-like stage, and we were lucky enough to snag a seat on the side of the catwalk (others had to stand near the back). We were then entertained thoroughly by all the burlesque dancing. I was sad to see it end. But alas, it was time to explore the rest of the party.

The rest of the night was a blur. We stopped and saw clown shows where, for a small fee, you were able to staple money to the clown himself as he put swords down his throat. There were women suspended from giant hooks, metal bands playing in the basement, silent rooms with actors playing the clown king, and secret dance floors everywhere throughout the building. We created our own adventure, and it became one of the best nights I’ve had this year.

I’ve attached the few photos that I took below, but it’s nothing compared to experiencing this party for yourself. The price is steep at $100, but it is absolutely worth every penny. Try it out for yourself, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.






Detroit’s Best Vegan Food – 2018

I’ve been living in Detroit for over a year now, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the vegan food scene. There is an extensive list of restaurants that are fully vegan, or have solid vegan options available. Here are my top 10 favorites in 2018.

1. Detroit Vegan Soul

Address: 8029 Agnes St, Detroit, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $15-$25

This has to be the top restaurant on anyone’s vegan list. With two locations, either in Detroit’s historic West Village or in the Grandmont / Rosedale neighborhood, you have two opportunities to enjoy all the amazing vegan food this place has to offer. You can get some new takes on classics like vegan mac ‘n cheese, ‘catfish’ tofu, smothered tempeh, and seitan pepper steak. I came here for dinner with a friend, and left 25 pound heavier. It’s that good.

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Full spread from Detroit Vegan Soul. It includes catfish tofu, hush puppies, mac ‘n cheese, and potato salad!

2. Takoi

Address: 2520 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $40-$60

Takoi is a Thai-inspired Asian-fusion restaurant in Corktown, Detroit. Its menu changes constantly, creating new experiences every time you go there. Although not specifically vegan, the menu is clearly marked with vegan options and options that could be made vegan. I’ve never had a problem eating here.

Along with amazing food, Takoi also has some amazing cocktails. Make a night of this restaurant. They don’t take reservations, so you may be stuck waiting a while (especially on Friday and Saturday nights). Have no fear, they have a room specifically designed for waiting diners, full with a bar and DJ booth.

It’s not a cheap place to eat, but it’s an experience and well worth the money.

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One of the options at Takoi was this spicy mushroom dumpling soup. It was beautifully plated, and so so so delicious.

3. Korea Palace

Address: 34744 Dequindre Rd, Sterling Heights, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $15-$20

Okay, so this restaurant is hardly vegan. It’s super legit Korean food, and everything on the menu has some sort of fish in it. However, get the tofu bi-bim-bap (and make sure to say “No egg!”), and your world will change. Located in the Sterling Heights/Madison Heights area, it’s right in the center of all the amazing Asian restaurants.

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Some tofu bi bim bap from the most authentic Korean restaurant I have ever been to. Who would’ve thought you could find this in Detroit?

4. Que Huong

Address: 30820 John R Rd, Madison Heights, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $10-$20

Okay, also pretty far off from a vegan restaurant. This little whole in the wall pho restaurant makes some amazingly authentic Vietnamese food. Madison Heights has a ton of Vietnamese immigrants (so it obviously has the best food). Just ask for some vegan pho, and you’ll be presented with a delicious, steaming bowl of noodles for like $8.

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Vegan pho from Que Huong. This has become a weekly meal for me at this point. So cheap, so good.

5. Russell Street Deli

Address: 2465 Russell St, Detroit, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $10-$20

It took me a while to make it to this restaurant. Located by the historic Eastern Market (which you should all absolutely go to!), I never thought that a deli would have anything remotely vegan. Boy was I wrong. They make a delicious TLT (tofu, lettuce, and tomato!). I think there’s other vegan options there, but I was waaaayyy to into my tofu.

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I never thought I would find vegan sandwiches at a historic deli. Luckily, they went out of their way to make this amazing TLT (tofu, lettuce, and tomato).

6. Ima

Address: 2015 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $20-$40

This is an absolute must on anyone’s restaurant list, even if they’re not vegan. The chef made a completely vegetarian friendly menu. The menu features Japanese udon bowls, curries, and other small Asian inspired plates. It’s a small restaurant, so get there early or be prepared to wait. It’s on the pricier side, but worth every penny. Also located in historic Corktown, Detroit (I swear, this is where all the good food is).

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Ima is a vegan heaven. This mushroom udon dish is no joke.

7. Urban Ramen

Address: 4206 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $15-$25

Urban ramen has a small but mighty menu. Located in Midtown, this restaurant has its roots in LA. The second ever location is right here in Detroit, and it is absolutely fantastic. They have three ramen options, and one is vegan! You’ll have some amazing food for only around $15. Be careful, this place is new and tiny tiny tiny. For a group of four, we had to wait around 45 minutes on a Friday night.

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The vegan ramen option at Urban Ramen is so good! And it’s one of their three menu items.

8. Greenspace Cafe

Address: 215 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $15-$30

Greenspace is a vegan paradise. They’ve got all the tofu, tempeh, and seitan you would ever want. Their food is very wholesome (tons of fresh veggies, classic vegan proteins). You know exactly what you’re eating, and the freshness is just… well, refreshing. They also make a mean vegan brunch (for when you reallyyyyy need that french toast). No vegan brunch is complete without some vegan cocktails, which they have plenty of.

If you want a sit down experience, definitely go to the location in Ferndale. The decor is beautiful, and nothing beats sitting outside on a beautiful summer day. If you’re in a rush, stop by Greenspace Cafe To Go in Royal Oak. They have a smaller menu, with offerings perfect for when you’re in a rush.

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A bowl from Greenspace to go. Full of tempeh, noodles, and kale!

9. Ale Mary’s

Address: 316 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $10-$25

Ale Mary’s hasn’t always been vegan-friendly. However, they recently released an entire vegan menu! If you want bar food, definitely go here. They have tons of dishes made with “impossible meats.” My personal favorite is their buffalo cauliflower. They also have a bunch of vegan milkshakes available, with the option of getting them spiked with rum. Could it get any better?

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Some nomz from the Oktoberfest menu at Ale Mary’s. We had the buffalo cauliflower and some beer brats!

10. Detroit Institute of Bagels

Address: 1236 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI
Expected Cost / Person: $5-$15

This place is mostly not-vegan, but they have some hidden gems. DIB (Detroit Institute of Bagels) has the absolute best bagels in town, and it’s located in none other than the famous foodie neighborhood of Corktown. They specialize in bagel sandwiches, and my favorite item is the “Lost Elmo” on an everything bagel. They smother the bagel in hummus, and add avocado, cucumber, pepper, and arugula. SO GOOD.


The Lost Elmo at DIB. Non-vegans, get this too.