Exploring Downtown Utica in Macomb County

Families can enjoy dining, shopping and experiencing historic downtown Utica.

Families can enjoy all that downtown Utica has to offer – the art, the entertainment, the shopping, the restaurants and more.

“Downtown Utica has a rich history,” says Mayor Gus Calandrino. It was established in 1817 and is one of the few cities in the area that have a legitimate historical downtown area.”

He explains that there are some really great places there now, but be on the lookout in late winter/early spring for a couple new additions that are sure to elevate the area.

“Mr. Miguel’s is going to feature some of the best margaritas in the area as well as a beautiful new outdoor patio for summer dining,” he says. “Also, around the same time, LegaSea, an extension of The Reptarium, promises to be super exciting with an over 30,000 square foot aquarium that will be a hands-on experience from the minute you walk in the door until the minute you leave.”

Ready to dig into downtown Utica right now? Here are some notable places to start:

Dine

Boba Chai

Choose between milk or fruit teas and then add on toppings like coconut jelly, mango jelly, lychee jelly, strawberry popping, mango popping and tapioca pearls (boba). They also have Sprite Fizzy Drinks and seasonal drinks to try.

Northern Grind Coffee

This coffee shop has a Northern Michigan vibe to it. In fact, they have a Yooper drink on the menu that is a latte drink with espresso coffee, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar and milk. Other drinks include teas, coffee, cold brew, smoothies and frappes. Right now, they have holiday beverages in flavors Candy Cane Latte, Chai Noel, Gingerbread Cappuccino, Mistletoe Mocha Latte and Sugar Cookie Latte.

Shamrock Pub

This bar has a small menu, but is known for its burgers and beer. Other menu items include fish and chips, pastrami and swiss sandwich, chicken strips, Shamrock chili and Utica chili — a special version served with cheese, onions and sour cream.

Tivoli’s Wood Brick-Oven Pizzeria

Try Tivoli’s signature 12-inch thin crust pizza, baked to perfection in a wood burning oven. If you’re looking to try something unique on your pie, this pizzeria offers shrimp, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. If you want to stick with the basics, try ham, pepperoni and mushrooms. Make sure to save room for dessert and order cannoli or Nutella Pizza topped with chocolate hazelnut spread, powdered sugar and strawberries/bananas.

Shop

downtown-utica
Photo credit: Macomb County Planning & Economic Development.

Funky Town Toys – Comics & Collectibles

This comic book store buys, sells and trades collectibles, comics, action figures and more. Pro tip: Be sure to stay up to date with their events and visit their Facebook before heading in to see what coupons or deals they’re running.

Garage Band Music

This music store sells different musical instruments and skateboards and accessories. They even have different music classes you can try, including drums, violin, guitar, cello, voice and more.

Jawbreakers Card Shop Utica

This trading card store sells Pokémon cards, sports cards and other collectibles.

Sarge & Red’s Toys and Collectibles

This toy shop sells vintage, retro and new toys.

Experience

Photo credit: USPBL

Jimmy Johns Field

Jimmy John’s Field is home to the United Shore Professional Baseball League. The four teams – Utica Unicorns, Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, Eastside Diamond Hoppers and Westside Woolly – play at this ballpark. All season long, they offer different themed nights and Sundays are for the kids. They even offer lawn seats that start at only $6.

The Reptarium – Michigan’s Favorite Reptile Zoo

Families can get hands-on with snakes, alligators, lizards, tortoises and more at this interactive exhibit. They also will be opening a LegaSea aquarium in December 2023. You can even book a private tour of the reptile zoo.

Utica Public Library

It’s one of the oldest libraries in Macomb County. They offer plenty of free events for all ages.

For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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