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Royal Oak

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Royal Oak is a suburb of Detroit in Oakland County, Michigan known for its trendy downtown shopping area and bars. 1 mile South of Royal Oak is Ferndale, a place very similar to Royal Oak, known for its large lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender population. North of Royal Oak is Birmingham, an opulent area known for its upscale boutiques.

Get in[edit]

I-75/the Chrysler Freeway is located directly east of Royal Oak, and runs north-south. I-696/the Reuther Freeway is located directly south or Royal Oak, and runs east-west. Bordering the left-hand side of Royal Oak is Woodward Avenue, which runs northwest-southeast, and will take you southbound directly into Detroit.

By train[edit]

  • 1 Amtrak201 S Sherman Dr. Train service to and from Chicago on the Wolverine Service (5-6 hours, $25-$50), with many connections in Chicago. Deeply discounted tickets at short notice are often available at Amtrak's Weekly Specials page.

Get around[edit]

Royal Oak is a very walkable city, the downtown area is a mile long, Main Street and Washington Street are the definite downtown areas to walk around.


  • Bike Nights. During Wednesdays you can see cruiser motorcycles and on Thursdays you can see sports bikes
  • 1 Detroit Zoo8450 W 10 Mile Rd +1 248-398-0900. Recognized as one of the top zoos in the nation, ride the train, walk through arctic ring of wildlife. This is a must see.


Disc Golf[edit]

Royal Oak has 2 Disc Golf courses, it is an inexpensive game to get into; there are liquor stores located directly across from the parks that sell individual discs ranging from $9-$18. Also, the store "In Flight" in the Oak Park/Ferndale area also sells discs and other disc golf accessories. The Throw Shop in Ypsilanti, an hour West on I-94, is the largest disc golf store in the region, well worth the trip as it also features a 28-hole disc golf course.

  • [dead link]Starr Jaycee Park1101 W 13 Mile Rd (Between Crooks & Main St.). 6AM - 9PM. 18 hole course, it is really just a 9 hole course with tees doubled up. Free.
  • [dead link]Wagner Park100 Detroit Ave (Detroit between Rochester & Main, North of 12 Mile). 6AM - 9PM. 9 hole course. Free.


  • Antiques at the Royal Oak Farmers Market316 E 11 Mile Rd +1 248-246-3276, e-mail: . Su 8AM-3PM. Come here on Sundays to shop for Antiques and Collectibles, baked goods and coffee are also sold here. There is also a tiny cafeteria in the corner that sells inexpensive breakfast and lunch.
  • BDT Pipe & Tobacco21640 John R Rd, Hazel Park (From Ferndale: Head east on 9 Mile Rd, turn right at S Chrysler Dr/I-75 Service Drive, then turn right on to John R Rd),  +1 248-542-6110. M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM. The preeminent head shop of the Detroit metropolitan area. Knowledgeable and friendly staff.
  • Cloverleaf Fine Wine711 S Main St (Located directly across from Oakland Community College near Lincoln & Main St),  +1 248-357-0400, e-mail: . M-Th 10AM-8PM, F-Sa 10AM-9-PM, Su noon-5PM. Obscure fine wines and craft beer, competitive prices. All craft brews are sold as singles with no extra markup on them.
  • 1 Holiday Market1203 S Main St +1 248-541-1414fax: +1 248-541-5829. M-Sa 8AM-9PM Su 8AM-8PM. Upscale grocer, large craft beer and wine selection.
  • In Flight8106 W 9 Mile Rd, Oak Park +1 248-586-9198. Disc golf gear, locally blown glass pipes and other head shop paraphernalia.
  • 2 Lost and Found Vintage510 S Washington Ave +1 248-548-6154. M-Th 11AM-7PM, F-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su noon-6PM. Vintage clothing store. $25-50.
  • 3 Noir Leather124 W 4th St +1 248-541-3979, e-mail: . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-7PM. Fetish fashion boutique, this is a must see.
  • 4 Nutri Foods120 S Main St +1 248-541-6820. M-F 9:30AM-8PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Health food store.
  • 5 Pitaya211 S Main St +1 248-545-6666. M-W 11AM-9PM, Th-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-8PM. Chain clothing boutique.
  • Salvation Army114 E 4th St +1 248-542-6661. Thrift store, not as large of a selection as other ones in the area. $.
  • The Rust Belt Market22801 Woodward Ave, Ferndale +1 810-441-0956. F 2PM-7PM, Sa 11AM-7PM, Su 11AM-6PM. An indoor market that provides space for local artisans and merchants a place for vending. Handmade goods, food, art, photography, jewelry, and many other vendors are found here.


While a lot of fast food restaurants and chains such as Noodles & Company and Jimmy John's can be found in Royal Oak, as a visitor you shouldn't bother wasting your time eating in those establishments.

  • 1 2nd Street Sub Shop108 W 2nd St +1 248-543-7474. M-F 11AM-7PM, Sa-Su 11AM-6PM. Large delicious submarine sandwiches. Don't waste your time eating Subway or Jimmy John's fare; this is the real deal.
  • 2 Beirut Palace205 S Main St +1 248-399-4600. M-F 10:30AM-midnight, Sa-Su 10:30AM-2AM. Family-owned Mediterranean restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating available. Those inclined can order a hookah and partake in smoking shisha with friends.
  • 3 Comet Burgers207 S Main St +1 248-414-4567. M-W 11AM-midnight, Th-Sa 11AM-3AM, Su noon-midnight. '50s style restaurant, Sliders & Milkshakes, malt shakes, ice-cream. Known more for its pink-vinyl decor than its food. A good place to get a late night bite to eat if you can handle the crowds. $5-10.
  • 4 Inn Season Cafe500 E 4th St +1 248-547-7916. Tu-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F 11:30AM-9:30PM, Sa noon-9:30PM, Su 11AM-3PM. Vegetarian restaurant open since 1981, features assorted veggie & vegan friendly cuisine such as Mexican dishes and stir fries. $7-10 per entree.
  • 5 Loui's Pizza23141 Dequindre Rd, Hazel Park (Head east on E 9 Mile Rd, Turn left at Dequindre Rd.),  +1 248-547-1711. W-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Sun Noon-9PM. Tasty deep-dish pizza, A local favorite. Also has a bar. Entrees: $6.50-$18.75.
  • 6 Peking House215 S Washington Ave +1 248-545-2700. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-midnight, Su noon-10PM. Mediocre Chinese cuisine
  • 7 Leo's Coney Island110 S Main St +1 248-336-8093. 24 hours daily. A diner chain that covers most of south eastern Michigan and inspires nostalgia in all those who leave the area. Leo's is know for its Greek salads, gyros, omelets, and coney dogs (a Detroit specialty) . $9-11.
  • 8 [dead link]Toast23144 Woodward Ave, Ferndale +1 248-398-0444fax: +1 248-398-0884. Mo-F 7AM-3PM, Sa-Su 8AM-3PM. Popular spot serves breakfast and lunch. $9-11.
  • 9 The Fly Trap22950 Woodward Ave, Ferndale +1 248-399-5150. M closed, Tu-F 8AM-9PM, Sa-Su 8AM-5PM. Described as a "Finer Diner" Lots of vegetarian options. Was featured on the Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives".
  • 10 Zumba Mexican Grille121 N Main St +1 248-542-1400. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-9PM. Mexican fast casual restaurant, fresh ingredients make the food here & features a salsa bar. $.
  • 11 Tom's Oyster Bar318 S Main St +1 248-541-1186. Very good seafood



There is a Starbucks and Bean & Leaf Cafe located in Royal Oak, both of which are on Main Street.

  • Cafe du Marquis204 5th Ave +1 248-398-4169. 11AM-midnight daily. Free Wi-Fi internet connection, one of few smoker friendly places in Royal Oak.
  • [dead link]Hookah Joe's734 S Washington Ave (Right across from Oakland Community College). M-Th 8AM-2AM, F-Sa 8AM-4AM, Su noon-midnight. Hookah Bar that attracts a young crowd. Free Wi-Fi. $1 drinks, $8 Hookahs.
  • Java Hutt165 W 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale +1 248-542-2438.


Royal Oak has a ton of bars such as Mr. B's Pub, Woody's, Duggans, O'Tooles, Rock on 3rd, Goodnite Gracie, Sky Club, Ye Olde Saloon, Norm's Field of Dreams and Luna Lounge.

  • The Berkley Front3087 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley (Take 12 Mile Rd west across Woodward, the bar is located after Coolidge on your left side),  +1 248-547-3331. M-Tu 4PM-12:30AM, W-Th 4PM-2AM, F-Sa noon-2AM. Around 40-50 beers on tap and around 80 bottled beers available. German food, Sandwiches, Burgers, Tex-Mex and a few vegetarian options. Has Pool tables and a jukebox. Live music upstairs Th-Sa. Half off appetizers and certain pints are $2.50 on Mondays. Entrees: $5-$9, Beer $4-$6.
  • BlackFinn Restaurant & Saloon530 S Main St +1 248-582-9460fax: +1 248-582-9461. Trendy Fake Irish Pub chain, Happy Hour 4PM-7PM $2 Domestic Drafts, $3 Import Drafts, $3 House Wine, $4 Calls, $5 Martinis. Good place for a cheap pint of Guinness during happy hour, Drink specials on Wednesday night also. Tends to get really busy.
  • The Emory22700 Woodward Ave, Ferndale (One block south of Woodward and 9 Mile Rd on the east side of Woodward),  +1 248-546-8202, e-mail: . M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa-Su 9AM-2AM.
  • Gusoline Alley309 S Center St +1 248-545-2235. M-Sa 10AM-2AM, Su noon-2AM. Local dive-bar, smoker-friendly. Notable beer selection. Bikers and hipsters tend to hang out here.
  • The Loving Touch22634 Woodward Ave +1 248-546-3644. 5PM-2AM daily. Pool hall in downtown Ferndale near the Woodward Avenue Brewers and the Emory. Named after a seedy massage parlor that used to be in Ferndale. 1.25 for 1 game, 5 dollars for 5 games.
  • [dead link]Post Bar22828 Woodward Ave +1 248-546-7678. Good drink specials, frequented by hipsters. Features foosball, Golden Tee, plasma TVs and a pool table for entertainment.
  • The Rock on 3rd112 E Third St +1 248-542-7625.
  • Snookers' Pool & Pub30295 Woodward Ave +1 248-435-0030. Pool, Golden Tee Golf. Nice bar
  • Vinotecca417 S Main St +1 248-544-6256, e-mail: . Upscale wine bar with large selection. 4PM to 6PM everyday half-off all glasses of wine. 80's Thursdays 9PM-2AM, half off glass wines, $5 martinis, $3 pints of Bastone beer.


Luckily for beer enthusiasts there are a fair number of brewpubs in this area. Brew pubs are restaurants that brew their own beer. For around 10 dollars you can also buy a "growler" from these establishments which holds a half gallon of beer and is a means to buy take-out beer. Besides being a great deal, growlers make a great souvenir. Also, just a short bus ride away is the Woodward Avenue Brewery in Ferndale, take the Smart 450/460 Direction: Inbound (Runs down South Washington) in Royal Oak to get there.

  • Bastone419 S Main St +1 248-544-6250fax: +1 248-544-6254. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-10PM. Award-Winning Beers & Belgian Fries, kids eat free on Sundays.
  • Lily's Seafood Grill & Brewery410 S Washington Ave (Near 11 Mile Rd),  +1 248-591-5459. Happy Hour is on Weekdays 2PM-6PM and Saturday 11AM-6PM with 2 dollar pints of their own beer. Also Monday nights is an You Can Eat Fish Fry $9.99 with $2 pints from 8PM-midnight.
  • Royal Oak Brewery215 E Fourth St +1 248-544-1141. M-Th 11:30AM-midnight, F 11AM-2AM, Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Food and microbrews, $5.00 Growler refills on Tuesdays, Happy Hour: 2.75 pints. 3 dollar pints on Wednesdays from 9PM-Close.
  • Woodward Avenue Brewers22646 Woodward Ave, Ferndale +1 248-546-3696. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa-Su noon-2AM. Brew pub that features A deck and sidewalk seating. $2 pints after 9PM on Sundays. Half-off food on Mondays 4PM-midnight. $.


Stay safe[edit]

Royal Oak is generally considered a safe city with a low crime rate. Crime is highly uncommon during the daytime but spikes considerably during the night time.

While most crime in Royal Oak affects residents, there have been many cases where travelers were victimized, especially in the case of burglaries of vehicles with out-of-state plates.


While Royal Oak's downtown area is a very safe place, avoid walking into alleyways during the night time. Many strongarm robberies and rape attempts take place in the city's downtown alleyways. The sidewalks and streets of Downtown Royal Oak are otherwise safe to walk during the daytime and night.

Avoid walking in any neighborhoods near or around an industrial park, railroad or apartment complex at night. Drug dealers are often present in these types of neighborhood after dark. If you choose to walk through such neighborhoods after dark remember to wear neutral-colored clothing and avoid large groups of people.

In addition, try not to walk on the Eleven Mile corridor during the night-time outside of the Downtown area as it is where many robberies in the city take place.

Car theft[edit]

Always park in a well-lit area during the night time. Lock your doors and roll up your windows. Even during the day time, car burglaries are common, especially when an open window is involved.

Take further precaution regarding your vehicle if you are the owner of a Chrysler vehicle. Chrysler and Dodge automobiles are often targeted for navigation systems and owners of such vehicles may fall victim much easier.


Royal Oak has a significant homeless population in the city, mostly centered around the downtown area and industrial neighborhoods. If you are approached by a panhandler simply state in a firm tone of voice that you do not wish to pay them and walk away.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Royal Oak
Battle CreekDetroit  W Amtrak Wolverine icon.png E  TroyPontiac
FlintTroy  N I-75.svg S  FerndaleDetroit
LansingSouthfield  W I-696.svg E  WarrenPort Huron
PontiacBirmingham  N M-1.svg S  FerndaleDetroit

42.488889-83.142778Map mag.png
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