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Honey Bee La Colmena Stop at the lunch counter for a delicious, quick bite before you hit the aisles

Honey Bee La Colmena

2443 Bagley St., Detroit, MI 48216
  • Neighborhood: Corktown & Southwest
  • Price Level:   
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Cards Accepted
  • Free Parking Available

Tags: lunch, shop, tacos, Grocery Store, carne asada, guacamole, honey-bee-la-colmena

We know that arriving to a grocery store on an empty stomach can lead to disastrous junk food binges, but there’s one place where we make an exception to this rule.

The lunch counter at Honey Bee La Colmena is a perfect place to fuel up before we take to the aisles. Even if you’re not on a grocery errand, this is an awesome spot for a quick lunch.

Known for its beautiful, diverse produce selection and reliably good food quality across the board, Honey Bee has clean, well-lit aisles and friendly staff that makes shopping here a pleasure. This family run store has been part of the community since 1956, when it was founded by Geraldo Alfaro.

Today, third generation family member Ken Koehler and his wife Tammy Alfaro-Koehler are keeping the tradition alive and well. The store’s name comes from the Spanish phrase for “hive” – appropriate as this place becomes buzzing with activity when Detroiters from all corners of the city converge here to pick up their weekly groceries.

Located in the heart of Southwest Detroit, Honey Bee is the kind of store where you can score hard-to-find items like cactus leaves and ground chorizo in bulk. In addition to the specialty Latin ingredients, Honey Bee carries, well, everything you’d expect to find in a grocery store. Not just enough to get by, but really everything you’d buy at a chain supermarket. They even have the fancy vegan ice cream we like.

Grocery shopping aside, our favorite time to head to Honey Bee is at lunch time. Tucked inside the store is a little lunch counter serving tasty Mexican favorites like tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, and tamales. We love the tacos with carne asada – tender and bursting with flavor – served with rice and beans. We appreciate the nice, normal portion size that’s perfect for lunch – it fills you up but won’t leave you struggling to stay awake through that afternoon meeting. Fuel up before shopping, or just swing by for a quick lunch. There’s also a grab-and-go selection of deli sandwiches if that’s more your thing.

Even after you’ve filled up at the lunch counter, there is one item you won’t be able to resist be. Honey Bee makes some of the best guacamole ever. We’re not sure what makes the guac so good. Maybe it’s the avocados, which are magically always ripe at Honey Bee (seriously, how?). Maybe it’s the generous addition of garlic, perfectly complemented by cilantro, lime and tomatoes. Whatever their secret, Honey Bee’s guac is dangerously addictive. There’s a little sample display just inside the main entrance where you can taste it yourself and try to figure out the secret recipe.

Make sure you pick up an extra tub or two before you checkout. Even if you think you already have an unreasonable amount of guacamole in your cart, get one more. Trust us. You need this. A bag of locally made tortillas and some homemade fresh salsa would be a good idea too.


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