Outdoor dining in the winter may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but many Metro Detroit restaurants have special heated outdoor arrangements tailor-made for enjoying great food and drinks no matter what the thermometer says.
As dining restrictions have again been put in place in Michigan (as of Nov. 18) to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, bars and restaurants are utilizing any outdoor space that they have should they want customers to dine in (rather than carry out).
If you’re looking for a dining experience that is safe and socially distanced, check out these restaurants with heated outdoor tents, igloos and patios below.
Taking its name from coins found on the walls of the building it calls home, Mint 29 is an upscale restaurant in Dearborn, serving kobe beef, fresh seafood, sushi, signature cocktails and draft beer. On the patio, you’ll find heated igloos that can be reserved. Each igloo has a $150 (+20% gratuity) minimum food and drink cost.
Converting its space and slightly modifying its name to accommodate a “winter dining experience, The Lodge at Berkley Common is where you will find everything from Korean BBQ cauliflower wings to 15+ selections of draft beer. Igloos can be reserved online with a non-refundable deposit for a party of up to six people. For a full list of information regarding Berkley Common’s igloos, please visit their website.
Well-known in southeast Michigan for its great-tasting hard ciders, Blake’s in Armada has converted its tasting room to an outdoor dining experience. Igloos can be reserved online with a $50 deposit. Each igloo seats 10 people and with so many great drinks, appetizers and entrees, your party should have no problem meeting the $150 minimum food and drink spend. Did we mention maple bacon donuts?
Known for its award-winning mac and cheese (not to mention killer pączki on Fat Tuesday), the Clarkston Union and its “Union Family of Joints” are offering heated igloo dining free of any extra costs. That said, all igloos are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so might have to wait around before you can get your fill of burgers, sandwiches and that ooey, gooey mac and cheese.
Instead of following the igloo craze, Detroit Shipping Co. has opted for a giant, heated tent as well as outdoor tables and fire pits. With six restaurants to choose from, this is the perfect place to bring a group of people with varied tastes. From Coop’s menu of Caribbean chicken dishes to Halal Street’s variety of pita wraps and street food, there’s something for everyone. Reservations are not taken or required.
Serving regular bar fare and locally crafted Michigan beers, Royal Oak Brewery features three outdoor, heated igloos, which can be reserved at specific time slots for two hours. There is a six-guest maximum and on Fridays and Saturdays there is a $150 minimum spending amount. For a full list of rules and how to make a reservation, see this post on the ROB Facebook page.
Looking for fresh seafood dining this winter? This waterside restaurant in St. Clair Shores has transformed its patio into a winter dining haven. Heated igloos can be reserved for up to six people with no deposit necessary. If you should need to cancel your reservation, you must do so at least 48 hours in advance or else the credit card they have on file for your reservation will be charged.
If you’re hankering for your favorite bar food cravings, like burgers, pizza, and nachos, The Tavern at Tina’s Country House in Macomb features four heated igloos that can serve parties of up to eight people. Reservations for the igloos must be made in advance, and on Fridays and Saturdays there is a $300 minimum spend amount with a $25 gratuity and a $50 deposit. Monday nights is kids night, which means there is no spending minimum and kids under 10 years old get a free ice cream sundae!
The popular Ferndale-based food truck park Detroit Fleat has turned its patio into The North Pole with six igloos available for parties of up to six people. Going the extra mile, Detroit Fleat is offering a Hot Cocoa Bar, S’mores Kit and Beer Barges, which can be ordered for your party when you make your reservation online.
In addition to a heated outdoor deck, this popular log cabin restaurant in Northville now offers igloo reservations for parties of up to 10 people. Reservations are taken online with a $5 non-refundable booking fee and each party has a $250 minimum food and beverage cost. In addition to Deadwood’s regular menu of hearty meals, like burgers, BBQ ribs, ribeye and fish, diners can partake in daily specials, too.
For an exquisite Italian dinner experience, Volare in Wixom features an outdoor, heated patio that they are utilizing very well at this time. While they are only open for dinner, starting at 4 p.m, the menu is quite varied and includes classic Italian dishes, such as pasta, veal, pizza and more.
Talk about taking a concept and running with it! East Eats in Detroit exclusively uses heated igloos for all of its dining. That is to say there isn’t a traditional indoor dining area at this establishment. Here’s how it works: you reserve an igloo for two hours and each person selects five items from the menu via their phone when they arrive. The food is then delivered to your igloo. While alcohol is not on the menu, you are welcome to bring your own and, for a “corking fee,” East Eats staff will provide cups, ice and mixers. It’s an interesting concept but one that really shines during the, let’s say, “cozier” time of the year.
A staple of Detroit’s Beacon Park, Lumen’s uniquely designed exterior is always eye-catching and that is especially true during “Light Up Beacon Park” — a two-month seasonal event that is tailor-made for fans of the holiday season. While its indoor dining is closed as of this writing, the outdoor patio and its personal, heated “igloos” are available and can be reserved ahead of time. Lumen’s menu ranges from comfort food favorites, like pretzels and mac & cheese, to indulgent dishes, like seared salmon and wagyu short rib. Wherever your taste palette falls on that spectrum, Lumen is sure please.
Named after its location at the intersection of Maple and Lahser, Cafe ML features a pretty varied menu of dishes, ranging from ahi tuna and Korean fried chicken to Norwegian salmon and baby back ribs. If you plan on dining in at Cafe ML, you will be seated at their heated, outdoor patio, which opens at 2 p.m. every day. They, however, recommend you “BYOB…bring your own blanket!”
After rebranding itself as Casa Pernoi in June of this year and pivoting to a more casual image, the Luciano DelSignore-led restaurant has continued to provide premier Italian dining both at its location and through carryout/delivery options. As for the winter season, Casa Pernoi features outdoor dining under a heated tent with fireplaces to keep you warm. Enjoy small plates, like beef carpaccio and charred octopus, before indulging in main entrees, such as tagliatelle bolognese and veal chop parmigiano. Additionally, the wine list is extensive and features bottles from different regions of Italy as well as the world.