Patio Paradise: Best Outdoor Dining Spots

April 24, 2024
detroit 75 kitchen street patio tables

Photo courtesy of Detroit 75 Kitchen

As the days grow longer and the air warmer, the allure of dining al fresco becomes irresistible. For those eager to indulge in the season’s offerings under open skies, a variety of establishments in the area promise unique patio experiences that blend delightful cuisine with ambient charm. Here’s a guide to some of the best patio dining spots in Metro Detroit where you can soak up the sun or enjoy a starlit evening along with a delicious meal.

PARC

800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Nothing screams “Spring in Detroit” like an afternoon around Campus Martius. Amongst this park, you’ll find PARC, where French and Mediterranean influences delightfully combine. Bask in the sun on the patio, and indulge in a light lunch, filling dinner, or a few cocktails. Start with the gnocchi gratin or the charred burrata, and move on to entrees like the Scottish salmon, butternut squash rigatoni, or Parc’s beef bolognese accompanied by crispy brussels sprouts or haricot vert. Finish your meal with a dessert wine or menu choices of lemon and olive oil cake, affogato, or hazelnut brownie sundae. With a water feature right next to the patio, you’ll certainly enjoy your time dining outdoors at PARC. 

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LUMEN DETROIT

1903 Grand River Avenue, Detroit

Located downtown, Lumen Detroit stands out not only for its innovative cuisine but also for its exceptional outdoor dining experience. Social Media Manager, Emilia Robinson describes the setup: “Lumen opened 6 years ago and we continue to offer a warm environment and great food where people can gather around. We have a patio that surrounds almost the entire restaurant with tables for dining, or casual seating with a cocktail next to one of our fire pits. Wander up to the rooftop for appetizers and stunning views of Beacon Park. When the warmer weather descends we open our retractable window walls that reveal the dining room and bar to the park.” For an upscale Modern American menu and an airy environment, Lumen is a great choice. 

lumen detroit window walls opening to the patio space
Photo courtesy of Lumen Detroit

GARAGE GRILL & FUEL BAR

202 West Main Street, Northville

If you’re looking for a little outdoor patio dining in a small downtown setting, Garage Grill & Fuel Bar offers a nostalgic escape with its automotive-themed décor and a menu that complements the classic ambiance. Uniquely set in a fully restored 1940s-era gas station, Garage Grill & Fuel Bar has seating surrounding the building. Stop by on the weekend for brunch, with options ranging from strawberry shortcake French toast to French onion mac and cheese. For dinner hours, you’ll find seafood, burgers, and pizza, to name a few. The outdoor seating area is spacious and welcoming, making it a perfect gathering spot for friends and family who appreciate a blend of history with modern American cuisine.

MIKE’S ON THE WATER

24600 Jefferson Avenue, St. Clair Shores

Situated along the bustling shores of Lake St. Clair, Mike’s on the Water captures the essence of a coastal retreat right in St. Clair Shores. The restaurant is famous for its deck space, where guests can enjoy fresh seafood while watching boats glide by. This seafood and burger bar transformed from an old bathhouse on the Nautical Mile, now with an outdoor deck and bar area, as well as a deck and food truck on the roof! Owner Mike LeFerve is a collector through and through, and Mike’s on the Water reflects that. From customers’ boat pictures hanging from the ceiling of the patio to the Beard Wall and his newest addition, a banquet room with his collection of over 16,000 Snoopy items that promote different charities, there is something that will capture your attention in every corner. From the lobster rolls to being greeted like family by Mike himself, Mike’s on the Water is truly an experience, perfect for those craving a maritime dining experience without traveling too far. 

mike's on the water deck space with dining tables and umbrellas along the water
Photo of Mike’s on the Water courtesy of Carolyn Hall

LA DOLCE VITA

17546 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

In Detroit’s Palmer Park area, La Dolce Vita provides a secluded garden setting that feels like a hidden getaway. Known for its Italian cuisine and award-winning patio, this spot offers a tranquil escape. La Dolce Vita promotes its use of locally sourced products that support its traditionally-based Italian menu, with options like penne Mezzogiorno (sausage, peppers, spinach, olives, and parmesan) and calamari fritti (basil, capers, olives, roasted peppers, and marinara). La Dolce Vita requires proper attire and recommends casual-elegant wear. Whether it’s a romantic dinner or a quiet spot for solo dining, La Dolce Vita’s patio is perfection.

MUDGIE’S DELI AND WINE SHOP

1413 Brooklyn Street, Detroit

Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Shop offers a delightful backyard patio that feels both cozy and eclectic. Known for its artisan sandwiches and an impressive selection of wines, Mudgie’s provides a casual, friendly environment. The patio area and tiki bar are serviced when the weather cooperates, and providing a great spot for a relaxed lunch break or a leisurely wine evening. For a fresh meal, start with options like the dill pickle hummus, broccoli salad, or spinach spread. Sandwiches range from classic corned beef and BLT to the Hippie Dippie Sh*t Man (avocado, mixed greens, carrots, walnuts, Michigan dried cranberries, fresh apple, and cucumber served on a spinach tortilla with raspberry vinaigrette) or the Loyal Order Of Water Buffalo Mozzarella (turkey, house-made pesto, arugula, tomato, Buffalo mozzarella, and balsamic glaze on rye). 

BUMBO’S BAR

3001 Holbrook Avenue, Hamtramck

Owned and operated by Tia Fletcher, Bumbo’s Bar is beloved for its friendly vibe and inclusive drink menu. “Bumbo’s Bar is women-owned and operated since 2015, but the space has been a bar since pre-prohibition. We’re a true neighborhood bar known for our large spirit-free selection, approachable cocktail menu, affordable prices, and most of all, our friendly and knowledgeable staff. I did my best to make our patio a little city oasis with perennial plants and a greenhouse mural by local friend/artist Michael Burdick. It turned the warmer months into our busiest season and in turn, the lifeline of the bar,” says Fletcher. Open seven days a week, Bumbo’s Bar has a casual outdoor patio space with picnic tables, hanging lights, greenery, and a beautiful mural to finish the space. The patio is open seasonally and closes for a period in the summer when the heat becomes less than enjoyable. Stop in with friends, order a few drinks, and enjoy this neighborhood spot.

covered patio space at bumbos bar with greenhouse mural by michael burdick
Photo courtesy of Bumbo’s Bar; Mural by Michael Burdick

DRIFTWOOD BAR & GRILL

1103 East Lake Drive, Novi

Driftwood Bar and Grill is located right on Walled Lake, offering a peaceful suburban setting with a well-appointed patio that invites diners to enjoy the outdoors. Sit and watch the sunset with a drink in hand, or head over when the sun is high in the sky and enjoy the shade provided by each umbrella on the patio. Spend the day on the lake and grab a bite to eat afterward. With a menu that features classic dishes, grand salads, and many handhelds, Driftwood is known for its friendly service and community feel. 

DETROIT 75 KITCHEN

4800 West Fort Street, Detroit

For a unique dining experience, Detroit 75 Kitchen offers a street-side patio that brings the food truck experience to a stationary location. What started as a kitchen at their family’s truck stop has become a top restaurant in the country. Known for its artisanal sandwiches and vibrant street art, this spot delivers quality and creativity in equal measure. The menu ranges from barbecue chicken egg rolls and garlic cilantro fries to the I-75 chicken shawarma and the 3rd St. Detroit cheesesteak. The patio space is covered in greenery and flower boxes, painted streets, and umbrella-covered tables to enjoy your meal at. 

detroit 75 kitchen patio with red umbrellas and greenery
Photo courtesy of Detroit 75 Kitchen

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on April 7, 2021, and was authored by Aaron Segel.

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