ITD_0522mdcd_inthed_800x417_silverado-allstar

Your Guide to Local Heated Outdoor Dining

By: Karen Dybis | February 16, 2022

Photo Courtesy of Moose Preserve

Eating out has been both a blessing and a challenge during the past two years, but restaurants and their staff have gone out of their way to help Metro Detroiters feel comfortable going out to eat, especially if they offer heated outdoor dining options.

Sitting outside during a Michigan winter to have a bite to eat with family or friends may seem like a no-go, especially as temperatures drop and the snow continues to fall. But these innovative restaurants and bars offer heated igloos and similar facilities where you can stay warm, enjoy the view and hang out for as long as you want (within reason). 

Make sure to check the restaurant’s website in advance to find out if you can walk up and grab a spot or if you need reservations in advance. Many places have online reservation systems and do not take phone or in-person requests. Some also have time limits so enough people can use the igloos or tents during the nights they are available. 

As always, be courteous to the people who are serving you as they travel back and forth from the warm kitchen to your igloo. Also, look at the menu to see if they serving the same things outside as they are inside. You also may want to ask if adult beverages such as beer or wine will be available in the outdoor seating areas. 

It also helps to think ahead and dress for the weather, although many of the seating areas have blankets, heaters and other accessories to make the stay enjoyable. Here are five places that are celebrating their outdoor heated dining areas and would love to host you. 

Berkley Common

This winter, Berkley Common is bringing its Uncommon Winter igloos to the public to enjoy. You can dine under the stars in its igloos, which seats six people comfortably. Each igloo is equipped with a space heater, but they do recommend that you dress warmly or bring a blanket when the temperatures drop. There is a time limit for these igloos of one hour and 45 minutes, so plan ahead if you are going to visit.

 

Lockhart’s BBQ

The barbecue is hot and the staff is warm and welcoming, so come check out the igloos at Lockhart’s. This barbeque restaurant is known for its signature cooking styles, and they do their ribs, brisket and other favorite dishes in the Texas style. You will stay warm belly and soul with the great spices and friendly atmosphere in its outdoor dining area. 

Camp Ticonderoga

They’re back for another year: The winter wonderland at Camp Ti has two heated dining igloos named Grey Wolf and Monkey Business for your enjoyment. Igloo diners will be able to enjoy Camp Ti’s regular menu, along with daily specials. There is a $250 food and beverage minimum for igloo diners, plus 20% gratuity, as well as a $5 non-refundable booking fee taken at the time the advance reservation is made. 

Truago

Trenton has one of the most unique dining adventures out there with Truago’s fun dining pods. Each one has its own theme and fun name as well, including Wonderland, Frosty’s Café, Ski Lodge and Lumber Jack Shack. These four greenhouse dining pods come with heat and electricity for a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Each pod seats a maximum of six guests and there is a minimum food and beverage purchase of $25 per person. 

Moose Preserve

Pontiac is where it is at for great igloo fun. The Moose Preserve offers two heated igloos for a unique dining experience this winter. You do need advance reservations for parties of up to 10 people in the cozy, decorated igloos. Its igloo themes are Husky Hideaway and Northern Lights. Igloo diners can enjoy The Moose’s regular menu, along with daily specials. There is a $250 food and beverage minimum for igloo bookings.