Metro Detroit’s 9 Best Italian Restaurants with Patio Seating

Modified: August 24, 2020 | Story by Sarah Bence | Photos by Ottava Via; San Morello by Bill Bowen

While we soak up the end of summer, it’s the best time in Michigan to enjoy some outdoor dining. And nothing tastes better al fresco than some rich, hearty Italian food. There are plenty of top-notch Italian restaurants in metro Detroit, from high-end, elegant Italian dining, to more home-spun local favorites.

These nine restaurants, though, come out on top for outdoor dining thanks to their patios. Just like the restaurants’ ambiences, the patios also show the full range. There is a restaurant on this list to please everyone.

Note: Due to COVID-19 (another reason you might prefer patio dining right now), you should call ahead to ask about reservations and availability. Masks are required upon entrance.

Italian Restaurants in Metro Detroit

1. Ottava Via

Set in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, Ottava Via is home to some of Detroit’s best fresh pasta… and a patio to rival all others. You’ll enjoy the classic margherita pizza with house-made mozzarella (add burrata for the fun of it), or the creamy truffle butter bucatini.

Things step up even further out on the spacious brick-lined patio – thanks to an outdoor fireplace, and full bocce ball lanes strung with twinkling garden lights in the evenings.

Ottava-Via-Charcuterie

2. La Noria

La Noria is a Detroit classic when it comes to Italian fare…but they do it with a twist. Here, you can find Italian-Mexican fusion dishes, thanks to innovative chef Noberto Garita, who also owns La Noria’s sister restaurant, El Barzon.

La Noria doesn’t have a “normal” patio, per se. What is does have is large warehouse doors that open to give the space an indoor-outdoor feel, and increase ventilation on a hot summer or early autumn day.

 

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3. Pop’s For Italian

Pop’s For Italian is one of the best Italian restaurants in Ferndale. It’s a family-owned establishment which serves up everything from certified Neapolitan pizzas to handmade pasta to “Pop’s Chop’s”.

Enjoy the fresh ingredients out on the front patio – and why not pair a cheeky Tutti Frutti cocktail to go with it?

 

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4. Renee’s Gourmet Pizzeria

Besides serving mouthwatering Italian food in Troy, Renee’s Gourmet Pizzeria has something else special going for it – it’s 100% gluten free and nut free! This is a boon for celiacs or anyone who is gluten intolerant in metro Detroit. Not only can they enjoy gluten free pizza, garlic bread, pasta, and other typically gluten-filled dishes, but they also don’t have to stress about cross contamination.

Renee’s Gourmet Pizzeria is small, but does have a patio set up on the sidewalk in front.

 

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5. Da Francesco’s

Da Francesco’s, owned by the Belcastro family, is a spacious Italian restaurant in Shelby Township. They offer traditional Italian dishes, and have regularly been ranked as one of the top Italian restaurants in the state.

Head to the patio out front, and linger over homemade gnocchi, cannelloni, and of course Mama’s tiramisu for dessert.

6. La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita has been providing some of Detroit’s best Italian food for over 25 years. The menu covers various regional Italian specialties – and you definitely won’t want to miss the iconic Sunday Brunches which feature bottomless Mimosas.

And the patio itself? Also iconic. La Dolce Vita’s patio has actually been ranked “best patio in Michigan.” Stay late on Tuesdays for their weekly patio parties that go on until 2:30am.

 

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7. Café Cortina

Café Cortina in Farmington Hills is the ultimate Italian al fresco dining destination. Nestled in what was formerly an apple orchard, the restaurant still features extensive gardens and often serves as a wedding venue. The menu is full of Italian delights – particularly the fresh pastas which are made from scratch daily. Additionally, 70% of the menu’s produce is grown in the on-site garden.

As you can imagine, there is plenty of patio dining, as well as private tables set throughout the gardens.

 

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8. Amore da Roma

Amore da Roma holds rank as Detroit’s oldest restaurant, established in 1890 – and for that alone it’s worth paying a visit. The Italian restaurant is nestled in with Detroit’s Eastern Market, and sources the much of their fresh produce from there.

In terms of a patio, there’s a new outdoor space in the parking lot, complete with a red-and-white striped tented awning to provide shade. It’s pretty simple and old-school, but that’s Amore da Roma’s vibe.

9. San Morello

San Morello is a high-end Italian restaurant, located in downtown Detroit’s swanky Shinola hotel. Like the hotel, it’s a pretty trendy place with impeccable midcentury design. The food itself is all Southern Italian and Sicilian, with huge wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas.

It features a small patio out front, complete with a shrub border and green awning. Guests could benefit from calling ahead to reserve a spot.

Brunch at San Morello in Detroit

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  1. 1
    Ottava Via
    1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
    313-962-5500
  2. 2
    Amore da Roma
    3401 Riopelle St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-831-5940
  3. 3
    5517 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48210, United States
    313338-3545
  4. 4
    Pops For Italian
    280 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220, United States
    248-268-4806
  5. 5
    Renee's Gourmet Pizzeria
    1937 W Maple Rd, Troy, MI 48084, United States
    248-280-7800
  6. 6
    Da Francesco's
    49521 Van Dyke Ave, Shelby Charter Twp, MI 48317, United States
    586-731-7544
  7. 7
    La Dolce Vita
    17546 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48203, United States
    313-865-0331
  8. 8
    Café Cortina
    30715 W 10 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48336, United States
    248-474-3033
  9. 9
    San Morello
    1400 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, United States
    313-209-4700