Summer in Detroit can feel like a fleeting season. Detroit’s bars and restaurants certainly make the most of outdoor seating, offering everything from lush garden environments to scenic rooftop views. Those seeking the perfect patio to take in the sun and scene will find a wide array of al fresco options in Detroit.
Downtown Outdoor Seating Restaurants
Take in downtown Detroit from the aptly named The Fountain at Campus Martius Park or set your coffee meeting at Ashe Supply Co. and sip it outside with seats in view of the opulent Detroit Opera House just under The People Mover.
Yet, in the heart of the city, you can’t beat an international riverfront view. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront is just one of eight locations across metro Detroit – and this one capitalizes on its access to the Detroit International RiverWalk along the scenic waterfront. Watch ships float by and gaze at the Windsor skyline while sipping a glass of wine or enjoying a dish of delicious pasta. Looking for an opulent and spacious alternative? Andiamo in Dearborn will not disappoint. This summer Andiamo is serving up a special house-made white wine sangria – by the glass or carafe – and it’s an ideal beverage for sipping in open air and sunshine.
Townhouse Detroit easily offers one of the most recognizable and largest outdoor dining experiences in Detroit. Its patio evokes the feel of a lavish green house, sparkling in greenery and lights you can spot along Woodward Avenue, easily accessible by the QLine. Tufted benches, tall tables and a fully-stocked outdoor bar make for a festive atmosphere. Beverage Director Adil Yamin recently launched a new summer cocktail menu. Try the Stiggins Tropical Daiquiri, Zombie Elyx or the French Rose. Just be sure to call for a reservation on those particularly perfect days.
New to the downtown dining scene, Central Kitchen + Bar swings open the doors this time of year to reveal plush patio seating that beckons patrons to relax and enjoy the bustling surroundings of Cadillac Square and Campus Martius Park in style. Try it out on a summer afternoon and sip a refreshing Summer Smash, made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, St. Germain, cucumber, lime and soda. Whether you’re up for Bellini’s at brunch or hungry for buttermilk fried chicken or a crawfish burger at lunch or dinner, the menu is as enticing as its al fresco atmosphere.
Some places were created to make the most of summer. Enter The Skip – a bar patterned after open-air styled bars in New Orleans. The Skip reaches currently capacity at 130 people on its popular patio within The Belt. However a new license will allow The Skip to expand into a larger portion of the alley. And satellite bars and a food truck, operated by Standby Chef Jesse Knott, are all in-the-works this summer. Sip a Skip Old Fashioned or a Skip Gin & Tonic infused with lemongrass, kaffir lime, galangal, cardamom and garnished with fresh mango leaves and check out the mural by world renowned artist Shepard Fairey while you’re there.
Patios in Midtown Detroit
If you find yourself in the center of Midtown on a sunny day, you might as well make the most of it. Michigan craft beer fans already know that Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery’s patio and the rooftop of Motor City Brewing Works are two casual and hard-to-secure coveted spaces in the summer time.
The Old Miami – a live music venue with the friendliest back yard in town – might be less obvious to visitors or casual observers. But it’s always worth a visit to the lush lawn for a cold beer. Grab a seat on the back deck or take in a local band and you’ll feel as at home as you would a friend’s home, and may even forget you’re in the heart of the city.
For those looking to impress a date, however, it’s Selden Standard’s airy, elegant patio that takes the win. The space features metal work, fencing and a pergola by designer Taru Lahti and a mural of native plants by artists Shaina Kasztelan and Heidi Barlow. It’s a functional space featuring an herb garden that is carefully tended. “We cut herbs for use in cocktails and dishes all summer long, said Evan Hansen, co-owner. Seven Cascade hop vines also characterize the patio, and become useful in crafting cocktail ingredients each fall.
Eat Outdoors in Corktown
Ottava Via’s interior is as welcoming as can be – and a wonderful place to enjoy well-crafted pizza and specialties. But come the warmers months, visitors flock to its spacious, green courtyard. Toss a bocce ball, meet a group of friends and soak in the summer sun while dining and drinking at this Corktown favorite.
And communal dining only enhances the friendly vibe you’ll find at Batch Brewing Co. Grab a picnic table with friends or strangers on the patio. Order up a pint of Blood In, Orange Out, a blood orange American wheat beer; a Handsome Stranger, Batch’s hibiscus saison, or Anton’s Animals, a Berliner-Weiss and make those warm days last. Just follow the fresh hops shade trellis by Ribbon Farms Hops that give the space its fresh green barrier from the outside world.
4Detroit People Mover (Detroit Transportation Corp.)535 Griswold St., Suite 400, Detroit, MI 48226313-224-2160