Soak up summer at these spots across Metro Detroit where the outdoor dining experience is *chef’s kiss*
By Danielle Alexander
Whether it’s on a patio, rooftop, dock or even beside a fully restored 1940s-era gas station, there’s nothing like dining al fresco during a Michigan summer. Here are 10 spots across Metro Detroit to get your grub, drink — and sunshine — on.
3 E Church St, Village of Clarkston
Latin street food and fresh-made coffee are the draws at Honcho — and they’re even better enjoyed on the vibrant patio, which hugs the sidewalks of downtown Clarkston. Part of the Union Joints restaurant group that includes the well-known Clarkston Union, Vinsetta Garage, Union Woodshop and more, Honcho is known for creative tacos filled with everything from Korean pork to sweet potato fries and fun cocktails like the Bad Hombre (orralejo blanco tequila, chili-lime shrub, aperol, OJ and local honey) that pair well with a hot, summer evening.
24420 Jefferson Ave, St Clair Shores
If you’re in the mood for a meal with a breath-taking view, this dockside patio overlooking Lake St. Clair won’t disappoint. Known for American pub grub with global influences, Watermark has 22 beers — many of which are Michigan-made — on tap every day, as well as a full bar.
17985 Armada Center Rd, Armada
Surrounded by an apple orchard, the patio at Blake’s Tasting Room is one of the largest in metro Detroit, boasting 30 tables, each with its own umbrella. Blake’s is known for its craft hard cider, beer and wine, as well as its menu (which features everything from a 24-ounce “party pretzel” to a grilled brie sandwich with apple jam to pastrami-crusted salmon). Come out on a Thursday for Trivia Night or a Friday or Saturday evening for live music.
567 Livernois, Ferndale
Tucked into a Ferndale neighborhood, this partially covered patio is a prime spot to enjoy Latin American street food with a variety of beers (choose from easy-drinking, hoppy, sour and malty options). Ferndale Project, which debuted in 2020, prides itself on being the “experimental arm” of Eastern Market Brewing Co. but it also serves seltzer, cider, wine, and crushable bamboozies (alcoholic fruit smoothies). Drink up!
NOTE: Restaurant dining is temporarily closed for renovations. Carryout is available
2323 Union Lake Rd, Commerce Charter Twp
Another waterfront favorite, the patio at It’s a Matter of Taste overlooks Union Lake and specializes in seafood and steaks, which make it the perfect summer date-night or special celebration spot. Not in the mood for a full meal? Stop in for a cocktail and appetizer or coffee and dessert.
202 W Main St, Northville
Before it was a classic American grill, “ e Garage” was a gas station (hence the name). Although the building was completely renovated in 2012, the garage feel was kept both inside and out. Today it’s known for its soups, salads, pizzas and entrees, but it’s worth indulging in a weekend brunch on the patio — which wraps around the restaurant’s exterior — followed by some shopping downtown.
6005 Gotfredson Rd, Plymouth
One of Southeast Michigan’s oldest log-cab-in restaurant structures, Karl’s Cabin offers a winning combination of classic American fare, craft beer and live music. Grab a shaded table on the recently remodeled patio and take them all in! Before heading home, step inside to peek at the stage — a young Johnny Cash performed there in 1956.
3087 Twelve Mile Rd, Berkley
If you’re the type who likes the beach but not the sand, pay a visit to e Berkley Common’s patio. Dubbed the Uncommon Beach Bar and Bungalows, the space has been transformed into a mock island oasis, complete with tiki huts, umbrellas and more. A full dine-in menu is available; consider upping the tropical vibes with some ahi tuna tacos.
23360 Farmington Rd, Farmington
Whether you’re hungry for a meal made with fresh, local ingredients or simply craving a customizable mimosa flight, MI.Mosa delivers. With a patio that sprawls out into downtown Farmington and sits only steps away from the Saturday Farmers Market, MI.Mosa is known for its sweet and savory breakfasts, salads, sammies, flatbreads and more.
100 S Main St Rear, Royal Oak
Pinky’s has reopened since shutting its doors last November, and its pretty outdoor patio — which includes a 250-plant garden designed by Planterra Conservatory — is a summer hotspot. Guests can expect an eclectic, vintage setting as well delicious snacks and cocktails, including Pinky’s Ice Pops (Prosecco or Brut Rose garnished with a boozy ice popsicle).