Welcome to Motown, where the automobiles emerge, and the music is real jazzy. In Detroit, you can find some of the best outdoor dining spots that the Midwest can supply.
It doesn’t matter what kind of dining experience you want: Detroit offers a stunning array of outdoor dining that I cannot recommend enough, from taverns to delis.
1413 Brooklyn St, Detroit, MI 48226
Located in the historic Corktown district west of Downtown Detroit, you’ll find the charming Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Shop.
Mudgie’s is a locally-owned deli that offers meat sandwiches smoked in-house with a fine selection of wines and craft beer.
At Mudgie’s, you’re right in the center of the action. You’re only across the interstate from Comerica Park.
I recommend the Stinson, a delicious sandwich with smoked ham, bacon, onion, cheddar cheese, and perfectly caramelized onion slapped on a toasted kaiser bun.
1400 Porter St, Detroit, MI 48216
Situated in Corktown, Batch Brewing Company is one of Detriot’s premier locations for a good time. It feels like a neighborhood hotspot, with a craft beer menu that’s constantly growing and a new food menu every week.
It’s only a short walk from the brewing company to West Riverfront Park. You can also enjoy a brew on the restaurant’s patio.
When you go, you must try the Nachos. They’re made with house-fried tortilla chips and are outstanding. A little bit of Bread Pudding for dessert would top the experience off perfectly.
1400 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
Across the street from the old Tiger’s stadium at The Corner Ballpark, you’ll find Ottava Via. This hip Italian restaurant has an old-world atmosphere that borders on rustic.
Yet another feature of historic Corktown, Ottava Via, is a great place for a night out.
Enjoy the outdoor seating and start with the Garlic & Goat Cheese shareable plate. And for your main course, I highly recommend the Pasta Alfredo. There’s nothing like it in the world.
3710 Junction Ave, Detroit, MI 48210
If you’re looking for an upscale Mexican and Italian combination restaurant, then El Barzon is precisely your place. With a covered patio, it’s the perfect spot for a date night.
Situated in the Michigan-Martin neighborhood, El Barzon is just up the street for the Saint Hedwig Park and the Academy of the Americas.
El Barzon lives under the culinary genius of Chef Norberto Garita, who launched the restaurant in 2007. Make sure you’re in the mood for seafood when you order the Filet Bronzini with artichoke and white wine sauce.
1800 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
When you’re in the mood for American fare from a trendy, eclectic gastropub, Bobcat Bonnie’s in the heart of Corktown is the place for you. Your time there will be the most creative experience you’ve ever had.
The low-key gastropub is a block away from the historic Tigers’ stadium and a short walk from Detroit’s Roosevelt Park.
If you’re in the mood for a salad, you won’t be disappointed. The Salmon Caesar Salad is an excellent option with grill-blackened salmon. But if you want to mix it up, the Fish Tacos are positively delightful.
3921 2nd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Right between Cass Corridor and Midtown, this rustic-chic Detroit restaurant is a fun, relaxed place to enjoy a New American small plate and a specialty cocktail.
Headed by Executive Chef Andy Hollyday, Selden Standard serves everything fresh and local. The Pork Ragu with fennel and créme fraîche pairs perfectly with a Brûléed Rice Pudding.
2163 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
At Mercury Burger and Bar, you aren’t too far from the MotorCity Casino in North Corktown. And the Riverside Skatepark is just a little drive toward the Detroit River.
Or you can eat outside on the patio. And if they have Blake’s Cinnamon Donut Stout on tap, make sure you add that. It won’t let you down.
3 E Church St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346
When you want to get out of Detroit and experience good food on the city’s outskirts, you can find a fun, casual Latin American joint that offers lively fare, coffee, and afternoon cocktails.
Honcho serves Latin food outdoors with a little bit of an Asian twist. The Fuego Salsa Flight is the only way to start your meal, and I suggest you follow that with the signature Honcho Burrito.
474 Peterboro St, Detroit, MI 48201
Have you ever ordered your lunch in a shipping container? The opportunity for you to do so is at the Detroit Shipping Company.
This unique food court sits inside shipping containers. It has a hip vibe and a friendly atmosphere in the open air.
When you stop by, grab a Crispy Fried Chicken Bowl from Bangkok 96, followed by the side of Sweet Plantains from Coop Caribbean Fusion. Cold Brew Coffee from 320° will top the whole experience off perfectly.
54 S Main St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346
Returning to Clarkston, Michigan, you’ll find the Clarkston Union Bar and Kitchen.
It’s a rustic joint with a cozy atmosphere, classic American food, and excellent craft beer.
Clarkson Union is known around the world for its divine Mac & Cheese. So ordering anything besides the Mac & Cheese would be a horrendous mistake.
3930 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Honoring America’s veterans are what Old Miami is all about. You don’t have to go to the VFW to experience the war memorabilia hanging on the walls or the patriotic environment.
The dive bar is one of the classiest in the area. It opened in 1980 under the leadership of Vietnam veteran Daniel Overstreet. There’s no food menu, but you’ll enjoy your time nonetheless.
50870 North Ave, Macomb, MI 48042
Northeast of Detroit, not too far from Anchor Bay, you’ll find the charming little township of Macomb. And the upbeat Tavern at Tina’s Country House is one of the main attractions.
I suggest you ask about their weekly specials before you do anything else.
If that doesn’t strike your fancy, believe me when I say you cannot go wrong with the Fish and Chips.
The Belt, Detroit, MI 48226
The Belt is more than just an alley. Situated in the heart of Downtown Detroit, The Belt offers unique cultural experiences and excellent dining and drink options.
The Skip is one of those fine places to enjoy a nice meal and an excellent cocktail. The outdoor seating lets you mingle with other Belt visitors and maybe make a new friend.
If you’re visiting The Skip, you want to try the tropical cocktails. I think a frozen margarita on a warm day would undoubtedly hit the spot.
470 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48201
The outdoor picnic tables at Motor City Brewing Works give this brewery a local, cozy vibe for all the neighborhood enthusiasts out there.
The brick-oven pizzas make this brewing company one of the best places to visit in the Midtown district. Pair it with a signature seasonal beer, and you’ve got a fine evening ahead of you.
The Nut Brown Ale is one of the best options for something a little darker with lots of flavors.
If you want something with a bit of cocoa, I suggest the Sherwood Porter. And if cider is your thing, the Hot Spiced Hard Cider is an enjoyable herbed experience.
310 E Maple Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009
Birmingham is a suburb of Northern Detroit about 30 minutes from the city center. When you visit Birmingham, you can find a casual, refined Italian restaurant with a great patio and exquisite culinary options.
Make sure you try one of their cocktails with your dinner. The Espresso Martini with vanilla vodka is delightful, and the Paloma Mimosa is fruity and refreshing.
For dinner, you have to try the Tagliatelle Bolognese. The perfect pairing of sauce and spice makes it an excellent choice no matter what day of the week it is.
400 Renaissance Center A-03, Detroit, MI 48243
Andiamo is located right on the Detroit River, with outdoor options that allow you to enjoy your meal in the fresh air with an excellent view,
Part of Downtown Detroit, Andiamo overlooks Windsor, Canada, across the river. You aren’t far from excellent museums and hotels, and the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is just a short walk away.
Andiamo makes all their pasta fresh, in-house, every day. So you have to try their pasta. In particular, I suggest you try the Gnocchi all’ Aldo with creamy tomato sauce.
43034 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Twp, MI 48302
Sometimes a friendly bar and grill are precisely what the doctor ordered. And the Moose Preserve in Bloomfield Township is the perfect place to fill that prescription.
You won’t be disappointed by the neighborhood vibe, the cozy atmosphere, and the excellent selection of drinks and hearty cuisine.
I suggest starting with the BBQ Buffalo Balls in Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce. The Hancock is the perfect burger to pursue next, with bleu cheese and more Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce.