Thursday, April 8, 2021
104 Places to Enjoy Dinner & Drinks on the Patio
Categories: Wine & Culinary
Disclaimer: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we realize some visitors may not currently feel comfortable dining inside restaurants. In the meantime, please support your favorite local restaurants with carryout or delivery instead! Be prepared to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, and call ahead as hours of operation may be different than posted. Above all, thank you for supporting Bloomington's restaurants and shops.
With the return of spring comes the return of patio dining — one of our favorite things to do in B-Town. Something about enjoying dinner & drinks outside in the spring warmth feels oh-so right after a long winter spent inside. Tons of eateries in town offer patio dining, and we've rounded them all up so you don't have to. See how many you can cross off this list each time you visit!
Use this navigation list to jump from section-to-section:
Bakeries, Cafes & Sweet Treats
If tea is your beverage of choice, BloomingTea is a must. With over 100 loose-leaf teas, you'll have a new brew to try each time you stop by the teahouse. Savor your tea in the warm breeze on their front porch patio to complete the experience.
The Chocolate Moose is Bloomington's most beloved ice cream parlor, serving the community since 1933. Enjoy a scoop or two of homemade ice cream on their patio — be sure to use their mural as a backdrop for a picture-perfect shot of your sweet treat before digging in.
Cup & Kettle Tea Co.
Enjoy an organic tea blend and a fresh pastry under the sun's rays at Cup & Kettle. You'll want to snag a pic for the 'Gram here too — their drinks & treats are too beautiful to not share!
Crumble Coffee & Bakery
Crumble has two locations in town, and both of them offer patio seating! Enjoy one of their new spring drinks (strawberry thyme iced tea, anyone?) and a signature crumble bar while relaxing in the revitalizing weather.
Hartzell's Ice Cream
Hartzell's is a local-favorite stop for incredible homemade ice cream. They offer both traditional and unique flavors, which are ever-rotating. Grab an ice cream cone, a Spinner (their take on a Blizzard-type treat), a shake, malt, float, sundae, smoothie, parfait, Slush Puppie — whatever you like, they probably offer! They even carry non-fat frozen yogurt and Carbolite, a water & whey-based ice cream sweetened with Splenda. Choose your adventure, then head across the street to People's Park to enjoy your sweet treat at a picnic table.
Hopscotch has two locations at different ends of downtown B-Town, both conveniently located on the B-Line Trail. Put your pup on a leash, go for a morning walk on the B-Line, and stop by Hopscotch to enjoy a nitro cold brew with a scoop of ice cream while you people-watch with your pooch.
Inkwell Bakery & Cafe
Located on The Square, The Inkwell is a great spot to grab a casual breakfast or lunch with a friend. Savor a broken yolk sandwich and a cappuccino on their patio — it's all about the little things in life.
Patio weather and ice cream were basically made for each other, right? Enjoy a signature Jiffy Treet Cyclone on the patio at one of their two Monroe County locations for the perfect sunny day outing.
Needmore Coffee Roasters
Drive over to Needmore Coffee Roasters on a weekend morning to sip a cup of ethically-sourced, internationally-grown coffee at one of their many picnic tables.
Vegan friends, this one's for you: Rainbow Bakery is Bloomington's only 100% vegan bakery. Step outside the box and try a maple bacon donut — trust us on this one. The bakery also sells Hopscotch Coffee, and few things are more satisfying than coffee & donuts under the glow of the sun.
This classic Bloomington coffeehouse boasts three locations, all featuring a patio for patrons to sip their smoothies, jive with their joe, or savor their scones.
Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, & Bars
Bear's is located right across the street from Indiana University's 3rd Street class buildings and dorms, which makes its patio a great spot for sipping a beer and doing some IU-inspired people-watching. There's nothing like taking in the hustle & bustle of the college crowd.
Butler Winery Downtown
Butler Winery offers a quaint downtown Bloomington tasting room with a lovely secret garden. It's a magically relaxing place to enjoy a glass of wine on a bright, sunny day.
Butler Winery & Vineyard
Want the entire winery experience? Head over to Butler's vineyard to enjoy a flight of wines as you admire their beautiful seven acres of growing grapes.
Sitting down for craft cocktails and artisan food on Cardinal's patio overlooking the B-Line Trail is about as Bloomington as it gets. Looking for the perfect Instagram moment? Head around to the side of their building to take a pic of your drink in front of their mural — don't forget to use #visitbtown!
Friendly Beasts Cider Company
For a truly unique B-Town experience, head to Friendly Beasts. Specializing in hard cider, all varieties of the drink are fermented & blended here in Bloomington. The taproom & patio are open to people of all ages, and light snacks & soft drinks are offered in addition to cider. Friendly Beasts is perfect for families, couples, and friends alike.
Looking for a bit of a hidden gem brewery while you're in town? Function is your place. They offer a continually-rotating selection of in-house beers to enjoy on their patio in downtown B-Town. They also offer incredible artisan shareables & sandwiches — their sandwiches are consistently voted Best in Bloomington!
Kilroy's on Kirkwood
The complete opposite of a hidden gem, KOK is one of the most well-known bars in Bloomington. Their front patio is a great spot to enjoy lunch with friends on a weekday, and their back patio is the place to be if you want to experience IU bar life on the weekends. Roy's is also currently offering extended patio seating through the summer as part of Kirkwood's pedestrian-only space initiative.
Nick's English Hut
Nick's offers a small patio out front of their Kirkwood tavern, and they're also participating in Kirkwood's pedestrian-only space initiative. For those in town for Hoosier-related events, Nick's is a great place to grab a meal and/or drinks, people-watch on Kirkwood, and take in the IU social culture — especially on a game day.
Oliver is one of the largest wineries in the US, and they're ranked among the nation's top 25 wineries to visit. Their grounds are just as impressive as their delicious selection of wines — regardless of the season, Oliver always has breathtaking landscaping to admire from their expansive patio & grounds. For the wine lover, Oliver is a must on your list of Bloomington patio destinations.
Enjoy post-work drinks and gourmet hotdogs at the Orbit Room. They're offering temporary patio seating in a parklet outside of the venue as part of the city's pedestrian-only space initiative.
The Sinkhole is known for their unique beer offerings, hand-picked from breweries across the country for the freshest, most exciting experience. Enjoy a great beer on their warm & inviting patio!
Switchyard Brewing Company
Switchyard is a local favorite due to their great beer selection and all-ages taproom & patio. It's a great spot for the family to relax and enjoy an afternoon out of the house.
Grab a seat at The Tap's patio, order their famous Tap fries (they're worth the hype, we promise), and enjoy a selection of over 450 beers as you take in the energy of the heart of downtown Bloomington.
The Upstairs offers a unique experience to its patrons — their bar & patio is on the second floor of a strip-mall-esque building on Kirkwood Avenue, which means you can enjoy great drinks and even better company while overlooking the hustle & bustle of Kirkwood's crawlers. Raise a toast to the nearby Sample Gates and snap a photo of the moment for the 'Gram.
Stop by Anatolia to enjoy an authentic Turkish meal on their garden patio. Lush, vibrant, and full of flowers, it's easy to believe you're dining in an actual Mediterranean garden.
Anyetsang's Little Tibet
Little Tibet is a triple-threat, as they specialize in Tibetan, Thai, and Indian cuisine. Craving Tibetan food? The dumplings are a must. Indian? You have to go with the curry. Thai? Try the tom ka. In any case, enjoy your plate on their shaded, garden-esque patio.
Head to Btown Gyros for a casual Mediterranean meal on 4th Street. The eatery offers gyros, falafel, shawarma, and more. Sit on the patio and close your eyes as you savor your fare — for a moment, you might feel like you're actually under the Mediterranean sun!
Do Asian Fusion Cuisine
Do offers a variety of Asian Fusion cuisine to enjoy on their patio. Choose whether you want to sit under the sun or under the covered section of the patio, depending on what the weather is like.
Few things are better than enjoying authentic Mexican food and a margarita in the sun. Stop by one of El Ranchero's two locations with a patio, and try their quesabuena for a fresh take on Mexican cuisine.
Feta Kitchen + Cafe
Feta offers a variety of healthy, Mediterranean-inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Enjoy the boutique atmosphere of their patio and nearby businesses while you delight in a fresh & sustainably-sourced meal.
Looking for an upscale Italian eatery? Look no further than Grazie Italiano. A Friday night spent enjoying grilled branzino or veal scallopini on Grazie's patio is a Friday night well-spent!
Happy Thai offers authentic Thai cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere at a great price-point. Feast on Thai spring rolls, Massaman curry, pad see ew, and more on their spacious wrap-around patio.
This authentic Indian restaurant offers a modern interpretation of classic dishes, all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Enjoy your Indian dish and downtown Bloomington at once on their patio.
The Irish Lion offers a hidden, whimsical-feeling patio called The Glen, and enjoying your authentic Irish meal there is an absolute must during the warmer months.
Juannita's is a delicious, authentic Mexican restaurant with a great patio deck. The patio is especially enjoyable during their late-night specials — Taco Tuesday, Pinata Party Friday, and Eat Salsa Dance Salsa Saturday, anyone?
Enjoy Korean favorites like bibimbap, bulgogi, or japchae on Korea Restaurant's picturesque patio. Feeling adventurous? Try their stir-fried squid!
La Charreada offers a variety of Mexican dishes & drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. Take your meal outside to an umbrella-shaded table on a nice day to really bask in relaxation.
Le Petit Cafe
This quaint cafe, located on the B-Line Trail, offers an ever-changing menu of Provincial French-style dishes & desserts. While they technically don't have a patio, they take brunch orders from a window on the side of their building on Saturday mornings — grab a crepe and make a short walk down the B-Line to enjoy your French fare at a picnic table.
My Thai's downtown location offers patio-style seating on the front porch of their restaurant. Savor one of their many lunch specials at a well-sought-after patio table the next time you're in the mood for Thai food!
Osteria is a charming, authentic Italian restaurant located in a 1880's-style carriage house in an alley off of Kirkwood. The hidden gem is offering temporary patio seating as part of Kirkwood's pedestrian-only space initiative — enjoy their rustic comfort food on the patio while you can!
Ami is a local-favorite when it comes to sushi. Enjoy a few rolls with friends on their cozy patio across the street from IU's campus.
Experience the flavors of authentic Afghan cuisine on Samira's patio. Their smoked salmon salad is the perfect refreshing meal on a warm afternoon.
Siam House has a peaceful, quaint patio that's reminiscent of a Thai garden. It's the perfect place to enjoy a plate of pad Thai on a sunny day.
Looking for modern Mexican food with an interesting twist? Look no further than Social Cantina. If you're over 21, enjoying a margarita with your meal is a must. Grab a table on the patio to do some people-watching on the busy Square while you soak up the warm weather.
Experience traditional Turkish fare on the patio of this international restaurant. Sofra's combo appetizer plate is very popular and allows you to try an assortment of incredible Mediterranean food at a fair price.
Taste of India
Offering authentic Northern & Southern Indian cuisine, Taste of India is a 4th Street favorite. Their large patio deck is the perfect spot to enjoy your meal and the culture of "International Row."
The 3 Amigos
The 3 Amigos have been serving authentic family recipes straight from Mexico since 2015. Their huge menu offers flavors for everyone to enjoy, from chimichangas to burritos to fajitas and much more. Grab a seat at their covered patio for maximum enjoyment.
3 Amigos Taqueria
3 Amigos Taqueria is The 3 Amigos' sister location — they strive to continue the tradition of the original restaurant while venturing into a new era with their menu. Grab a seat on the patio and try their famous cheese sauce with your meal.
Viva Mas Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Viva Mas offers an expansive menu of traditional Mexican food and drinks. Enjoy a tequila flight and shared nachos on the weekend, or delight in a weekday lunch special for under $10.00. In any case, indulge in your comida on their large covered patio.
Aver's Pizza East
Order a Cream & Crimson pizza from Aver's on the east side and enjoy your unique, gourmet 'za on their patio.
Bedrak is a great local brunch spot. Enjoy a flight of their fresh-pressed juices along with one of their delicious dishes — we recommend the signature Cubano and the French toast bites (on the patio, of course).
Big Woods Bloomington
Big Woods offers patio seating on their wrap-around porch and back patio. Their artisan food, in-house beer, and signature cocktails make for the perfect place to catch up with friends, have a date night, or treat the family to a fantastic meal.
If you've never experienced a Bub's elk burger, take yourself down to the local burger joint and prepare to be floored. Save room for one of their delicious hand-dipped milkshakes — what's a better patio meal than a burger, some fries, and a milkshake?
Bucceto's Smiling Teeth West
Bucceto's offers Italian food with a sprinkle of Californian inspiration. Enjoy vibrant, innovative pizzas with the family at Bucceto's west side patio.
Located across the street from Sample Gates, BuffaLouie's offers incredible bone-in & boneless wings and a great IU dining experience. Grab a spot at one of their picnic tables on a nice day and take in the bustle of campus culture.
Butch's Grillacatessen & Eatzeria
New York-meets-Italy at this sandwich, pizza, and salad shop. Butch's multi-page menu ensures there's something for everyone to enjoy, and their many picnic tables offer a great place to savor the flavor.
Located in a quaint village community in Bloomington, C3 offers hand-crafted cocktails & seasonal cuisine. Their patio, often host to local musical acts, is perfect for a romantic date night.
Enjoy a New York-style pizza on this pizzeria's patio. We highly recommend you go with the crumbled sausage — trust us. Cafe Pizzaria is currently offering even more patio seating than usual as part of Kirkwood's pedestrian-only spaces initiative.
Crazy Horse is another local favorite, and they have a great patio. It's the perfect casual spot to meet with friends for dinner & drinks — they carry 80 beers from around the world, in addition to domestic, import, microbrews, and draft beers, plus their full bar.
Dagwood's Deli Sub Shop
Dagwood's boasts their knowledge of the blueprint for the perfect sandwich. Create your own perfect sub, or try one of their signature concoctions. Chow down on that bad boy on their patio to fully appreciate the power of a great sub on a sunny day.
Da Vinci Pizza & Pasta
If traditional Neapolitan-style pizza & pasta is your thing, head over to Da Vinci's. They offer an abundance of unique 'zas and noodle dishes for you to enjoy on their downtown patio. We recommend the Pera pizza for those wanting to go out on a limb and try something different.
Eric Gordon's Greek Pizzeria
There's no shortage of pizza places to try in B-Town, and Eric Gordon's Greek Pizzeria is one of the newest to join the ranks. One of their best lunch specials includes a small pizza & order of garlic butter breadsticks for under $10.00 — chow down on their patio across from Memorial Stadium.
Farm-to-table fans, FARM is your place. Enjoy seasonally-inspired fare at their funky, vintage venue — FARM famous fries are a must on the patio. Patio seating at this eatery has also been temporarily expanded as part of the city's pedestrian-only spaces initiative.
Fat Dan's Chicago-Style Deli
Hotdogs, burgers, and smoked meats are what you'll find at Fat Dan's. Is there any better way to enjoy those foods than under the sun's rays? We don't think so.
Feast Market & Cellar
Feast offers a range of unique, gourmet food for brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert. It's a great place to try something out-of-the-box, like their lamb flatbread or duck confit. The ambiance on the patio is perfect for a date or intimate gathering.
Inspired by New York culture, Goodfellas serves specialty pies, calzones, and oven-baked subs. Their restaurant is located on Kirkwood, so their patio & pedestrian-only space seating is a great place for those who enjoy people-watching.
inBloom Eats + Juice
If you're seeking a great Instagrammable foodie moment, look no further than inBloom. Their smoothie bowls are the stuff IG dreams are made of, and their patio tables make the perfect backdrop.
Laughing Planet Cafe
Enjoy California-inspired burritos, bowls, and quesadillas on Laughing Planet's large patio. Stop by Soma, located on the lower level of the same building, for a coffee pick-me-up after your meal.
Lennie's offers great pizza, pasta, and salads, and we especially love their $10.00 lunch special. Order a slice & salad, salad & soup, or soup & slice to enjoy on their patio or in their pedestrian-only space on Kirkwood.
Serving California-inspired seafood & steaks, Malibu has a casual, upscale atmosphere that's perfect for a special occasion dinner. Enjoy your fine fare in the warm air on the patio for that extra bit of ambiance.
Vegetarians will love The Owlery's plant-based menu. Their poutine is highly recommended by our vegetarian townies, and we're betting it tastes even better when enjoyed on their downtown patio.
The Spoon is a well-loved local favorite. Their quirky atmosphere, secret-garden-esque patio, and incredible food make for a great experience. If you're a fan of salmon, you have to try their smoked salmon hash and smoked salmon bennie — they're two of Bloomington's best breakfast dishes.
Rush Bowls offers a vast menu of customizable smoothies & smoothie bowls. Their goal is to provide Bloomington with quick, healthy, filling, and delicious food options. What's better than enjoying a smoothie bowl on the patio on a nice, sunny day?
Overlooking Monroe Lake and the Hoosier National Forest, Scenic View is arguably Bloomington's best patio-dining location. For a truly striking experience, have dinner on the patio and watch the sunset over the lake & forest.
Fans of Cajun and creole-inspired food should definitely stop by Southern Stone. Enjoying a plate of shrimp & grits on the patio is a great way to start any day.
Swing-In prides itself on being the best regular-old-pizza around town. Enjoy some good-ole pizza, pasta, wings, and stromboli on their patio the next time you're looking to go back-to-basics.
Truffles Fine Cuisine & 56 Degrees Bar
Enjoy a wide range of dishes, from seafood to international flavors to classic steak dinners, on Truffles' small, intimate patio.
A local-favorite upscale eatery, Uptown offers New Orleans-inspired brunch, lunch, and dinner. They have an abundance of patio seating to offer, as they're included in Kirkwood's pedestrian-only spaces plan.
Village Deli is one of B-Town's most beloved breakfast joints. It's always busy on the weekends, so we recommend getting there early if you want your pick of patio seating. They're also part of Kirkwood's pedestrian-only spaces initiative, so you do have a little more wiggle room than usual as far as outdoor seating goes.
The Village Pub
The Village Pub is a high-end gastropub known for their great food, cocktails, and funky atmosphere. Enjoy one of their gourmet meals & craft cocktails on their picturesque patio.
Wee Willie's is a classic breakfast diner with a menu chock-full of comfort food. Located in our neighboring Monroe County town, Ellettsville, Wee Willie's is a great place to take the family for breakfast on the patio in a slower-paced environment.
Windjammer Bar and Grill
The Windjammer is part of the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina and is open to both resort guests & the public. The entire backside of the restaurant faces Monroe Lake and features a windowed wall & ceiling for maximum lake views. Take your casual fare outside to their huge patio to enjoy the lake even more.
Yogi's Bar & Grill
Yogi's is an IU fan institution as far as B-Town dining goes. Their new downtown location offers patio seating across from several popular bars — it's a prime people-watching spot during the late evening hours!
Buffalo Wild Wings
Craving wings from the nation's most beloved wing joint? Head over to Bdub's to enjoy a wing bundle and a beer on their patio.
What's better than a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich and waffle fries? A Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich and waffle fries on the patio.
Chipotle has two locations in town, both of which offer patio seating. However, the Kirkwood location's patio is a bit bigger, and you get the people-watching element. We'll leave it to you to choose your Chipotle patio adventure.
Culver's offers some of the best fast-food burgers, and their cheese curds & concrete mixers are out-of-this-world. Enjoy your meal on their shaded patio for maximum enjoyment.
Five Guys is another great nationwide burger joint. Enjoy your burger & bag fries on one of their two patios in town.
Enjoy a freaky-fast sub on the patio of any of the three Bloomington Jimmy John's locations.
Joella's Hot Chicken
Next time you're craving fried chicken, skip KFC's and try Joella's instead. Their house dipping sauces are unique & delicious, and their parm garlic fries are an absolute must. Is there a better way to enjoy a fried chicken meal than under the sun on a patio?
The nation's favorite deli offers a small shaded patio in Bloomington, perfect for enjoying your favorite McAlister's sandwich and a famous iced tea.
Noodles & Company
Craving a quick-yet-delicious bowl of pasta? Stop by one of Bloomington's two Noodles locations, and slurp your noods on the patio.
For a freshly-prepared comfort meal, head over to Panera Bread. For maximum comfort, let the sun warm you as you savor your soup & sandwich on the patio.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Think of Potbelly as an elevated Subway — they offer great subs, salads, and sides. Also located on Kirkwood, Potbelly's patio is yet another great spot for people-watching the IU crowd.
All Starbucks locations in town have a patio to enjoy the nation's favorite coffeehouse beverages.
Wendy's on the east side features a small patio for you to sit and enjoy your classic burger, fries, and Frosty.