Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Dinner and Drinks on the Patio
Categories: Wine & Culinary
We love all the seasons in Bloomington, but the spring is a favorite for enjoying long days at the lake and dinner and drinks on the patio. The food is just as tasty outside as in, and the people-watching is certainly more exciting on a patio. We're sharing a round-up of where to enjoy patio season.
Bakeries & Cafes & Sweet Treats
Enjoy your favorite latte and a baked good on the patio at either Crumble location!
You can't go wrong here but during patio season, check out the nitro cold brew coffee. You can even add a scoop of ice cream if you really want to indulge.
Patio weather goes hand in hand with the perfect scoop of ice cream.
The classic coffeehouse has patios at both of their locations for you to enjoy a cup of joe.
Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, & Bars
Bear's has a new patio facing 3rd Street and it's perfect for an afternoon beer and people watching.
Butler Winery Downtown
The local winery has a beautiful, unsuspecting secret garden to enjoy a nice glass of wine.
Everything. Seriously, everything is good. Moscow mules and White Russians are regulars on the menu and always delicious. The Cardinal Spirits deck is a favorite for its location overlooking the B-Line. If you see friends riding home on their bikes just give them a shout to come to join you or just kick back and enjoy the sunset. If you get hungry they offer a full dinner menu now with small plates, main dishes, and delectable desserts.
The Tap Fries are awesome! They’ll likely have your favorite beer available, but take advantage of the huge selection and try one or two (or three) new ones.
Upland has such a great menu it’s tough for most of us to pick a favorite. For vegetarians, the Yellow Coconut Curry is an unexpected item for a brewery menu, but it is worth trying something different. For people that are gluten-free, they carry Oliver Winery’s Beanblossom Cider which is so refreshing when the weather gets hot. And for the omnivores, order the Bad Elmer's burger with bison but make sure you check out the daily specials too. Their patio is HUGE and they allow dogs!
Pides are the Turkish version of pizza topped with veggies, meat, or both. You can't go wrong with shish kebabs either and all entrees come with soup and their amazing bread. Their patio is lush and full of flowers, you'll swear your dining in a Mediterranean garden.
There's nothing better than enjoying Mexican food and a margarita in the sun.
The Glen is Irish Lion's amazing outdoor dining venue. Blarney Puffballs all the way. The vegetable medley is the most underrated vegetarian dish in town. It’s so flavorful and you get a huge portion. They have a nice draft list too including favorite imports like Guinness and Magner’s Irish Cider.
Taco Tuesday anyone?
Kimchi, bibimbap, tonkatsu, oh my!
Explore a different culture at Little Tibet. They are a triple threat specializing in Tibetan, Thai, and Indian cuisine. Feeling Tibetan food? The dumplings are a must. Indian? You have to go with the curry. Thai? Try the Tom Ka or get the Pad Thai.
It's a great day when you are on their patio chowing on their delicious pad thai noodles.
We have to say, their patio is pretty fabulous! Try the Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles), but Pad Thai is always a solid choice too.
Taste of India
Two words: Lunch Buffet. Try a little of everything.
This is the perfect breakfast spot. Fill up on anything from Eggs Benedict to waffles to country fried steak. Don't forget to try one of their juices too!
Big Woods Bloomington
The Veggie & BBQ Nachos are delish and perfect for a happy hour appetizer. Don't forget to order a beer! Big Woods Bloomington serves Quaff On! and other craft brews. In addition to their outdoor seating on the deck, they have a beer garden with all sorts of patio games.
Bloomington Sandwich Company
C3 has a large list of appetizers making it an awesome choice if you want to snack on a bunch of different dishes. They also have daily drink specials like $5 Moscow mules on Mondays.
Get a stromboli and take a seat outside. P.S. they have Coke AND Pepsi.
Coaches Bar & Grill
Their nachos are huge and tasty, and they usually have good drink specials during the week.
Crazy Horse is a great casual spot downtown. A favorite (and secret) drink is the Caballo Loco. It’s a tall fruity cocktail that will make you feel like you’re at the beach.
Laughing Planet Cafe
The Spinach & Black Bean Burrito is a favorite. You can’t go wrong with a well-made classic.
Wine and dine at one of Bloomington's upscale restaurants. They have hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, unique plates of pasta, and wood-fired pizza.
Mother Bear's West
There's a reason Mother Bear's is constantly nominated for pizza awards... because it's freaking delicious. They have great wings too!
Opie Taylor's Sports Grill
Opie Taylor's is a quintessential midwest burger joint. The menu is filled with midwest and IU references (i.e. the Cyndiana burger which is a must-try). They have a new garage door that opens when the sun is shining to enjoy a burger (or their firecracker shrimp) on the patio.
Poutine, fish tacos, or classic grilled cheese with avocado and a side of sweet potato fries. All vegetarian of course. Grab a seat on the picnic tables out front; you'll have a prime-time view of the Courthouse Square.
It's so hard to beat their view of Monroe Lake and the Hoosier National Forest. We know this is a dinner guide but their bloody marys are a spicy favorite making brunch here a must. For dinner, try the meatloaf or fish tacos.
The Standard Grain
Enjoy a freaky-fast sub on the patio of any of the Jimmy John's locations.
All Starbucks locations in town have a patio to enjoy a cup of coffee or iced tea.