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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

People enjoying coffee on the patio at hopscotch in bloomington

Chocolate Moose

Crumble Cafe
Enjoy your favorite latte and a baked good on the patio at either Crumble location!

Hopscotch Coffee
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. 

Inkwell Bakery & Cafe

Jiffy Treet
Patio weather goes hand in hand with the perfect scoop of ice cream. 

Needmore Coffee Roasters

Rainbow Bakery

The classic coffeehouse has patios at both of their locations for you to enjoy a cup of joe.

Underground Bakery

Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, & Bars

People drinking beer at Upland Patio in Bloomington

Bear's Place
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. 

Butler Winery & Vineyard

Cardinal Spirits
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. 

Friendly Beasts Cider Company

Function Brewing

Kilroy's on Kirkwood

Nick's English Hut

Oliver Winery

Switchyard Brewing Company

The Tap
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 Brewpub
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!

Upstairs Pub

International Cuisine

Man eating fish and chips at Irish Lion in Bloomington

Amrit India

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.

Burma Garden

Do Asian Fusion Cuisine

El Ranchero
There's nothing better than enjoying Mexican food and a margarita in the sun. 

Feta Kitchen + Cafe

Grazie Italiano 

Irish Lion
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?

Korea Restaurant
Kimchi, bibimbap, tonkatsu, oh my!

La Charreada

Little Tibet
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.

My Thai
It's a great day when you are on their patio chowing on their delicious pad thai noodles.

Restaurant Ami

Samira Restaurant

Siam House
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. 

Social Cantina

Sofra Cafe

Taste of India
Two words: Lunch Buffet. Try a little of everything.

The 3 Amigos

Viva Mas

Local Restaurants

People sitting on patio at Runcible Spoon in Bloomington

Bedrak Cafe
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

Bub's Burgers



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. 

Cafe Pizzaria
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
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. 

Dagwood's Deli Sub Shop

Farm Bloomington

Fat Dan's Chicago-Style Deli



Laughing Planet Cafe
The Spinach & Black Bean Burrito is a favorite. You can’t go wrong with a well-made classic.

Malibu Grill
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. 

The Owlery
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.

Pub & Bistro at Eagle Pointe

Runcible Spoon

Scenic View
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.

Southern Stone

The Standard Grain

Swing-In Pizza

Uptown Cafe

Village Deli

Windjammer Bar and Grill

National Chains

Bloomington Tulips & Kirkwood Street View

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen


Chow down on a burrito bowl or tacos on the patio at Chipotle downtown or on the east side of town. 

Five Guys
Both Five Guys locations (downtown and on the east side) have patios to enjoy a burger and fries. 

Jimmy John's
Enjoy a freaky-fast sub on the patio of any of the Jimmy John's locations. 

McAlister's Deli

Noodles & Company

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Starbucks Coffee
All Starbucks locations in town have a patio to enjoy a cup of coffee or iced tea. 

Which Wich

Nia Jones

Nia Jones

Nia is Visit Bloomington’s Content Coordinator. As soon as she stepped foot on IU's campus, she realized she found a forever-home in Bloomington. Her favorite thing about B-Town is the diversity and culture that is found in this small town in the Midwest.  She enjoys exploring new places around town and cheering on the Hoosiers.