Winter is hardly enough to stop Michiganders from dining and drinking outdoors.
Especially with restaurants operating at 25% capacity inside, a huge number of local businesses have set up outdoor spaces to hang out, whether it’s a large tent or a private igloo or just some heat lamps and picnic tables.
Here’s our guide to great places to eat and drink “outside” in winter. If we missed someone, let us know! Also, living in a pandemic means constant change, so to be sure of seating, always call ahead.
Amway Grand Plaza
An outdoor bar services strolling pedestrians, along with an outdoor heated patio at IDC, and heated shanties outside Ruth's Chris (dubbed the Sizzle Shack).
This LGBTQ+ bar has just created an enclosed patio and four-season space with forced air heating.
Brick & Porter
The entire area outside this restaurant on Monroe Center — as well as Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine and House of Wine — now has a heated, partially enclosed shelter as well as domes and five heated greenhouses that fit six people each.
City Built Brewing Co.
North of Downtown, City Built has created The Welcome Center, a large, heated, open tent in the parking lot. It’s a great place to stop for a craft brew while enjoying the World of Winter!
The Amway Grand Plaza has set up an outdoor bar at the corner of Pearl and Monroe, kitty corner from Rosa Parks Circle, with food, drinks, heat towers, tabletop fire pits and the sights of the city.
The Cottage Bar
This longtime bar and restaurant’s patio now has electric and propane heaters!
Domes on the Jdek
The JW Marriott now has igloos on the deck overlooking the Grand River, offering food and drink from the French restaurant Margaux. You can even add unique add-ons and experiences, such as the “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” with a bottle of champagne, seafood tower, two entrees and a bottle of wine.
Field & Fire Café
They have four personal greenhouses seating up to four people, with contactless ordering from your phone.
Founders Brewing Co.
The largest beer garden/patio in the city is open, with its many outdoor heaters and fireplaces blasting, as usual.
Garage Bar and Grill
Garage is well-known for its street-side patio, and now it’s heated, cozy and partially enclosed.
This heated, enclosed patio is equipped with a hospital-grade HEPA filter to keep the air fresh while you enjoy bar food and craft beers.
One Twenty Three Tavern
The restaurant and bar at Studio Park has picnic tables, tower heaters, heated huts and a large heated tent, which hosts live music!
The heated, open patio here now has private shanties — first-come, first-serve.
Enjoy your modern tacos in a heated outdoor dome, seating up to six people per dome.
The Green Well
This beloved restaurant has powerful heaters warming its patio by the garden.
As always, Outside Coffee has domes to enjoy, but now there are more than before and reservations are required, to make it extra safe!
Rise Bakery + Squibb Coffee
Vegan and gluten-free baked goods, local coffee, private greenhouses outside — what more do you need?
Royals Grand Rapids
This new diner now has six-person domes on the patio, with heaters included! Reservations required.
Speciation Artisan Ales
Check out one of the world’s best breweries and its new patio space with heaters, a fire pit and two greenhouses (first come, first serve).
Welcome to the “Winnie Wonderland,” featuring three domes and a festive vintage food truck, all with contact-free dining.
Enjoy your gyro in one of six first-come, first-serve heated greenhouses.
Build your own giant tacos at this new Bridge Street eatery (right by Kale’s Korner) with a back patio with tower heaters.
Bring in your own food and drink delicious craft beer at this brewery on Alpine with a heated patio.
This split greenhouse has two spots for six, reservations required!
The Mitten Brewing Company
The Mitten’s “Base Camp” is an outdoor dining space with seven tables and fire pits throughout. Reservations required!
Outdoor heaters and fire pits are all you need to enjoy some craft beer outside here. Reservations required.
Back again, The Sovengard has private, heated “glamping” style tents outside, along with patio heaters and fire pits.
AND MANY MORE OPTIONS
Cinco De Mayo, Flanagan’s Irish Pub, Grand Woods Lounge, Friesian Gastro Pub, Z’s Restaurant and Bar, Uccello’s Ristorante
Bier Distillery, Blue Water, Cedar Springs Brewing, The Corner Bar, HopCat, Gravity Taphouse, Rockford Brewing Co., Third Nature Brewing Co., Vander Mill, Perrin Brewing Co.
Brass Ring Brewing, Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery, Noco Provisions, Thornapple Brewing, Farmhaus Cider, Kitzingen Brewery, Pike 51 Brewery
For more details, visit experiencegr.com.