Unique Patios & Outdoor Dining

June 24, 2014
Outdoor Dining

Unique Patios and Other Outdoor Dining in Cleveland For Outdoor (Eating) Enthusiasts

The average summertime temperature in Cleveland? A perfect 72 degrees. Combine that with sunny days and cool Lake Erie breezes, and you'd be crazy to not want to spend your Cleveland vacation sipping libations and dining on local cuisine on an outdoor patio.

Clevelanders love a good patio, so there are literally thousands of options. But, we know visitors have their own set of unique requests when it comes to patio dining.

Dining with a View

A patio is just a patio. But, when it comes with a view, well, that just changes everything. Thankfully, Cleveland boasts some incredible outdoor patios complete with our own version of eye candy.

The Greenhouse Tavern
If people-watching is your thing, head to East Fourth Street and...look up. The ultra cool Greenhouse Tavern offers a rooftop patio with its own dedicated bar featuring a pretty eclectic drink menu. A favorite among locals seeking a happy hour respite, the rooftop is best enjoyed right before an Indians baseball game when you can take in the energy on the street below.

Pier W
The view of Lake Erie doesn't really get much better than what you'll find at the deck patio at Pier W in Lakewood. This upscale restaurant, which is known for its incredible seafood selection matched against the backdrop of Lake Erie, recently opened its outdoor deck to diners. Small plates and fun cocktails are all the rage, but deck seating comes on a first-come first-serve basis.

Sunset Grille
Catch a Lake Erie sunset or just chill with friends at a picnic table at Sunset Grille located on Whiskey Island. The lakeside eatery and bar (sit inside or out) features live music, incredible lake views and a pretty diverse clientele ranging from boaters to bikers. Flip flops, shorts and tank tops - the vibe is fun, beachy and casual.

Hidden Gem Patios

So, you've come to Cleveland and would like to avoid the traditional guidebook recommendations, right? Thankfully, we know of some rather hidden gems when it comes to outdoor dining (Clevelanders are going to kill us for sharing this info).

L'Albatros Brasserie
Inside L'Albatros Brasserie, you'll see the posh, clean interior design juxtaposed against the details of the historic carriage house. But, head to the back of the restaurant, and you'll find a hidden brick-lined patio enshrouded by whispy trees, beautiful flowers and chic furnishings. Make reservations in advance or enjoy the patio bar at this locally owned French restaurant in University Circle.

Looks are deceiving at this quaint, yet vivacious Detroit-Shoreway restaurant and pub known as Reddstone. But, head to the patio and you'll soon realize that you've found a local hidden secret. Lit by string-lights, the patio gives off a "backyard" vibe. Be sure to check out one of their regular patio pig roasts.

Washington Place Bistro & Inn
Complete with seven rooms available for overnight accommodations, the historic Washington Place Bistro & Inn is a picturesque American-style eatery in the Little Italy neighborhood. Many folks don't know the restaurant has a beautifully manicured patio. Even better, guests can reserve the "secret" table on the patio (for groups six or more) to enjoy private dining amid a garden of azaleas.

Beer Gardens

Okay, so you might not hear Munich's unofficial toast to beer, "Ein Prosit," but you can get that outdoor beer garden experience at some of these Cleveland bars and restaurants.

Barking Spider Tavern
Just about every night of the week, you'll find local music (rock, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, you-name-it) at the Barking Spider, which has become an institution in University Circle. Make your way to the outdoor beer garden and sip a beer from their rather extensive imported and domestic beer list.

Nano Brew
The Ohio City neighborhood is quickly becoming a craft beer-lover's paradise. One such oasis helping that cause is the cyclist-friendly Nano Brew. The outdoor patio and deck at Nano is a great place to take in a summer night while sipping one of 24 craft beers on tap.

Szemerszky's Bier Garden at Sterle's Country House
With family-style seating on picnic tables, it doesn't get much more authentic than Szemerszky's Bier Garden. Offering a menu of sausages, Bavarian pretzels and a nice selection of German beers, this beer garden is attached to the polka-loving restaurant that is Sterle's Country House in the St. Clair/Superior neighborhood.

Dining with the Dog

Dog people are their own special breed (pun intended). If you're the type that travels with the canine, we know you're on the hunt for some dog-friendly patios throughout the area.

Great Lakes Brewing Company
The outdoor section of the Brewpub at the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Ohio City, aptly titled "The Avenue," not only offers a large selection of its medal-winning brews and hearty portions of quintessential Cleveland foods, but also allows well-behaved pooches to take a perch on the patio.

Johnny's Downtown
For dog lovers who also happen to love a little luxury, check out Johnny's Downtown. The white-table-clothe establishment allows dogs on its gorgeous sidewalk patio on West 6th Street in the Warehouse District.

Clevelanders well versed in the city's explosive culinary scene will tell you that Momocho's modern Mexican cuisine is a not-to-be-missed culinary attraction (do not pass up the goat cheese guacamole). But, if you've got Fido along for the ride, you now have an even better excuse to enjoy a cucumber margarita on the Ohio City restaurant's patio where dogs are welcome.

More Alfresco Escapes

Looking for other Cleveland outdoor dining restaurants and bars? Check out these other alfresco escapes.

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