The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer and the weather is getting nicer by the day. For Indy’s culinary scene, that means only one thing: The patio seating is open again!
If you’re tired of being stuck indoors, grab your family or your friend group and head out for an afternoon adventure or a night on the town. We’ve got your guide to the best outdoor dining areas in and around the city:
Public Greens – 902 E. 64th St.
If you like a garden-to-table experience, you will love Public Greens. Not only can you enjoy dishes with locally-sourced fare, you can enjoy your meal on the patio right next to the garden where some of the food is grown. The food is excellent, and the profits go to support a community charity that aims to end food insecurity.
BRU Burger Bar – 410 Massachusetts Ave.
Whether you’re looking for a family spot for lunch or a great low-key place for date night, you’ll love the food and the atmosphere at the BRU Burger Bar. The patio is only open in the summertime, but it’s perfect for relaxing and watching the crowd pass by.
Ralston’s DraftHouse – 635 Massachusetts Ave.
Looking for great food at reasonable prices and outdoor seating where you can just sit and relax? Stop at Ralston’s, where their burgers and appetizers are amazing and the beer is some of the finest from local breweries and all over. This is a great Sunday brunch spot, too!
Flatwater Restaurant – 832 E. Westfield Blvd.
If you’re looking for a great little spot with a patio overlooking IWC Canal Greenway, you don’t want to pass by Flatwater Restaurant without stopping. It’s billed as “a place to kick back and relax” next to turbulent white waters, all the while you enjoy comfort food with an elegant twist, like their Thai chili shrimp.
Bluebeard – 653 Virginia Ave.
Bluebeard’s is one of the favorites among locals, and for good reason. They have amazing food, great drinks and a theme that’s designed as tribute to Indy’s own Kurt Vonnegut. Their patio seating is divine, but make sure you check out the selections of artisan breads from their in-house bakery while you’re there.
Canal Bistro – 6349 Guilford Ave.
If you like your people-watching accompanied by authentic Mediterranean fare, you won’t go wrong at Canal Bistro. The indoor restaurant is beautifully detailed, but the canalside patio offers an excellent and entertaining view to go with your fattoush or spanakopita.
Fresco Italian Cafe on the Canal – 340 W. Michigan St.
Situated right on the Central Canal, Fresco offers outdoor seating and a view for people-watching that can only be beaten by the array of goodies they have to offer. Dine on unique flatbread creations, Italian sandwiches, wine, gelato and Italian ice, and then top it all off with a local gondola ride.
The Eagle – 310 Massachusetts Ave.
Looking for some good country-style food in a chic, urban atmosphere? The Eagle is another of the culinary delights hiding on Mass. Ave, and it’s well worth the visit if the thought of true Southern-fried chicken makes your mouth water. Their patio also comes equipped with a full bar and several fire pits, so enjoy!
Ball & Biscuit – 331 Massachusetts Ave.
Sometimes you just get out of the house – and sometimes you just need to get away from everything and find a new point of view. When you go to the Ball & Biscuit, you can do both if you decide to dine on their rooftop and take in the view of the city. They bill themselves as Indy’s “original cocktail bar,” and it’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss.
The Tap – 306 N. Delaware St.
The Tap is one of those bars that the locals always seem to know about. Here the beer is always good, the wine is on tap and the appetizers are top-notch. They have an awesome outdoor patio and often have live music in the summer – so come for an hour or come for a whole afternoon!
Chatham Tap – 719 Massachusetts Ave.
We have it from reliable sources that the wings are great and the burgers are even better, but the real lure at Chatham Tap is the camaraderie. This is a popular spot with local soccer fans (and the extensive array of global and local brews) doesn’t hurt. Their patio dining is relaxed and comfortable on any nice day.
Taxman CityWay – 310 South Delaware St.
Taxman CityWay’s beer garden and “gastro pub” is situated right in the heart of the city, and they welcome everyone to their patio dining, including singles, couples and families – you can even bring your dog along! If you want to start the evening with a few great brews, a craft cocktail or two and a good meal, this is the place.
Rick’s Cafe Boatyard – 4050 Dandy Trail
Do you love surf and turf, good wine and a relaxing time outside? Then head over to Rick’s Cafe, where the waterfront restaurant offers a panoramic view of Eagle Creek Reservoir and some of the best steaks and seafood in town.
Iozzo’s Garden of Italy – 946 S. Meridian St.
Looking for a little old world charm and the perfect ambiance for romance? You’ll find it under the twinkling lights and next to the bubbling fountain in the brick patio outside of Iozzo’s. The food and wine are both excellent for date night, although plenty of familys also dine here.
The culinary scene in Indianapolis has been growing more rapidly than ever. If you haven’t yet explored some of these restaurants, stop waiting! There’s always something whimsical and wonderful hiding around the next corner.