Outdoor Dining, Grand Rapids
By: Isabelle Torossian
COVID-19 has changed the way we eat at our local restaurants here in Grand Rapids, from domes to heated patios, socially distanced food is just as good! Outdoor spaces may require a reservation but the rules and regulations are changing quite frequently. Here are some places open right now for outdoor dining. If you miss your favorite foodie places then check this list out your favorite might be on it! Don’t forget to bring a coat and a hat and be ready to take in the Grand Rapids views. Let’s support our local restaurants as much as we can in this difficult time.
Grand Woods Lounge
An American hunting lodge bar with six outdoor heated urban domes for you to enjoy with drinks and grub. To reserve a bubble for up to six people just call ahead.
The Cottage Bar and Restaurant
Grand Rapids’ longest-running bar and restaurant for 93 years with a charming stone and wood theme. It has an enclosure just for outdoor seating and propane heaters to keep you warm!
A pub located on the medical mile with a heated, enclosed patio. I drive past this pub frequently and I always see people waiting to get in!
Lyon Street Cafe’s Outdoor Seating
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Lyon Street Cafe
A French themed cafe, known for their specialty drinks and sandwiches open 8 AM-4 PM every day that I’ve been wanting to try! They have private greenhouse shaped winter enclosures available for reservation.
One Twenty Three Tavern
A new American tavern smack in the middle of Studio Park with two options of picnic tables outside available without reservation and a heated enclosure with reservation needed.
City Built Brewing Company
Known for their innovative COVID enclosures, City Built Brewing Company built a large tent adjacent to their building with a capacity of 60 people. All tables inside have a capacity of four people each.
The Holiday Bar
At The Holiday Bar guests have two options: one is to sit at the bar in a heated enclosure or the heated patio! It is first come first serve so there may be a wait because the patio allows only 25 people at once.
Friesian Gastro Pub
Friesian Gastro Pub allows enough seating for five tables with four seats under a heated enclosure. Reservations are recommended and during peak hours they may require a 90 minute limit on your stay.
New Holland’s Outdoor Patio
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
New Holland Brewing Co. - The Knickerbocker
My favorite place to grab a drink as a college student and they have outdoor seating now! They have a semi-enclosed patio with fireplace tables and heaters included. If you need somewhere to go on the fly they are first come first serve and have a lot of tables usually so not usually a big wait time!
*These are only a few of the many other restaurants in Grand Rapids that have outdoor dining but if you don’t see your favorite place just call them and I am sure they will let you know if they have outdoor seating available.
Outside Coffee Co.
Photo Credit: Isabelle Torossian
I have personally been to Outside Coffee Co in East town and they have enclosed bubbles for reservation only and they have a warm fire pit to sit around! They have lots of seating just make sure to bring a coat and gloves if you do not have a reservation for a bubble. My friends and I got hungry and so we walked down the street to see what was around. We love tacos so we stopped at Donkey Taqueria but sadly they were booked that day for their outdoor heated bubbles but had availability for the outdoor non-heated seating. We did not plan well and only had small coats in 30-degree weather and decided to head further down the street in our search for food.
On our way back from the Donkey Taqueria, we found The Winchester and enjoyed a meal in a bubble. They miraculously let us use a bubble because of a cancellation but they told us that they are booked until after February! They did have their patio with heaters also.
If you do not feel comfortable with outdoor enclosures many restaurants do take out and use Doordash, Grubhub, or UberEats to deliver your food. This is still a great way to support your local restaurants and pubs!