Nothing draws people outside in The Bend quite like the arrival of warmer temperatures. And that means patio dining. Here are some of the best spots to dine al fresco.
NOTE: As temperatures warm up, patios will be opening up at different times. Please call restaurants in advance to see if they’re offering outdoor seating.
Café Navarre has been a fine dining destination in downtown South Bend since opening its doors. You can take that elevated experience outside with a patio that runs alongside its historic building. The menu — with everything from oysters to roast chicken — is one of The Bend’s best.
The Carriage House Dining Room & Gardens
Another fine dining restaurant, The Carriage House offers a special menu every year just for its guests that choose to dine al fresco. Doing so means being seated in one of the most unique environments The Bend has to offer: beautifully landscaped gardens that are fit for an Instagram post. If the flowers don’t catch your attention, the food certainly will.
Doc Pierce’s Restaurant
Doc Pierce’s is long on history and charm, a local place in downtown Mishawaka that hasn’t changed much over the years. That’s good thing. One of the major additions to the restaurant was a garden patio, which often runs at capacity on summer nights. It’s considered by locals one of the best outdoor dining spots in The Bend.
Evil Czech Brewery and Public House
Wander out back at this local brewery and you’ll find one of the most unique patios around. It’s mostly covered for plenty of shade, has community tables and is complete with a double-decker bus that serves food. After grabbing a spot to sit, head over to the bus for an order of tacos.
RELATED CONTENT: A Guide to Craft Beer in The Bend
Hensell’s Oaken Bucket
UPDATE: The Oaken Bucket is currently closed as it undergoes renovations.
Think of the Oaken Bucket as a little slice of nature in the city. Located near the Indiana University South Bend campus, “the Bucket” has a multi-level deck with a panoramic view of the St. Joseph River (pictured below). It was a finalist for best burger in The Bend during 2014’s Burger Wars competition and dares guests to take the King Burger Challenge — finish a 4-pound burger in 45 minutes and the meal is free.
Jesús Latin Grill + Tequila Bar
Located in a former Carnegie Library in downtown Mishawaka, there are few restaurants in The Bend with as flavorful a menu. Jesus Latin Grill is a wild (and amazing) ride for your taste buds. It’s also home to a wonderful patio within a stone’s throw of the St. Joseph River, which makes for a great walk after dinner.
The Lauber Kitchen + Bar
The patio here is a summertime favorite with everything you could want: Plenty of space, a pergola and plenty of good vibes. The Lauber is known for its pizzas and signature cocktails.
O’Rourke’s Public House
It’s hard to go wrong by visiting an Irish pub, especially one practically in the shadow of the Golden Dome. O’Rourke’s is situated across from Notre Dame with a patio that looks across Angela Boulevard and onto campus. Stop by on game day and (if you’re lucky enough to grab a seat) you’ll be right in the mix as fans head toward the stadium.
RELATED CONTENT: Irish Eats in The Bend
Papa Vino’s Italian Restaurant
Wouldn’t be quite right if we had a patio list without at least one Italian restaurant. The patio at Papa Vino’s is a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Mishawaka retail corridor. Bread and oil, a glass of wine then dinner — that’s amore.
Simeri’s Old Town Tap
Outdoor experiences don’t come much more authentic than Simeri’s, a family owned establishment with one of the most well-known patios in the area. Walk through the cozy main bar and you’ll find a sprawling setup outside with plenty of seating.
South Bend Brew Werks
UPDATE: South Bend Brew Werks is currently closed as it prepares to change locations.
Another downtown South Bend spot, South Bend Brew Werks gets a little bigger in the spring with the addition of its fenced-in patio. Kick back, order a pint and relax.
Wind Family Fireside Terrace
NOTE: The Rohr’s dining room is currently closed for in-person dining. The patio is open for hotel guests only at this time.
Located in the heart of Notre Dame’s campus, the Morris Inn offers outdoor seating at Wind Family Fireside Terrace (pictured at the top) adjacent to Rohr’s. You can relax with a drink in soft seating or grab a table. Don’t worry about parking: valet at the Morris Inn is free if you’re dining inside or you can make a short walk from the Hammes Bookstore.
Head to the Roof
There are patios then there are rooftop patios. Why not sit outside with a view? Bar Louie in Granger is The Bend’s newest rooftop, offering an elevated take on the traditional patio experience with a massive bar and seating area.
More to Explore
Why stop at just 12 suggestions? If you’re looking for outdoor dining, here are more options to explore via the South Bend Tribune.
- Bantam Chicken and Seafood
- Brothers Bar + Grill
- Chicory Café
- Crooked Ewe Brewery and Ale House
- Danny Boy Draft Works
- Fiddler’s Hearth
- The Garage Arcade Bar
- The General Deli and Café
- Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
- The Hammer and Quill
- Hideaway at the LaSalle
- Ironhand Wine Bar
- Kankakee Grille
- LaSalle Grill
- Nom Nom Pho
- Parisi’s Ristorante Italiano
- South Bend Chocolate Café
- Studebaker Grill and Brewing Co.
- Taphouse on the Edge
- Taqueria Chicago
- The View Tavern
- Woochi Japanese Fusion and Bar
- Aladdin’s Eatery
- BK Root Beer Drive-In
- Bonnie Doons Drive-In
- Doc Pierce’s Restaurant
- Fanellos Authentic Italian Restaurant
- Hacienda Mexican Restaurants
- Heavenly Goat Brewing Co.
- Hop Station Craft Bar
- Nedderman’s Sirloin Tips and Steak Place
- Uptown Kitchen
- Bin 23
- Capri Italian Restaurant
- Rocky River Tap and Table
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Simonini Gourmet
- Temper Grille
- Villa Macri
- Yesterday’s Food and Spirits
Around The Bend
- Fat Cap Smoked Meats (Roseland)
- Kate O’Connor’s Irish Pub (New Carlisle)
- Moser’s Austrian Café (New Carlisle)
- Woodiel’s and Cheers Pub (Roseland)