Wide Open Spaces for Outdoor Dining

6/11/2020 - Beth Dugan

Space and fresh air for outdoor dining in Kenosha, WI
Space and fresh air for outdoor dining in Kenosha, WI
Space and fresh air for outdoor dining in Kenosha, WI
Space and fresh air for outdoor dining in Kenosha, WI
Space and fresh air for outdoor dining in Kenosha, WI

Are you in the mood for an al fresco meal?  This guide will give you an overview of outdoor dining locations in the local area.

In the mood for a rooftop with a great view.

Check out the outdoor dining at The Crow’s Nest on the roof of The Stella Hotel & Ballroom for an upscale urban vibe and menu, the newly opened The Down Town’R Saloon with their cocktails and southwestern fare, and Apis Hotel & Restaurant which will be opening soon with an avant garde offering.  All three establishments have rooftop tables with fabulous views of the Downtown Kenosha area.

Glimpses of the Lake.

Waterfront Warehouse has a brand-new deck which offers views Lake Michigan and the Pike Creek Bike Path. Waterfront offers a menu with great variety from salads and flatbreads to burgers and pasta dishes, with something for everyone.  Wyndham Garden – Kenosha Harborside has the new Lakefront Deck overlooking the Kenosha Harbor. You’ll find great cocktails here and incredible skies at night (even though the sun sets in the west, not the east over the lake). Watch the sailboats and yachts come in and out of the Marina as you sit on the patio at Ashling on the Lough. Here you’ll enjoy traditional Irish fare, beer, cocktails, and awesome Bloody Marys. Harborside Common Grounds has one of the most iconic views in Kenosha with their deck that looks straight out onto the Kenosha Harbor channel. The Boat House Pub and Eatery has several great options for views of the Simmons Island Marina where you can watch Charter Fishing boats adventuring out onto the lake. The outdoor patio offers seating under umbrellas for a total fresh-air experience, while the deck has large open windows for the best of both worlds. The menu offers fresh fish, sandwiches, a large selection of appetizers and salads, and famous Long Island Iced Teas.

Retro Drive-Ins.

Do you want to dine out with car hops, real root beer, and never leaving your car?  You are in luck – Big Star Drive-In and The Spot Drive-In both serve burgers with old-school trays that hook onto your car window. Make sure you have a 50’s music streaming station on before you pull in to get the full effect. The Spot if home of the Root Beer Whirl – a creation similar to a root beer shake paired with a double cheeseburger. Big Star, open seasonally, is known for their extra gooey quarter-pound cheese burgers and cheese fries! You’ll have to try both!

Beer and Nature.

If you want to look at nature, go no further than the Petrifying Springs Biergarten or R’Noggin Brewing.  Both have great beer, and outdoor seating in natural settings.  The biergarten is located in Kenosha County’s oldest park – Petrifying Spring Park. There is plenty of room to spread out, so it’s a great place to meet up with friends and family. You’ll definitely want to try one of their Pretzels! R’Noggin’ has a backyard vibe to their onsite beer garden where they often have live music, food trucks, and more.

The Secret Gardens.

Ever dream of eating in a secret garden,  hidden away from the world?  House of Gerhard has a secret biergarten that serves food tucked behind their restaurant.  You can enjoy all your favorite authentic German dishes under the twinkling lights in this beautiful outdoor area. Villa D’Carlo has some great sidewalk tables that are nestled amongst planters in front of their restaurant, but they also have a patio tucked to the side of the restaurant that offers a more intimate setting. Both are a great place to enjoy their famous pizzas or Italian cuisine.  And speaking of gardens, we can’t forget the Garden of Eatin’. That is the name for given to the patio dining garden at The Coffee Pot. Here you will be seated among palm trees, flowers, and art made of vintage coffee pots and tea kettles.

Urban People Watching.

Many of Kenosha’s restaurants sidewalk table seating right in front of their venues, as well.  These are awesome places to sit and watch the world go by.  Check out tables at the following locations – and make sure you check with the staff before claiming a table.  Reservations may be required.

  • Buzz Café
  • Captain Mike’s Beer & Burger Bar
  • Frank’s Diner
  • PUBLIC Craft Brewing
  • Rustic Road Brewing
  • Sazzy B
  • Slip 56
  • Trolley Dogs
  • Tuscany Bisto
  • Twisted Cuisine – COMING SOON
  • Villa D’Carlo

You want to people watch – but in a more contained setting – Patio version

If dining on the sidewalk doesn’t appeal to you, check out the following places that have patios.  I am defining patio as a defined space with fences or borders that you can only enter through the restaurant.  People watching on patios is great – you can see people but you are out of the main traffic patterns.  Enjoy!

  • Brat Stop
  • Culver’s
  • Grab’s Burger Bar
  • Iguana Wana Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar
  • Johnny’Z Pour House
  • Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub
  • Spanky’s Bar & Grill
  • Tenuta’s Delicatessen and Liquors
  • The Daily Dose Café (starting June 13)
  • The Garage Sports and Burger Bar
  • Union Park Tavern
  • Wine Knot Bar & Bistro

You want to have an old-fashion picnic

Lake Michigan beaches are perfect for a blanket and a basket treat while watching the waves.  To get your food – contact all of the great places listed above and order take-out.  They will be happy to help you craft the perfect picnic basket.

It’s time to enjoy some great Kenosha Eats, Fresh Air, and Fun this summer! Get out there and give some of these venues a try.

Learn more about all the restaurants mentioned here.

Community Blogger Beth Dugan

Beth Dugan

Community Blogger

Hospitality Educator and writer.  Married mom of three adults and Jack the Dog.  Bike trail explorer, reader, and needlepoint fanatic.