Get outside…and eat! 2018 Top 17 outdoor patios in the dunes.

May 14, 2018

Feature photo courtesy of: Haymarket Taproom

All other photos by: Chad Ulam

It’s time once again for our list of favorite outdoor patios! Because there are so many, we tried to feature communities close to the dunes from Miller Beach, IN to Baroda, MI (with quick jumps into Hobart and Chesterton). We’ve added a few more of our favorites at the bottom. Enjoy!

(from West to East)

  1. Wells Street Beach (Miller). Located on the beach in Miller, this concession is a hidden gem. Find burgers, beer and a great place to sit and relax after taking a stroll down the beach. Lots to see, especially on weekends! Enjoy live music and a special menu on Wednesdays when the patio comes alive with Wednesdays at Wells Street.
  2. 54 Main Bistro (Hobart). Enjoy your meal at this quaint victorian cottage that over looks the waterfront. Situated on Lake George, this patio is perfect with it’s farm to fork changing menu.
  3. Depot Dogs (Portage). If you haven’t experienced Depot Dogs, you need to give them a try. Counter service, only open til 5pm, but the best dogs around! Hang at a picnic table, sit under the trees, grab a Green River. It’s not summer without a trip to Depot Dogs!
  4. Tate’s Place (Portage). Tate’s is a great breakfast and lunch spot in Portage. It made our list because it’s outdoor patio is situated right along the bike path. Perfect to watch bikers walk by or a great stop if you are out on the trail. DF (outside fence)
  5. Wagners Ribs (Porter). Wagner’s deck is tucked out back and many don’t even know it’s there! Once you walk outside, you feel like you are in a different world. Enclosed, it’s a large space, yet remains cozy. The ribs are delicious and there’s always a great beer on tap.

    Lucrezia Cafe Chesterton

  6. Lucrezia (Chesterton). Want to feel like you are dining in an Italian trattoria? Lucrezia is where to go! Amazing Italian food, delicious drinks (half priced wine bottles on Mondays!) and an intimate and beautiful garden. Locations in Crown Point and Culver as well! (all have patios).
  7. Ivy’s Bohemia House (Chesterton).  Ivy’s Bohemia House has a wonderful eclectic menu and full bar which you can enjoy on their elevated deck that overlooks downtown Chesterton. Another great spot to people watch and relax in the sun. Especially during the European Market. DF
  8. Sunset Grille (Michigan City). At Sunset Grille you can sit right along the sand or on the rooftop deck for dinner and a sunset. This is a concession stand and a whole lot more. The upstairs bar has a full cocktail menu and offers many fun events including live music and Thursday night social hour. (want to skip the parking fee? park at the yacht club general parking and walk over). Opens for season May 25.

    Formerly Fire & Water, view from the new Sunset Grille


  9. Matey’s (Michigan City). It’s always a party at Matey’s! Choose from one of the many decks to perch atop Michigan City and watch the cars and people walk by. Matey’s is open late night, offers a full menu, lots of drink specials and music.
  10. Bridges (Michigan City). At Bridges you can hang out on the deck and watch the historical Amtrak Bridge turn when the train comes. There is also an amazing selection of beer, great food and downstairs the kids can even feed the ducks! DF
  11. Bartlett’s Fish Camp (Michigan City). At Bartlett’s Fish Camp you will find casual dining, great drinks, live music and more. The outdoor deck has a great view of the harbor. DF
  12. Barker Pub (Michigan City). One of Michigan City’s newest spots. Barker Inn opens it’s patio for the first time this year, but we hear it’s going to be great. Kick back with some great local brews, delicious grub, and enjoy! Bar and games outside. DF
  13. Shady Creek Winery (Michigan City). Relax out front or out back at Shady Creek Winery. Open Wednesday thru Sunday, this winery has beautiful grounds that overlook a pond and has a very nice selection of custom crafted wines and expanded menu that includes salads, sandwiches, pizzas and panini. DF
  14. Duneland Beach Inn (Duneland Beach). Nestled inside the Michiana Shores neighborhood, Duneland Beach Inn is a best kept secret. Feel like you are out on your own private patio as you gaze into the stars while enjoying a quiet dinner.
  15. Stray Dog (New Buffalo). Looking for some fun and a big crowd? Head to Stray Dog and hit the upstairs rooftop deck. It’s always a good time and the food hits the spot after a day at the beach.
  16. Brewster’s (New Buffalo). Brewster’s offers a quieter spot to eat in New Buffalo. The garden is gorgeous and the food is amazing. Want to impress your date? Head to Brewster’s!
  17. Haymarket (Bridgman). Haymarket was our brewery patio of choice this year. Large garage doors open up to a patio that is dog friendly with picnic tables. Play bags or just sit back and enjoy the sunshine and live music. The pizzas are delicious! DF

Now, of course, we couldn’t just stop at 17! You need to check out Lemon Tree, Bentwood Tavern and Stop 50. And, of course, almost all of the breweries have great patios. Burn ‘Em Brewery patio is open all year long! Zorn Brew Works has a very nice spot and you need to go just a little bit further down to St. Joe to check out Silver Harbor Brewing’s new year round indoor garden!

Feel free to comment on any patios we may have forgotten!

DF = dog friendly


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  1. Reply

    Tom Potter

    May 21, 2018

    This list should have included the Village Tavern in beautiful downtown Porter, Indiana.
    Wagner’s, also on Porter, has a wonderful deck to dine on.
    I suggest you try both locales and I’m sure they will be lost worthy.

  2. Reply

    Tom Potter

    May 21, 2018

    Oops, I must have overlooked Wagner’s on the list.

  3. Reply

    Tasha Martin

    June 17, 2018

    Thank you for listing dog friendly places throughout this website. We are coming next weekend for our first visit to the Dunes and bringing our Golden Retriever, Birdie with us. This has been a fantastic resource!

    • Reply


      June 18, 2018

      Awesome!! We love to hear that we are helping people out! 🙂


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