Ahh, summer. The weather has shifted from seriously drab to warm and cheery. The trees are starting to bud, and the outdoors look so much more inviting. With 80-degree weather already in the books and even higher temps to come, what better time to eat outside? While picnics are a fantastic way to devour some food in the great outdoors, they can take a lot of effort and planning. Sometimes it’s easier to just give in and go out to eat. Here are the best restaurants in Bloomington where you can get your fill of delicious food and fresh air.

1. Upland Brewery


Photo by Amelia Weller

Upland has a large patio to eat on. It’s perfect for grabbing a quick lunch, or treating yourself to a nice dinner and a beer (or two, who am I kidding?).

2. Laughing Planet Café


Photo by Katie Coyle

Seriously, do yourself a favor and get a quesadilla from here. While you’re at it, enjoy it outside on their patio – with lights strung over it, it’s cute at night. Another perk: you can grab a coffee or smoothie from Soma and drink it with your meal.

3. Quaff On!


Photo by Carly Meskin

Yes, this is yet another brewpub on the list. However, its porch is a fantastic place to, dare I say it, get your quaff on. It’s raining? No need to worry. If you still want to eat outside, their porch is covered. They also just opened up a beer garden, so there’s even more room to enjoy the fresh air while eating. 

4. The Village Deli


Photo Courtesy of Village Deli

Bloomington’s breakfast/brunch favorite has several tables outside. You can people watch while eating brunch on the sidewalk.

5. Anatolia


Photo by Natsuko Mazany

The Turkish restaurant on 4th Street has a lovely patio to eat on. It’s perfect for dinner or a date night – lights are strung across the patio for an added ambiance.

6. Cardinal Spirits


Photo by Claire Waggoner

Although technically not a restaurant, you can occasionally get tacos from La Poblana Taco Truck here. They do also have killer snacks. If you’re 21 or over, its patio is the perfect place to enjoy a craft cocktail made with locally distilled spirits. (And if you’re not 21 yet, you can still hang out on the patio – you just can’t go inside.)

Bonus: It’s right on the B-Line, and it’s perfect for people watching.