Eating outdoors is a summer tradition -- and this summer, eating al fresco will give you a little more space and fresh air.
Barista Blues Cafe & Pastrami Joe’s
These two restaurants are popular with the lunch crowd and they’re located across the street from each other in downtown Battle Creek.
At Pastrami Joe’s, you’ll get authentic deli sandwiches served with a pickle on the side. The pastrami and corned beef come from Detroit’s deli maven, Sy Ginsberg.
Barista Blues is homestyle food, straight from the family kitchen. Be sure to check out the daily specials, which range from black bean patties to homemade lasagna and cabbage rolls. The cannoli is a must, as well.
Bring your camera, because Cafe Rica has created a colorful oasis in downtown Battle Creek. From the blue tables to the flamingo mural, it’s pure Instagram gold. Or just take a moment for the bright colors to make you happy while sipping your cold brew. The bagel sandwiches and waffles are pretty great, too.
Clara’s on the River
With green space and a fountain, Clara’s patio is a pleasant place to have a meal. It faces the river that runs through downtown Battle Creek. Table umbrellas will keep you comfortable during a sunny lunch and stringed lights make it feel like a garden party in the evening. The Clara’s menu has something for everyone, from hamburgers to fajitas to seafood to zucchini noodles.
Dark Horse Brewing Co.
The French aren’t the only Europeans to eat outdoors. Get your Gemütlichkeit on at Dark Horse’s beer garden. Bring the family to Marshall, including your fur baby -- dogs are welcome in the garden. Besides craft beer, try the wood-fired pizzas.
Foundry Bakehouse & Deli
We won’t blame you if you decide to eat a doughnut for lunch -- it’s hard to resist all of the baked goods at Foundry. But this Albion bakery does serve more substantial items on the menu, such as sandwiches and soup. You can take your food to one of the sidewalk tables or find a park. Albion has the most parks per capita in the county, so you’re always close to a green space while downtown.
Griffin Grill & Pub
Drink your Guinness on the patio. This outdoor space wraps around one corner of the building in downtown Battle Creek. While you’ll find pub classics such as fish and chips on the menu, don’t stop at the Irish fare. Try a fish taco and one of the new mule drinks for a summery night out.
Order smokey barbecue from Hogzilla in Battle Creek and then take it out onto the porch to eat. Make sure to grab a lot of napkins, because you’ll need them while chomping down on St. Louis-style ribs or beef brisket.
J.B.’s Whiskey Old Style Grill
J.B.’s in Springfield has more space outside than inside and they take full advantage of it with porch dining and summer concerts. The menu features hearty fare, the kind that goes with a glass of bourbon. Order a steak or hamburger or one of the many gourmet variations on macaroni and cheese.
Shwe Mandalay Burmese Cuisine
Shwe Mandalay has set up canopies on the patio so you can sit in the shade while enjoying a bubble tea and some sweet fried corn. Burmese food has been influenced by India, China and Thailand, so expect a variety of flavors. You can make it hot with curry or savory with chicken briyani. Order a glass of beer or wine with dinner.
As a bonus, check out the Battle Creek Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Fridays. Tables are scattered around Festival Market Square, so you can buy food from one of the ready-made vendors and eat it while outdoors. Food Truck Fridays are once a month and you can find the dates here.