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The Kalamazoo Foodie’s – Top 5 Patios For Summer & What to Eat and Drink

Summer is here and that means Patio Season! While there are plenty of amazing restaurants around Kalamazoo and Portage, there are a few that stand out with their beautiful patio views. Also the season for fun summer cocktails!

If you know me or follow my page, The Kalamazoo Foodie, you know that Fisher Lake Inn has been one of my longtime favorite restaurants for over a decade. Not only because I used to work there, but because their food, cocktails, and staff are all incredible! My favorite part of Fisher Lake Inn? Their patio dining! The patio at Fisher Lake Inn seats about 12 tables and overlooks Fisher Lake in Three Rivers. The tables sit right at the edge of the lake and there is even a dock you can take a stroll on after dinner, pull your boat up to dock it while you eat, grab food to go, or view the beautiful sunsets Fisher Lake has to offer. My husband I absolutely LOVE their Rum Runners! If you have never tried one, it’s a must. Similar to a Strawberry Daiquiri, only it’s made with lots of Rum, Strawberries and Banana Liquor. If you aren’t into frozen drinks, my second favorite is their Vodka Vixen mixed with several types of flavored vodka, cranberry and pineapple juices. Perfect for sipping on the patio to enjoy the sunshine or sunset. Looking for something to nosh on while you are there, the Mahi Mahi Fish tacos are one of my favorite tacos around!

Another favorite patio with a gorgeous lake view and sunsets is The Cove Lakeside Bistro. They have a huge patio overlooking the West Lake on Portage Road. Aside from the views, they also have some fabulous fun summer worthy cocktails. One of my favorites is their Parrothead Punch. A wonderful mix of rum and fruit juices that Jimmy Buffet would be proud of! The Cove offers Happy Hour every weekday from 4:00 – 6:00pm. $1 OFF Draft Pours, 25% off House Wine Pours, and $4 Well Drinks. If there was ever an excuse to grab your friends and head to the patio, this is it! If you are looking for something light and refreshing to eat, I highly recommend their Shrimp & Watermelon Salad.

If you are looking to stay downtown, we love Martini’s, located in the Vine Neighborhood. They have a quaint little patio with umbrellas, lights strung about, and their flower and herb gardens all around. My favorite cocktail there is their Rosa Martini. Made with Ketel One Vodka, Peachello, Cocchi Americano Rosa, Prosecco, Fresh Lemon & Rose water. I dare you to find a more unique martini! It was light and refreshing. My other favorite of theirs is the Luna Martini. Made with Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Bitters, and Muddled Basil from their herb garden. Grab your friends and book a table on the patio and share one of their amazing pizzas!

I highly recommend stopping by Zazio’s and sitting on their cozy patio. The patio offers plush cushioned chairs and a no-smoke fire pit for ambiance. It’s perfect for people watching and sipping on a glass of wine or one of Zazio’s many amazing martinis and cocktails! They never disappoint. My favorite of course is a Vodka Dirty Martini with Blue Cheese Olives. Pro Tip: their truffle fries are SO good and shareable. They make the perfect patio snack.

Last, but certainly not least, the biggest stretch of patio- Bates Alley! The perfect summertime hangout to grab food and cocktails. Located downtown Kalamazoo, the alley was beautifully painted, patios for every bar and restaurant were added, and lots of lights strung above to add extra lighting and ambiance. You can also find outdoor seating at Fuze, Tempo Vino Winery, Green Top Tavern, Olde Peninsula and more. It makes for the ultimate outdoor dining experience!

Summer is finally here and I couldn’t be happier. You can most likely find me at all of these patios all summer long. Cheers!

Rachel Kirtley has worked in all levels of the food industry for over a decade. She is currently a Social Media Influencer, Content Creator and Restaurant Reviewer. You can visit her at thekalamazoofoodie.com

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