Royal Oak, MI

8 Heated Patios to Enjoy this Winter in Royal Oak

Heather Raulerson

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Cold weather has set upon Michigan, but that doesn’t stop people from eating out even during lockdowns. The good thing is that as Michiganders, we are used to the colder weather and don’t mind sitting down to eat in a tent. Several restaurants in Royal Oak are making the most of the social distancing rules and providing restaurant-goers heated tents and igloos. And with Royal Oak celebrating its 100 years as a city this year, it is nice to see them making an effort to stay operational during the pandemic. Here is a list of 8 restaurants in Royal Oak with heated patios to enjoy during the winter.

Trattoria Da Luigi

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Da Luigi is as authentic Italian as you can get without going to Italy. The small restaurant and its rustic Sicilian decor offer you the full Italian experience once you enter. You can get various Italian dishes like Tortellini, Ravioli, Gnocchi, Spaghetti, and Pizza. Like in Italy, if you want pepperoni, you have to order the Pizza Americana because if you order Pepperoni pizza in Italy, you will get one made with bell peppers. Da Luigi is a fabulous restaurant with moderate prices and delicious food, and you can find them at the corner of Fifth and Washington in downtown Royal Oak. I’m so excited knowing that this restaurant is still open as they have a heated tent set up in front of their restaurant.

Cafe MUSE

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Cafe MUSE is a cozy European-style eatery that offers locally-focused comfort food & beer amid local art. It is open for breakfast and lunch and has three heated greenhouses that seat up to 6 guests. Due to capacity restrictions, outdoor seating is now on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be found at 418 South Washington Ave. Cafe MUSE is well-known for its three-cheese grilled sandwich, filled with Havarti, fontina, fresh mozzarella, and the special ingredient of a little dash of honey. This sandwich has been raved about on Oprah, in the Detroit Free Press, and in Reader’s Digest as one of the best-grilled cheese sandwiches in Detroit and America. You have to come and try it for yourself!

Lily’s Seafood

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Lily’s Seafood restaurant is a small but cozy seafood spot that brews its own beers plus hosts a weekly all-you-can-eat fish fry. Lilly’s offers a variety of seafood dishes, and even some good ole favorites, like the “build your own” Brewhouse Burger. You can find Lily’s Seafood at 410 South Washington Ave with a huge white tent in front of the restaurant.

Tom’s Oyster Bar

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Tom’s Oyster Bar is a fabulous surf 'n' turf stop with a selection of oysters and a vast menu of other seafood items, and even chicken and steak dishes. This is the perfect place to have your first oyster. If you haven’t had one before, it is quite the experience. You can book a private heated tent through Open Table, where you can enjoy dinner & drinks with up to 6 people.

Mesa

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Mesa is a Mexican restaurant/bar with spicy eats and creative, handcrafted margaritas in a casual setting. The Mexican cuisine is completely scratch-made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, emphasizing veritable seasonings and flavors. Mesa has one of the largest collections of Tequila, with over 150 types offered. Like Tom’s Oyster Bar and right next door, you can book a private heated tent through Open Table and enjoy dinner & drinks with up to 6 people.

KouZina Greek Street Food

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Kouzina, which means kitchen in Greek, is where art, food, and a neighborhood atmosphere unite. KouZina Greek Street Food offers a cozy illuminated igloo for you to sit in while you are munching on a hot gyro covered in tzatziki. Their simple menu consists of various gyros (traditional pork, lamb and beef, chicken), gyros bowls, spinach pie, Greek salads, fresh-cut fries topped with feta cheese, and oregano straight from Greece, and of course, fresh pitas. There is only one igloo, so be prepared for a little wait. But it is so worth it! KouZina Greek Street Food is at 121 N Main Street.

Royal Oak Brewery

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Royal Oak Brewery isn’t missing out on potential customers due to the social distancing rules. They have several igloos available for reservation for a minimum purchase except on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays. Royal Oak Brewery also has a heated beer garden if you are willing to brave the colder temperatures. Not sure what to order? Try a Pappy’s Porch Sippin’ Porter to go along with an order of their famous Brewer’s Bread. Come for the fantastic atmosphere, the selection of local craft beers, and the delicious food at 215 East 4th Street.

Lockhart’s BBQ

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Are you craving some good-ole down home-cooked BBQ? Then you need to stop at Lockhart’s BBQ at 202 East 3rd Street. This restaurant has southern Texas BBQ dishes and a wide variety of sides and other comfort foods for you to order. I’m partial to Burnt Ends but love an excellent Pull Pork Sandwich. And they offer a couple of heated igloos for you to enjoy your rack of ribs. You can book an igloo for a non-refundable $10 booking fee and a $150 minimum purchase on Fridays and Saturdays with no minimum needed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

These restaurants are only a few of Royal Oak’s ones that adapt to the constantly changing rules for restaurants and customers. I hope that if you do go out and get food that you frequent these venues. Some helpful tips for those who are planning to dine outside: With the higher purchase minimum required to book an igloo, it helps if you have your whole family go with you or a bunch of your closest friends. And remember that even if you are in a heated tent or igloo, you are still outside, so please dress warmly. It also helps to bring a blanket or two. Trust me, even if the tent is heated, your butt gets cold sitting on metal benches for over an hour. Stay warm, everyone! And Bon Appétit!

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