by Leslie P & Robin B
Outdoor dining in the summer is one way to enjoy the beautiful Michigan weather. While patio dining may only be an option for a few months out of the year, we have great, kid-friendly locations right here in Kalamazoo.
*This guide has been updated for 2017.
Check out the list of our top choices:
OUTDOOR DINING FOR KIDS & FAMILIES
701 E Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-276-0458
You can sit outside right next to the Kalamazoo River while eating at Arcadia Brewery in downtown Kalamazoo. Kids’ meals start at $5 with choices like grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese.
3251 W Centre Avenue, Portage | 269-492-3500
Centre Street Tap House in Portage has a patio option to enjoy the nice days. Fun dining options for kids include “breads & spreads” with peanut butter, jelly and marshmallow and favorites such as sliders, grilled cheese and chicken fingers.
(Photo courtesy of Latitude 42 Brewing Company)
7842 Portage Road, Portage | 269-459-4242
Latitude 42 offers an outdoor patio in the back, and a new Hop Garden. The new hop garden has lots of activities to keep kids busy while you wait for your food – Jenga, play area, games, bean bag toss and a great new fire pit for the adults. Latitude 42 also offers a full kids’ menu complete with entrée, drink, side and even dessert!
3970 West Centre Avenue, Portage | 269-321-8480
Offering a kids’ menu with favorites such as pizza, chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese, Fieldstone Grill in Portage has an outdoor patio. From the outdoor space you can view the beautiful scenery near the Moorsbridge area.
153 W Centre Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-327-6000
Located at the corner of Centre Avenue and Shaver Road in Portage, LoDo Company offers a nice outdoor space and a full kids’ menu.
7141 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage | 269-888-2228
Opened in the spring of 2016, Monelli’s is a family-friendly restaurant with a patio located outside. The kids menu has Italian fare (spaghetti, fettucine, pizza) as well as other favorites such as chicken tenders. Kids’ meals are served with a cookie and start around $5.
7638 S. Westnedge Avenue, Portage | 269-321-2121
JAC’s offers a variety of casual meals, with an emphasis on pizza. Outdoor patio seating is spacious and shaded.
209 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI | 269-552-4444 &
3112 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo | 269-372-4600
Visit Mangia Mangia on the Kalamazoo Mall or at their other location, Mangia Pizza and Pasta Co. on 9th Street. Both locations offer a full “Little Bambinos” menu, outdoor dining and a $3.50 spaghetti special valid on Sundays at the 9th Street location and on Mondays at the downtown Kalamazoo location.
832 S Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-388-8883
Martini’s Pizza is a classic stop located in the Vine neighborhood downtown Kalamazoo. Enjoy their beautiful patio while you and your kids enjoy pizza, sandwiches, appetizers and desserts offered on their menu.
717 E Bridge Street, Plainwell | 269-204-6601
Listed on the national registry of historic places, Old Mill Brewpub and Grill is a full service restaurant and brewery that was once a flour mill. Located in Plainwell, the pub offers sandwiches, wraps, salads, entrees and appetizers, as well as a full kids’ menu.
1332 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-345-7990
Right next to Western Michigan University’s campus is the University Roadhouse restaurant. You can sit outside on their large patio and enjoy the campus-area views. Bring the kids in Monday or Tuesday and they can eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée!
139 West Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw | 269-657-7033
La Cantina in Paw Paw offers Italian food in a fun and casual atmosphere. The spacious lowel-level patio overlooks the waterfalls. In the summer months, La Cantina has music on the patio. Stop in on Tuesdays for their $3.50 spaghetti pasta night.
(photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography)
4400 S Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-349-7361 &
3100 Portage Street, Kalamazoo | 269-345-4418
Kalamazoo has two Root Beer Stand locations. Your kids may enjoy the experience of “car dining” while enjoying their root beer, hot dogs and chips.
9138 Portage Road, Portage | 269-327-5985
Situated with views of West Lake, this car-dining drive-In features American-style fare. Kids can enjoy a hamburger and French-fries. West Lake Drive-in is open seasonally, Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Cash-only.
300 Water Street, Kalamazoo | 269-210-0075
Known for their “crack fries” (named one of the Top 10 French Fries in America by Food Network Magazine), Downtown Kalamazoo’s HopCat restaurant has a great outdoor space. HopCat features over 100 craft brews on tap.
11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville | 269-672-8111
Enjoy “lake front dining, done better” at the Terrace Grill at Bay Pointe Inn. Their beautiful patio overlooks Gun Lake. It’s a great spot for lunch, dinner or Happy Hour!
15450 M-43 Hwy | Hickory Corners | 269-671-5700
NEDS features slow-cooked barbecue, pizzas and burgers. Sitting right on Gull Lake, you can kick back and relax on their deck patio. NEDS offers a kids’ menu for little diners.
3811 South Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-775-1555
The new dining location has a fenced-in patio that is great for kids. There is even a playhouse for kids.
7509 S Westnedge Ave, Portage, MI 49002 | 269-323-2411
Main Street serves traditional “pub grub” like burgers, sandwiches and classic American cuisine. Kids eat FREE on Sunday and Monday with the purchase of an adult entrée.
100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo | 269-384-2650
The Downtown Kalamazoo dining spot just updated their outdoor patio, complete with a new fire pit. Zazios offers a kids’ menu with full dinners including spaghetti, macaroni, meats and vegetables.
804 West Vine Street, Kalamazoo | 269-344-5666
Cosmos serves fresh ingredients from local farmers. Enjoy Mediterranean and Italian dishes on their outdoor deck patio.
129 West Centre Avenue, Portage | 269-775-1330
Bab El Salam offers Mediterranean dishes and is known for their outstanding hummus. There is outdoor seating near the gazebo at the Portage Centre Plaza.
402 East Kalamazoo Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-381-5677
Old Dog Tavern is in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, with outdoor seating near the train tracks. On certain Saturdays, Old Dog Tavern offers free music by BenJammin for kids.
6905 Sears Drive, Portage | 269-327-2000
If you’re hungry after a long day of shopping along Westnedge, make a stop at Chop House, located right by the Crossroads Mall. You can sit at their outdoor patio and enjoy something from their extensive menu. Their kids’ menu has something for every child, from grilled cheese to fried perch, and everything in between.
4213 Portage Street, Kalamazoo | 269-459-9240
If you’re looking for craft brews, and food made with local ingredients, check out One Well. Located on Portage Road, One Well has unique crafts brews (think donuts, jalapenos and coffee) and delicious food made from scratch. The outdoor patio is a perfect place to grab one of their board games and enjoy some laughs outside. They have a full kids’ menu and an inside play-area for kids.
7990 South 8th Street, Kalamazoo | 269-375-6778
Live music and daily features are two reasons to make a stop at Zeb’s in Texas Corners. They have a huge menu with something for every taste-bud, including a full kids’ menu.
3501 Greenleaf Boulevard, Kalamazoo | 269-375-2105
Martell’s is a popular restaurant that has been nestled in Parkview Hills for over 20 years. They have great daily specials featuring seasonal ingredients and a kids menu. You can sit outside on their outdoor patio and enjoy the quiet atmosphere.
7642 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage | 269-903-2447
Sit back with a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy a great view of the Kalamazoo River at ChocolaTea. Kids will love their seasonal drinks, desserts, pastries and chocolates.
Let us know if we missed your favorite kid-friendly, outdoor dining location!