Every year about this time, I'm itching for outdoor dining. Spring and early summer always seem like the perfect time after months of staying inside and before it gets to hot.
So, I've decided to update our list of top outdoor dining options in Hendricks County. Unfortunately, we've lost one of my favorites this past year, Savor Thyme Cafe in Brownsburg, and I also removed Three Pints Brewpub from our list after they announced that they were changing their business model slightly. Keep in mind this list does not include national chains that you can find anywhere as our mission is to support our locally owned restaurants.
For a complete list of all Hendricks County restaurants, click here.
- Perillo's Pizzeria: Perillo's Pizzeria has quickly made a name for itself in Hendricks County, and its beautiful side patio buffered by a canopy of mature trees only adds to its appeal. I have personally eaten on their patio and can attest to the validity of this choice as one of the best outdoor seating options in the county especially if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle. But don't let the fact that it is in a small town fool you. This place provides some mouth-watering, authentic Italian dishes. Find it at 5 S Broadway St, North Salem.
- Black Swan Brewpub: Black Swan in Plainfield has everything you need especially if you like local brews. With 16 taps, Black Swan Brewpub has a normal lineup of about six beers, then it rotates the rest of its taps through additional local and regional brews on a seasonal basis. With great food, plenty of craft beer and an outdoor patio surrounded by hotels right next to I-70, this is a perfect choice to enjoy lunch or an evening out. Find it at 2067 E. Hadley Road, Plainfield.
- Boulder Creek Dining Company: The first of Cunningham Restaurant Group's eateries, Boulder Creek Dining Company opened in Brownsburg in 1997. Described as an "upscale, casual restaurant with mountain lodge décor," this restaurant is a great place for both a casual dinner or special night out. The intimate atmosphere flows out onto the patio, making this a great place to enjoy a warm spring or summer evening outside. Find it at 1551 N. Green St., Brownsburg.
- Dawson's Too - Sticks & Stones: I'm a personal fan of Dawson's Too where you'll find something for everyone including steaks, seafood, pasta and salads. Their outdoor seating isn't expansive, but on a nice spring, summer or early fall evening, it is a great place for a date night. Find it at 773 E Main St, Brownsburg.
- The Coachman Restaurant & Lounge: Conveniently located near several hotels and I-70 in Plainfield, the Coachman is a great place to grab dinner after a day of shopping or recreation. The deck, which overlooks a pond, gets hopping during summer weekends when live bands are featured almost every night. Find it at 6112 Cambridge Way, Plainfield.
- Scotty's Brewhouse: This sports bar known for its burgers and brews also has an outdoor patio if you want to get away from all the TVs airing sports. Located near all of the Brownsburg hotels and just off I-74, it provides a convenient location if you're traveling through the northern portion of Hendricks County. Find it at 251 W. Northfield Drive, Brownsburg.
- Stone Creek Dining Company: Want to get out for dinner and a movie? You won't find a much better location for this combo than at Stone Creek Dining Company in the Metropolis Lifestyle Center in Plainfield. Grab an outdoor table at this restaurant in the heart of Metropolis - a great spot to do some people watching - then walk over to Rave Motion Pictures for an evening movie. Find it at 2498 Futura Parkway, Plainfield. Honorable mention: If Stone Creek is busy, another good outdoor dining option in the mall is Claddagh Irish Pub.
- A Stone's Throw: Many visitors may not realize this restaurant even has outdoor seating as it is tucked behind the building and sheltered from the traffic of nearby Main and Green streets. Nestled in downtown Brownsburg, A Stone's Throw's also has great food and drinks, but keep in mind that it is a 21 and over establishment. Find it at 36 E. Main St., Brownsburg.
- So Italian!: This family-owned and operated restaurant on the east side of Brownsburg is a great place to have a casual, no-frills family meal either indoors or on its front patio outdoors. Before you stuff yourself with pizza and calzones though, try starting with the So Healthy salad - you'll get your money's worth of fresh vegetables, because there's no filler iceberg lettuce in sight in this dish. Find it at 515 E. Main St., Brownsburg.
- B Squared Bar & Grill: Another 21 and over establishment in Brownsburg that allows smoking, B Squared has a nice patio for outdoor seating to go along with all of their sports bar favorites including pizza, wings, burgers, brews and more. Find it at 1430 N. Green St., Brownsburg.