Is there anything better than eating outside at restaurants with patios?
Here are my personal favorites in Hendricks County, Indiana, based on both the quality of food and the ambiance of their outdoor dining areas. 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: This is without a doubt my personal favorite as it combines amazing, authentic Sicilian food and an outdoor dining area that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle. The beautiful side patio buffered by a canopy of mature trees paired with recipes that come straight from Sicily puts Perillo's at the top of my list. Make sure to bring cash as they doesn't accept checks or credit cards. Find it at 5 S. Broadway St., North Salem.
- Black Swan Brewpub: Black Swan provides the perfect combination of food and patio space for anyone to unwind. I'm personally not a beer drinker, but for those of you who are, this should only add to the attraction. 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.
- The Coachman Restaurant & Lounge: Quite possibly the most active outdoor dining experience you can find in Hendricks County if you time it right can be found at The Coachman Restaurant & Lounge. Conveniently located near several hotels and I-70 in Plainfield, the deck, which overlooks a pond, really gets hopping during summer weekends when live bands are featured almost every weekend. Find it at 6112 Cambridge Way, Plainfield.
- Stone Creek Dining Company: Stone Creek gets my seal of approval because of its location in the heart of The Shops at Perry Crossing and of course the great food. Grab an outdoor table at this restaurant -- a great spot to do some people watching -- then walk over to Carmike Cinemas for an evening movie. Find it at 380 Cinema Blvd., Plainfield. Honorable mention: If Stone Creek is busy, another good outdoor dining option in the mall is Claddagh Irish Pub.
- 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. But make sure to enjoy their made-from-scratch pizza and calzones on the front patio outdoors. Find it at 515 E. Main St., Brownsburg.