Erie isn’t the kind of place you’d expect to find outdoor seating options nearly everywhere, due to our propensity for snowy forecasts into mid-May. It’s as likely to be 20 degrees as 80 degrees around these parts this time of year.
But in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID, state rules allowed owners to serve food outdoors, and many owners scrambled to provide something, even if it was just a few picnic tables.
There’s no way to list them all, but we’ve combed the region and found many options to enjoy a meal al fresco, because on a warm spring day in Erie, few things are more fun and freeing than a good sandwich paired with sunshine and a gentle breeze.
If you know of any we missed, call Jennie Geisler at 814-969-2208.
Want to find more info on dining and restaurants in the Erie region? Download the GoErie app to get all the latest updates.
Breakwall BBQ, 1205½ Mariana Drive, Conneaut, Ohio. This place doubled its marina-side seating in 2021, and on weekends that’s still not enough. But the food and beer are worth your patience, and you can’t buy a better view of Lake Erie. bit.ly/breakwallConneaut, 440-599-2264
Brewerie at Union Station, 123 W. 14th St., offers lots of tables and a bocci court on its rooftop bar near the railroad tracks. www.brewerie.com, 814-454-2200
Brick House Coffee, 3741 W. 26th St. Morning and afternoon coffee and cafe specials. facebook.com/BrickHouseCoffeeErie
Cloud 9, 25 E. 10th St. Upscale food and decor, a nice adults-only stop before a SeaWolves game. cloud9erie.com, 814-870-9007
Lavery Brewing Co., 128 W. 12th St. Local brewery downtown with a small deck with picnic tables and Edison lights. laverybrewing.com, 814-454-0405
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Calamari’s Squid Row, 1317 State St. Downtown stalwart establishment which had a patio before patios were cool. calamaris-squidrow.com, 814-459-4276
Colony Pub & Grille, 2670 W. Eighth St. This staple of Erie fine dining can seat 125 on its deck. thecolonypubandgrille.com, 814-838-2162
The Cork 1794, 900 West Erie Plaza Dr., features a lush paradise you’d never guess lies behind those tall walls around its patio. cork1794.com, 814-651-0332
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Courtyard by Marriott 2 Sassafras Pier. What their outdoor tables lack in number, they make up for in stunning views of Presque Isle Bay. marriott.com/en-us/hotels/eridt-courtyard-erie-bayfront/overview/, 814-636-1005
Erie Brewing Co., 6008 Knowledge Parkway. Offers sun-drenched patio in the front and a shaded patio out the back door. eriebrewingco.com
Five & 20, 8398 W. Main St., Westfield, New York. Their patio offers sunny and shady seating, as well as live music often at this combination winery/brewery/distillery. fiveand20.com, 716-793-9463
Harbor House, 4454 Buffalo Road, Harborcreek. Here you’ll find a wrap-around patio with beautiful brick and flower decor, and lots of beer choices, as it’s part of the U Pick Six family. upick6.com/harbor-house, 814-616-8106
John Russell Brewing Co., 7520 Peach St., where the company UPick’s craft beer is made, opened its patio in April. upick6.com/john-russell-brewing-co, 814-866-2337
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Lakelands, 9690 West Lake Road, Lake City. The recently added patio features lights hanging from a pergola over a bar. lakelandsrestaurant.com, 814-774-7271
Lakeside Beach Bar, 220 W. Plum St., Edinboro. The restaurant offers beautiful views of Edinboro Lake. There are dozens of chairs and tables on the patio from which to enjoy libations and vittles. facebook.com/lakesidebeachbar
Lawrence Park Dinor, 4019 Main St., is building a patio in front of the building for use this summer. Details coming. bit.ly/Lawrenceparkdinor, 814-899-4390
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Lucky Louie’s, 8238 Perry Highway.
Gourmet, souped-up Smith’s hot dogs and lots of craft beer. luckylouiesbeerandwieners.com, 814-314-9481
Madeline’s Dining and Events, 8844 Route 18, Cranesville. Dining area features huge windows that overlook a wooded lot and tables set up around a pond. madelinesdining.com, 814-402-1075
Main Street Cakery Cafe — Fairview, 7403 West Ridge Road, Fairview. Not only is the food good, but you can enjoy it with a side of hustle and bustle of downtown Fairview. mainstreetcakery.com, 814-474-4555
Mi Scuzi, 2641 Myrtle St., tucked into a quiet corner at the corner of West 27th and Myrtle, lies a hideaway with one of the best Italian menus in town. miscuzirestaurant.com, 814-454-4533
O’Charley’s, 2077 Interchange Drive. Approximately 10 tables await diners in good weather at this hilltop restaurant near the mall. bit.ly/pcharleyserie, 814-464-2957
Oasis Pub and Tiki Bar, 3122 W. Lake Road. Shaded picnic tables are ready and waiting for dozens of guests, protected from direct sun and rain. facebook.com/OasisPubErie, 814-833-1212
Oliver’s Beer Garden, 130 E. Front St. Offers a permanent food truck and live music three times a week from May to September. oliversrooftop.com/beer-garden, 814-920-9666
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Pano’s, 1504 W. 38th St. This classic diner boasts a gorgeous patio with flowers, tables, umbrellas, a split-rail fence, an atmosphere as elegant as at any winery, right in the parking lot. panosrestaurant.com
Peek’n Peak Resort, 1405 Olde Road, Clymer, New York. The Gazebo Grill and Woods and Wedges are two outdoor dining features at the resort. pknpk.com, 716-355-4141
Pine Junction 757 Bailey Hill Road, Sherman, New York. Will open their outdoor wilderness-watching tables Saturday. Unfortunately, they take no reservations, but they do offer a fire pit, weather permitting. pinejunctiontavern.com, 716-769-7854
Plymouth Tavern, 1109 State St. The cozy courtyard, surrounded on a
ll sides by brick walls and festooned with mid-summer flowers, teaming with quaint street lights and stone patio, offers a square view of the sky for memories of the night when everyone was there and everything was funny. plymouthtavern.com, 814-453-6454
Pier 6, 6 Sassafras Pier. This rooftop bar sits atop Bayhouse (joining the family of Taphouse, Harborhouse, Brewhouse and Public House), offering views of Presque Isle Bay, the peninsula and Lake Erie sunsets. bayhousepier6.com, (814) 413-7437
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Riverside Brewing Co., 1 Fountain St., Cambrige Springs, offers a patio with a fireplace as well as a brand new circular outdoor bar. http://riversidebrewery.com, 814-813-5005
Rosco’s Sports Bar & Grill, 4646 Buffalo Road. Brand new patio can serve and serve and serve. Live music on Wednesdays doesn’t hurt either. www.roscoserie.com, 814-315-9615
Rum Runners, 2 State St. When the patio is rocking with live music and the sky is on fire with sunset, this is the place to be. rumrunnerserie.com, 814-455-4292
Samurai Kitchen, 2767 W. 12th St., provides an outdoor haven for enjoying a bowl of cold noodles or sushi. Samuraisushierie.com, 814-833-0293
Sara’s Restaurant, 25 Peninsula Drive. Near the Presque Isle State Park entrance gate, the iconic 1950s-style restaurant is a must-visit tradition. sarasandsallys.com, 814-833-1957
Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, 55 W. Bay Road, The back patio outside the Bayfront Grille offers proximity to the water that lives up to the name. bit.ly/bayfrontsheraton, 814-454-2005
Skunk and Goat Tavern, 17 W. Main St., North East. Any meal here is a special occasion. skunkandgoattavern.com, 814-347-9078
Sloppy Duck Saloon, 726 W. Bayfront Parkway. Long before the Convention Center brought all the restaurants to the yard, this place (under a few names) was serving casual food with a side of sunsets and bobbing skiffs. sloppyducksaloon.com, 814-452-6699
Smugglers Wharf, 3 State St. Offers unbeatable views from Dobbins Landing. facebook.com/smugglerswharf, 814-459-4273
Sunset Grill, 508 Erie St., Edinboro. Offers live music Thursday through Sunday from May through September, along with a full dinner menu. edinborolakeresort.com, 814-434-3307
Ugly Tuna Tavern, 1010 Peninsula Dr., offers hot food and cold drinks just a hop and skip up the hill from the beach. uglytunatavern.com, 814-835-6667.
Voodoo Brewing Co. — Erie Pub, 716 State St., offers a lush tropical spot in the middle of downtown Erie. voodoobrewery.com/locations/erie, 814-520-6990
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Contact Jennie Geisler at [email protected] or at 814-870-1885.