Can we sit outside?: A brief guide to some of the area’s best patio dining options


With the arrival of pleasant weather and sunshine, local residents are ready to get outside and explore the area’s hottest dining spots. Several new restaurants and a host of familiar ones offer prime outdoor dining for the ultimate patio experience.

Here’s a brief guide to the best outdoor dining options in central Indiana.

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An enclosed area at the back of Chiba’s patio offers an intimate space and is an excellent place to book private events. (Photos by Anna Skinner)

Where to go: Chiba, 228 Park St., Westfield

Menu options: Primarily sushi, owner Keith Dusko creates interesting combinations for sushi rolls, such as the Louisiana Purchase roll, which combines tempura chicken, green apples, yams and brie cheese.

Patio takeaways: Relaxing on Chiba’s patio is like an oasis. Ferns and Edison lights are draped overhead, with potted plants dotting the pathways. An enclosed space in the back offers a slightly more intimate setting and offers protection from rain. It is an excellent area for private events. Cornhole boards are available near the front of the property with a beachfront view of Park Street for those wanting to play a game while they wait for their food to arrive.

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Serenity is a restaurant on Zionsville’s famous brick street. Its brick patio seating is surround by nature.

Where to go: Serenity, 135 S. Main St., Zionsville

Menu options: Serenity is a quaint little restaurant nestled on Zionsville’s famous brick street that serves brunch and lunch. It offers English teas, sandwiches and more options with tasty, refreshing takes such as the Shrimp and Lobster BLT or the Fig and Walnut Salad.

Patio takeaways: Enjoy your English tea surrounded by greenery. Serenity’s patio is bordered by small plants and around a large evergreen tree. Umbrellas add a splash of color against black patio furniture, and the brick patio and creeping ivy evoke feelings of calm and allow you to take a breath of fresh air and relax while you dine.

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Sun King Spirits rooftop patio allows patrons to observe the Monon trail with a bird’s-eye view.

Where to go: Sun King Spirits, 351 Monon Trail, Carmel

Menu options: Sun King Spirits is a good place to visit if you have picky eaters in the family because there are four different restaurants inside the food hall. Pizza, sandwiches, Mexican or pub food are all available under the same roof.

Patio takeaways: Rooftop dining is all the rage right now, and Sun King Spirits features a second-story patio overlooking the Monon Trail. View Carmel from above as you dine outside and take in the city’s new plaza next to Sun King Spirits, which offers games and food trucks. The patio is excellent spot for people-watching.

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Field Brewing offers patio seating next to a turf play area with giant Jenga, giant Connect 4 and a bocce ball court.

Where to go: Field Brewing, 303 E. Main St., Westfield

Menu options: Field Brewing’s menu is more of a modern take on pub food, such as spiced sweet potato wedges, pan-fried schnitzel, beer-steamed mussels, spent-grain fettuccine and the list goes on. Executive Chef Alan Sternberg uses local and seasoned ingredients to create interesting flavor combinations and wholesome food. Field Brewing boasts of using clean, quality ingredients in offering a unique dining experience.

Patio takeaways: Field Brewing’s patio is between two separate buildings. It has a turf section adjacent to the patio seating, so little ones can play and parents don’t have to worry about grass stains. Field Brewing also offers a variety of family games next to the patio seating, such as giant Jenga, giant Connect 4 and a bocce ball court.