The various hidden courtyards, gardens and charming decks are one of our city’s best kept secrets.
Sip drinks on the Mall, enjoy live music with dinner or slip away from the hustle and bustle of the city to discover lush beer garden settings, tucked away in quiet corners! Click through below to view these perfect outdoor spots.
Please keep in mind that safety protocol will be different everywhere. Be sure to call ahead and ask about updated hours, capacity, etc.
Bates Alley in downtown Kalamazoo was given new life in the fall of 2018, making it the ultimate go-to spot to “deck hop” in the city! The following bars and restaurants occupy deck space in Bates Alley:
Olde Peninsula is one of Kalamazoo’s local breweries, brewing their own original beer at the pub. We recommend ordering whatever beer they have on the nitro tap or the hot pepper infused tap.
–Fuze Kitchen & Bar
If coffee is your drink of choice, try The Jitter Bug – espresso infuzed tequila, Fernet Branca, Clockwork Orange, Brix Cola, orange bitters and an orange slice.
In the mood for a mocktail instead? We recommend the Blackberry Ginger Smash – blackberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water and Brix Ginger Beer.
–Grand Traverse Distilling Tasting Room
Keep an eye out for their legendary Boozy Sunday Brunch! Enjoy a mixed drink from their Boozy Brunch Cocktail menu and mini Bloody Mary flights.
–Tempo Vino Winery
Tempo Vino Winery is a unique experience for all wine lovers, from the curious novice to the seasoned connoisseur. Not only can you stop in and sample our wines at the tasting bar, you can even make your own private label wine. Don’t miss their Summer Rosé and Rosé cider – the perfect thing to sip during patio season!
–The Green Top Tavern
Stop by on Thursday nights for trivia from 8pm-9pm before wandering out back to enjoy a drink in the alley.
Find artisanal cocktails at places like the Stamped Robin. Most of their cocktails include only three ingredients, which makes every drink simply delicious. The experience is enhanced by high quality ingredients and knowledgeable mixologists.
Along with their cocktails, you’ll find both wine and beer on tap, as well as a small menu of appetizers and desserts. Their little garden patio is located in the middle of downtown Kalamazoo and is open ’til midnight Tuesday-Saturday!
The Spirit of Kalamazoo
The Spirit of Kalamazoo is the only downtown source for a wide selection of delicious Plainwell Ice Cream (up to 24 flavors!) and local college clothing from WMU, K-College, MSU, U of M; as well as the city of Kalamazoo and the state of Michigan. They’re located right on the Kalamazoo Mall and have a darling little patio that comfortably seats 12 people. The Spirit of Kalamazoo is the perfect spot to enjoy a sweet treat, especially in the warmer months when you can enjoy the lush landscaping on the mall, people watch and take in the inviting downtown atmosphere!
Bell’s Beer Garden
With 20+ draught options, a full-service restaurant, a luscious Beer Garden, comfortable patio and a state-of-the-art music venue, Bell’s Eccentric Café is the premiere craft beer destination in Michigan. Some of Bell’s beer is exclusive to the Eccentric Cafe, like a fresh pint of Pineapple Jalapeno Oberon!
SkyDeck offers panoramic views of the city from six stories up making it one of Kalamazoo’s most unique nightlife experiences. It features a comfortable lounge-like environment situated on the top of the Rosenbaum Building.
For a refreshing cocktail, we recommend ordering a Chilly Blast – made with New Amsterdam, pineapple vodka, Peach Schnapps, cranberry juice and soda water.
Cosmo’s is on the second floor of a 110 year old historic building, tucked away in the heart of Kalamazoo’s Vine Neighborhood. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and 30% off all bottles of wine every Wednesday!
For a late night big city feel in the heart of Kalamazoo, The Wine Loft is the perfect place to catch up with friends, enjoy a wine tasting, and sometimes even meet the wine makers. Open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner, desserts, drinks, and of course, a brilliant selection of wine from locations near and far. They offer specials almost every night of the week, like 25% off all wine flights on Thursdays!
At HopCat Kalamazoo, they’ve taken an old rail freight depot and turned it into a hub for great craft beer. Their full food menu, full of scratch-made takes on pub food they call “food your mom would make if she loved craft beer” are available every night until last call.
They offer 100 beers on tap every day and a range of regional, global, and Belgian beers in bottles. If you’re not in the mood for a beer, you can get a glass of wine or a cocktail from their full bar. HopCat has amazing Happy House specials, 3-6 PM & 10 PM-Close, Monday-Thursday.
600 Kitchen & Bar
600 Kitchen & Bar is located in downtown Kalamazoo’s Rivers Edge Neighborhood, on the northwest corner of The Foundry. 600 Kitchen & Bar features a diverse menu that honors both people and tradition. As part of the Millennium Restaurant Group, it helps breathe new life and energy into a historic space that was once a grey-iron foundry built around 1905.
They have an extensive menu of both food and drink. Sip a refreshing drink on the patio, such as the Lavanda Vineyard – a spritzer with gin, lavender and concord grape shrub, sparkling grape juice and lemon swab.
Serving up pizza, pasta and an original take on traditional Italian cuisine, Martini’s is family owned and operated since 1988. They frequently have live music on the patio during the warmer months.
If you’re looking to order a martini from Martini’s, we suggest the Rosa – made with Ketel One Vodka, Peachello, Cocchi Americano Rosa, Prosecco, fresh lemon and rose water.
Green Door Distilling Co.
Green Door Distilling Co. is a self-proclaimed “grain to glass distillery” and recent recipient of the “Michigan Vodka Distillery of the Year Award” by the New York Spirits Competition. When Green Door opened in 2014, it was Kalamazoo’s first distillery in nearly 200 years.
You can take a tour of the distillery for just $10, which includes a comprehensive walk through of the facility, information about the process of distilling, and a flight of spirits that you can enjoy outside while playing corn hole!
Zazio’s offers a unique feature every weeknight in the bar, and during warmer months, these features are available outside on the patio! Take advantage of their 1/2 off martinis and cocktails happy hour special on Friday’s from 4pm-7pm.
No need to make a reservation, just show up, relax and enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail, glass of wine, or draft beer. Our cocktail of choice is the Nucky Thompson– Buffalo Trace Whiskey, brown sugar simple syrup, lime and soda.
Principle Food & Drink
Principle Food & Drink features craft cocktails and scratch made cuisine in a casual yet elegant vintage atmosphere. The Principle kitchen presents an array of ‘medium’ plates, comprised primarily of ingredients sourced within 50 miles of Kalamazoo.
One of their most popular and raved about cocktails is the Smoked Sazerac, made with bulleit rye whiskey, demerara syrup, absinthe mist, peychauds and anise smoke.
Kalamazoo Beer Exchange
At The Beer Exchange, you set the beer prices based on the principles of supply and demand, creating an ever-evolving happy hour. It’s interactive. You can try to game beer prices like the stock market, for fun and entertainment. Random “market crashes” add to the excitement, plunging beer prices to their all-time low. They also serve lunch and dinner. Enjoy a few drinks or a meal out on their deck that overlooks Arcadia Creek Festival Place.
Old Dog Tavern
This ever-evolving spot, located in the historic Star Paper Co. building, is dedicated to providing a unique restaurant experience with a relaxed and entertaining environment.
Behind the bar, you will find a consistent rotation of Michigan craft brews and a passionate cocktail program. Make sure you try the I’ve Got a Gal – made with Journeyman White Rye, habanero simple syrup, pineapple juice and fresh lime juice.
Saugatuck Brewing Company – Kalamazoo
Once home to Gonzo’s Bigg Dogg Brewing, the space at 140 S Westnedge Avenue is now the new home of Saugatuck Brewing Company – Kalamazoo! Several of Gonzo’s popular specialty beers, including the Vanilla Porter, are still on the menu in addition to Saugatuck-specific brews.
If you’re visiting the brewery during patio season, make sure to quench your thirst with something refreshing such as their Blueberry Lemonade Shandy!