In the wake of Covid-19, restaurants have embraced open-air dining as the way of the future; many using the natural backdrop of Northern Michigan to enhance their outdoor spaces. You voted for the Top 7 Outdoor Dining Spots in each region. Here are your winners—get your grub on! 

A record-breaking 16,000 people voted in MyNorth’s 2021 Red Hot Best Awards, recognizing winners from across seven regions and 46 different categories in Northern Michigan. The categories include everything from healthcare and frontline workers to takeout and hiking trails. This is how we celebrate Northern Michigan! 

Searching for the full winner’s list? Here are the Red Hot Best Winners 2021: The Best of Northern Michigan.

Above the Bridge

Pink Pony, Mackinac Island

Enjoy a cocktail hour in pink umbrella paradise with delicious food and great views at one of the most iconic outdoor dining spots in Michigan. With four different decks to choose from and live music, it’s no wonder that the Pink Pony is a favorite spot among seasoned Mackinac travelers and tourists alike!

View the full list of Above the Bridge Red Hot Best winners to find the best wineries, beaches and much more.

Photo by The Pink Pony

Benzie & Leelanau 

Hop Lot Brewing Co., Suttons Bay

Experience one-of-a-kind microbrewing right off of M-22 at this year-round beer garden in the woods. Reserve your own igloo during the winter or grab a seat next to a fire pit and stay warm with one of their delicious craft beers on tap! 

View the full list of Benzie and Leelanau Red Hot Best winners to find the best breweries, events and more.

Cadillac, Manistee & Ludington 

Cluck Bucket, Ludington

Get your fill of delicious fried comfort food at the Cluck Bucket food truck! Order Cluck Buckets of fried chicken with homemade slaw, or try pulled chicken with red sauce with their famous Pit-tatoes.

Cluck Bucket restaurant

Photo by Cluck Bucket

Charlevoix & The Chain of Lakes 

Dockside Torch Lake, Bellaire

Nothing beats dinner with a view, especially when the view is of Northern Michigan’s spectacular Torch Lake. Dockside Torch Lake offers seafood-American fare and brews while overlooking the Caribbean-like blue waters of Torch on their front deck.

View the full list of Charlevoix & Chain of Lakes region Red Hot Best winners.

Photo by Carly Paszek

Gaylord Kalkaska & Grayling 

Ray’s BBQ, Brews & Blues, Grayling

Grab some barbeque right on the banks of the Au Sable River at Ray’s BBQ! With more than 30 craft beers on tap and outdoor riverside dining, all that’s left to do is some foot-tapping to the strictly-blues playlist in this BBQ joint.

View the full list of Gaylord, Kalkaska and Grayling Red Hot Best winners to find the best golf courses, events and more.

Ray's BBQ, Brews & Blues

Photo by Ray's BBQ, Brews & Blues

Petoskey, Harbor Springs & The Straits

The Back Lot, Petoskey

Open year-round in downtown Petoskey, the Back Lot is an outdoor beer garden that features several food trucks, each offering its own street food. Perfect for a fun and chill night out with friends or family, the Back Lot itself features an indoor bar in addition to the food truck fare and brews.

Looking for the best beaches, wineries and more? View the full list of Petoskey, Harbor Springs and The Straits Red Hot Best winners.

Photo by The Back Lot

Traverse City 

The Little Fleet, Traverse City

Traverse City’s favorite outdoor spot could be none other than The Little Fleet! The adorable outdoor patio and bar area is surrounded by delicious food-truck aromas from May through September. Grab a pint and some tacos from Happy’s Taco Shop and enjoy the sunshine! 

Searching for more of Traverse City’s top beaches, breweries and more? View the full Traverse City Red Hot Best winners list.

Photo by Taylor Brown

Find the full Red Hot Best list in the June 2021 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine; or subscribe and get Traverse delivered to your door each month.

Photo(s) by The Back Lot