Best Restaurants

See all of the nominations for Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining

Our search for Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining is off to a big start, thanks to all of you who shared your favorite restaurants that are offering fun and creative ways to dine outside. We received 130 nominations from all over the state.

Michigan restaurants have really gone above and beyond when it comes to creating some of these outdoor spaces. We’ve heard of hand made yurts, shanty towns, repurposed duck blinds, tents, igloos and greenhouses. Several downtowns have turned whole streets into outdoor refreshment areas. Over in the Bay City area, locals have formed Operation Shantyville in order to support their local restaurants that can’t afford outdoor seating. The group picks a restaurant and invites everyone to come dine outside in the parking lot, bringing whatever type of shelter you’d like. While turning to outdoor dining wasn’t a choice for our restaurants, they’ve made the best of it, and we

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Vote for the Best Outdoor Dining in the Upper Peninsula

Time to bundle up!

We’re trying to determine who has the best outdoor dining in the Upper Peninsula. It’s time to make your vote count as part of our search for Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining.

We took your input for the best stops all over the state. These three restaurants in the U.P. received nominations. Thank you so much.

Starting now you can vote once per email address, every three hours. (Poll below.) You can also write in your votes if we missed your favorite spot.

The deadline to vote is 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29.

You can vote in all of our regional polls. Those links are below, too.

After the polls close we will be visiting several of our finalists to give a first-hand account of the outdoor dining experience. We’ll also be announcing all of the regional poll winners, as well as writing more stories in the

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Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining: You still have time to vote, plus Poll Leaders

How is your favorite Michigan restaurant doing in our search for Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining? Time is running out to vote!

On Wednesday morning we posted the leaders in our 11 regional polls all across the state. Throughout the day, not much changed.

RELATED: See our Poll Leaders for Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining

The biggest development happened in the Flint area where Barley & Vine overtook Frankenmuth’s Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie in the top spot. And Lake Inn in Lapeer jumped to No. 2 in the same poll. The rest of the regional poll leaders remained the same.

Poll Leaders as of 7 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28:

Northern Lower Peninsula

The Swamp II Bar & Restaurant, Frederic – VOTE

Upper Peninsula

UP North Lodge, Gwinn – VOTE

Bay City, Saginaw, Midland

O’s Pub & Grill, Auburn – VOTE

Detroit Metro

Benstein Grille, Commerce Twp. – VOTE

Ann Arbor area

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Judge lifts Cuomo’s restaurant curfew order in two western New York counties

A New York judge issued a restraining order Friday afternoon that prohibits the state from imposing its 10 p.m. curfew on dozens of restaurants in Erie and Monroe counties.

The order, which took effect immediately, comes 10 days after about 90 Erie County establishments filed a lawsuit challenging a Cuomo administration order that directs establishments to stop in-person dining at 10 p.m.

In the lawsuit, the businesses pointed to a briefing Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave on Dec. 11 where the state’s contact tracing efforts showed indoor dining led to only 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases.

“There is no valid or sound scientific or medical rationale for respondents to require restaurants to cease in-person dining from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.,” the Jan. 26 complaint said.

In a post on Facebook, Steel City Pub, a Lackawanna establishment, told followers they can now stay later.

“We fought the good fight my friends

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