When you visit the Minocqua Area in the summertime, you’ll want to spend as much time outside as you can—even when you’re eating. Here’s a look at a few local restaurants where you can enjoy your meal al fresco and a couple others that offer great waterside views.

See a sortable listing of Minocqua Area restaurants here.

Outdoor Dining

Pizza lovers should be sure to stop at Oakfire Pizzeria & Bar, which makes its home in a historic brick building in downtown Minocqua with great views of the lake. Seating is first come, first serve, but with two floors and two outdoor patios, it’s easy to find a spot to order Roman-style pizza, salads, sandwiches, craft beer, wine, and more.

Get a dose of gemutlichkeit (good cheer) at Otto’s Beer & Brat Garden, a European-style pub and outdoor beer garden on Oneida Street in downtown Minocqua. Enjoy one of nearly a dozen tap beers, as well as a wide selection of imported and domestic beer while sampling favorites like Otto’s house brat (made in Sheboygan), the Black Forest Burger or the German Reuben (or Rachel). Otto’s is also a great place to go for live music most nights; call or check their Facebook page for a full schedule.

Looking for a classic Northwoods dining spot? Head to the Black Bear Bar & Grill on Hwy 70 west of Minocqua and enjoy a meal at this quaint restaurant that was built in 1947. The Black Bear’s tiki bar is open in the summer, and it also offers outside dining and a playground for kids along Shishebogama Creek. Head to the Black Bear for lunch and dinner most days (it’s closed on Tuesdays) and breakfast on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Don’t miss live music on Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend until October.

Waterfront Dining

A favorite among Minocqua visitors and locals alike, The Thirsty Whale has been welcoming diners for more than a century on the shores of Lake Minocqua. Grab a table on their large outdoor deck to enjoy burgers, salads, or a Friday fish fry. Stop by on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sunday nights to get a front-row seat to the Min-Aqua Bats Ski Show.

Located on the southwest shore of Big Arbor Vitae Lake, Slo’s Pub in Arbor Vitae is a popular destination for Northwoods visitors in every season. Slo’s is open from 11am to 7pm daily, so head down to enjoy lunch or dinner on their outdoor deck. Don’t miss the Slo’s Favorite (a patty melt with a grilled burger or marble rye with fried onions and Swiss cheese), or stop by for the classic Friday fish fry.

Lakeside Grill sits on the northwestern shore of Tomahawk Lake on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes—pull your boat up to the dock and grab a seat on their outdoor patio. Lakeside Grill is open from May through September and offers Northwoods favorites like fish tacos, as well as cold beer and lakeside cocktails.