Cozy Igloos, Tents and Heated Patios to Eat at This Winter

Not comfortable dining inside a restaurant? These venues are adapting their outdoor options.

If you’re a Milwaukee foodie, this may be the winter to invest in some extra layers. Some restaurants are doing the same with their outdoor spaces, putting in winterizing investments to extend the small-group dining “al fresco” of summer and fall into winter. A growing list of restaurants have created extra-cozy outdoor experiences this year.

Here is a selection of them:

1. Movida at Hotel Madrid

600 S. SIXTH ST. 

With private, lounge-style rooms in the heated, enclosed patio, guests have access to the featured cocktail and food menus and are encouraged to wear costumes matching their room’s theme and snap photos. Each can host two to six guests for a 90-minute reservation. 

2. Brandywine


Three 12-by-12-foot igloos are set in the fenced patio area, surrounded by lights and festive décor. Each dome can handle up to six guests and has a slightly different, one-of-a-kind theme. Upon arrival, diners will find a personalized note, a hidden complimentary amuse bouche for their party and cozy blankets. Food and drink (hot cocoa, hot toddies, etc.), will be served family style. A Bluetooth speaker will be provided for folks to play music of their choice. 

3. Kegel’s Inn


Converted into a cold-weather Shangri-La, the Kegel’s “Brrr” Garden includes seating, gas fire pits and yurts! These tents are available to rent for dinner in two-hour slots (on weekdays) or 90-minute slots (weekends) and can accommodate six to 12 people. 

4. Lowlands Group


All of the properties – Cafés Benelux, Centraal and the Hollanders, along with the Buckatabon Supper Club – are tenting and heating their patios for comfort. The courtyard at Centraal, for instance, has a 600-foot heated tent with clear roof panels and a “boho-chic” décor (rattan furniture, plants) to transport diners far from chilly Wisconsin. 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s December issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.