Updated May 19, 2021 – This blog is not so much about the type of restaurant or its food. It’s more about the experience as more of us look for outdoor dining options. Links are included so you can check out the menus. And it is by no means a complete list of restaurants serving outdoor dining. I’m sharing what I think each establishment offers with regards to the experience. That being said, here are restaurants with the best outdoor dining in Hershey PA.
Best Outdoor Dining Facilities in Hershey
The Mill, hershey
A late comer to my list is The Mill in Hershey, as this restaurant only recently reopened with this new addition. Congratulations to them for creating an extremely inviting outdoor section. With a bar and fireplace this will certainly be great meeting place for years to come. Despite its size, reservations are strongly recommended as tables are still required to be distanced from each other. View menus.
The Hershey Pantry, hershey
Second on my list is The Hershey Pantry. Their outdoor covered patio was a favorite spot of mine prior to COVID-19. It has a full roof so dining in a heavy rain is not an issue, and if the evening should become cool, there are also heat lamps. In addition to the patio they will have some tents in their back yard as well as tables in a converted out building. But the best experience, in my opinion, is the patio. And unlike many other restaurants, no reservations are required. View menus.
Fenicci’s of Hershey, Hershey
Next is Fenicci’s of Hershey. This Italian restaurant located downtown has been a popular stop for visitors and locals for decades. Like the Hershey Pantry, Fenicci’s has a covered porch that will keep you dry even in a heavy rain. In addition to the porch, you will also find a few tables out back. But these will not be covered and are only used during good weather. You will need to make reservations at resy.com. View menu.
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Hershey
Next on my list is a newcomer to the Hershey area, the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. They are located downtown in the new section of restaurants and shops about two blocks west of the center of town. At the present time, their outdoor seating is on the smaller side with only about 7 tables. If you are trying to avoid a crowd and can get a table here, then Iron Hill may be a good choice. Each table has its own umbrella so you can be protected from a lite shower. Reservations are required by calling 717-312-5164. View menu.
Next is Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar. Their outdoor seating area is open, overlooking the center of downtown. Their largest table can seat 8. While they have large umbrellas to shade some of the tables, they do not have individual covered tables. So if it rains, your french fries will get wet. Reservations are required by calling 717-534-3110. View menus.
Outdoor Dining Outside Hershey, PA
The next few restaurants are not located right in Hershey, but they’re a short drive to the surrounding communities.
Blue Bird Inn, cornwall
Our first choice in this group is Blue Bird Inn located in Cornwall, about 12 miles away. This restaurant has always been a personal favorite of mine. And with a large deck, it fits this group well. With 32 tables on their deck, they have one of the largest outdoor seating areas. While all restaurants require a minimum distance between each table, the chances of finding a larger crowd here is greater. If you are trying to avoid a large group, then this may not be the best place. They do not accept reservations for the deck, and they have a maximum seating size of 6 people per group. The tables are a combination of open, and some with umbrellas. This restaurant can be very busy in normal times, so expect to wait if you plan to go over the weekend for dinner. View menu.
Rotunda Restaurant & Brewery, annville
Next is Rotunda Restaurant and Brewery. Rotunda is about 5 miles east of the 1825 Inn in the small town of Annville. Before we get into their outdoor dining, a little clarification on their name may be in order. This restaurant was previously called the Batdorf, and April 2020 was supposed to be the month of their rebranding and reopening. But with COVID-19 getting in the way, things were put on a little hold. As a result, you may find their website and Google Maps still listing them as Batdorf. No worries, this is the same restaurant. But don’t be confused with the Rotunda Brew Pub in Hershey. Rotunda is their sister restaurant, which is doing outdoor dining but does not have permanent outdoor section. This Rotunda, located in Annville, has their pub Tiki section which currently has 9 tables. The fixed roof will keep you dry in any rain event. Reservations are strongly suggested due to the limited number of tables. The maximum group size is 8 people. In addition to these tables, the restaurant does have an additional 4 tables set up next to the pub. Each has its own umbrella and these are set for walk-ins. Their phone number is 717-867-0113. View In House menu.
Babe’s Grill House, Palmyra
Located just minutes from our 1825 Inn is Babe’s Grill House in Palmyra. They’ve been here since 2013, and in addition to multi-level indoor seating, they offer charming outdoor patio seating with a wood burning fireplace and umbrella tables. For reservations, call 717-838-8200. View menu. (Photo coming soon)
Hide-A-Way restaurant, Mt. Gretna
Our next slightly out-of-the-way spot is in the small community of Mt. Gretna. This has been a popular summer location for over 100 years with its lake and community theater. Hide-A-Way Restaurant offers a large deck, and as with most things Gretna, provides a tranquil atmosphere under the trees. Most of their 30 tables have their own large umbrella so you will be protected from an unplanned summer shower. If you eat here, don’t forget to save room for ice cream. About a mile away is one of my favorite ice cream shops, the Jigger Shop. The Jigger Shop recently began its summer season on June 4, 2020, so they have not yet begun their outdoor seating on their large deck. But for now, order the Sundae to-go, and have a seat on one of the many benches under the trees in Mt. Gretna. View menu.
T.J. Rockwell’s, Elizabethtown
Last on my list is T.J. Rockwell’s in Elizabethtown, which is about 11 miles south of Hershey. They offer a large deck with 24 tables, most of which are either covered or have umbrellas. They are serving parties no larger than 6 and reservations or call-ahead seating are suggested, but they will accept walk-ins if available. Their phone number is 717-367-5544. View menu.
Lodging in Hershey PA
And when staying in the Hershey area, always remember to stay safe, stay small and stay inn at our 1825 Inn Bed and Breakfast. We offer a delightful and delicious sit-down breakfast each morning on the enclosed porch, as well as homemade treats and beverages in the evenings. For reservations, book here. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon. We will update this post as needed. One thing we have found to be true, is that all things continue to change.