Don't Miss Houston's Prime Outdoor Dining Options
Enjoying a drink and fabulous food at an outdoor patio table is a favorite activity among Houston locals. It’s no surprise, since H-town’s weather lends itself to frequent outdoor dining. So when the urge to dine al fresco strikes, make sure to check out these Houston patios.
Looking for a place to kick back and enjoy a drink with friends? Look no further than Axelrad Beer Garden. Housed in a 100-year-old building that used to be a grocery store, the inside part of this Midtown bar retains some of the building’s historic touches, but the real attraction is its expansive patio. Conceived as a community gathering place, the garden has plenty of wooden picnic tables, video screens, and the city’s only hammock grove. If you’re hungry, the next door Luigi’s Pizzeria will bring you a pie so you can continue to enjoy Axelrad’s local craft beer menu and relaxing vibe.
One of Backstreet Café’s most attractive features is its beautiful patio. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy James Beard-nominated chef Hugo Ortega’s New American fare, which includes classics such as steak frites, Gulf shrimp and grits, and goat cheese ravioli. Whether you go for Sunday jazz brunch or a romantic evening out, you’ll love eating al fresco here. Pay them a visit to find out why Backstreet is consistently named among the best patios in the city.
Batanga, a Latin American restaurant just off Market Square Park in Downtown Houston, opened in 2013 boasting a beautiful, 3,600-square-foot bricked patio overlooking the park. Take in the view while enjoying dishes from various Latin American countries, Spain, and Portugal, as well as refreshing cocktails, such as caipirinhas, mojitos, and sangria. Live music adds to the festive vibe.
Beaver’s isn’t your typical ice house and barbecue joint. Its tongue-in-cheek menu, impressive cocktail selection, and its good food have earned Beaver’s a faithful local following. Now with a second location in the Galleria area, fans have another place to enjoy Beaver’s barbecue, fried pickles, and smoky queso. With its x-shaped fire pit and backyard games, the patio at the Beaver’s West location is a fun spot for brunch, happy hour or dinner.
For a more refined experience, Brennan’s of Houston has arguably the most elegant courtyard in the city with its New Orleans-style architecture and striking landscaping. This Houston landmark offers a Texas Creole-inspired menu with favorites such as turtle soup, roasted oysters, bananas foster and old-fashioned duck and foie gras. Don’t miss the popular Sunday creole jazz brunches for a wonderful dining experience.
When it comes to great outdoor views, Brenner’s On the Bayou is in a league of its own. The steakhouse’s terrace offers diners a panoramic scene of Buffalo Bayou and the restaurant’s gorgeous landscaped grounds. The restaurant also has a bar, called Blue, where visitors can enjoy cocktails, wine, snacks and cigars at one of its two patios, which are outfitted with comfortable seating, fire pits, and striking views.
A favorite among artsy types, musicians, and students, Café Brasil in Montrose offers good coffee, wine and beer, and tasty bites. Open since 1992 and considered the first coffee shop in Houston, Brasil (as it’s mostly referred to) has a welcoming neighborhood vibe and two patios to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hang out at the front patio for good views of the busy intersection of Westheimer and Dunlavy or head to the back patio for a quieter time. And don’t miss the coffee house's weekly live musical acts, film screenings, and food tastings.
With a creek-side deck, light-strung patio, outdoor bar, fire pits and cozy cabin feel, Cedar Creek is popular for an easy going afternoon or evening out. Like its sister establishments, Canyon Creek and Onion Creek, Cedar is a good spot to have a beer, drink some coffee, catch a game or grab a quick bite to eat. Open every day of the week, these neighborhood joints are perfect for a lazy afternoon out or to simply hang out with friends snacking on fried shrimp or hot wings.
The 3,000-square-foot garden at Coltivare is a gorgeous setting for an evening out. Dine surrounded by the herbs and vegetables used by chef Ryan Pera in many of his rustic Italian dishes. Since the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, the garden is also a good spot to enjoy a drink while you wait for your table. Don’t miss the excellent cocktails and wood-oven pizzas.
Good pizza, wine, and a welcoming neighborhood vibe make Crisp an attractive dining option in the Heights. Its expansive patio offers the best seating in the house with plenty of tables for you to enjoy dinner with family and friends. While their menu offers a variety of salads, sandwiches and heartier options such as meatballs and short ribs, the pizzas are a good bet. Add to that 24 craft beers on tap and an extensive wine list and you’ve got a winner.
The Dunlavy is an oasis inside the city. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, the private event space and restaurant offers stunning views of Lost Lake and Buffalo Bayou Park. While you’ll feel like you’re dining outside even when indoors, its space also has a terrace for outdoor dining. Stop by for breakfast on weekends or for one of its weekly happy hours to enjoy a drink or bite surrounded by the park’s greenery.
Experience a modern take on the Texas ice house at Eight Row Flint. Housed in a former Citgo gas station, the Heights hang out by Revival Market owners Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber offers a casual atmosphere in an open-air setting. Patrons can grab an ice cold craft beer, a frozen cocktail, or choose from a selection of nearly 100 bourbons and whiskeys. The food menu offers snacks such as chips and queso and a selection of tacos, quesadillas, and tostadas prepared from scratch in the food truck parked permanently on site.
The expansive open-air patio at La Grange is a fitting backdrop to enjoy the restaurant’s refreshing cocktails and coastal Tex Mex cuisine. Its lush tropical foliage, festive globe lights, and long picnic tables, will make you feel like you’re on vacation somewhere eating seafood dishes such as ceviche and agua chiles, and fresh whole fried fish. Located in a former horse hospital from the 1930s in Montrose, the restaurant has three bars and is open for dinner on weekdays and Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Located inside Discovery Green, The Grove is a light-filled restaurant that draws visitors from nearby hotels and convention-goers from the George R. Brown Convention Center across the street. The restaurant’s sidewalk seating or second-story deck are perfect for people watching and taking in views of the park during lunchtime or enjoying the city’s skyline by night.
Once an empty metal warehouse, Tiny Boxwoods is a classy, beautifully decorated café perfect for a lunch date or catching up with girlfriends. Large windows give the restaurant a light and airy feel but this is a place where you’ll want to dine al fresco. Tiny Boxwoods is next to the Thompson & Hanson nursery, which gives its patio a fresh, green feel. The tranquil setting is perfect to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or weekend brunch. Just make sure to get there early because seating is hard to get. You may also want to check out Tiny’s No. 5, the cafe’s sister restaurant, which also boasts a beautiful lawn for outdoor dining.