Restaurants / Lists

Houston’s Best Patio Restaurants and Bars

10 Spots That Make Outdoor Dining a Breeze

BY // 04.02.18

No, it’s not too good to be true. Spring has arrived. Patio season is upon us. There are so many spots across Houston to enjoy the fresh air and mild weather. You’ve got bars, restaurants, and mixes of both, all touting their patios. It can be hard to determine which ones are worth your while. PaperCity has you covered, from open air patios to covered ones.

We’ve rounded up a list of yearlong favorites with some seasonal bonuses. Whatever your speed — brick floor or wood deck, ground floor or rooftop lounge — we’ve got something for you. These are Houston’s best patio restaurants and bars.

B&B Butchers

1814 Washington 

This meat haven’s patio elevates the concept to new heights. The second-floor area looks out over the Houston city skyline, an especially great treat at night. You can enjoy the downtown view in rain or shine, thanks to B&B Butcher’s retractable covering.

Comfort is key, with ceiling fans overhead, and elegance is a must too, with the white linen table cloths. The upstairs patio can be reached by stairs or by elevator.

Patio B&B Butchers
B&B Butcher’s second-floor patio looks out over the city skyline. (Photo from B&B Butcher’s Facebook.)

La Grange

2517 Ralph

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This casual Tex-Mex restaurant takes things to the next level with its colorful, two-tiered patio. The patio features a covered bar, a quaint pond brimming with oversized koi, picnic tables, fire pits, a foosball table and murals against the back wall. With cacti and palm trees lining the area, of course.

Then there’s the upper deck, lined with tables for two so you can look out over Houston or people watch, somewhat surreptitiously beneath lime green umbrellas. Don’t worry, there’s a bar upstairs, too. You won’t have to slow down.

Baba Yega Café

2607 Grant

This Montrose restaurant’s lush backyard is the stuff of arboretums with unparalleled, tropical landscaping. The popular brunch site would make for a good postcard picture.

You could find yourself seated by a bubbling fountain, a miniature waterfall dotted with metal cranes, sweet-smelling roses, or even an oversized birdcage for Baba’s resident parrot.

Backstreet Café

1103 S. Shepherd

This al fresco spot is found outside a cozy, converted River Oaks cottage. Hugo Ortega’s home style American restaurant is the go-to for elegant evenings eating outdoors in Houston.

The tables sit on a brick deck, surrounding an elegant fountain. Umbrellas keep things shady on this patio, with natural foliage lining the outskirts.

Axelrad Beer Garden

1517 Alabama

Axelrad is an ideal hang-out spot, especially if you’re into hammocks. Row after row of colorfully stitched hammocks, for one person or even several, line the edge of the sprawling patio.

A giant neon-lit tree stands in the middle of it all. There’s plenty of seating and plenty to watch, like DJ sets, live bands and black-and-white movies projected against the wall of the pizza parlor next door.

Did we say pizza? Yup, you can order at Luigi’s and they’ll bring the pizza to you on the Axelrad patio.

Patio Axelrad
At Axelrad’s, anything is possible. Even pizza brought straight to your hammock. (Photo from Axelrad’s Facebook.)

Batanga

908 Congress

Batanga is known for small plates and a giant patio — the largest in Downtown Houston, at 3,600 square feet. With warm strings of lights overhead, Batanga’s gated patio almost doesn’t feel like it’s in the city.

The patio’s brick floor plays off of the exposed brick of the building next door and the bright red umbrellas at each table. A neon Batanga sign is particularly Instagram-worthy.

Boheme

307 Fairview  

Boheme’s patio is endless. Outdoor seating is available on the front deck and wraps around the side of the building. You can dine in massive, three-sided wood booths with the space for up to five or six people.

Continue down the path and you won’t be disappointed. It all leads up to the 6,000 square-foot garden in the back, lined with stone sculptures from Zimbabwe and dripping with strands of hanging lights. Fans keep things cool in the heat, and heaters keep things cool when it’s chilly.

Brenner’s On The Bayou

1 Birdsall 

Brenner’s has cultivated the meticulously manicured foliage all along its view of Buffalo Bayou. The restaurant’s grounds boast a gazebo, fountains and a concrete path. The sizable patio is a natural treat full of flowers and greenery.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors with a more uptempo vibe, head upstairs to Bar Blue, a broad deck lounge.

The Grove

1611 Lamar 

The Grove sees your backyard patio, and raises you Discovery Green. You can dine on the first floor outdoors, seated at a table nestled between the plant life lining the sidewalk and the floor to ceiling windows of the sleek building, with trees arching overhead.

Or you could take things a little higher on the large rooftop deck. That’s a prime park view.

Cottonwood

3422 N. Shepherd

The rustic patio isn’t playing around at Cottonwood, but it’s certainly fun for playing around. It’s half easy, breezy lounge and half laid-back concert venue. There are two expansive outdoor seating areas. The smaller, set against the back of the industrial building, is open air and full of picnic tables.

The other side is split down the middle, with one open area for bocce ball, corn hole — and bright bulbs are strung all the way across. The other side is covered and typically has picnic tables, but they’re moved out when local music acts take over. 

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