Great Patio Restaurants

Patio fever grips Houston: Hot new restaurants and bars embrace outdoor dining

Patio fever grips Houston: Hot new restaurants, bars move outside

Darla, five best date spots, March 2013, Brooklyn Athletic Club, 2, Chef Jeff Axline and owner Shepard Ross
Jeff Axline and Shepard Ross, Brooklyn Athletic Club Photo by Claire Dorfman
Bottom's Up, Del Frisco's Grille, March 2013, sign
Del Fricso's Grille has a see and be-seen patio scene. Photo by Joel Luks
Batanga Houston, patio
How about a massive patio under the clock tower? Batanga Houston/Facebook
Capitol Bar in Midtown
The best parts of the new Capitol Bar are outside. Photo by Shawn Outlaw
Darla, five best date spots, March 2013, Brooklyn Athletic Club, 2, Chef Jeff Axline and owner Shepard Ross
Bottom's Up, Del Frisco's Grille, March 2013, sign
Batanga Houston, patio
Capitol Bar in Midtown

Before Houston's summer is in full force — with its sweltering heat, sticky humidity and pesky mosquitoes — there is a window of pleasant weather best enjoyed by dining and drinking in the great outdoors.

We’ve scouted out the top new patios in town where the food is palate pleasing, the drinks are thirst quenching and the atmosphere’s anything but lackluster.

Brooklyn Athletic Club

In its inaugural patio season is Brooklyn Athletic Club located on Richmond. Add some sun to your fun by dining at one of several outdoor tables. Order easygoing comfort classics like The Clubhouse Burger, The Reuben and Chef Jeff's Baked Mac N' Cheese, and pair your fare with a refreshing cocktail like the G'Vine, Lillet & Croquet.

After kicking back on the patio, venture to the BACyard for a game of bocce ball, croquet, ping pong, beanbags, badminton, putting cups, dominoes or playing cards.

Del Frisco’s Grille

Grab a seat on one of two patios at Del Frisco’s Grille and be ready to people-watch. The newly opened restaurant in West Ave attracts a see-and-be-seen crowd. The ahi tacos, jumbo lump crabcake and shaved prime steak sandwich are favorites, and so is the Apt. 5D cocktail with a base of Tito's Vodka and muddled strawberries.

 Patio seating is first come, first served. Get there early if you don’t want to wait. 

Patio seating is first come, first served. Get there early if you don’t want to wait.

Corner Table

Dine alfresco at Corner Table on Virginia near Westheimer and Kirby. While the first thing you notice when you walk up is the outdoor seating in the front courtyard, the main patio, flanked by a row of cabanas and an herb garden, is nestled in the back.

Start with the Savory Creme Brulee appetizer made with three cheeses, pears, apples and dried cherries, then try the house made chicken apple sausage pizza or the Paleo-friendly fried chicken dusted with almond flour. There’s also a selection of gluten-free dishes on the menu. Favorite sips are The Geisha, a vodkatini with subtle fruit and sake undertones, and the Pimm's 1919.


The new Latin American Tapas restaurant downtown, Batanga, has a 3,600 square-foot patio with a bird's eye view of the historic Clock Tower at Market Square. Drink choices include South American and Spanish wines, 50 beers and cocktails like Finn's Revenge with key ingredients vanilla rum, coco milk and ginger beer.

This patio will soon be dog-friendly, and feature a serene waterfall and koi pond.

Capitol Bar

Capitol Bar, a renovated auto repair garage in Midtown, has a large patio with plenty of picnic tables and cabana-style seating. Hungry? The revolving food truck rotation has already seen the likes of Golden Grill, Pho-jita Fusion and Big Daddy Z's.

With more than 30 beers, a full bar and a menu of 10 cocktails such as the easy to throwback, vodka-based Country Time Strawberry Lemonade, you surely won't go thirsty. And on Sundays, Capitol Bar serves up mimosas, white wine sangria and watermelon mojitos.


Eleven XI Restaurant & Bar

Eleven XI at 607 West Gray is set to open later this month. The casually cool restaurant will feature Southern coastal cuisine with 20 to 25 daily items from noted chef Kevin Bryant. Drinks include 30 wines by the glass, a cocktail list with a focus on Texas brands and a build-your-own Manhattan menu. For those opting for something non-alcoholic, how about a refreshing lemonade, Dublin soda, craft root beer or Mexican Coca Cola.

The restaurant, housed in a 1940s era, two-story building formerly occupied by Bibas Diner, is in the midst of a major renovation that includes an expansive, covered first floor patio with Wi-Fi, TVs and fans — plus an additional patio that will wrap the second floor private dining area.

Do you have a new favorite patio hot spot you want to share? Let us know!