It's that time again
Do you really want to spend your time drinking in some dingy, cave-like bar? It's Houston — get out on the patio and make a new friend.
Just don't waste your time on a bad patio. The 10 best patio bars in the Bayou City are a varied bunch, but they share one common trait: You won't be wishing you were somewhere else. So go out and try them all and tell us which one is your No. 1.
Little Woodrow's (Midtown) — Their Big 50 deal (try 50 beers and get happy hour prices for life any time Woodrow's is open) will keep you occupied all summer. It's dog-friendly, and Thursday nights you can immerse yourself in the long-forgotten art of turtle racing. If your red-eared slider wins, you get a free beer.
Cecil's — One of a row of incredibly laid-back West Gray watering holes (PJ's is another favorite), Cecil's is the type of place you could really be a regular. Biker dudes and academics drink side by side here. While it's not so much suited for crawls and I've never seen anyone dance, but it's a great spot to catch up with an old friend or make a new one.
Pearl Bar — On the Washington Corridor, Pearl Bar's back patio is as big as its interior. And it's got tons to occupy your time with beer pong, shuffle board, ping pong and even hula hooping.
Brixx — Although the crowd can occasionally get a little Ed Hardy-heavy for my tastes, this open-air bar has all-you-can-eat crawfish on Wednesdays and Sundays. It's also a prime people-watching spot for super-mixed patronage any night. I've had girls' nights out here and happy hour with my dad and felt equally at home.
Cha — I've yet to try it, but I'm headed here next week. Just-opened on Waugh drive, this champagne and wine bar is supposed to have a great rooftop patio with views of downtown.
Cedar Creek — By my estimate, the best patio in Houston. It's got a real creek, a fire pit, a bajillion tables and it's always, always packed with cute people and good-looking offspring. Honestly, I don't know how they do it.
Front Porch Pub — A favorite Midtown spot for bar crawls, the name does the ambience justice. The same folks own Porch Swing Pub in the Heights, and both are perpetually full of the after-work crowd. If you decide to extend happy hour, your walking-distance options are endless.
Poison Girl — Situated on Westheimer just a few short blocks from Anvil, Poison Girl's patio is like a neighbor's backyard — if your neighbor has sleeves like the Kool-aid man and collects chunks of life-sized Cabbage Patch Kids. Loves it.
Tila's — As the tagline claims: "Some of the best things you'll ever put in your mouth." If you want to sip margaritas outdoors, this is your spot. They use fresh lime juice (no concentrate) and have 60 tequilas to choose from.
Minute Maid Park — It's not the most traditional entry on our list, but by my estimation, it's the biggest patio in Houston. And the Stros need all the help they can get — so get out in the sun and support our trailing team. I recommend the pint-sized Dos Equis (with lotsa lime) and a right-field seat with views of Hunter Pence's backside.