With fall temps dropping, it's time to hit the patio and dine al fresco. Below are 10 spots new to the outdoor dining game, all with standout bites and refreshing drinks.
The line-up of breakfast tacos, burgers, hot dogs and salads headlines the Midtown open-air kiosk at Bagby Park. The casual hangout also offers wine and beer on tap, late-night weekend hours and patio seating for over 50, complete with two 50-inch TVs, oscillating fans and patio heaters. Bonus: Coming soon, a drop screen will show outdoor movies.
The Heights-area spot with an industrial feel has a large bar with indoor — and outdoor — seating. The wraparound patio has a pop-up window providing an additional place to order fare and a stage for live music performances. Chow down on Tex-Mex and Cajun dishes, and Southern staples like fried chicken and Gulf seafood.
Dine al fresco on the patio at the British-American tavern in The Heights. Grab a seat on the oak-tree-shaded patio, 800 square-feet with seating for 86, and imbibe whiskeys from an extensive roster, items from a wood-burning grill and more. Don’t skip the entrée of four meaty pork chops stacked high and presented on a cake plate. Open now for dinner and brunch, you can soon feast midday; lunch service launches in early November.
The Woodlands-area eatery shines a spotlight on European fare with Mediterranean accents, alongside meats that are dry-aged in house and an ever-changing list of 20 craft beers on tap. Dine al fresco on the patio with room for 30.
Suds from this brewery are so popular that they've upgraded to a two-story, 19,000-square-foot building with a new taproom featuring 30 taps and special bottle and can releases, and a restaurant with a spacious patio. Nosh on items from beer-battered fish and chips to pizza and a house burger (with white cheddar cheese on a Hawaiian bun).
The intimate Rice Village bungalow offers coastal Italian cuisine and covered outdoor seating for 38 with ceiling fans and heaters. Start with the fritto misto and work your way to main dish, the squid-ink pasta tossed with lobster meat. Sundays-only, the restaurant foregoes its usual playlist of Italian classical music in favor of electronic tunes.
The kitchen here focuses on American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, steaks and chops, made with ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches. The layout includes a 1,400-square-foot covered patio with seating for 70, as well as a “rec deck” (outdoor lounge area with multiple big-screen outdoor TVs and gaming options like ping-pong, foosball, checkers and beanbag toss).
The laidback Washington Avenue favorite features a patio with seating for 40 and a large selection of tacos, from the standard chicken and steak to out-of-the-ordinary crispy softshell crawfish (cornmeal crusted crawfish topped with pork and crawfish jambalaya, remoulade, pickled red cabbage and micro greens on flour tortilla). Tip: After 6 pm, extra parking is available at the dry cleaners behind the building.
The two-story newcomer on Washington Avenue, which houses both a butcher shop and a steakhouse, features a killer view of downtown from the rooftop patio with seating for 60. Feast on a wide variety of chops, and seafood and raw-bar options. As for drinks, try the sparkling Washington Mule on tap, a play on the Moscow mule.
The Montrose patio bar serves craft beer, cocktails and coastal Mexican seafood. The expansive first-floor patio holds a large bar area and a koi pond. Dig into small plates, including a smoked tomato campechana and chips, and entrees like the whole fried fish. Wash it all down with the refreshing Watermelon Fresca, a mix of tequila blanco, Aperol and watermelon juice garnished with mint and watermelon balls.