When the weather is nice, nothing beats finding an outdoor spot around town to grab a meal. And if you’re looking to branch out from your usual stomping grounds, allow us to make a few suggestions for where to find a great a cocktail (or mocktail!), great food on a relaxing restaurant patio.
This Tex-Mex restaurant in the Plaza at Preston Center has a very inviting patio right next to a bunch of shops you can visit before or after your meal. The margaritas get rave reviews, and if the spring nights get chilly, heaters are available when needed. Visit the Dallas location or the one in Southlake. Reservations available.
4011 Villanova St., Dallas; 469/513-2944
431 Grand Avenue East, Southlake; 682/477-4500
This massive restaurant in Addison is a fun location to meet up with a small group of friends and sit around one of the fire pits on the patio. This lounge is a fab place to cheer on your favorite sports team and play classic games like corn hole, foosball and pop-a-shot to a live DJ or karaoke. If it’s game day, be sure to get there early as the patio fills up pretty quickly.
5100 Belt Line Road, Dallas; 214/272-3950
Spending the early afternoon at the gorgeous Dallas Arboretum in East Dallas? Cross the street after you’re done for a great hangout at Smoky Rose. The patio here is beautiful, and it’s dog-friendly, too. Happy hour runs from 3–6pm Monday to Friday. Reserve your table online in advance and enjoy live music every weekend.
8602 Garland Road, Dallas; 469/776-5655
Want a patio/activity combo? This retro spot has classic bowling lanes, billiards indoors and more fun like corn hole on the large patio where you can enjoy a few brews and bites. Happy hour is 4–7pm Monday through Friday at both locations.
167 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 103, Dallas; 214/741-7737
941 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/887-8130
This is one of the best spots for a ladies’ night in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood of Dallas. The patio is very aesthetically pleasing, with an ivy wall on one side, tables and small couches scattered throughout. Take advantage of the umbrellas or heaters when the weather requires. We highly recommend grabbing an Aperol Spritz while you’re here. Reserve a table online. Happy hour runs 4–6:30pm Monday through Thursday and 11am–6:30pm Friday.
4830 McKinney Avenue at Monticello, Dallas; 469/726-2211
Another great spot for a ladies’ night, this downtown spot is stunning. Think blooms everywhere. Make sure to try their signature cocktail (with Belvedere, watermelon juice, basil reduction) as well as the brunch (the cutest waffle triangles ever). We definitely recommend reservations for peak times. Happy hour is 4–6pm Tuesday through Thursday and 11am–6pm Friday.
3300 Ross Avenue, Dallas;
Sundown, on Lower Greenville, has a great rooftop patio where you can relax before a show at the historic Granada Theater right next door. The laid-back atmosphere, along with a bird’s-eye view of the street below, make for a fun brunch or evening out. Reservations available. Happy hour is 11am–6pm Monday through Friday and 4–10pm Sunday.
3520 Greenville Avenue, Dallas; 214/823-8305
This is definitely the spot if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale. The Bishop Arts restaurant has a massive, and there’s a lot to see—and be seen. Reservations available. Be aware that parking can be kind of tricky since there aren’t any lots, and there are restrictions in the neighboring residential areas.
308 N. Bishop Avenue, Dallas; 214/944-5865
Come for Chef Tim Love’s highly-sought after eats, stay for concerts by country artists. Chow down on some delicious barbecue—cooked over either mesquite, oak, pecan or hickory—and listen to some live music (if it’s scheduled) on the casual, picnic-tabled, lit-up patio. They’ve even got a menu of special treats for your pups. And because of its proximity to the Trinity Trails, you can even run or bike right up the restaurant.
3201 Riverfront Drive, Fort Worth; 817/877-4545
A Fort Worth icon, Joe T.’s is the place to be while spending time in the Stockyards. Grab some stellar fajitas and a margarita on the casual patio around the gorgeous, tiled pool. But remember to bring cash with you, as credit cards are not accepted.
2201 N. Commerce Street, Fort Worth; 817/626-4356
Take in the view of the Trinity Trails as you sip on one of Press Café’s finely crafted cocktails. The casual patio gives you the feeling that you’ve just been dropped into an oasis with the cactus and flowers blooming next to the dirt floor and bright green umbrellas. Bonus: They have a solid happy hour 3–5:30pm Monday through Thursday.
4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Suite 105, Fort Worth; 817/570-6002
As if we really need to explain ourselves with this one, a stop on the Reata rooftop is definitely a must-do when spending time in Cowtown. Take in the views of Sundance Square and the rest of downtown Fort Worth as you sip on a glass of wine or the Reata’s highly recommended old fashioned. Reservations available. Update: Click here for news about Reata’s upcoming move.
310 Houston Street on Sundance Square, Fort Worth; 817/336-1009
This locally-owned taco shop located in the River District (well, they’ve got several locations now) has a great, casual patio where you can gobble up some of the tastiest tacos around. Keep in mind, it’s not the biggest patio out there, so you may have to wait a bit if you visit during peak times. Finally, make sure to try the refreshing sangría. Happy hour weekdays from 4–6pm.
5012 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth; 682/312-5744
Waterfront views, horseshoe pits and classic American food staples. The whole family is sure to have a great time relaxing at this patio overlooking Lake Worth. Bonus: The sunsets here are hard to beat.
1349 Bomber Road, Fort Worth; 817/246-9168
This Tex-Mex restaurant, located in a historic house, is one of the best places to spend some time while roaming Grapevine’s Main Street. The patio is large and has umbrellas, fans and heaters when needed. Grab some of the delicious quesadillas and a margarita before or after checking out all the nearby shops.
124 E. Worth Street, Grapevine; 817/481-4668
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but we’d be remiss not to mention it. This is such a great place to meet up with a slightly larger group of friends or family. Everyone has their choice of food and drinks, plus there’s a ton of picnic tables available to stay for the live music and events.
7800 Windrose Avenue, Plano; 972/846-4255
Located inside Flea Style at The Star in Frisco, this adorable eatery and tearoom has a beautiful, dainty patio that would be the perfect fit for a coffee and a chat with a girlfriend. The different sweets and treats available also make it a kid favorite.
6765 Winning Drive, Suite 830, Frisco; 972/292-9510
We kind of consider this to be the Katy Trail Ice House of McKinney—but better (shh, don’t tell the Ice House that). The restaurant has a massive patio with burgers, beers, tacos and even chicken fried steak for you to enjoy. Bonus: There a yard games available too. Happy hour from 3–6pm Tuesday through Friday.
107 S. Church Street, McKinney; 469/631-0035
This Plano destination has a ton of great patio options, most of which are set on the waterside boardwalk for a beautiful view. In fact, there are lots of restaurants here that have patio seating, like The Biscuit Bar and Edith’s French Bistro. Walk up and down the boardwalk area to choose your spot for the day or night.
5601 Granite Parkway, Plano; 972/731-2380
Talk about a gorgeous view. This fairly small spot in McKinney is located in the Adriatica Village, where it feels like you’ve just stepped back in time as you venture along the cobblestone streets. Look for Harry’s tucked behind the bell tower on the edge of the Riva Harbor. We highly recommend getting a spot here to view the sunset. Happy hour daily from 3–6pm and all day Tuesday.
6601 Mediterranean Drive, McKinney; 214/592-0240
On the shores of Lake Lewisville, this is a great place to hang out during spring and summer, especially if you’re spending any time at the Little Elm Beach, which is about a 5-minute drive away. Sit outside under one of the straw-topped umbrellas or the covered patio overlooking the water for some great food and drinks.
210 E. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm; 214/618-4852
The rooftop patio at LSA (which stands for Lone Star Attitude) is hard to beat. You can see the historic courthouse on the Square and the whole Denton Square from up there as you chow down on some of the best queso around. Check their social media for live music on the patio, too.
113 W. Hickory Street, Denton; 940/383-1022
Just like its other location in Dallas, the Truck Yard in The Colony is a must-visit on a beautiful day. The plus side of The Colony location is that it’s much bigger. Enjoy rotating food trucks on-site with your friends or family, though this venue turns up at 9pm with 21 and up only. For a bonus, bring your pup to this dog-friendly patio and come on for live music Thursday through Sunday.
5959 Grove Lane, The Colony; 469/401-6764
Another Denton staple, this easygoing restaurant just on the outskirts of the square has wonderful food and a quaint patio. If you’re there for lunch, do yourself a favor and order the avocado tacos. *Chef’s kiss.*
600 N. Locust Street, Denton; 940/484-1349
Another fairly obvious one on this list, but again, it’s worth the mention. This waterfront spot on Lake Lewisville is a fun place to watch the boats come as you play some sand volleyball or chill on the giant pool deck. There’s a little something for everyone at this spot.
2 Eagle Point Road, Lewisville; 972/434-2500
Photo courtesy of Esparza’s