When it comes to restaurants and bars, a patio can be the make or break factor.
Especially here in Texas, where bright and shiny (RE: hot as hell) weather is a foregone conclusion for much of the year. Because of these certain realities, Austin boasts an abundance of places where the patio is not just a supplementary feature, it's the main draw of the show. Here are some of our favorite patios in Austin to take a load off, grab a Deep Eddy Vodka cocktail, and day drink responsibly.
10201 Jollyville Rd
If you've been sleeping on Manuel's, it's time to wake up. Much of Manuel's food repertoire is sourced from the interior and coastal mountainous regions of Mexico, making for a menu that's quite a bit more adventurous and than the standard Tex-Mex fare that their name might imply. Yucatán and other Gulf influences are all over the menu at Manuel's, which serves to further diversify an already impressive array of choices. They also happen to have one of the best patios in the entire city, at their Great Hills location. This massive, sprawling patio features tons of seating, big beautiful trees, and even a waterfall to stare at while you eat.
photo credit: Lustre Pearl East
114 Linden St
Decidedly more laid back than its rowdier Rainey street progenitor, Lustre Pearl East is nonetheless a great place for an evening of drinks on their palatial outdoor patio. Fair warning, expect to get sucked into a seemingly never-ending game at their patio ping pong table if you're at all competitive.
photo credit: A taste of Koko
4710 East 5th
Justine's Brasserie, (and by extension their elegant patio), is the kind of place where you can sip a vintage champagne and snack on Escargots à la Bourguignonne, all while wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. That is to say, it's a prime time example of what makes living in Austin, Texas awesome.
900 Red River St.
Possessing what is (arguably) the best outdoor patio on Red River, the one thing you’ll always find at Cheer Ups is a great time. From themed dance nights to far-out live shows on their outside stage, Cheer up Charlies is a place for everyone. Their massive outside limestone wall creates a unique backdrop for performances and lighting, and ample seating ensures that you'll never be stuck searching for a place to rest your legs.
Photo Credit: Yelp user Paul D.
11721 Rock Rose Ste #100
Despite its self-deprecating namesake, Culinary Dropout is quite clearly a high-achiever. The Rock Rose restaurant bar has a truly stunning patio - one that plays host to a variety of eats, drinks, games, and most surprisingly, yoga. Culinary Dropout has the kind of easy-going, friendly energy that makes for a great all-day patio hangout sesh.
Photo Credit: Dine With Shayda
1704 E 5th St
There's a good reason that Yellow Jacket's phenomenal patio is packed with people so many days and nights of the week: they know what they're doing. Complete with bearded bartenders, taxidermy galore, and picnic tables adorned with punk poetry, Yellow Jacket Social Club is often stated as one of the best dive bars on the East Side. It's not typical to find a bar so consistently rowdy with food this exceptional. Yellow Jacket's charcuterie plate is the perfect thing to order between friends (and between drinks) while sitting comfortably at one of the best patios in Austin.
photo credit: Tribeza
2211 Webberville Rd
Kitty Cohen's is named after a fictional, idealized version of a Palm Beach gypsy-type, but the bars amazing patio is very much rooted in reality. From the beach umbrellas to the grass-A stairs and wading pool, everything about Kitty Cohen's is 70s cool. Grab one of their delicious Frosé cocktails and grab a patio seat for best results.
photo credit: Red's Porch
3508 South Lamar Blvd.
Rooftop or ground level patio seating - you can take your pick at Red's Porch. Now with a second location, Red's is at the forefront of many peoples minds when considering their favorite Austin patio. Our prescription for true happiness at Red's Porch? Order the Voodoo Pork Chop, a Deep Eddy Vodka & soda and take in the view. Everything's going to be just fine, Y'all.
photo credit: @Ohhhchelsea
2728 S Congress Ave
If you're a fan of seriously excellent Carribean food and resplendently shaded cabanas, you need to make friends with Habana SoCo. When we say that their food is seriously excellent, we seriously mean it. Drop in on a Friday or Saturday and order the Seafood Paella (it's only available on those days), and a Mojito. You'll be feeling no pain.
photo credit: Photo Credit: Yard Bar
6700 Burnet Road
You know what sucks? Having to leave your pupper at home because the patio of your choice doesn't allow dogs. You and your best friend should be able to hang out on a patio together; that's exactly where Yard Bar comes in. This Burnet road hang out has cold beers, food, and treats for your pup. Dogs are people too, so head on over to Yard Bar and enjoy the day together.
Photo Credit: The Park Facebook
4024 S Lamar Blvd
11601 Domain Dr #200
Like their slogan insists, there is no better place to eat, drink, and be merry in Austin than The Park. Situated both on South Lamar and in The Domain, The Park specializes in elevated sports bar fare. Pop on in to enjoy pub classics like nachos, wings, and burgers on either of their beautiful climate-controlled patios.
photo credit: Irene's
506 West Ave
We've already gone on record with our admiration for Irene's badass bathroom, but their enormous patio is worthy of note as well. The first thing that sticks out about Irene's backyard patio is that it is really nice, man. Observe the bountiful tables and efficiently placed fans. Like every other observable facet of Irene's, this was clearly a well thought out labor of love.
Photo Credit: @lavolb
6507 Circle S Rd.
Managed by long-time veterans of the Austin bar scene, The Little Darlin' has conclusively proven its worth to the South Austin bar scene in multiple ways. Beyond offering a substantial array of delicious food and drink, this watering hole offers horseshoes, washers, darts, pool tables, and yes, a big, beautiful backyard patio. Take a look and you'll see that there's nothin' little about it.
Photo Credit: Rio Rita
1203 Chicon St.
Despite moving locations in late 2016, Rio Rita feels like it's been on Chicon street forever. In addition to having a very good cocktail menu and scores of comfy couches, Rio Rita's new(ish) digs also have a wonderfully roomy patio. This dog-friendly neighborhood joint is the perfect place to plop down at a picnic table and enjoy a cold beer.
photo credit: Hula Hut Facebook
3825 Lake Austin Blvd
Is there any Austin patio more consistently underrated than Hula Hut? It has everything a good patio needs: shade, good air flow, and a fantastic view. Located dutifully for the past two decades on the banks of beautiful Lake Austin, the Hawaiian-themed Hula Hut isn't exactly the hippest choice for a patio, but hey, are you trying to be cool or stay cool?
photo credit: Keep Austin Caffeinated
2050 South Lamar Boulevard
Hey, what if you're in search of a tree-covered patio to drink a cup of strong coffee at? Opa! should pop into your brain, exclamation point included. A family-owned South Austin staple for many years now, Opa! is an ideal place to hang your hat and decompress for a while. Plus, as their name suggests, they have wine for when you want to really decompress.
OTHER GREAT PATIOS IN AUSTIN:
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