When it comes to restaurants and bars, a patio can be the make or break factor.
Especially here in Texas, where bright and shiny (READ: 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 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 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 by roger ho
606 Trinity St
Iron Cactus has one of the most famous rooftop patios in Austin. It's located in the middle of Sixth Street mayhem, but its position above the street makes it a great escape. Post up with one of this Mexican restaurant & bar's many specialty margaritas and people-watch to your heart's content.
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, (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
3548 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: 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 hangout 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.
1412 E 6th St
The Brixton is one of the best places on East 6th to drink draft beer on a covered patio, no matter the season - with heaters in the winter and fans in the summer, the bar's outdoor seating always manages to be hospitable. Seasonal cocktails and well-known events like themed Monday Night Bingo and a monthly comedy hour make this hang a dependable winner.
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: 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 Blvd
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.
PHOTO CREDIT: Odd duck facebook
1201 S Lamar Blvd
Odd Duck offers an upscale selection of quality farm-to-table eats on their seasonally rotating menu. The patio provides a good balance of shade and greenery to shield patrons from the harsh Texan heat. Don't leave without trying one of their inventive cocktails!
Photo Credit: Spider House Facebook
2908 Fruth St
If you sit outside at Spider House, you may or may not make eye contact with a peeing figurine fountain display. This pretty much sums up the general mood of the area: a little odd but we’re here for it. In the evening, the patio is also covered with colorful lights which makes sipping on cheap beer feel like a magical experience.
Photo credit: Scholz Garten
1607 San Jacinto Blvd
Scholz Garten is the oldest bar and live music venue in Texas and proceeds to be one of the main spots for people to spend time and drink in the biergarten and enjoy some sweet tunes from local musicians. The Texas legislature (yes, it’s that serious) even recognized Scholz for “epitomizing the finest tradition of magnificent German heritage in our State.”
Photo Credit: Batch Craft Brewery & Kolaches
3220 Manor Rd
This family-owned kolache bakery, taproom, and craft beer shop has made its official opening this summer! With a variety of beers curated from both local and international breweries, and domestic craft beer available, Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches offers plenty of outdoor seating and a dog-friendly space in their patio.
OTHER GREAT PATIOS IN AUSTIN:
10212 Manchaca Rd
613 W 6th St
715 W 6th St
909 N Lamar Blvd
3501 E 7th St
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