It’s springtime, which means that we’ve got a few months of patio drinking and dining under splendiferous sunshine and casual breezes before the mosquitos arrive — at which time we will be forced to fight small children for shaded tables.
With that in mind, as part of our Best of Everything series, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best patios in Dallas. These are the places we are most drawn to when it’s 80 degrees outside, with nary a cloud in the sky. In fact, in a few cases, the quality of the patio is enough to beckon us even if the food and interior do not.
Without further delay, here they are, listed alphabetically.
Blue Goose Cantina
It was tough to pass up the upstairs patio at Sundown at Granada, but you can’t beat cheap margaritas, chips and queso, and a side of people watching — especially on a Sunday afternoon, when the bikers arrive. It might not be as fancy as some of the other places on this list, but it’s hard to find one that’s more fun.
The wraparound patio at this hot spot is a perfect perch from which to watch the parade of pretty people on Henderson Avenue; plus you’ve got the dog-friendly thing and a plethora of beer. It’s a comfortable, laid-back neighborhood pub with a crowd that understands the merits of good conversation coupled with great atmosphere.
Dallas Chop House
Dallas Chop House’s stone-heavy patio suits its Main Street address, and the custom fireplace and lounging benches give the space a modern luxury. That combined with the view of Main Street Garden Park across the way makes this a little oasis in the heart of downtown Dallas and an excellent post-work drink stop.
In the year since it opened next to Chicken Scratch on the edge of Oak Cliff, The Foundry has quickly made a name for itself as a live music venue and badass bar. We like to settle into a seat in front of the stage made of shipping pallets and enjoy one of the many craft beers. Covered seating on the side allows for a little more privacy, but just being inside this compound is like a refuge from the city.
Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House
So Goodfriend is known for burgers and beer. That’s fair. But you’ve got to enjoy those somewhere, and that place ought to be the patio. When it’s busy, the surprisingly spacious covered garden pulses with a life all its own. You might not know any of the other patrons, but the common goal of good food and good brews will unite you. That makes sense at a place called Goodfriend.
Katy Trail Ice House
The Katy Trail Ice House is to patios what Jerry World is to stadiums. It’s big, loud and so very Dallas — but in the best possible way. Consider the giant beers from more than 50 taps or the cornhole in the back or the long tables made for big groups. Because it is right off the trail means that you could (hypothetically) go for a run and then mosey straight up to the patio and take in the greenery from a more stationary and beer-filled position.
Ozona Bar and Grill
The SMU Greek scene probably would have taken over this place by now if it weren’t so hard on IDs. Thankfully, this patio is open to everyone — and it might fit them all too. It is incredibly spacious, with multiple levels and tables ranging in size from two-seaters to big enough to accommodate a kickball team. The patio also manages to avoid the dreaded “too much sun” problem with plenty of trees providing shade.
The Quarter Bar
We love all the nooks and crannies of the Quarter Bar, with its Southern gothic-by-way-of-New Orleans vibe. But the real winner is the upstairs patio, which affords views of McKinney Avenue and the courtyard in the middle, with its exposed brick and heavy foliage that make it feel like a tucked-away corner of the French Quarter that Bourbon Street drunks haven’t discovered yet.
This McKinney Avenue pub might be packed to the gills on Friday and Saturday night, but during the day it can actually be pretty pleasant. Fire pits on the downstairs patio keep you warm when there is a chill, and the misting fans are a godsend come July. That’s all fine, but the upstairs patio in the back is the real moneymaker for an afternoon of storytelling with friends.
Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar
Quite possibly the prettiest outdoor space of any restaurant in Dallas, the garden patio at Saint Ann is sophisticated yet unpretentious. That doesn’t mean you should come in flip-flops and board shorts; there’s definitely a style to sitting and drinking all afternoon here. Enjoy the great views of Uptown and soak in the classiness.