Where to Eat
Where to eat in Dallas right now: 6 of the hottest newest patios in town
For the May edition of Where to eat in Dallas right now, our monthly column offering recommendations on the best dining options, we revisit a classic theme: patios.
One might say that patios is too obvious a theme. But sometimes the obvious needs to be said. Also, have you been outside today because it is gorgeous out.
Besides, this list has fresh patio choices. It bypasses better known (though impressive) patios like The Rustic in Uptown and Katy Trail Ice House and anything in the Harwood District and Truck Yard on Greenville Avenue (which recently got a refresh).
The patios on this list are either new or else underdog patios that haven't yet shown up on a Dallasites101 list.
What do you want from a patio?
- the opportunity to sit outdoors
- a view that is appealing or unusual in some way
- comfy accommodations and decor
- a place to drink, usually
For our May where to eat, we spotlight six new and/or hot patios:
Italian-American duo from New York's Major Food Group, consisting of fine-dining restaurant Carbone and its more casual sibling Carbone Vino, sit side-by-side in Dallas' Design District with an enclosed patio in between. It's a well appointed space which almost manages to approximate a streetside vibe, thanks to cute awnings and some strategic landscaping, like a Hollywood set. The views consist entirely of other diners, fitting for such a see-and-be-seen place, as you dine on pasta, pizzas, and wine.
Buzzy restaurant and bar from Miami-based Groot Hospitality recently opened in The Epic office tower on the edge of Deep Ellum - the first outside Florida - where it's serving a Southeast Asian/global menu of dishes such as Peking duck, salmon tacos, miso Chilean seabass skewers, and plant-based Kung Pao chicken plus a full sushi bar. Most of the action is inside, where diners can get an eyeful of Komodo's illuminated “bamboo” cutout columns and hanging ducks on display. But there's a sprawling patio at the entrance afford a bird's-eye view of who's coming and going and offers a respite from the buzz within.
Mexican Sugar Uptown
Pan-Latin concept from the Front Burner Society restaurant group (Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines, Ida Claire, Son of a Butcher) just opened its third location in the McKinney & Olive building at 2355 Olive St. #155, where it continues its mission to celebrate Mexican culture and cuisine. The restaurant features an "Agave Library," with more than 150 tequilas and mezcals, served in margaritas and agave tasting flights. It's a two-story space and the patio is on the second floor, with wide-ranging views of the Uptown high-rise skyline including buildings like the Hotel Crescent Court. It's surely a pleasant space but what gives it that something extra is the row of treetops in the foreground, adding a little frame of nature to the urban setting.
Glorious patio at Thunderbird Station.CultureHype
One would expect a place called The Porch to have an outdoor presence, but this Henderson Avenue staple first opened before outdoor space became a necessity. It recently re-opened following a two-month renovation, and that inluded the addition of a beer garden with pergola, porch swing, cornhole, and climate-controlled patio. They also updated their menus, under the guidance of culinary director Coner Sergeant, and Porch execu-chef Dalia Rivera. It keeps favorites such as the spinach-parmesan dip and short rib stroanoff, but adds new items including brisket tacos and enchiladas and giant pretzels. The bar program overseen by uber-mixologist Gabe Sanchez features spiked iced teaa plus low-ABV cocktails and zero-proof mocktails.
Well-liked taqueria known for stellar tacos and culinary prowess relocated in 2020 from West Dallas to a cool old building on Ross Avenue that was once a tire store and was previously occupied by Pints & Quarts, a clever burger stand from Brooke Humphries. It's right at the intersection of Greenville Avenue, and fronted by a patio that looks out at one of the most high-profile and central intersections in Dallas. If you want to be in the thick of the action, this patio is it. All you need is a rib eye steak taco with tomato, avocado, and Mexican chimichurri, and a La Mezcalita cocktail with Espina negra mezcal, orange, lemon citrus, and agave honey.
Hospitality veteran Kim Finch (Double Wide, Single Wide) took over this 1922 building - originally home to the Riegel's Gulf Service auto shop for 62 years - in 2020, where she created a charming retro destination in between Deep Ellum and Exposition Park that hits the right note on every front: from its throwback comfort-food menu (bologna sandwiches, Frito pie) to its fun cocktails and ice-cold frosty mugs for beer, to the totally chill, everyone's-welcome vibe. The patio is splendid: fringed by grassy plants, outfitted with picnic tables, fire pits, all beneath a soaring triangular rooftop extension topped by a neon thunderbird, which is the logo for the classic American car but surely looks like the legendary creature in Native American culture.