Food & Drink

Your guide to outdoor drinking in Dallas this Spring

Published On 04/16/2014 Published On 04/16/2014
Outdoor Drinking Guide DAL
All Photos: David Maez

Spring means many things to many people, from young love, to the return of baseball, to "a twisted or coiled piece of metal". But most importantly, it means you're much more likely to find yourself drinking during the day, outside, on a patio. Here's your guide to doing so in Dallas, from the well-established classics to new and upcoming spots you should keep your eye on.

The Old Favorites

Ozona Grill & Bar (info and address)
This much-celebrated patio feels more like your parents' back yard than a restaurant.  Large trees greet you at the entrance, providing just the right amount of shade to shield you from the Texas heat (at least partially). Throw in specials like $1.50 domestic drafts on Wednesdays and an order of jalapeño fries and you have everything you need.

Hotel ZaZa (info and address)
When celebrities visit Dallas, you’re likely to find them at the glitzy Hotel ZaZa. And even though no one cares that you're there, you don't care because you're drinking near a gorgeous pool and staring (through sunglasses, because you're subtle like that) at equally gorgeous women.

Taco Diner (info and address)
Stop by this patio any weekend in Spring or Summer and you will see beautiful people sipping on cold margs, colder beers, and eating savory Tex-Mex. Try the infamous Mambo Taxi, a frozen white sangria concoction. Disclaimer: you can only have two. Because, well... just remember, only two.
Blackfriar Pub (info and address)
This Irish-owned neighborhood favorite has a a beer garden as sizable as its beer list, along with a central location that keeps it in close proximity to just about anything (though, why would you leave?). You have short rib sliders to eat, and pints of Belhaven Wee Heavy to chase them with.

Newer Favorites and Coming Attractions

The Rustic (info and address)
The Rustic's patio is as big as Texas itself (roughly). It's nicknamed "Pat’s Backyard", because of its large oak trees, picnic tables, live music, and a kitchen that serves up Texas-inspired favorites (mmm, cactus fritters). There’re also two large bars stocked with local beers, so prop your boots on one of the picnic tables, pop open a beer, and listen to some local twang under the stars.   

Sisu (info and address)
From the exterior it doesn’t look like much, but once inside you’ll feel like you’re on the set of Miami Vice. There’re two stories, three bars, and a large pool with cabanas that’s open until 2am (in season). White Don Johnson suit optional, but encouraged.    
Mutts Canine Cantina (info and address)
Your buddies want you to meet on the patio because the weather is perfect, but there’s only one little problem: you and Doogie Bowser have a dog park date that can't be cancelled. In comes Mutts Canine Cantina -- it’s a restaurant, a dog park, and a beer garden. You have amazing problem solving skills. You deserve a beer.

Truck Yard (info and address)
Lower Greenville
So, there are patios, then there’s the more than 15,000sqft of shaded outdoor perfection that is the Truck Yard. There’s also an indoor bar with 24 taps (including four draft cocktails), and even a treehouse bar with hand-bottled cocktails. For sustenance, there's everything from pizza to sliders to cheesesteaks on hand, and they take credit cards and supply pagers so you can grab a brew while you wait for your food. 

Back Yard at the Social House (info and address)
The Back Yard calls itself an "adult outdoor playground" because well, that’s what it is. There’s giant Jenga, beer pong, cornhole, Twister, and even a soccer field. If you get thirsty after all that activity, there’re more than 100 beers on tap. 

HG Sply Co. (info and address)
Lower Greenville
This newly opened rooftop patio is enormous and overlooks Greenville Avenue. So order one of their classic mixed or frozen drinks and stare at the locals schlepping groceries from Trader Joe’s, or better yet, the Dallas skyline.

Henderson Tap House (info and address)
Like drinking local and local sports? It’s Texas, of course you do. Tap House boasts a huge selection of local brews, a welcoming patio, and TV screens aplenty so you don’t miss having the Rangers disappoint you.

Glass Boot Biergarten (info and address)
The German-themed biergarten is just a few months old in the Henderson neighborhood, and it's already a local favorite. From free-flowing Teutonic brews to a spacious patio, you'll want to channel your inner Hasselhoff and head here on "beer and brat" nights.  
Pecan Lodge
Deep Ellum
Set to open this Spring, the nationally celebrated Dallas BBQ purveyor is moving its unbelievable 'que from its Farmers Market location to a much bigger space in Deep Ellum. The new digs will not have a covered patio, but there will be plenty of outdoor seating so you enjoy the fresh air as you inhale your brisket. 
Nationally acclaimed and James Beard-nominated Top Chef contestant John Tesar (that’s a mouthful) will open Knife, a reinvention of the modern steakhouse, late this Spring. The restaurant will be located in Palomar Hotel, and is set to have an action-packed outdoor patio and a late-night menu that'll be available until 1am on weekends.

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1. Ozona Grill & Bar 4615 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Lower Greenville)

Just across 75 from the SMU Campus lies the best place to drink outside in the Dallas heat at risk of a bad hair day or sweat-soaked shirt. The green, light-bulb-lined patio out back is first choice for the dinner crowd, who chow down on endless shared platter of chicken fingers, burgers, and tacos once the sun's retired for the day and things start to cool down. And it wouldn't be an outdoor outing without a round of icy margaritas and frosty domestic drafts, either.

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2. Hotel ZaZa 2332 Leonard St, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

Hotel ZaZa is the swanky sort of spot where you might run into a celebrity -- but you'll definitely run into a sweet pool, where you can get down on brunch, sip some cocktails, or just lounge around in the sunshine.

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3. Taco Diner 3699 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

Savory Tex-Mex, cold margaritas, and a sweet patio make for a great time at Taco Diner. Take a walk on the wild side with their Mambo Taxi, a powerful frozen white sangria concoction that will lead to you needing the regular kind of taxi.

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4. Blackfriar Pub 2621 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

Straying from your standard dark and dusty Irish pub aesthetic, Blackfriar has a huge, sunny patio where you can enjoy something from their huge domestic and imported craft beer list. Pair you brew with some short rib sliders that'll keep you going well into the evening-- Blackfriar's a great summer time nightlife spot where you can watch the game from outdoor patio flatscreens or just knock some back with your crew.

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5. The Rustic 3656 Howell St, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

Pat Green's Uptown live music spot cum restaurant and bar, The Rustic, is all set to serve you some locally sourced food and drink while you listen to some awesome locally sourced tunes in Pat's Backyard.

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6. Sisu Uptown 2508 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

Shoring up Uptown nightlife, this adult playground's set in a 5Ksqft house complete with a living room setup, a lounge-y den, and a palm tree-accented, cabana-equipped saltwater pool. Edibles stretch from not-from-the-pool mesquite-grilled lobster w/ blood orange vinaigrette, to a 28-day dry-aged ribeye served with crispy spinach, white cheddar horseradish mashed potatoes, and moneybutter, which also goes great over Billy Beanes.

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7. Mutts Canine Cantina 2889 Cityplace West Blvd, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

A beer garden and dog park in Uptown where you can come to enjoy a few brews without leaving your canine companion behind.

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8. Truck Yard 5624 Sears St, Dallas, TX 75206 (Lower Greenville)

A great beer selection, cheesesteak galore and ice cream trucks? To round out this myriad of awesomeness, let us not forget that there's also a freakin' treehouse bar in the place. Seriously, combine all of the above to make this the coolest backyard establishment in all of Dallas, if not the world.

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9. Social House Uptown 2708 Routh St, Uptown, TX 75201

Social House has returned to Uptown with a second location featuring treats like chicken-fried oysters in horseradish cream sauce, the Sink Burger (American, cheddar, Swiss, pulled pork, fried onion strings), and -- for weekend brunching -- traditional chilaquiles, plus they've got a tap selection pouring everything from Arrogant Bastard, to Live Oak Big Bark, to Blue Moon, to what Dumbledore wears to semi-formal events (Magic Hat #9).

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10. HG Sply Co. 2008 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Lower Greenville)

Dallas's first primarily paleo diet-influenced restaurant, serving everything from bacon that you can dip in hummus, to an 80% Wagyu beef burger topped with bacon jam.

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11. Henderson Tap House 2323 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Knox Henderson)

Henderson Tap House is a great place to catch a game on of their many TV screens, or just pull up a chair on their patio and enjoy a local brew from their huge selection.

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12. Glass Boot Biergarten 1804 McMillan Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 (Knox Henderson)

Glass Boot Biergarten, aside from having an all-too-encouraging name, has a huge patio and plenty of German beers to keep you happy.