Spring has unleashed its allergens and crazy rain/tornado weather mix upon North Texas. But happily, there is a silver lining. We’re in that precious sliver of the year where temperatures are gorgeously mild enough to sit outdoors and enjoy a patio to the fullest -- you know, before the sun remembers to broil everything it touches. So while the time is ripe, grab some drinks (and, of course, some food) on some of DFW’s great new patios.
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It’s hard not to feel a bit of escapism as you’re sipping craft drinks outside this farm-to-fork restaurant’s esteemed bar program. Leafy vines drape around wood and brick pillars as strings of light twinkle from the wooden rafters and candles flicker at each wrought-iron table. It’s like hanging out on the patio of your rich friend’s manse in Northern California: lush, breezy, and bright.
Sitting on this expansive patio right in the shadow of the Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas, one comes to realize, “Damn, who knew how breathtaking the convention center was at night?!” This sizzling spot from one of Dallas’ royal families of Tex-Mex has Latin-inspired cocktails -- yes, including margaritas -- perfect for pondering such deep thoughts amid the high energy of its Downtown location.
Preston Hollow barflies have been flocking to this modern American eatery’s rustic wraparound porch dotted with high-top tables, cushy sofas, and mini-fireplaces scattered throughout. It’s also fun to chill on the outside portion of the double-sided bar, perusing foot traffic through the North Dallas shopping village with a matchbox mule in hand, thinking, “So, this is how the northern half lives.”
Old-school glamour veritably seeps from this clubby Italian-American hot spot that’s been wowing with a cocktail menu that focuses on the classics. Think Pimm’s Cups, Negronis, and sidecars, then think about ordering the patio-perfect signature Pineapple Express, served in an actual golden pineapple. That should turn some heads your way.
Easily one of the biggest new patios in town, Mudhen’s space is decked with water features and garden decor, and should have no problem getting butts in every seat during outdoor-lounging season. The eatery, which skews healthy, has a cocktail menu that is similarly fresh and produce-filled. Down a bell pepper-adorned Lakenvelder or a lemongrass-y Plymouth Rock guilt-free on the patio – even more so if you get your drink whipped up with house-made stevia syrup.
The main patio atop the newest local outpost of Alamo Drafthouse now boasts arguably one of the best new views of the Dallas skyline. Toast the scenery with a flight of beers, or any one of Vetted Well’s boilermakers -- a shot of whiskey paired with the perfect brew.
Diners have come to expect casual elegance with a touch of funk from Top Knot, and the airy sunroom off the main dining room doesn’t disappoint. Neon-green wire chairs brighten the landscape of white tables. You’ll surely be ordering expertly mixed cocktails, like the peach bitters-tinged Birdhouse Bramble, or a course of sakes from the curated menu.
Casual and approachable don’t begin to describe the homey, lived-in feel of this neighborhood bar. If you can pull yourself away from the pool tables and arcade games, picnic tables outside await for passing time and enjoying a Miller High Life or any mixed-beverage fantasy the talented bar staff can fulfill.
You’ll forget you’re at the mall as you knock back drinks from the unbeatable bar menu at this quaint and quirky destination. The inspiration here is a cross between Teddy Roosevelt and Wes Anderson, and the patio is a cool mix of style (dainty wrought-iron tables from your grandma’s backyard) and strength (rugged wooden high-top tables). Cocktails are also fully presidential, with names like Badlands and Yosemite.
The Northern 'burbs are getting mucho lounge love with the arrival of this lively social club. Alongside the scratch kitchen serving elevated bar food, the drinks take a similarly thoughtful approach, evidenced by the cucumber-minty Lower East Side and the agave-laced Marshall’s Mezcallica. Sip and savor the swank suburban atmosphere...
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Farah Fleurima is a Dallas-based freelance food writer whose superpower is withstanding Dallas patios straight through August. Read her sizzling musings at her blog, The Dallas Diva, and follow her on Twitter at @TheDallasDiva.
1. Wayward Sons3525 Greenville Ave, Dallas
2. Cafe Herrera Omni665 S. Lamar St., Suite 140, Dallas
3. matchbox american kitchen + spirit7859 Walnut Hill Ln, Dallas
4. Vicini7777 Warren Pkwy #104, Frisco
5. Mudhen Meat and Greens900 S Harwood St, Dallas
6. Vetted Well1005 S Lamar St, Dallas
7. Top Knot2817 Maple Ave, Dallas
8. Industry Alley Bar1711 S Lamar St, Dallas
9. The Theodore8687 N Central Expy, Dallas
10. ShakertinsWindhaven Pkwy, The Colony
It’s hard not to feel a bit of escapism while sipping craft drinks from this farm-to-fork restaurant’s esteemed bar program on its lush outdoor patio. You'd be remiss to skip out on the house cocktails which include the signature Wayward Son with gin, chartreuse, and jalapeno. At this Lower Greenville spot, drinks aren't the only stars of the menu: Chef Graham Dodd's Wayward Sons takes traditional, Texan eats and reimagines them, refined. Dinner plates include smoked lamb brisket and chicken and dumplings; for brunch, the blueberry-topped ricotta pancakes over a schmear of lemon curd will fuel your dreams for days to come.
Shadowing the Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas is Cafe Herrera's expansive patio space. This sizzling spot from one of Dallas’ royal families of Tex-Mex has Latin-inspired cocktails -- yes, including margaritas -- and modern Mexican dishes to be enjoyed amid the high energy of its Downtown location.
This modern American eatery in the Preston Hollow Village shops is a cozy choice for brunch. Decorated with a rustic wraparound porch dotted with high-top tables, cushy sofas, and mini-fireplaces, you can also opt to hang out on the outside portion of the double-sided bar, and people watch. Menu favorites include a Bloody Mary burger and cast-iron cinnamon rolls.
This breezy Italian-American eatery in Frisco wows patrons with its well-curated cocktail menu focused on the classics. Expect Planter's Punch, Pimm’s Cups, Negronis, and sidecars alongside an extensive Vermouth, Amaro, and Aromatized wine selection. You won't want to miss the Pineapple Express, served in a golden Absolut Elyx pineapple. The food lineup is equally classic, featuring traditional Italian plates like spaghetti & meatballs and sandwiches like chicken parm and veggie pesto.
Easily one of the biggest patios in town, Mudhen’s Dowtown space is decked out with garden decor, and the menu's chock full of appealing brunch options that'll satisfy during the outdoor-lounging season (every season in Texas?). The eatery's menu, which is on the healthy side, features fresh and produce-filled cocktails. Down a bell pepper-adorned Lakenvelder or a lemongrass-y Plymouth Rock on the patio, or even get your drink whipped up with house-made stevia syrup.
The main patio atop the local outpost of Alamo Drafthouse boasts arguably one of the best new views of the Dallas skyline. Toast the scenery with a flight of beers, or any one of Vetted Well’s boilermakers -- a shot of whiskey paired with the perfect brew. While you're there, be sure to check out one of the themed karaoke rooms!
Born from the popularity of local pop-up parties, Trompo’s main attraction is the Mexican-style spit-roasted pork that’s sliced, griddled, then folded into tacos and quesadillas. There’s also bistek (beef) on hand, as well as pablanos and paneer for vegetarian palates, but the signature rotisserie is the must-eat menu feature. Beneath the bright fluorescents, there is no ambiance and no tables, so you’ll want to take your house-made sauce drenched meal to-go.
This spacious, neighborhood watering hole offers plenty of pool tables and arcade games to keep you entertained and boozy libations of all stripes, including one of the best martinis in Dallas. The perfect mash-up of a friendly dive and bespoke cocktail bar, Industry offers custom cocktails made to order in addition to standard issue brews. Grab a seat at the bar or an outdoor picnic table outside and pass the time away there with a beer or fancy mixed beverage in hand.
Founded by the chef Tim Byres, the man behind Dallas mainstays Bolsa and Smoke, The Theodore serves New American small plates that aim to please. You’ll forget you’re at the mall as you knock back drinks from the unbeatable bar menu at this quaint and quirky destination. The inspiration here is a cross between Teddy Roosevelt and Wes Anderson, and the patio is a cool mix of dainty wrought-iron tables and rugged wooden high-top tables.
Shakertins is a lively social club situated in a surprisingly swanky suburban atmosphere. Alongside the scratch-kitchen serving elevated bar food, including staples like flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches, the drinks take a similarly thoughtful approach, evidenced by the cucumber-mint Lower East Side and the agave-laced Marshall’s Mezcallica. You and your fresh cocktail should head to the spacious patio when the weather's right.