Soak Up the Sun at Some of the Best Patios in Austin
Slather on some sunscreen and hit these Austin patios, stat.
Ever since someone invented those little fans with misters attached, there have been no downsides to the sundrenched patio, of which Austin has plenty. With a nice outdoor spot, great drinks, and good food, you, too, can bask at one of Austin’s best patios. Whether you’re looking for something fancy, dog-friendly, sporty, or tropical, there’s an open-air spot in town serving up the experience you’re after. Here’s our guide to the 22 best restaurant patio scenes that the live music capital of the world has to offer.
When Spider House closed a few years back, it was a big blow to everyone who loved the space for 25 years. After what felt like centuries, former Spider House bar manager Brian Tweedy and others revived the space, now known as Tweedy’s. Transition from a glass of cold brew to a signature cocktail, at this casual no-frills bar. The newly minted spot retains much of the same eccentricity of its predecessor. The fenced-in patio makes it feel like you’re walking into a cool artist’s huge backyard. With Arlo’s vegan food truck nearby, the allergen-friendly Zucchini Kill Bakery often on deck, and plenty of other pop-ups and events, there’s always enough going on at this newly revived space.
Pasta is Patrizi’s calling card. The fresh fettuccine dishes always leave people satisfied. You can enjoy your meal in the lush garden-esque patio space that gives off a chill neighborhood vibe. Popular among indie-scene adjacent 20 and 30-somethings, the patio is situated in the middle of the Vortex, a well-loved venue that also hosts a ton of nontraditional theatre works, trivia nights, and other community events. Find Patrizi’s near The Butterfly Bar, where you can get a shareable sangria carafe. Then you’ll have everything you need for a refreshing outdoor evening at one of the coolest locations in town.
Loro is popular for a reason. Not too far from the original Alamo Drafthouse, this Asian smokehouse comes from the same chefs behind the famous Uchi and Franklin Barbecue. Their takes on bar snacks include items like Candied Kettle Corn and Wonton Chips & Dip. The rest of their hearty menu has all sorts of filling plates: beer-battered cod fish sandwich, brisket rice bowl with Asian pickles, cheeseburgers, and more. Find plenty of local craft beers on tap as well as signature Sake and Gin & Tonic slushes. Though it’s often busy, there’s ample outdoor seating. Great spot for a post-work hang out.
Opa! Coffee & Wine Bar
Opa has officially crossed the threshold into being an Austin staple (it takes exactly 13 years). Its beautiful patio centers around a massive tree that provides ample shade. In addition to their regular open mics featuring local musicians, one of the patio’s best features is the variety it provides in its seating options. Kick back on loungey benches and worn-in chairs, or post up at traditional or picnic tables. Comfort, coffee, cocktails, and Greek food—what more could you want?
Ani's Day & Night
Ani’s Day & Night is a cute space. Based out of a thirties-era Victorian house, the interior is more than worth visiting on its own. But if you’re looking to enjoy the sun, Ani’s spacious property has a ton of outdoor seating, with equally cute green picnic tables. As the name implies, you can enjoy Ani’s patio and the onsite taco truck at most times of the day. With good lighting and a welcoming vibe, it’s a great place for coffee, cocktails, or a quick bite.
Calling all fútbol fans. Representing North Austin, the Pitch can only be described as a casual sports, food, beer garden, and entertainment complex—if that makes sense. This joint occupies a big ol’ swatch of land, spanning four restaurants and two bars plus a ton of outdoor seating to take it all in. It’s a great place to partake in trivia nights as well as Austin FC watch parties, as the soccer-tinged name implies.
Saddle Up is a Thursday through Sunday beer garden where you can get fresh baked goods, coffee, and a range of tasty drinks. It’s a spacious place, stocked with a ton of tarp- and tree-shaded picnic tables. All that room gives way to popular resident food trucks like Micklethwait Craft Meats and Taco Bronco. Snag yourself a Prickly Pear Frosé and kick back for a spell, buckaroo.
A lush natural yard pairs brilliantly with the fresh farm-to-table menu at this welcoming outpost. A beautiful (and rather gigantic) tree shines at the center of the patio, while underneath it diners munch their way through a wide range of enticing salad options and other choice health-forward options. As far as drinks go, in addition to classic cocktails, Vinaigrette also showcases a creative roster of non-alcoholic concoctions, too.
Lustre Pearl (South)
Self-styled as three locations in one, Lustre Pearl South is vying for one of the biggest venues on this list. With two indoor buildings and a massive patio, you’re getting the full range of South Austin bar experiences. In addition to signature cocktails, you can order coffee, turkey burgers, tacos, barbecue, and more via a variety of onsite food trucks. There’s a lively vibe, and its sheer size guarantees you can always carve out a private corner with your friends or fam. Bar-hopping is always a good time, but with all it has to offer, consider this an all-in-one spot for a loaded evening out.
This charmer is a mix of fancy and casual—meaning they sport a polished wine list, but don’t take reservations. Run by New York transplants Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and Arjav Ezekiel, Birdie’s has been making waves ever since it arrived a few years back. Known for their seasonally rotating menu, this restaurant and wine bar provides a taste of fine dining inside a laid-back neighborhood environment. Snack on chicken cacciatore with mushrooms, guanciale, and polenta — or test your palate by combing through that aforementioned big ol’ wine list.
St. Elmo Brewing Company
With trivia every Tuesday and bluegrass bands every Thursday, St. Elmo’s Brewing Co. is a great place to unwind after a stressful day. Located at The Yard, the brewery provides a crisp and tidy yet cozy and soulful vibe, with a fresh rotation of house-brewed pale ales, sours, stouts, hard seltzers, and more at the ready. As for eats, resident food truck Spicy Boys Chicken serves up some tasty dishes like Panang Curry Roti and Fried Chicken Sandwiches slathered with Thai basil ranch.
Plaza Colombian Coffee
No disrespect to the standard gin & tonic, but Plaza Colombian Coffee is whipping up cocktails that are, quite frankly, much more fun. We’re talking Espresso Martinis, Apple Cider Mezcal Margaritas, and Sexy Coladas, all served alongside choice live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at their outdoor Tiki Bar. Kick back on their huge wooden patio beneath a shady straw umbrella, and if you’re hungry, treat yourself to a Colombiano Sandwich or an order of Empanadas. There’s really no other way to put it—it’s a damn good time.
When you walk up to the cute, homey exterior of the hive you may be surprised to find just how expansive the venue is. It’s the perfect place to seamlessly transition from a day of remote working at a coffee shop to a night of relaxing—not to mention affordable—cocktails. In addition to side and back rooms, a large outdoor space boasts a playscape for the little ones and plenty of fresh air for all. Send off that last email, then meet up with friends for a sweet Charcuterie Board and a wide selection of local IPAs, ciders, and wine.
A ways down on East 12th Street sits this well-loved and colorful little building, rocking some of the best corn tortillas in town and embodying an incredibly welcoming vibe. A counter-service joint serving up top-notch tacos and tostadas, this place is also known for their beautiful murals that decorate the place. As an added bonus, you can also make a donation toward their community relief efforts in partnership with Austin Mutual Aid’s Free Fridge Project, which helps purchase groceries, sanitary items, and more for those in need.
LoLo Wine Bar
LoLo Wine Bar is your classic natural wine bar and bottle shop, complete with a spacious semi-covered patio strewn with colorful orange picnic tables and string lights. They like to keep their selection fresh, with a great list of well-curated new arrivals. To boot, this date-night specialist is known to host fun listening parties and other enticing events.
A five-star review they’ve chosen to feature on their site reads: “I saw the most incredible mime here. He had a giant oversized notepad and was doing these really gaudy drawings of people… The wine selection was amazing and the people were friendly. No one seems to know who the mime was. I read that they have a lot of training, it’s very rigorous.” — Alejandro Fargosonini
It’s a fun spot.
Dogs are great. Better than people some might argue. Knowing this, it makes sense that Yard Bar is such a popular spot—not only does its spacious patio make for a great place to meet the whole crew, it literally doubles as a dog park. Yard Bar’s staff even provides a watchful eye on your dogs, so Fido’s tendency to bark at the entrance gate won’t get in the way of you downing drinks. And while your furry pal may have to stick to water only, your human metabolism can process all the sugar in a Doc Brown’s Zoomies cocktail, made with grapefruit vodka, St. Germaine, and mint simple syrup.
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden
Banger’s is the type of beer garden where you can easily waste an entire day away pint by pint. This is especially true during their legendary weekend brunches, which light up Rainey Street with music and the kind of general merriment you can hear miles away. Fill your stomach with one of their trademark sausages or subs to the sounds of a live brass band. And if you want to wash that all down with something unique, check out the Sabé Sake Margarita on draft, featuring tequila-infused Japanese sake with hints of roasted agave.
The Salty Sow
Should your conception of happy hour be incomplete without a charcuterie board, the patio at Salty Sow has your number. As the name suggests, get ready to indulge in decadent, savory meats and small bites to accompany their amazing selection of cocktails. While their patio may not be the biggest on this list, the fact that it is packed nightly is a testament to the good vibes and excellent service dominating the space. Start with the previously mentioned Charcuterie Board and a Curly Tail, a blood orange-inspired tequila cocktail, before moving onto the elderflower liqueur-spiked Sparkling Sangria and a side of the exceptional BBQ Hominy.
The retro, Palm Springs-inspired vibes of Kitty Cohen’s will have you coming back again and again—that, or the opportunity to take a selfie with the portrait of Burt Reynolds on a bearskin rug that is framed in the bathroom. In fact, that detail may tell you everything you need to know about the type of hang it is—a quirky escapist paradise, where you can laugh away through Happy Hour and long after. For an ideal afternoon, lounge under their white-scalloped umbrellaed tables, and order the exquisitely-named Sex Panther, made with El Silencio Mezcal, passion fruit, lemon, sugar, and bitters. There is even a small pool that decorates their patio which, depending on how much you drink, you may be tempted to put your feet in for a dip.
Radio Coffee & Beer
Radio is like the ultimate neighborhood coffee bar with a twist—a place where you can pull up with your laptop and work all day, then stay at the same table to meet your friends for a boozy Happy Hour later. That adaptability might be due in part to their patio, whose picnic benches and tables sit amongst shaded trees, and are always the spot for some prime people (and dog) watching. There’s another added bonus as well—Radio is open until midnight, so it is the perfect spot for those nights where you have to shoot out some emails, but can’t bear to sit inside at your work-from-home makeshift desk one moment longer. In those times, grab a cup of their cold brew and a migas from the Veracruz taco truck parked there—the combination is sure to get you through that deadline without a sweat.
The Little Darlin’
As the saying goes, “X marks the spot”—although, in the case of The Little Darlin, it is a bright blue neon arrow off the road that marks the location of this easy-going, dive bar gem. As well, anyone who has been to The Little Darlin’ will tell you the patio is the main attraction—with its large, string-lit oak tree, and a variety of swinging benches and Adirondack chairs for you to kick back in, you can feel the weight lift off your shoulders the moment you enter the area. This ease only increases once you start in on their food and drinks—order a carnitas slider with their version of a michelada, aka a beer and a bloody mary popsicle, and let the stress of your workday melt away.
Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
While so many spots in the West Downtown area can feel overdone or like they’re trying too hard, Better Half is like the cool cousin you have who seems to effortlessly fit in anywhere. With a selection of both great alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, its patio is as equally good a place to down a double-espresso as it is to shoot back some martinis. The food there also ticks all the boxes, with vermicelli salads and cauliflower tots adding further flavor to the hip-picnic vibes conveyed by the pink umbrellas that cover their tables. Check out late night happy hour, a true win for night owls across the city.