As the heat subsides to a breezy fall, Texans unearth their autumn sweaters and flock outdoors—a temporary reprieve from humidity’s summer reign. Celebrate fall by grabbing your favorite flannel and head out to one of these Texas patio and rooftop eateries. From Dallas skylines to the Galveston beachfront, get ready for dinner and a show.
15. Ocho Lounge, San Antonio
Overlooking a more peaceful section of the River Walk, Ocho features an eclectic combination of dazzling chandeliers, plush velvet sofas, old brick flooring and a unique Texan-Cuban fusion cuisine. Recommended: soup/salad of the week, Pork Pozole Rojo or the Havana Hippie.
14. Mutts Cantina, Dallas
A doggie play-date haven with local craft beer on tap, outdoor TVs, food truck fare and doggie bathing stations. Recommended: donuts from Hypnotic.
13. The Spot, Galveston
Grab a table on the upstairs patio and order the fresh Gulf Coast Coconut Shrimp with pineapple dipping sauce, Crab Jalapeños or the Black Bean Burger. Piña Coladas are served in a coconut: a perfect pairing to the beachfront before you.
12. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, Austin
Bottomless coffee, too many sweet fixes and a sunset over Lake Travis from the spacious deck of Mozart’s is mandatory for all Austinites. Bonus: Epic Christmas light show and regular live music.
11. The Grove, Houston
While nestled among the groves of Discovery Green, you’ll forget you’re in downtown Houston. The rooftop garden supplies your meal’s herbs and veggies. Recommended: Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict, Nutella Sticky Bun and the Redfish BLT.
10. Batanga, Houston
This Latin tapas restaurant is resplendent with charms of Old World Europe. Spend a gorgeous fall evening on the enchanting patio with a pitcher of sweet sangria, Pao de Queijo and Tiradito.
9. El Pueblito Patio, San Antonio
Get swept away on an island vacation among the tropical cabanas and pineapple-cased beverages. Recommended: the fajitas and margs.
8. Tiny Boxwoods, Houston
7. Contigo Texas, Austin
With only outdoor seating, Contigo woos with wooden benches, fire pits, fairy lights, available blankets and innovative bar foods. Recommended: Rabbit and dumplings with an El Pepino cocktail.
6. Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, Gruene
Farm-style outdoor seating, with acclaimed southern cuisine and open-air courtyards, is made complete against the burnt brick remnants of a late 19th century broiler. The 3-story broiler was attached a wooden cotton gin for plantation farmers of the area, until it burned down in 1922. Recommended: A moist roasted chicken, seasonal pumpkin cheesecake and the wurst burger.
5. Moontower Saloon, Austin
For those 21 and over, Moontower offers spacious outdoor seating, corn hole, football games on all TVs, sand volleyball courts, a photo booth, food truck fare and bars both indoors and outdoors. Recommended: Sunday brunch Chicken N Waffles.
4. HG Supply Co., Dallas
The Dallas skyline, fire pits and kombucha cocktails woo the masses of Dallas yuppies and health-conscious individuals. Organic kale salads, quinoa burgers and zucchini pasta are inspired by the “back to basics” mentality of the paleo diet: a wholesome respite from the Texan steak and sausage stereotype.
3. The Cove, San Antonio
Sustainable, organic and Texas-grown ingredients now come complete with a laundromat, basketball hoop, 50 Texas beers on tap and a playground. Texas sports games are featured at the outdoor bar and the large stage hosts quality live music. Recommended: Fish Tacos and the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger.
2. Salt Lick, Driftwood
During your lengthy wait for a table at this highly esteemed BBQ joint, explore the courtyard, sample wines at the Salt Lick Cellar and indulge in the BYOB bliss. All you can eat: $25. But remember, Salt Lick is cash only.
1. The Rustic, Dallas
With Texas saloon ambiance, wood-fired chimney boxes, two-sided live music stage and charmingly-lit backyard dining, good luck finding a seat. Co-founder, Pat Green, played at his own opening night and brings in 30 big-ticket acts per year. Recommended: Beer Can Chicken and the Peanut Butter Pie.