Photo of Coltivare by Ralph Smith courtesy of 365 Houston

Patio weather is truly a treat here in Houston and it may not be the typical months most people consider ‘patio season’. Since summers are too hot to venture too far from anywhere blasting the A/C, we tend to venture out when the evenings start cooling off in late fall and continue to enjoy the outdoors through early spring.  Since we don’t get much of a winter, we can continue to enjoy the outdoors when most areas are forced back inside.  While high temps are still hovering around 90 degrees during the day, the mornings and evenings have dropped into the 70s. This slight change is super encouraging to those of us who have spent most of summer in the Houston heat!

We’re already dreaming about al fresco lunches and happy hours this fall, and wanted to share a few of our favorite patio spots around town. A few of these restaurants are also featured on our Houston City Guide and round up of best kid-friendly places around town. Enjoy our list below and be sure to let us know if we missed one of your favorites, we will be sure to check them out!

Photo of Coltivare by Ralph Smith Courtesy of 365 Houston

For Happy Hour & Dinner

Coltivare – Maybe the most picturesque patio in town, Coltivare’s garden where they grow herbs and produce is the perfect pre-dinner drinks spot. There’s usually a wait for a table, but on a nice fall evening we don’t mind lingering over a cocktail in this pretty bistro-lit garden!

Beaver’s West – Beaver’s is one of those places that is equally as fun for adults as for kids. They have two locations, one off of Washington and one on the west side of town (where we go). The West location has cool decor and an amazing outdoor space with fenced in games for the kids and a fire pit. They also have live music and face painting / balloon artist on the weekends.

Presidio – This Heights restaurant has two patios, including a huge yard space with picnic tables and live music during the fall season. It’s a great spot to make a dinner out of shared plates and cocktails.

Better Luck Tomorrow – Another Heights neighborhood favorite, Better Luck Tomorrow is more of an outdoor space with a small indoor area. We love the retro vibes and lively atmosphere. Grab a seat in a colorful chair and enjoy cocktails and delicious bites (by notable local chef Justin Yu). They also do a great brunch.

Cuchara – Located in Montrose, this Mexico City-style restaurant is a go-to for excellent chips and salsa, creative cocktails, and authentic Mexican dishes. The patio is surrounded by sycamore trees and during brunch they have a delightful mariachi-jazz trio that makes the atmosphere even better. 

Vibrant – This new trendy health food concept in Montrose is currently only open until 4 p.m., but this month they are rolling out dinner and a wine list. They have an amazing patio with lounge furniture, and we can’t wait to enjoy it once the weather cools down!

Axelrad Beer Garden & Luigi’s Pizzeria – On the outskirts of Midtown, Axelrad is a beer garden with an expansive outdoor space complete with hammocks and often live music. Their next-door neighbor Luigi’s Pizzeria dishes out amazing pies that you can take with you to enjoy with your beverage of choice. 

Eight Row Flint – This casual hangout in the Heights has a huge patio that is always hopping no matter what the weather is like. Their unique margarita is one of our favorites (and seriously strong), and their tacos are delicious. Eight Row is the perfect spot to meet up with a large group of people for happy hour or a laid back dinner.

Tiny Boxwoods by J.C. Reid for Houston Chronicle

For Brunch

The Dunlavy – We often find ourselves at this scenic restaurant on Buffalo Bayou for early morning meetings. They have huge tables and Wifi so you can spread out and get your work done. They also have a back patio that overlooks the bayou and is surrounded by trees, and we love to have brunch here during the cooler months! 

Barnaby’s Cafe – Another neighborhood staple, Barnaby’s has locations all across Houston. They have a small patio at their Woodway location which is closest to our neighborhood. The patio is nice because it’s separated from the street by a covered awning and greenery. It’s also a great spot to bring kiddos along.

Tiny Boxwoods and Tiny’s No. 5 – Both Tiny Boxwoods and Tiny’s No. 5 have picturesque garden patios that make you feel like you’re in a Nancy Meyers film. These are go-to spots for girls’ brunches and work breakfasts / lunches (although keep in mind that they don’t have Wifi). 

Backstreet Cafe – A classic River Oaks staple, Backstreet Cafe has an adorable patio that is perfect for a Sunday brunch with the girls. The restaurant and patio feel tucked away, making this restaurant a nice break from the bustle of Houston.

Local Foods (Kirby, Tanglewood, and Heights) – Whenever we’re craving a healthy lunch, Local Foods always comes to mind. Their Kirby, Tanglewood, and Heights locations all have patios, although Kirby might be our favorite for its sunny L.A. vibes.

The Lake House at Discovery Green Courtesy of The Lake House

Kid-Friendly

Mia’s Table – Mia’s Table is part of the Johnny Carraba’s restaurant family, so you know it’s going to be good! It’s counter service which is convenient for big groups, and there are always lots of kids. Mia’s dishes up delicious homestyle favorites like burgers, BBQ, and chicken friend steak, as well as fresh salads. They have a great kid’s menu as well as a patio.

Discovery Green’s Lake House Cafe – The Lake House is a fast casual spot overlooking Discovery Green park that is the perfect spot to eat with your kids if you are spending time downtown. They have a great outdoor patio overlooking the little lake, which of course the kids love! Plus, the prices are very reasonable.

Good Dog – Good Dog has locations in Montrose and The Heights, plus a food truck. As you may have guessed, they focus on hot dogs – gourmet ones – but they also have delicious sandwiches, salads, fish & chips and other options. Both locations have board games and small patios with lawn games.

Island Grill (Tanglewood & Rice Village) – Island Grill is a great go-to for casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, especially with kids in tow! Their new Rice Village location has an amazing patio!

Onion Creek, Cedar Creek, & Piggy’s Kitchen & Bar – The Creek restaurants are known for their large patios, casual dining, TV screens, and laid back atmosphere. If you’re looking to watch a football game while enjoying food and a beer while your kids run around, these are your spots! 

Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!