26 Best Outdoor Dining Patios in Austin

Spring in Austin is prime time for al fresco dining. It’s a sweet, and all too short, season where the air is crisp, the breeze is alive, and the sun is barely sparing us from the triple digits.

I love walking from restaurant to restaurant or hopping from margarita to margarita when the sun is shining and the sidewalks are crowded because everyone has either just gone for their morning Town Lake run or they are pregaming for their Lake Austin boat day. Sit outside on all the welcoming outdoor patios around town and enjoy the quality time with your people!

So, whether you’re in the mood for live music, the best tacos, a classic burger, or a kid-friendly space, I’ve rounded up my all time favorite Austin restaurant patios. Let’s hope they all have their misters ready for the heat!



Elizabeth Street Cafe 

I prefer this pretty pastel oasis for brunch or lunch. The patio wraps from the front to the side of the restaurant, and even though you’re on a major road, it feels like a secret garden. Order the fried chicken bún—I get half noodles and half lettuce, and it comes with flavorful herbs and crunchy peanuts. I also love the shrimp dumpling appetizer called Steamed Rice Rolls and their shrubs, a non-alcoholic drink made with Apple Cider.


This is the Aaron Franklin (of Franklin’s Barbecue) and Tyson Cole (of Uchi) mash-up that works for an easy lunch or quick evening dinner. There are no reservations, but there’s a good flow to their seating, so it’s worth the wait on the patio. There’s plenty of seating outside, and you can order craft canned beverages while you wait to keep the time speedy. Once you make it to the promised land, hop on that mango sake slushie, chicken bo sam, cabbage salad, brisket sandwich (daytime only), and brisket plate (after 5 PM).


We were all a little, or A LOT, sad when Sway South 1st (now go to their new Westlake spot for panoramic Austin views) closed its doors, but the newcomer, 1417, saves the day showing off their beautiful patio and vacation-like outdoors. Although not a French restaurant, the patio reminds me of the streets of Paris with the quintessential bistro chairs, opened garage door, and cobblestones. I dig their mezcal cocktail and duck confit crepes. The mussels with red curry butter and chimichurri steak frites look great too.


Let their beautiful wine garden take you away—it feels like you are at a friend’s dinner party. It’s one of the best meals in town with an ever-changing seasonal menu, and always all natural wine list. It’s good hot-weather food. Next time you’re there, try the whole fish in curry sauce which is my favorite dish in all of Austin. They are so careful with their delicate ingredients and everything on the menu is always fabulous and different than anyone else’s in town. 

Fresa’s South 1st 

Fresa’s South 1st patio is perfect for kids. Parents can order margaritas, queso, guac, chicken plates with rice and beans while the kids run around the grounds and stare at the rainbow painted tables. Finish the meal with the homemade ice cream, especially the salted caramel. Or grab some pints to go!



This South Congress wine shop meets bike shop meets restaurant with really good pizza and brownies has a surprisingly good back patio that’s super hidden and quiet. They have umbrellas over the picnic tables, so it’s a good place to meet up to hammer out on your laptop or for a post-work hang. There’s usually room for you and your crew, and it’s super easy going.

Hotel San José

Hotel San José’s courtyard is a hidden oasis, and one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle of South Congress. I’d recommend this for a date in the early evening or to meet someone for the first time. The infamous frosé is not too sweet and refreshing, and their michelada is a classic if you enjoy drinks on the savory side. Sunday is one of my favorite days to come here for a last weekend getaway drink among the plants, cacti, and serene pool that peeps through the lounge. 


Take a leisurely lunch at this seafood mecca with the largest patio on South Congress (but watch out for the pooping birds–eww). Stay for the best shrimp cocktail in the city, oysters, tuna tostada, big red fish with chimichurri, and caesar salad with grilled shrimp, plus a great wine and champagne list. Of course, they always have a frozen drink of the day, too!

Summer House on Music Lane 

This is my all time favorite dinner spot right now (go at night over lunch or brunch because the lighting at night is super cozy, and I like the dinner menu better). Everything I’d ever want to order for dinner is on this one menu: a stellar whole fish, good starter salads, whipped feta with some soft yet crunchy homemade bread, steak cut fries, and a gorgeous California vibe patio.


This old Austin Mexican spot has live music in the heart of South Congress Wednesday – Sunday. Don’t miss the $2.75 tacos, $1.89 tamales, and margs before hopping around town. I’d stay in the side yard vs. waiting too long for a table. If you NEED Tex-Mex go to Polvo’s!


Home Slice

They have a new-ish fenced off patio right on South Congress, so it’s the prime place for a quick slice when you’re in a hurry. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually love their Turkey sandwiches more than the pizza. Their Hyde Park patio is also a good vibe and super kid-friendly, and they have a happy sea salted chocolate chip cookie that’s soft.


El Alma 

This Austin staple on Barton Springs Road has an extra special rooftop patio because it’s not oversized, and you can see everyone out there. Make sure to get there early because it fills up fast. I love their  ceviche, queso, and make sure to ask for extra special thick chips because they don’t give them with every dish. Please skip all of their wine and go for the mango margarita. 


Casa de Luz 

This healthy, macrobiotic, and vegan spot is a hippie escape from the rest of town and one of the only places I’ll choose to go alone. For under $15, you get a healthy serving of nutritious and delectable veggies in your own safe haven. Always a daily soup, salad with the best almond dressing, and main vegetable plate that is paired with kale, cabbage, rice, beans. The Guacamole Tacos on Wednesday at lunch are the jam! The whole place is centered around healing and wellness. It reminds me of Bali with its calming atmosphere, and even though it’s pretty hippie dippie, everyone comes here, so the people watching is a nice post-lunch activity. 

Las Perlas 

Las Perlas’ back patio is home to my favorite taco outpost, Asador. I love the chicken adobo taco with chips and guac. They also have amazing thick chips, but it’s truly the best guac in town. There’s something about the tortillas—they grill them and hold the perfectly marinated chicken so well. Grab a game of darts while you’re out back or go next door for some pool. 


Tamale House East 

Another old-school Mexican restaurant and an original east side institution with a nice garden patio full of plants, colorful mix-matched furniture, and string lights.  Get the chicken mole taco and tamales.

Il Brutto

This is my fave Italian food in Austin, and they happen to have a nice shady patio with a beautiful Live Oak tree. Chef Erind Halilaj makes the best lasagna I’ve ever had, and their burrata pizza is addicting without leaving you feeling totally immovable (they ferment their dough for 48 hours, so it’s flavorful and easier to digest). Make sure to try the frozen Aperol spritz, which I helped put on the menu when I was working with them! You’re welcome. Also, check out the patio every Thursday 7 – 9 PM for Jazz Night and enjoy some Cadamaro after dinner or their homemade Limoncello. 

Koko’s Bavarian 

Koko’s Bavarian is a biergarten and restaurant serving traditional German fare with Texas smoked meats, six beers brewed in house, and a full bar. Enjoy the beautiful picnic tables, string lights, rotisserie chicken and sausages from Chef Tim Love, beer flights, and the red velvet ice cream sandwich. Seriously, don’t miss the ice cream sandwich. It has icing on it! This place is huge and while they don’t take reservations you’ll want to hang all day/ night with your group!

Kinda Tropical 

A hipstery, au naturel haunt with a facade reminiscent of a convenience store and a plant-filled patio, that’s well, kinda tropical. Get the sesame salad with pulled chicken, cuban yucca fries, and turmeric piña colada. $7 happy hour, 3 – 6 PM, Monday – Friday.


If you haven’t been in a while, their backyard has transformed into a place you’d want to stay all day with a huge backyard, pink picnic tables, and a colorful wooden full bar where you order directly from. The tuna tostada made with yellowfin and topped with a chipotle aioli and microgreens is a beautiful blend of flavors and textures, and the duck carnitas taco is my favorite on the menu. Juicy and fits right into that homemade tortilla well. They also have a lot of vegetarian options, so it’s a perfect place to bring anyone. Finish off with the coco rico paleta is a creamy delight with toasted coconut flakes add the perfect crunch.


Cute, cozy east side restaurant with a stellar wine list. Husband and Wife team Arjav and Tracy do it up just right here where they have an ordering system unlike anyone else in town so they can make sure to pay their workers an ideal wage and insurance. Because they are counter service and you can wine taste up there, the line starts around 530 / 6 p.m., but once you order, your food comes out quickly. The backyard has gravel and nice white tables, but I actually love sitting at the bar inside watching them swirl and make the pasta, and seeing the chocolate chip cookies come out of the oven. 🙂


This is an old-school Mexican restaurant with dishes you won’t find anywhere else—I like the Tlacoyos, queso fundido, and sweet potato tacos. Go for the front yard vs. the back patio because you can see everyone walking down 6th street, and good news, they now take reservations. 



Pool Burger

Pool Burger was made for post-Deep Eddy swims and summer Friday happy hours. Their handheld burger really does taste like a backyard burger, and while I prefer my patty less well done, it is still dependable and yummy with the crinkle cut fries. Finish the meal off with a frozen hurricane, and stay late on the weekends for DJ sets even if you are still in your swimsuit!


This patio is tucked inside the Tarrytown neighborhood, and it’s ideal if you live around here and walk over because parking can be tight. Veracruz Tacos and Medici have outposts here, so it’s a great place to answer your morning emails or take kids to snag a breakfast taco and hang for a bit.

Sway Westlake 

It’s not as far as it sounds, and well-worth the little drive to Westlake for the best food and views. The rooftop patio gives you an amazing view of Downtown Austin and everyone who I bring is in awe that this exists. I love everything on their menu, especially the Thai basil eggplant, son in law basil chicken, and octopus.

Better Half 

Spend the better half of your day at this coffee shop, restaurant, cocktail garden combo. Come for the morning drip coffee, and stay for the Big Salad  and cauliflower tots with beet ketchup for lunch. The patio is spacious and calm with plenty of seating. Make sure to hop over to Holdout Brewing next door.

Abels on the Lake

Average food, great views, and really strong drinks. Home of the infamous ‘Texas Tea,’ which has a limit of 2 per person. Eat an grilled chicken sandwich here before you hop on a boat, or for stunning sunset views on the lake. It’s good for big groups looking for a good time, but be prepared to run into UT’s finest.