As dining opens back up around the country, sitting outside is one of the safer ways to eat out, experts say. With that in mind, book away at these Austin restaurants known for special settings, now served alongside enhanced safety precautions.
For guides to the best outdoor dining in other cities around the U.S. and Canada, head here.
For live music and beer: ABGB
A huge yard, highly rated beer, pizza, dogs, and live music make The American Beer Garden Company an easy hang for low-key celebrations.
For meat al fresco: Contigo
Contigo recreates the feel of its sibling ranch in Jim Wells County, cooking up steak frites, burgers, and chips and queso in its picturesque outdoor area, replete with twinkly lights and old growth. Book now.
For Asian favorites: Bar Peached
Come mid-June, Bar Peached will be back serving its spin on Asian favorites such as chili crab toast and mapo bolognese on its casual outdoor patio shaded by a heritage tree. Reservations are open for June 16 and on.
For new American dim sum: Emmer and Rye
New American fare is served dim sum style at the award-winning Emmer and Rye. Outside, the restaurant is serving a three-course prix fixe menu as its patio picnic special, with dishes such as agnolotti with ricotta, sweet corn, okra, and mint marigold. Get excited for dessert, served by one of Food & Wines Best New Chefs of 2020.
For tiki vibes: Hula Hut
An Austin classic, Hula Hut is known for its place alongside Lake Austin, where boats and diners can pull up for a tiki vibes and Tex-Mex, framed by sunset views. Walk-ins only.
For farm-fresh fare: Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
Jacoby’s runs a farm, shop, and ranch that all feed into its Southern restaurant. Cattle from the ranch gets incorporated into Southern dishes such as chicken fried steak and barbecue meatloaf. Enjoy it all overlooking the Colorado river.
For Southern comfort: Nightcap
The vibes are strong at Nightcap, where comfort food such as pork quesadillas or fried chicken sandwiches get served in a dreamy front yard that looks straight out of a design magazine.
For raw bar: Perla’s
Oysters are best enjoyed outdoors, where Perla’s serves them up under the Texas sky, oak trees, and twinkling lights along South Congress. Raw bar, seared local fish, and lobster rolls are all signature Perla’s dishes.
For rooftop Mediterranean: P6
Skyline views of Downtown Austin are supplemented by Mediterranean small plates on the rooftop of the Line Hotel. Patatas bravas, eggplant hummus, and cocktails are the order of the day once sunset hits.
For fried seafood: Ranch 616 Pistol Patio
Ranch 616’s icehouse feel is uniquely Texan, bringing the century-old, open-air, tavern-style drinking to Downtown Austin. At Ranch 616, that means Gulf Coast and Tex-Mex flavors in award-winning dishes such as fried quail legs and fried oysters, alongside tons of mezcal.
For waterside dining: Steiner Ranch Steakhouse
Score some Texas steak at Steiner Ranch in Northwest Austin, which has all the steakhouse favorites from ribeye to creamed spinach. The terrace views here offer a stunning lake vista, set to live music.