With year-round sunshine and residents who love to soak it all in, outdoor dining is a favorite Austin pastime. Fortunately, the city’s restaurants offer plenty of shade, fans, and cool drinks to keep diners comfortable on a plethora of patios to suit any budget or craving. Whether you prefer your fresh air with a side of chips and queso or patatas bravas, here are some of Austin’s best patios for outdoor dining.
Dai Due (East Austin)
As a butcher shop and supper club, meat is the prime focus here. Grab a seat on the shaded plant-covered patio to go beyond beef with dishes such as antelope confit or fish and chips made with Gulf-caught seafood. Dai Due draws its name from an Italian phrase meaning “from the two kingdoms of nature, choose food with care,” and it’s a sentiment expertly embodied by the restaurant’s commitment to local ingredients.
Texan Latin fare shines at this elegant escape—a revered brunch spot—in the Four Seasons Austin. And though feasting on it by candlelight is an all-weather option, the restaurant’s flambeed Texas wagyu tomahawk and filet mignon are better consumed on an outdoor table flanked by oak trees, with views of Lady Bird Lake.
Bar Peached (Downtown)
Bar Peached serves its roster of pan Asian favorites such as chile crab toast and mapo bolognese on a casual outdoor patio shaded by a heritage tree and surrounded by fans. Stay cool with a selection of refreshing cocktails, such as the Paloma on draft and creative, made-to-order drinks like the Beetlejuice, which combines tequila, beet, lime, and cilantro.
Birdie’s (East Austin)
Since opening in 2021, this relaxed, family-run wine bar, steered by the husband-and-wife team of chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and her husband, Arjav Ezekiel, has turned heads for its daily-changing menu and patio, which earns bonus points for being dog-friendly; the inviting space was leftover from a taco shop that previously stood at this unassuming East Chestnut address. On the menu, expect stellar minimal intervention wines and seasonal American plates with Italian and French accents such as fried squash blossoms with mozzarella and beef tartare—plus rotating gelato flavors. Note that Birdie’s doesn’t accept reservations and is first come, first served.
Emmer and Rye (Downtown)
New American fare is the draw at this acclaimed downtown Austin spot where plates frequently lean on locally grown ingredients and regional food traditions. On its pretty shaded patio, the restaurant serves a la carte and prix fixe menu options with dishes such as chicken thighs with pecan mole, okra, and green tomatoes. Get excited for dessert, crafted by Tavel Bristol-Joseph, one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2020.
Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar (Downtown)
Oysters are best enjoyed outdoors and Perla’s serves them up under the Texas sky, beneath oak trees and twinkling lights along South Congress. Fish and oysters are flown in daily from both coasts, which means the lobster roll, seared fresh fish, or anything from the raw bar is a must-order.
Olive and June (Downtown)
Take a trip to southern Italy in downtown Austin via Olive and June’s menu of seasonally influenced handmade pastas. Current iterations include a corn-and-truffle risotto with harissa chile and parmesan — a dish made more delicious when consumed on the restaurant’s oak-shaded and tented patio.
With views of Shoal Creek, the patio at this buzzy Basque-inspired bar (another standout spot by the Emmer and Rye team) was made for grazing on pintxos, the small snacks typically eaten in bars across northern Spain. Pair the petite plates such as jamón ibérico and pan con tomate with a range of sherry cocktails and curated Spanish wines—Kalimotxo’s pitchers, or porróns, are specially designed for pouring directly into your mouth.
Steiner Ranch Steakhouse (Northwest)
Score some of Texas’s finest meats at Steiner Ranch in Northwest Austin, complete with steakhouse favorites such as ribeye and lobster mac and cheese. The patio here, which sometimes becomes the backdrop for live music performances, also offers a stunning lake vista to pair with a delicious glass of red from the extensive wine cellar.
Rosewood (East Austin)
There’s an unmistakable elegance to the 1890s-era Queen Anne Victorian-style home that houses this Gulf Coast chop house. Thankfully, it extends to the sprawling lawn and covered outdoor dining area with a downtown Austin view. The menu showcases the flavors of South Texas with fresh ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and Gulf Coast fishers, rotating to reflect the best of what’s in season.
There’s an unmistakable elegance to the 1890s-era Queen Anne Victorian-style home that houses this Gulf Coast chop house, and that extends to the sprawling lawn and covered outdoor dining area with a downtown Austin view. The menu showcases the flavors of South Texas with fresh ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and Gulf Coast fishers, rotating to reflect the best of what’s in season.
La Condesa (Central Austin)
This James Beard Award-nominated modern Mexican restaurant’s menu is reason enough to venture downtown—but the people watching from the patio on West Second Street is definitely an added bonus. Snack on Oaxacan grasshoppers, the signature ceviche, or the torta of the month for a sampling of what’s made this a culinary destination since 2009. If you’re looking for a creative drink to go with, check out the craft cocktail list for a cool afternoon treat or a satisfying nightcap.
Roaring Fork – North Austin, Stonelake (Arboretum)
Lake views from the open-air patio make this restaurant a year-round outdoor dining favorite. As does the wood-fired fare: with a nod to Southwestern cowboy cooking, the grilled steak is the proverbial star of the show. But entrees such as blackened redfish and rotisserie chicken with cornbread stuffing ensure there’s no wrong way to enjoy an evening under the live oak trees — especially if you end with warm pecan pie topped with ice cream for dessert.