As north Texans know all too well, there aren’t too many months for dining al fresco in this part of the Lone Star State. But spring is here and it’s time to sip margaritas and munch on chips and salsa in the sunshine. Enjoy homemade pasta, mezze platters, fresh seafood, or sizzling fajitas while taking in views of parks, golf courses, and swimming pools. This list includes rooftops, neighborhood gems, and fine dining. And some restaurants offer outdoor heaters or optional enclosures, so you can enjoy the open air—in every season.
Uchiba Dallas (Uptown)
As the Good Time Charlie sibling to Uchi—James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole’s legendary sushi spot—this bar sits right above its sister restaurant. Though it’s centered on hand-crafted cocktails and Japanese whiskys, Uchiba still offers the innovative sushi that has made Uchi a smashing success; a yakitori grill further distinguishes it from the restaurant downstairs. Grab a seat on the buzzy patio—depending on the weather, the space can be open-air or enclosed.
Baboush (West Village)
This Lebanese-Moroccan fusion restaurant was inspired by a colorful marketplace in Marrakech that sells soft, vibrant Moroccan slippers known as “babouche”— which explains the spot’s cozy interiors, strewn with poufs and Berber throw pillows. Dine on delicious Middle Eastern street food—falafel, kebabs, shawarma—as soft light filters through candle lanterns. Outside, the trip to Morocco continues: On the patio, diners can order a hookah and choose from a long menu of flavors, including apple, watermelon, and mint.
Miriam Cocina (Arts District)
Dominican Republic chef Miriam Jimenez mixes recipes from her birthplace—the La Dominicana burger, for instance, is topped with Dominican chimichurri sauce and paired with yuca fries—into the Mexican menu at this beloved neighborhood spot. The interior boasts a truly impressive bar and cool contemporary art, but nothing is better than sitting outside with a view of leafy Klyde Warren Park and sipping a margarita.
José – Dallas (Park Cities)
This restaurant, a refreshing Mexican oasis in a city synonymous with Tex-Mex, highlights the culinary style of Jalisco, with cameos from Mexico City and Oaxaca. Executive Chef Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman has picked up accolades left and right, including a distinction as Eater’s Best Chef of The Year in Dallas in 2018. Dine in the garden patio, clad with an interior courtyard and fountain—the coconut ceviche is an especially refreshing choice for feasting al fresco. Thanks to a stylish white brise soleil, (or shading system) that surrounds the restaurant, your meal here will be a super comfortable one.
Terra – Eataly Dallas (Preston Hollow)
The first Eataly, an Italian market, opened its doors in 2007 in Turin in an old vermouth factory and became so popular that it spread worldwide. Today, Eataly has dozens of outposts across the globe. The edition at NorthPark Center boasts three dining establishments, including rooftop restaurant Terra on the third floor. Local ingredients add a fun twist to Italian classics—Liuzzi burrata with Texas pecans, for instance or Texas quail with olive oil, sea salt, and cherry balsamic vinegar. Enjoy the open air of the terrace by relaxing on the sofa seats or by bellying up to the bar, which offers beautiful sunset views.
Pangea Restaurant and Bar (Garland)
Chef Kevin Ashade brings a passion for African and Jamaican cooking, but his recipes don’t stop there. His cosmopolitan menu includes dishes from all over the world: The coq au vin that outdid Bobby Flay’s on the Food Network is a crowd favorite, as are the many seafood options—crab cakes, blackened catfish, and seafood gumbo, to name a few. Feast on it all on one of two outdoor patios; the front one provides an especially peaceful tableau of the surrounding greenery.
Kenny’s Italian Kitchen (North Dallas)
The four cheese ravioli, seafood Fra-diavlo, and eggplant parmigiana draw consistent crowds to this classic Italian restaurant. Its charming patio creates the ambiance of a sidewalk dinner in southern Italy—or at least Little Italy: Dine al fresco at tables covered in red-checkered cloths, sip Chianti, and twirl spaghetti around your fork. Chef Kenny Bowers owns five popular restaurants around Dallas, but this one might be his most beloved.
Persimmons Bar and Grill (Grapevine)
This rustic-chic restaurant on Grapevine Golf Course offers a menu that tips a hat to the outdoor sport—and fittingly, patio diners are treated to a breathtaking view of the greens. The Six-Iron Dip features pico de gallo, charred tomato salsa, and refried beans, best scooped up by tortilla chips; burgers and sandwiches are called “grips,” and the sides are called “caddies.” Don’t miss Taco & Tequila Tuesday, where highlights include six-dollar margaritas.
Brothers Curtis and Luke Stone opened this swanky meat-lover’s paradise with restaurateur Stephan Courseau, modeling it after their Hollywood establishment, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant. Georgie offers fine delicacies such as a whole caviar menu and a Rosewood boneless ribeye, while the onsite butcher shop doubles as a café, slinging cuts of meat, sandwiches, and bakery products. Two outdoor options, a front terrace and a side patio, offer a lively urban vibe complete with people watching on Travis Street.
North Italia – Plano (Plano)
Situated in bustling Legacy West, North Italia offers classic Italian recipes with innovative twists: Glazed short rib with fresh cavatelli is accompanied by parmesan cream, fresh horseradish, and wilted arugula and crispy calamari comes with grilled lemon vinaigrette. Pizza enthusiasts can choose from a wide variety of toppings, including spicy meatballs. Snag an outdoor table under one of the cherry-colored umbrellas on the covered patio and try a summery cocktail, such as the Julietta: ginger and vanilla vodka, Italian elderflower, lime, and Prosecco.
Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa (Uptown)
Hotel ZaZa’s funky flagship restaurant offers an eclectic menu, ranging from beer-braised short ribs to a spicy crispy chicken sandwich to pork belly banh mi sliders. The interior design includes a ceiling aglow with tasteful industrial drop lights and walls adorned with portraits in vintage frames; the outdoor seats, with views of the hotel pool, marble fountain, and verdant greenery, are especially relaxing.
Sixty Vines – Uptown Dallas (Uptown)
Imagine an oenophile’s paradise—over 60 wines on wall taps and by the glass, four pour sizes to choose from, and plenty of dishes for pairing, such as cheese boards, salumi, and sandwiches stuffed with fried chicken or roasted pork. Patio seating is lovely for the full open-air experience, but the crown jewel of Sixty Vines is its gorgeous greenhouse. Though it’s enclosed, being surrounded by glass and foliage creates a dreamy, outdoor feel.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.