The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Restaurant Patios

Brooklyn Athletic Club 023.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
7. Brooklyn Athletic Club

At a just under three months old, this is the youngest restaurant on our list. Not content with the perfectly acceptable patio inherited from Zimm's Little Deck, Brooklyn Athletic Club has gone full bore, adding a full array of lawn games and a beer bar out back while retouching the front deck as well. We can't wait to spend spring camped out on Richmond with a pint.

6. Backstreet Cafe

There is a solid reason Backstreet Cafe always finds itself on lists like these. While the elegant old house is nothing to scoff at and the menu is as solid as ever, it's the patio that draws the attention. The outdoor seating is as classically beautiful as the people you see dining there. For our money, skip the weekend circus and stop in during the week for a more low-key look at a Houston tradition.

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Photo by Erion Shehaj
5. The Lake House and The Grove

Discovery Green does double duty here, serving as the backdrop to two exceptional patio spaces at two vastly different eateries just yards apart. For casual bite to eat, The Lake House is steps away from the activities and playgrounds of Discovery Green. For a more refined patio space, The Grove offers a small front patio with a view that actually exceeds the tree-shrouded rooftop deck. Both patios have tables offering exceptional views of the highly underappreciated east side of the downtown skyline, which has changed dramatically in the past few years.

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Photo Courtesy of The Tasting Room
4. The Tasting Room Kingwood

Overlooking the serene Lake Houston in Kingwood, The Tasting Room's patio has a view unavailable anywhere else in town. The brick paver patio lined in clean black steel fencing offers a peaceful surrounding to enjoy a glass of wine and dinner over the lake. Just don't go expecting the exact menu found at the Uptown Park or River Oaks locations, as each menu varies. You can still get the truffle fries, though, and they are a sure winner.


Location Info

Onion Creek

3106 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cedar Creek

1034 W. 20th, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Dry Creek Cafe

544 Yale St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Canyon Creek Cafe

6603 Westcott St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

El Pueblito Place

1423 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Pueblito Place

1423 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Jasper's

9595 Six Pines Drive, Spring, TX

Category: Restaurant

1252 Tapas

9595 Six Pines Drive, Spring, TX

Category: Restaurant

Brooklyn Athletic Club

601 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Backstreet Cafe

1103 S. Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Lake House Waterside Cafe

1600 McKinney, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Grove

1611 Lamar St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tasting Room -- Kingwood

1660 W. Lake Houston Pkwy, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Brennan's of Houston

3300 Smith, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tiny Boxwood's Cafe

3614 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Monarch Restaurant & Lounge

5701 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Jessica
Jessica

What about Brenners on the Bayou and Rainbow Lodge.  When on those patios you don't feel like you're in Houston.  

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

I look forward to this list each time, but some of these have to be eliminated because of inedible food and tragic service.  Escalante's in Town & Country has revamped their patio adding a cover and a fountain.  Tony Mandola has a great patio.  Of course, Niko Niko's....oooh and Ruggles Green at Towne Center has a terrific vast patio overlooking green space.  Lovely place to dine.

nechlaw1
nechlaw1

Cafe  Mawal, 6006 Fairdale, is our favorite. Brenner's on the Buffalo Bayou, Artista, Rainbow Lodge, and Baba Yega's also come to mind.  There are several other restaurants in the same complex as Tasting Room on Lake Houston, and most have better food and the same view

Chris Boyle
Chris Boyle

How can you not include the patio/garden Baba Yega?

Anse
Anse

There are a lot of places that require you to order at the bar, but for some reason I find the "Creek" joints make this proposition particularly unpleasant. I don't know what it is. I'm surprised Cottonwood isn't on here. 

Ken Busch
Ken Busch

Just about any Cafe Express.

Kings-Harbor
Kings-Harbor

Thanks for featuring The Tasting Room Kingwood in Kings Harbor!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Brenners on the Bayou & Baba Yega are the most egregious omissions on this list.  Have you been to either?

LupeTortillaAnyone
LupeTortillaAnyone

@AnseThat's not a patio, it's a playground that serves great beer and food for the parents.

ducttaperoses
ducttaperoses

@Anse Agreed.  I *hate* Cedar Creek.  Noisy, crowded, terrible service.  I don't go out to eat to feel ignored and as if I'm an inconvenience to the staff.  It's hard to get anyone's attention at the bar to even place an order.

Anse
Anse

@LupeTortillaAnyone @Anse Cottonwood? That outdoor stage and patio is begging for a good country swing band. Unfortunately the band they had playing there last time I visited was a horrible cover band playing Hall and Oates and whatnot. But it's got potential.

Anse
Anse

@ducttaperoses @Anse Yeah, I end up going there once in a while because I have colleagues who think it's a good happy hour spot. But I don't like it. And the Austin-centric crap gives me gas. 

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