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10 Great Options for Texan Al Fresco Dining

by rachelhart
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It’s a simple truth: any good meal tastes better when savored with a side of fresh air. As autumn draws near and temperatures grow mild, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy some classic Texan cuisine al fresco style. From Houston to Dallas to the capital city of Austin, you’ll find a satisfying array of outdoor dining options in the Lone Star State.

Dallas

HG Supply Company

HG Supply Co. offers scenic views from their spacious rooftop patio, where diners can indulge in a menu crafted from responsibly-sourced, minimally processed ingredients. Start off your open air meal with a nutritious appetizer such as smoky carrot hummus, topped with extra virgin olive oil, smoked almonds and cilantro; served alongside a helping of fresh vegetables.

HG Supply Co. is located at 2008 Greenville Avenue in Dallas and is open seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 11 AM to 11 PM, Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to midnight, and Sundays from 10 AM to 11 PM.

Standard Service

This modern, American-style eatery harkens back to the classic days of personal, friendly service in the nation’s small-scale grocery stores and diners. Standard Service offers a range of modern brunch classics such as breakfast tacos, steak and eggs, and festive cocktail drinks inspired by the locals. One dollar from each cocktail sold goes directly to the customer’s charity of choice, so you can unwind while supporting a great cause. Try the Good Vibes Only, featuring house made coconut rum, passion fruit, pineapple, lime and orgeat: the perfect refreshment to enjoy on the restaurant’s outdoor patio.

Standard Service is located at 5631 Alta Avenue in Dallas, and is open seven days a week. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 11 AM to 10 PM, Fridays from 11 AM to midnight, Saturdays from 10 AM to midnight, and Sundays from 10 AM to 10 PM.

The Rustic

Offering plenty of outdoor space for safe socialization, The Rustic features locally-sourced Texan cuisine alongside free live music performances held weekly. Lunch fare includes selections such as the Rustic Harvest Bowl: seared chicken breast, baby kale, sweet potato picadillo, seasonal vegetables, jalapeno spoonbread and cider vinaigrette. Meat lovers will want to try “The Rustic Burger”, topped with house-smoked brisket, white cheddar, green chile, grilled onion and smoked salt potato chips. 

The Rustic is located in West Village, at 3656 Howell Street in Dallas. The shop is open seven days a week: Monday through Wednesday from 3 PM to 10 PM, Thursdays from 3 PM to 11 PM, Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 AM, and Sundays from 10 AM to 10 PM.

Braindead Brewing

Braindead Brewing sports an outdoor patio, offering front-row views of the vibrant entertainment district in downtown Dallas. Since their opening in 2015, Braindead Brews has amassed a variety of 35 craft beers. Recharge with some famous Texan brisket and a cold drink while soaking in the relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

Braindead Brewing is located at 2625 Main Street in Dallas and is open seven days a week: Monday through Wednesday 11 AM to 10 PM, Thursday through Saturday from 11 AM to midnight, and Sundays from 11 AM to 10 PM.

Houston

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company

Dine sky-high on the elevated open air patio at Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, providing panoramic views of the Houston skyline. Founded in March of 2011 by Ras Zarinfar and Ryan Robertson, the company has grown from its humble origins in a storage warehouse to the 28,000 square foot taproom and brewery it now calls home. Guests can enjoy three full floors of space and products to peruse, with a menu featuring items such as Miso Salmon Salad, the Brewhaus Burger or the Mile High Club 14, featuring grilled herb-marinated chicken, secret sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and white cheddar on a Ciabatta Roll.

Buffalo Bayou is located at 2101 Summer Street in Houston and is open seven days a week, 11 AM to midnight.

The Annie Café and Bar

The dual-level patio at the Annie Café and Bar treats guests to sweeping views of Post Oak Blvd, with oversized umbrellas to provide shade from the hot Texas sun. The eatery features classic drinks and an  American-Southwestern style menu, with fare selections such as duck, salmon, and oysters served on the half shell with choice of ketchup, horseradish or mignonette sauce. 

The Annie Café and Bar is located in 1 BLVD Place at 1800 Post Oak Blvd Suite 6170 in Houston. Operating hours run seven days a week: Sunday through Thursday from 11 AM to 9 PM, and Friday through Saturday from 11 AM to 10 PM.

Local Foods

Local Foods’ bright and colorful patio will bring you vacation-day vibes as you enjoy fresh, seasonal dishes crafted from local Texan ingredients. Enjoy a scrumptious sandwich like the Truffled Egg Salad or Gulf Seafood Ciabatta, all in the company of towering, picturesque palm trees.

Local Foods is located at 2555 Kirby Drive in Houston and is open seven days a week, 8 AM to 10 PM.

Austin

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

Born from the capital city, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is an Austin-original offering a vast, multi-level patio with scenic, waterfront views of the nearby lake. Relax and enjoy the scenery while taking advantage of Mozart’s “bottomless coffee”—unlimited refills of a daily selection of light, medium, dark, flavored and decaf brews for just $4.65.

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is located in Oyster Landing, at 3825 Lake Austin Blvd. The shop is open seven days a week, 7 AM to midnight.

Olive & June

Nestled in Bryker Woods lies Olive and June: a charming three-story Italian eatery featuring an outdoor patio built around a towering, ancient oak tree. Olive & June specializes in authentic Italian cuisine, with dishes such as handmade ravioli, pork meatballs, and mouthwatering desserts like chocolate tiramisu and peach panna cotta. The venue runs a happy hour weekdays until 6 PM, offering a 50% discount on beer, cocktails, and all dinner menu items.

Olive & June is located at 3411 Glenview Avenue in Austin. Operating hours are Thursday through Saturday from 5 PM to 9 PM.

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

Focused on ranch-to-table dining, Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile is situated charmingly along the Colorado River, which guests can admire from the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The restaurant uses Jacoby Beef: bred, raised and processed in Central Texas by the Jacoby family and raised exclusively on pasture grass, hay, and feed free of growth hormones and antibiotics. Take in the scenic river views while enjoying the BBQ Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, smoked rainbow carrots and caramelized onions, or the Chicken Fried Steak, paired with mashed potatoes, arugula salad and black pepper gravy.

Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile is located at 3235 East Ceasar Chavez Street in Austin. Operating hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 5 PM to 9 PM, Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM and 5 PM to 10 PM, and Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Lenoir

Stylish with a “vintage chic” vibe, Lenoir offers creative Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. Diners can choose from an array of options a la carte, while lounging under the shade of sprawling trees in the picturesque wine garden. Lenoir prides itself on creating a menu that pairs with the Texan climate: light, refreshing fare that uses very little butter, cream or gluten. Try a small plate such as the Texas Apple Salad, with arugula amaranth and pecan miso dressing, followed by the mint marigold ice cream with peach compote and almond crumble.

Lenoir is located at 1807 South 1st Street in Austin and is open  Thursday through Sunday from 5 PM to 10 PM.

 

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, the popularity of al fresco dining has soared to new heights, as outdoor options provide enhanced air circulation and open space for social distancing. As COVID cases continue to spike across much of the Lone Star State, consider supporting one of today’s featured eateries while enjoying a safer, open-air dining experience.

For additional dining and shopping options throughout the state of Texas, check out our business directory

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