This isn't simply a story about best patios in Dallas. This is a story about primo patios for eating and drinking. What good is a patio if you don't want to sit, sip, snack and stay awhile?
Rest assured that reporters Tiney Ricciardi and Sarah Blaskovich spent many hours in the sun testing out these hotspots. Bookmark this page and refer back to it next time you're jonesing for a certified spectacular patio happy hour spot.
HG Sply Co.
The view from HG Sply Co.'s third-story rooftop is the best in Lower Greenville. Secret's already out on it, too: On a recent Tuesday, hundreds of people sunned themselves up there, sipping frozen Moscow mules and eating garlic hummus. HG is mostly a Paleo restaurant and it prides itself on using healthful ingredients without hormones or pesticides, but let's get something straight: They've got nothing against alcohol.
A stylish crowd has steadily made its way to Lower Greenville to test out neighboring places like Remedy, the Blind Butcher and Truck Yard, but your best bet is to watch all the action from on high at HG's rooftop patio.
2008 Greenville Ave., Dallas. 469-334-0896. hgsplyco.com. Very limited menu available on the rooftop; consider it a drinks and appetizers place only.
S&D Oyster Company
Step inside this seafood restaurant and you'll step back in time a few decades. The red and white checked tablecloths are one of many charming touches at a place that does simple, delicious seafood. If you'll walk through the restaurant and out back, you'll find a brand-new patio that was designed to match the more than 100-year-old building. It's a cozy little courtyard out there, with a handful of tables and a bar where you'll likely end up chatting with your neighbors. Order a half-dozen fried oysters and a half-dozen oysters on the half shell and you'll be happy as a clam.
2701 McKinney Ave., Dallas. 214-880-0111. sdoyster.com.
This row of restaurants in West Dallas feels a little bit like a trip to Disney's Epcot Theme Park. There are cuisines of all kinds, with each restaurant sporting its own unique interior design and style. But what they all share is a big patio facing Singleton Boulevard, right near the picturesque Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. If the weather permits, pick your favorite restaurant and ask to sit outside. You'll be surrounded by tourists and Dallas regulars. Best restaurants in this row, if you ask us, are LUCK and Sushi Bayashi.
Among the boutiques and construction in Dallas’ Design District sits an unassuming cinderblock oasis with solid food and a relaxing view. Burger joint Rodeo Goat has garage door-windows that open up to a spacious patio that spans three sides of the restaurant. The longest side is adorned with a beautiful drip-paint mural, but you’ll want to sit with your back to it and take in the scenic Trinity Strand Trail. Hikers and bikers will be the only traffic passing the picnic tables and wicker chairs here, folks. So grab a craft beer and gather ‘round one of the games of Goat Ring, we’re betting you’ll be a while. And yes, your furry four-legged friends can come too.
1926 Market Center Blvd., Dallas. 214-741-4628. rodeogoat.com.
Katy Trail Ice House
Let's say you can handle a jam-packed patio. We definitely can. Order a beerita, then get some jalapeño bottlecaps -- breaded and fried jalapeños, served with ranch. The burgers are pretty great, too, and you'll need one to sop up all that beer that's coming next. There's also barbecue Thursday through Sunday, served from lunchtime until it's gone -- which is sometimes mid-afternoon on a busy Saturday.
It's hard to go wrong at Katy Trail Ice House. Bring your dog and your single friend; you're destined to meet people.
3127 Routh St., Dallas. 214-468-0600. katyicehouse.com.
Yucatan Taco Stand
A newer addition to Lower Greenville, Yucatan Taco Stand offers one of the best spots for checking out the bustling neighborhood action. Yucatan’s patio runs the length of the restaurant on Greenville Avenue before wrapping around the corner and extending onto Bell Street. Patrons can get the effect from bellying up to the bar inside too, since there’s a giant garage door that makes the space open-air. The only thing you have to worry about is the attention your mountain of chicken nachos is receiving. Back off, man!
One of Dallas' best barbecue restaurants is definitely a restaurant first, patio second. But don't discount it on pleasant days: It's often packed with meat-loving people jamming to live music. And it's a good spot to start, if you're spending the evening in Deep Ellum. (The 'hood doesn't wake up until after dark, but it quickly becomes a hot spot for bar crawlers and music lovers on Friday and Saturday nights.)
Pecan Lodge noobs, order a few slices of moist brisket, the hot mess and a piece of fried chicken. Use the leftovers tomorrow morning in breakfast tacos.
2702 Main St., Dallas. 214-748-8900. pecanlodge.com.
If you’re big on ambiance, the Woolworth in downtown Dallas is a must-try. Located on the second story of a historic 1913 building, the bar/restaurant patio overlooks the 30-foot-tall Eye installation by artist Tony Tasset. (If you’re not familiar, it is a giant eyeball situated in an outdoor green-turned-art gallery owned by the Joule Hotel.) The Woolworth, which is named for the building’s original tenant, F.W. Woolworth department store, is known for its cocktails and house-made infusions. Those looking for nibbles can expect an elevated twist on classic dishes, such as caprese salad lollipops, Philly cheese eggrolls and crab nachos.
Happy hour is pretty enticing too, when select cocktails are just $8.
1520 Elm St., Dallas. 214-814-0588. thewoolworthdallas.com.
The indoor-outdoor wine bar at this new market in West Dallas boats some of the best seats in the neighborhood. Owner Daniele Puleo hopes his new shop feels like Dean & DeLuca in Napa Valley, California -- a gourmet grocery store and happy place for foodies. Puleo's team makes Neapolitan-style pizzas, sandwiches and little bites to go. But you shouldn't do that: You should take them to your perch at the wine bar and order a glass of rosé.
1868 Sylvan Ave., Suite D100, Dallas. 214-653-2426. cibodivinomkt.com.
Don't have kids or don't like kids? Try somewhere else. Otherwise, lean in to this kid zoo enjoyed by tons of East Dallasites. Your kids can build sand castles or play group games with new friends while mom orders a cocktail and an appetizer. Some of the patio is covered if you're worried about sunburns. The menu is extensive and kid-friendly. We like the grilled pimiento cheese and sweet potato tots.
7530 E. Grand Ave., Dallas. 214-321-1990. thelotdallas.com.
Patios used to be rarities in Deep Ellum, but since more restaurants have moved into the area, outdoor space is more abundant than ever. The neighborhood’s only brewpub, BrainDead Brewing, boasts one of the most desirable spots to post up. Not only does it offer patrons and their pooches prime people watching, but it also has one of Deep Ellum’s best craft beer menus, which includes (but is not limited to) house-brewed beers.
Eats like the Coma Burger, made with a beef, brisket and bacon patty, and the duck fat popcorn have been tantalizing taste buds since Day One. Servers here will also help you pair dish and drink, so don’t be afraid to ask.
2625 Main St., Dallas. 214-749-0600. braindeadbrewing.com.
Cane Rosso White Rock
Nestled among the businesses of an East Dallas strip mall, Cane Rosso White Rock conquered the near-impossible task of making its outdoor patio feel unique and secluded. Despite the fact this buzzy pizza shop has neighbors on either side, owner Jay Jerrier managed to make a mini oasis among the stucco row of tenants. The patio is peppered with plants and antique accents, creating a welcoming space for pets and kids alike. Cane Rosso White Rock isn’t the type of patio where you’ll catch rays, and that's OK; the wine's abundant and the pizza's hot.
Plus, it’s walking distance to the lake trails if you feel the need to work off a couple of calories.
7328 Gaston Ave., Dallas. 214-660-3644. canerosso.com.
Cold Beer Co.
Newish Exposition Park spot says it's bike- and dog-friendly, but also, on the whole, it's just friendly. The servers are pleasant, the patio is chill and the beer selection is approachable. The food's a little basic. A $3 appetizer called bar trash, for instance, is simply warm pretzels, cheese crackers and nuts. It's nothing you've never seen before, but they're not really going for gourmet anyhow. Ditto the late-night menu, served 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Grab a PB&J (and it comes with chocolate milk) or try three brisket tacos. Both cost $6.50 and will more than suffice.
Stop in for good specials, like $3 pints on select beers on Mondays or $2.50 PBR and Lone Star on Thursdays.
3600 Main St., Dallas. 214-370-9301. coldbeerco.com.
Check pretentiousness at the door of this craft beer and lowbrow cocktails spot. The Foundry prides itself on a rough-and-tumble atmosphere, complete with tire shredding on the wall, mismatched chairs a live music stage built out of wood pallets and shipping containers converted into seating areas. In fact, most seating is outside in the courtyard-style beer garden. The bar is also something of an adult playground with a bocce ball pit, pool table and over-sized Jenga.
Located in the Foundry’s complex is a kitchen and restaurant concept called Chicken Scratch, which specializes in gourmet fried chicken sandwiches. Consider this your one-stop shop to eat, drink and play outdoors. And your dog can come too.
If someone told you Quarter Bar used to be an old house smack in the middle of New Orleans' French Quarter, you'd probably believe them. It isn't: It's an old building smack in the middle of Uptown Dallas. Get on in there, take a seat on a vintage chair that might be missing a spring or two, and McKinney Avenue feels miles away. Or take the stairs to the patio, where you can perch over the busy street and watch the people and cars go by -- like Mardi Gras, but with fancier cars and less nudity.
The Quarter serves food such as pork belly sliders from neighboring Bread Winners Cafe. Don't skip over the voodoo fries: queso, jalapeño gravy, crispy pork belly, Sriracha and scallions, yes please and don't tell my doc. The bar has great specials, including half-priced food on Wednesdays.
3301 McKinney Ave., Dallas. 214-754-0106. breadwinnerscafe.com/the-quarter-bar/.
By TINEY RICCIARDI and SARAH BLASKOVICH