Take It Outside

Our picks for the best patios in Houston.

Grappino di Nino, 2817 W. ­Dallas, 713-522-5120
There's a reason that Robb Walsh once called Grappino di Nino — along with its sister restaurants on West Dallas, Vincent's and Nino's — "one of the most idyllic dining destinations in the city." Since 1977, the Mandola family has made certain that this little stretch of property bordering Montrose is always impeccably maintained, especially the elegant open-air patio that forms the main dining area of Grappino di Nino. Suggest this patio for post-work drinks with friends (half glasses of Italian wine are only $5), and you'll be hailed as a hero.

Moon Tower Inn, 3004 Canal, 832-266-0105
Hanging out at Moon Tower is more akin to going over to a friend's backyard than going to a restaurant. It's nearly impossible to leave after only an hour; this is the kind of place that demands you meet both old friends and new over endless pitchers of beer, horseshoes on the lawn and, of course, excellent hot dogs in fresh buns from Slow Dough Bread Co. Crawfish Sundays throughout the summer encourage this even more.

Unexpected Treasure Patios

Troy Fields

Location Info



708 Telephone Road
Houston, TX 77023

Category: Coffee Shops

Region: East End

Las Ventanas Restaurant and Cantina

14555 Grisby Road
Houston, TX 77079

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Memorial

Flora & Muse

12860 Queensbury Lane, Ste. 143
Houston, TX 77024

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: Outer Loop - NW

Cafe Mawal

6006 Fairdale
Houston, TX 77057

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Galleria

Backstreet Cafe

1103 S. Shepherd Dr.
Houston, TX 77019

Category: Music Venues

Region: River Oaks

Vineyard on the Square

16135 City Walk
Sugar Land, TX 77479

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Outside Houston

The Grove

1611 Lamar St.
Houston, TX 77010

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Downtown/ Midtown

Jimmy Changas

5144 Center St.
Pasadena, TX 77505

Category: Restaurant > Tex-Mex

Region: Pasadena

Red Balloon Cafe

4410 Westway Park Blvd.
Houston, TX 77041

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Outer Loop - NW

Baba Yega

2607 Grant
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Montrose

Grappino Di Nino

2817 W. Dallas St.
Houston, TX 77019

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: River Oaks

Moon Tower Inn

3004 Canal
Houston, TX 77003

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: East End

Mediterraneo Market & Cafe

18033 Upper Bay Road
Houston, TX 77058

Category: Restaurant > Greek

Region: Clear Lake

Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro

1214 W. 43rd St.
Houston, TX 77018

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Outer Loop - NE

Mediterraneo, 18033 Upper Bay Rd., Clear Lake, 281-333-3180
Down in Clear Lake, you could easily be forgiven for driving straight past Mediterraneo; after all, the Middle Eastern restaurant/market is in a slightly run-down strip center that looks like a chunk of Cheshire accidentally landed in Texas in all its Tudor glory. But the patio at Mediterraneo is glorious, all rainbow-colored umbrellas and lush foliage disguising the front entrance itself. Go for the sea breeze, stay for the hummus.

Plonk, 1214 W. 43rd, 713-290-1070
In winter, the patio is heated and cozy. In the summer, it's shaded with azure sails and cooled by misting fans. You're guaranteed to find comfort either way, even though the patio itself backs up to a Randalls in an Oak Forest strip center. But as pretty as the patio is, you're not going to notice. The excellent guanciale cheeseburger and stunning wine selection serve as pretty great distractions. And as if that weren't enough, the beer selection is just as good.

Bohemeo's, 708 Telephone Rd., 713-923-4277
The East End is only quiet for now. In another ten or 20 years, this part of Houston may very well look like Montrose does today. For now, enjoy the peace and quiet on the patio at colorful Bohemeo's, which also happens to offer some of our favorite coffee and fish tacos in town. The view of the downtown skyline at dusk is unparalleled, and live music at night is always a treat. Be sure to grab a sweet potato bar for dessert on your way out.

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