Best Houston Patios for You, With or Without Your Dogs, Your Kids

The Tony Mandola patio
The Tony Mandola patio
Photo by Henry Thiel

It's blessedly cooler and time to hit the great restaurant patios of Houston. Yes, you can sit outside! In comfort and convenience and pretend you're in a great European city. Or just enjoy what Houston has to offer for a few sparkling months of the year. 

Here's our collection of patio greats, and if you have any to add, please let us know in the comments. 

The patio of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
The patio of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
Photo by Troy Fields

The 20 Best Restaurant Patios in Houston

When the weather is blessedly mild, Houstonians go running, not for the hills but for the best restaurant patios in the city. We've gathered 20 of Houston's best and ranked them not just for their good looks but for the food and service as well. Take a look, and be sure to make reservations for the ones that are fine-dining establishments. You won't be the only one wanting to secure a place in the sun.

Lanterns at Cuchara
Lanterns at Cuchara
Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

20 (More) of Houston’s Best Patios for 2016

Last year, we listed 20 of the best restaurant patios for dining, drinking and relaxing. It proved to be an extremely popular resource. Here's some excellent news: Every single option from last year is still viable. None of those restaurants have closed.

Comfort in the great out of doors.
Comfort in the great out of doors.
Photo courtesy Brenner's on the Bayou

Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Patios

With unusually cool and sunny April weather, who can resist lunching on a patio and soaking up some sun? This time of year, it's usually getting too hot to bear, but we've been incredibly lucky to have had sunshine and cooler temperatures the past few weeks.

Cyclone Anaya's on Durham has a great, dog-friendly patio.
Cyclone Anaya's on Durham has a great, dog-friendly patio.
Photo by Patrick Boylan

The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant Patios in Houston

It was a long slog to get a Houston ordinance passed that allowed restaurants to decide for themselves whether or not to allow dogs on their patios, but the “Paws On Patios” allowance finally happened in 2011. That opened up a variety of venues for people to dine with Fido. It requires the restaurant to apply for a City of Houston permit, pass a patio inspection and pay a one-time fee that’s currently $116.28.

A great view if nothing else.
A great view if nothing else.
Photo courtesy Downtown Aquarium

Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Family-Friendly Restaurants

While soaking up the last several weeks of summer vacation, why not head out and have a fun family meal with the whole gang in tow? Though Houston made national news last year for La Fisheria's announcement that children would be banned after 7 p.m., local restaurants are mostly very family friendly.


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