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

The patio at our No. 1 pick.
The patio at our No. 1 pick.
Photo by Jeff Balke

For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.

Nope, Tiny Boxwood's didn't make the list. Let's just get that out of the way right now. This awesome, pantsless kid notwithstanding.

That said, there are so many truly fabulous patios in Houston that it's difficult to limit the list to only ten. So this isn't a definitive list of the city's best patios for all time -- but rather a list of the places where I'm enjoying dining al fresco at the moment. I hope you will, too.

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Patios
Photo courtesy of 901 Postoffice

10. 901 Postoffice

Cozy, cute and charming -- with the added bonus of the sea breeze from Galveston's shores and some of the best food found on the island.

9. Las Ventanas

The lush, tropical patio here makes it feel like you're taking a vacation in the Caribbean -- even if you're only in West Houston. There's even a playground to keep the kids occupied.

8. Luigi's

Bocce ball and BYOB reign here, and you're encouraged to linger with a pizza and some of Luigi's equally terrific wings on this blissfully quiet end of Midtown near the Third Ward.

7. Cedar Creek

Sure, you have to endure some bad bros and equally bad service, but the rambling "creek" (it's a drainage ditch, but it's been nicely landscaped) and rolling "hills" (again, it's Houston) make it feel like you've escaped to the Hill Country for the weekend.

 

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Patios
Photo by Jeff Balke

6. El Pueblito

Probably the best-known patio along Richmond, it's hard not to notice the billowing white sheets of El Pueblito's cabanas from the road. It's even harder not to pull over and ensconce yourself in one, margarita in hand, and escape from the sun for a little while.

5. Lucio's BYOB

The stunning, clean-lined patio at this Montrose BYOB looks like something out of a modern art museum, complete with giant copper sculpture and gray stones scattered across the two-level deck.

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

4. Baba Yega

Sprawling, eccentric and covered with old oak trees, just like the rest of Montrose, Baba Yega's patio has been the neighborhood's go-to brunch spot for decades.

3. Monarch at the Hotel Zaza

With a view onto Hermann Park, the Mecom Fountain and the lush Museum District, dining at the Hotel Zaza feels a little like noshing at a swank Central Park spot -- especially as you traipse through the elegant lobby to get there.

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Patios
Photo courtesy of The Tasting Room

2. The Tasting Room Kingwood

The newest location of The Tasting Room is on the shores of Lake Houston, with a relaxing sunset view that can't be beat, with or without a glass of wine in hand.

1. Backstreet Cafe

The original, the best: This is where Houstonians have enjoyed the perfect patio spot -- tucked behind a 1930s-era home -- for nearly 30 years.



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Related Locations

miles
901 Postoffice - Closed

901 Postoffice
Galveston, TX 77550

409-762-1111

miles
Las Ventanas Restaurant and Cantina

14555 Grisby Road
Houston, TX 77079

281-752-6990

www.lasventanas.net

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Luigi's Pizzeria
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Cedar Creek
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El Pueblito Place

1423 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77006

713-520-6635

www.elpueblitopatio.com

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Lucio's BYOB
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Baba Yega

2607 Grant
Houston, TX 77006

713-522-0042

www.babayega.com

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Monarch Restaurant & Lounge
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Tasting Room -- Kingwood

1660 W. Lake Houston Parkway
Houston, TX 77345

281-361-0044

www.tastingroomwines.com

miles
Backstreet Cafe

1103 S. Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77019

713-521-2239

www.backstreetcafe.net


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