In honor of summer's limited days and incoming beauty -- not to mention tolerable temperatures -- that mark the arrival of fall, Rocks Off has decided to help you brush up on your patio-bar game.
It can be hard to remember what the great outdoors look like in this city of concrete, but don't worry. We've got your back. Here are the top ten patio bars in Houston.
10. CELTIC GARDENS Celtic Gardens can be a little bit brotastic, but it has got a great patio, and that's what we're looking for. Nothing more, nothing less, but there is a bit more here. This Irish-style pub is nearly all patio, with are rows and rows of swanky seats outside.
The patio was designed around a bit of nature, with trees hanging out alongside the cabanas to provide extra shade, if you're brave enough to head out before the heat index drops. Add some great happy hour specials and beers like Lily & Seamus American Wheat on tap, and you'll be shotgunning beers with the bros before you know it.
2300 Louisiana, 713-900-2500, facebook.com/celticgardens
9. CEDAR CREEK Cedar Creek's patio is huge. In fact, the majority of the seating is outside, so it can be a little tough to weather (yes, cheesy pun intended) during the summer, but now that fall is approaching, Cedar Creek is where it's at. Live music -- usually acoustic -- helps to set the mood and a diverse crowd that reflects its position in the heart of the Heights.
So basically, it's perfect for a nice fall night. The only pitfall is no dogs allowed, but the wicked beer selection and divine patio deck still make it worth your time.
1034 W. 20th St., 713-808-9623, onioncreekcafe.com
8. BLACK LABRADOR PUB What could be cooler than a life-size chess set? That's where you'll find us this fall, playing out that chess scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The Black Lab is on the edge of the University of St. Thomas, but is by no means a college bar. It's a good old English pub transplanted to Montrose, complete with fish and chips and more bottles of cider than you can shake a stick at.
4100 Montrose, 713-529-1199, blacklabradorpub.com
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7. UNDER THE VOLCANO Under the Volcano's decor is so kitschy that you can't help but adore it. The two patio spaces are a tad bit enclosed, but it's totally okay. On fall nights where there's a bit of drizzle or a slight chill, you need an option that isn't completely out in the elements, but still not enclosed by four walls. That roof on the patio is a good thing. And since you're obviously there for the patio and the alcohol, try the frozen rum and cokes, because yes.
2349 Bissonnet, 713-526-5282, facebook.com/underthevolcanohouston
6. HANS' BIER HAUS You mean, we can drink beer and play cornhole at Hans' Beer Haus, and we're not even in the sticks? Don't mind if we do! If cornholing ain't your thing, there's also bocce ball to get you moving, or you could do what the rest of us are there to do: drink.
We don't know who Hans is, but if he's the one who chooses the beer selection in this bar, we desperately want to befriend him. There are tons of beer specials, and it's beertopia as far as the eye can see, with microbrews, craft beers, Texas beers, and good ol' Miller Lite if you must. Go ahead. We won't judge.
2523 Quenby, 713-520-7474, hansbierhaus.com
5. AVANTGARDEN Even if AvantGarden weren't a hub for local music, we'd still hang out on the patio any day. This place is like a big old comfy house, with not only a fantastic back patio, but a lovely front porch as well. Two patios for the price of one. Also, there's always some quirky band or art event going on, so if that sangria isn't entertaining enough, there's plenty to search out on their patio. Once the weather drops from 100 degrees, that is.
411 Westheimer, 832-287-5577, avantgardenhouston.com
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4. CAPITOL BAR Capitol Bar is mainly a patio bar, with a small(ish) indoor bar tacked on for good measure. It's an obvious choice to just hang out and knock a few back in the great outdoors without having to deal with the obnoxiousness that comes with the patios at some other Midtown bars. Low-key, huge patio, friendly bartenders, and food trucks parked in the back: this place is great.
2415 Main, 832-452-8954, capitolbarmidtown.com
3. COTTONWOOD Cottonwood in Independence Heights is a fantastic patio bar, and the little bit of Austin funk that comes with the vibe just makes it all the better. Its huge-ass patio isn't as chaotic as you'd expect, thanks to its agreeably chill vibe. Besides the massive selection of craft beer and beer on tap, Cottonwood offers plenty of unique options to imbibe if you're going gluten-free. Try the Periwinkle.
3422 N. Shepherd, 713-802-0410, facebook.com/cottonwoodhouston
2. BOHEME CAFE & WINE BAR What's great about Boheme -- and its patio -- is that despite being right in the heart of Houston, you'll feel like you're anywhere but, especially after the sun goes down. Boheme is eclectic and romantic; on top of that, it's nearly all patio. Technically it's a wine bar, but a crafty little drink menu offers selections like a top-notch frozen mojito. Boheme also has plenty to nosh on while you sit outside and dream of faraway places.
307 Fairview, 713-529-1099, barboheme.com
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1. WEST ALABAMA ICE HOUSE If you haven't been to West Alabama Ice House, go. Like, now. Yes, it's hot, but that's what the freakin' beer is for, dude. There's also plenty of patio, as in a huge outdoor area that surrounds the entire bar. I'm not sure if anyone actually sits inside at West Alabama, but even if they do, outside is the place to be.
Dogs are everywhere, plus pickup games of basketball and plenty of glorious people drinking glorious beer and hanging out. It's like a big-ass barbecue, but with relative strangers. Awesome relative strangers.
1919 W. Alabama, 713-528-6874
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