10. Urban Eats, 3414 Washington
Perch on the second-floor balcony of this new Washington Avenue dining spot and enjoy sliders, salads and frieds topped with a variety of ingredients. There's also a full bar menu of beer, cocktails and wine to keep you refreshed as you pity the commuters driving past.
9. Giacomo's Cibo e Vino, 3215 Westheimer
Chef Lynette Hawkins's casual but authentic Italian eatery has a greenery-adorned patio that's a respite from the maddening traffic in Upper Kirby. Sit down and order some cicchetti ("small plates" in Italian) and one of the many reasonably priced bottles of wine. As you enjoy the scene, you can practically feel your sanity being restored.
8. Batanga, 908 Congress
When Batanga opened, it brought a much-needed boon to the heart of Houston: an expansive brick patio. On Friday and Saturday nights, Houstonians flock to it to enjoy flavorful takes on Latin American fare. The food and cocktail menus have undergone an advantageous retooling by chef Rishi Singh and bartender Jojo Martinez. There are often live musicians on hand to entertain the crowds outside, too.
7. KUU, 947 Gessner
KUU has received some recognition for bringing sophisticated, modern Japanese fare to Gateway Memorial City, but a lesser-known fact is it also has a patio to match the graceful fare. As if that's not enough, all the restaurant residents — KUU, Vallone's, Churrascos and forthcoming Ogden's Pour Society — are participating in "Live at the Gateway," an open event held monthly in the center with happy hour specials and live music. Check Gateway Memorial City's web page for upcoming dates.
6. Brooklyn Athletic Club, 601 Richmond
What's better than a patio? An entire yard for playing games in as well as drinking and dining. Guests can indulge in bocce ball, croquet, and shuffleboard while they're dining on the decadent BAC Baked Mac 'N' Cheese chock-full of chunks of braised short rib, roasted mushrooms and mild peppers. There's nothing better alongside than a cold craft beer. Alternately, go for the pappardelle and meatballs with all-day sauce paired with a glass of red wine.