Best of Houston

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

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.

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.

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Katharine Shilcutt