Houston’s Patio Bars Heat Things Up this Summer
Eight Row Flint
Transformed into an open air bar concept from an early 1900s gas station, Eight Row Flint is the Heights’ newest watering hole for fans of whiskey, beer, and tacos. With the social media hashtag #whiskeybeertacos, Eight Row Flint does indeed keep things simple with an impressive whiskey and bourbon list, a selection of craft beers spotlighting local breweries, and a taco truck parked onsite featuring a short list of tacos, chips, and dips. Cocktails aren’t completely out of the question though. Guests can indulge in a whiskey, beer or taco-free experience as well.
This Austin transplant has been a hit among Montrose pub-crawlers for the past two years with its casual, sports bar vibe, Tex-mex inspired food specials, and wrap around dog-friendly patio facing Westheimer Road. With a revamp of the menu to include a slew of new brunch selections like the fried chicken and French toast and build your own bloody Mary bar, the patio at Doc’s is the summer go to for day and night drinkers alike.
Don’t let the freakishly giant (and slightly scary) pig face on the back patio deter you from a tasty experience at Southern Goods in the Heights. Located on West 19th, the wildly popular bar houses a small indoor space, but most guests opt for the sprawling outdoor patio when Houston’s weather chooses to cooperate. The foodie forward menu, which spotlights dishes like Texas hot quail and lobster slaw with caviar, pairs well with a menu of largely local craft beers and seasonally inspired cocktails.
The Holy Queso isn’t the only thing you’ll thank God for at this casual, two-story restaurant and patio bar known for its Mexican fare. A welcome addition to the Montrose neighborhood, La Grange opened to herds of happy Houstonians who crowded both levels of the patio bar last fall. Watermelon margaritas, fajitas for uno, the crab stuffed avocado, and a hearty late night menu are only a few of the reasons to post up at La Grange on a seventy five-degree evening.
The West End
You can expect the typical sights and sounds of an open air patio bar at the West End- sports fans high fiving at the big screens, groups of friends raising their glasses after a long day of work, and the daily food and drink specials of a solid happy hour menu. But stroll by the patio on a Wednesday evening and hear the sizzling sound of steaks on the grill and a festive scene at one of Uptown’s best patio bars. The $15 steak night has become an evening to look forward to among Houstonians. Along with karaoke and beer specials, the evening makes for one festive patio party.
In a class of its own, Wooster’s Garden sets the standard for patio bars in midtown. Beyond the walls of the eclectic interior, the space houses a full kitchen and is known for hosting weekly pop-ups spotlighting local chefs. The Sunday pop-ups result in a well-rounded patio-party featuring excellent food, music, and a crowd of foodie forward 20-30 somethings. The bar itself features a carefully curated seasonal menu including over 40 cocktail selections, 49 craft beer taps, and a wine list with 30+ options.
Down the Street
No doubt named for its unassuming locale “down the street”, this neighborhood patio bar is quietly nestled between homes on a residential road in the Heights. Equally popular for weekend brunch as its nightly happy hour specials, Down the Street is the kind of place where everybody knows your name. The dog-friendly patio is graced with plenty of outdoor seating, access to the indoor bar, and a ping pong table. In addition to local craft beer, fresh sangria, and bar snacks like the ever-popular truffle Parmesan popcorn, guests are invited to enjoy a full menu of tasty selections including chicken chile relleno empanadas and the Barcelona pizza with Spanish chorizo.
Axelrad Beer Garden
As the craft beer craze continues to take over, Houstonians are flocking to midtown’s newest beer garden complete with its own hammock grove. A newcomer to the Houston bar scene, Axelrad has quickly become a favorite for its stellar beer selection, whimsical décor, dog-friendly patio, and choice seating. While the hammocks are first come, first serve, the beer garden offers plenty of additional outdoor seating options. Guests are even invited to enjoy a slice from neighbor Luigi’s Pizzeria on the shared patio. In true beer garden fashion, you won’t find any cocktails or liquor on the menu, so expect only beer and wine at Axelrad.
With downtown Houston as a backdrop, Batanga offers diners a visually striking patio complete with bricked floors and string lighting. The patio is over 3,000 square feet ― the largest in downtown― and is often a go-to for the after work crowd. Happy hour specials on bar bites, sangria, and mojitos are a hit on weekdays, while half off bottles of wine on Sundays keep the party going on the weekend.
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