5 Best Patios in Austin, TX
BY: Melody Fury | Nov 1, 2013
In parts of the country where outdoor dining is only limited to a few months a year, “patio weather” is a big deal. Those in the Pacific Northwest, for example, relish in the few months when the drizzle peels away to reveal fair weather. We in Austin, on the other hand, dread the heat and worse, mosquitos. Fortunately, the Fall weather shift unveiled ideal conditions to wine and dine on the patio, from happy hour until last call. Austin's restaurants have long been taking advantage of patio season. Here are a few of my favourites: Olive & June is home to a multi-level patio that's suited for all occasions, from simply lounging to elegant private events. Shaded by large trees in the quaint Bryker Woods neighborhood, the patio is one of the best in the city to enjoy artisanal Italian fare and speciality cocktails. Like other establishments in town by Chef/Owner Shawn Cirkiel, Olive & June offers attractive happy hour specials featuring creative small plates & craft drinks. Benji’s, a relative newcomer is earning a lot of buzz for their upscale yet playful Tex Mex menu and dramatic architecture. During patio season, their spacious roof top draws an eclectic crowd. The open-air venue with water features overlooks West 6th street. This colorful oasis in the heart of downtown becomes hopping at night. The patio has its own bar so guests don't have to wait long for one of their fresh, seasonal margaritas. Tucked away at the W Hotel, Trace is an unassuming gem for kicking back. The relaxed atmosphere and comfy lounge seating makes this an excellent spot to people-watch. Guests can also enjoy their small bites happy hour menu and innovative, locally-sourced plates, all paired with regional spirits and wines. Live bands set the tone on Thursday evenings so don't miss out. Lively neighbourhood fixture, Contigo, is essentially one expansive patio with a covered section. The inviting outdoor space is great for restless kids and is also dog-friendly. Strings of lights above create an intimate mood when the sun sets. The kitchen dishes up innovative farm-focused plates using sustainable ingredients. They take their drinks seriously too, serving up thirst-quenching cocktails, wines, and a large selection of local craft brews. If we're summing up the best-of-the-best patios, it would be unjust to ignore The Oasis. This scenic hot spot overlooking Lake Travis is a longstanding go-to for visitors. While this hangout is not recognized for their casual cuisine, it's still undeniably one of the best locations to savor the sunset and live music on weekends.
BY: Melody Fury
Melody Fury is a cocktail and restaurant writer, and photographer that lives in East Austin. When not wielding her camera, she can be found shaking up a mean drink or shucking a few oysters.