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Dine Downtown: Patio Season

by Victoria Reid    April 29, 2021

The sun is shining; birds are chirping — you know what that means? Time to hit the patios! One of the best perks of living in a subtropical climate is the plethora of patio days each year provides. Picture this: you and the squad basking in the sun [under an umbrella, of course] drinks in hand and food covering the table. Ready to make it a reality? So are we.

This Spanish-inspired tapas spot in the Historic District has one of the largest patios in Downtown, making it one of our favorite places to spread out and enjoy an evening of good weather. Batanga’s patio has the classic string light ambience, heightened by a canopy of multi-colored umbrellas—easily one of the most Instagrammable spots in the ‘hood. We’ll share a little secret with you… their patio, menu and outdoor bar just got a huge makeover, so this is where we’ll be sipping sangria this spring. Come join us.
Perfect Patio Pairing: A glass of Spanish White Wine & Paella

El Big Bad
Since every hour is margarita hour here, it should come as no surprise that this award-winning kitchen and bar also has a killer outdoor space to sip the array of cocktails their bartenders mix up. The massive, elevated wrap-around balcony at El Big Bad features lounge areas, colorful walls, a picturesque view of the oldest neighborhood in DTHOU and a cheeky, taco-centric mural to document your rita-filled days.
Perfect Patio Pairing: Don Julio Rita & Chicken Tinga Tacos

The Grove
Overlooking the breathtaking greenspace that is Discovery Green, this treehouse-inspired restaurant takes you back to the tree-climbing days of your childhood. A seat on the first floor offers an incredible view of mature live oaks, while the private event space on the second floor makes you feel like you're floating on the tree tops. Head here the next time you’re looking to enjoy happy hour on a sun-protected patio. It takes place Tuesday through Saturday from 1 PM to 5 PM.
Perfect Patio Pairing: A glass of Sauv Blanc & Oysters on the half shell

The Nash
Don’t let The Nash’s laid-back atmosphere discourage you, they’ve brought out the big guns when it comes to dining on the patio. Located in the historic Star [aka the former Texaco Building], this newcomer to the dining scene had us dreaming of patio weather from day one. A barrel-vaulted arcade runs along the restaurant’s southern side and we’ll be the first to say — many glasses will be shared in this space over the next few months.
Perfect Patio Pairing: Prickly Rose & Margherita Pizza

Osso & Kristalla
The Ballpark District locale of this modern Italian concept boasts a spectacular sidewalk setup perfect for a pre-game happy hour, #SundayFunday or casual date night. Sitting just steps away from Minute Maid Park [and owned by ‘Stros Chairman Jim Crane], the casual vibe of this trattoria makes for a playful space to nosh on a menu full of pizzazz and feed off the energy of those headed into the stadium. Do yourself a favor and visit on game day. Between the calabrese wings and the can’t-beat drink specials, you’ll be happy you made the trip.
Perfect Patio Pairing: Mojito Italiano, Calamari Fritta & Black Truffle Fries

The Rustic
For a go-big-or-go-home kind of day, The Rustic is the place to be. Complete with cornhole boards, the expansive patio at this Texas-centric restaurant takes enjoying good food and good drinks to a whole new level. Often the venue for one of the eatery’s many must-attend themed events, the outdoor space is an impressive option to meet up with friends or to safely get your fix of live music.
Perfect Patio Pairing: Rustic Water of your choice & Messy Jessy

Saint Arnold
Bocce ball, cornhole and a view? Check, check and check! While Saint Arnold may be synonymous with local beer, the brewing company’s outpost has long been a go-to spot for some fun [and food] in the sun. Decked out with string lights, ample seating and one of the best views in town, the Beer Garden is one of our favorite spots to kick back with a cold one at a table full of our best pals — four-legged ones included.
Perfect Patio Pairing: Comeback Wit & Mucho Meatcho


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