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  3. Where to find Austin’s best outdoor dining

Where to find Austin’s best outdoor dining

A photo of Red logo
by Claudia Alarcon and James Wong
Updated 09 May 2023

Austinites love the outdoors—residents flock to Zilker Park, the Lady Bird Lake trail, or Barton Springs the minute the sun is out. So it’s only fitting that Bat City also boasts a wealth of dazzling outdoor restaurants.

In South Austin, a bake shop and beer garden founded by a James Beard Awards nominee is a go-to for giant pretzels and top-notch brews on tap. A 200-year-old oak tree anchors the pretty outdoor dining area at an Italian gem in Central Austin. An inviting Parisian spot downtown serves bistro classics on a light-strung patio surrounded by plants.

There are plenty of warm and welcoming alfresco restaurants in Austin. Read on for a guide to the city’s 11 best outdoor dining setups to book now.

A photo of 1417 French Bistro restaurant
4.5
4.5 (972)
$31 to $50
French
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

This inviting neighborhood favorite just south of Downtown evokes a mid-century Parisian bistro, with a laid-back yet romantic vibe. Dig into French onion soup, escargot vol au vent, and poisson meunière—and a glass from the generous wine list—on a cozy patio surrounded by plants and string lights. Consider turning a regular Monday dinner into a special date night with 1417’s weekly steak frites special.


Top review
JoriF
Dined 1 day ago
I love 1417 French Bistro. The ambiance is amazing, the food is perfect, and service is wonderful.
A photo of Ciclo restaurant
4.5
4.5 (695)
$30 and under
Unspecified
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Seasonal Texan fare with Latin accents from renowned chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval shines at this elegant escape in the Four Seasons Austin. Ciclo (and its sibling bar, Live Oak) boast some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in town, with striking views of Lady Bird Lake and the famed Congress Avenue Bridge bats. Get the restaurant’s flambéed Texas wagyu tomahawk or filet mignon with chimichurri and Bordelaise sauce, which taste extra delicious on an outdoor table flanked by oak trees. Brunch is also beloved with dishes including huevos rancheros and blueberry and oatmeal-pecan pancakes.


Top review
NiomiC
Dined 2 days ago
This 4S may be my favorite one yet, definitely some of the best food I have had in a hotel in a long time! I could not have felt more welcome as a plant based eater and both the carnivorous and vegetarian options alike were prepared exquisitely, I look forward to dining there again this evening.
A photo of Bar Peached restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1382)
$30 and under
Asian
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Bar Peached serves pan-Asian favorites such as chile crab toast and mapo bolognese on a casual dog-friendly patio shaded by a heritage tree and surrounded by fans. Stay even cooler with a refreshing cocktail, such as the Paloma on draft and creative made-to-order drinks including the Beetlejuice, which combines tequila, beet, lime, and cilantro (say it three times or else it won’t appear). Locals know that Wednesday means Korean barbecue night, served on a sizzling platter with banchan, or traditional vegetable-forward accompaniments.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Great experience and service! They gave great recommendations about drinks and food and even let us test the margarita to make sure it wasn’t too spicy for us!!
A photo of Easy Tiger South Lamar restaurant
4.5
4.5 (31)
$30 and under
Beer Garden
South Austin

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

One of Austin’s most crowd-friendly patios is a beer garden and bake shop combo founded by James Beard Awards nominee David Norman. The sprawling South Lamar spot draws crowds for its covered terrace, indoor-outdoor space downstairs, and a tree-shaded dog park. The various backdrops are all ideal for getting together over a giant pretzel with salted whipped butter, one of 30 tap beer choices, and a postcard-perfect sunset panorama.


Top review
Tagles
Dined on 9 Feb 2024
I love this restaurant. The food is superb and I love that they have multiple seating arrangements to accommodate everyone.
A photo of Emmer & Rye restaurant
4.7
4.7 (3228)
$50 and over
American
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

New American fare is the draw at this acclaimed downtown Austin spot where plates frequently lean on locally grown ingredients and regional food traditions. On its pretty shaded patio, the restaurant serves a la carte and prix fixe menu options with dishes such as chicken thighs with pecan mole, okra, and green tomatoes. Get excited for dessert, crafted by Tavel Bristol-Joseph, one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2020.


Top review
LouiseN
Dined 4 days ago
Superlative evening with innovative, delicious dishes and caring, attentive service.
A photo of Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar restaurant
4.8
4.8 (3466)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Oysters are best slurped outdoors, and Perla’s serves them up under the sprawling Texas sky, beneath oak trees and twinkling lights along South Congress. Fish and oysters are flown in daily from both coasts, which means the lobster roll, seared fresh fish, or anything from the raw bar is a must-order.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Food and drinks were very good - oyster shooters and seafood tower. We were celebrating my wife birthday. Attentive service. Thanks Cassidy.
A photo of Kalimotxo restaurant
4.7
4.7 (305)
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

With soothing views of Shoal Creek, the patio at this Basque-inspired bar (another standout spot by the Emmer and Rye team) was made for grazing on pintxos, the small snacks typically eaten in bars across northern Spain. Pair the petite plates such as jamón Ibérico and pan con tomate with a range of sherry cocktails and curated Spanish wines—Kalimotxo’s pitchers, traditional Spanish porróns, are specially designed for pouring directly into your mouth.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on 3 Feb 2024
Love this place! The environment, food and the staff for my opinion is great is you would like hanging out without something formalities.
A photo of Steiner Ranch Steakhouse restaurant
4.7
4.7 (5656)
$50 and over
Steak
Northwest

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Score some of Texas’s finest meats at Steiner Ranch in Northwest Austin, complete with steakhouse favorites such as ribeye and lobster mac and cheese. The patio here, which sometimes becomes the backdrop for live music performances, also offers a stunning lake view to pair with a delicious glass of red from the extensive wine collection.


Top review
DonS
Dined 1 day ago
The food is really tasty. Nice atmosphere, good service. Only downside is the prices, which are quite high -- especially for wine.
A photo of La Condesa restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2092)
$30 and under
Mexican
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

The modern Mexican menu at this James Beard Award-nominated restaurant is one reason to head to La Condesa—but so is the prime people-watching from its buzzy West Second patio. Snack on sikil pak (pumpkin seed dip) or short-rib quesadillas for a sampling of what’s made this a culinary destination since 2009. If you’re looking for a creative drink, check out the craft cocktail list for a cool afternoon treat or a satisfying nightcap.


Top review
AndreaMvip
Dined 5 days ago
The food is delicious and beautifully plated. The entrees are expensive. It is great for special occasions. The service is very good.
A photo of Roaring Fork - North Austin, Stonelake restaurant
4.6
4.6 (4794)
$31 to $50
American
Arboretum

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Lake views from the open-air patio make Roaring Fork a year-round outdoor dining favorite. As does the exquisite wood-fired fare. The grilled steak—a nod to Southwestern cowboy cooking—is the star of the show. But stellar entrees such as blackened redfish and rotisserie chicken with cornbread stuffing ensure there’s no wrong way to enjoy an evening under the live oak trees, especially if you end with warm pecan pie topped with butter pecan ice cream for dessert.


Top review
KarenG
Dined 2 days ago
The food was prompt and great! Our service with Sarah was exceptional!
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