Did you, like me, open the door this morning and start spinning like Julie Andrews amid the Austrian Alps? Houston, it is July and it is nice outside. We're talking temperatures in the low to mid 80s ... that's like the upper Midwest, y'all.
Since we have this glorious weather (until the weekend, apparently), there's only one thing to do: Head to the patios and drink booze.
So sing it like Julie: Here are a few of our favorite patios:
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Newly opened in the former Pax Americana space, this second location of Berg Hospitality Group's New York-style casual restaurant and bar has a very fern-friendly patio area. Enjoy B.B. Lemon's popular cheeseburger here, maybe with a bourbon drink like Time Will Tell.
Have small children but still need that 4:30 p.m. wine break? We're a firm believer in the expansive patio area at the City Centre location of this health-forward family restaurant. Grab a glass of white and watch the kiddies run around crazy on the City Centre turf. Then it's nap time!
Drive by this popular Mexican restaurant on even the hottest days and you'll find people sitting about its swanky patio. Why? Because the food and drinks are worth it. Head to Calle Onze for ceviche, fajitas, duck carnitas, and more than a few margaritas (we dig the papaya, which has more than a little kick from habanero).
With happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., and a pretty cool bar program, we're not sure why you're still reading this. Get $7 crispy wings, a selection of dips, and sliders with awesome cocktails ($6 at happy hour) like the Fords G&Tini or Frozen Forecast (a take on a Houston classic). Stay for dinner from chef Evelyn Garcia.
The Discovery Green restaurant has a great happy hour, 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, made for enjoying on its large, stylish patio space. Try pork belly nachos for $8, or two cheeses for $13, and get house wine for $5. Want to sip a margarita Wednesday in honor of National Tequila Day? $6, baby.
This Montrose newbie (in the old Brooklyn Athletic Club space) has a variety of frozen cocktails with very Houston names, from Slime in the Ice Machine to Be Someone. Pay tribute to Patrick Swayze with Pain Don't Hurt (Bacardi Gold, Bacardi Superior, passionfruit, blue curacao, orgeat, lime), then enjoy a burger or some salty meats.
Maybe we're cheating, since this is technically a beer garden, but who cares: Moon Tower is great. Get beautiful and sloppy burgers, or just some deviled eggs, along with a vast selection of local beer.
Every Union Kitchen location has outdoor dining, perfect for that post-tough-day big dinner of comforting crab cakes or—hell, why not—filet mignon. The newest Union Kitchen in Cypress has 130 seats on a patio overlooking Towne Lake, along with plenty of cocktails including frozen drinks.
You can pair Eight Row with neighboring Calle Onze for a happy hour patio crawl. Totally worth it, if only to sip one of Eight Row's many whiskeys, or maybe one of the bar's frozen drinks (we love their frosé) or carbonated cocktails. Also, $3 tacos and $3 select local beers during happy hour (2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday). Who wants to leave work early?
A patio ... downtown? Well, it's more like a really nice, bounded off section of tables and chairs, but you can sip a cocktail while sitting outside at the food hall. Grab a cocktail from upstairs Swallow's Nest, or order a beer from the hall's very solid beer selection, and pair it with grub from one of the dining concepts (Low Tide, anyone?).