Good Outdoor, Al Fresco, and/or Patio Dining Experiences?
The weather in Austin is so lovely for most of the year, I thought it would be useful for the CH community to compile a list of places(restaurants, bars, coffee shops) with outdoor seating. The food should, of course, be good (if not great!), but the focus here is really on the outdoor experience. If you are so inclined, details about the outdoor setting (casual, classy? plastic chairs? covered? live music? heat lamps?) and why you particularly like the place, as well as tips on the food, would be greatly appreciated!
-Vivo: Beautiful patio with lush landscaping and waterfall. Known for their puffy tacos; my meal was forgettable, however - so not bad, not great.
-El Chile: Casual covered outdoor patio; plastic chairs, each draped with a Mexican blanket (which I appreciated when the night got breezy). Solid Tex-Mex fare.
-Shady Grove: Large and largely uncovered patio area with lovely oak trees; nice and shady ;-) If I remember right, they have live music outside at times as well. Decent burgers and American food with a southwest twist.
-Maudie's Milagro in Westlake: Lovely second-floor covered wooden deck seating with wood-burning fireplace (I doubt they light it in the summer months.) Decent Tex-Mex.
-Bess Bistro: Haven't actually eaten on the patio, but met a friend at the bar and saw the patio on the way in. Wooden deck, heat lamps, strings of tiny white lights - the effect was very pleasant. Hope to go back soon and experience it fully.
I know there are tons more out there, so please, fellow 'hounds - fill in the blanks! :-)
Mansion at Judges Hill has a great front porch for coffee and dessert. Trio at the 4 Seasons has without a doubt the best view in the from their patio(BTW, their hamburger is a real winner). Billy's on Burnet has a deck but not too interesting , Russel's bakery next to Andersons coffee (forget the street name) has an outdooor with a canopy.
The lunch menu is limited to soup, sandwiches and salads. We stopped there for lunch on Saturday. The soups of the day were tomato bisque and chicken enchildada. I had the bisque and enjoyed it, along with half a sandwich. Everything was nice and fresh. I don't know if the lunch and dinner menus are the same.
Freddie's - casual, but oh so much fun. The food is pretty blah, but their queso and ice cold Lone Stars stand out.
Sampaio's on 45th has a nice quaint patio. Reviews on the food vary here, but i like the coffee crusted pork tenderloin, their salads, and anything with chimichurri on it.
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Iron Cactus in the Galleria Mall
McCormick & Schmicks in the Domain
Waterloo Ice House