Austin is synonymous with breakfast tacos, watering holes (for drinking or swimming) and an obsession with patios. Triple-digit temperatures may slow us down, but never stop us from rounding up human and furry troops for ice-cold local craft beers, juicy burgers, ooey-gooey queso and the simple pleasures of fresh air, friends and frosés. Get in on the goodness at one of Austin’s best (and locals-approved) patio bars.
Courtesy of Banger's.
The universal appeal of their German-inspired comfort food and a jaw-dropping selection of over 120 beers has earned Banger's the honor of being Rainey Street’s most bumpin’ venue. Channel Oktoberfest any month of the year. Bbring your crew to the massive dog-friendly patio and grab a seat at one of the many communal tables for a beer-drinking, sausage-eating good time.
When you’re craving a chill patio destination as much as you’re craving margaritas and micheladas, La Holly is the obvious choice. The east side cantina has an ample patio (with plenty of fans!), a solid cocktail menu, a curated selection of mezcals and a taco truck courtesy of Taco Flats.
Lefty's Brick Bar. Credit Brittany Bosworth
Grab a frozen cocktail and a “sammich” at Lefty’s Brick Bar, the laid-back, street-level patio bar in the heart of East Sixth Street. Lefty’s is completely open-air, so your happy hour hangs just might turn into stargazing and sips.
Kitty Cohen’s is the east side patio bar that drips with '60s-era Palm Springs retro-cool, from the flamingo wallpaper to the dipping pool and tropical plant perimeter. Enjoy a frosty frosé, a Dreamsicle or a Frozen Swirl combo of them both. Add a floater for extra oomph.
Courtesy of Scholz Garten.
For a taste of old school Austin, head to a German Biergarten and local institution, Scholz Garten. Established in 1866 as a meeting place for Austin’s German community, Scholz Garten is also a hotspot for politicos and a favorite gathering place for University of Texas at Austin football fans.
In the mood for tasty craft beer and a killer burger? Then head to the patio at Hold Out Brewing, from the folks behind Austin favorites, Better Half, Wright Brother’s Brew & Brew and Little Brother Bar. Try the house beer, a crisp pale ale or dark lager.
Central Machine Works Beer Hall. Credit Jenna Krackenberger.
Central Machine Works, a hip east side brewery, beer garden and live music venue, is a sprawling space with lots (and lots) of indoor and patio seating. Forged from the bones of a former machine shop, Central Machine Works is a conversation piece as well as home to one of the best patios in town.
Whether your go-to cocktail is a 14-ingredient work of art or a Tito’s-and-Topo, Whisler’s is a top pick for cocktails and people-watching on the patio. Whisler’s has a prime location in Austin’s uber-hip east side but it’s the talented bar staff (who painstakingly develop cocktail menus seasonally) who are the real stars.
Idle Hands is bringing all the island vibes to Rainey Street, slinging Caribbean- and Latin American-inspired cocktails made to classic standards. Sip on a boozy Idle Paloma, Painkiller or Mezcal Old Fashioned on the spacious string light-illuminated patio complete with retro hanging chairs.
Along popular East Sixth Street, Zilker Brewing Co.'s helpful beertenders serve their popular mainstay craft brews—IPAs, lagers and stouts—and a lineup of seasonal flavors. Sit at a picnic table on the end of the shaded patio, or sip your beer in the taproom. Love their brews? Buy a four- or six-pack to take home.
Looking for more ways to hang al fresco? Check out our guide to outdoor concert venues in town.