During the short but intense winters here in North Texas, many Dallasites dream of spending more time outside. Once temperatures begin to rise, area residents love to take advantage of the city’s extensive trails, parks and natural areas — not to mention attend all manner of open-air markets and festivals. But perhaps no warm-weather activity is more popular than sharing a meal or a drink on one of the city’s distinctive outdoor dining spaces. Whether you’re looking for a little weekday cheer or some weekend fun, you can’t go wrong with these downtown Dallas patios.
Savor Gastropub at Klyde Warren Park features an inventive seasonal menu curated by Executive Chef John Coleman. His unique take on summer cookout favorites like deviled eggs (with pepper relish and spiced pecan brittle), smoked brisket hash and caramel banana pudding taste even better on Savor’s stately modern patio. Designed to merge with the park and its natural elements, the patio transforms at sunset into a glittering canopy of light, offering nighttime views of downtown that render the dining experience even more magical.
Tortaco Meson Mescal’s open-air patio is a fine place to enjoy dinner before a show or to embark on afternoon tasting adventure into the world of artisanal cocktails. Tortaco’s take on traditional mescal features variations made with smoke, spice and a range of “ancient fruits and flowers.” Elegant specialties such as the roasted crab dip and tamarind port tortas compliment the stunning views of downtown’s Arts District. Tortaco is located at 2100 Ross, just a few blocks south of the Nasher Sculpture Center and in the shadow of both the Belo Mansion and the historic Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe.
Taqueria La Ventana’s two downtown locations (1611 McKinney, across from the Perot Museum; 920 South Harwood at the Dallas Farmer’s Market) are great places to grab a margarita and munch on some of the best chips and guacamole in town. The casual but festive vibe cultivated at each location creates a tranquil urban oasis you might have a hard time leaving. Weeknight happy hour is an excellent time to step away from the adjacent hubbub of Uptown and Deep Ellum and hang with the laid-back locals who gather on La Ventana’s patios to enjoy cold cervezas and delicious carnitas tacos.
Braindead Brewing’s impressive patio at 2625 Main isn’t exactly shabby chic, but it’s not conventionally upscale either. Picnic tables and benches line the brewpub’s wrap-around exterior patio, which is elevated just enough to keep you out of the sidewalk traffic while still allowing you to take in that grand form of impromptu street theater known as “people watching.” As if that weren’t lively enough, Braindead also brews more than twenty beers of its own, and from ales to porters. Their Biere De Mars, a peppery saison or farmhouse ale popular in the more torrid regions of France, makes for a perfect summer pint.
If you’re a brunch connoisseur who prefers your masterpieces be presented al fresco, the patio at Americano (1530 Main) is a must-visit destination. This Italian eatery next door to The Joule Hotel pairs mid-century modern design with an eclectic menu featuring pasta, pizza, frittatas and housemade Nutella-filled doughnuts. Americano also specializes in handcrafted brunch cocktails that highlight Mediterranean ingredients such as Campari, bergamot (sour orange) and fresh basil. Americano describes their patio as “flexible,” meaning lots of street-facing windows that make it a suitable dining area even on those late spring days when there’s still a chill in the air.
Of course, downtown Dallas is home to many more patios worth discovering. Luminous sunset vistas, close proximity to arts and cultural happenings, a terrific social scene, even a little serenity at the end of a long day: Dallas’ vibrant urban center has it all. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter to learn about the extraordinary experiences that downtown has to offer.