Each week in Austin360, we offer a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: Eating outdoors. Summer has started, but before the triple digits set in, you should enjoy some dinners in the lovely warm Austin summer nights. These are a few of my favorite restaurants with outdoor seating. For more, visit austin360.com/thefeed and for more restaurants by category, head to austin360.com/AustinRestaurants.
(*This is not a comprehensive list. Don’t see one of your favorites below? Send me an email at email@example.com and I will add it to our online listings.)
Guide on the go
Take Matthew Odam’s 2013 Dining Guide — a list of his top 50 restaurants — with you by bookmarking Austin360.com/diningguide2013 on your smartphone or tablet.
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. 1305 W. Oltorf St. 512-298-2242, TheABGB.com. A casual, straightforward pizza-and-beer joint with plenty of outdoor seating.
Black Star Co-op. 7020 Easy Wind Drive. 512-452-2337, Blackstar.CoOp. The cooperatively owned brewpub offers a robust roster of house and guest beers, as well as a menu of thoughtfully crafted pub food, and outdoor seats near the Crestview Metro Rail station.
Blue Dahlia Bistro. 1115 E. 11th St. 512-542-9542, BlueDahliaBistro.com. The shady back patio is something of a secret garden; the menu, an ode to light French cuisine.
The Bonneville. 202 W. Cesar Chavez St. 512-428-4643, TheBonnevilleAustin.com. Despite being downtown, this spot can be hard to find. Attentive service and dishes like chicken under a brick make the discovery worth the search, and you can sit out front and view Lady Bird Lake.
Bouldin Creek Cafe. 1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, BouldinCreek.com. One of Austin’s true temples to vegetarian and vegan fare has a nice patio out front.
Botticelli’s. 1321 S. Congress Ave. 512-916-1315, botticellissouthcongress.com. Intimate Italian dining on bustling South Congress, with a patio out back for a relaxing glass of wine and maybe some tunes.
Clark’s. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-297-2525, ClarksOysterBar.com. This jewel-box oyster bar looks like it was snatched up from the Hamptons, dusted of sand, and placed in West Austin.
Contigo. 2027 Anchor Lane. 512-614-2260, ContigoTexas.com/Austin. All wood, leather and wrought iron, Contigo spills from its garage-sized interior bar to a massive outdoor seating area featuring long picnic tables.
Crown & Anchor Pub. 2911 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-322-9168, CrownAndAnchorPub.com. Cheeseburgers and beers on the patio are a campus-area tradition at this spot that’s been open since 1987.
Curra’s Grill. 614 E. Oltorf St. 512-444-0012, CurrasGrill.com. One of the early movers in Austin’s interior-Mexican cuisine scene, Curra’s has a wrap-around outdoor seating area.
Easy Tiger. 709 E. Sixth St. 512-614-4972, EasyTigerAustin.com. A bake shop, beer garden and outdoor oasis just on the fringe of Sixth Street’s shot bars.
East Side Show Room. 1100 E. Sixth St. 512-467-4280, EastSideShowRoom.com. The craft cocktail experts at this steampunk joint recently moved to a menu of small plates that you can enjoy on the small back patio.
Elizabeth Street Café. 1501 S. First St. 512-291-2881, ElizabethStreetCafe.com. This posh little spot dotted with outdoor tables serves Vietnamese classics made with quality ingredients.
Épicerie. 2307 Hancock Drive. 512-371-6840, EpicerieAustin.com. Chef Sarah McIntosh’s French café and grocery delivers well-constructed sandwiches and bistro dishes and a tranquil shaded outdoor seating area.
Fino. 2905 San Gabriel St. 512-474-2905, FinoAustin.com. Mediterranean flavors dominate the menu at this handsome restaurant that features a relaxing wrap-around patio, perfect for enjoying one of the restaurant’s solid cocktails.
Hula Hut. 3825 Lake Austin Blvd. 512-476-4852, hulahut.com. A little taste of the tropics on Lake Austin. Sit out on the lakeside bar or dine inside on dishes like fajitas with a sweet Polynesian plum sauce.
Licha’s Cantina. 1306 E. Sixth St. 512-480-5960, Facebook.com/lichasaustin. This venture from former Mettle general manager Daniel Brooks specializes in Mexican street-food such as huaraches and tacos.
Matt’s El Rancho. 2613 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-462-9333, MattsElRancho.com. A 61-year-old Austin institution offering Mexican food in a sprawling but welcoming space with a huge courtyard for al fresco dining and drinks.
Olive & June. 3411 Glenview Ave. 512-467-9898, oliveandjune-austin.com. Small plates, quality cocktails, very good pasta dishes and entrees at Shawn Cirkiel’s multi-tiered restaurant with multiple outdoor seating areas.
Pieous. 12005 U.S. 290 W. 512-394-7041, Facebook.com/Pieous. Family-owned and family-friendly pie place serves chewy Neapolitan pies and massive slices of pie, along with quality homemade pastrami.
Qui. 1600 E. Sixth St. 512-436-9626, quiaustin.com. Paul Qui’s eponymous restaurant features a large outdoor patio for cocktails and dining on Filipino-inspired small plates.
Salty Sow. 1917 Manor Road. 512-391-2337, SaltySow.com. Ranch-style dining at this sprawling restaurant includes homemade charcuterie, crispy chicken thighs and green eggs and ham.
Salvation Pizza. 624 W. 34th St. 512-535-0076, salvationpizza.com. Thin, crunchy Connecticut-style pizzas at this restaurant that features a large deck out front.
Shady Grove. 1624 Barton Springs Road. 512-474-9991, TheShadyGrove.com. The family-friendly restaurant amid a grove of pecan trees keeps the crowds coming in with green chile hamburgers, chicken fried steak and queso catfish.
Shoal Creek Saloon. 909 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-474-0805, shoalcreeksaloon.com. Who dat gonna serve you some Gulf oysters and a roast beef po’ boy on a creekside patio? You know who.
Takoba. 1411 E. Seventh St. 512-628-4466, TakobaRestaurant.com. Great happy hour deals and well-executed favorites such as torta de carnitas and pozole rojo make this restaurant with multiple outdoor seating areas a popular East Austin destination.
Winebelly. 519 W. Oltorf St. 512-487-1569, AustinWineBelly.com. This wine bar offers bar snacks as well as a menu of well-executed small plates such as fried quail and duck confit and a lovely back patio that can seat a few dozen.
Z’Tejas. Multiple locations. 512-478-5355, ztejas.com/locations.The original treehouse on West Sixth Street opened almost 25 years ago and built its reputation with Southwestern favorites like green chile pork nachos, red chile and mango steak salad and pepita-crusted chicken.