To Austinites, the act of sipping margaritas on a porch is serious business. It’s our way of life. With so much sunshine and dependably non-wintry weather, outdoor dining is one of the city’s biggest selling points. That we can happily say, “table for two on the patio please” in mid-February is probably the reason you moved here—or never moved away. April is the prime month for outdoor dining, so here are the five best outdoor spots to enjoy a cold beverage and a warm meal in Austin right now.
Designed after the owner’s family ranch in South Texas, the space at Contigo was designed to exist almost entirely outdoors, and features an upscale bar-food menu. Think ox tongue sliders instead of boring, soggy White Castle knockoffs, and a fancy twist on classics, like pigs in a blanket, chicken wings, and white bean dip with duck fat.
Located in the heart of SoCo, Perla’s is a wonderful spot for date night or a top-notch brunch. It’s also one of the best outdoor happy hour places in town. Stop by after work for deals on oysters and signature cocktails, like Perla’s Frozen Delight. If you can snag a table on the front porch, there’s also some incredible people-watching to be done.
Part bakery, part beer garden, Easy Tiger is easily Sixth Street’s most interesting outdoor bar. If you want breakfast and coffee with the morning sun, try pairing a café au lait with a pan au chocolat. It’s also perfect for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Start with a snack board, featuring two large soft pretzels, beer cheese, house mustard, beef jerky, and Chex mix, before moving on to a corned beef sandwich on a delicious house-baked baguette.
Don’t let the name fool you, Radio Coffee & Beer’s biggest draw might be the Veracruz food trailer parked right out front. Featuring an expansive beer list and an enormous, comfortable patio, head over for breakfast or lunch at the trailer for the freshest, tastiest tacos in town. Plus, every Monday night is bluegrass night, with live country music.
For a late night drink and meal under the stars, East Austin’s Justine’s is the best game in town. Also a magnificent date spot, this is where you go when the weather is nice and you feel like getting a little fancy. A bottle of champagne to split and some steak frites in the cool Austin breeze—it doesn’t get much better than that.
Above, from top: Contigo, courtesy M40 Photography; The porch at Perla’s, photo by Casey Dunn; Easy Tiger, photo courtesy Vanessa Escobedo Barba.