15 Reasons Montrose Is The Best Neighborhood In Houston For Drinking & Dining Outdoors
April showers might bring May flowers, but this month also brings plenty of perfect patio weather to Houston. Whether it’s relaxing after work with colleagues, finding a spot to hang out with your canine best friends (and a cold one) or organizing a refined weekend brunch, Montrose has every option covered, sometimes literally.
Best Bets For The Pups
Gratifi / 302 Fairview
The wrap-around patio at the restaurant and bar formerly known as Ziggy’s was a pioneer in the dog-friendly patio movement. They were the first official establishment to secure a Paws on Patios permit, which allows dogs on leashes to accompany their owners on local patios. They serve plenty of food and stock a full bar with an emphasis on Texas craft beer. Bonus: Food options include free meals for the four-legged set every Wednesday.
Barnaby’s / Multiple Locations
It’s only appropriate that a restaurant with a dog as its mascot would also be among the Montrose establishments where dogs on leashes are welcome outside. The local chain is known for down-to-earth plates of comfort food and healthy options, with locations at 602 Fairview (Baby Barnaby’s, which only serves breakfast), 604 Fairview (only serves lunch and dinner) and 1701 S. Shepherd (breakfast Tuesdays through Fridays, lunch and dinner every day).
Tila’s / 1111 S. Shepherd
Tequila and dogs go together…well, ok, so they don’t actually go together at all. However, humans over the age of 21 are more than welcome to come sip some tasty margaritas on the patio while hanging out with their beloved four-legged companions at this cheerful Mexican cafe.
Hugo’s / 1600 Westheimer
It’s a restaurant focused on authentic Mexican cuisine with a James Beard pedigree, but chef Hugo Ortega’s namesake welcomes pups of all kinds (on leashes) on its quiet, enclosed patio. No pedigree necessary.
Canopy / 3939 Montrose
This Montrose classic is a great spot to bring a canine date for lunch, dinner or brunch. Bring a snack for Buster while you chow down on favorites like quiche, BLT pizza, grass-fed beef burgers and more.
Starbucks / Multiple Locations
Yes, it’s true the infamous pair of Starbucks-across-the-street-from-a-Starbucks are dog-friendly. The best part? Both of them have secured a Paws on Patios permit, so there’s plenty of seating to choose from: 2050 W. Gray or 2029 W. Gray.
Scenic And Secluded
Backstreet / 1103 S. Shepherd
In the Hugo’s family of restaurants, Backstreet is a Houston favorite for fine dining. Always at the forefront of seasonal eats and drinks, it’s also home to one of the best courtyards in the city. It, too, is dog friendly.
Rosemont Social Club / 910 Westheimer
This upscale cocktail bar literally takes the patio to a new level — the second one. The rooftop bar is open-air, furnished with comfy cushions, secluded cabana areas and sports one of the best views found in the city.
Boheme / 307 Fairview
When it comes to laid-back outdoor options in the neighborhood, this is one of the best, and it’s got the awards to prove it. Boheme has one of the most extensive, comfortable patios in Houston, only made better by the soft glow of string lights and the swish of a gentle breeze on a spring evening.
El Pueblito Patio / 1423 Richmond
Transport yourself to a tropical vacation on this South American inspired patio. Key words here: Cabanas and cocktails. Many of the latter are served in hollowed out tropical fruits with tiny umbrellas to complete the getaway feeling of it all, with a Latin-American-inspired food menu to match.
Brasil / 2604 Dunlavy
A versatile cafe for a lazy mid-week coffee and breakfast or a hopping spot for a couple of Saturday evening brews, Brasil has tons of seating, including two separate outdoor spaces. It’s a neighborhood go-to when the weather falls in the sweet spot between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Al Fresco Perfection
Niko Niko’s / 2520 Montrose
Enjoying a plate of souzoukakia (divine Greek meatballs baked in tomato sauce and topped with feta) with a glass of Greek wine is made that much better by sitting outdoors on the surrounding patio at Niko Niko’s. Outside seating is also a great option for families with young children worried their little ones are too loud for a traditional dining room.
Empire Cafe / 1732 Westheimer
There’s something about enjoying a cup of coffee and a giant slice of cake in the open air that makes the rest of the world melt away. Empire has been a favorite of Houstonians for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, but becomes even more popular in mild weather due to their two outdoor seating areas.
Brooklyn Athletic Club / 601 Richmond
If you don’t sit outside when dining or drinking at Brooklyn Athletic Club, you’re missing out on all the action. Bocce courts, a putting green, croquet and more give meaning to the “Athletic” part of their moniker, though the food and cocktails are worth a visit unto themselves.
Doc’s Bar & Grill / 1303 Westheimer
A newcomer to the neighborhood, Doc’s brings an Austin concept to a Houston audience, and safe to say it’s working very well. Any given day or night you’ll find the wraparound outdoor seating area filled with folks enjoying better-than-average pub food, Texas craft beers and a laid-back environment. Even when seated inside, the icehouse-style building allows in plenty of fresh air and an al fresco vibe.