One of the best things about the North Texas climate is that it’s hospitable to al fresco dining over several seasons. Many of Fort Worth’s restaurants have modified the environments on their respective outdoor spaces to make them usable almost year-round. Here’s a baker’s dozen of our favorite patios you should visit before summer hits us!
It’s not unusual for a restaurant to have a patio. What’s unusual at America Gardens near Crockett Row is that most of the restaurant is the patio, complete with life-size Jenga, ping pong tables, and other backyard games. Weekday lunch specials that run right into happy hour make this an attractive place to kick back. As a side note, AG welcomes well-behaved pupsters with their humans, and my rescue dog Hank was treated like the goodest boy he is!
The national chain restaurant in WestBend is well on its way to celebrating endless summer on the patio. A seemingly infinite list of taco and fresh and tasty tapas options and cocktails will dazzle you. Bartaco also uses their patio space for good: their episodic Yoga Now, Tacos Later workshops with neighboring CorePower Yoga will have you floating like a dragonfly in no time.
Bird boasts an enviable 2,300 feet of patio space overlooking the goings on in Sundance Square Plaza. The fully covered patio downstairs will shelter you from rain, but the upstairs balcony off the dining area is where you’ll get the full on glamour of Bird Café under the stars. There’s a cozy circular fire pit with sofa-like seating and a few high-topped tables – everything you’ll need to make a comfy nest.
Branch & Bird
Formerly known as Perch, the restaurant at the Sky Lobby level of the Frost Tower building has a commanding view of most of downtown Fort Worth. Whether you’re in for the petite breakfast menu at sunrise, lunch, happy hour or dinner, you’ll find yourself captivated by this high rise view.
Coffee? Tea? Beer? Wine? Brewed on Magnolia Avenue has all the above, along with breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. The outside fire pit with a semi-circle of seating and nearby picnic-style tables is the perfect place to eat, drink or gather. Happy hour runs weekdays from 3-6 p.m.
HG Sply Co.
The clean-eating restaurant in WestBend is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, carnivores, and people with dietary issues like allergies to gluten. It’s rare that a place really offers something for everyone. The comfortable patio overlooks the Trinity river, and like neighboring Bartaco, HG Sply episodically offers yoga before brunch.
Joe T. Garcia’s
The original mom-n-pop restaurant on the Northside has been a staple in Fort Worth for eight decades, and the extensive outdoor patio gardens are one of the highlights we usually like to show our out-of-town guests. Go in the evening for family-style service or grab lunch or Sunday brunch where everyone can order off the menu. Just remember, they don’t take credit cards, but Joe T.’s may be the last place in town that will honor your check!
Felipe Armenta’s restaurant on the Trailhead in Clearfork has dazzled food critics both locally and state-wide. But the best feature of the third in Armenta’s chain of four eateries is the wide open outdoor space. Three fire pits and a plethora of large standing heaters combine on the huge ground-level patio to ensure relative comfort almost any day of the year. Between the twinkly lights strung from the building and the weathered wood tables and chairs, this outdoor space brings the Texas Hill Country to mind.
The terraced decks at the multi-level stalwart in Sundance Square provide what’s arguably the best view of downtown Fort Worth, from multiple angles. Heaters hang under the covered part of the Sunset Deck and there are stand up patio heaters located throughout the rest of the outside space, so you can pretty much enjoy your legendary Texas cuisine year-round. As an added bonus, the funky, fun Dome provides a climate-controlled way to enjoy indoor dining outdoors. Unless there’s a party, you can reserve a table on weekends.
You’ve probably visited Curly’s Frozen Custard on Camp Bowie sometime in the past two decades. Owner Bourke Harvey’s branched out near University Village, with a new restaurant that honors Fort Worth’s long affiliation with the railroad. Wooden picnic benches shaded by umbrellas and twinkly lights make the outdoor space both usable and beautiful.
Salsa Limon Distrito
Part of the charm of Salsita is that the Ramirez siblings seem to know just where to put their brick and mortar locations. The River District is the perfect backdrop for the patio, where you can enjoy Mexico City-style tacos al fresco at picnic tables. Some tables have shade, and the outside is adorned with twinkly lights.
Winslow’s Wine Café
Before the proliferation of wine bars on Magnolia Avenue, there was Winslow’s, the small restaurant/wine retailer in an old gas station named for the co-owner’s blue heeler dog. The tabletop fire pits on the patio pair well with dinner, wine or brunch! Join the wine club and get discounts on bottles consumed on the patio, in the restaurant, or for take-out.
Tim Love’s little ‘shed on the Trinity has several real wood-burning fireplaces outdoors on the patio facing the river, augmented by a handful of electric heaters. The back porch includes its own bar. The gravel areas are specifically dog-friendly –– there’s even a fancy (albeit limited) menu for your pooch.