A quick list of my personal favorite patios across DFW to enjoy a drink & a nice spring day or evening. If yours didn’t make the list, add it in a comment. Don’t forget to share. 🙂
Addison – Blackfinn American Saloon
The epitome of N. Dallas people-watching. Drinks can be super-cheap when it’s happy hour or when they have a special. It can get a little wild and borderline raunchy on occasion if you stay late on a weekend night. Being of the more mature set, I tend to enjoy my time there during the week, and usually leave before 9pm. Also a good bet if you’re booking a group event.
Bedford – Boomer Jack’s/Duke’s Roadhouse
This is a two for one – they are right next door to each other. Sports bar/biker joint/, AND a great place to get an eyeful of beefcake on occasion. The proximity to DFW Airport, Softball World in Euless and Bell Helicopter make it a good choice for the working and sporting man. They might be watching the cute bartendress instead of my cougar azz, but it’s fun to watch him watching her. She also pours a great beer.
Plano – Sambuca 360
Here’s one for the N. Dallas snooty crowd! This prime location in Shops at Legacy never fails to draw a very interesting set of citified folks. The insistently straight men have no qualms about wearing glittery t-shirts and fashion jeans. If you can tolerate the self tanner and hair gel, and more over, the high prices – I swear you will be entertained for hours.
Fort Worth – Tie: Joe T. Garcia’s and Flips Patio Grill
Best place for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon lunch with your latest beau from Match.com. Especially if he claims to be new to the area (emphasis on claims). He will thoroughly appreciate the killer margaritas and reasonable prices. The line can get super long on NASCAR or Stock Show weekends. Lots of youngsters from TCU tend to show up sometimes in loud obnoxious groups. The standard cop-at-the-door usually keeps them in check. Bring cash. They still don’t take credit cards.
North Fort Worth was dying for something like Flips, and the happy hour crowd proves it. In spite of the difficulty some people have just getting to the parking lot (just look for Ghingis Grill – it’s BEHIND it) this place gets packed every time I go. It’s a fairly mixed crowd but I’ve noticed a mostly 25ish – 35ish age range lately. The chips and salsa are nice, and the margaritas are ok, but the dude mixing the well drinks is a saint. I’ve always liked how they don’t short change you. And the prices are super-reasonable. And the misters and fans will keep you cool.
Southlake – Tie: Brio and Coal Vine’s in Southlake Town Square
Brio has probably the friendliest bartenders that I’ve experienced, the ambiance is super-sweet with big velvet curtains, and the people watching is superb. The patio looks out onto a huge courtyard, and you’ll see lots of foot traffic between there and the movie theater and book store. Try the Moscato, if you’re into the fruity wines.
Coal Vines’ roof-top patio is an excellent hangout to see the best and worst of Southlake; everybody wants to be there. Go early, and hold tight to your table. Other patrons can get grabby with seating once the crowd comes in. They sometimes have a guy or a duet on a guitar in the corner. That can be pretty fun.
Grapevine – Tie: Wilhoites and Glass Cactus
The patio at Wilhoites is mostly in the shade all of the time, and absolute must in the Texas summer. Sunday afternoons are perfect for biker-gazing. They love their local regulars, which can range from the biker to the sunday-after-church set. If you’re a foreign tourist, the regulars will find you pretty fascinating. Wilhoites has been there for years and years, and the bartender has been the exact same guy since I can remember. He and the staff are not particularly friendly or accommodating, but it’s still a great place to check out the locals.
The Glass Cactus is what I like to call “Swanky” in a very Dallas-type of way. It’s pricier than just about any other place on this list, but here’s why it made it: There are two HUGE decks on both first and second floor right on the edge of Grapevine Lake, and the sunsets over the water can be downright spectacular. Drinks are not only pricey but sometimes watered down, but you’re going more for atmosphere than anything here. Note: If one of a few very popular local bands are playing on the night you go, there will be no available seating unless you pay through the nose or know somebody – I think guests of the Gaylord Resort (they share the same premises) can get reserved tables at no extra cost though.