Best Outdoor Patio San Antonio

The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Venues in San Antonio

Whether it’s trying the new fancy place in town or returning to your favorite hole-in-the-wall, dining out is a favorite pastime for many of us.  And when “dining out” literally means dining out – as in dining outside, so much the better, right?  Enjoying an hour or two with friends on an inviting outdoor patio in San Antonio, Texas, is time well-spent.

The 5 best outdoor patio venues in San Antonio are:

  • Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen
  • Friendly Spot Ice House
  • Bier Garten Riverwalk
  • Pharm Table
  • Boudro’s Texas Bistro

So, if you’re visiting San Antonio or live there year-round, read on to discover more about these 5 outdoor spots where you can hang out with friends and family, maybe grab a bite to eat, and even listen to some tunes.

What Makes a Great Outdoor Patio Venue?

We’ve all seen restaurants with sad little outdoor areas, a few tables chained down to the floor, and leaves piled up in the corners.  Nobody wants to sit out there, and it’s pretty obvious nobody ever does.  But you can tell when a venue is on board with allowing, even encouraging, its patrons to enjoy dining alfresco.  Those outdoor patios have “the look” and simply beg to be used. 

What is “the look”?  Sometimes it’s hard to pin down just what makes a space so inviting, but there are a few things that let us know this outdoor area is for real.  Not every patio will have everything on the list, of course, but they’ll have enough to grab your attention.

  • Unique aesthetic: The outdoor area reflects the feel of the whole venue.  It could be traditional, quirky, rustic, or cottagey, for example.
  • Plenty of seating: Seating will accommodate several parties at once, but still not feel crowded.
  • Well-maintained furniture: Tables and chairs will complement each other and be in good condition.  Some outdoor venues use picnic tables to create a super casual vibe.
  • Lights and temperature controls: Lights always add a cozy ambiance and allow patrons to linger late into the night.  Fans and heaters keep the outdoor temps at bay.
  • Covered area: At least some of the outdoor patio area is covered to provide patrons a place to escape sun or rain.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment might be as simple as piped in music, but may include live music as a primary draw.
  • Enclosed area: For safety reasons, a good outdoor patio will be enclosed in some way.  Brick planters, fences, and shrubbery can all be used to establish boundaries.

Food and drink:  Having excellent food and drink selections is what dining alfresco is all about and it’s a guaranteed way to be known as one of the best outdoor venues around.  

The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Venues in San Antonio

San Antonio boasts plenty of venues with great outdoor spaces that beckon patrons to stop in and enjoy their unique character.  The Riverwalk area is known for outdoor dining and entertainment and is a mecca for visitors and locals alike.  Additional outdoor patio venues can be found beyond the Riverwalk too.

Elsewhere Garden Bar and Kitchen

Located at 103 E. Jones Avenue along the river, Elsewhere Garden Bar boasts a large outdoor area overlooking the Riverwalk, making it  a fun place to grab a bite of comfort food.

Porch swings, hammocks, cornhole, a giant Connect4 game, and scattered board games offer patrons a reason to hang out and relax for a while.  The usual bar food and nice selection of beer rounds out the offerings.

Google – 4.4 stars

TripAdvisor – 4.5 stars

Friendly Spot Ice House

Described by one TripAdvisor reviewer as being “like hanging out in someone’s backyard,” Friendly Spot Ice House is a casual place with an awesome outdoor area, even a playground for the kids.  The location at 943 S. Alamo Street, about a 17-minute walk from The Alamo, is a great place to quench your thirst and take a load off during a day of sightseeing.

With 300 bottled or canned brews and 76 on tap, you’ll be sure to find something you like here.  Colorful metal lawn chairs, eclectic signage and an inflatable movie screen with nightly showings give Friendly Spot a unique vibe. 

Google – 4.4 stars

TripAdvisor – 4.5 star

Bier Garten Riverwalk

Just a 3-minute walk along the river from The Alamo, Bier Garten on the Riverwalk combines the two places that San Antonio is known for.  Its big patio with bright blue umbrellas shading the tables draws you in with its cozy Southwestern ambiance.  Lights, heaters, and live oak trees keep patrons comfortable in any weather.

Known for their Bavarian pretzels and German beer, Bier Garten’s outdoor patio overlooks the river with its soothing sounds of water flowing by.  Big screens and live entertainment create an inviting atmosphere every day of the week.

Google – 4.4 stars

TripAdvisor – 4.0 stars

Pharm Table

While it’s not located directly on the Riverwalk, Pharm Table, at 611 S. Presa St. Suite 106, is just less than a mile from the area and offers fine dining outdoors.  They call themselves an “Apothecary Kitchen” and offer locally sourced food with a global influence.

Elegant food is highlighted by the upscale atmosphere of the outdoor seating area.  White umbrellas cover an array of four-tops and chairs are casually draped with Southwestern-themed blankets for patron use.  Reservations are strongly recommended.

Google – 4.5 stars

TripAdvisor – 4.0 stars

Boudro’s Texas Bistro

Since 1986, Boudro’s Texas Bistro has been drawing customers in with its inviting patio seating on the Riverwalk level at E. Commerce Street.  Red table umbrellas complement the restaurant’s South Texas cuisine infused with a worldly flair.

Covered seating areas, heaters and warm lighting make this outdoor patio one of the best on the Riverwalk.  You’ll embrace a San Antonio tradition and make a lasting memory when you dine al fresco at Boudro’s.  

Google – 4.4 stars

TripAdvisor – 4.5 stars

Final Thoughts

Patio dining is the thing on San Antonio’s Riverwalk but that’s not the only place you can find a cool vibe outside.  If you’re ever in San Antonio, be sure to check out one, or all, of these five outdoor patio venues. Dive more into our guide on average price of deck construction to compare and find best deal.