All hail the patio: the best way to savor the season’s cooler temps while following social-distancing guidelines.
The swanky open-air terrace at The Annie Cafe & Bar offers stellar views of the city.
Touting a spacious, elegant terrace overlooking the posh Galleria area, this upscale eatery is ideal for a girls’ night out or a romantic date night. The restaurant, formerly known as Cafe Annie & Bar, is the vision of restaurateur Benjamin Berg and executive chef Robert Del Grande. The revamped resto specializes in Texas-influenced American cuisine, with hearty appetizers and happy hour specials perfect for patio dining. 1800 Post Oak Blvd., Ste. 6170, 713.804.1800, theanniehouston.com
Another standout from Berg Hospitality Group, B.B. Italia is home to a quaint but well-appointed patio, complete with umbrellas for maximum shade. The casual Italian American joint is known for its made-from-scratch pasta dishes, such as the short rib-stuffed Grandma’s ravioli, the seafood-heavy frutta di mare and the 20-layer lasagna. For alfresco appetizers, try the whipped ricotta or the antipasto board. 14795 Memorial Drive, 281.531.0696, bbitaliakitchen.com
B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar features a casual patio perfect for socially distant dining.
3. Fig & Olive
While the outdoor dining area may be called the Rosé Terrace, patrons can sip on any beverage they choose. This buzzy Galleria concept features an all-day tasting menu—ideal for sharing a postshopping snack on the patio. Highlighting Mediterranean flavors and seasonal ingredients, the menu ranges from starters like burrata crostini and charred octopus to heavier entrees such as truffle risotto and lamb burgers. 5115 Westheimer Road, Ste. C2500, 832.632.6632, figandolive.com
Nestled in the Museum District, this Houston mainstay is chock-full of Southern charm. The restaurant’s namesake, Lucille B. Smith, was a culinary trailblazer in the early aughts, and just so happens to be the great-grandmother of founders Chris and Ben Williams. The restaurant pays homage to Lucille through its menu, which replicates many of her classic recipes. Savor some fried green tomatoes or chili biscuits on the garden patio. 5512 La Branch St., 713.568.2505, lucilleshouston.com
The Rosé Terrace at Fig & Olive is ideal for sipping vino after a shopping spree.
To increase outdoor eating options during the pandemic, One Fifth launched the Lexus Patio, in partnership with the luxury car brand. Shaded tables provide the ideal atmosphere for enjoying the fifth and final installment of Chris Shepherd’s rotating-restaurant concept. For his latest iteration, Shepherd showcases the flavors of the eastern Mediterranean and northern Africa. The Montrose eatery’s current menu includes a variety of dips, spreads and salads, as well as meats and veggies cooked al ha’esh (on the fire). 1658 Westheimer Road, 713.955.1024, onefifthhouston.com
6. Ouzo Bay
Dressed in calming neutrals and shades of blue, the outdoor space at Ouzo Bay aims to replicate the serene beauty found in the Greek islands. And while the setting isn’t quite Santorini, the patio does set the scene for indulging in Greek-inspired fare. At this River Oaks resto, fresh fish is flown in daily from around the globe. Vino lovers will particularly appreciate Ouzo Bay’s comprehensive Greek wine list, while foodies will relish the lamb shanks, grilled octopus and Aegean branzino. 4444 Westheimer Road, Ste. G130, 832.430.6610, ouzobay.com
The covered patio at Ouzo Bay offers just the right amount of shade.
This Montrose gem debuted last summer to great success, touting wood-grilled pizzas and wine in a chic yet laid-back atmosphere. And while the resto’s adorable interiors are indeed worth a mention, it’s Rosie’s newly expanded patio offerings that have us excited. This summer, the eatery curated a special menu for the Spritz Patio, with selections including fritto misto, arancini Milanese and shrimp rolls. Peep the Euro-centric wine list, or go for the Venetian spritz if you’re feeling festive. 1620 Westheimer Road, 832.380.2471, rosiecannonball.com
Named after the popular variety of potted trees, Tiny Boxwoods was built next door to Thompson + Hanson, a River Oaks nursery. A decade later and the airy garden cafe is still a Houston hot spot, particularly when it comes to weekend brunch. Salads, sandwiches and charcuterie boards are available for brunch and lunch, with plenty of classic cocktails and wines to choose from as well. While reservations aren’t required, we highly recommend making them, as Tinys always draws a crowd. 3614 W. Alabama St., 713.622.4224, tinyboxwoods.com
Photography by: from top, photos: by Jenn Duncan; by Fulton Davenport; courtesy of Fig & Olive; courtesy of Ouzo Bay