Houston’s Best Places to Eat Outside in 2021

Top Water Grill in San Leon

Nothing beats a cold drink and a great patio in summer!  In Houston, we have our fair share of terrific ways to eat outside.  From Tex-Mex to Burgers, seafood or home cooking, here’s 10 of our favorites!

1.  Papas on the Lake, Montgomery

Located North of Houston in Conroe, this fun restaurant is worth the drive!  Great food (I love their muffeletas) served lakeside, with a sand volleyball court and a waterfall area for kids and a pool for those 21 and over! 

Dog Friendly = Nope

The Don'Key Tex Mex Restaurant in Pasadena, Texas

2.  The Don’key, Pasadena

I’m a Pasadena girl, so I may be biased, but I love this fun little Tex-Mex restaurant!  Grab a table on the patio, a skillet of hot fajitas, a Don’keyrita and a designated driver! 

Dog Friendly = Nope

Gilhooley's in San Leon Texas

3. Gilhooley’s, San Leon

We seldom get to go out to eat without the kids, so Gilhooley’s 18 and over policy seriously limits our visits here, but it makes enjoying their grilled Oysters Shrimphooleys so much sweeter when we do! Also, seriously the Best Spicy Margarita I’ve ever had! Live music and a very, very laid back vibe.

4. Cedar Creek Cafe, Houston

I love the Heights Neighborhood, and this fun, outdoor restaurant offers a huge dining area, great burgers, and a creek where the kids can watch the fish and play! 

Dog Friendly = Yes!

5.  LaGrange, Houston

This fun outdoor restaurant offers coastal Mexican fare.

Dog Friendly = No

Top Water Grill in San Leon

6.  Top Water Grill, San Leon

Possibly my favorite seafood restaurant in the Houston Bay Area, we love Top Water Grill’s food, but the outdoor swinging tables, and resident pelicans who pose while you eat, are wonderful! 

Dog Friendly = Yes

7Flying Dutchman, Kemah Boardwalk

There’s no shortage of restaurants on the Kemah Boardwalk, but the Flying Dutchman is my favorite, with a great view of the water and boardwalk, plus a terrific menu!  My go-to is their Oysters Chimichurri and Fried Shrimp, while my husband loves the Coconut Shrimp with plum ginger sauce, followed by their Tropical Kemah Lime Pie with coconut whipped cream, mango compote and fresh blackberries!  Part of the Landry’s restaurants, check into a Landry’s Select Membership, which gives you rewards when you visit.

Dog Friendly = No

hubcap grill

8.  Hubcap Grill, The Heights

I love the Hubcap Grill’s location in the Heights, which is unfortunate because it’s just around the corner from Cedar Creek, our family favorite!  Luckily, the Hubcap also has locations in Downtown Houston, Galveston, Seabrook and out by Bush Airport!  I always stick with the Hubcap Cheeseburger, but my kids rotate between the Triple-Heart Clogger and the Sticky Monkey Burger, with 1/3 lb. beef patty, bacon, crunchy peanut butter, American cheese and grilled bananas! 

Dog Friendly = Yes

9Brenner’s on the Bayou, Houston

Aside from their incredible brunch menu, the lure to Brenners on the Bayou is their incredible garden, which features winding trails and a waterfall!  Stroll the gardens and to dine outside, all seating is first come-first serve, no reservations necessary! 

Dog Friendly = No

10. Live Oak Grill, Sugarland

The Pecan-Crusted Chicken at Live Oak is worth the drive to Sugarland!  We love their homey patio under the trees! 

Dog Friendly = Yes!

11. East End Backyard, Houston

A rotation of food trucks and a huge beer list makes this fun, dog-friendly patio a must to visit!

B. B. Lemon, Houston

A fun, elevated patio with a menu full of favorites!

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