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Adrienne Breaux

38 Essential Austin Patios Near SXSW

Now is the best time to people-watch.

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| Adrienne Breaux

Outdoor eating and drinking is where Austin excels. With everyone in town for SXSW, it’s time to dine and drink in the sunshine and fresh air while people-watching.

Here is your comprehensive guide to the best places to eat and drink outside near the festival grounds. Brace, the closer these are to the festival, the more likely they are to be frequently bought out for private events. But don't worry, there are always more patios out in the city.

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Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

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With patio right in the name, the Red River bar and restaurant offers big platters, burgers, sandwiches washed down with all sorts of drinks.

Micheladas Cafe y Cantina

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Drink the namesake cocktail with your dog in tow in the downtown Tex Mex restaurant’s rooftop patio.

Easy Tiger

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The massive beer garden overlooking Waller Creek has everything a person could need: ping pong, pretzels, beer. [Photo: Easy Tiger/Facebook]

The Container Bar

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Bridget Dunlap’s stacked shipping container bar offers plenty of outdoor space, including a large courtyard for drinks.

The back lawn at Trio offers straight-on views of the Colorado River.


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The outdoor deck at the East Fifth Street bar is optimal for people-watching down below, plus there’s Jenga and a photobooth.

Sip on smoked cherry margaritas while dining poolside at the Radisson Hotel restaurant overlooking Lady Bird Lake.

Just in time for SXSW, the JW Marriott’s Corner restaurant boasts a wraparound patio plus outdoor bar.


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Dine on oysters and calamari while looking down at the crowds of drunk people on Dirty Sixth. [Photo: Parkside/Facebook]

Hangar Lounge

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The airport-themed bar has an open rooftop deck with a beautiful downtown view.

Half Step

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The craft cocktail bar includes an outdoor bar and big backyard. As the sign says, “you’ve earned it.”

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

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The beer garden’s brand new covered porch is ready just in time for the SXSW crowds. [Photo: Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden/Facebook]

G'Raj Mahal Cafe

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Colorful al fresco dining at the Indian restaurant is breezy with Indian appetizers and curries with multiple patio spaces.

Craft Pride

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Residing on the corner of Rainey Street means there’s more room to drink some of the many beers on tap, plus there’s Via 313. [Photo: Craft Pride/Facebook]


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Another East Side enclave, the dive bar’s back patio is super dog friendly. And hey, Bill Murray worked the bar during SXSW once so maybe you’ll get lucky. [Photo: Shangri La/Facebook]

East Side Showroom

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The prohibition-style gastropub features a small but nice patio. [Photo: East Side Showroom/Facebook]

Wonderland Austin

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Find kegged cocktails and outdoor space in the front and back at the bar from the Bar Congress team, with the Chaat Shop trailer too. [Photo: Mike T./Yelp]


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The Bonneville's small patio is perfect to watch passersby on the Congress Avenue Bridge. [Photo: The Bonneville/Facebook]

Grab a bite and drink at the restaurant tucked on the side of the W Hotel on Lavaca Street.

Gourdough's Public House

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The second brick and mortar location of the novelty doughnut shop features an outdoor space out front complete with one of their iconic trailers.

Lambert's Downtown BBQ

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Eating barbecue outside in the middle of downtown is possible at Lambert’s patio space. [Photo: Jessica C./Yelp]

La Condesa

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Street-level patio eating and drinking right on West Second Street makes people-watching easier.

Violet Crown Social Club

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A good night means cheap drinks, including that frozen creamsicle of a cocktail the Iron Whip, plus Via 313 pizza. You're welcome. [Photo: Eric T./Yelp]

The sushi trailer features a perfectly landscaped oasis in the midst of East Sixth Street.

The Hightower

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The large and shady patio space is perfect for all the frozen caipirinhas.

Licha's Cantina

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There’s Mexico City cantina food, lots of agave spirits, and front- and backyard dining. [Photo: Licha’s Cantina/Facebook]

The Silo On 7th

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Rooftop dining and drinking is possible in the East Side at Silo on the 7th, where the happy hour lasts from 3-7 p.m. [Photo: The Silo on 7th/Facebook]

The cantina’s patio is a good spot on the East Side to drink margaritas and pisco sours outside.

Though small, the outdoor patio of the decadent restaurant is just as nice. [Photo: LaV/Facebook]

QUI Restaurant

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Save the tasting room for a less frenzied occasion and go with the pulatan menu with Filipino small plates out in the open air patio.

Blue Dahlia Bistro

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The cafe’s pretty patio features lots of greenery and tables.

The Liberty

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The backyard of the dive bar is great for beers, simple house cocktails, and food from East Side King. [Photo: Kim N./Yelp]

The Grackle

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Grackle is home to a covered front patio and Red Star Southern’s delicious East Coast southern food. [Photo: The Grackle/Facebook]

Tamale House East

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For SXSW, the back patio of the Tamale House will be turned into Bar Frida, a pop-up bar, serving punch cocktails and a special bar menu. [Photo: Tamale House East/Facebook]

Yellow Jacket Social Club

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It’s all there at Yellow Jacket Social Club: friendly bartenders, incredible outdoor space, and great Bloody Marys.


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The trek out to Whisler’s is worth it for their large al fresco space with an outdoor bar to boot, with handcrafted cocktails and the Thai-Kun trailer in the back.

Weather Up

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Feel fancy with outdoor table service on wrought iron patio tables with superb cocktails.