If you’re spending a few days in Austin or you’re planning your next date night, you might want to check out my list of 5 outstanding places for patio dining near the Capitol.
One of the very best, most wonderful and amazing things about the Texas Hill Country is the ease with which we enjoy dining outside. Morning, noon and night for almost three-fourths of the year, people eat on the patio, on a balcony or on a blanket at a park.
People say that’s because of the bats.
The bats eat the flies.
At least that’s what they told me when I clandestinely, quietly asked, “Where are all the flies?” I didn’t want those little lovers of all things horse-hide to hear me mention their absence, for fear they would suddenly appear.
I mean, here’s the thing. We did bring a flyswatter on the moving truck, and I vividly remember what it looks like. After all, it had lived atop my refrigerator for like 15 years or so. But I literally don’t know what happened to it. Maybe I threw it away or gave it to charity. Either way, I haven’t missed it. Haven’t.Even.Needed.It.
Frankly, I just realized that I had flat forgotten about the yellow-square-shaped-plastic-mesh thing with its long wire handle until I started writing this blog post!
Speaking of the blog post … let’s get back to that, shall we?
Some of you are probably begging me right about now to stop before I jinx the whole no-fly-zone thing by drawing so much attention to it, for crying out loud.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House Upper Level Patio
301 Lavaca Street
There are so many greats, but Bob’s rooftop patio is my favorite place for outside dining in downtown Austin. Because of its inconspicuous exterior, you could walk right past this acclaimed restaurant without even noticing it. So keep the address in your head and look for Bob’s on the corner of Lavaca and 3rd. I think you’ll love it. Happy hour choices are fantastic (steak skewers), but the full menu is also available. I love the view, the service, the music, the misting fans, on many occasions, Bob’s special carrot, and on rare occasions, the bread pudding. Yum! To make a reservation, click here.
621 Congress Avenue
Just a little over a stone’s throw from the Capitol Building, on the corner of 6th and Congress, is a place of which I will never tire. You can certainly dine here at night, but if you can enjoy brunch in this outdoor space, my friends, it will be all the better. Chicken and waffles maybe?
Corner Restaurant at JW Marriott
112 E. 2nd Street (corner of 2nd Street and Congress Avenue)
According to the people who know, there are 124,800 people working in downtown Austin. According to me and my coworkers, they should, each and every one, take the opportunity to enjoy a chopped salad outside at the Corner at least once in their taunting-traffic lives. Yep, once the server brings out that cylinder of salad-y goodness, flips it over into your big white bowl, you will have immediately forgotten all about the cars all backed up on I-35. And Mopac. Well, ok, maybe just the ones on I-35.
300 W. 6th Street
(Photo courtesy yelp.com)
If you’re planning an afternoon tour of the Capitol Building, you may want to enjoy a hearty bowl of Salvadorian chicken and rice soup (it’s so good) on Gloria’s patio before you go. And while the Capitol Building isn’t really a straight shot from Gloria’s, it’s definitely an easy 6-block walk. You could also take an Uber, horse-drawn carriage or pedi-cab if you’re too stuffed to stroll.
Trace Austin in the 2nd Street District
200 Lavaca Street
Trace is a super-relaxing spot, situated at the W Hotel, connected to ACL-Live’s Moody Theatre, and about eight blocks from the Capitol Building. Never fear about the distance – you’re going to need the walk after splurging on the Easy Tiger Bread. Seriously. AND it comes with a Chef’s selection of house-made butters that will knock your burnt orange socks off, my friend. You can trust me on that one. Take it to the bank. Tell your Mamas and tell your Papas. Don’t tell your gluten-free friends, though. That would be all kinds of torturous.
What do you think? Have I whetted your appetite and teased your springtime senses? Are you already picturing yourself downtown, seated at a patio table, watching the world go by?
Well, go for it, I say! Grab your keys, grab your wallet, grab a friend.
You can leave the flyswatter at home.
Encouraging everyday intentional adventure with a generous helping of Austin’s patio dining,