Outdoor Bars in Houston

In the wise words of Will Smith, "Summer, summer summer time. Time to sit back and unwind." (It sounds better when he says it.) We suggest you do exactly that, on a patio with a drink in hand. Patios are as common as mosquitoes in Houston, but here are a few of our favorite outdoor bars. (Photo: Continental Club)

Updated: May 20, 2011

Houston's Outdoor Bars

West Alabama Ice House

1919 West Alabama Street, Houston, TX 77098

As with most icehouses, this one is little more than a shack full of beer coupled with sprawling space for picnic tables. And that's how we like it. Bring on the bikers, their dogs and pet snakes and the sweaty bottles of Texas ale.

Continental Club

3700 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

While the bands on stage are almost always a compelling reason to stay inside, the patio and adjoining Panchinko Room bar are the place to cool off and admire the lit up Elvis sign. Snag a brisket sandwich from on your way out.

Cedar Creek Cafe

1034 W 20th St, Houston, TX 77008

Perched on a grassy levee, the shady expanse of outdoor seating looks like it was transported straight out of the hill country. The full bar, 30 on-tap beers and cheap wings draw big crowds.

The Flat

1701 Commonwealth, Houston, TX 77006

Call us crazy, but there's something about warm weather that makes us want to drink tropical beverages. The frozen mojito at the Flat is sweet and refreshing and the courtyard out back is charming, even if it closes earlier than the rest of the bar.

Big Woodrow's Bar & Grill

3111 Chimney Rock Rd, Houston, TX 77056

You want ESPN, cheap beer by the pitcher and a huge patio? Then this is the place to spend the rest of summer.

La Carafe

813 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002

Sadly, the second floor balcony of this downtown landmark is only about three tables wide. But if you can stake your claim early enough in the evening, you'll be treated to a beautiful view of Market Square while sipping your fruity white.

Poison Girl

1641 Westheimer RdSte B, Houston, TX 77006

Despite being grungy and nonchalant, Poison Girl has somehow become the Montrose golden child. It's been eternally well-loved for its wide selection of whiskey, cheap Lone Star and the shady back patio occupied by a giant Kool Aid Man and crowded with smoking 20-somethings.

The Washington Drinkery

4115 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

The most laid-back bar on Washington obviously has a spacious patio and it even comes with its own bartender. Escape the club crowds here.