That pleasant weather you've been begging for is finally here, and it's in your best interest to soak up as much of it as you can while it's available. It won't be for long.
Sure, you could hike, maybe pump up the tires in your bike and pretend you're physically fit. But the best way to make use of nice weather is with a beer in your hand. Lucky for you, you're in Dallas, which it turns out is an exemplary city for outdoor drinking. Unlucky for you: Summer is coming, faster than you think.
Truck Yard (Pictured above) The Truck Yard was packed the second it opened, and it's been a circus ever since, at least when the weather is nice. There are two bars (one indoors, one outdoors in a gutted airstream trailer) and a cocktail station hidden in a tree fort.
Not that you needed anything else, but if you get hungry you can eat a cheesesteak -- the best in Dallas. Alternatively, there are usually no fewer than three food trucks parked in the backyard, and they rotate daily.
Goodfriend Beer nerds, pay attention. Goodfriend has one of the best patios for dorking out on suds. If a local brewery is going to release a special issue beer, there's a solid chance it's on tap here, often before the other bars even take delivery of their kegs.
Mix in the strong neighborhood following and the massive roll-up doors that bring the patio weather inside, and you've got one of the better places in Dallas for drinking, whether the heat of summer has arrived or not.
Stonedeck Pizza Pub Walk through the unassuming dining room to the patio out back at Stonedeck Pizza Pub and you'll think you've stumbled upon some sort of oasis. Yes, there are drunk games, including cornhole and giant Jenga, and there's an impressive beer list to keep you going. There's creative pizza should you need to pad out your stomach, and there's moonshine if you'd like to hammer out those last remaining brain cells. Stonedeck has just about everything.
Katy Trail Ice House Katy Trail Ice House is sometimes so big it's overwhelming, but if you're an Uptowner at heart, this is where you'll want to spend every outdoor Rangers-watching session you can fit in. The coolers keep a nearly all-Texas line-up of beers icy cold, and on weekends they bring out the smoker.
The Foundry This Oak Cliff bar boasts the most impressive outdoor space in Dallas. The lighting, picnic tables and planters all come together in a way that makes you feel like you're hanging out in a really cool friend's backyard. The stage is gorgeous, and the vibe is great. No wonder the place got national attention for its beer garden.
Patio Bonus: Chicken and biscuits available at Chicken Scratch next door.
Blind Butcher Would you look at this dish? This is exactly what you need right before swimsuit season arrives. The Blind Butcher may be a meat bomb, but it's got a great patio that's perfect for kicking back and sipping on a full liter of beer at a time. That's right. The mugs are big here.
Brain Dead Brewing Meddlesome Moth, Flying Saucer, Lark on the Park: Have you ever noticed that these restaurants all have seriously impressive beer lists? That's likely because they're owned by Shannon Wynne, a certified cicerone and a lover of suds. With Braindead Brewing, by Shannon's son Sam, the Wynne family takes its affection to the next level by brewing their own beer and serving it on a sizable patio. Massive rolling doors effectively remove one wall of the building so no matter where you're sitting, you're outside.
The Mansion at Turtle Creek, Back Patio With its two fireplaces glowing under trees filled with lanterns, this is a great place to have a cocktail or a glass of wine when you want to feel a little fancy. Consider it the perfect way to end a date that's going well.
Lee Harvey's Just like Katy Trail, Lee Harvey's has a massive outdoor space supported by a smaller building. The scale-tipper here is live music, and there are also fire pits, because nothing goes better with booze than open flames.
The Rustic For whatever reason, most of Dallas doesn't exactly feel like Texas, unless you're drinking at The Rustic. There's usually a country act on stage, and cowboys from far and wide have been known to come all this way just to court the Dames of Uptown. Not feeling social? Grab a beer and order the quail if you can find a seat. You'll still be happy you came.
Pecan Lodge Remember when we were all sad about Pecan Lodge leaving the Dallas Farmers Market? It's hard to give a shit about that when you're sitting out on their patio, while a live band plays, a cold beer sweats in your palm and the smell of rendered fat and smoke waft up from the aluminum tray that sits before you. This may be the pinnacle of outdoor drinking experiences in Dallas.
Bryan Street Tavern Look who's stepped into the scene with a new covered patio for your outdoor sports-watching? Bryan Street Tavern just completed a serious upgrade to their patio, and if you like the place and haven't been in a while, you should pay it a visit soon.
Ten Bells Tavern Killer chicken wings and a solid beer selection may be all you need, but the kitchen here is actually quite capable of turning out some exemplary bar food. When I reviewed Ten Bells years ago, I poked fun at the minimalist patio. But it seems like every month that went by they made some other improvement. Now there's a covered patio and outdoor seating that lets you soak up the sun. Ten Bells has grown to be one of the best outdoor spaces in Oak Cliff.
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Cold Beer Company There's something about this outdoor space. It's paved in gravel and wraps around three of the stand-alone building's four sides. There are tables everywhere and the beer is ice cold. Find yourself a spot to sit down this summer and don't get up until you have to. With a solid menu of snacks and sandwiches, you could put down roots.
The Lot If you've got little guys and you need to get out of the house, you can get drunk in front of your kids at The Lot. Don't feel badly -- everyone else is, too. There's a massive fenced in play area, so you don't have to worry about your kids running off, and there's enough beer and cocktails to make sure you have a good time. Uber doesn't have a problem with car seats, right?