Best Outdoor Dining in San Antonio

Take in the Fresh Air and San Antonio Sunshine at these Scrumptious Restaurants!

Looking for the best patio dining in San Antonio right now? Well, guess what, you've found it!

For ambiance, good food and always a smile, Little Em's Oyster Bar has quickly become the pearl of the Southtown Arts District, offering a fresh taste of the ocean with each curated oyster on their menu, that also includes a variety of vibrant, succulent seafood, such as Red Snapper Ceviche, Crab Claws, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and a Lobster Roll that might just break the mold. Enjoy cocktails and oysters on their cozy patio for a respite that will excite your palate and rejuvenate your spirit! 

On the other end of the spectrum, sink your teeth into some juicy barbecue at Smoke BBQ + Skybar while lounging on their expansive outdoor patio that sports an exceptional view of the downtown San Antonio skyline. Complete with pitmaster classics such as smoked brisket, chicken, sausage, pork ribs and a bunch of yummy homemade sides as well as fun picnic tables, 14 TVs, live music and 12,000-square-feet of space to spread out, you've just found a little piece of heaven in Texas!

Botika at the Historic Pearl is equally a great choice for some superb Asian cuisine and premium people watching entertainment from their comfy covered patio.

Read on to discover more amazing patio dining options with great eats in SA!



Casa Rio has long been a tradition and a favorite for many families in San Antonio. The restaurant holds the distinction of being the first business to open its doors on the River Walk. This occurred back in 1946 not too long after World War II. Additional history tells us that the restaurant sits on land first granted a title by the King of Spain in 1777. Casa Rio serves delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine but many do not know that the restaurant also provides riverboat dining on the San Antonio River. With a reservation, guests board a river barge during lunch, dinner or cocktail hours and spend about an hour dining as their riverboat captain takes them up and down the San Antonio River. While you munch on scrumptious enchiladas and sip your margarita you enjoy sights and sounds galore. Casa Rio often provides Mariachi singers so your dining experience will be one of the most memorable and musical.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Casa Rio is a fun choice for outdoor dining along the picturesque River Walk.

Kimberly's expert tip: Casa Rio is a favorite among locals because it cooks up simple, but delicious fare at reasonable prices. You can choose to sit indoors or outside along the Riverwalk and watch the river barges float by.

Read more about Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant →

Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen

Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen Restaurant is a place for exquisite New Orleans-style cuisine in the heart of San Antonio, Texas. The dishes range from fresh, healthy options like the Seafood Cobb Salad to decadent entrees such as the Sea pan-seared Sea Bass Piccata with crab meat in a lemon butter caper wine sauce, not to mention frog legs! They have been voted as one of the best restaurants in San Antonio and with their willingness to accommodate gluten diets (be sure to ask!), we are sure that you will have a magnificent dining experience. At Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen they make it their goal to provide you with a great place for parties and informal get-togethers, evenings out with the family or a delicious change of taste from fast-food lunches. All served with a smile. The entire staff at Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen takes pride in preparing great food of the finest quality in a comfortable setting, and ensuring that the dining experience is one you won't soon forget!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Bourbon Street offers an expansive menu as well as an expansive patio, sometimes accompanied by live music!

Kimberly's expert tip: You can often find unpaid parking availability nearby.

Read more about Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Cappy's, and Cappy himself, has been a staple of the Alamo Heights district in San Antonio for over three decades. In a word, superb! This upscale American cuisine restaurant is a sure thing if you're looking for a wonderful meal in an elegant atmosphere. They offer some of the freshest seafood, excellent steaks and regional/seasonal options as well. For dinner, you can't go wrong with the Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cake or Ribeye. If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, try the potato-crusted halibut. They also offer a great wine list and, of course, a beautiful outdoor patio where you can relax and enjoy the San Antonio sunshine!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Cappy's is one of the finest restaurants in San Antonio when it comes to consistency, quality and service, not to mention outdoor seating with umbrellas.

Kimberly's expert tip: Cappy's is a top pick for Sunday brunching on the patio!

Read more about Cappy's →

Pharm Table
Photo courtesy of Pharm Table

Located in Southtown, this vegan-friendly and gluten-free restaurant's slogan is "eat to live." Pharm Table's mission is to offer nourishing yet delicious foods to the community because they understand how food impacts not only the body but the mind as well. The globally-inspired menu offers dishes made with ingredients that are locally-sourced from Texas farmers. For brunch, enjoy dishes like sweet potato waffles. For lunch, you can expect a mix of savory soups like Winter Squash Moqueca, vibrant salads and bowls, such as the Avocado Collard Bowl made with coconut oil, seared collards, avocado, hemp, pepitas, blueberries, maple syrup and toasted coconut. It's the kind of restaurant you leave feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: This true farm-to-table restaurant is a lovely choice for healthy and delicious outdoor dining close to downtown.

Kimberly's expert tip: Pharm Table just opened the doors to their new location in Southtown. Be one of the first to dine with them!

Read more about Pharm Table →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

The reputation of Battalion, a new American Italian restaurant, precedes it as one of the three outstanding Andrew Goodman and Chef Stefan Bowers restaurants in San Antonio. This is their newest incarnation, and what a delight! Located in a historic building in Southtown that was once a fire station, it has since been transformed into one of the coolest, classiest joints in town. With exacting modern Italian dishes and a true Italian pasta chef making housemade pasta every day, Battalion should be at the top of everyone's list for lunch, dinner or even a few cocktails and appetizers before a night out. Chef Bowers describes what they do as merging contemporary cooking with old-world flavors in a fun environment. The interior was lovingly designed by Mr. Goodman himself to facilitate a good, rowdy, delicious time. Lunch is shockingly inexpensive and certainly approachable. Battalion is most definitely upscale, but it's not just a special occasion restaurant unless you want it to be!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Battalion just expanded their patio, so you can enjoy some of the best Italian food in the fresh San Antonio air.

Kimberly's expert tip: The cuisine, service and ambiance of this historic building on the edge of downtown makes it an ideal choice for any special occasion or date night!

Read more about Battalion →

La Fonda is the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. Established in 1932, the restaurant has served at least two American presidents (Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon B Johnson). However, their primary focus is on serving the city of San Antonio and the locals love this place! The restaurant serves Tex-Mex as well as interior Mexican foods with an eye for fresh, Mexican food that is healthful as it is delicious. In a casual atmosphere with colorful decorations, diners can relax and enjoy themselves, especially on their stunning tree-covered patio. Their featured specials are always a popular choice, but you can't go wrong either with any of their enchilada or taco plates.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: La Fonda truly has one of the most luxuriant patios in the city and fresh, affordable upscale Mexican food.

Kimberly's expert tip: Their fresh fish tacos, made with chipotle mayo, napa cabbage slaw and salsa cruda are some of the best in the city!

Read more about La Fonda on Main →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Boudro's Texas Bistro is the ideal spot for intimate lunches or dinners as well as large parties and convention groups. They can accommodate you inside or on one of their special river barges, catered exactly to your taste. The Chef offers culinary inventiveness with the use of fresh, local ingredients that help make this restaurant so sought after. The delicious frozen margaritas are made with swirls of crimson prickly pear juice, and the menu revels in dishes like black lacquered duck leg, papaya-marinated flank steak, mesquite-grilled Texas quail, and shrimp and crab enchiladas. Boudro's truly has some of the best food on the River, from smoked shrimp enchiladas and blackened prime rib to seafood straight from the Gulf.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Boudro's is a River Walk staple for upscale dining with outdoor seating along the river.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to order their prickly pear margarita and tableside guacamole!

Read more about Boudro's →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

East meets west at this Peruvian restaurant that gleefully plays with Asian-South American fusions. The cuisine is properly referred to as Chifa Nikkei. In Peru, Chifa refers to Chinese-Peruvian cuisine and Nikkei to Japanese-Peruvian food. The seasoned chef of Botika, Geronimo Lopez, is a world traveler from Caracas, Venezuela. His cuisine is inspired by all of a multitude of international cultures, offering diners a taste of something unique and exceptional. Unlike anything else you'll find at the Pearl or even in San Antonio for that matter, Botika is a fun and surprisingly affordable place to take a date before the game or any other kind of event. Start your meal with some Hoisin-shitake braised pork steamed buns or the duck confit and potato empanadas. As you roll into your main course, go light with some beautiful fresh sushi or dig into a signature dish.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Botika is in the hands of one of SA's best chefs and features a beautiful and expansive covered patio at the Historic Pearl.

Kimberly's expert tip: Do not leave without trying their incredible Pot Stickers. These crispy pork and cabbage dumplings bathing in a black tea sake broth are quite literally to-die-for!

Read more about Botika →

Smoke BBQ + Skybar
Photo courtesy of Smoke

Smoke recently relocated to the downtown area, just on the Eastside, making downtown residents and visitors very happy. Smoke's Texas-style barbecue isn't just delicious, it's diverse. The menu is extensive, offering mouth-watering meats, including traditional brisket, pulled pork, Dr. Pepper pork ribs, beer can chicken, Shiner Bock Beer brined turkey, prawns with chimichurri sauce, bacon, and bratwurst. If you go hungry, don't be too shy to try their Cowboy Chop Ribeye with barrel-aged rye whiskey butter. Besides the more familiar barbecue menu, they offer burgers, sandwiches, entrees and a long list of sides, such as buttermilk mashed potatoes and creamed corn. Yum! Pickle fiends will appreciate their "pickles by the jar," options like sweet and sour carrots, jalapenos, spicy garden vegetables, candied beets and whiskey spiced peaches. It's fair to say, Smoke thinks a little outside the box. There are not many other places in San Antonio (or elsewhere, for that matter) where you can chow down on some crispy pig ears and braised tongue!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Smoke offers fantastic BBQ with a view! Their new 12,000-square-foot outdoor skybar is a great place to take in the downtown San Antonio skyline.

Kimberly's expert tip: Smoke's new outdoor space is the perfect place to kick back and watch the game or listen to live music, with picnic tables, 14 TVs, music stage and full bar, not to mention an adjoining dog park coming soon.

Read more about Smoke BBQ + Skybar →

Little Em's Oyster Bar
Photo courtesy of Kimberly A. Suta

Little Em's Oyster Bar is one of the newest gems to adorn the Southtown Arts District and King William area. It's the first true boutique oyster bar in San Antonio, something akin to what you might find in Los Angeles, Miami or even Paris. The restaurant was lovingly built by husband and wife team, Emily and Houston Carpenter, a powerhouse couple that has travelled the world, eating at the best oyster bars they could find. They brought that experience and expertise back home to their own neighborhood to realize a dream come true in this absolutely adorable and chic restaurant. Although small inside, they also feature a cozy patio and bar seating outside, complete with umbrellas and heaters (as needed). Not only does Little Em's have a "fresh vibe," but they showcase some of the freshest oysters in town. Shucked to order, the oyster menu changes weekly and is curated based on quality and flavor with options such as Raspberry Point, Standish Shore, Fiddler's Cove and Thatch Island oysters. They offer or a true taste of the ocean with other menu items as well, including Salmon Ceviche, Crab Cakes, Crudo Plate, Crab Claws, a succulent Lobster Roll and more!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Little Em's is a wonderful choice for dining al fresco in the Southtown area for their cuisine, service and style.

Kimberly's expert tip: For something ultra special, order Little Em's new "Dressed Oysters," a revolving special lovingly prepared with accoutrements such as avocado crema, trout roe and dill. Yum!

Read more about Little Em's Oyster Bar →


Meet Kimberly Suta

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations,...  More About Kimberly