Best Outdoor Dining in San Antonio

Dine Al Fresco at These Favorite San Antonio Hot Spots!

San Antonio may be hot (and spicy), but it's always the perfect time to dine al fresco! Thankfully, most restaurants offer some satisfying libations to cool you off, as well as misters and blocks of ice (just kidding!). The majority of top restaurants in San Antonio have well curated patios because it's nearly sunny 365 days a year here.

In fact, one of the most fantastic restaurants in town is virtually an outdoor restaurant only, although they have limited seating inside. Outlaw Kitchens is a unique concept in the charming Alta Vista neighborhood just 10 minutes north of downtown. The largely French-inspired prix fixe menu changes up quite often but is always a delight, especially on their lovely patio. 

For something more low key, especially if you have little kiddos, Big'z Burger Joint offers a large outdoor patio and some pretty killer burgers to boot, made even better with beloved beer braised onions. It's a wonderful option if you're staying on the north side of town. 

Please note, if you're down to splurge, make sure to order their double thick milkshake, which comes in a variety of flavors, including banana and Ghirardelli chocolate. Sooo yum! Chicken and Pickle is another great option for families with kids.


Acenar, located downtown on the Riverwalk, is a spectacularly innovative and contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant that Zagat has noted for their "killer food." Lisa Wong (who also owns Rosario's) and her partners took special care with this restaurant to ensure it could compete in style and taste with just about any other restaurant in any metropolitan city, and they did not disappoint. If you just want to check it out, they offer a Houston street-level bar called Atomar and a Happy Hour menu that's worth the walk. Although the regular menu is similar to Rosario's with a boost in price, Acenar offers items that are unique to it, such as the Buttermilk Fried Oysters, the Young Texas Goat served with Ancho Salsa Ranchera and the Duck Crepes. Looking for Tex-Mex with a twist? This is it!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Acenar offers a gorgeous view of the River Walk from their patio.

Kimberly's expert tip: Start off an evening in their bar area with a round of mango margaritas!

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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!

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San Antonio
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Allora, one of the Historic Pearl's newest restaurants, is conveniently situated near the northern reach segment of San Antonio's River Walk. This modern coastal Italian restaurant aims to redefine Italian food in the Alamo City. With talented chef, Robbie Nowlin, at the helm, Allora's highly anticipated opening in the beginning of 2022 was a resounding success. This highly-trained chef's resume includes renowned restaurants such as The French Laundry in California. Chef Nowlin teased his followers for months with intriguing and decadent dishes, as he refined the menu. Once you sample these dishes for yourself you'll see how easily he lured gastronomes to Allora. The star dish is the rich, beautifully-layered Lobster Lasagna, dressed with butter-poached Maine lobster, house-cured guanciale and San Marzano tomatoes, but you simply cannot choose poorly here. With an elegant dining room and superb customer service, Allora is truly exemplary of SA's designation as a "Creative City of Gastronomy!"

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Allora offers incredible Italian cuisine and music to accompany patio dining.

Kimberly's expert tip: Allora makes the most unique lasagna you've ever seen, piled high with mouthwatering lobster.

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Medical Center
Sangria on the Burg
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While Sangria on the Burg makes some amazing sangria, they're also known for their chef-driven cuisine and are an industry favorite in town. Food-lovers and even chefs like to dine here. The menu is focused on Texas and Mexican ingredients and spices. Meat-lovers will appreciate the focus on BBQ, such as the smoked brisket tacos with pasilla onion strings and BBQ sauce. Tacos and sliders, such as the Deep Blue, a panko breaded salmon cake with guac, jalepeno-dill tarter sauce and red cabbage-carrot slaw, are the highlights. However, if you're dining light you can get your brisket on a salad or try their "Fideo of the Day." The outdoor seating is limited, but it's all so tasty, you won't mind if you have to sit inside. This is a hot spot for brunch, so make sure to make reservations or get there early. The vibe is fun and festive, so take the crew!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Sangria on the Burg's patio is cozy but a fun option for a flight of sangria and tasty bites!

Kimberly's expert tip: This industry leader is always hosting innovate events, so check out their social for details.

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Photo courtesy of Veronica Luna

Cured is one of the newest restaurants to grace the historic Pearl Brewery and it clearly belongs in such fine company. Chef Steve McHugh brings charcuterie, salumi and other hand-made, farm-to-table dishes to the carefully restored Administration building at the Pearl. Their charcuterie options are cured from 60 days to 10 months and are becoming quite popular fare in San Antonio. All of the items, such as the Apple Jalapeno Pork Rillettes, Whipped Pork Butter and Country Style Pork Pate are made in house and proudly displayed in their humidity-controlled locker. The entrees at Cured aren't to be overlooked. Whether you're in the mood for seafood, fowl, beef, pork, goat, lamb or simply vegetarian, there's a little something scrumptious for everyone!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: You'll forget where you're sitting once you try Chef McHugh's cuisine, who is a James Beard Award finalist.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great choice for lunch, brunch or dinner. Go nuts and order the pan-seared branzino or 45 day dry aged cowboy ribeye!

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The Board Couple
Photo courtesy of The Board Couple

The Board Couple ideally illustrates what happens when a couple gets bored and decides to get creative. Although not a traditional restaurant, this hybrid concept has become a local's favorite very quickly and for good reason! Culinary power couple, Monica Nino and Bryan Gonzales, have craftily crafted a business built on phenomenal charcuterie boards, wine and more. They make "lavish" cheese, charcuterie and grazing boards that can be easily delivered or picked up. It makes for the perfect accompaniment on a picnic, outdoor date, special family outing or just a night snuggled up watching Netflix. The boards are artfully curated for two on up to 30 or more and include a smorgasbord of delicacies, such as artisan cheeses, cured meats like hot sopressata and prosciutto, along with dried fruit, ripe fruit, nuts, seasonal spreads, fun add-ons like honeycomb, and so much more! This fantastic couple takes it up a notch by sourcing locally as much as possible to turn this into a farm-to-table feast. They source their produce from a local company, some of the charcuterie, preserves and mustard from Texas Hill Country makers, honeycomb from a Texas farm and the baguettes, cold brew coffee and olive leaf tea are made by craft producers in San Antonio. All of this goes on boards that are created by their in house carpentry team. So, who's ready to get board?!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: The Board Couple makes outdoor dining easy but also fun and delicious! You can take your "boards" anywhere.

Kimberly's expert tip: Check out their wine offerings to take your picnic next-level!

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Up Scale
Photo courtesy of Up Scale

The restaurateurs of the hugely popular neighborhood oyster bar, Little Em's Oyster Bar, took it next level with their newest Southtown restaurant, Up Scale. The owners took inspirations from their world travels to curate a divine menu fit for a king and queen. Up Scale promises to bring sexy back to the culinary realm with an eclectic menu that's sure to seduce even the most reluctant diner. The menu is a little bit sushi, a little bit seafood and a little bit steakhouse all rolled into one. Guests can start off with some Akami Tuna and Ora King Nigiri, fun rolls like the Up Scale Roll, made with toro, asparagus, kizami wasabi, yuzu kosho, red onion, cavier and gold flakes. Appetizers range from Cavier Deviled Eggs with white truffle oil to Wagyu Carpaccio with candied pistachios for an umami flavor blast. Entrees range from New Zealand Dover Sole with foie gras buttered farro to 60 Day Dry Aged Tomahawk steak. Keep in mind, the menu aims to be seasonal, so dishes may change. Are you ready to dig in?

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Up Scale is a new, elevated offering in Southtown with exciting cuisine and a stunning atmosphere.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to order their caviar-topped deviled eggs. They're sinfully delicious!

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Big'z Burger Joint
Photo courtesy of Big'z Burger Joint

Bigz claims to have the best burgers in San Antonio, and they may be right! They are certainly worth the drive, no matter where you're staying in San Antonio. Bigz burgers are mouth-watering delights, whether you go whole hog with bacon and cheese or keep it simple. You can order your burger with one, two or even three patties and a variety of fun toppings such a pineapple and jalapenos. Patrons also swear by their milkshakes, which comes in Mexican vanilla, double-dutch chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and banana. Hungry yet?!

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: With a giant outdoor dining area, Big'z is a great choice to take the whole family for some fresh air and great burgers.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to order your burger with their signature beer-braised onions! Even better, add some avocado!

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Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

For a moment of pure bliss, well, head to Bliss. Owned and operated by one of San Antonio's greatest chefs, Bliss is a delight in every form of the word. A perfect option for a romantic date, friendly gathering or family celebration. Located in Southtown, the ambiance is relaxed yet elegant and the service is some of the best you'll find in town. The seasonal menu consists of contemporary American cuisine, from hearty, perfectly-seasoned dishes such as pork shank to more delicate fare such as seared scallops. Their charcuterie, made with premium meats and artisanal cheeses is a must as a starter, and you can't go wrong with dessert here either. Wine aficionados will appreciate their award-winning wine list.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Bliss is simply one of the most phenomenal restaurants in town, whether you dine inside or out.

Kimberly's expert tip: Start dinner out right with their beautifully-composed charcuterie board.

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San Antonio
Outlaw Kitchens
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

It's difficult to explain what an exceptionally delightful experience Outlaw Kitchens provides without experiencing it for yourself. Tucked away in one of San Antonio's quaint neighborhoods, just a few minutes north of downtown, this husband and wife duo have created a restaurant that is truly one-of-a-kind. Chef Sartory has decades of experience as a chef. He both graduated and taught at the CIA, and yet there's no pomp and circumstance here. In fact, guests compare it to having dinner at a friend's house who happens to be a really, really good cook. The restaurant menu changes every few days and is available a la carte or as a 3-course prix fixe, including an appetizer, entree and dessert. Choices are limited, so be sure to check the website ahead of time, although it's fun to be surprised here. Dishes range from seared Scottish Salmon and Vegetable Lasagna to Pan-Seared Chicken stuffed with shrimp and spinach or Goat Mac-N-Cheese. From the historic building to the herb garden that gets utilized in the dishes, not to mention the charming patio, Outlaw Kitchens simply shines on every level.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Outlaw Kitchens primarily offers outdoor dining and has one of the most charming patios in San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: The offerings are constantly changing, so be sure to check out the menu online to make sure it's to your liking.

Read more about Outlaw Kitchens →


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