It seems like spring was so long ago and if my dashboard thermometer topping out at 102 yesterday is any indication, summer has set in here in Dallas.  As the exterior enjoyable (more like tolerable) hours become fewer and fewer over the next 4 months,  any patio time under 95 degrees will be much appreciated.  My current top 5 patios to enjoy a frosty beer during the hottest months each have their own reason for being on the list of best places to beat the heat.  Check ‘em out and see why.

  1. Flying Saucer On The Lake - It’s surprising to me how few best patio lists the Saucer makes.  As far as patios in the area goes, (food notwithstanding) none other has neither the beer selection nor the view this one has.  The patio is 95% in the shade and during the summer the warm southern breeze cools down at it blows across the lake and through the patio.  It’s big too so there’s almost always a place to sit, and even on crowded evenings it’s easy to carry on a conversation.  For drinking beer on a hot day, it’s hard to beat this patio on the lake.
  2. Goodfriend Beer Garden – I am not a fan of mist systems and Goodfriend has them.  But… this totally covered patio has other wonderful features that more than make up for any added humidity.  Hanging from all sides of the huge cedar pergola patio cover are long iron planters with a lot of flowers and other plants blocking the majority the sun in the late evening.  Besides one of the best standard and rotating beer lists around, the patio is also non smoking.  It’s big enough for a lot of people, but small enough that the trip to the bano is only a few short chilly air conditioned steps away.
  3. Strangeways - How can a street side patio with  no cover, no fans and no trees be an ideal place to sit and drink on a hot summer day you ask?  First of all, the amazing beer selection is guaranteed to be of the best in Dallas therefore offering deliberate refreshing choices.  Secondly, the patio is so open (basically on the sidewalk) that it maximizes any breeze at all.  And finally and most importantly, the sun is blocked by the beautiful deconstructed building early in the evening creating total shade for hours and hours.
  4. Fritzls Euro Grill – Fritzls is living proof that service and attitude are the most important ingredient in a bar/restaurant.  The patio here is basically a small sectioned off area of the parking lot that consists of only a couple of round backyard patio tables with umbrellas and plastic chairs.  The beer selection is nice, rightly consisting mostly of imports.  However, the idea of sitting under an umbrella, having the owner/cook/bartender run huge, frosty pints of Trumer Pils or Franziskaner out to you one after the other while sitting down to bullshit with you ever chance he gets is wonderful – and a truly awesome experience any day.
  5. Bryan Street Tavern - One of my favorite patios in Dallas period – hot or not.  But even in the heat, this terrific, big, quiet patio is easily shaded by several huge overhanging trees.  Wind seems to swirl around in this high fenced area whenever there is any.  This combined with a terrific beer list makes for a great place to enjoy a cold beer any day of the year.

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