Temperatures are cooling down and before you know it, we’ll feel that chilly fall breeze. So right now, it’s time to enjoy the weather outside again, but hurry up before winter rolls in! Check out these open-air eateries in Plano, Frisco, Allen and McKinney they have just what you need to enhance your tableside experience.
The term al fresco is Italian and loosely means “in the cool air.” In Texas, sometimes we have cool air and sometimes we don’t, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying a good restaurant patio.
After all, that’s what ceiling fans, misters and heat lamps were invented for, right?
Collin County has a ton of good patios. So many, in fact, that listing them all here might make it too hard to choose your next al fresco experience.
The Star, home to the world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, offers much in the way of alfresco dining including some of the best patios in Frisco. For example, if you’re a fan of Sunday Funday and all that it implies, you can’t miss brunch on the patio of The Common Table with a DJ outside spinning classic hip hop beats to accompany the hip-hop-inspired brunch menu. Another great option is Tupelo Honey who’s expansive patio includes a large bar, booth seating, and a great view of Tostitos Championship Plaza. Plus, they offer $2 martinis at lunchtime!
The best restaurants with patio dining at The Star are:
Call it a large patio or call it a backyard, The Rail Yard is entirely open-air, with food trucks on-site, twinkle lights all around, and live music on the stage.
J. Theodore 6959 Lebanon Rd., Ste. 110, Frisco
The appeal of patio dining is largely about the ambiance and J. Theodore has that in spades. From the twinkle lights to the fireplace and the rustic stone surroundings, this patio is date-worthy and is easily one of the best restaurants with one of the best patios in Frisco.
La Finca Coffee and Bakery 7511 Main St., #150, Frisco
Maybe you’ve heard a buzz about the plans to revitalize Frisco’s downtown area (otherwise known as The Rail District). Those plans are well underway and include the recent opening of La Finca Coffee and Bakery, off Main Street. The friendly patio is often visited by local merchants and caters well to the walkability of downtown.
Eight | 11 Place 7080 Main St., Frisco
Everyone needs a makeover from time to time, and recently Frisco’s favorite wine bar decided to do exactly that to the back patio. Eight 11 Place’s historic home-turned-wine bar is as charming outside as it is inside. They offer cozy fire pits at each table, live music, and spectacular wine options. There’s no doubt that this popular spot has one of the best patios in Frisco.
Jake’s Uptown 6195 W Main St., Frisco
This friendly patio is a hop, skip, and a jump from Toyota Stadium, and Jake’s is famous for its many “best burger” awards.
DiDi’s Downtown 7210 W. Main St., Frisco
Served on the patio of DiDi’s Downtown in The Rail District, you’ll find American fare that is scratch-made, kiddos are welcome, and live music is always on the calendar.
MASH’D 3401 Preston Rd., Ste. 1, Frisco
This trendy hangout pairs Cajun and global gastropub fare with moonshine cocktails and beer in funky digs.
TruFire Kitchen & Bar 6959 Lebanon Rd., Ste. 114, Frisco
Not only does TruFire Kitchen & Bar have a date night-worthy outdoor patio with ambiance in abundance, but the food, wine and cocktails are brag-worthy, too. TruFire is a progressive American concept w/ Mediterranean, Italian and Globally inspired dishes, freshly prepared from scratch and served in a warm, energetic and social environment.
The Green Gator 5566 Main St., Ste. 110, Frisco
The Green Gator brings po’ boys, gumbo and an assortment of New Orleans style flavors to help spice up your game-watching experience.
Gloria’s Latin Cuisine 3635 W. University Dr., McKinney | 8600 Gaylord Pkwy., Frisco | 1110 S. Preston Rd. #10, Prosper | 152 Fountain Ct., Fairview
Gloria’s Latin Cuisine has all of the staple Salvadorian and Tex-Mex favorites. Plus, each one of their 4 locations in Collin County have great patios. The Frisco location has one of the best patios in town and sits by a nearby park where your kids can play while you eat, drink and relax in the sun.
Rodeo Goat offers guests a variety of interestingly named and uniquely crafted burgers like their famous Terlingua burger, which contains a patty topped with havarti, chili, onion, corn chips, and garlic herb mayo. Guests can also choose from a variety of beers on tap, including local favorites from Four Corners Brewery, Rahr & Sons, and more. For casual dining and delicious burgers this is one of the best patios in Plano.
Katy Trail Ice House Outpost 4700 W. Park Blvd., Plano 75093
Want to spend your Saturday under shady trees in a colorful lawn chair, your dog lounging at your side? You aren’t alone. Katy Trail Ice House Outpost’s Austin-style beer garden is sheltered from Park Boulevard by tall shrubs, creating a buzzing patio exclusively built for listening to live music, eating loaded queso and drinking Summer Beer.
Whiskey Cake Plano 3601 Dallas Pkwy., Plano
Cloaked in shade, the patio at Whiskey Cake Plano is the perfect place for something guava and rum-infused with a dash of honey, topped with a hibiscus flower. Whiskey Cake is considered one of the best restaurants in Plano.
Sixty Vines 3701 Dallas Pkwy., Plano
If it’s California you’re craving, Sixty Vines, located next door to Whiskey Cake, has a sinfully gorgeous patio as well as a greenhouse. Sixty Vines is a restaurant and wine bar with wine served at its best thanks to a state-of-the-art free-flow tap system.
Legacy West Legacy West, Plano
Every single one of Legacy West’s restaurants comes complete with a patio, from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Shake Shack and True Food Kitchen to Mesero, North Italia, Sprinkles and Earls Kitchen + Bar. There’s even a stunning $4 million dancing fountain.
In total there are 19+ restaurants (including Starbucks, Sprinkles, Amorino and Legacy Hall) with patios at Legacy West. Of all of these, our top picks for the best patios at Legacy West are: Haywire, Tommy Bahama, Taverna, Bulla Gastrobar, Earl’s Kitchen & Bar, Mesero and North Italia.
Legacy Hall 7800 Windrose Ave., Ste. K100, Plano
While technically Legacy Food Hall (Legacy Hall) is part of Legacy West, it’s so epic it deserves its own mention. At Legacy Hall you’ll find over 25 different food and drink options to choose from, plus the outside area, The Box Garden, is Collin County’s largest patio space which also doubles as a music and entertainment venue. If fun, variety and live music is what you’re looking for this is hands-down the best patio in Plano.
The Boardwalk at Granite Park 5880 State Hwy. 121, Plano
The Boardwalk at Granite Park offers a traditionally land-locked city something fresh: waterfront dining. Similar to Legacy West, the restaurants at The Boardwalk at Granite Park all have beautiful patios, currently the area has eight restaurants: Suburban Yacht Club, Blue Mesa Grill, Union Bear Brewing Co., The Biscuit Bar, Golden Boy Coffee & Wine Bar, Fork & Fire, Edith’s French Bistro and Chip’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. Newly opened Suburban Yacht Club is considered as one of Plano’s best restaurants.
CRÚ Food & Wine Bar 7201 Bishop Rd., Ste. E2, Plano | 842 Watters Creek Blvd., Allen
Whether it’s Champagne Thursday, Happy Hour or Pizza Monday (buy a bottle of wine and the pizza comes with it), CRÚ has your back, providing luxury by the bottle or by the flight.
Ebb and Flow Legacy 7300 Lone Star Dr., Ste. C-125, Plano
If the patio at Ebb and Flow is not one of the best patios in Plano, it is for sure the prettiest. With pink and white flowers cascading from the canopy overhead there’s no place more picture perfect to enjoy, dinner, lunch, brunch or cocktails.
Italian Village Plano 5840 Legacy Circle, Ste. D100, Plano
How cute is the umbrella canopy at Italian Village Plano? Great for shade and a beautiful photo opportunity too. Italian Village Plano serves authentic Italian cuisine and makes everything from scratch in small batches all day, every day.
Urban Crust 1006 E. 15th St., Plano
At sunset, Urban Crust’s sleek rooftop bar, 32 Degrees, is the best place to sample draft beers poured at a temperature of—you guessed it—32 degrees. DJs spin on the roof on Friday and Saturday nights, but on Wednesday, stop in for an Urban Amore pizza with fig preserves, prosciutto di Parma, goat cheese and arugula, and it will arrive accompanied with smooth Italian jazz. Also in downtown Plano and also boasting chillax-worthy patios are Urban Rio and Urban Seafood Co., as well as The Fillmore Pub.
Mexican Sugar 7501 Lone Star Dr., Ste. B150, Plano
At Mexican Sugar, guests can sit back with a delicious hibiscus margarita, enjoy festive Latin music and grab a cool Instagram picture at The Shops’ gorgeous flowing fountain.
The Fillmore Pub 1004 E. 15th St., Plano
The Fillmore Pub is one of Plano’s longest-running neighborhood bars. Serving up craft beer, homemade food, and one of the best whiskey selections around, the lively, British-style pub has something for everyone.
Rusty Taco (“R Taco”) 8000 Coit Road, Plano
Ice-cold beer, no-frills street tacos garnished with lime—Rusty Taco’s relaxed atmosphere and taco obsession make for an awesome snack at a low, low price. There are 13 handmade street tacos, not including breakfast tacos which, by the way, are served all day.
Señor Locos Tex Mex Ice House 701 W Parker Road, Plano
Gloriously noisy night and day, Señor Locos Tex Mex Ice House is a hidden gem with some of Plano’s best margaritas—frozen or on the rocks—and ultimate Mexican comfort food.
BoomerJack’s 5430 TX-121, Plano
BoomerJack’s neighborhood come-as-you-are sports bar has wall-to-wall TVs for big games, delicious American food, cold drinks and wallet-friendly pricing. The laid back atmosphere includes a large patio equipped with its own bar and TVs.
Local Yocal is a laid-back locale with a long, off-the-street patio that lends itself to people-watching and relaxed conversation. Enjoy Texas-inspired fare such as Wagyu steaks and world-class barbecue.
Zin Zen Wine Bistro 6841 Virginia Pkwy., Ste. 104, McKinney
Okay, wine lovers — it’s your turn now. Zin Zen Wine Bistro offers more than just wine, giving patrons bites and brunch options for those alcohol-induced munchies. To complement your wine and cheese, the bar also has live music and a cozy outdoor patio. Of all the best patios in McKinney, this one is so unique and quaint, we’re in love!
11|17 1910 N Stonebridge Dr., Ste. 180, McKinney
This family-owned restaurant has a generous patio overlooking Stonebridge Drive and great potential for sunset pics.
Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen 216 W. Virginia St., McKinney
Sugarbacon’s atmosphere falls somewhere between fine dining and sophisticated-casual. The popular patio is covered and can be closed in as needed when the Texas weather gets wonky. They also have misters and fans on particularly hot days. Sugarbacon’s “Modern American” food is date night-worthy, and they’re open for brunch on the weekends.
Harry’s at the Harbor 6601 Mediterranean Dr., McKinney
Located in the stunning European-style Village of Adriatica in McKinney, Harry’s at the Harbor’s award-winning, multi-level patio will inspire you to book a flight across the pond. Soak up a Texas sunset, sip a glass of wine, or have brunch on the weekend. Whether you’re headed out for a drink with friends or looking for a romantic date night spot, Harry’s at the Harbor is one of the best patios in McKinney.
Grind Burger Bar y Taqueria 7500 W Stacy Rd. #150, McKinney
Grind Burger Bar is that casual neighborhood hangout where neighbors bump into neighbors and the bar is filled with regulars. The scratch kitchen offers creatively-named burgers and Tex-Mex offerings as well as a patio complete with heaters, cooling, and fire pits. It’s a chill atmosphere with beer and wine on tap, as well as fancy milkshakes if you’re up for it.
The Yard 107 S. Church St., McKinney
They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but at The Yard, it’s the outdoor space that everyone’s boasting about. The Yard’s casual cuisine, outdoor bar, patios, picnic tables, fire pits, and ping pong tables encourage guests to stay awhile. If you’re looking for fun this has got to be the best patio in McKinney.
Uncork’d 301 N Custer Rd., Ste. 180, McKinney
The name implies wine bar, but Uncork’d has craft beers, specialty cocktails, and a menu that will make your mouth water. Create your own flatbread, try the stuffed pork chop, or just come for some wine on tap.
Rick’s Chophouse 107 N. Kentucky St., McKinney
Rick’s Chophouse has any type of food you’re looking for, especially if you’re a meat-lover. The restaurant takes your classic steakhouse and sticks it into the historic Grand Hotel & Ballroom, which adds loads of character to the restaurant’s ambiance.
Cristina’s Fine Mexican 2811 Craig Drive #110, McKinney
Around here, fresh and authentic Mexican food is a big deal, and you’ll find some of the best at Cristina’s Fine Mexican. The food here is inspired by the unique flavors and essence of Central Mexico. While most of Cristina’s Dallas-area locations have patios, McKinney is fortunate to have one with a covering and ceiling fans-to-boot.
On a sunny day, few places rival Watters Creek in Allen as a place to go and enjoy some time outdoors—whether you’re shopping, browsing, having lunch with a friend or heading out for a date night. This popular mixed-use development even has a large turf green, complete with a creek and sculptures where they host events such as “Concerts by the Creek”. When it comes to patio dining at Watters Creek, there are many options, among our favorites are Fish City Grill, Mutts Canine Cantina, CRÚ Food & Wine Bar and Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizza, Lion & Crown Pub and Frogg Coffee Bar & Creperie.
TwoRows Classic Grill 711 Central Expwy., Allen
TwoRows also has a large, friendly outdoor patio with regulated temperature. Order a craft brew or Housemade Ugly Mug Root Beer and settle in with family or good friends.
Kelly’s at the Village 190 E. Stacy Rd., Ste. 1204, Allen
Kelly’s at the Village is the perfect place for beer lovers who want to drink on an outdoor patio. Expect excellent southern food including burgers, barbecue, and unique appetizers.
Hedary’s Mediterranean Restaurant 103 W. Belmont Dr., Allen
Located in an old Victorian house, Hedary’s Mediterranean Restaurant boasts a cozy atmosphere. The Lebanese eatery is credited for its delicious hummus and pita bread. The patio has a picturesque view that’s perfect for a date night, and bonus – it’s BYOB.
Hat Creek Burger Co. 3321 S. Custer Rd., McKinney | 555 E. Exchange Pkwy., Allen | 2311 N. Central Expy., Richardson
Burgers and a playscape? Yes, please. Known for all-natural beef burgers, homemade gluten-free chicken flashers, specialty shakes, and beer and wine, Hat Creek Burger Co. also offers the ultimate in family-friendly dining by a providing a unique playscape and flat screen TVs.
Pinstack 635 Central Expressway, Allen If you’re the kind of person who gets bored easily, then Pinstack is the place for you. Not only do they have bowling and an arcade, but a patio complete with cornhole and life-size chess. Pinstack is known for its family-friendly environment. That being said, there’s a bar, so it’s fun for adults, too.
Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile.
In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...
More by Rebecca Silvestri