The Pandemic’s Still Going On — But That Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Let Loose (While Following CDC Guidelines). Here Are Some Awesome Area Patios For Doing So.

While most of us here at Central Track are hyper concerned with remaining socially distant and safe, some of us still can’t resist the urge to coexist with other humans in a shared outdoor space.

As for the later half: It’s me.

I can’t help it. Being in the physical proximity of other human beings is like a primal instinct for me — and I’m simply answering to that call.

Plus, according to the CDC, if I have to go out, then doing so at a place with ample outdoor seating is clearly my lowest-risk option available for doing so.

With many bars and restaurants still adhering to the everchanging state guidelines, it’s hard to know which patios are open and which are closed. As of right now, though, here are five Dallas patios we feel comfortable recommending to y’all for a good, socially distant time.

Xaman Cafe

Xaman Cafe is the newest player to enter Dallas’ agave cocteleria and speakeasy game. But, by focusing on coffee and sotol rather than just solely agave spirit cocktails, Xaman is unique in its own right. The restaurant and bar’s exterior looks like a coffee shop you might find in Polanco, Mexico City; it’s updated, clean and well-illuminated by natural light thanks to its big windows that overlook historic Jefferson Boulevard. It’s the perfect place for a mezcal-coffee cocktail with your Sunday brunch, and its front patio is an ideal spot to perch on for people-watching purposes. Just be sure you get there early: While Xaman Cafe indeed has a beautiful patio, it can only fit a limited number of people at a time. But the view makes it worth the effort.

Ten Bells Tavern


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The English-inspired bar in Oak Cliff has called Bishop Arts home for the last eight years now, and given it’s location just a short walk from the iconic Texas Theatre, the bar’s become a safe haven for film enthusiasts and, well, just overall colorful cast of characters. With a spacious patio area that doubles as a stray cat sanctuary, even if you don’t want to interact in close quarters with humans, there are dozens of cats for you to hang out with. Just be sure and follow the posted rules about the felines and don’t feed them. The staff takes care of that.

Lee Harvey’s

One of Dallas’ classic dives, Lee Harvey’s is a very straightforward, no bullshit spot that’s perfectly set up for these pandemic times. It’s super gigantic front yard space makes social distancing a breeze — and, really, there’s enough room for everyone. Just, please: Don’t expect to find any fancy cocktails at this bar named for a man who assassinated a president just a few miles away. The move here is to simply order a couple of beers — and, OK, maybe some shots. (Bad-dum tsssss!)

José on Lovers

If you really want to understand what makes the patio at José such a delightful destination, just look at the building’s overall visual language. Founded by the entertainment and development firm WoodHouse, which enlisted the help of Ceramica Suro founder Jose Noe Suro to design the building’s unique visual identity, the design here takes its inspiration from the cafes of Guadalajara and gives you two patio options: Half of it exists in a wholly open space, and the other half surrounded by a “16-foot-tall, 150-foot-long brise-soleil inlaid with over 200 handcrafted steel crosses embedded in the custom bricks.” It’s very pretty.

The Rustic

Don’t let the Uptown address scare you! Embrace the change of pace! We promise, despite your preconceptions, it’s not all pink Polo dude-bros and Karen-haircut Highland Park mothers here. Rather, it’s big open-air backyard offers patrons a socially distant spot for eating, catching some tunes and enjoying a cold one. Things are relatively spaced out too — at least as compared to the outdoor area’s pre-pandemic capacity of 2,000-plus people. Show up early enough to snag a picnic table for you and some friends to call your own, and you might just trick your mind into thinking this long international nightmare we’re dealing with has finally ended. Well, no promises there. But maybe!

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