The Texas sun in summertime can be brutal, but it’s nothing an ice cold beverage and a shady patio can’t fix.
Just five minutes by car or a short bike ride from downtown lies newly established Trinity Groves, a dining and shopping hub catering to foodies, families and fans of unique, locally sourced fare. The covered, shed-like structure houses a unique collection of indoor-outdoor restaurants and shops. Highlights include LUCK (an acronym for “Local Urban Craft Kitchen”), a laid-back gastropub offering an enormous array of cold, local draft beer; and Kitchen LTO, a progressive culinary concept that features new chef and menu on a rotating/seasonal basis. There’s also Souk, a Moroccan-style bistro offering modern, Mediterranean flavors and an ambiance that’s as unique and exotic as the menu.
In Dallas’ ever-evolving Lower Greenville neighborhood is Steel City Pops, a modern popsicle stand specializing in fresh, seasonal flavors made with all-natural, gluten-free ingredients. Local favorites include pineapple jalapeño, strawberry lemonade and buttermilk. Try the cookie pops for an even sweeter treat, which consist of traditional, creamy flavors with a brownie or cookie dough-filled center. A few doors down is HG Sply Co. and Remedy, neighboring restaurants offering both a rooftop patio and a drink menu that’s just as popular as the food. Try the HG Moscow Mule, a refreshing vodka cocktail made with lime, agave and ginger kombucha. The family-friendly fountain at Remedy serves up made-to-order sodas in flavors like texas grapefruit and meyer lemon, while the cocktail menu includes an adventurous array of spirits and flavors, from a tequila and egg cream concoction called “The Wildcard” to “The Signet,” a blend of scotch, chartreuse and cacao.
In Fort Worth, Woodshed Smokehouse’s refined, Texas-style fare tastes best on the restaurant’s large, pet-friendly patio overlooking the Trinity River. The University Park Village establishment from famed chef and local Tim Love puts a gourmet spin on Texas classics like tacos, tamales and barbecue. For groups, family-style entrees include a 16-hour-smoked beef shin and open fire paella with shellfish, game bird and rattlesnake sausage. With live music nearly every night and a steady flow of local beer on tap, Woodshed Smokehouse is a place to eat and stay for a while.
Similarly, Katy Trail Ice House Outpost in Plano features a pet-friendly, outdoor dining area with picnic benches galore. An ideal spot for sports fans, there’s no shortage of TVs out here — not to mention the endless beer selection. Featuring simple staples like burgers, brisket tacos and loaded cheese fries, the Outpost offers a casual environment ideal for happy hours, games and get-togethers.