Mouthwatering brisket and fall-off-the-bone ribs, delectable Neapolitan-style pizzas, and the palate-pleasing flavors of locally made craft beer and wine; get your appetite ready and taste it all in Tyler, home to one of the finest (and fastest-growing) culinary scenes in the Lone Star State. From iconic barbecue joints and breweries to Mediterranean eateries and fine-dining restaurants, the Rose Capital of America has it all. Better yet, you can enjoy many of Tyler’s perfectly palate-pleasing treasures outdoors, as many of its top places to eat have heavenly patios.

Hungry yet? Pack your bags and find your way to Tyler, located among the Piney Woods of East Texas about 100 miles east of Dallas. Once you’re here, start your outdoor culinary adventure at these prime destinations.

Downtown Tyler

With its red-brick streets, historic charm, and wealth of restaurants, downtown Tyler is a great place to start your foodie journey. Try out Café 1948, a trendy local spot with a light, airy feel that matches its healthful menu of cold-press juices, handcrafted smoothie bowls, and vegan and gluten-free options as well. Before you leave, browse grab a coffee and pastry to go. Café 1948 is located in Plaza Tower, where you’ll also find True Vine Brewing Company’s downtown location and Andy’s Frozen Custard.

At Culture ETX, Chef Lance McWhorter sources as many ingredients locally as possible, from nearby wagyu beef to honey. The result is authentically Texan, with show-stoppers like the famous 90-day aged Heritage Pork Chop, which won Best Bite of the Season on The Texas Bucket List. The leafy climbing vines at Rick’s on the Square also make a lovely setting for an outdoor meal, and the space comes alive at night with live music.

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

Named “One of the Best BBQ Joints in the World” by Texas Monthly, Stanley’s is an East Texas mecca for lovers of smoked meat. Stanley’s has been serving up authentic, pit-smoked barbecue for more than 60 years, and you’ll also find a selection of more than 100 whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes. In 2006, Nick and Jen Pencis took over this local favorite, solidifying its place in the world of barbecue with accolades in such publications as Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meats, published by Anthony Bourdain.

Taste it all for yourself by ordering up their spectacular ribs or the famous Mother Clucker sandwich, along with a craft beer or a specialty cocktail at the bar. The Mother Clucker is not just a sandwich—it’s an experience. They start with a spiked, smoked chicken thigh covered with a thick slab of melting cheddar and a schmear of spicy barbecue mayo. And since that’s not quite enough, they top it with a fried egg and serve it on their jalapeno-cheddar bun. Take it out to the spacious outdoor patio, an expansive space with an abundance of rustic charm thanks to its exposed brick walls, picnic tables, and all its creative wall art. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch some live music as well.

The Grove Kitchens

The Grove Kitchen & Gardens brings seasonal, chef-crafted menus and farm-to-table dining to Tyler. Its menu reads European fresh, with dishes like filet au poivre and chicken Milanese filling out a menu of delightful (and inventive) fare. Pair your meal of choice with a craft beer on tap or by the bottle, a wide range of red and white wines, or something from the extensive list of spirits and cocktails.

Wander through the inside of the restaurant and you’ll notice a chic and upbeat vibe that extends to the sprawling patio out back. Here you’ll find a soaring, slat-walled barn used as a stage for live music, as well as umbrella-covered tables, lawn games, a ping pong table, and an outdoor fireplace. Think Garden & Gun with a slight hint of Wes Anderson. Gather a few friends, grab an Aperol spritz (or your favorite kind of beverage), and enjoy your time in the gardens at the Grove.

Photo Credit: @rachel_lutt

Twelve Kitchen + Cocktails

For a modern, culinary experience, you don’t want to miss the new Twelve Kitchen + Cocktails located in Towne Oaks Plaza. With gourmet menu items and craft cocktails at affordable prices, like Thai steak and noodle salad, a smoked old fashioned, or the Insta-worthy birthday cake crazy shake, your palette will have plenty to savor while you socialize on the outdoor patio. The sleek bistro tables are shaded with chic white umbrellas, so you’re sure to stay comfortable in the Texas sunshine. Grab the Rose Garden, one of their signature drinks, and enjoy the patio with friends.

Photo Credit: @thalia_molina

Chakula Café at The African Overlook at Caldwell Zoo

Chakula Café can be found inside the Caldwell Zoo. Climb to the top of the African Overlook and you’ll be treated to an unforgettable panorama. “Chakula” means “food” in Kiswahili, the language of East Africa, and this is the place where tasty treats are served up every day. Choose from a variety of drinks, quick snacks, and hot fresh meals. Their patio has the best views this side of Mount Kilimanjaro. Be sure to feed the giraffes while you’re there!

Javi’s

Overlooking a picturesque pond and lush greenery, Javi’s makes the perfect setting for delicious Tex-Mex fare made with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. The inside dining room is lined with windows, while outside you can catch a breeze off the water. Plants both inside and out bring a fresh ambiance to the contemporary, light-filled space. The food shines equally well. Savor delicious entrees like the sizzling carne asada fajitas or the crispy chicken enchiladas, along with chips and house-made salsas that marry perfectly with an ice-cold margarita or a house cocktail. If you like tequila, be sure to try a flight from Javi’s favorite distillers.

Photo Credit: @brightcreative_

“The Garden” at The Foundry Coffee House

Stop at The Foundry Coffee House for craft coffee, artisan pastries, live music, and local art. The craft coffee is made with locally roasted beans from Porch Culture Coffee. Enjoy your rose syrup latte on their front patio or the new side patio, “The Garden”, surrounded by lush plants, string lights, and umbrellas for shade. You may even catch live music on the outdoor stage.

The Porch at ETX

You’ll probably come to ETX Brewing Co. for the craft beer, but you’ll stay even longer for the food—especially when you see the laid-back patio of The Porch at ETX. Friends, family, and pets are all welcome at this fun destination, and it’s easy to lose hours sipping beers, soaking up the sunshine, and playing lawn games. When your appetite catches up with you, The Porch at ETX serves up mouthwatering versions of all your bar-food favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers like chicken wings and cheese curds. Of course, everything tastes better with a cold one, like the Texas Stout of Mind or the Brickstreet Blond. An array of picnic tables outside the restaurant offer plenty of space to settle in, and the area is illuminated by overhanging lights at night, which dials up the ambiance if you’re out with your better half.

Sola Bread Co. and True Vine Brewing

Don’t miss an afternoon or evening at True Vine Brewing and Sola Bread Co. True Vine’s Earl Campbell Parkway location welcomes you with a massive beer garden that features a large stage for live music. There’s a lawn just beyond with games for kids and a dog park. Next door, their friends at Sola Bread offer red and white Neapolitan-style pizzas along with finger foods (such as a cheese board or a soft pretzel). If you’re in the mood for something fresh tasting, try the Penelope. This pie has a red-sauce base topped with mozzarella pearls, speck (a lightly smoked ham), and finished with arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt. To treat yourself, go for The Dad Bod, which features a garlic alfredo sauce with mozzarella, parmesan, taleggio, sweet gorgonzola, with coppa, chorizo, and speck.

Get what you want; there is no judgment here, only craft beers and well-crafted food. Cheers to a great weekend!

Kiepersol Vineyard, Winery, & Distillery

Tip back a glass of wine and relax as you enjoy a soothing breeze blowing in from a vineyard only steps away. This is what awaits on the tasting room patio at Kiepersol Vineyard & Winery, a prime East Texas destination for oenophiles. Located on 63 acres just south of Tyler, the winery produces award-winning wines with supple tannins and complex flavors, many of which are aged in oak barrels before bottling. Find a spot on the patio and munch on the fine cheeses and meats of a charcuterie board as you sip your red or white and take in the view of rolling hills covered in rows of vines.

Kiepersol is much more than a winery; it’s a culinary hotspot. Its restaurant is one of the top fine-dining destinations in the region, and the on-site distillery crafts a tantalizing array of spirits. Start with wine, sit down for a multi-course meal in the restaurant, and retire for the night in Kiepersol’s luxurious bed and breakfast. When you’re looking for a treat for all your senses, don’t miss a day (or a weekend) at Kiepersol.

Photo Credit: @highhillfarm

High Hill Farm

Combining laid-back luxury with the natural beauty of the region, High Hill Farm is the perfect getaway for guests looking to experience the good life, whether for an entire weekend or only for a meal. Just minutes outside of Tyler, it is a hidden gem in East Texas. The fine dining restaurant on property, Côte Restaurant, has a contemporary, romantic atmosphere. Their menu showcases seasonally prepared farm to table creations, along with a creative cocktail menu and extensive wine list. Dine on an artfully crafted dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings, or a feel-good brunch on Sundays. A few of our favorite dishes include the short rib omelet with horseradish crème, burgundy truffle fries, or the Australian lamb with acorn squash. Request to be seated on the large patio to relish sweeping views of the pool and the vineyard.

The next time you want to escape the hubbub of the big city, take a short drive through the Piney Woods of East Texas and enjoy a smorgasbord of first-rate restaurants. Check out our full list of patios here.

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