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Eating Out, Literally: Dining Outside Becomes Abundantly Popular

By Gini Rainey

What is it about the great outdoors that just seems to make everything better? Is it a primal need to escape the brick and mortar that we have surrounded our lives with in recent years? Or is it that fresh air, friends, great food, and live entertainment are the perfect ingredients to create a relaxing evening under the stars? Whatever the reason, you’ll be happy to know that Tyler is finally coming into its own as far as great patio venues are concerned.

  stanley patioStanley’s  Famous Pit BBQ                                             
525 S. Beckham, Tyler

Now this is one great patio! Not only a major contender for the best BBQ in Texas, Stanley’s has been in business for 50 years and current proprietors Nick and Jen Pencis intend to keep the great Mom & Pop atmosphere that was established by J. D. Stanley when he first started serving up some great BBQ.

As if the food isn’t enough to get you to the Stanley patio, there’s also some really great live music happening three nights a week that gets the patio jumping!


Rick’s  On the Square
104 W. Erwin St., downtown Tyler

Another great place in downtown Tyler, Rick’s patio will make you feel like you’ve jumped over into Louisiana with all the raw wood and iron grillwork. One of the first businesses to begin the trend of great downtown venues, Rick’s full bar and great menu includes seafood and steaks, and will remind you once again why you love downtown Tyler. Rick’s also features live entertainment on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights that will add to the enjoyment of your patio experience.

lago-del-pinoLago del Pino
14706 CR 1134, Tyler

Relatively new to the Tyler scene, Lago del Pino is another “must do” destination patio to visit. Touting its spectacular lake view and distinctive fountain show, Lago is fast becoming a favorite place in east Texans. With a menu loaded with fabulous dishes from fine steaks to vegetarian options, a great bar, and super service, Lago del Pino boasts a large patio area with live music featured on weekends. The view and history of this place makes Lago a favorite and definitely money well spent!

FRESH by Brookshires
6991 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler

Well, Brookshires’ has gone and done it. Not only have they built a place for a wonderful shopping experience, they have expanded and created a terrific outdoors dining and live entertainment venue. Every Friday evening, they serve up live entertainment along with craft beer and wine and light meals.
Go early if you want to score a table. FRESH has become a popular gathering place on Fridays for folks in south Tyler.

coyty samsCoyote Sam’s  Bar and Grille
5424 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler

Now if you’re looking for a great food experience combined with a hunting lodge experience, you need to go to Coyote Sam’s! Not only do they have great food, but the atmosphere is incredible. There’s so much to look at, you might just forget to sink your teeth into their incredible ribs or Kobe burgers. And, add to that a patio out back that has a creek running alongside and you’ll think you’ve been transported to Montana or Idaho. Occasionally Sam and Marsha also have live entertainment for your enjoyment.

And, add to that a patio out back that has a creek running alongside and you’ll think you’ve been transported to Montana or Idaho. Occasionally Sam and Marsha also have live entertainment for your enjoyment.

What About Kabob
713 WSW Loop, Tyler

Offering up some of the most hip food to hit Tyler, WAK also has a little patio space out front that occasionally hosts some really terrific live music. I promise you that you won’t put any food better than the Narnia’s in your mouth and you won’t receive any better service anywhere else in Tyler. This place is amazing and is so moderately priced, you’ll double check your ticket.


In addition to all of these great restaurants, there are plenty of others who offer patio dining, although not necessarily live entertainment. Among those are:

  • Andy’s Frozen Custard, 6106 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • B.J.’s Brewhouse & Restaurant, 210 WSW Loop 323, Tyler
  • Cheddar’s, 6701 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Chiptole, 4751 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Chris & Sam’s Bar and Grill, 2210 Three Lakes Parkway/Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler
  • Chuy’s, 5935 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Clear Springs Texas Seafood, 6519 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • The Egg & I, 150 E. Ninth St., Tyler
  • Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 1871 Troup Hwy., Tyler
  • Gus’ Mexican Restaurant, 16700 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Gresham
  • Happy’s Fish House, 2202 E. Fifth St., Tyler
  • The Jalapeno Tree, 420 WSW Loop 323, Tyler
  • Juls Restaurant, 7212 Old Jacksonville Hwy., , Tyler
  • Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, 1327 E. Front St., Tyler
  • Newk’s Express Cafe, 3985 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler
  • Oliveto Italian Bistro, 3709 Troup Hwy., Tyler
  • On The Border, 4301 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Panera Bread, 5755 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • The Purple Pig Cafe, 9785 State Highway 155 S., Flint
  • Razzoo’s, 7011 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Rusty’s Taco (2 locations) 1714 S. Beckham and 7920 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, 3316 Troup Hwy., Tyler
  • Shogun of Japan Steak House (2 locations) 3521 S. Broadway Ave. and 5515 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Smash Burger (2 locations) 3314 Troup Hwy. and 7484 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Traditions (Bistro), 6205 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
  • Villa Montez, 3324 Old Henderson Hwy., Tyler

There are more patios in the Tyler area. These are just a few to get you started. Grab your spouse, your partner, your best friends and get yourself outdoors to enjoy all of the wonderful food and entertainment that Tyler has to offer. I’m guessing you won’t regret it.


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