Palatable Patios: Shady Spots For Summer Chillin' 

click to enlarge Tons of choices for SA summer lounging, such as this cozy spot at Alchemy Kombucha & Culture. - JAIME MONZON
  • Jaime Monzon
  • Tons of choices for SA summer lounging, such as this cozy spot at Alchemy Kombucha & Culture.

Choosing a good patio in San Antonio is much like finding good tacos. It's not very hard to find a chill spot with awesome shade, food and a frosty libations. But the patio game has been on fire lately with the addition of several as-of-yet undiscovered spots — pristine oases, if you will. Here's a rundown of patios to visit this summer.

click to enlarge summerguide1-1.jpg

Alchemy Kombucha & Culture

1123 N. Flores St., (210) 320-1168,

Call it the triple threat of patios. The latest addition to North Flores, Alchemy combines light, innovative bites, cool cocktails and zippy kombucha, fermented tea (a Chinese tradition dating 2,000 years). While the dining room is dark and intimate, the patio's shade and breezy atmosphere are worth lounging around for a few happy hours. Cedar tables and benches, crafted by Alchemy owners and staff, are woodsy-chic and effortless, but the patio will see more action if future plans of glass-blowing demos, bands and ice cream socials come to fruition. As far as food options go, chefs Brandon McKelvey and Mark Garcia serve up an exquisite vegan mushroom curry and colorful off-menu specials that propel local produce to another level — aesthetically and delectably.

CommonWealth CoffeeHouse & Bakery

118 Davis Ct., (210) 560-2955,

If the inside of this faux-Parisian coffeeshop wasn't sweet enough, CommonWealth owners have secured their place as the cutest outdoor space in town with the addition of plentiful covered seating on both front and back patios. The neighborhood-facing front of the house acts as street-level bistro while the back patio, complete with an adorable chicken coop/treehouse and container gardens make you want to sip lattes in this Alamo Heights oasis all day long. Take in a crepe or Belgian waffle come weekend mornings, afternoon pastry or mid-day lunch of croque monsieur, quiche Lorraine or other Francophile favorites on weekdays.

Silo Terrace Oyster Bar

22211 I-10 W., (210) 698-2002,

For a taste of the high life, and no we don't mean the Champagne of Beers, head north. Way north. And land at the third Silo Terrace location in town that packs in an upscale menu, a fresh collection of oysters — which changes daily — and a great vino selection. A privacy fence works well for those power meetings, while the expert staff keeps service flowing regardless of where you're dining at the eatery. We're suckers for menu items that were in the Atlantic days before landing on the table, so the chef's expertise with seafood keeps San Antonio Current food writers going back for more.

Taps Y Tapas

1012 N. Flores St., (210) 277-7174,

Though Taps y Tapas opened in 2013, the patio still remains an undiscovered refuge from the bustling city on most weeknights. Built around the historic 1883 Charles Ochse house, the front and back patios are built for relaxing to the max. Whether you're taking advantage of the quiet front lawn enjoying a date night, or joining a group of friends for an evening of cold beers (there's 24 mostly craft to choose from) on the sprawling back patio, Taps y Tapas has a bit of everything on the menu. Chef Luciano Valadez, formerly with Texasada Food Truck, packs in flavorful and light takes on accessible patio food. Our last visit included lightly toasted slices of fluffy French bread topped with a chunky yet light avocado spread. Menu items change often — carne guisada fries, a favorite, have been replaced with just as tasty mole fries — the foundation for light and flavorful fun persists.

Toro Taco Bar

114 Brooklyn Ave.,

Downtown patios run the gamut from over-the-top haciendas to kitschy on-the-river tourist traps. If you're willing to switch up the scene, Toro Taco Bar has an enviable menu of snacks, with special tacos making fairly regular appearances. Built by chef-owner Rick Frame, the gravel-lined and wood furniture patio borders on barebones, but the setting is more than worth a visit. You're far enough away from the bustle of downtown where you can still admire the San Anto skyline, but you don't have to pay for parking while enjoying three types of fresh-made guacamole, chicharrones with spicy Valentina or aforementioned specials such as smoked Red Snapper tacos, achiote-laced molleja tacos and more.

The Block

14530 Roadrunner Way, (210) 690-3333,

Bear with me here — The Block may have been discovered by hordes of UTSA students, but the quaint and well-kept patio makes for a fun mid-week dining spot. Come weeknights, you won't have to struggle over which of the usual trucks to choose from — only two or three trucks are available during the evening. Recent visits included offerings such as smashed plantains filled with picadillo and a spicy chimichurri from Gus' Empanadas, and a boatload of Asian snacks out of Sir-Wacha. Wait times are decent, the atmosphere is mild and the soundtrack harkens back to college days filled with Death Cab For Cutie and other alt-rock jams.

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