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The Hit List: Patios Please!

With temperatures rising and hotter days ahead, clubs and restos with fun outdoor spaces will be safe havens for thirsty Houstonians looking to cool off and nosh. Here are five posh patios, perfect for chilling out.

Outside and brand-new Eleven XI

1. New Montrose eatery Eleven XI (607 W. Gray St., 713.529.5881) touts a Southern-heavy menu and a top-choice patio. Chef Kevin Bryant’s menu features tea-smoked, fried game hen, Texas quail and whole roasted flounder. The cocktail menu and a solid selection of wines by the glass are perfect for evenings outside on the expansive, lounge-friendly patio.

2. Benjy’s Rice Village location (2424 Dunstan Rd., 713.522.7602) sports a full happy hour menu of cocktail concoctions, sweet martinis and $5 glasses of wine. PYTs sip and savor on the balcony as bartenders create mixed drinks, like the Citrus Blossom, a fresh grapefruit and vodka affair perfect for those balmy summer nights.

3. Still-new Latin American Tapas restaurant, Batanga (908 Congress St.), has a 3,600-square-foot patio with a sweet view of Market Square, sitting right in the middle of the rejuvenated nightlife neighborhood. Drink choices include South American and Spanish wines, 50 beers, and cocktails, like the Finn's Revenge with vanilla rum, coco milk and ginger beer.

4. Montrose’s new patio destination Brooklyn Athletic Club (601 Richmond Ave., 713.527.4440) celebrates the sporting life with a full outdoor experience. The sports-savvy bar serves craft beers and drink specials inside and out as young professionals and seasoned business people munch on the likes of mussels and fries and the house favorite Clubhouse burger. Guests can use one hand to play croquet, bocce ball or table tennis while holding their drink in the other.

5. Straits Asian Bistro (800 Sorella Court, 713.365.9922) offers up a stellar happy hour during the week, from 4pm to 7pm, and Sunday from 6pm to 10pm. Guests can enjoy $6 specialty cocktails, $5 well cocktails and $5 wines. The tasty bites menu has $5 dishes from Chef John Sikhattana served on the extensive wraparound patio, like the roti prata, Straits frites, Singapore satay sticks, barbecue pork sliders and spicy tuna rice paper rolls.