Since the warm weather is approaching, it is only appropriate that I now segue from ice cream parlors to outdoor patios. Cincinnati is special in that it boasts a surreal topographical landscape. This city’s geography enjoys rolling hills, expansive panoramas, and a serene, flowing river (even if it looks a bit like chocolate milk on most days), which all provide an unrivaled backdrop for enjoying vistas of the skyline, outdoor space, plant life, food, drinks, and conversations with friends and family.
Below are my personal favorites for a variety of reasons:
Arthur’s Café (Hyde Park) – This particular patio is my favorite non-river-view outdoor space. There is plenty of vegetation, so it feels more like you’re sharing your experience enveloped inside of a garden, not a restaurant. Relaxing, welcoming, and serene.
Cabana on the River (Addyston) – With plenty of outdoor seating, this seasonal restaurant is open and ready for business this warm season. Enjoy an expansive food menu with drinks while taking in the calming, beautiful, and otherworldly river views.
Habits Café (Oakley) – Another outdoor patio that, unfortunately, doesn’t have the luxury of taking in the scenic downtown skyline or the Ohio River. And, even though it is located on a pretty busy thoroughfare in Madison Road, the quaint Oakley Square is more than enough to take in while enjoying one of the many available food items (and drinks) on Habits’ menu. Also, people watching!
Incline Public House (Price Hill) – I have not been, but I’ve seen pictures. And, boy, does that view look stunning. I hear the food is fantastic as well. Expect a review for this place sometime this warm season.
Keystone Bar & Grill (Hyde Park) – See also: Habits Café. (Except its major thoroughfare is Erie Avenue in Hyde Park). Parking can be a bit tricky, but they have brunch and mimosas. Need I say more?
Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club (Ludlow, KY) – Where it truly feels like summer vacation. LBYC, as I so affectionately know this laid-back seasonal “yacht club”, is—hands down—my favorite on this list, and its atmosphere is unparalleled. Great drinks, fun, live music, Ohio River views, and above average bar food provide a setting unlike any other in the city.
Moerlein Lager House (Downtown) – Vistas can be enjoyed from inside and outside of this Cincinnati flagship. Either way, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, the Ohio River, and the banks of Northern Kentucky are all key components of the expansive landscape from your seat inside of this new, contemporary delicacy. The food ain’t half bad either.
Mt. Adams Pavilion (Mt. Adams) – Like Newport on the Levee, I wouldn’t recommend frequenting this bar on a regular occasion. However, if friends are coming in from out of town or if you’re looking for an evening to take in Cincinnati’s breathtaking skyline, do so from one of Pavilion’s multiple outdoor patios. Get there early—unless you like thumping basslines and techno music (also cover charges) post-11pm.
Newport on the Levee (Newport, KY) – While I don’t love going to a lot of places in The Levee, I find myself suggesting them for the sole fact that the view from Brother’s, Jefferson Hall, and Claddaugh are to die for. You can enjoy beverages with friends while taking in the scenery of downtown Cincinnati, its bridges that span the Ohio, and the rolling hills of Mt.Adams and Walnut Hills.
Yard House (Downtown) – Here, you are able to ogle at the serene sights of Downtown Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium, the Ohio River, and—most importantly—John A. Roebling’s suspension bridge (and Brooklyn Bridge prototype) as complements to your loud, verbose, and cheery dinner.