Your Summer Outdoor Dining Guide

Move your evening meals or nightcaps to the patio at these amazing al fresco spots.
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You can enjoy your dinner on the lawn at The Standard in Covington.

Photograph by Devyn Glista

The Standard

This Covington filling-station-turned-ersatz-dive serves up chef-driven bar fare (goetta reuben, chicken parm grinder) and fun drink selections (Marge’s Bourbon Slush) from its spot under the railroad bridge. And the partially covered patio areas are vibey as hell, with colorful furniture, automotive decor, and even chandelier lighting. 434 Main St., Covington, (859) 360-0731, thestandardcov.com

Amador Cuban Restaurant

Newport on the Levee is back, baby! Fresh signs of life are emerging, including the Cuban eatery and rum bar Amador. Try some of Amador’s signature cocktails and small plates or go all in on tropical dishes like grilled mahi-mahi on the 2,500-square-foot patio with a killer view of downtown Cincinnati. 1 Levee Way, Newport, (859) 392-2060, amadorcuban.com

HighGrain Brewing

While we’re excited for HighGrain’s new Brentwood Bowl location, the original taproom and kitchen will always hold a special place in our hearts for its inventive food, primo craft brews, and vibrant outdoor area. Order a hop sauce burger and IPA and grab a table on the lawn for some summertime fun. 6860 Plainfield Rd., Silverton, (513) 791-7000, highgrainbrewing.com

Incline Public House

Check out the unrivaled views of the urban core from its vista atop the legendary incline hill, where the 1,400-square-foot deck is a truly special spot to take in downtown, the Ohio River, and more. Enjoy scratch-made sandwiches, pizzas, and salads with a craft brew or bourbon cocktail at this West Side staple. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, (513) 251-3000, inclinepublichouse.com

Opal

There’s a lot to love about Opal, which brings open-fire cooking to the area with the only Grillworks Grill within a two-hour radius of the Queen City. But the rooftop dining is at the top of the list, offering a 365-degree view of downtown and Northern Kentucky from its perch at the peak of the Republic Bank building. 535 Madison Ave., Covington, (859) 261-0629, opalrooftop.com

Ruth’s Parkside Café

David Tape’s Northside hotspot turned 10 last year and recently navigated the retirement of longtime manager Mary Kroner. As things change, though, the quality at Ruth’s stays the same for this spacious oasis in the bustling urban neighborhood, the perfect place to enjoy dinner on the patio under twinkling string lights and colorful umbrellas. 1550 Blue Rock St., Northside, (513) 542-7884, ruthscafe.com

Sacred Beast

Outdoor dining was the saving grace of Sacred Beast during the height of pandemic restrictions, when the city first shut down 15th Street for streatery dining. Grab a picnic table and enjoy house specials like fried mortadella, chicken schnitzel, or matzah ball soup. 1437 Vine St., Over-the- Rhine, (513) 213-2864, sacredbeastdiner.com

Tahona Taqueria + Tequila Bar

If you find yourself at Summit Park, you should secure a table on the patio at Tahona and enjoy the reimagined former Blue Ash Airport. Tacos and California cuisine are the name of the game here (definitely try the torta hongos), and a flight of three house-made margaritas in the open air makes for the perfect summer evening. 1100 Summit Place, Blue Ash, (513) 777-8226, tahonakitchen.com

The Rooftop at 21c

The hotel’s hip rooftop takes an “elevated” approach to open-air dining, with new Peruvian-inspired menu items from recently named Executive Chef Kam Losonsky, a Cincinnati native. And the high-altitude view only gets better with inspired cocktails like the Nazca Limes, a blend of blanco tequila, orange liqueur, agave, and lime. 609 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 578-6612, 21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati/therooftop21c

Woodburn Brewing

When March First acquired Walnut Hills’s Woodburn Brewing in 2020, the new owners made a handful of crucial changes, including installing a kitchen and expanding the drink menu. What they didn’t change, though, is the outdoor patio, an urban oasis perfect for enjoying a beer or cocktail, noshing on some pizza, and meeting friends for a game of cornhole. 2800 Woodburn Ave., Walnut Hills, (513) 221-2041, woodburnbrewing.com

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