Patios and rooftops! Walk-up windows and food trucks! Box parks and streateries! Strolling in DORAs! When it comes to dining outdoors, we have our pick of places to choose from. Not sure where to go? Our guide to summer eating has you covered.
Check out the map below to find all of the best outdoor dining patios and streateries in in Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton, and downtown:
And check out these options beyond the Central Business District:
This walk-up window wishes pizza to all and to all a good pie. They have sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and desserts, too, but it’s hard to see past the 18-inch Kevin Bacon. It’s raining olives, and the pepperoni is fine, so stop and ask yourself, Is it pizza night? Say yes. 1609 Chase Ave., Northside, (513) 591-3333
The nanobrewery in Mt. Healthy boasts a biergarten space filled with colorful furniture and shaded by large trees, perfect for Cincinnati’s sweltering summer afternoons. Kick back with a Prunus milk stout with cherry or a refreshing Hard Pear Cider beneath the canopy and delight in live music acts hosted on the wooden box stage. 1445 Compton Rd., Mt. Healthy, (513) 832-1422
When you want to see downtown Cincinnati without going downtown, the Incline Public House has the view for you. A taste of history serves as a requisite starter, and a bevy of options from the brick oven or in-house smoker provide the meal. You may find yourself inclined to visit regularly. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, (513) 251-3000
Like its bourbon, The Littlefield’s patio is woodsy and warm. Share a mustard flight with friends, grab a plate of poutine or tofu, or savor the Spring Grove Snack, a nuts-pork rind-veggie combo. They’re open late so you can watch the sun set and linger for another round. The best things in The Littlefield aren’t rushed. 3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, (513) 386-7570
You’ll find jazz lounge vibes inside this minority-owned Walnut Hills brewery, located inside the historic Paramount Building. But during the warmer months, the patio is the place to be. Picnic seating dotted with umbrellas provides the perfect spot for sipping a Valkyrie Norwegian IPA or chowing down on Korean fried chicken courtesy of Decibel. 918 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 214-1987
Forty Thieves keeps it classic with food so good and so affordable it’s practically a steal. Snag falafel, beef shawarma, or grilled chicken on a sandwich or over hummus or rice. Za’atar fries and roasted beets beg to join as sides, but you’ll be the one begging for seconds. 1538 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 818-9020
Perched above the city on the roof of the 21c Museum Hotel, Cocktail Terrace serves up whimsical drinks and a delightful bar menu (courtesy of Metropole Executive Chef Vanessa Miller and her team) in a cozy venue. Order a handmade bottled cocktail or adult slushie and nosh on oysters, lobster rolls, and other seaside fare among company in this ready-made summertime patio bar in the sky. 609 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 578-6600
Jasmine Davis started this dessert-only food truck last summer out of her desire to bring her cakes, cheesecakes, and other treats to the masses. From catering gigs to festivals, Davis slings her sweets wherever she’s invited. And with items like her cheesecake cake (in strawberry and Oreo flavors), you’re likely to see her at an event near you soon.
German, Turkish, and Mediterranean dishes from a food truck is a mobile lesson in global eating and Kantine is a great teacher. Packed with locally sourced ingredients, the menu is full of kebabs and salads, but we recommend the Cubano. It’s slow cooked pork shoulder marinated in an orange lime brine, crammed into crispy Cuban bread with ham, Dijon mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese. If you’re too lazy to chase this truck around town, you’ll soon be able to head over to its brick-and-mortar location at the Harrison Terminal Lofts, Kantine Biergarten.
Your brain may not readily process “Korean barbecue with a Mexican flair,” but your taste buds will be more than happy with this food truck’s fusion menu. The shining star is the Korean taco (with your choice of beef, chicken, or tofu), topped off with owner B.J. Kim’s homemade bursting-with-flavor sauces. Add a warm tortilla and turn into a burrito or change that to rice for a bowl. Whatever way you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
When you absolutely must have a view for brunch, you need a table at the Overlook. Survey Madisonville from on high with a cocktail in hand, and watch the streets light up. If you’re struggling to pick your main, spend time with the cheesy appetizers. They are locally sourced and a bite above your average cheese plate. 5345 Medpace Way, Madisonville, (513) 527-9906
La Cantina, the latest addition to Crown Restaurant Group’s stable of eateries, has made the most out of its former Cheapside Café digs by adding outdoor seating. Guests can enjoy an expanded menu of taco plates and agave-based spirits this summer. Go beyond the tacos with twists on traditional dishes like carne asada made with Australian Wagyu beef and Amish chicken mole. 326 E. Eighth St., downtown, (513) 345-6783
With panoramic views of downtown Cincinnati, AC Upper Deck’s sprawling rooftop bar lets you take in the city, enjoy a drink (specialty cocktails include a spicy pineapple margarita and “Naked Strawberry Sangria”) and snack on small plates from the tapas menu. Order a charcuterie board, some Buffalo chicken dip, and kielbasa for the table, and take in the sprawling views. And for larger groups, you can even rent couches for cozy conversation. 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, downtown, (513) 744-9900
The View at Shires’ Garden pays homage its namesake, Shires’ Gardens, the region’s first-ever amusement resort (which sadly went down in flames in 1848). Perched on the 10th floor of the City Club Apartments, this panoramic 2,000-square-foot patio features a rounded bar, lounge seating, and a private event space, serving up classy cocktails and brunch and dinner menus. 309 Vine St., downtown, (513) 407-7501
With a strictly plant-based menu, owner Monica Meier’s vegan food truck has been dishing out meat-free options all around town for more than three years. Snag a Dynamite Bowl, a veggie-and-soy tender combo over rice. If bowls aren’t your thing, Rollin’ Bowls also has soups, sandwiches, and quesadillas. Meier even serves a healthy version of a Big Mac, featuring an Impossible burger.
During the pandemic, Urban Artifact converted a portion of Blue Rock Street into an outdoor patio space perfect for unwinding in a socially distanced atmosphere. Today, you can enjoy a fruity sour, like a raspberry and blackberry-packed Gadget or a summer-y strawberry Squeezebox, at one of the picnic tables in this street patio space. 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, (513) 542-4222
Venezuelan cuisine is only a window away. Empanadas and arepa pabellon fill the stomach and heart, and tres leches makes a sweet treat. The restaurant’s name roughly translates as “really great,” and that confidence is supported by the cooking. Come hungry, leave impressed. 8100 Blue Ash Rd., Deer Park, (513) 793-3100
Is there ever a bad day to enjoy some pierogi? Whether you’re celebrating or seeking comfort food, there’s pierogi waiting. If you can’t decide what to have for dinner, the pizzarogi and samosarogi provide the best of a couple worlds in one mouthful. Bet you can’t try just one. 1200 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-3739
Tacos aren’t just food. They’re a feeling, and what’s better than feeling them under the stars? As you’re romanced by A&R’s red chandeliers and bourbon peach punch, you may find yourself falling hard for The Crown Jewel, which shines with all good things—like lobster, mac & cheese, and truffle oil. 3825 Edwards Rd., Norwood, (513) 620-8228
Named for owner James Fisher’s childhood respite in England, Somerset is a lush oasis that feels like an urban jungle happy hour. In a nod to his globe-trotting parents, Fisher created Somerset with the vision to bring the world to Over-the-Rhine via an approachable neighborhood hangout. Built with materials sourced from around the globe, Somerset lets you bypass the plane ticket to step into other cultures right here. 139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 270-5982
Hungry? That’s a challenge Billy Yanks takes personally. Fill up on food, conversation, and the buzz of downtown Hamilton in the restaurant’s patio space. The hefty burgers will give you plenty of reason to sit and stay a spell, and the bar’s bourbon collection has something to say, too. 205 Main St., Hamilton, (513) 844-0130
Settle in at Vista, Lytle Park Hotel’s rooftop destination. You can sip on signature cocktails such as the bourbon-based Vista Fashion or Purple People Bridge, made with local butterfly pea blossom-infused gin, while you take in the Cincinnati skyline. Share a Vista flatbread with friends or feed your need with a 4YR cheddar burger for one. 311 Pike St., downtown, (513) 621-4500
Centralizing Cincinnati’s food truck ecosystem on the lot of a former Gold Star Chili, Clear Mountain Food Park showcases local fares on a rotating basis Wednesday to Saturday. Enjoy live music and sample favorites such as Trolley Donuts and Twisted Greek, while sipping on a cold drink from the central bar. 2792 Old State Route 32, Batavia, (513) 536-7107
Gourmet hot dogs and duck fat fries taste better in the sunshine with a view primed for people watching—the busy goings on of Summit Park are only steps away. Hop from the park to the restaurant’s patio without missing a beat. A day at the park never tasted so good. 1100 Summit Place Dr., Blue Ash, (513) 769-0099
It’s rarely too late for a good pizza. Bub’s hours extend to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and the joint closes at midnight on Thursday and Sunday. That gives you plenty of time to design your own goetta and basil pizza or pick up a traditional margherita. Bub’s even has outstanding salads, like the mozzarella caprese, for veggie fans. 3200 Linwood Ave., Mt. Lookout, (513) 321-2540
The folks who started their growing beer empire in a garage expanded to the outdoors with a rooftop bar in July 2019. The 5,000-square-foot patio is filled with cozy plastic
igloos during the frigid winter months, but in the summer it’s an outdoor oasis featuring lush garden walls and wooden picnic tables for sitting and sipping. There are few better places to party with the sweeping views of downtown Covington and the Cincinnati skyline. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, (859) 261-5600
The covered patio at Ivory House calls to all who enjoy great steak, but it serenades the oenophiles, encouraging them to stop and smell the wine. Discover the perfect pairing for your salmon or skirt steak and launch the week with a Werk Castle Feast for Sunday brunch. Fresh air and aged vintages politely request your attendance. 2998 Harrison Ave., Westwood, (513) 389-0175
A gourmet escape with shady trees for sunny afternoons and fires for cool evenings, this is the epitome of date night material. Enjoy the mood, the wine, and the rack of lamb with someone you love, or just savor good food in a beautiful space without distractions. There’s a table on the patio for any kind of diner. 6904 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, (513) 271-5400
Billed as a “modern-day speakeasy,” this downtown sports bar, conveniently located within walking distance of Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium, serves up plenty of athletic action with 10 TVs, affordably priced libations, and some legit good pub food. And while all that’s well and good, the sizable rooftop patio is where it’s at, so order an Alley Club or O’Malley’s Burger and a tall Rhinegeist, and soak up the athleticism. 24 W. Third St., downtown, (513) 381-3114
Walk up and slow down for a Turtle. No, it isn’t a pet. It’s Gomez Salsa’s burrito wrapped in a tostada for extra cheese and crunch. If tacos, burritos, and bowls are more your speed, you’re in luck. Pick your meal’s protein and style for a customized lunch. Don’t forget to live a little: Get some queso. 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-1596
The Patio at Coppin’s aims to be your new backyard. Take time for lawn games after your salad or relax with a flick as you enjoy your filet mignon (the restaurant hosts evening movie screenings). From breakfast and brunch to evening drinks and charcuterie, it’s fine dining kept casual, under the warm Covington sky. 638 Madison Ave., Covington, (859) 905-6600
What’s better than a great sandwich? A great sandwich made with a great bagel. This “windough” is a brunch-y haven with everything from a classic lox bagel sandwich to the McSchmears, a breakfast treat of egg and Muenster on a chocolate chip bagel. Every bite is part of a perfect circle. 308 Greenup St., Covington, (859) 412-6922