Sunny or cold – in our book it’s always patio season! Louisville’s laid back culture provides some amazing patio options for us, and we wanted to give you some of our favorites and why. If you want a HUGE list of options, you can, of course, download AppyHour and click on the “Patio SZN” banner. It’ll give you all the amazing options you’re looking for!
8up is a trendy restaurant in downtown Louisville with craft cocktails and New American cuisine. The main attraction is their open-air rooftop bar with a view of the city and the Ohio River. It’s a beautiful sight at night while sitting around the many fire pits with a drink in hand! During the winter they have igloos so you can stay warm and still enjoy the atmosphere. Rooftops are rare in Louisville especially when it’s cold outside so don’t skip this cool opportunity!
Agave & Rye’s eclectic outdoor patio is a sure-fire spot to get the good times rolling with friends. Outfitted with a beautiful, mosaic-style bar top, hammocks, and hand-shaped chairs, there are few better places to enjoy a tasty margarita! They also offer fantastic happy hours and specials including their “Taco Tuesday” and “Whiskey Wednesday” deals. (Check out our Best Happy Hours post).
New to Louisville in 2020, Agave & Rye opened on the corner of Baxter Avenue and Lexington Road. As made clear by their name, Agave & Rye is known for their wide selection of tequilas and whiskeys. They put their own twist on Mexican fare by offering unique tacos and tasty appetizers to pair with their creative cocktails. With an arcade full of classic games, Agave & Rye is a complete sensory experience!
When it comes to outdoor space, size does matter! Blind Squirrel does not fall short. Their main area is full of fire pits, ample seating, and an outdoor bar. There is also an upper level usually reserved for private events. If you would rather just grab a drink and watch people play sand volleyball, you can do that, too! They have stadium style seating surrounding the courts, so you’re guaranteed to have a view of the games.
This is another casual patio with picnic tables, but Cask sits on a little pond with surrounding trees for some scenery! Recently as well they have added a big, heated tent for outdoor dining due to Covid-19. They take a new approach on traditional southern foods and cocktails if you are looking to try something different. You can even save a buck or two and come during happy hour every Tuesday through Friday!
Why have one patio when you can have two? Decca provides you with a covered veranda AND a lower patio surrounded by beautiful greenery! Both options will keep you warm with their spaced-out heaters as you indulge in their seasonally inspired menu provided by James Beard nominated chef, Annie Pettry.
Decca is located in a renovated building from the 1870s in the heart of the Nulu district. They take pride in their support towards sustainability and reflect that through their locally farmed and small production ingredients. You get the full experience with featured local artists or musicians alongside the Mediterranean-inspired food and drink when you visit Decca!
What is more southern than eating fried chicken and huge helpings of sides on an outdoor patio? All of that, plus a campfire. In my opinion, one of the best features a patio can have is fire. The Eagle’s patio is filled with fire pits and heaters to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up eating The Eagle’s famous spoonbread with their spicy honey while sitting at one of their fireside tables.
This outdoor patio may not be the largest of the group but if you use their reservation system, you can get a table easily! Hidden in the backyard of the restaurant, El Mundo’s patio can provide you with a more private dining experience. Also don’t forget about their $5 house margaritas all day long on Wednesdays and Thursdays! They feature Mexican eats with a twist because of their use of local ingredients like Kentucky bison.
A NuLu staple, Garage Bar is known for their outdoor space much of which is covered in turf, including some of the bench seating. They offer cornhole boards and outdoor ping pong so make sure to bring your A-game!
Owned by the same people as another local favorite, Proof on Main, Garage Bar is known for their outdoor space and hanging hams. That’s right, they cure their own hams and they can be seen hanging behind one of the bars. Inside the kitchen, they pump out some killer pizzas including one of the best margherita pizzas in town – they even made it onto our Best Pizza Spots list!! You haven’t experienced NuLu until you’ve stopped in at Garage Bar.
Grassa Gramma is part of the Belle Noble Entertainment Group owned by Kevin Grangier. This restaurant reflects both northern and southern Italian heritages through its fresh-ingredient menu. Their lit-up patio alongside the building now provides heated dining bubbles covering each table! With winter approaching these could be your perfect solution to dining out and staying warm. The Monday $19.50 Meal Deal or 50% off Wine Wednesdays can be your other reason to give the bubbles a try!
Quite possibly the best view in Louisville! Located just a few minutes from downtown on Baxter Avenue, Gravely’s elevated deck provides a near perfect view of the downtown skyline. Louisville has an unfortunate lack of rooftop bars and while this technically isn’t rooftop, it’s pretty darn close!
Gravely’s unique spin on a brewery is also very refreshing. As a music brewery, Gravely puts just as much love into their tunes as they do their beer (which is some of the best brew in Lou). Every beer is paired with a song that embodies its flavor and style. It’s also very common to find great regional bands playing live music inside their mini concert hall. Gravely should be on everyone’s list of best spots in the ‘Ville!
If you’re craving a big, juicy burger with a craft beer on the side then this is the place for you! They alternate specials each week, so you always have a new kind of burger to try as well. Located in Nulu, this outdoor patio offers a casual setting with picnic tables. Their modern and simple décor can make any night feel like you’re at the family barbecue!
Starting out in 2012, Grind Burger Kitchen was just a food truck before growing into a brick and mortar restaurant on Preston Hwy and then moving to their current location. They have since become an ambassador for the local food movement in Louisville and aim to provide the best local and regional ingredients. If you are a bourbon lover, they are also known for having over 60 different kinds!
This Cuban-inspired restaurant takes you back to Mima’s cooking in the 1950s where each bite is more flavorful than the last. They have ample space in their courtyard, bringing you tropical vibes all year long with their bright colors and exotic plants surrounding the entire patio. Some days you can catch a live saxophonist providing the tunes and they even have a cigar patio coming in 2021! Such a fun way to enjoy another culture without leaving the city!
Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen sits in downtown Louisville’s Whiskey Row and their patio, lit with string lights, runs along the side of the building. They have small fire pits between the spaced-out tables and bourbon barrels lining the edge. Find yourself there on a Thirsty Thursday where they have Happy Hour all day long! Also try a variety of southern eats from fried chicken to candied bourbon maple bacon to the green chili jam burger. Yum!
Monnik is a brewery and restaurant that gives off major cozy vibes when sitting outside. They offer 20 different beers on tap and pub fare. The patio includes a couple tables on the front sidewalk and more picnic tables along the side street. It is decorated with lights above and is covered to give you some shade or protection while eating! They also have fun drinks such as bagged cocktails and change their specials frequently based on what is available locally and seasonally. You are guaranteed to get something fresh and high quality here. Head to the Schnitzelburg neighborhood of Louisville and give them a visit soon!
Placed in the middle of the lively Westport Village, Napa River Grill gives you a taste of California’s wine country without ever leaving Louisville! Whether you’re enjoying a nice lunch outside near the grapevines or a warm, fireside dinner under the patio lights, you’re destined to be in a great setting. They have been recognized several times for their award-winning wine and offer amazing happy hour specials every week as well.
Napa River Grill opened in 1999 and provides only locally sourced food and the best seasonal ingredients. The menu is based on Northern California cuisine with Pacific Rim fusion to give you a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else in the ‘Ville!
Stepping into Nouvelle’s quaint outdoor space is like walking through a zen garden in another dimension. It truly feels like you are not in Louisville anymore! Somewhat hidden in NuLu, Nouvelle’s patio offers the ideal sanctuary to indulge in your favorite wine. Their tree-covered space in lined with stone pathways that weave through the many plants. There is even a waterfall! It is very hard to put the allure of Nouvelle’s space into words – this is a place you need to see for yourself!
Once again… Size matters! Parlour offers plenty of seating on their back patio as well as a turfed area for cornhole and other activities. The classic string lights pull together the ambiance and make for some great pizza pics!
Parlour took the place of Crescent Hill Craft House after it’s closing in 2020. While Craft House was a Frankfort Avenue staple, Louisvillians were beyond excited that the infamous Jeffersonville Parlour was sending its pies across the river! Thanks to Craft House’s infrastructure already in place, Parlour was fitted with plenty draft lines ready for craft brews. Name a better combo than pizza and beer… I’ll wait…
Red Hog’s newly renovated patio is a beautiful setting for some of the best food in Louisville. Just steps away from their butcher shop, Red Hog’s patio is brought to life by a beautiful granite tabletop and a large fire pit. If you’re lucky, you’ll sit right next to the pile of wood they use for their brick oven and smoker!
The mastermind behind Red Hog’s menu, Noam Bilitzer, is a former Chopped Champion (season 37, episode 2). Noam changes the menu regularly to incorporate seasonal ingredients and offer less common cuts of meat to align with their responsible butcher mentality. Make sure to pair your meal with any of Red Hog’s inventive cocktails and you’re in for a beautiful night!
What would a patio list be without a great water view? River House sits off River Road and provides one of the best views in Louisville. A stunning, heated patio overlooks the Ohio River and an upscale menu offers something desirable for everyone. If you like bourbon, make sure to order their smoked old fashioned – it is served out of a Booker’s box still filled with smoke!
If you haven’t been to ShopBar, you’re missing out on a unique experience. Operating as half bar, half thrifty boutique, ShopBar is a fun place explore! Their covered patio has a great vibe provided by a fireplace, string lights, and unique tables and chairs. An ever-changing cocktail menu and events like their Tuesday “Ladies Nights” are a great reason to grab a drink and check out their latest shop items.