The 40 Best Heated Patios, Rooftop Bars & Outdoor Dining in Louisville
Updated April 2021
Spring in Louisville arrives as an explosion of flowers and uplifting breezes off of the Ohio River. The tulips start to bloom at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, and Cherokee Park comes alive with all half-million Louisvillians taking their first walk of the year. With all that being said, what’s most indicative of spring in the ‘Ville is the patio season boom.
From late March to late September, restaurants clamor to create outdoor spaces for Louisvillians to do what they do best: eat and drink. Whether we’re sunning ourselves while sipping craft beer or hiding in a quiet garden for date night – these are the best restaurant patios in Louisville!
Outdoor Patios With Games In Louisville
One of our favorite things about going out in the summer is finding good hangouts. The places where you don’t have to leave all night because the food is good, there’s plenty of space to hang out with your friends, and there’s a little bit of distraction. Whether it’s corn-hole, video games, giant versions of beer pong – you can quietly or not so quietly challenge your friends to games and mingle until it’s time to Uber home.
Popping on to the scene in 2020 amidst the pandemic, we have to say we’re proud. Louisvillian’s are typically pretty serious about supporting their favorite restaurants; it says a lot for a new restaurant to come on the scene during the hard times. Union’s game yard will create a ton of opportunities for groups of friends or the casual date nighters to unwind and relax after walking across the big four bridge!!
See those two fields with jumbo beer pong? They’re not actually filled with beer.. no need to slosh it all over the patio.. but we’re the most excited for these! It’s the only place that has them in town!! Also – any place with giant jenga is required to be fun. It’s the rules.
Address: 115 W Chestnut St, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130 (Not in Louisville proper but close!)
You’ll never have to leave because Agave & Rye has everything you could need for a perfect date night! Enjoy the eclectically decorated patio, and then come inside to a stunning vintage arcade for a bit of relief this summer! Complete with chandeliers, vibrant colors, and the vintage arcade – Agave & Rye’s patio is an Instagram haven. Not to mention they also have a kangaroo taco? We’re just going to say it… it’s delicious. They also compete with Mussel & Burger bar for the top margaritas in Louisville!
Address: 426 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204
One of the biggest patios in Louisville, after being converted from, you guessed it.. an automotive garage. Home to incredible cocktails, pimento cheese-centered dishes, ping pong tables, and cornhole – it’s kind of where all the cool kids in Louisville hang out. If you’re not in the mood for a crazy bar on a summer Saturday night, Garage Bar is the place to be. It’s hipster, it’s loud, and you can come and go as you please with their open to the street patio.
We highly recommend NOT arriving fashionably late if you want to snag a spot on the coveted faux grass benches!
Address: 700 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202
A unique name and a fantastic patio – the Blind Squirrel is one of our favorite Middletown Louisville hangouts. In the summer, you can sign up to play volleyball outside in their giant pavilion or sit on the open deck and watch your fellow Louisvillians spike the ball across the net. It’s also perfect in the fall when you’re looking for a heated patio with giant fire pits outside. The massive fire pits can seat ten people, making them ideal for large groups!
If you’re looking for casual live music in Louisville – this is also a great option. Find their event calendar here.
Address: 592 N. English Station Rd. Louisville, KY 40223
Rooftop Bars in Louisville
Almost every city is jumping on the rooftop bar trend like the OG big three, Seattle, New York, and Chicago. While our rooftop bars aren’t 103 stories in the air – they are gorgeous spots around our Southern city. Especially if you’re in town for the Derby or Oaks? You’re going to want something fancy to finish out your day, and these rooftop bars in Louisville are worth sipping a cocktail or two to end your night!
Sentimental to us because we celebrated our engagement here, Eight Up (8Up) was also the first downtown rooftop bar. In the last few years, we’ve gotten two more – but 8Up was the first so of course, we Louisvillians are all attached to it. offering three different experiences, an elegant restaurant, alfresco lounge, and a rooftop bar – all providing a locally sourced, sustainable menu.
- Rose on the Rooftop – Every Friday in the summer months with half-priced bottles of wine & $5 glasses of rose. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres are served and there’s a DJ! Follow them on Facebook to make sure you catch the announcements for when it starts again!
- Igloos on The Rooftop – The Instagram famous igloos popping up in the winter are available at 8Up! Available from October to March! Make your reservations here.
P.S. Did you know that ‘drinkery’ is a word? Yes, that’s right – ‘drinkery’ is in fact a word. We were not aware, and we’re the kind of people who cringe at the incorrect pronunciation of the word ‘nuclear’… you know because some people say ‘nuclear’? Anywho, according to Dictionary.com, it’s officially a word!
Address: 350 W Chestnut St, Louisville, KY 40202
The newest rooftop bar in Louisville, Bitters End, is the love child of Bourbon City and Louisville’s industrial history in steel production. With a retractable glass rooftop, Bitters End is the only open-air rooftop bar on Whiskey Row. If you haven’t explored Whiskey Row, it’s one of the prettiest streets in downtown Louisville.
Their signature Bitter & Twisted cocktails are all created with house-made bitters. With seasonal cocktails like Caramelized Pineapple Mules and Blueberry Sage Sours, it’s a great place to stop after a 4th Street Live Concert!
Address: 101 W Main St Unit 201, Louisville, KY 40202
A Highlands hidden gem, Graveley brewing is tucked back on Baxter Avenue. One of the city’s most walked areas – you could almost miss that it has a rooftop bar unless you know to ask about it! It’s also, hands down, the best bar in the Highlands. With live cover bands playing most weekends, incredible sour beers, and a 2nd story patio with a view of the downtown city skyline – what more could you need on a casual night out!?
- Trivia Night @ 7PM on Mondays – Check their Facebook for more information!
Address: 514 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204
On the third floor of the Copper & Kings Brandy Distillery, sits this homage to new age industrial architecture. You walk through a beautifully industrial courtyard past the heavy-duty absinthe, brandy, and gin production – and you’re greeted with a stunning view of downtown. The best thing about the view is that we haven’t seen a few of downtown from this direction before!
**This rooftop bar just opened in October 2020. We haven’t had a chance to try it this spring since everything was shut down!
Address: 1121 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40206
Best Louisville Breweries with Patios
There are over 20 breweries in Louisville, with 19 of them being locally owned. Not heavy on the food – these places are more like where you go to have a drink and maybe eat a little something, so you don’t get sick! We mentioned Gravely Brewing Co. as having an incredible rooftop bar – but it tends to get crowded quickly. You’re going to need a Plan B if you’re heading out after around 5:30 – so here are a few equally excellent breweries with patios ready for you to get a sunburn on!
One of the most stunning patios in Louisville belongs to 3rd Turn brewing in J-Town Louisville. The absolute best part about this brewery is that dogs are welcome inside and outside!! Ten of their rotating taps are brewed on-site, and they have food trucks every Friday. Since you can bring in outside food as well – we highly recommend grabbing a seat on their patio and settling in for the evening!
P.S. There are two locations and the one in Crestwood is equally lovely – but for different reasons! Check out our Kentucky spring bucket list for a little info on their other location!
Address: 10408 Watterson Trail, Louisville, KY 40299
Opening in September of 2020, Atrium Brewing is quickly becoming a staple in the Shelby Park neighborhood of Louisville. They have some of the best craft beers brewed locally that we’ve had so far in Louisville! Almost every single one we tried we enjoyed – as well as the crispy balsamic brussel sprouts appetizer! Atrium Brewing’s patio is where you’ll find Brick and Mortar, their food truck, as well as a huge TV for watching UofL games! (Or UK games if that’s what you’re into!)
Address: 1154 Logan Street, Louisville, KY 40204
Founded in 2014 and the only one of its kind in Louisville – this pretty patio is the beer garden that separates the Holy Grail (the restaurant), and Gralehaus. Gralehaus is a 3 room bed and breakfast inside of a 100-year-old Victorian home! It’s not very big but the perfect Euro-inspired hideaway from the city!
Address: 1001 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY 40204
Located in front of the Louisville Slugger Field Bat’s Baseball Stadium, this is one of the best patios in Downtown Louisville. Located on Market Street, diagonally across from Angel’s Envy – you can have a perfect day exploring downtown this spring and finish the day on the enormous patio at Against The Grain! (It’s a good patio for large groups as well because there are a ton of long tables!)
Address: 401 E Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
Surrounded by many great restaurants like Naive Kitchen + Bar, Hi-Five Doughnuts, and Butchertown Grocery, the Butchertown neighborhood is quickly growing into a favorite hangout for many. Ten20 is more than just a brewery – they’re also a dedicated hangout for Louisvillians. With three separate large rooms inside, the patio is just an extension of the glamorous boho interior.
- Ten20 Specialty Seltzer Beers– With flavors like passion fruit, guava, and orange – it’s the perfect patio beer!
There is plenty of room inside and could literally fit 200 people on a busy night and an extra 50 outside. It’s not even been open very long, and it was super busy when we went on a snowy night in February. Everything about our experience at Ten20 was good, including the ordering process – so we can’t wait to go back this summer!
Address: 1020 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40206
Casual Outdoor Patios
From dreamy beer garden pubs to industrial-style outdoor patios, there’s space for everyone to enjoy a little sunshine in Louisville – without having to get fancy. When you’re just grabbing a quick lunch or need a short break while you’re running around in your yoga leggings, you don’t need to feel like you’re not dressed for the occasion. These are the best casual outdoor patios in the ‘Ville!
Royals is not only home to one of the best Louisville Murals – but it’s also the best hot chicken in Louisville! We love everything about Royals, especially now that they also have a Middletown location! This industrial outdoor dining area next to the Royals Downtown Louisville location is one of Shelbs’ personal favorite spots to grab lunch during a workday. They’re always fast and the food has never disappointed us!
Address: 10310 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40223
Another favorite lunch spot around town, Full Stop Station’s is nestled in Germantown near Atrium Brewing (from the best brewery patios above!). What we love about Full Stop Station is how picturesque sitting on the patio is while enjoying a little al fresco lunch. Small batch mustards, cheeses, cured meats, and grapes set against the backdrop of St. Therese of Lisieux Church, built in 1906? Their patio couldn’t be more peaceful. It’s one of the more beautiful examples of Catholic Churches throughout Louisville. We aren’t Catholic, but sometimes these churches remind us of walking the streets of Europe and that’s never a bad vibe.
Address: 1132 E St Catherine St, Louisville, KY 40204
One of the most authentically traditional Irish pubs in all of Louisville – The Irish Rover is an ‘OG’ Louisville Restaurant. Shelbs used to come here with her parents as a kid – and let us just tell you – the food is just as good now as it was then. (Probably one of the best fried fish plates we’ve ever had in our lives!) Their draft Guinness is shipped straight from Dublin and drinking one out on their patio makes you feel like you’re really at an Irish pub!
Address: 2319 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
Nestled at home in the rising-star NULU neighborhood is the International Tap House. (If you’re looking at the front of the Main & Clay apartments, the Tap House is to the bottom right!) While this restaurant doesn’t serve any food – they have hundreds of choices for beers from across the world and over 75 bourbons to chose from.
What’s funny about their patio is that they serve no food? No pork, no nothin’.. so we can only guess that their dancing pig mural is an homage to their neighbors in Butchertown? Either way- enjoy one of the hundreds of beers on their cute little patio!
Address: 637 E Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
Have you ever had handmade tater tots…? Because if you haven’t – this is the place to go. They have ‘Braised Pork Tots’ with white cheddar cheese, beer cheese, braised pork, pickled pepper relish, and chipotle aioli… Our mouth starts to water every time we think about going there. The best is when we eat them on the patio while also sipping a blueberry mule during their happy hour from 3-7 Monday through Friday?
P.S. On their patio, they grow these little peppers all around the edge, and they’re so vibrant and cute! We’ll be adding those into our deck remodel this summer!!
Address: 700 Landis Ridge Dr, Louisville, KY 40245
More Casual Patio dining around The Ville
- The Fishery – Known as the ‘best fish sandwich in Louisville’, the Lent season in Louisville causes their patio to fill up pretty quickly. Go. Early.
Address: 3624 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40207
- Mike Linnig’s – Serving Louisville’s South End delicious seafood since 1925, Mike Linnig’s patio can seat over 100 people, and has huge playgrounds close by!
Address: 9308 Cane Run Rd, Louisville, KY 40258
- Joella’s Hot Chicken – There are 3 Joella’s locations around Louisville but the location with the best patio is in Middletown. (Lucky for us!!) They even serve vegan ‘chicken’ and have the best chicken & waffles!
Address: 13401 Shelbyville Rd #101, Louisville, KY 40223
- Dairy Castle – The cutest little walk-up ice cream shop serving the Highlands for over 40 years. Take your dog for a walk and enjoy one of their soft-serve cones on the patio!
Address: 575 Eastern Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40217
Taco Joints With Awesome patios
We have a full blog post dedicated to where to find the best tacos in Louisville but not all of them have great patios. If you’re really jonesing for the perfect combination of the two – you need to hit Taco Choza and Taco City Louisville.
- Taco Choza – The perks of sitting on Taco Choza’s patio is that you’re also near a couple of other fun places like Gerstles and Tin Roof! Highly recommend grabbing the little corner cubby table if you get there in the afternoon to sun yourself. That plus a margarita… you can have had way too late of a work lunch break there, and you will not regret it!
Address: 3922 Westport Rd, Louisville, KY 40207
- Taco City Louisville – The best farm-to-table, handmade tortillas taco joint in town with a patio. (But only if you go to the Bardstown Road location.) Right in the center of the Highlands and where we first discovered our love of ‘Chicken Tinga’ Tacos!
Address: 1283 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204
Best Riverfront Restaurants in Louisville
As a self-proclaimed and award-winning foodie city, it’s only natural that we have some great restaurants along the river too. Imagine yourself taking a walk at the Riverfront Park, taking a drive out of town on the windy River Road, and then stopping for dinner on a breezy riverside patio? As we write this, we’re mentally planning to do that tonight! These are the best riverfront patios on the Louisville and Indiana sides of the Ohio River!
A great combination of upscale dining and a relaxing patio – we actually had our wedding reception here! Open for lunch and dinner; you’ll see all manner of boats sidled up to the docks and people mingling on their expansive patio. Because the lawn slopes down to the river, they’ve got a patio that drops down 5 tiers! This means you can enjoy your meal with an unencumbered view of the river!
P.S. You can also rent the CQ Princess Yacht for parties from Captain’s Quarters!
Address: 5700 Captains Quarters Rd, Prospect, KY 40059
Home to some of the best pizza in Louisville, Bearnos has won the Leo Weekly’s Best Pizza Award and Best of Louisville Magazine’s Restaurant Award 4 times! There are 7 different locations around Louisville, including the Prospect location on a little bay off the Ohio River. Great pizza, cold beer, and a slice of Derby pie are all you need sometimes!
Address: 5801 River Rd, Prospect, KY 40059
The low-down local joint that you need on a Friday night after work. It’s just what you’d expect with a crowd of regulars, decently loud music, and generous portions of fish. Their patio overlooks the river with tethered boats as far as the eye can see! This little tributary is actually Harrod’s Creek, leading to one of our favorite parks in the area!
Address: 6301 River Rd, Prospect, KY 40059
The double-tier patio, combined with the upscale vibe of River House, makes it a perfect riverfront restaurant in the ‘Ville! Good drinks, including smokin’ Old Fashions, upscale seafood dining, and room to accommodate large groups, have made River House a party favorite. The last time we went – we were there with a group of 8, and it was the best night watching the sunset over the Ohio River.
Address: 3015 River Rd, Louisville, KY 40207
All within a 30-minute drive from most areas in Louisville – but you may have to pay a toll depending on which bridge you’re crossing, so make sure to get your Riverlink Account set up.
Another OG staple with a triple-decker patio for our foodie scene! Kingfish has been serving Louisville some of the best seafood since 1948. If you need a place to relax by the river and have a chill evening listening to live music – Kingfish is your spot.
Address: 601 W Riverside Dr, Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Family-owned – Harry’s Taphouse came onto the scene in 2020. They have live music, a great covered patio, and a simple no-fuss menu. Good quality ingredients on your everyday pretzels and beer cheese, wedge salads, and club sandwiches, Harry’s would also be a great place to stop after riding your bike across the Big Four Bridge! Not to mention they’re straightforward to get to from the 65 Bridge. Heading right across the water, we are there in 20 minutes from our house in Middletown!
Address: 130 W Riverside Dr, Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Another great restaurant right off of the Big Four Bridge on the Indiana side is Portage House! If you’re in the mood for a romantic stroll, we recommend parking on the Indiana side, walking the Big Four Bridge at sunset, and then having dinner at Portage House. You’ll enjoy a lovely take on upscale Southern cuisine and craft cocktails from the comforts of their Edison-bulb-lit romantic patio!
Address: 117 E Riverside Dr, Jeffersonville, IN 47129
Datenight Restaurants with Outdoor Seating
When considering the best date night spots with outdoor seating, we consider a few things. Firstly, the patio had to be stunning; twinkly lights, private, and not visible from the street are our go-to kind of spots. Secondly, the food has to be good. There’s no time for bad food in Louisville. We have too many amazing restaurants. Last but not least, you need to be able to consume libations. After a long week, whether it’s a beer or a bourbon neat, every date night we’ve had includes one fancy-schmancy drink or another!
A hidden oasis smack dab in the middle of downtown Louisville. Mussel & Burger Bar’s Downtown patio is the hidden gem you didn’t know you needed for date night. You descend the steps from 7th street and immediately know you’ve entered into a European vibe restaurant with a penchant for incredible seafood. Complete with string lights and a glass of wine – Chef Fernando Martinez’s delectable Blue Cheese & Pancetta Muscles will go down easy.
P.S. Mussel & Burger Bar is neck and neck with only one other restaurant for Louisville’s best margaritas. They come in a large with all of their fruit flavorings house-made. Thank us later.
Address: 113 S 7th St, Louisville, KY 40202
One of the most beautiful restaurants inside and out in Louisville is Decca. It’s a light and airy take on traditional Southern cuisine, and they’re also committed to souring all of their ingredients from local farms. With seasonal dishes rotating all year long, their zen patio garden is perfect for a romantic date night this summer!
Address: 812 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206
The best spot in Middletown to grab a casual glass of wine!! Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch – their main dishes are meant to be shareable. Charcuterie boards, duck fat frites with truffle aioli, risotto, and the oh-so-incredible pancake tacos!! Yes – we repeat! Pancake tacos! Imagine eating something that delicious on this stunning patio on an early Sunday afternoon?
Address: 11400 Main Street, Louisville, KY 40243
When sipping a glass of rose on this vine-walled patio, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to California’s Napa Valley! Known for its award-winning wine list, Napa River Grill is the spot to go for Louisville’s wine lovers!
Address: 1211 Herr Lane Louisville, KY 40222
One of the coolest bars in downtown Louisville, the Down One Bourbon Bar is also the first stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail! Their bar has over 140 bourbons to sample, including their signature bourbon flights! It’s pretty common to see beer flights and different breweries around town; it’s not common to get to try different bourbons unless you’re on a distillery tour!
Address: 321 W Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
A Few Other Incredible Date Night Spots
These are alll places we’ve loved time and time again!
- Mesh – Contemporary American cuisine on a patio that encircles a giant oak tree!
Address: 3608 Brownsboro Rd, Louisville, KY 40207
- Selenas at Willow Lake Tavern – A gorgeous and huge patio in Anchorage!
Address: 10609 Lagrange Road, Louisville, KY | 40223
- Sarino – One of the best Italian restaurants in town!
Address: 1030 Goss Ave, Louisville, KY 40217
- Eiderdown Butchertown – A very private patio and the best German food in Louisville!
Address: 983 Goss Avenue, Louisville, KY 40217
The perfectly European exception to date night rules about having good food – Vint’s gorgeous ivy-covered alfresco dining patio!
Address: 2309 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
Heated Patios in Louisville
Many of the restaurants we’ve already mentioned have heaters on their patios, but they aren’t all equal in how warm you’ll be! These are the heated patios that we’ve really loved!
The best heated patio of all-time in Louisville is the Havana Rumba in Middletown!! They have two different kinds of heaters and they almost fully seal the outdoor patio so you actually stay pretty warm! If you haven’t already tried Havana Rumba, it’s the best Cuban food in Louisville! Ev’s favorite is the Churrasco Chicken Sandwich with sweet potato fries and a smoky pineapple dipping sauce. Shelbs favorite is the Fricase de Pollo!
Address: 12003 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40243
Perfect in the spring and the winter and allows dogs!! Shelbs worked at the Double Dogs in Bowling green Kentucky during college so this place is always one of our favorites!
Home to some of the best house-made Blue Cheese Dressing you’ll ever douse a salad with- Double Dogs is our favorite after-hiking outdoor dining restaurant. You can get a super cold tall beer, strap your dog to one of the patio fence bars and chill for hours!
Address: 13307 Shelbyville Rd, Middletown, KY 40243
One of the best hangouts in Louisville, The Hub has long firepits all over the patio. If you really want to see and be seen by the fun crowd in Lou, tons of people will be gathering at The Hub all hours of the day during the weekends.
Address: 2235 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
(The first photo of this post!) Also, the home of hot honey and fried chicken! Their patio is heated by giant fire pits and set to the backdrop of the busy Highlands neighborhood; you’re close to a ton of great late-night bars when you’re done snuggling up by their fires!
Address: 1314 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204
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No matter where you chose to enjoy Louisville’s outdoor dining scene – you’ll have a great time!
Make sure to snag all of your road trip basics (below) and have fun jamming to a new playlist!
Until next time friends,