I’m not one of those people who constantly wish away their existence by doing countdowns and looking forward to everything in the future while hating and complaining about their current situation, but Spring can’t get here fast enough. Louisville is a city in which we residents are fortunate enough to have all four seasons. Even in March when it’s still cold outside, you can smell and feel the freshness in the air. With Spring comes a lot of exciting stuff like wardrobe changes, golf, swimming, hiking, and of course outdoor dining. Patio season is on its way, and when it gets here you need to be prepared. We have great restaurants in The Highlands and Louisville in general, and so many of them have a fabulous setup for dining alfresco. Here are some of my favorite patios in Louisville (in no particular order).
Holy Grale | 1034 Bardstown Rd | Highlands
Specialty beer, great food, and a garden-like atmosphere come with this Highlands patio. With the addition of the outdoor bar and now the Gralehaus, there are plenty of flavors and styles to go around. This is outdoor dining at its finest.
El Camino | 1314 Bardstown Rd | Highlands
Southern California surf town style Mexican street food here, but you can go a little fancier than that if you want. Bottom line, the patio is huge and makes you feel like you are actually in Southern California. Tables, booths, or pull a seat up at the massive tiki bar.
O’shea’s Irish Pub | 956 Baxter Ave | Highlands
The Baxter Ave norm for a lot of people looking for a table on one of the largest, nicest patios in Louisville. Outdoor dining works well here, or outdoor appetizers with a draft beer and a walk to one of the other awesome patios in the Highlands…like a patio crawl.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub | 933 Baxter Ave | Highlands
Along the row of Irish pubs we cannot overlook the monster that is Molly’s patio. With an elevated position over Baxter Ave, the main patio area is great for eating, drinking, and watching the Highlands. Head up top for an even better bird’s eye view of the neighborhood.
Garage Bar | 700 E Market St | NuLu
Yummy wood-fired pizzas, delectable hams, and oysters on the half shell, plus enough outdoor space for waiting, eating, or just having a beer while you play ping pong. Situated on the corner of E Market St and S Clay, the patio at Garage Bar has a nice view of NuLu and all that goes on there. This is a Louisville outdoor dining must.
Seviche | 1538 Bardstown Rd | Highlands
This Latin restaurant is not only one of Louisville’s best of all time, but their patio is enjoyable as well. Some of Seviche’s outdoor seating allows for Bardstown Rd people watching. No matter what, the atmosphere is phenomenal and the food is unbeatable!
Against the Grain | 401 E Main St | Downtown Louisville
Not only one of my favorite BBQ restaurants in Louisville, Against the Grain also brews delicious beer, and has a huge concrete outdoor seating area right on Main St. There’s nothing fancy about it; just concrete with chairs and tables. It’s great to just sit and enjoy the downtown sounds with a nice home brew and a BBQ sandwich.
Highlands Tap Room and Grill | 1058 Bardstown Rd | Highlands
The Tap Room patio puts you right in the middle of the action; up close and personal with Bardstown Rd. They have a nice beer list and some great snacks, as well as a killer burger!
Bearno’s Pizza | 1318 Bardstown Rd | Highlands
There’s not a ton of room, but this little pebblestone front porch is home to a lot of summer action. Grab a pizza, and listen to the juke box, OR bring friends early and takeover the whole front porch for your own little party!
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse | Kaden Tower
This patio sits high atop the Kaden Tower overlooking much of Louisville. Somewhat off the beaten path, but totally worth it, Ruth’s Chris offers some mighty fine steaks (in case you have never heard).
DiOrio’s Pizza and Pub | 917 Baxter Ave | Highlands
The 2014 St Patrick’s Parade will mark their one year anniversary of being open in the Highlands. The patio at DiOrio’s is nicely setup across the street from The Outlook Inn and just a door or two down from Molly’s. And speaking of the St Patrick’s Parade, this is one of the best places to watch it from. Grab a slice, a sandwich, or a whole pizza!
Flanagan’s Ale House | 934 Baxter Ave | Highlands
Yet another Irish pub sitting on Baxter Ave with a fine patio. Flanagan’s has a great beer list and a large, shaded patio. You can enjoy Flanagan’s outdoor dining even on hot summer days because of the foliage back there.
Ramsi’s Cafe on the World | 1293 Bardstown Rd | Highlands
Ramsi’s has a large menu, and a large patio. The patio kind of makes you feel as if you’re in Morocco with its interesting decorations and a mixture of brick, iron, and wood. The sun hits this patio nicely in the evening creating a dramatic ambiance. It’s great for a date!
There are so many choices when it comes to outdoor dining in Louisville, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. See “Outdoor Dining in Louisville: A Patio Lover’s Guide Part 2” for more great ideas. If you like patios, get ready for a solid patio season after a ROUGH winter!
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