Summer’s nearly here! (Can we get an “amen??!”) And that means opportunities abound for enjoying a drink, some lunch or dinner outside on one of these excellent local patios. Here’s what makes each of them special and why we recommend a visit:

8UP Elevated Drinkery

350 W. Chestnut St., Louisville • (502) 631-4180

8UP is the latest and greatest rooftop bar and restaurant that everyone is dying to try. The cocktails, food, view, swanky seating … it’s all good up there. Eight stories atop the Hilton Garden Inn, 8UP is the perfect rooftop spot for an after-work drink, a girls’ night or a place to impress your Louisville guests.

8Up's Rooftop Bar

Check out Louisville eight stories up at 8Up, atop the Hilton Garden Inn.

Rivue

140 N. Fourth St., Louisville • (502) 568-4239

We had to add Rivue to the list because it probably has the very best view of the city of Louisville, as well as New Albany, IN. It’s 360 degrees after all! Perched high above the Galt House Hotel, Rivue features a fine dining experience like no other. Head 25 stories up for a spin around Louisville, and don’t forget to come with an appetite.

Rivue ontop of the Galt House Hotel

See Louisville 25 stories up at Rivue

Rocky’s Sub Pub

715 W. Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville, IN • (812) 282-3844

Right across the river sits Rocky’s Sub Pub and its perfect patio overlooking the Ohio River. Get some exercise before a big meal by walking across the Big Four Bridge.

The view from Rocky's patio, looking out at the Louisville skyline. Photo credit: Yelp.

The view from Rocky’s patio, looking out at the Louisville skyline. Image credit: Yelp

Bristol Bar & Grille

700 W. Riverside Drive, #300, Jeffersonville, IN • (812) 218-1995

Like Rocky’s Sub Pub, the Bristol in Jeffersonville has a beautiful view of the Ohio River and the city of Louisville. Bike, walk or run via the Big Four Bridge for great views and great food.

Patio at the Bristol. Photo credit: The Bristol Bar and Grille.

Patio at the Bristol | Image credit: The Bristol Bar & Grille

Molly Malone’s

933 Baxter Ave., Louisville • (502) 473-1222

Our favorite Irish pub also has one of the best patios at its Bardstown Road location. Molly Malone’s gravel patio, complete with string lights and lovely greenery, overlooks the busy street. It’s a perfect location for people watching and an afternoon cocktail or late night brew. It’s also the best location for Louisville’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Molly Malone's Outdoor Patio

Molly Malone’s has a perfect outdoor patio at its Bardstown Road location.

El Camino

1314 Bardstown Road, Louisville • (502) 454-5417

Talk about another great place to people watch, El Camino‘s beautiful patio is one of my personal favorites. (And I’m sure I’m not alone on that!) And their margaritas? Well, pair one with an order of guacamole, and everyone is happy! From its string lights, colorful tables and chairs to the outdoor fire pit and clever hashtag, #elfreakingcamino (because they just know you’re going to be taking a picture of your margarita and guac atop those colorful chairs!), El Camino is one of the best patios in the city. [SB Insider tip: you can bring your dog to the patio.]

Pet Friendly Restaurant Patios in Louisville

The patio at El Camino welcomes your pooch, too.

Holy Grale

1034 Bardstown Road, Louisville • (502) 459-9939

OK, people, if you haven’t been to Holy Grale yet, then move this spot to the top of your must-try list. Its unique building (an old church with the most beautiful stained glass windows), variety of beers, delicious menu and biergarten, dressed with string lights and flowers, is the perfect place if you want to sit outside and have a few beers. And you won’t be disappointed with the food, either.

Holy Grale's Biergarten Patio

Holy Grale’s outdoor patio and biergarten

North End Café

1722 Frankfort Ave., Louisville • (502) 896-8770

One of my personal favorites for nice patios and Bloody Marys, North End Café’s Frankfort Avenue location is one of the best on the street. Perched above the road, it’s a great spot for watching the sunset (sit toward downtown) and enjoying a nice glass of wine or one of the many delicious menu items.

North End Cafe's Frankfort Avenue Outdoor Patio

North End Cafe’s Frankfort Avenue patio is perfect for watching the Louisville sunset.

Captain’s Quarters

5700 Captains Quarters Road, Prospect • (502) 228-1651

Another favorite of mine (and a place I’ve been going since I was a kid) is Captain’s Quarters. Sit on the outdoor patio, which is so close to the Ohio you can touch it, and watch the barges and boats float by. We hear it’s a pretty great spot to be on Sunday evenings during the summer, too.

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A perfect sunset view on the Ohio from Captain’s Quarters | Image credit: www.americascuisine.com

Mike Linnig’s

9308 Cane Run Road, Louisville • (502) 937-9888

If you’ve lived in Louisville your whole life, you’ve likely heard of this hidden seasonal treasure. Mike Linnig’s has the best fish sandwich in the city, and has since 1925. This family-owned, family-friendly seafood joint off Cane Run Road sits on the banks of the Ohio and is always crowded. If you’ve never been, we suggest you go.

Great patios with great views

Family picnic benches are the staple of Mike Linnig’s patio. Beyond is the playground and views of the river| Image credit: Mike Linnig’s

Keep this list handy, and make it a mission to experience each of these for yourself this summer. Cheers!