Top 10 Places to Eat Outside

••• (c) 2008 Michael Maupin

During the summer months, there is plenty to look forward to: horseback riding, drive-in movies, water parks, and pools. Oh and one more thing...eating al freso! What better way to enjoy the season than with a meal outside. 

Looking to dine outside without doing dishes? No problem, here are 10 restaurants with outdoor seating in Louisville, KY.

Against the Grain

This brewery is nestled into a corner of the Slugger Field complex. Yup, this iswhere the Louisville Bats play and it's also home to a brewpub serving up a craft beers to sip on location or take to go. The location is prime for people watching, especially if there is a ball game, and the food is good, too. There is standard pub fare, like smoked and grilled chicken wings, plus, there are vegan and vegetarian options as well. That's right, some of the bar food is made with tofu or seitan allowing everyone options, including those who dine vegan and vegetarian

Dairy Kastle

When Dairy Kastle opens, you know it's spring! You heard right, this spot closes down over the winter, but come the warm months, this neighborhood treasure restores itself as a classic ice cream spot. In the mood for something savory rather than sweet? Well, they do serve some food—think hot dogs, nachos, and taco-in-a-bag—but it's not a full meal type of place.

There are a few tables outside but they are quickly filled on nice days. But being light on seating doesn't stop the crowds for flocking to Dairy Kastle. People simply sit on their car bumper or grab a nearby curb.

Garage Bar

Wood-fired pizzas? Craft cocktails? Sure! This hip spot is buzzing on summer nights.

No surprise, Garage Bar is located on a trendy stretch of Market St. and has outdoor ping-pong tables that are lit from below, benches, and tables. If you need a landmark to identify the spot, the two cars smashed together in front of the building should do the trick.

Mike Linnigs
It is a drive from downtown Louisville, but Mike Linnig’s is a worth the trip. Couples, friends, and family alike gather around outdoor picnic tables and enjoy fried fish. Plus, there is a playground for kids and it is a short walk to a stretch of the Ohio River. With an old fashioned feel and plenty of regulars, Linnigs is comfortable and satisfying.

El Mundo

Big portions, yummy margaritas, and some sort of upbeat rock music on the sound system makes for a busy spot. When it is cold, visitors queue up for a table in the dining room upstairs or a first floor table with the hustle and bustle of an open kitchen and order-at-the-counter dining room. Come summer, another option opens up: a patio. The outdoor seating area at El Mundo is private and secluded. Visitors can sip a citrus cocktail surrounded by a greenery covered fence. Some days there are even special prices on tacos, margaritas, and more.

North End Cafe

North End Cafe is a go-to spot for brunch.

They are known for serving breakfast all day. Add to that huge omelets, huevos rancheros, vegan tacos, along with regular specials, and how can you go wrong? Well, there is one thing, the crowds can be a problem. Thankfully, North End is prepared for the droves of people and if you are willing to wait you will be treated well and updated throughout the process. Try to show up on the early side if you want to get a table without delay.

River House

What is the great thing about the River House Restaurant and Raw Bar? Well, it's in the name of course...it's by the river! Add to that the culinary expertise of award-winning chef and restaurateur John Varanese, and it's sure to be a great meal. Crab cakes with grits? Fried avocado appetizer? Yes, please!

Seviche

This is one of the pricer options on this list, but, if you like fish, boy is it worth it.

The food is satisfying and beautifully prepared in the kitchen of Chef Anthony Lamas (yes, he's a bit of a Louisville celebrity). Seviche is located on a humming part of Bardstown Road, so sitting on the patio is ideal for people-watching. With many heading to the Highlands to go out, it is likely you will see someone you know pass by as you sip your margarita and sample a sustainable meal. With a changing seasonal menu and the knowledge that Chef Anthony Lamas is recognized as one of the city’s top chefs, having been featured on the Food Network, in Southern Living, and Bon Appétit and has been semi-finalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards, Seviche is an ideal choice for a romantic date night.

The Silver Dollar

Located in a renovated firehouse in the Clifton neighborhood, The Silver Dollar channels the “Bakersfield Sound,” country music by classic crooners such as Wynn Stewart, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard (Yes, this spot is modeled after a loud honky-tonk). Food is Southern with dishes like beer chicken, beef brisket, breaded catfish, and fried chicken livers. Plus there is a lot of​​ bourbon to choose from in the joint. Indoor seating includes booths, the outside patio is lit by Christmas lights. In either case, it can be noisy. After all, it is modeled after a country honky tonk bar. 

Ok, there are actually 11 spots on the list, but what can you do? There are so many great Louisville restaurants. Happy dining! See you on the patio...