6 Cincinnati Rooftop Patios for Drinking Fancy Cocktails (or Beer)

There’s a certain allure held by rooftop spaces. Something about being above the rest of the city calls into the imagination dreams of lush gardens, exclusive parties and pivotal scenes of coming-of-age movies — fantasies that can’t be satisfied by regular ol’ patios. Fortunately, you won’t need a secret password or any lock-picking skills to access these rooftops. From Krueger’s Tavern to the 21c Museum Hotel, there’s no better place to soak up the sunshine (or string lights). So sit back, relax and watch the rest of the city bustle by while you sip on something cold.

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Residence Inn’s Top of the Park // On the roof of downtown’s Residence Inn hotel, Top of the Park has 360-degree views of downtown and the river from its vantage point at the base of Lytle Park. Amenities include tabletop fire features, TVs and live music, plus a tapas menu with snack options like sliders, charcuterie and chocolate churros. Try: The Re-Fashioned, with Bulleit bourbon, fresh blood orange, crème de cassis, rhubarb bitters and bourbon cherry. 506 E. Fourth St., Downtown, thephelpscincinnati.com.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Residence Inn’s Top of the Park // On the roof of downtown’s Residence Inn hotel, Top of the Park has 360-degree views of downtown and the river from its vantage point at the base of Lytle Park. Amenities include tabletop fire features, TVs and live music, plus a tapas menu with snack options like sliders, charcuterie and chocolate churros. Try: The Re-Fashioned, with Bulleit bourbon, fresh blood orange, crème de cassis, rhubarb bitters and bourbon cherry. 506 E. Fourth St., Downtown, thephelpscincinnati.com.
Cocktails from Top of the Park
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Cocktails from Top of the Park
21c Museum Hotel's Cocktail Terrace // Take a secret service elevator up to the 11th floor of the 21c Museum Hotel to discover the Cocktail Terrace, a hip 75-seat oasis with cushy patio furniture and glass partitions for full views of downtown’s glowing nighttime cityscape. Try: Along with clever cocktails, the terrace is known for its boozy slushies — try the Ed Sheeran with your choice of booze and ginger beer — and pop-tails, aka cocktails with a submerged flavored ice pop. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, 21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
21c Museum Hotel's Cocktail Terrace // Take a secret service elevator up to the 11th floor of the 21c Museum Hotel to discover the Cocktail Terrace, a hip 75-seat oasis with cushy patio furniture and glass partitions for full views of downtown’s glowing nighttime cityscape. Try: Along with clever cocktails, the terrace is known for its boozy slushies — try the Ed Sheeran with your choice of booze and ginger beer — and pop-tails, aka cocktails with a submerged flavored ice pop. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, 21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati.
Pop-tails from 21c's Cocktail Terrace
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Pop-tails from 21c's Cocktail Terrace
Krueger's Tavern // The restaurant’s Gateway Quarter upstairs patio offers a birds’-eye view of the action on Vine Street, plus Krueger’s full menu. Try: Their veggie burger is the best in the city, but if you’re looking to drink your dinner, opt for a shareable pitcher like the Gin and Juice, with house-infused bathtub gin, fresh-squeezed orange juice and West Sixth Brewing Lemongrass wheat beer. 1211 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, kruegerstavern.com.
Photo: Kellie Coleman
Krueger's Tavern // The restaurant’s Gateway Quarter upstairs patio offers a birds’-eye view of the action on Vine Street, plus Krueger’s full menu. Try: Their veggie burger is the best in the city, but if you’re looking to drink your dinner, opt for a shareable pitcher like the Gin and Juice, with house-infused bathtub gin, fresh-squeezed orange juice and West Sixth Brewing Lemongrass wheat beer. 1211 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, kruegerstavern.com.
The Upper Deck at AC Hotel Cincinnati's Rooftop at The Banks // On top of the new AC Hotel at The Banks, the Upper Deck boasts excellent views of the riverfront and Great American Ball Park. Lounge under string lights while gorging on Grand Slam Nachos (salsa, guac, cheddar, nacho cheese, jalapeños, corn, black beans, onions, olives, sour cream and carnitas or chicken on tortilla chips). Try: Sangrita. A summery mix of fresh margarita and housemade sangria. 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, acupperdeck.com.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The Upper Deck at AC Hotel Cincinnati's Rooftop at The Banks // On top of the new AC Hotel at The Banks, the Upper Deck boasts excellent views of the riverfront and Great American Ball Park. Lounge under string lights while gorging on Grand Slam Nachos (salsa, guac, cheddar, nacho cheese, jalapeños, corn, black beans, onions, olives, sour cream and carnitas or chicken on tortilla chips). Try: Sangrita. A summery mix of fresh margarita and housemade sangria. 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, acupperdeck.com.
Cocktails and light bites at the AC Hotel's Upper Deck
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Cocktails and light bites at the AC Hotel's Upper Deck
Rhinegeist // This weather-dependent, very chill wooden rooftop deck features ample seating and an upstairs bar with 15 draft beers and ciders — including Bubbles — plus a selection of wine and draft cocktails. Try: Any of the seasonal beers, or be bold with a draft Mai Tai, featuring local Shumrick & Leys light rum, dark rum, orange juice and housemade grenadine. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Rhinegeist // This weather-dependent, very chill wooden rooftop deck features ample seating and an upstairs bar with 15 draft beers and ciders — including Bubbles — plus a selection of wine and draft cocktails. Try: Any of the seasonal beers, or be bold with a draft Mai Tai, featuring local Shumrick & Leys light rum, dark rum, orange juice and housemade grenadine. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.
The Blind Pig // This friendly downtown pub has a shaded rooftop patio — on top of Lola’s coffee shop — that serves a full menu of bar food and daily drink specials. A perfect stop for a Reds pregame party. Try: Whatever is on special that day. Tuesdays its $3 Fireball and Tullamore Dew shots... and karaoke. 24 W. Third St., Downtown, facebook.com/theblindpigcincinnati.
Photo: Kellie Coleman
The Blind Pig // This friendly downtown pub has a shaded rooftop patio — on top of Lola’s coffee shop — that serves a full menu of bar food and daily drink specials. A perfect stop for a Reds pregame party. Try: Whatever is on special that day. Tuesdays its $3 Fireball and Tullamore Dew shots... and karaoke. 24 W. Third St., Downtown, facebook.com/theblindpigcincinnati.