Sweet, sweet summertime is upon us, which means it’s time to figure out which local rooftop bars you should plan to visit for all your breezy sunshine and sipping needs. And this year, we’re taking the guesswork out of the equation.
CityBeat has been in the business of curating the Best Of Cincinnati® for more than two decades, highlighting the city’s most outstanding selections in Eats, Arts & Culture, Shops & Services, Music & Nightlife, Sports & Recreation and City Life. And the responsibility of selecting these exceptional entities is divided between our readers and staff.
This year, readers logged on to the ballot site in droves to vote for their favorites in broad categories, including the top 10 rooftop spots to enjoy your brew with a view. Here are the winners:
Rhinegeist has worked quickly over the past near decade to become one of the city’s favorite local brewers. Its 25,000-square-foot warehouse tucked away on the north end of Elm is home to boozy alchemy and big house parties. Head upstairs to the weather-dependent giant patio. This very chill wooden rooftop deck features ample seating and an upstairs bar with more than a dozen draft beers and ciders, plus a selection of wine and draft cocktails. Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.
BRAXTON BREWING COMPANY
Braxton Brewing Co.’s 5,000+ square-foot seasonal patio features a living wall and some pretty neat views of Covington and downtown Cincinnati. Guests can expect plenty of seating, shady umbrellas and a full bar. Braxton Brewing Company, 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, braxtonbrewing.com.
TOP OF THE PARK AT THE PHELPS
On the roof of this downtown hotel, catch 360-degree views of the city 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 of shareable bites. Top of the Park, 506 E. Fourth St., Downtown, topoftheparkcincinnati.com.
Bishop’s Quarter not only offers full service on the rooftop patio, but also regular live music entertain- ment. Outdoor seating is also available on two more patios that wrap around the building (yes, that’s three patios total!). Bishop’s Quarter, 212 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland, bishopsquarterbar.com.
21C MUSEUM HOTEL’S COCKTAIL TERRACE
21c Museum Hotel’s swanky and seasonal Cocktail Terrace opened for the season in April, allowing guests to watch spring turn into summer. Guests can look forward to washing down their city views with a boozy summer slushie in hand while partaking in a raw bar crafted by Metropole’s Chef Vanessa Miller. Cocktail Terrace, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, 21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati.
CITY VIEW TAVERN
Indulge in a spicy bloody mary while at this fine low- frills neighborhood bar that offers panoramic vistas of our fair metropolis and some locally loved burgers. City View Tavern, 403 Oregon St., Mount Adams, cityviewtavern.com.
THE VIEW AT SHIRES’ GARDEN
Located on the 10th floor of downtown’s City Club Apartments, this spacious rooftop eatery features an indoor dining room, outdoor patio, two full bars, outdoor dining and cocktail tables with impeccable views. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and masks are required. The View at Shires’ Garden, 309 Vine St., 10th Floor, Downtown, theviewatshiresgarden.com.
PINS MECHANICAL COMPANY
Catch some rays and take in the views at Pins. Sip on cocktails, like the aptly named Pinball Wizard, while you enjoy their rooftop patio, or choose from one of the 36 beers on tap. From the Columbus-based Rise Brands, the group behind 16-Bit, this Over-the-Rhine bar has pinball machines and duckpin bowling lanes, plus other old-school entertainment options like foosball, bocce ball and shuffleboard. Pins Mechanical Company, 1124 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, pinsbar.com/cincy.
AC UPPER DECK
On top of Cincinnati’s 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 Cincy Style Chili Dip and sipping a local craft beer or craft cocktail. AC Upper Deck, 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, acupperdeck.com.
THE BLIND PIG
This downtown pub features a rooftop patio on top of Lola’s coffee shop. The bar is located just across the street from The Banks and serves a full menu of bar food and daily drink specials. This is a perfect stop for a Reds pregame party. The Blind Pig, 24 W. Third St., Downtown, blindpigcincy.com.
Still craving more? Read our full 2021 Summer Guide issue or check out these activities:
- Celebrate summer in Cincinnati with this checklist (start here!)
- Get away from it all (but stay close to home)
- Scoop an ice ball to mark the region's official start of summer
- Devour the meat cone at Great American Ball Park
- Explore Kings Island and read the new book Kings Island: A Ride Through Time
- See Kings Island's many famous friends