10 restaurants and bars with a great view of Riverfest fireworks

Posted at 11:00 AM, Sep 01, 2015
and last updated 2016-08-19 15:40:01-04

The Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks is Cincinnati's traditional end to summer.

For a day, 500,000 people populate both banks of the Ohio River to watch the Rozzis give us a show unlike any other they put on all year. (They definitely save the best for their hometown.)

Some of the best seats for this classic event are at bars and restaurants that dot both sides of the river. Here are a few of our favorites -- and don't forget to call first for a reservation.


Residence Inn at the Phelps / The Phelps Bar: While the Top of the Park rooftop bar is closed for a private event, the front veranda at the Residence Inn at the Phelps has a great view. Grab a bite in the hotel bar and take a glass of wine or beer to the veranda to take a peek. 506 E. 4th St.

Fancy Fireworks

Primavista: Primavista will have a special prix fixe menu for the fireworks, including walnut ravioli, choice of salad and choice of striped bass, beef tenderloin with brown butter and truffle vinaigrette, or penne with artichokes and tiramisu. For $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity, you can enjoy the fireworks after dinner: The floor-to-ceiling windows provide a gorgeous view. Call 513-251-6467 for reservations. 810 Matson Place.

The Celestial: The Celestial Steakhouse has a four-course menu featuring traditional steakhouse fare such as steak tartare, crab cakes, wedge salads, steak Oscar, rack of lamb and vanilla bean creme brulee. This premium view has a premium price: $129 per person, plus tax, tip and beverages. 1071 Celestial St.

Kentucky Chains

I don't normally list chains -- eat local! -- but these restaurants have views that are too gorgeous not to include.

Bar Louie (Newport): Burgers, beers and shareable snacks are the name of the game at Bar Louie. They've recently renovated their patio, and now there are two decks, so there's plenty of room to see the fireworks. The upper deck is $60, which includes a food item, drink and entry to the afterparty. The lower deck is $20, which includes a view of the fireworks from the old Jefferson Hall/River Rock space and afterparty admission. Call for tickets: 859-291-4222. Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way.

Chart House: The Chart House is featuring its annual buffet dinner, including a raw bar, salad bar, sushi, pumpkin seed-crusted shrimp, bacon-wrapped pork loin, prime rib and dynamite mahi, as well as a variety of desserts (and post-fireworks lava cake). Chairs will be set up in the parking lot for guests to watch the fireworks, or you can stand on the balcony. It's $100 per person, which does not include alcohol, tax or gratuity. 405 Riverboat Row.

West Side

Incline Public House: There are still a few tickets left for the fireworks party at Incline Public House. For $75 (which includes gratuity), the menu features a Cajun-themed buffet: a pig roast, a shrimp boil, smoked chicken, red beans and rice, crawfish gumbo, lots of picnic sides and bourbon-caramel bread pudding. The large patio has plenty of room to enjoy the view of the fireworks, too. This is bound to sell out. Get tickets by calling 513-251-3000. 2601 W. 8th St.

Mount Adams

The Rookwood: This is a great idea. Park your car at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine, then walk to the Lackman at 13th and Vine streets. A bus will pick you up from there and take you to the Rookwood, where you can enjoy all-you-can-eat barbecue, music, a cash bar and a gorgeous view of the fireworks for $35. Get tickets at 1077 Celestial St.

Mount Adams Pavilion: Head up to the Pavilion and enjoy a view of the fireworks from its decks. The party starts at 5 p.m. and features two DJs, food and drinks. Call 513-744-9200 for tickets. (VIP tables are available, too.) 949 Pavilion St.

City View Tavern: Only 28 people (the capacity of the deck) can participate in the City View Tavern Riverfest party. You get food, drinks and a prime view. Call 513-241-VIEW (8439) for reservations. 403 Oregon St.

On The Water

Queen City Riverboats: There are still tickets available for a dinner cruise up and down the Ohio, offering a pretty unique view of the fireworks after dinner -- right on the water! Dinner includes chicken marsala, roast beef, salad and a cash bar for $107.69 (tax included).

Whether you are in Kentucky, Ohio or somewhere in between for the fireworks, enjoy the last days of summer with this signature Cincinnati event.

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