By Mike Adams

This time of year if you are going out for lunch, dinner or just to have a few drinks after work and you’re not sitting in the patio section while you do it, there is something seriously wrong with you. One of the greatest joys in this life is to simply indulge in a little booze and some great food with your friends while doing nothing more than taking in this gorgeous Southern Indiana Spring weather.

Late last week I was asked by my editor to compile a list of some of the best Patio and Outdoor Dinning/Drinking spots in the Tri-State area. To most people this would seem like a relatively easy task, but even though this assignment was a lot of fun (from what I can remember) there are a lot of really great bars and restaurants around here with very nice patio seating to choose from.

The following is my Best of the Best in Outdoor Dinning List…in no particular order.

1. Knob Hill Tavern
1016 W. Highway 662, Newburgh -
The Knob Hill Tavern is one of the trust gems of Newburgh. Even though it’s known for its Catfish Fiddlers, the Knob Hill also has excellent sandwiches like their Smoked Ham and Cheese and Corned Beef Rueben. Do yourself a favor and chase down your favorite beer with one of their Combination Pizzas…Out of this world!


2. The Hornet’s Nest
11845 Petersburg Road, Evansville -!
The Hornet’s Nest has a newly added patio section in front of the restaurant. It’s a terrific place to stop in for a few beers, appetizers, or dinner after a long Sunday drive. Kat Mykals and I usually stop in there for drinks and their Loaded Potato and Salad Combo. Then again you can’t go wrong with some of their Cheddar Cheese Cubes, Potato Skins, or Buffalo Wings.


3. The Hilltop Inn
1100 Harmony Way, Evansville -
Have you ever eaten a Jumbo Brain Sandwich with a belly full of beer? Try it sometime! The Hilltop Inn has a great patio section for devouring brains and brew. If brain sandwiches are not your thing, you can order many other things… You can’t go wrong with a Cheeseburger for lunch or the Fried Chicken for dinner.


4. Edgewater Grille
1 East Water Street, Newburgh -
The Edgewater Grille is one of our favorite places to be outside while having drinks and appetizers. Their patio section is definitely one of the best in the area as it sits right on the Ohio River. It’s absolutely gorgeous any time of day, but sitting out there at sunset is almost a spiritual experience. My advice is to get there just before sunset, order the Calamari and Coconut Shrimp along with whatever it is that you are drinking, and pretend you’re on an island.


5. Lamasco Bar & Grill
1331 West Franklin Street, Evansville -
Kat Mykals and I have a soft spot for Lamasco’s because it is where we met for our first date over a year ago. Even though their patio seating reflects a little more sunlight than this pale Irish guy can handle in the middle of the day, at sunset it is really nice. It has one of the friendliest atmospheres in town, and the pizza! My god, the pizza! With some of the local bars in this town making pizza this good, I don’t know why anyone would order it from anyplace else.


6. The Gerst Haus
2100 West Franklin Street, Evansville -
Go in here and try just about anything. The Gest Haus is one of those places for everyone. It’s a nice place to go for mid afternoon drinks and a lunch or to have dinner with your parents. Their patio section is positioned away from the afternoon and evening sunlight, making this German restaurant the perfect Irish hideout. I recommend the Quail, or the Oyster Dinner with plenty of Beck’s Dark.


7. The Tin Fish
Jennings Station, 300 West Jennings Station, Newburgh -
The Tin Fish is an excellent place for lunch. It is absolutely the best place to get a fish taco this side of the Pacific Ocean. Seriously, the only fish taco I have had that was better was in Los Angeles just off the Pacific Coast Highway.