EAT DRINK SHOP EXPLORE A NNUA L M A NUA L 2 018 â€“19 The definitive city guide to Greater Cincinnati
Publisher Tony Frank Editor In Chief Maija Zummo Art Director Jennifer Hoffman Lead Photographer Hailey Bollinger Designer Taylor Speed CityBeat Editors Mike Breen, Mackenzie Manley, Nick Swartsell
Copy Editor Morgan Zumbiel
Contributing Writers Anne Arenstein, Casey Arnold, Brian Baker, Jeff Beyer, Brian Cross, Hayley Day, Jane Durrell, Jason Gargano, Austin Gayle, McKenzie Graham, Katie Holocher, Ben L. Kaufman, Deirdre Kaye, John J. Kelly, John Lasker, Harper Lee, Madge Maril, Anne Mitchell, Pama Mitchell, Jude Noel, Stephen Novotni, Rick Pender, Sean Peters, Rodger Pille, Garin Pirnia, Selena Reder, Ilene Ross, Kathy Schwartz, Maria SedaReeder, Leyla Shokoohe, Brenna Smith, tt stern-enzi, Isaac Thorn, Kathy Valin, Kathy Y. Wilson, P.F. Wilson
Editorial Intern Marlena Toebben
FEATURES 09 14 16 19
22 24 26 28 30
Explore Cincy Your Way Ways To Eat Your Ways Meet New Riff Off-The-Beaten Path Attractions
City Center Northern Kentucky Central Core West Side East Side The Suburbs
LISTINGS 32 Dining 76 Nightlife 98 Attractions 114 Shopping
Contributing Photographers Scott Dittgen, Jesse Fox, Phil Heidenreich, Khoi Nguyen, Emerson Swoger, Brittany Thornton, Megan Waddel, Catie Viox, Ty Wesselkamper Advertising Director Josh Schuler Office Administrator Samantha Johnston Event Director Sami Nowlin Circulation Manager Steve Ferguson Distribution Team Tom Sand, Joan Powers, Jerry Ennis, Doug Drennan, Rick Carrol, Mike Swango, Ashley Davis, Rowdy Walker, Chris Lowstuter, Dan
130 Arts 144 Events
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VP of Digital Services Stacy Volhein Creative Director Tom Carlson Digital Operations Coordinator
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DOWNTOWN CINNCINNATI’S BEST KEPT FITNESS SECRET · · · · ·
Indoor Saltwater Pool Full Range of Exercise Equipment Dry Heat Sauna Whirlpool Full Court Gymnasium
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Indoor Rubberized Track Group Fitness Classes Included w/ Membership Personal Training Complimentary Towels Massage Therapy
w w w. y w c a c i n c i n n a t i . o r g / ﬁ t n e s s c e n t e r / Y W C ATr i H e a l t h F i t n e s s C e n t e r
S M A L E R I V E R F R O N T PA R K | P H OT O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G ER
Have you ever sat around wishing there was a hand-held publication that could anticipate the answers to questions you might Google on your phone, like “restaurants near me,” “best bars in Covington” or “stuff to do around IKEA?” Well, #blessed, because you’ve found it. The Annual Manual is like the Magic 8-Ball of magazines. Whether you’re a lifelong resident, a recent transfer to one of Cincinnati’s multiple Fortune 500 companies and myriad startups or just have a really long layover at CVG, what you’re holding in your hands is a (mostly) definitive guide to navigating life in the Queen City — a local’s guide to living and a visitor’s guide to visiting. Published by CityBeat (Cincinnati’s news and culture weekly), the Annual Manual blends the usability of international travel guides with local expert insights, curating recommendations for things to eat, drink, see and do in each part of town. Need to find dinner in Westwood? Bored in the suburbs? Planning a weekend staycation? With overviews of Greater Cincinnati’s dozens of unique neighborhoods spread over our fair Midwestern metropolis — plus comprehensive listings of restaurants, bars, nightlife, arts and attractions — this guide is like a non-digital app, a reference and resource that can always answer the question, “What am I doing this weekend?” Whether you’re here for the long haul or are just looking to pass some time, this handy manual should make you feel right at home (or at least not bored).
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TOP FIVE UNDERGROUND TOURS I
GET TICKETS & TOUR TIMES AT
www.AmericanLegacyTours.com 8 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Discover Cincinnati’s hidden history with a stroll through Over-the-Rhine. Descend below the city streets to a hidden crypt where some of Cincinnati’s first residents were buried. Explore newly discovered tunnels vital to Cincinnati’s brewery heritage. Finally, end the tour with a visit to a local bottling plant and tap room. Find tour times and tickets at AmericanLegacyTours.com.
TA E U NITED S
EXPLORE CINCY YOUR WAY
Five different Queen City itineraries to help you see the city through your own — or a brand new — lens BY MACKENZIE MANLEY Finding your favorite niche in Cincinnati is easy if you know what you’re looking for. We don’t condone going to places just to snap selfies to keep up your Instagram aesthetic, but here are five different ways to explore the city through metaphorical filters that vibe with your own personal style. Get out there and choose your own adventure.
THE VIBE: THE CREATIVE
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You like to peruse art galleries, doodle on the edge of notebooks and seek out new thought-provoking and curious experiences. These places will spark your artistic spirit, wherever it may roam.
Far Flung at Taft Museum
In the front yard of the historic Taft Museum of Art, nature twists into a wonderland Alice herself would swoon over. Sculptor Patrick Dougherty has manipulated and braided the limbs of six tons of willow tree saplings into a fantastical and fairy-tale-like outdoor installation. Peek at the Cincinnati skyline between the willows while you wander (for free) through the tactile and engrossing creation. 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.
3 Points Urban Brewery
Pendleton’s 3 Points Urban Brewery approaches brewing “design first:” each of its original beers is accompanied by label art — inspired by the beer’s taste and imagined up by local artists — that hangs in the bar and is featured on tap handles. Take a sip and admire the plant-and-mural filled modern bar during happy hour or visit as early as 8 a.m. during the week for a unique co-working space (featuring local Urbana Café craft coffee). 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, 3pointsbeer.com.
Pay-what-you-can at Overthe-Rhine’s Indigo Hippo. No, seriously. This art thrift store/ nonprofit hybrid seeks to make
art accessible. Crafting reigns supreme here; the storefront collects unwanted art supplies and sells them in the store for, well, whatever you can spare. Stock up here from a selection of constantly changing inventory. 1334 Main St., Overthe-Rhine, indigohippo.org.
Community engagement and a focus on social justice issues lofts this dynamic art gallery into something more. Snug in an old Camp Washington firehouse, Wave Pool includes a gallery, artist studios, a woodshop and an educational space. Hell, they host everything here. Catch an experimental film, attend a Drone Metal yoga session or learn a new skill at an art class. 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, wavepool.org.
21c Museum Hotel
This boutique hotel and modern art museum is a hotbed of cultural wiles where contemporary art thrives. House restaurant The Metropole serves creative meals and cocktails and hosts events like its famed “Drag Brunches.” Or take a secret elevator up to the Cocktail Terrace for drinks and some of the best views of downtown. 609 Walnut St, Downtown, 21cmuseumhotels.com. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 9
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You’re a sucker for quirky, kitschy finds and probably know how to knit. Chances are, you’re a cat lady.
Blue Jay Restaurant
They’ve been slinging burgers, frying eggs, flipping hotcakes and stirring chili for more than 50 years. Slide into a forest green vinyl booth, order a cup of coffee, a classic breakfast and pretend you’re in a David Lynch film. Or that you’re in an old Western (peep that cowboyinspired wallpaper). And hey, it’s the diner in A24’s A Killing of Sacred Deer and the Robert Redford vehicle Old Man and the Gun. 4154 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-541-0847 and searchable on facebook.
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This Over-the-Rhine vintage destination has loads of vintage finds, including brands like Supreme, Bape and Palace. Pick up some sneakers and splurge
on a T-shirt. Either way, it’s all cool. 1315 Main St., Over-theRhine, radotr.com.
Fresh off celebrating their 40th anniversary, this vinyl haven is true to its name: there’s literally something for everyone. It’s hailed as one of the best in the region. Chat with the staff, peruse record bins, admire band posters and get nostalgic about cassette tapes. 6106 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, everybodysrecords.com.
This is an ideal place to string up a hammock. This park is chill af, so bring a book, listen to the sweet, sweet breeze and plug in your headphones. Bonus: bring some CBD Seltzer along,
a fizzy water made by local Queen City Hemp that uses CBD oil and comes in flavors like blood orange, passion fruit and guava. Optimal relaxation time, commence. 710 Tusculum Ave., Columbia Tusculum, cincinnatiparks.org.
Across the river and under a bridge, a landscape of concreteturned skatepark has become a DIY haven built on community. While skating (or wiping out) admire the art that crawls along ramps, pipes and bowls. Forgot your board? Pick one up at Newport’s Galaxie Skate Shop (625 Monmouth St). Under I-471 Bridge, across from Newport High School, 900 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky.
THE VIBE: SPORTY If you love going to games beer-in-hand and own lots of team merch, this city’s teams have amassed a following — both in the stadiums and out.
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Lucky Cat Museum
This museum has over 1,000 maneki neko lucky “beckoning cat” tailsmans, often depicted as a white calico Japanese bobtail with one paw raised (you’ve likely seen them waving in stores windows). Glass displays stretch along the walls, containing various charming styles, colors and sizes of the cats from across the world. Plus, it’s the only of its kind in America, with one other museum in Japan. 2511 Essex Place No. 150, Walnut Hills, luckycatmewseum.com.
Handzy Shop + Studio
With a sunny yellow door, this Covington shop is the cutest. Bright, clean colors make the space feel picture-perfect. Owned by two friends, you can find illustrated (and unique!) greeting cards, stationery, desk
supplies, local art, ceramics, and more. It’s all created by local or indie artists and designers. 15 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., handzyshopstudio.com.
A Cincy hidden treasure, this giant elevated treehouse feels like a childhood dream. Nestled deep within the sprawling Mount Airy Forest (the largest Queen City park), the nostalgic wood-nymph space is open year-round and wheelchair accessible. 1212 Trail Ridge Road, Westwood, cincinnatiparks.org.
Brown Bear Bakery
With an airy white-and-wood bakery space, seafoam-green tiles and an ever-rotating menu of thoughtful baked goods, this urban bakery is a delight. Pick up a slice of hibiscus lemon
teacake, black sesame and yuzu cookies or Campfire Pie with chocolate truffle and torched bourbon marshmallow. Or go savory with a kale or cheddarchive scone. Note: Items frequently sell out, so get there early. 116 E. 13th St., Over-theRhine, brownbearbakes.com.
Loosely-inspired by Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation and its twinkling Tokyo skyline, this themed karaoke bar features an airport-security-check-style entrance, a main public stage and private rental rooms, where your drinks are delivered via a “robot,” which descends from the ceiling. Order a nitro matcha latte or tea-infused cocktail, or try on a pink Scarlett Johansson-esque wig. 575 Race St., Downtown, thattokyobar.com.
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THE VIBE: LOW KEY You probably went through a Pavement phase, own a lot of sneakers and cuff your jeans. You’re a proponent of the chill life. Peep these laid-back destinations to laze.
AC Upper Deck
Here’s a new way to catch the game: from way above. Atop the AC Hotel by Marriott, this bar comes with a breezy view of the city — including one of the Cincinnati Reds’ stadium. Feel like you’re there with more upscale baseball classics, like pretzels, Grand Slam Nachos and Home Run Hummus. 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, acupperdeck.com.
Want some throwback threads that a jock from a John Hughes film would wear? Look no further than Rivertown Inkery. The shirts are seriously so freaking soft and carry lots of Cincinnati pride — most of the shirts reference some team or point of interest in this awesome city. 3096 Madison Road, Oakley, rivertowninkery.com.
American Legacy Tours
The “1919: The year that changed baseball” walking tour offers attendees the chance to stroll through downtown to learn slices of local baseball history, namely about the controversial 1919 World Series in which the Cincinnati Reds played against the Chicago White Sox — and a scandal unfolded that ensnared the league. Tour begins at Cincinnati USA Visitor Center located at Fountain Square, 511 Walnut St., americanlegacytours.com.
Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom
This 1860s Cincinnati taproom serves up a blood-orange FC Cincinnati IPA, themed after our local soon-to-be MLS soccer stars. Not digging it? Moerlein also has a dozen other house
brews on tap. The Malt House also offers hot dogs (but fancier than just topped with slathered mustard), brats and metts from the in-house Wienerwurst Mike’s Frankfurtary. Also home of the annual Bockfest spring beer festival. 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, christianmoerlein.com.
This downtown neighborhood dive is a favorite with townies and sports fan who want to catch a game on TV — any game — and gorge on Travel Channel-famous dry-rubbed and smoked chicken wings (go wild with XXX-hot sauce or spicy garlic ranch), ground beef-andVelveeta topped Hanky Panks or rotating dinner specials. And beer. Obviously. 10 W. Seventh St., Downtown, 513-621-1000, searchable on Facebook. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 11
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Located in the middle of the city, the Cincinnati Zoo opened in 1875, making it the second oldest in the nation. It’s been named the “greenest zoo in America” and is home to the famed (not-so-little anymore) Fiona, a premature hippo whose struggle to survive and sassy attitude garnered worldwide media attention. Say hey to polar bears, lions, tigers, orangutans and more. Bonus: They also serve beer, including specially made local craft collaborations. 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.
The Mac Shack
The Mac Shack, a macaroni and cheese-specific outpost of the local Keystone Bar & Grill chain, offers cheesy concoctions with band-inspired names and creative toppings. Pick up a Fleetwood Mac (mozzarella, tomatoes, basil) or Gordon Lightfoot (chicken, ham, swiss). Either way, you don’t have to cook and you can trick your kids into eating their veggies. 5655 Harrison Ave., Green Township; 249 Calhoun St., University Heights, eatmacshack.com.
Smale Riverfront Park
With a grand view of the Ohio River, this park is basically a giant playground. Take a seat on porch-style swings, stomp on a giant piano, cozy up in a bouncing flying pig sculpture, run amuck on a playground that includes a rock-climbing canyon or play a giant game of chess. West Mehring Way, Downtown, cincinnatiparks.com.
This locally minded, designbased indie boutique has a selection of cool kids’ and baby items like none other in the city (plus hip stuff for mom, dad and home, too). Let them pick out a whimsy-inducing hand-sewn stuffed animal, a funky and imaginative wooden clock or cute forest or dinosaur-themed dinnerware. 1201 Vine St., Overthe-Rhine, shopmica.com.
Contemporary Arts Center UnMuseum
Art galleries are usually seen as stodgy “do not touch” kind of places. The opposite is true on the sixth floor of the Contemporary Arts Center. Dubbed the “UnMuseum,” the space is full of interactive, sensory art that kids (and adults) can play with and includes an art lab makerspace. 44 E. Sixth St., downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.
You’ve got kiddos, but you also want to explore. These stops are attractions and stores the whole fam can dig. Give them some memories that will last.
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THE VIBE: THE ‘COOL’ PARENT
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WAYS TO EAT Cheese
No way looks right without its headwear of choice: a tangly, matted pile of shredded cheddar. This dairy crown is a sight to behold—a towering, flourescent-yellow landform that serves as the perfect landing strip for oyster crackers and squirts of hot sauce. Yes, it’s excessive. Yes, it’s likely to instill fear in any nutritionist’s heart. But, in the end, it’s delicious. Obscenely so.
The 3-way’s most undervalued component, spaghetti serves as the neutral barrier between rich cheddar and tangy chili, providing a tangible layer of food for your fork to cut into. Pro-tip: Do not under any circumstances twirl your pasta around on your fork. This isn’t Olive Garden. Any self-respecting Cincinnatian insists on slicing their bite of chili with a sawing motion, ensuring equal distribution of ingredients.
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The 3-way’s polarizing centerpiece, Cincinnati chili inspires mouthwatering awe in its locals and invites the contempt of chili purists across the country. Truth is, our region’s signature dish isn’t really chili at all — at least, not in the traditional sense. Brought to the states by Macedonian immigrants Tom and John Kiradjieff in the late 1920s, it’s an Americanized riff on saltza kima, a popular Greek spaghetti topping made of ground beef, tomato sauce and a slew of spices. Whether it’s on a coney, forming the base of a way or poured into its own bowl, Cincinnati chili is the city’s most inviting signature dish: warm, hearty and satisfying.
Surprisingly, there are several different ways to enjoy Cincinnatistyle chili BY JUDE NOEL Eating Cincinnati’s signature chili is the key to surviving and thriving in the city. A business lunch of choice, a tradition for many families and an excuse for territorial locals to staunchly defend their favorite parlor, it’s a nearly inescapable dish that folks insist you try. Whether you’re a diehard chili connoisseur or it’s your inevitable first time sitting down in front of a 3-way, this handy guide to the dish will give you the confidence to order chili at any restaurant, any way you like it.
SECRET MENU SELECTIONS Ever wished you could tweak the formula of your favorite way? Want to impress your friends with your esoteric knowledge of all things chili-related? Add these phrases to your vocabulary and you can order chili like a pro. Inverted
A favorite order among chili enthusiasts, the inverted 3-way flips the traditional dish on its head, sacrificing presentation for pure efficiency. Moving cheese to the bottom of the food totem creates a gooey layer of molten cheddar that lurks beneath an exposed heap of chili that greets the diner. There’s something oddly vulnerable about a 3-way whose carnivorous sauce is laid out for all to see, but many aficionados appreciate the textures this configuration provides.
It’s no secret that eating a way can be a messy affair. Slippery and structurally prone to tumbling over the edge of your fork, your bite could easily end up splattered across the front of your shirt if you aren’t careful. Many parlors offer bibs to protect diners against spillage, but savvy Cincinnatians willing to take extra precautionary
measures can order their dish “dry”— with the liquid drained from their helping of chili.
On the other end of the spectrum, a “wet” or “juicy” way adds an extra splash of liquid to the chili, sure to satisfy anyone whose primal instincts kick in when food is placed in front of them. This greasier take on Cincinnati chili can prove to be dangerously sloppy, so pack some extra napkins if you’re willing to take the plunge.
Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you’ll have to take a rain check on your squad’s next chili outing. Find out if your local parlor offers a vegetarian take — many veggie-based versions of a 3-way can be just as tasty as the OG meat sauce. Skyline’s beans-and-rice blend offers some Tex-Mex flair, while Dixie Chili replaces beef with soybeans and adds an extra dose of spices.
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Ways to taste and tour Northern Kentucky’s evergrowing distillery BY MAIJA ZUMMO Part of the thrill of visiting a distillery is, yes, sampling the spirits. But distillery tours have also become a booming tourism business, especially in Kentucky — and Northern Kentucky is no exception. After four years of patiently aging, Newport’s New Riff Distillery released its first batch of bourbon in September 2018. The high-rye, full-bodied spirit is savory, spicy, bottled in bond — the product of one distillation season, by one distiller at one distillery and aged at least four years — and made with water from the Ohio River Alluvial Aquifer, serendipitously located 100 feet below the distillery’s parking lot. In addition to sitting on a pure and perfect water source, the distillery sits on several themed bourbon trails, offering tours in conjunction with passportstyle multi-distillery excursions. It also hosts its own variety of specialized in-house tours. Here’s a few different ways to get up close and personal with New Riff’s magical mash.
MEET NEW RIFF:
NEWPORT’S BOURBON DISTILLERY
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour
The main Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a self-guided liquor-filled jaunt through 13 major Kentucky bourbon distilleries, including Angel’s Envy, Evan Williams, Four Roses, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve. These are the big boys of the bourbon world. But if you want to get off the beaten path, the Bourbon Trail also offers a craft tour with 14 microdistilleries which are, as the website says, “redefining artisan craftsmanship — and paving the way for the next generation of bourbon connoisseurs to rise.” That trail starts down in Pembroke, Ky. at MB Roland Distillery and winds its way up through Louisville, Lexington and Bardstown and into Northern Kentucky, where New Riff Distillery sits as the northernmost stop. Get more info on participating distilleries and where to find a Craft Tour passport at kybourbontrail.com.
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The B-Line is a localized extension of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, centering on New Riff, Boone County Distilling Co. (in Independence, Ky.) and Old Pogue Distillery (in Maysville, Ky.) with a collection of nine bonus bourbon-centric NKY bars and restaurants at which to stop and sip. In addition to the distilleries, B-Line locations include MainStrasse’s Wiseguy Lounge, Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar and Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar and Newport’s Prohibition Bourbon Bar. In addition to the selfguided experience, the B-Line site also lists links to guided tours from American Legacy Tours and the Kentucky Bourbon Country Tour. The American Legacy Tours’ Bourbon and Spirits Distillery Tour takes guests to New Riff and two other nearby distilleries for tours, tastings and expert education. The Bourbon Country Tour is an eight-hour round-trip bus ride that takes guests from New Riff to Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Ky. and Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Ky. for tours, tastings and lunch. Download an official B-Line guide online and collect stamps from at least two stops to get some swag. Get more info at findyoursippingpoint.com.
The New Riff Experience
If you don’t feel like signing up for more than one stop, New Riff offers its own regular distillery tours and tastings. There are three options from which to choose: the Bonded Tour, the Barrel Proof Tour and the Inside the Lab Tour.
During the Bonded Tour (offered noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; $10), guests can get a detailed look at New Riff’s distilling process, “from grain to barrel.” Learn about fermentation, distillation, bottling, barreling and New Riff’s event space at its main Newport facility, adjacent to The Party Source. The tour also includes free tastings of a variety of their spirits, including the just-released bourbon and single barrel. The Barrel Proof Tour takes guests to the West Newport Campus twice a month (6 p.m. every other Wednesday; $20) to visit the 20,000-plus capacity barrel aging warehouse, experience the intoxicating scent of the evaporating “angel’s share,” see the building’s early 1900s architecture (it used to be a storage facility for the Greenline trolleys and buses) and sample spirits directly from the barrel. The tour also includes a tasting glass to take home. For a truly intimate and scientific experience, the super-exclusive Inside the Lab Tour (6 p.m. last Thursday of the month; $35) lets you follow a distiller on a walk through the production floor to learn about New Riff products and philosophy and get an inside look at the distillery’s “sensory lab,” where the team samples and evaluates the quality of their work. Tickets include a tour, tasting, cocktail, snack and glass to take home. For more info or to book a tour, visit newriffdistilling. com.
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BY MAIJA ZUMMO With big-ticket destinations like the Contemporary Arts Center, Krohn Conservatory, Freedom Center, Union Terminal and Kings Island, there’s no lack of things to do in Cincinnati. But what if you want something different? To assist in your adventure, here’s a list of off-thebeaten-path stops for an exploratory excursion. From the curious and strange to the decidedly amusing, these lesserknown attractions of our 230-year-old metropolis will offer a thoroughly entertaining and slightly odd afternoon.
The Mercantile Library
Located on the 11th and 12th floors of a downtown office building is Cincinnati’s own Room of Requirement (for those who aren’t Harry Potter fans, basically it’s just an extraordinarily cool, hidden sort of space). Open since 1835, this membership library (one of only a handful left in the U.S.) is home to more than 80,000 books, dynamic lecture series — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Bradbury, Tom Wolfe and Julia Child are just a handful of names who have spoken here — concerts, yoga classes and cocktail hours. While you have to be a member to check out books, the public is welcome to wander the stacks, attend events and marvel at the luddite luxury of this classic space. 414 Walnut St., Downtown, mercantilelibrary.com.
American Sign Museum
Get lost in the ads and landmarks of yesteryear. Winding pathways of colorful signage give way to a mocked-up Main Street, with faux storefronts, cobblestone paths and giant logos from Howard Johnson, McDonald’s and Marshall Field’s. From roadside nostalgia and a looming Big Boy to pharmacy signs and gas station markers,
OFF-THE-BEATENPATH ATTRACTIONS THE MERCANTILE LIBR ARY | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Kind of weird stuff to do
the flashing lights, buzzing electricity and rotating wonders are almost a sensory overload. Almost. Guided and self-guided tours available. 1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington, americansignmuseum.org.
ConVENTion every year for more than 600 ventriloquists. For 2018, the museum introduced special Tuesday tours at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. with a Vent guide. 33 W. Maple Ave., Fort Mitchell, Ky., venthaven.org.
Wolf Creek Habitat & Rescue
Stricker’s Grove is closed to the public for most of the year, save for a few special days in the summer and fall (or if you feel like renting it out for a private event). This familyowned and operated, 25-acre old-fashioned amusement park is home to tons of nostalgic games and classic rides. If it’s thrills you seek, hop on one of their two roller coasters: the Teddy Bear or Tornado. The wooden Tornado, completed in 1993, was constructed by park owner Ralph Stricker — the only person in the United States to build his own roller coaster. 11490 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, strickersgrove.com.
Vent Haven is the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. In addition to more than 800 figures (don’t call them dummies), guests can view a library of vent-centric books, playbills and thousands of photographs. The museum also hosts the international
When the wild calls, answer it at Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue. The owners share their home with a pack of more than two-dozen wolves, all of whom were either surrendered to the sanctuary or rescued from the wild. Guests are able to go inside the animals’ enclosures and interact with them (alongside a center volunteer). Warning: The wolves have been known to give kisses and request belly rubs. 14099 Wolf Creek Road, Brookville, Ind., wolfcreekhabitat.org.
World War I army medic and Boy Scout troop leader Harry Delos Andrews built Château Laroche over the course of 50 years with handmade bricks (formed with quart-sized paper milk cartons) and stones from the nearby Little Miami River. Modeled after European castles, it features towers, a dry moat, hand-tiled ceilings, murder holes and a collection of period weaponry. The castle
grounds are available for picnics, overnights and parties and are rumored to be haunted by a variety of ghosts. 12025 Shore Road, Loveland, lovelandcastle.com.
Butler County Donut Trail
Just a short 45-minute jaunt from Cincinnati is a magical place called Butler County, home to one of the largest number of donut shops per capita in the Midwest. And among these donut shops are nine family-run establishments that have come together to offer humans a chance to test the limits of their interest in fried and filled dough, as well as their blood glucose levels. Get an official Donut Trail passport stamped at all nine and receive a free T-shirt. gettothebc.com.
Brewing Heritage Trail
Once one of the largest brewing boomtowns in America in the 19th century, Cincinnati’s Brewing Heritage Trail offers guided tours of historic brewing sites. Choose from a handful of themed excursions that take intrepid beer-venturers into subterranean lagering tunnels, where you can learn about long-dead beer barons and bask in pre-Prohibition boozy history. brewingheritagetrail.org.
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DOWNTOWN OVER-THE-RHINE MOUNT ADAMS
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Once known mostly for Fortune 500 companies and business lunches, Cincinnati’s thriving and ever-developing urban core is quickly transforming into a mecca for hipsters, culture hounds, foodies and families looking to adopt a citycentric lifestyle. The Queen City’s city center neighborhoods are: the Central Business District, which boasts riverfront entertainment — including the city’s major sports stadiums — historic skyscrapers, worldclass dining and a flurry of arts activity; Over-the-Rhine, an ever-developing hip hub offering the latest in dining, drinking, shopping and one of the nation’s largest collections of historic Italianate architecture; and Mount Adams, a prime area for YPs and longtime urban-dwellers with major cultural destinations residing between winding cobblestone streets, steep hills and stunning city overlooks. Longfellow
This wood-floored, plant-stuffed and Americana-leaning vintage shop focuses on curating a collection of well-sourced, well-made and classic clothes: think a whole wall of highly coveted orange-tab Levi’s, military deadstock, leather and letterman jackets, 1950s workwear and a glut of super soft T-shirts and sweatshirts. The inventory — for men and women — is sourced by owners/friends Cale Darrell and Frank Welling and conjures up images of summer camp, Pendleton catalogs and Jack Kerouac. They’ve done the hunting so you don’t have to. 1212 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, reunionclothiers.com.
Over-the-Rhine is overflowing with desirable nightlife destinations, but Longfellow just might be the coolest. With a big-city neighborhooddive vibe, U-shaped central bar, attractive bartenders and excellent music, many have spent entire evenings drinking their way through the treacherously tempting cocktail list. The brainchild of owner Mike Stankovich — a well-traveled veteran of the New York and Washington, D.C. Punk scenes — the drink list runs the gamut from Japanese sake and Belgian beer to Portuguese tempranillos and Mexican Topo Chico sparkling water. But the cocktails are the star, like the Spruce Goose, a mix of barrel-aged gin, honey, lime, bitters and tonic. A clever food menu rounds out the offerings, with late-night pierogies, caviar and the happy hour blue plate special: a scrap sandwich with chips and a beer for $7. 1233 Clay St., Over-theRhine, longfellowbar.com.
Located at street level in the Rhinegeist building, this Frenchish brasserie serves spirits and victuals in a majestic space. An authentic destination for a lovely dinner out or cocktails at the bar, Sartre even offers bar-style bites delivered to the upstairs brewery via a pneumatic tube. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, sartreotr.com.
Located in historic Eden Park, the Krohn Conservatory is an aluminum-and-glass Art Deco destination (in the shape of an upside-down heart) filled with more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. Permanent displays include a rare orchid house, steamy tropical room, succulent-filled desert space and a fun walk-through rainforest rock waterfall. Seasonal shows change up the interior with themed flowers and foliage, and the annual, incredibly popular Butterfly Show takes over in early spring and summer. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com.
PHOTOS: H A IL E Y BOLLINGER, JESSE F OX , MIK K I SCH A FFNER PHOTOGR A PH Y
Know is known for putting on cutting-edge and avant-garde productions in its black box theater (true to type, it also produces the city’s annual Fringe Festival). The 2018/19 season is themed “Fear Itself” and shows include The Man-Beast, a French Gothic werewolf horror; Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, a tale of lady detectives in the Victorian age; and Mercury, a “pitch black comedy.” The Wednesday Welcome Experiment makes shows accessible to all with totally free admission, so you can spend the ticket money you saved at the venue’s Underground Bar — a cocktail and cabaret space with drinks and programming that complements the goings-on upstairs. 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com.
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BELLEVUE COVINGTON NEWPORT FLORENCE + NEARBY
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Just a hop, skip and a jump across the river will land you in Northern Kentucky, unique for simultaneously being part of Greater Cincinnati and inextricably linked to the Bluegrass State. Take the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge (the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge) from downtown for a heavy dose of German heritage, good bourbon and family-friendly entertainment. Make sure to stop in Covington’s MainStrasse — a historic village full of quirky shops, al fresco eateries, awardwinning bars and an annual running of the goats — as well as the cozy and eclectic Bellevue and mixed-useddevelopment-friendly Newport, home to Newport on the Levee and the Newport Aquarium. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar
If you’re in Kentucky, you should be drinking bourbon and there’s no better place to sample a smattering of the spirit than at OKBB, served by its hyper-knowledgeable and dedicated staff. This lil’ shotgun bar has an ever-expanding collection of more than 600 bottles of international, rare and easy-drinkin’ bourbon and whiskey (stacked on floor-to-ceiling shelves), plus classic and original cocktails, bourbon flights, craft beer, wine and clear booze (like vodka, rum, gin, etc.) if you aren’t ready to take the bourbon plunge. 629 Main St., Covington, Ky., oldkybourbonbar.com.
Developers transformed Covington’s old City Hall (and former Coppin’s department store) into a luxury boutique hotel with a focus on modern-meets-vintage style. You could stay here — or you could drink, dine and hang instead. Coppin’s restaurant creates magic with its mix of soulful Southern- and Creole-inspired fare, and the courtyard is a multi-use patio that offers everything from lawn games, live music and film screenings to an artisan coffee bar and happy hour. Hang out under string lights with a local Carabello cappuccino or gin and housemade tonic. Bonus: The alley-side Walk Up window offers chef-driven streetfood late night. 638 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., hotelcovington.com.
Full of underwater acrylic tunnels, guests can get up close and personal with fish, sharks and other befinned friends. Walk across the world’s first Shark Bridge — suspended over an open shark tank — pet a stingray or take selfies with glowing jellyfish. 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com.
Lil’s Bagels are a bite of Brooklyn in Cincinnati — hand-rolled, boiled, baked and superbly chewy, they’re “made with chutzpah” and come in flavors ranging from sesame and salt to Old Bay and cranberry cardamom. Follow a stone pathway down a cute little alley to find Lil’s take-out “windough,” where you can order a bagel and housemade schmear, plus local bonuses like Smooth Nitro Coffee and Teeny Pies (literally tiny pies). The bagels and menu choices change frequently...based on how quickly they sell out. 308 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., lilsbagels.com.
PHOTOS: HAILEY BOLLINGER, KELLIE COLEMAN
This Bellevue home décor shop was started by husband-and-wife duo Tanner and Kelti Ziese as a date-night hobby. Kelti is the softer side of the business, hand weaving macramé wall hangings out of cotton rope, which she organically attaches to driftwood collected from the banks of the Ohio River. Tanner, on the other hand, works with reclaimed bourbon barrels to create a variety of wood furniture and accessories. In addition to their own handmade goods, including dog beds and leashes, Coda Co. carries cool finds from local labels and makers. 400 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., shopcodaco.com.
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AVONDALE CAMP WASHINGTON CLIFTON CORRYVILLE COLLEGE HILL /NORTH COLLEGE HILL EAST WALNUT HILLS/ WALNUT HILLS
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A collection of some of Cincinnati’s most diverse and eclectic neighborhoods, just a stone’s throw from the city center. Architectural homes, local businesses and urban culture add to the charm of these historically significant areas. Here, longtime residents mingle with young families looking for city life — with a yard. Clifton is all things college — coffee shops, restaurants, bars — with a Gaslight District of independent, locally owned shops. Both residential urban neighborhoods College Hill and East Walnut Hills are undergoing a restaurantand-retail renaissance. And nearby Northside is an eclectic, green-leaning urban enclave of artists, musicians, do-it-yourselfers and a prominent LGBTQ community. FC Cincinnati
Landlocked Social House
This third-wave craft coffee shop specializes in good coffee — and good beer. Helmed by husband-and-wife duo Andrew and Anne Decker, the two have paired their passions into a light and airy community meeting space that offers artful lattes (made with a cute yellow La Marzocco espresso machine), rare brews and even pop-up dinners. To complement a small menu of in-house sandwiches, pastries and snacks, Landlocked brings in local chefs and businesses for special one-night-only offerings featuring creations like Indian-inspired streetfood, bahn mi, chalupas, Korean hot chicken and more. 648 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, landlockedsocialhouse.com.
Cincinnati’s futbol club may have won a Major League Soccer expansion, but until their brand-new West End stadium is built, the team will be playing at the University of Cincinnati’s historic Nippert Stadium. The team has carved out a culture of its own in Cincinnati — on game days, orange-and-blueclad fanatics take to the streets, drinking and watching matches at designated fan bars and filing into the stadium in record-breaking numbers. True fans congregate in “The Bailey,” the stadium’s rowdy fan section near the north goal where team songs, drums, chanting and colorful flares light up the night. Nippert Stadium, 2700 Bearcat Way, Clifton, fccincinnati.com.
Clifton’s Gaslight District is home to a thrilling selection of Indian restaurants. Among several other nearby choices is Ambar, with a vast selection of creamy and highly fragrant North Indian cuisine. Think saag, korma, tikka masala and more, including grilled tandoori. 350 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, ambarindia.com.
This is a video store that doubles as a speakeasy, like a Blockbuster with a backalley bar. The first hint that things are not as they seem is the man who checks your ID at the door — and then recommends checking out a particular title on the wall. We won’t tell you which videotape opens the secret door into the 1,500-square-foot Quentin Tarantino-themed bar but once inside, the dark rooms, movies projections, shattered mirrors and framed photos of Mia Wallace impersonators create something that is magical. 965 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, thatgrindhousebar.com.
P H O T O S : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R , B R I T TA N Y T H O R N T O N , PAT T Y S A L A S
Located in a converted gas station in College Hill, this design and flora shop houses an edited selection of plants and planters (the TODAY Show named it one of the best places to buy planters in the country), unique objects, apothecary items and artful publications. Fern wants to teach new plant parents how to care for their green offspring with professional care information and tips, and if you want more education, check out one of the shop’s classes which cover topics from calligraphy and weaving to wreath making and flower arranging. 6040 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, fern-shop.com.
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CHEVIOT GREEN TOWNSHIP PRICE HILL WESTWOOD + NEARBY
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Cincinnati’s West Side represents one half of the city’s most enduring rivalry. Though it’s technically everything west of Vine Street, I-74 is a popular dividing line. Full of some the city’s hidden gems, the East Side’s sister is home to some of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods in the city. Here, you can find down-to-earth communities that are equal parts momand-pop and big box. Cheviot, often considered the heart of the West Side, boasts “big city spirit with a small-town charm;” the bedroom community of Green Township is one of Ohio’s largest; and Price Hill and Westwood are on the rise with redevelopments, new businesses, nightlife and arts programs. Cabana on the River
Price Hill Chili
Founded in 1962 by the Beltsos family, this West Side staple has expanded from a one-room chili parlor to a 350-seater bar and restaurant. But the family values and wood-panelled aesthetics haven’t changed. For many locals, Price Hill Chili is a slice of their own history that serves up coneys and 3-ways from the steam table, plus sandwiches, salads, Greek-inspired eats and all-day breakfast. On Friday nights, try to grab a serving of super popular from-scratch mac and cheese before it’s gone. 4920 Glenway Ave., Price Hill, pricehillchili.com.
Cabana on the River is a breezy, no frills (paper plates!) seasonal Tiki bar tucked away on some prime riverfront real estate on the West Side. The large and varied menu has plenty of options for everyone, including items like a steak salad, gourmet grilled cheese and Caribbean-inspired fish tacos. Cabana on the River also has a full bar and lots of covered outdoor seating. Drink specials are mostly rum-based or frozen with an island vibe — try an Orange Creme slushie or an icy Lava Flow with piña colada and strawberry purée — and they have an updated, large selection of premium, local and craft beers. Check out live music every weekend under their glowing neon palm trees. 7445 Forbes Road, Delhi, cabanaontheriver. com.
Mount Echo Park
Right on the cusp of River Road near the Ohio River is the 84-acre Mount Echo Park. With its hiking trails, woods and unique 1928-New-Deal WPA pavilion, it offers dramatic and sweeping scenic views of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. 202 Crestline Drive, Sedamsville, cincinnatiparks.com.
Located on a former rural dairy farm, Vinoklet’s 30 acres of rolling hills and ponds are home to the only working winery with a vineyard in Hamilton County. Tapping into the Ohio River Valley’s rich grape-growing history, Vinoklet produces almost a dozen awardwinning red, white and fruit wines cultivated right in Colerain. The winery also hosts an annual Art & Wine festival, summer Shakespeare and grill-your-own steak dinners. Head to the gazebo and watch the sun go down over lush scenery with a full glass in hand. 11069 Colerain Ave., Bevis, vinokletwines.com.
Warsaw Federal Incline Theater
P H O T O S : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R , C AT I E V I OX
Several years ago, the minds behind Cincinnati Landmark Productions invested in the Price Hill Incline District to transform it into a West Side arts destination by building a brand new 229-seat state-of-the-art Incline Theater. The repertoire mixes adult fare with family-friendly shows and musicals, like the 2018/19 season, which includes The Graduate and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, with summer productions of Mamma Mia! and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 801 Matson Place, East Price Hill, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com/incline.
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COLUMBIA TUSCULUM HYDE PARK MOUNT LOOKOUT NORWOOD OAKLEY O’BRYONVILLE PLEASANT RIDGE + NEARBY
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With charming shops, leafy promenades, eclectic restaurants and a gentle, steady stream of souped-up strollers, Cincinnati’s East Side is considered the trendy sibling of the downto-earth West Side. But it isn’t all opulence. Head here for historic attractions, excellent brunch options and an unparalleled view of the night sky, plus up-and-coming blue-collar neighborhoods that are transforming their town squares into veritable nightlife and dining destinations. Sleepy Bee Café
Nestled high atop Mount Lookout is the historic Cincinnati Observatory, “the birthplace of American astronomy” and home to the oldest public telescope in the country; the observatory celebrates its 175th anniversary in November 2018. Visit during the week for daytime tours; stop by most Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights for a guided stargaze of celestial bodies; take a themed astronomy class; or make reservations for one of their popular grown-up offerings like Late Night Date Night or Celestial Sips (wine plus stars). It’s educational and romantic! 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, cincinnatiobservatory.org.
The East Side is all about brunch, whether you’ve got your BFFs or your toddler in tow, and Sleepy Bee caters to both. The flagship Oakley location of this breakfast-and-lunch destination (which now has additional spots in Blue Ash and downtown) serves beefriendly, non-GMO and local foods from head chef Frances Kroner. Expect tofu scrambles, buckwheat pancakes, Moroccan chicken salad sandwiches and a clever “food for the brood” kids menu along with craft coffee and “stingers” — cocktails like a kombucha mimosa or a Hugo with sparkling wine, mint and elderflower. 3098 Madison Road, Oakley, sleepybeecafe.com.
Streetside may be smaller and younger than some nearby East Side brewers (aka MadTree) but it packs a clever and tasty punch. Try their award-winning Return of the Mac coffee blonde or Cereal Milk milkshake brew for something different. 4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum, streetsidebrewery.com.
This laid-back cheese and charcuterie shop sprung from the mind of Emily Frank, the C’est Cheese gourmet grilled cheese food truck pioneer. And if there’s one thing Frank knows, it’s dairy. Head to Share for a graband-go selection of artisanal cheese, gourmet meat and assorted accoutrements, plus a curated stock of wine and craft beer. Enjoy a chevre plate or chef-selected cheeseboard in house, or visit on Wednesday nights for a unique food offering, whether it’s fondue for two or a surprise sandwich. 6105 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge, sharecheesebar.com.
Knickers of Hyde Park
P H O T O S : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R , B R I T TA N Y T H O R N T O N , S C O T T D I T T G E N
Celebrating 20 years in 2019, this lingerie boutique offers a perfect mix of practical and pretty all while celebrating its mission to make women feel confident and beautiful. Find daily-wear high-end brands like Betsey Johnson, Hanky Panky, Jonquil and Cosabella alongside some more risqué Knickers “after dark” bedroom play items like teddies, thigh highs and sensual accessories. Get fitted for a bra by one of their highly-trained staffers or browse a summer selection of bra-sized swimwear. There are also bridal goodies, pajama sets, a Knickers of the Month Club for underpinning deliveries and a nice selection of plus-size products so every woman can feel sexy. 2726 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, knickersofhydepark.com.
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BLUE ASH KENWOOD LOVELAND MADEIRA MARIEMONT MILFORD MONTGOMERY WEST CHESTER + NEARBY
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Cincinnati’s outer ’burbs aren’t all superstores, chain restaurants and white-picket fences (although there certainly are enough of those, if you’re so inclined). Swing by the suburbs for affable shops, offbeat eateries, local historical destinations and familyfriendly fun. Mason and Warren County live up to the nickname of “Ohio’s Largest Playground” as the home of Kings Island and The Beach Waterpark, while Blue Ash has become a hotspot for new restaurants and largescale events, largely thanks to its still-expanding Summit Park. Milford, Madeira and Mariemont all have quaint downtowns, while Kenwood is home to one of the city’s poshest shopping malls. Blue Ash Tower
Kitty Brew Café
Kitty Brew Café is Southwest Ohio’s first cat café: a coffee shop with an attached cat-cuddling lounge, featuring free-range — and adoptable — adorable felines. Grab a kitty-themed coffee drink, like the Tuxedo or Purple Catnip made with local Seven Hills Coffee, then slip inside the lounge, where you’ll be greeted by up to 30 eager animals from a handful of different area rescues. (It’s best to make a reservation in advance to view the kitties.) If you find a cat you want to keep, you can apply to adopt the animal right there, or just come pet some kitties. Note: There’s a $10 charge to enter the cat lounge. 6011 Tylersville Road, Mason, kittybrew.com.
Located in the center of the 130-acre Summit Park (formerly the home of the Cincinnati-Blue Ash municipal airport), Blue Ash Tower is an odd and interesting landmark: a soaring new 150-foot tall glass-sided observation deck. Climb some 200-plus stairs (or take a transparent elevator) to the top of the tower for views of the regional skyline and the park’s amenities, which include a playground, dog park, walking trail, civic lawn and multiple restaurants: the New American Brown Dog Café, fancy-hot-dog spot Senate, fast-casual Mexican Tahnoa Kitchen + Bar and Nanny Belle’s ice cream. There’s a first observation deck at only 26 feet up, for those afraid of heights, and the promise of more attractions to come: the park is in its third development phase. 4335 GlendaleMilford Road, Blue Ash, summitparkblueash.com
Little Miami Brewing
Sitting on the banks of its namesake river, Little Miami pours 11 beers alongside a selection of brick-oven pizzas. Order a pint of Pterodactyl — a Bavarian wheat beer infused with hints of banana and clove — while listening to live music. 208 Mill St., Milford, littlemiamibrewing.com.
Two Cities Pizza Company
New York City and Chicago are both well-known for their particular styles of pizza: New York pizza is thin with wide slices and deliciously greasy cheese. Chicago style? You’re talking deep dish, covered in chunky tomato sauce. Now, you don’t have to travel further than Mason to get a taste of both. Two Cities Pizza Company, housed in Mason’s former city hall, closes the chasm between the dueling pizza metropolises by offering both types of pie. They also serve bestof-both-worlds street food. 202 W. Main St., Mason, twocitiespizza.com.
PHOTOS: H A IL E Y BOLLING ER, MEG A N WA D D EL
Massive international grocery store Jungle Jim’s turned 40 in 2015, marking more than four decades of embodying the concept of a “theme park of food.” The market is home to a staggering international department with 50,000 products from more than 70 countries — even hard-to-find African imports like Fufu flour and rare beauty products. Take a mini trip around the world to destinations like Russia, Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Hungary, picking up fruits, chocolate and intriguing (sometimes bug-infused) candies along the way. 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.
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OVERLOOK KITCHEN + BAR PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
RESTAURANTS EST 2016
EAT, DRINK & BE COZY
INVENTIVE, CHEF-DRIVEN, FARM-TO-FORK MENU DEEP SELECTION OF CRAFT BEERS & CLASSIC COCKTAILS ONE OF CINCY’S LARGEST & MOST ENTERTAIING OUTDOOR SPACES SERVING DINNER TUESDAY THRU SATURDAY EVENINGS AND BRUNCH SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS OU R COTTAGE NEXT D OOR SERV IN G
BREAK FA STAND LUN C H
M O NDAY T H R U F R IDAY W IT H EVENT B OOK I N G S N I G H T S A N D W E E K E N D S
COZY’S CAFE & PUB | 6440 CIN-DAY ROAD | LIBERTY TOWNSHIP WWW.COZYSCAFEANDPUB.COM | 513.644.9365 | @COZYSCAFEANDPUB
Arnold’s Bar and Grill
Open since 1861, Arnold’s is the oldest continuously running tavern in town, complete with dark wood walls, vintage memorabilia and a big ol’ bathtub in the dining room, rumored to have been used to make gin during Prohibition. A Cincinnati classic, it serves up a nice range of lunch and dinner options — pasta, sandwiches and burgers, plus vegan and gluten-free options — at bargain prices. Enjoy a local draft in the outdoor beer garden and almost daily live music. Named as one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine. 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.
Serving only local beers on draft, Arthur’s is a relaxed gathering place on Hyde Park Square. The menu includes salads, soups, sandwiches and — their specialty — burgers with deals on toppings during “burger madness” days. 3516 Edwards Road, Hyde Park; 8221 Beechmont Ave., Anderson, arthurscincinnati.com.
A casual Northside townie bar and grill in a historic building that dates back to 1886. The menu features inexpensive items — soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers — with plenty of vegetarian-friendly dishes and a daily steak special. A renovated back patio houses an al fresco bar and yard games. 1686 Blue Rock St., Northside, boswellalley.com.
Chef Michael Shields, who earned his chops under Emeril Lagasse, opened BrewRiver with craft beer and thoughtfully paired New Orleans-leaning cuisine in mind. Try the Decatur Street muffaletta, gumbo or shrimp po’ boy with a rotating list of more than 50 handpicked, locally brewed drafts, bottles and cans — some of which are even featured in recipes themselves. An expanded and updated location offers more of a focus on NOLA eats. 4632 Eastern Ave., East End, brewrivergastropub.com.
City View Tavern
A hillside dive and home of one of the best spicy bloody marys and best views in town. The burgers are damn tasty, too. Meet Big Ted: six ounces of griddle-cooked, handmade beef patty with American cheese, brown mustard, lettuce, pickles, mayo, onion, ketchup and home-grown tomatoes (when in season), served in a plastic basket with a bag of chips. 403
Oregon St., Mount Adams, cityviewtavern.com.
A neighborhood bar and grill in Oakley. The dinner menu offers several types of burger protein patties — turkey, ostrich, Cajun or Gardenburger — served several different ways, including Godzilla-style, topped with pepper jack cheese and spicy onion straws. Order a starter of Potato Rags to share, aka hash browns on steroids smothered in cheese, bacon, onion, tomato and ranch dressing. There’s a french fry version, too. 3036 Madison Road, Oakley, habitscafe.com.
Holy Grail Tavern & Grille
With more than 30 highdefinition TVs, a plethora of beers on tap and great pub grub, this is a prime sports spot at The Banks. Munch on classic fare like ballpark pretzels, angus burgers, wings, wraps and nachos, with outdoor seating directly across from the Reds stadium. 161 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, holygrailcincy.com.
Incline Public House
With a 1,400-square-foot deck for soaking in vistas and cocktails, IPH’s name is derived from the actual Cincinnati Incline that existed there from the late 1800s to the 1940s. Their upscale twist on pub food features sandwiches, salads, epicurean appetizers and a slew of craft cocktails and draft beers. Build your own pizza with toppings ranging from pepperoni and prosciutto to fried egg and oven-roasted tomato. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, inclinepublichouse.com.
Keystone Bar & Grill
This neighborhood joint offers a variety of tasty comfort food, like huge plates of pasta, a rockin’ quesadilla menu, buildyour-own-burgers (including turkey or veggie options) and weekend brunch. But where it really shines is its macaroni and cheese menu: nine specialty selections of ooey, gooey carbs smothered in tasty dairy and named after famous bands, like the Fleetwood Mac with mozzarella, pesto and tomato. Multiple locations including 313 Greenup St., Covington, Ky.; 49 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights; 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, keystonebar.com.
Moerlein Lager House
Moerlein Lager House celebrates Cincinnati’s brewing tradition in a giant restaurant and brewery with sweeping views of downtown and the riverfront. Offers a large something-for-everyone menu of burgers and pastas, plus fancier dishes like filet mignon and squash wellington. With 24 beers on tap — house brews
and other crafts — plus more than 60 in bottles and cans, there’s a drink for every taste. Tours of the in-house brewery available. 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, moerleinlagerhouse. com.
MOTR Pub does two things really well: rocks your face off with loud music and sweaty crowds and serves up one hell of a burger. But fret not vegheads — you can get a veggie burger or vegan BLT. There’s also the spicy St. Francis Monastery mac and cheese. Try the corned beef hash with Guinness gravy and a bloody mary during Sunday brunch. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine,motrpub.com.
Northside Yacht Club
The fare might be best described as bar food with a creative twist. All meats are smoked in house and fan favorites include short-rib grilled cheese, smoked chicken wings with housemade sauce and award-winning poutine with duck fat gravy. For vegetarians, there’s also cauliflower wings, vegan lentil chili fries and a tofu banh mi. Features full service brunch on weekends, with Tikithemed drinks and one of the meatiest bloody marys in town, garnished with celery, a housesmoked Boston butt pulled pork slider, hickory bacon and a house-smoked jumbo wing. 4231 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com.
Taft’s Ale House
Housed in a renovated multistory 1850s-era church, Taft’s is named after William Howard Taft, the 27th president of the United States and native Cincinnatian. The working brewery and restaurant features meat platters, salads and sandwiches that focus on tri-tip beef — similar to prime rib — and a special kids’ menu. The creative beer selection boasts brews made with local goods, everything from locally roasted coffee to artisan chocolate. 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, taftsalehouse.com.
BAR & GRILLS/ BREWPUBS
BARBECUE/HOMESTYLE Alabama Que
Dwan Ward, a former firefighter and football player, began catering through word of mouth; today, his barbecue joint is a popular haunt for professional athletes and celebrities like A.J. Green, Snoop Dogg and Wale. Home of turkey rib tips, all side items are non-pork based; greens and green beans are made with smoked turkey, baked beans are entirely vegetarian and meat is cooked on separate grills and cut with different knives. 2733 Vine St., Corryville, alabama-q.com.
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CIT YBIRD | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey
The Pendleton restaurant is inspired by the trappings of the American frontier and California’s 19th-century gold rush. Order a cocktail when you sit down so you have time for another before dinner is over — and then another for “dessert.” At Boomtown, the true delight comes plated. The signature biscuit isn’t a run-ofthe-mill thousand-layer flaked baked good. It’s a buttery, soft disc with a close crumb and a browned, lightly bubbled top that no breakfast chain can compete with. Choose from sandwiches, “Prospector Plates,” bowls, sides and dessert. 1201 Broadway St., Pendleton, boomtownbiscuitsandwhiskey.com.
This regional chain was named one of the best in America by Men’s Journal. They put out some dang tasty barbecue, including mouth-watering beef brisket and a good and sloppy pulled-pork sandwich. Mix and match your sauce and meat. Multiple locations including 10375 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash; 7706 Voice of America Centre Drive, West Chester; 2760 Alexandria Pike, Highland Heights, Ky., citybbq.com. 3 6 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
The deep-fried offspring of The Eagle in OTR, CityBird is the latest addition to the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, dishing out cage-free, all-natural chicken paired with housemade craft sauces. CityBird’s “house-brined, fresh fried” chicken leans more toward tenderness than crispiness, but still packs a considerable punch. 1344 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, citybirdotr.com.
The Eagle OTR
The Eagle is nested inside a retired post office and has a relatively small menu, comprised of fried chicken, sandwiches, snacks and several side dishes. Booze-wise, they serve 100 kinds of beer and have about 15 different brews on tap. The fried chicken is free-range, all natural and sourced from Ohio farms. Opt for a whole, half chicken (white and dark meat) or a quarter of a chicken (select white or dark). The Southern greens and artichoke dip is a must. 1342 Vine St., Over-theRhine, theeagleotr.com.
Eli’s specialty, the pulled-pork sandwich, is a good intro to his amazing barbecue sauce, and you can move on from there to hickory-smoked ribs, smoked
turkey or an all-beef hot dog topped with pulled-pork crispins and coleslaw. Try the mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, baked beans or the jalapeño corn bread. 3313 Riverside Drive, East End; Findlay Market, 133 W. Elder St., Over-the Rhine, elisbarbeque.com.
Around since 1947, the Green Derby got its name from the original owner as both a reference to a famous California restaurant of the time (the Brown Derby) and a nod to her Irish heritage. The old Derby had been both a home-cooking, family-oriented community center and a place where the mobsters of Newport’s “Sin City” days met in the kitchen to set the gambling lines for each day. The new Derby definitely sticks to a comfort food menu with dishes like Kentucky burgoo and a classic, cheesy Hot Brown, and it relives the mob era by displaying dozens of framed, vintage photographs in its main dining room. 846 York St., Newport, Ky., greenderbykentucky.com.
Famous for its double-deckers, the Greyhound Tavern has been a Fort Mitchell institution since the 1930s. You won’t want to
BEST OF EATS CityBeat’s Best Of Cincinnati® issue is an annual collection of the city’s best as voted on by readers and staff. Here are some of the 2018 reader picks for Cincinnati’s best eats.
1. Taft’s Brewpourium 2. Court Street Lobster Bar 3. Camporosso 4. Sartre OTR 5. Kitchen 1883 6. Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop 7. Sweets & Meats BBQ 8. Buddha Barn Thai 9. CWC the Restaurant / Harvest Pizzeria (TIE) 10. Casa Figueroa
1. Sotto 2. Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct 3. Boca 4. Dewey’s Pizza 5. Incline Public House 6. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 7. The Eagle 8. Taste of Belgium 9. Please 10. Mazunte
miss the divine fried chicken, the ginormous onion rings, the Hot Brown or the bread pudding. It’s family-style fried chicken night on Mondays and Tuesdays, with generous portions of bird — rolled in secret-recipe herbed flour and fried — mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and biscuits. 2500 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, Ky., greyhoundtavern.com.
The Hitching Post
“World’s Best Fried Chicken” is this diner’s claim to fame, but you should try their outstanding breakfasts — especially Uncle Bubba’s Ultimate Omelet. Burgers and Tall Stacks (overstuffed double-decker sandwiches) compete with traditional classics like meatloaf and liver and onions. 2715 Madison Road, Hyde Park, hydepark-hitchingpost.com.
Owner Matt Cuff launched his pursuit of cooked meats by entering (and winning) barbecue competitions in South Carolina. If you don’t want pork, brisket, chicken or ribs, you can get wings, rib tips or even do a platter of sides since each one is only a couple bucks. With a base in faith, the “sammiches” have names like David, Goliath, Adam and Judas (chicken). 975 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills; 6901 Valley Ave., Newtown, justqin.com.
While the name of this barbecue joint may look like “luscious” — which isn’t a bad association — the restaurant is actually called Lucius Q (loo-shus q), a moniker taken from a Roman general with special ties to Cincinnati. The restaurant logo is a Centurion riding a pig. But the Italian influence stops there. The menu is all about the meat; no pizza or pasta in sight — unless you count the macaroni and cheese waffle. Instead, it draws influence from regional barbecue specialties and the partners’ own backgrounds: there’s Texas brisket, Carolina pulled pork, Memphis-style ribs and AvrilBleh sausage from Cincinnati. Everything is smoked out back. 1131 Broadway St., Pendleton, luciusq.com.
World-famous for its ribs, Montgomery Inn has been a staple in Cincinnati for more than 60 years. Along with ribs, the Inn offers barbecued spring chicken, silver salmon, pulled-pork sandwiches, burgers, salads and more, including everyone’s favorite: Saratoga chips served with their famous barbecue sauce. Multiple locations including 9440 Montgomery Road, Montgomery; 925 Riverside
Drive, Downtown; 400 Buttermilk Pike, Fort Mitchell, Ky., montgomeryinn.com.
Ollie’s — located in a literal trolley — uses special seasoning to spice up everything from grits and eggs at breakfast to a hearty lunch of barbecued turkey tips. Start with the Ollie burger and fries and stay for the ribs with homemade macaroni and cheese and lemon pound cake for dessert. This cooking feeds your soul. 1607 Central Ave., West End, facebook.com/ olliestrolleycincinnati.
With pimento dip served with Ritz crackers, Cheerwine and Red Neck Frito Pie, barbecue palace Pontiac takes low-class grub to a self-aware, higher level. Along with their pulled pork, their Texas-style brisket, turkey, smoked kielbasa and barbecue veg are a beautiful thing. Saint Louis ribs available by the slab. 1403 Vine St. Over-theRhine, pontiacbbq.com.
A West Side institution since 1960, Ron’s Roost is known for its famous fried chicken, authentic sauerbraten and the giant fiberglass rooster that stands sentry on the roof. But diners also flock to Ron’s for the restaurant’s chicken livers dinner, with gravy and two sides (like German potato salad and hot bacon coleslaw). If you’d prefer calves’ liver, Ron’s has that on the dinner menu, too — pan fried and slathered in sautéed onions, of course. 3853 Race Road, Bridgetown, ronsroost.net.
With the menu written on an ancient blackboard, you might expect (and maybe want?) a metal lunchbox to come to your table bursting with bologna sandwiches and Twinkies. What you’ll get, and be thrilled by, is delicious classic American fare served family-style. Among your choices: fried chicken, baked cod, meatloaf and roast beef. Bonus: All sides, from mashed potatoes with gravy to cornbread, are refillable when dining in. 8031 GlendaleMilford Road, Camp Dennison, theschoolhousecincinnati.com.
Silver Spring House
Dubbing itself “The Chicken Joint,” Silver Spring House definitely serves up some delicious chicken. Marinated in citrus juices and spices, it’s grilled and succulent. There’s an entire menu section devoted to “The Breast of Times,” with chicken breast prepared a variety of ways — Buffalo style, cordon bleu and Baja, with salsa and monterey jack cheese.
4335 Glendale-Milford Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45242 (513) 794-1610 browndogcafe.com
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If you’re not in the mood for chicken, you can choose pork ribs, salmon, burgers and a variety of sandwiches. 8322 E. Kemper Road, Montgomery, thesilverspringhouse.com.
The “Q” is for barbecue, the specialty at SmoQ. It’s all done slow and low in a big ’ol smoker. You’re likely to find your favorite Southern specialty here as well, be it Memphis-style baby back ribs, blackened catfish or Uncle Jerry’s Shrimp & Grits. 275 Pictoria Drive, Springdale, smoqbbq.com.
Sweets & Meats
14TH AND REPUBLIC, OTR TAKE-OUT AND CATERING
Kristen Bailey’s ascendancy in the often male-dominated world of barbecue is no surprise: Sweets & Meats hits all the barbecue fundamentals with ribs, brisket, pulled pork and the fan-favorite pulled chicken sandwich. The store and food truck also sometimes offer more unique fare, including smoked meatloaf and a strawberry crunch cake that makes the trip to Cincinnati’s easternmost neighborhood worth it all by itself. 2249 Beechmont Ave., Mt. Washington, sweetsandmeatsbbq.com
Walt’s Hitching Post
Walt’s Hitching Post is a kick-back, casual place where everybody knows your name. Open in some iteration since the 1950s, classic menu items include Walt’s Legendary Fried Chicken, country fried steak with white-pepper-bacon gravy and fried chicken livers. All steaks are dusted with a unique seasoning blend and charred to perfection at 850 degrees, and on Fridays, Kosher-salt encrusted prime rib is on special — while it lasts. 3300 Madison Pike, Fort Wright, Ky., waltshitchingpost.com.
CARRY OUT RESTAURANT, CATERING AND FOOD TRUCK
PROUDLY SERVING SMOKED MEATS, HOMEMADE SIDES & DESSERT
An Art Deco dreamland complete with a custom piece of frosted glass depicting Union Terminal and a phone booth tucked in the corner. Classy, but Bacalls still has TVs on which you can watch the game. The menu has something for everyone including soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pasta and other entrées. Serving meals and booze to locals and visitors in College Hill for 35-plus years, they must be doing something right. 6118 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, bacallscafe.com.
“Best of Cincinnati” Top 7 BBQ & Top 7 New Restaurant www.sweetsandmeatsbbq.com 2249 Beechmont Ave Suite B, Cincinnati, OH 45230 3 8 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Bellevue Bistro is one of those places that you wish there were more of: a small neighborhood café where the food is made from scratch, the coffee is worth having three cups and
the service is efficient and friendly. The super-cozy eatery specializes in breakfast bakes, burritos, sweets, savories and six different types of benedicts — choices like Kentucky Hot Brown, spicy mett and Veggie Benny (sweet potatoes, squash, avocado, cheddar jack) served over biscuits, with two fried eggs and homemade sauce. 313 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., bellevuebistro.com.
Bow Tie Café
Coffeehouse and café that brews Chicago’s intelligentsia coffee and espresso, served in drip, pour-over and mixed coffee drinks — along with coffee cocktails. The expansive food menu features breakfast, weekend brunch, burritos, wraps, subs and salads. 1101 Saint Gregory St., Mount Adams, bowtiecafe.com.
Brontë, located inside JosephBeth Booksellers in Rookwood, is a cozy, relaxed location to enjoy a book and a great meal. It has a lot to offer, including coffee, a full bar, starters, salads, sandwiches, home-cooked entrées and dessert. There’s a fun collection of author-themed cocktails, like Kurt Vonnegut’s Scotch and water or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gin Rickey. 2692 Madison Road, Norwood, josephbeth.com/bronte.
Café de Paris
Feast on lunch and breakfast selections like salade niçoise, croque madame or a satisfying café bagel, topped with scrambled egg, fresh butter and a slice of tomato. Follow lunch with a Parisian espresso in the colorful and quaint downtown escape in the heart of Garfield Park. 17 Garfield Place, Downtown, searchable on Facebook.
With a menu featuring kale salads, breakfast sandwiches with pimento cheese and modern espresso drinks (like the bubbly chinotto, with housemade tonic, espresso and soda), along with an interior decked out with a white floor, rustic wood seating and live plants, the ambiance feels decidedly West Coast — especially when you glance at the patio. The focal point of Cheapside’s al fresco seating is a large wooden tepee, constructed out of slatted cedar, in which you can sit at a bright red table while enjoying your smoked turkey on salted rye and local Hen of the Woods potato chips. 326 E. Eighth St., Downtown, cheapsidecafe.com.
With creative takes on breakfast fare such as pancakes, French toast and egg dishes to sandwiches, salads, soups and
S M O Q | P H O T O : PAT T Y S A L A S
Overall Restaurant (NKY)
1. Pompilios 2. Hofbräuhaus 3. Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar 4. Walt’s Hitching Post 5. Greyhound Tavern 6. Kung Food Chu’s AmerAsia 7. Otto’s 8. Kitchen 1883 9. Frida 602 10. Anchor Grill
Neighborhood Restaurant (Downtown/OTR)
1. Bakersfield 2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 3. The Eagle
Neighborhood Restaurant (Central)
1. Adriatico’s 2. Camp Washington Chili 3. Hang Over Easy
Neighborhood Restaurant (NKY)
1. Dewey’s Pizza 2. Pompilios 3. Goodfellas Pizzeria
Neighborhood Restaurant (East Side)
1. Eli’s BBQ 2. Arthur’s / Zip’s Café (TIE) 3. Silver Spring House
biscuit concoctions, the place delivers “fast-casual from scratch.” Colonel’s Kitchen offers breakfast and lunch six days a week, with brunch specials on Sunday. While it’s not any kind of fancy, both the layout and décor make it feel homey and welcoming. Chalkboards tell you what’s to eat and the cooking is done behind a long counter. 22 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, Ky., colonelde.com.
Located in the heart of historic Mariemont, Dilly bistro and bottle shop serves lunch and dinner daily. Paying tribute to their origins as a deli, you’ll also find satisfying sandwiches, housemade soups and their famous beer cheese dip. Eat or sip a glass of beer or wine on their giant two-level Englishcourtyard-style patio. Guests can also choose a bottle of wine from their in-house bottle shop to enjoy with their meal for retail price plus a small corkage fee. 6818 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, dillybistro.com.
Essencha Tea House
With an extensive menu of green, black, white, oolong, herbal and rooibos teas, plus a line of infusions from local Lola’s Botanicals, the tea
selection (which you can sample for free) is about as vast as the café menu, which features edibles like kimchi crepes, a cold smoked-salmon sandwich and a matcha goddess salad. For bubble tea lovers — or those looking to try the Asian treat for the first time — Essencha offers a customizable selection. Choose your freshly brewed tea base and fruit syrup, shaken and poured over sweet tapioca pearls. 3212 Madison Road, Oakley, essenchatea.com.
A family-owned restaurant serving American cuisine with Italian flair. Signature pizzas include The Capone with capicola, salami, pepperoni, sausage, olives, banana peppers, mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Entrée options list eggplant parmesan, Gabby’s famous fish dinner and gluten-free zucchini linguine. 515 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, gabbyswyoming.com.
Half Day Café
Seasonal menu items with fresh, locally sourced ingredients make this popular Wyoming mainstay a breakfast and lunch standout. Try the thick-sliced mango-butter rum French toast, and for lunch, grab an avocado club wrap or grilled cheese with cheddar and provolone.
1 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, halfdaycafe.org.
Hang Over Easy
A legit breakfast and brunch spot to cure your hangover. Try the chicken and chorizo skillet with peppers, onions, home fries, melted queso and egg, all scrambled up and cooked in a skillet, served with toast. Or the Walk of Shame, fried egg, cheese, sausage and bacon served on a grilled Holtman’s donut. 13 W. Charlton St., Corryville, hangovereasycincinnati.com.
Although there’s a full kitchen for food prep at this Northside wine bar, almost all dishes come to the table cold or at room temperature. Portions are almost universally generous and easily can be shared by two, three or four people. Modern Fondue and Northside Charcuterie are favorites. The cheesy fondue (a melt of Gruyère, Port Salut and white cheddar) comes in a ceramic pot above a tiny flame. The charcuterie features an impressively stacked array of goodies, from cheeses to cured meats and house-brined olives to babba ganouj, ciopinni onions soaked in balsamic vinegar and various pickled vegetables. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 3 9
MAPLEWOOD KITCHEN AND BAR | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
4029 Hamilton Ave., Northside, thehamiltoncincinnati.com.
Inspirado at Madison Gallery
Inspirado is Spanish for “inspired” or “full of inspiration,” which is evident in the form of the super-eclectic menu with dishes like Cemita, a Mexican braised-pork shoulder sandwich; Prawn Laska from Malaysia; Aloo Jeera, an Indian appetizer with potatoes, chickpeas and coriander; and a good Kentucky Hot Brown. 715 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., inspiradocov.com.
A combination of an art gallery, bookshop, coffee shop and wireless café, Iris BookCafé has both meat and veggie (and vegan) options on the menu. Soup selections run the gamut from chicken gumbo to vegan lentil kale, while sandwiches are simple with fillings like egg salad, salmon or turkey. They also serve scoops of local Aglamesis Bros. ice cream. 1331 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, risbookcafeotr.com.
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
Maplewood serves up dishes and ingredients that would be right at home on the West Coast: cold-pressed juices, superfood salads, egg-white omelets and somewhat 4 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
nutritious cocktails, like the roasted tomatillo bloody mary. Made with Tito’s vodka, house tomatillo bloody mary mix and cold-pressed Super Green juice (kale, celery, spinach, romaine and pineapple), it’s topped off by a purple cabbage accouterment. If bloody marys aren’t your thing, ask for a cup of Brainstorm Coffee, the café’s take on Bulletproof Coffee (coffee blended with grass-fed butter). 525 Race St., Downtown, maplewoodkitchenandbar.com.
Whether it’s their corn-cerealbattered French toast topped with bananas and crème brûlée or their eggy arsenal of inventive frittatas, Mokka makes a mean breakfast. Vegetarians will love the California, veggie and Greek frittatas, while carnivores can tear into the three-meat and Green Goat (spinach, chicken and goat cheese) varieties. Lunch and dinner options include burgers and hearty grinder sandwiches. 500 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., mokkasunset.com.
Om Eco Café
Om Eco Café features fresh, local and organic coffee, tea, soups, salads and sandwiches. Coffee is shade-grown, the apothecary bar features more
than 100 herbs to add to cocktails and tea and they even have homemade biscuits for dogs. Lots of veggie-friendly options here. 329 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, aquariusstar.com.
O Pie O
While originally famous for their sweet pies, O Pie O’s restaurant also does savory — pot pies, quiche, empanadas, etc. And they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a selection of both types. The pie crust anchors the menu with a flakiness that truly melts in your mouth and tastes just as lovely and buttery whether filled with braised beef or blueberry lavender. 1527 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, opieo.com.
Piccolo Wine Room
Conceived as a wine bar, Piccolo offers wines by the six-ounce glass or two-ounce taste, or you can select a bottle from the shop next door and pay $10 corkage. The menu rarely repeats from one week to the next but usually will include a soup and a salad, a hearty burger or meat dish and perhaps another sandwich and two or three entrées for a total of six choices. The setting, the bonhomie and food and drink make for a splendid experience. 23 Village Square, Glendale, piccolowineroom.com.
Neighborhood Restaurant (West Side)
1. Incline Public House 2. Price Hill Chili 3. Primavista
Neighborhood Restaurant (’Burbs)
1. Blue Ash Chili 2. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant 3. Sleepy Bee Café (Blue Ash)
Menu (Most Innovative)
1. Boca 2. Tom+Chee 3. Sotto
1. Bakersfield 2. A Tavola 3. Sotto
1. Bruegger’s Bagels 2. Marx Hot Bagels 3. Panera Bread
Eli’s BBQ City Barbeque Montgomery Inn Pontiac Pickles and Bones Just Q’in Sweets & Meats BBQ Big Art’s BBQ Grill Alabama Que/SmoQ (TIE) 10. Bee’s Barbecue 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Dayton, Ky.’s Purple Poulet brands itself as a Southern bourbon bistro, emphasis on the bourbon — and the hospitality and service. They boast an extensive bourbon collection, one of the largest in the area, and the spirit is woven into many of their dishes, like the KY Coq au Vin. The bourbon-brined chicken breast is juicy and stark white, and the red-wine bacon gravy is full of flavor. The Swanky Shrimp & Grits come with bourbon-cream pan gravy, andouille, bacon and red-eye ganache. 603 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Ky., purplepoulet.com.
A romantic bistro offering seasonal cuisine and sophisticated ambiance. The 18-hour short ribs are to die for and the interesting taco selections — Korean barbecue pork, vegetarian wheat crumble, mahi fish — are divine. There’s a lovely wine list at Quarter Bistro, and outdoor dining in the historic Mariemont town square is wonderfully charming. 6904 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, qbcincy.com.
Ruth’s Parkside Café
Located in a factory bay at the American Can Building, Ruth’s offers diners a mix of comforting, well-known classics from the owners’ former restaurant Mullane’s, such as the spinach sauté and red beans and rice, as well as new dishes. Everything is from scratch, and there is plenty for vegetarians and carnivores alike. 1550 Blue Rock St., Northside, ruthscafe.com.
Sleepy Bee Café
A family-friendly breakfast and lunch spot. Much of Sleepy Bee’s food is sourced locally from farms with bee-friendly practices, including Holistic Acres eggs; Marksbury Farms’ humane, pasture-raised meats; and potatoes, sprouts and microgreens from nearby growers. Expect a healthy wait on weekends for healthy and hearty brunch fare. 3098 Madison Road, Oakley; 9514 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash; 8 E. Fourth St., Downtown, sleepybeecafe.com.
Somm Wine Bar
Somm Wine Bar makes it perilously easy to have a fun weeknight out. For one, they serve half glasses of wine (half full, that is), perfect if you’re indecisive, sampling or pretending not to drink very much. For another, the inviting back patio conjures up words like “sophisticated” and “adulting.” And finally, Somm’s snacks range from marinated olives, mixed nuts and pickled vegetables to bondookies. Somm also makes mozzarella cheese in-house.
3105 Price Ave., Price Hill, sommwinebarcincinnati.com.
York Street Café
Built in the 1880s, the building holds a beautifully decorated eclectic café, a lounge with live music and an art gallery, along with a terribly romantic garden patio. Order a Conversation Board, with samplings of different appetizers, and let the words flow. A great place for a first date. 738 York St., Newport, Ky., yorkstonline.com.
BURGERS/DOGS Americano Burger Bar
Americano has taken the American staples we all love and elevated them with international flavors. They have 10 burgers on the menu, ranging from The Argentinean (chimichurri, grilled onions, provolone cheese and mayo) to the hilariously named Florence Y’all (Taleggio cheese, portobello, arugula pesto). In addition to burgers, there’s German- or Chicago-style hot dogs, Russian slaw, New England clam chowder and classic starters like wings and beer cheese You’ll be full after the burgers, but save room for one of their frozen custard shakes. For a few extra bucks, you can add booze. 545 Race St., Downtown, americanoburgerbar.com.
Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers
A classic joint offering craft beer (135 tap handles at their four locations) and 16 signature burgers. Add a kick to your dish with the Chuck Norris, a locally sourced beef patty topped with fire-roasted green chile and jalapeño compote, lettuce and pepper jack cheese. Or go German with The Oktoberfest burger, topped with horseradish cheddar, grilled onion, sauerkraut, pickles and bacon Dijon on a pretzel bun. Multiple locations including 165 Pavilion Parkway, Newport, Ky.; 7453 Wooster Pike, Mariemont; 12071 Mason Montgomery Road, Symmes; 8863 US Route 42, Union, Ky., flipdaddys.com.
Gordo’s Pub & Grill
What’s not to love about a pub with more than 100 microbrews and incredible gourmet burgers? Their two standbys are the JeanRobert, with grape compote and goat and blue cheeses and the Gordo’s burger, topped with Boursin cheese, poblano peppers, onions and smoked bacon. A Xavier hangout. 4328 Montgomery Road, Norwood, gordospub.com.
Herb & Thelma’s Tavern
Open in 1939 as Heine’s Café, the small drop-ceilinged dining room is what some may call a “hole in the wall,” but the simple and delectable burgers are made to order and served by an incredibly friendly staff.
The burgers are basic — a juicy meat patty topped with cheese, onions and pickles — and a short list of sides includes chili, soup or Husman’s chips. The joint recently added craft beer to its program of PBR, Bavarian’s and Budweiser. One note: Herb & Thelma’s is cash only, but burgers ring in at less than $5 (as does the fried bologna sandwich with cheese). 718 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., herbandthelmas.com.
Mad Mike’s Burgers and Fries
Choose from their creative signature offerings like the Rockefeller with blue cheese, cranberry chutney, beer battered onions, cilantro mayo and lettuce, or the Goliath, which features two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns because, why not? 194 N. Brookwood Ave., Hamilton, madmikesburgershamilton.com.
Mr. Gene’s Dog House
Mr. Gene’s menu features hot dogs, metts and Italian sausages with traditional sides of fries and onion rings. A portion of Mr. Gene’s profits are donated to charities, so pig out! 3703 Beekman St., South Cumminsville, mrgenesdoghouse.com.
A no-frills burger joint with two locations — an original in Norwood and a second in Mason — that frequently wins best burger accolades from local publications (including this one). Founded in 1966 by Albert Imm and Ken Talmage, this icon is known for cheeseburgers, chili, soup and cold beer. Daily specials rotate between cheeseburgers and fries and other sandwiches, like barbecue pork and hot ham and cheese. Another famous dish? Their mock turtle soup. 2434 Quatman Ave., Norwood; 224 W. Main St., Mason, quatmancafe.com.
The Root Beer Stand
The restaurant makes secretrecipe root beer (available by the jug) using water from the property’s 280-foot-deep well and family-recipe chili for their famous foot-long coney dogs. Open Memorial Day-Labor Day. 11566 Reading Road, Sharonville, therootbeerstand.com.
Pushers of beer, wine and gourmet street food. Senate’s mission is to present upscale street food, and they do a terrific job of it, grabbing national attention from the likes of the New York Post, Forbes and more. The menu plays heavily on hot dogs, from gourmet Chicago dogs to more interesting dog-ofthe-days and menu staples like the Trailer Park, with applewood bacon, American cheese and crushed Grippo’s. The lobster
BLT is a must have, as is the “$25 wood-grilled, dry-aged ribeye,” which costs just $24 and is served with marrow butter and truffle fries. 1212 Vine St., Overthe-Rhine; 1100 Summit Place Drive, Blue Ash, senatepub.com.
Silver Ladle is a “fast-casual” restaurant that serves a variety of hearty sandwiches, a dozen soups, fresh salads, gluten-free options and its own twist on Cincinnati-style chili and coneys. Burger fans will be happy to see a stout lineup of heavily topped meaty patties, and the handful of salad offerings are far from skimpy. 580 Walnut St., Downtown; 7917 Beechmont Ave., Anderson, silverladle.com.
Terry’s Turf Club
There’s no other character on the Cincinnati dining scene quite like Terry, and his little juke-joint is a legend — the hard-to-miss exterior glows with friendly neon signs. The short but sweet menu centers on burgers — big, beautiful hamburgers including a tender-as-butter filet mignon burger with béarnaise. Other sandwiches start with grilled chicken or portobellos and shiitakes. Take the basics and add one of the formidable sauce options for a customized burger experience. 4618 Eastern Ave., East End, 513-533-4222, searchable on Facebook.
Earth-conscious, locally sourced Rock & Roll burgers are exactly the kind of thing one would expect to find in Northside. And Tickle Pickle happens to serve just that. Patrons order their Rock-themed burgers — like the Nom Petty (with mushrooms, Swiss cheese and mayo) and Grateful Shred (shredded pulled-pork on a pretzel bun with spicy slaw and grilled onions) — from the counter and then take a seat. Vegans have one burger option on the menu, the Buns N Roses, and can also opt for non-dairy versions of thick and creamy milkshakes. 4176 Hamilton Ave., Northside, ticklepicklenorthside.com.
Zip’s has been doing burgers right since 1926, and generations of East Side Cincinnatians call Zipburgers their favorite. If you’re feeling like a light meal, order a classic Zip burger, with fresh, flamebroiled meat from local butcher Avril-Bleh & Sons, nestled in a toasted honey-egg bun from Klosterman Baking Company, and a side of super crispy onion rings. Or go big with the Girth Burger, a Zip burger topped with a split Avril-Bleh mettwurst. Or even bigger with the Train Wreck, a Zip burger topped with shaved ham, the A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 41
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1324 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
C O M M O N W E A LT H B I S T R O | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
aforementioned split grilled mettwurst and three types of cheese. 1036 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, zipscafe.com.
The burgers are made with a half-pound of choice angus beef and served with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. Every Wednesday is BurgerMania, which means specialty options like the Mo Town with barbecue sauce, bacon, onion straws and cheese are only $6 (with a side). Wings, which come in orders from 10 to 100 (for $73), are accompanied by homemade blue cheese or ranch dressing. 626 Main St., Covington, Ky., zolapubandgrill.com.
1. Yard House 2. Moerlein Lager House 3. Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers 1. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant 2. 20 Brix 3. Boca
1. First Watch 2. Sleepy Bee Café 3. Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
First Watch Sleepy Bee Café Taste of Belgium Grand Finale Maplewood Kitchen and Bar 6. Greyhound Tavern 7. Orchids at Palm Court 8. Hang Over Easy 9. Keystone Bar & Grill 10. Nation Kitchen & Bar
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Maplewood Kitchen and Bar 2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 3. Skyline Chili
1. Avril-Bleh & Sons 2. Eckerlin Meats 3. Bridgetown Finer Meats
Zola Pub & Grill
CASUAL /NEW AMERICAN 20 Brix
Cutting-edge cuisine with more than 100 wines. The menu uses seasonally and locally sourced ingredients to craft a New American menu with French and Southern accents, like in the fried gulf coast oysters and steak frites. 101 Main St., Milford, 20brix.com.
Blackbird is the latest venture by longtime Cincinnati restaurateurs Mary and Mark Swortword, who closed their
Columbia Tusculum restaurants Green Dog Café and Buz to focus on the new project in a more central neighborhood. (The Swortwords were also the original owners of Blue Ash’s Brown Dog Café.) With entrée options Nori Pesto Salmon and grilled lamb tenderloins, there’s enough good stuff coming out of the kitchen to satisfy most diners who find their way to this little restaurant row on O’Bryon Street. 3009 O’Bryon St., O’Bryonville, blackbirdeatery. com.
Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar
Working closely with local sources, Bouquet’s farmto-table approach means a fresh, frequently rotating menu packed with seasonal ingredients. Elegant small plates, entrées and thoughtful wine pairings set the stage for an intimate dining experience. The Motherboard charcuterie board is ever popular, featuring four cured meats, five cheeses and a multitude of accoutrements. 519 Main St., Covington, Ky., bouquetrestaurant.com.
Brown Dog Café
Located in Summit Park, this sustainable and seasonal New American eatery features an
ever-changing menu of fish, steaks, wild game, unique appetizers, vegetarian dishes, homemade pastas and desserts. 1000 Summit Place, Blue Ash, browndogcafe.com.
Commonwealth Bistro is seriously good. For dinner, entrées toe the line between contemporary and comfort food, with dishes like Kentucky-fried rabbit with creamed collard greens, burgoo ravioli and a burger with Duke’s Mayo on a Sixteen Bricks bun — they even serve Ale-8One soda. The star of brunch is the chicken and waffle, simply described on the menu as fried chicken and cornmeal waffle with spicy maple glacé and buttermilk ice cream. Yes. Ice cream. 621 Main St., Covington, Ky., commonwealthbistro.com.
Coppin’s at Hotel Covington
There’s a strong local identity to the location and the menu, with nods to history and the new South, the bourbon and the banter that starts at the Roebling Bridge. For starters, Duke’s Mayonnaise, a kitschy favorite of the Garden and Gun magazine set, binds aged cheddar and roasted pimento peppers to make the Pimentadew cheese. The restaurant’s new chef has also
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CROWN REPUBLIC GASTROPUB | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
brought a dash of New Orleans with him, as seen in dishes like blue corn fried catfish with smothered black-eyed peas and chicken and andouille gumbo. 638 Madison Ave., Covington, hotelcovington.com.
Crown Republic Gastropub
This casual from-scratch kitchen offers up a range of inventive entrées and shareables for lunch, dinner and dessert. The menu draws on a Mediterranean influence, with clean and light flavors in dishes like duck fat hummus, octopus tabbouleh and hanger steak with chimichurri. The dessert menu is the brainchild of “fat ben,” who also operates an attached walk-up breakfast and sweets window during the week. The restaurant is closed on Sundays to give the staff time to spend with their families. 720 Sycamore St., Downtown, crgcincy.com.
CWC The Restaurant
To borrow from the tagline for the original Disneyland in California, CWC the Restaurant might just be the friendliest place on Earth — or at least in Cincinnati. CWC, from Cooking with Caitlin chef Caitlin Steininger’s longtime catering business, opened on Springfield Pike in a building 4 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
that used to be a carwash. The menu isn’t extensive, with seven items listed as “shareables” or “starters” — just about everyone orders homemade baby biscuits with tomato jam and corn butter — and a half-dozen “Mains,” like the Char Cheddar Burger covered in a housemade cheese sauce. Dessert is a strong suit here. The restaurant has very limited hours, only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday and brunch on Sunday. 1517 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, cwctherestaurant.com.
Classic American food that is served in a setting that is “polished but never stuffy.” Tavern fare includes fish and chips, a Kentucky Hot Brown, burgers, sandwiches and classics like filet mignon with asparagus and mashed potatoes. 11320 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, deshas.com.
E+O stands for “Earth + Ocean,” and the menu, which encompasses lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, is based on wholesome and organic ingredients. You’ll find Asian influences in dishes like the ahi tuna poke — cold and tender raw tuna mixed with crispy cucumber, carrots and cabbage
— and miso-marinated black cod. For brunch, the fusion expands to eggs, like breakfast tacos, Loco Moco (Spam-fried rice) and egg sandwiches, including the Not Yo Eggwich (eggs, cheese, pork sausage and spicy honey). 3520 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, eokitchen.com.
Operating at the same historic building since 1975, Grand Finale serves up everything from steak and lobster to crepes and outrageous desserts. Try the bacon, lobster and sundried tomato deviled eggs or the herbed filet mignon brochette. No worries for your vegetarian tablemates: Grand Finale has plenty of veggie fare. 3 E. Sharon Road, Glendale, grandfinale.info.
Kitchen 1883 lives up to its “New American comfort food” concept by taking the guesswork out of any dish for the consumer, and leaving them with a nice, pleasantly full feeling. The restaurant is sandwiched between a Kroger supermarket and a Kroger liquor store. This might seem strange unless you know that Kitchen 1883 is the grocery chain’s first foray into sit-down casual dining. In fact, it’s one
Overall Burgers (Non-Chain)
1. Zip’s Café 2. Terry’s Turf Club 3. Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers 4. Arthur’s 5. Chandler’s Burger Bistro 6. Bard’s Burgers & Chili 7. Nation Kitchen & Bar 8. Krueger’s Tavern 9. Gordo’s Pub & Grill 10. Tickle Pickle
Neighborhood Burger Spot (Downtown/OTR)
1. Krueger’s Tavern 2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 3. Nation Kitchen & Bar
Neighborhood Burger Spot (Central)
1. Quatman Café 2. Tickle Pickle 3. Gordo’s Pub & Grill
Neighborhood Burger Spot (NKY)
1. Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers 2. Bard’s Burgers & Chili 3. Barleycorn’s
Neighborhood Burger Spot (East Side)
1. Zip’s Café 2. Terry’s Turf Club 3. Arthur’s
1. (formal) make yourself at home Outdoor patio open when weather permits... indoor seating all year round
A NEW KIND OF RESTAURANT CASAFIG.COM EAT.DRINK.ENJOY 513.631.3333 / 6112 MONTGOMERY ROAD / PLEASANT RIDGE, OH
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“Favorite bar: Japp’s. Tiki Night at Japp’s is always a great time! Favorite restaurant: Pho Lang Thang. Bowls of gold are my jam, and those cats at PLT make a baller bowl of goodness. No matter the size, all the broths are sumptuous and full of flavor. Favorite art gallery? The Duveneck Wing at the Cincinnati Art Museum. The ‘Guard of the Harem’ is my favorite piece in town. . Favorite park? Mt. Echo — that view of downtown reminds me why I love Cincy. I go there in the dead of winter just to watch the skyline at night.” — Christian Gill Executive Chef, Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey
of the first grocery-chainaffiliated restaurants in the country. Fun fact: It’s named after the year Kroger founder Barney Kroger opened his first store. The braised beef short ribs with horseradish smashed potatoes and blistered carrots are incredibly tender and the beer-battered cod— made in-house, with Braxton beer — is a distinct winner. 9003 US Highway 42, Union, Ky., kitchen1883.com.
The menu is broken up into snacks, sandwiches, sausages, burgers, “greens” and sides. The Lincolnshire sausage is bursting with herby flavor, served over colcannon — a tart, creamy take on mashed potatoes, with wilted kale and Guinness-braised onions. The rest of the menu is equally appealing; it features a tomato pesto jar appetizer, meatball sandwich crispy polenta and an awesome crunchy housemade veggie burger. Try their beer cocktails — beer plus booze! 1211 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, kruegerstavern.com.
This Louisville-based wine bar offers Southern-inspired small plates, as well as
bourbon, cocktails, beer and 17 preselected wine flights. Brunchers: Louvino serves up $2 mimosas on Saturdays and Sundays plus foodie items like pancake tacos, stuffed French toast and chicken biscuit sliders. Get a little more traditional with dishes like steak and eggs, eggs benedict or a croissant BLT sandwich. As for non-brunch dishes, the chef says that their Brussels sprouts salad topped with pickled cherry peppers and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette is among their customers’ favorite. A portion of the menu changes once per quarter, so guests can expect something new. 1142 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, louvino.com.
Marty’s Hops & Vines
This College Hill wine and beer emporium offers weekly wine tastings with six healthy pours accompanied by cubed cheese and crackers. Half the shop is retail, selling bottle craft beers and local and international wines, and the other half is a bar and restaurant. The expanded menu consists of panini, small plates, individual build-yourown pizzas and seasonal flavors of housemade ice cream. 6110 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, martys-hopsandvines.com.
The Mercer OTR
The Mercer OTR fills the niche for those diners looking for easy parking, a sense of space, delicious flavor and gracious service in OTR. The menu is wide, but the chef excels in seafood and mushrooms in combination. 1324 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, themercerotr.com.
With a menu focused on dishes cooked in a custom-built wood-burning fireplace, the restaurant is a showcase for the area’s sustainable farmers and producers, and the menu features an ever-changing list of hearth-roasted meat and fish, along with vegetables, grains and housemade charcuterie. Offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar bites, including a seven-hour egg (boiled in coffee, tea and onion) and hot olives. Inventive craft cocktails feature housemade shrubs and tonic. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com.
PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Otto’s does lunch and dinner, but it’s definitely a happening brunch spot. For brunch, Benedict Otto’s substitutes fried grit cake and smoked salmon for the English muffin and ham of a traditional eggs Benedict. It’s delicious, a bit rich and a true indulgence. There are a halfdozen mimosa options, from Violette Royale to citrus vanilla spice, and bloody marys made with house-infused cucumber or 4 6 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
jalapeño-garlic vodka. 521 Main St., Covington, Ky., ottosonmain. com.
Overlook Kitchen + Bar
Foodies, take note: a lot of excellent food is coming out of the kitchen division of the new Overlook Kitchen + Bar at Madisonville’s The Summit hotel. The fourth-floor dining facilities of The Summit, which include a separate space open only for breakfast and lunch, features a large patio. Chef Kyle Goebel most recently was executive chef at Cooper’s Hawk, and also previously worked with chef Todd Kelly at Orchids. He’s now overseeing all the food service at The Summit and deserves attention and praise for the delightful fare he’s created. Stand-out entrées — from a list of seasonally changing options — include gnocchi with lions mane mushrooms and spring peas, bass on top of potatoes, onion and parsnip and medium-rare duck breast. The Summit, 5345 Medpace Way, Madisonville, thesummithotel.com/dining.
Their motto — “Sip slow. Drink easy. Eat right.” — feels so doable in this calm, inviting space. Pleasantry serves what they describe as “approachable Midwestern food:” avocado toast or a daily quiche for brunch, with dinner options featuring proteins like ocean trout, pork and seasonal veggie mains. The restaurant’s wine list features organically produced and minimally processed vino. 118 W. 15th St., Over-the-Rhine, pleasantryotr.com.
Tucked away on Clay Street in Over-the-Rhine, Please serves modern and artful small plates. Chef Ryan Santos helmed Please as a gypsy pop-up from 2011 to 2016 and the design of the cozy brick and mortar is note-perfect down to the very instagrammable bathroom (search #pleasepotty for guest selfies with the abstract handpainted wall tile). It feels like a first-class affair because it is one — each four-course dinner is served with fanfare and attention. Diners can choose from a vegetarian, pescetarian or omnivore menu, although gluten-free options are always available. Please also offers an à la carte and bar menu with options like beef tartare and apple aebleskivers. 1405 Clay St., Over-the-Rhine, pleasecincinnati.com.
The Presidents Room
The Presidents Room restaurant inside The Phoenix has a traditional feel, but with some whimsical touches that welcome a younger crowd. The
LOUVINO | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Neighborhood Burger Spot (West Side)
menu is modern American with Italian and German influences and changes seasonally. 812 Race St., Downtown, thepresidentsrm.com.
Neighborhood Burger Spot (’Burbs)
Red Feather serves up fromscratch housemade dishes using the best possible ingredients. Described as New American, the chef-driven menu reflects a diversity of global influences and the seasons. The “Shells & Bones” features oysters and mussels plus pork chops, a rack of lamb and lobster tail with truffled macaroni and cheese. The restaurant is an unpretentious, approachable neighborhood spot that serves fun food that people enjoy. 3200 Madison Road, Oakley, redfeatherkitchen.com.
1. Incline Public House 2. Chandler’s Burger Bistro 3. Mad Mike’s Burgers
1. Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers 2. Quatman Café 3. Sammy’s Craft Burgers & Beers
1. Knotty Pine on the Bayou 2. Allyn’s Café 3. J. Gumbo’s
1. Jungle Jim’s International Market 2. The Rhined 3. Murray’s Cheese
1. Penn Station 2. Cincy Steak & Lemonade 3. Incline Public House
Chef (w/Restaurant affiliation)
1. Jean-Robert de Cavel (Table, L, French Crust) 2. Danny Combs (Sotto) 3. Jose Salazar (Salazar, Mita’s)
Red Feather Kitchen
Red Roost Tavern
The Hyatt Regency’s farmto-table Red Roost Tavern joins top-notch hotel eateries downtown. Red Roost’s philosophy is: “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” They emphasize harvesting produce within a 100-mile radius. 151 W. Fifth St., Downtown, cincinnati.hyatt.com.
The eponymous restaurant from chef Jose Salazar mixes old and new to create an approachable
yet refined farm-inspired menu. There are creative, comfortable choices like burgers, fish and a vegetarian option. Seasonal, farm-fresh specials frequently pop up on the changing menu, as do staple favorites like the little fried oyster sandwich with kimchi, local radish sprouts and garlic mayo. The wideranging drink menu features thoughtful craft beers, cocktails and wines. Now offers lunch and limited reservations. 1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, salazarcincinnati.com.
Class is in session. Yes, this restaurant is inside a school. Culinary and hospitality students at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State are handpicked to staff the kitchen and dining room in this teaching restaurant. Top-notch food at reasonable prices paired with an extensive wine list make this a restaurant for the city to be proud of. 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, facebook.com/ thesummit.mci.
Tela bar + kitchen
Serving both lunch and dinner six days a week, Tela does steady business and really rocks on weekends. Rock & Roll cognoscenti will appreciate the numerous music references,
starting with the restaurant’s name, taken from a song title by the owners’ favorite band, Phish. The pub-grub slant is apparent at the top of the dinner menu, with items such as pretzel nuggets, chicken wings and poutine. What brings this fare to a higher level might be such twists as preparing the wings as confit or adding housemade beer mustard to the poutine. 1212 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, telabarandkitchen.com.
Teller’s of Hyde Park
Located in the historic Hyde Park Savings and Loan building, Teller’s offers a unique ambiance, 30 beers on tap, a plethora of wine and a comprehensive menu with pastas, pizzas, salads, steak and more. They also offer a back patio and the option to eat inside of a bank vault. 2710 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, tellersofhydepark.com.
Trio offers something-foreveryone American-style menu items with an upscale twist. Choose from many great salads — including an award-winning chopped Cobb — sandwiches, gourmet pizzas and seafood and pair your meal with a nice glass of wine from the extensive wine list. The filet mignon, Trio A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 4 7
CAR ABELLO COFFEE | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Meatloaf and Scottish salmon are customer favorites. As is the classic vodka martini with blue cheese olives. 7565 Kenwood Road, Kenwood, triobistro.com.
By using what is readily available from the 250-acre farm itself and local farms nearby, the restaurant provides guests with higher-quality products at a lower price point. Walhill Farm raises Black Angus cattle, Berkshire pigs, chickens and other animals sustainably, free from antibiotics and fed with crops from the farm’s acres of pasture. They even have a butcher shop on the premises, where they prepare most of their cuts. 857 Six Pine Ranch Road, Batesville, Ind., walhillfarm.com.
With local farm-raised, grassfed beef and an extensive wine list that features products from Cincinnati-area vineyards, Wildflower is dedicated to producing the freshest and best-quality food at an honest price. Foods are local, sustainable and seasonable to offer peak freshness. 207 E. Main St., Mason, wildflowergourmetcafe.com.
Expect thoughtful and consistently excellent wine recommendations in an inviting 4 8 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
atmosphere at this wine bar and tapas restaurant. The menu includes small plates, like a charcuterie board and flatbread. 6206 Mulhauser Road, West Chester, wiseowlwinebar.com.
You could dine every night for a week and sample a new pot of mussels from a different locale around the world each time. Preparations include classic French, Mediterranean, Thai and New Orleans, among others. But don’t get stuck on the mussels: You’ll miss out on a half-dozen flatbreads and great appetizers like eggplant fries dusted with confectioner’s sugar and a spicy-sour dipping sauce. 1400 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, zulabistro.com.
Coffee and more than 500 bottles of boutique wine, plus food and artwork, in the middle of Hyde Park square. 2734 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, awakeningscoffeeandwine.com.
Bean Haus Bakery & Café
A MainStrasse coffee café and bakery. 640 Main St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/beanhaus.
Husband-and-wife owners Justin and Emily Carabello
roast and sell their coffee on the premises, but they’re also entrenched in local and international philanthropy, giving much of their profits to third-world coffee regions in Nicaragua and Kenya. Also carries frozen ice pops called Bello’s Bike Pops and features a six-seater Analog Coffee Bar, an intimate and interactive experience with baritsas. 107 E. Ninth St., Newport, Ky., carabellocoffee.com.
Local coffee roaster in Madeira’s town square, offering pastries, sandwiches, salads and soups. 6930 Miami Ave., Madeira, 513-271-4700.
A Queen City staple with multiple locations, Coffee Emporium has been serving up artisanal roasted beans for decades (they’re the city’s oldest coffee house) and offers up some of the best breakfast pastries in Cincinnati. Lunch options are simple and hearty, with daily homemade soups. A hip, laid-back atmosphere makes it feel like you’re at a book club meeting with 20 of your friends. Multiple locations including 110 E. Central Parkway, Downtown; 3316 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, coffee-emporium.com.
1. The Eagle 2. Chick-fil-A 3. Silver Spring House
1. Skyline Chili 2. Gold Star Chili 3. Dixie Chili
1. Blue Ash Chili 2. Camp Washington Chili 3. Price Hill Chili
1. Coffee Emporium 2. College Hill Coffee Company 3. Carabello Coffee 4. Deeper Roots Coffee 5. Collective Espresso 6. Lookout Joe 7. Reality Tuesday Café 8. Sidewinder Coffee 9. 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab 10. Luckman Coffee Company
Neighborhood Coffee Shop (Downtown/OTR)
1. Coffee Emporium 2. 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab 3. Collective Espresso
Neighborhood Coffee Shop (Central)
1. College Hill Coffee
Inspired by some of the best espresso bars and coffee shops in the country, this big-city-style coffee bar offers cool blends like cortados and espresso lemonade. There’s no pretense; just really, really good coffee. 207 Woodward St., Over-the-Rhine; 4037 Hamilton Ave., Northside, collectiveespresso.com.
College Hill Coffee Company
Full espresso and coffee bar with a hearty café menu and gift shop. Free music and WiFi. 6128 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, collegehillcoffeeco.com.
Coffee shop, breakfast, brunch and lunch with signature biscuits and gravy. Offers a Saturday morning meetup for the cars and coffee concours to show off your unique ride. 2726 Riverside Drive, East End, facebook.com/fuelcoffeecincy.
HD Beans and Brews Café
A coffee shop, bar, café and sports haven in one. Fair-trade coffee, more than 100 local and national microbrews and wines. 6721 Montgomery Road, Silverton, hdbeansandbrews.com.
Highland Coffee House
Open since 1978, this is not your traditional coffeehouse — Highland doesn’t open shop ’til 5 p.m., and alongside a bunch of coffee drinks and a full bar, there are delights like boozy milkshakes, iced Thai coffee and fresh cookies. 2839 Highland Ave., Corryville, facebook.com/ officialhighlandcoffeehouse.
Kitty Brew Cat Café
Customers can sip on a latte while cuddling up to adorable — not to mention adoptable — cats. Making a reservation and paying a small cover fee gets you access to Kitty Brew’s cat lounge, a nearly 1,900-squarefoot space featuring cat furniture, a sitting area for humans and a dozen cats ready to find their forever homes. The café side is sealed off from the lounge by a windowed wall, per health code requirements. Once a customer’s beverage has been prepared in the café, however, they are welcome to venture into the lounge to consume it in the company of Kitty Brew’s furry residents. $10.68 cat lounge reservation. 6011 Tylersville Road, Mason, kittybrew.com.
Hot or iced coffee, tea and sandwiches. 120 E. Fourth St., Suite 5, Downtown, kittyscoffee.com.
Landlocked Social House
There’s a chronological distinction between coffee and beer in that one beverage is typically intended for the morning and the other is suitable only after
the day’s work is done. Mostly. With this in mind, Landlocked Social House covers the socially acceptable drinking needs of an entire day in one place — and with gusto. This is achieved by offering a solid third-wave coffee and espresso menu alongside an extensive selection of beers, ciders and wines. Look for pop-up dinners and other quick bites on their social media. 648 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, landlockedsocialhouse.com.
Left Bank Coffeehouse
On the left bank of both the Ohio and Licking rivers, this shop serves Deeper Roots coffee as well as snacks and pastries from local purveyors including Savor Catering, Shadeau Breads, Grateful Grahams and more. 701 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., leftbankcoffeehouse.com.
Small but mighty, Lookout Joe roast with the best of them. Serves fair-trade beans from around the world as well as a great selection of pastries, bagels and smoothies. It’s located in the heart of Mount Lookout Square, hence the name. 3181 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, lookoutjoe.com.
A coffeehouse that trains and employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from The Point. Serves craft coffee drinks and the delicious local Lil’s Bagels. 43 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/pointperkcoffee.
Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen Comfort Food, Cooked Just For You GRILL / OVEN favorites
• Asiago Chicken Burgers • Mediterranean Lamb Burgers • Jerk Marinated Chicken Breasts
SALADS / SIDES:
• Red Skin Potato Salad • Spicy Mac and Cheese
• Curry Chicken Salad • Tuna or Ham Salad • Chicken Chili
• Vegan Burgers - Cuban, Spicy, or Mediterranean • Spicy Lentil Salad • Vegan Goetta
PLUS… PARTY TRAYS / CATERING
Find us inside
• Best OVERALL Bakery (Sweets) • Best Neighborhood Bakery (Eastside) • Best Wedding Cakes • Best Desserts (Retail) - 2nd • Best Cupcakes - 3rd • Best Macarons - 3rd 2030 Madison Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45208 (513) 321-3399 BonBonerie.com
513-421-4726 www.ﬁndlaymarket.org 4 3/4 in
Reality Tuesday Café
Longstanding Northern Kentucky coffeehouse and bakery. 1518 Dixie Highway, Park Hills, Ky., facebook.com/ realitytuesdaycafe.
Redtree Art Gallery and4 7/8 in Coffee Shop
Fair-trade and organic coffee within a gallery setting. 3210 Madison Road, Oakley, redtreegallery.net.
Roebling Point Books & Coffee
Local independent bookstore with interior coffee shop. 306 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ roeblingpointbooksandcoffee.
Rohs Street Café
This not-for-profit coffeehouse close to the University of Cincinnati fully embraces ethical sourcing by offering only fairtrade coffees and teas. Choose from a selection of locally roasted coffees to sip with a fresh pastry. 245 W. McMillan St., Clifton, rohsstreetcafe.com.
Sidewinder Coffee & Tea
The café offers locally roasted fair-trade and organic coffees, espresso drinks, spirits and blended and loose-leaf teas. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 4 9
Schneider’s Sweet Shop Home Made Candies & ICE CREAM
Tasty sweet and savory treats abound, including vegan coffee cake and muffins. 4181 Hamilton Ave., Northside, sidewindercoffee.com.
The Kidd Coffee Co.
A Cincinnati craft coffee chain that also serves Smooth Nitro Coffee — a selection of cold-brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas, kegged and poured from a tap. Multiple locations including 525 Vine St., Downtown, kiddcoffee.com.
Try our delicious Opera Creams, our most popular candy, a Greater Cincinnati specialty! Made with pure rich cream to tantalize the tastebuds and to create the ultimate of creams. Other specialties include Fudges, Caramels, Cordial Cherries, Pecan Caramelettes, and so much more. phone - 859.431.3545 www.schneiderscandies.com 420 FairFIeld ave. bellevue, ky 41073
East Coast Flavor, MidwEst Hospitality
Newport, Ky.’s Reser Bicycle doesn’t just sell bikes — they also sell really good coffee at their coffee outpost Trailhead. The best part of the shop? Their baristas are knowledgeable and not intimidating like those at some craft coffee joints. They serve Wood Burl coffee, Sixteen Bricks bagels and bread and more inside and via the cool open-window coffee bar. 648 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., facebook.com/trailheadcoffee.
Urbana Café’s storefront in Pendleton offers about 20 items on the coffee menu, including more experimental options like the caffé frizzante — espresso is poured into a highball glass and then topped with San Pellegrino carbonated mineral water. In-house baked goods range from Italian donuts to European shortbreads to a toast bar. 1206 Broadway St., Pendleton, urbana-cafe.com.
Velocity Bike & Bean
Full-service bike shop that serves coffee from locals Carabello Coffee. 7560 Burlington Pike, Florence, Ky., velocitybb.com.
DELIS/SANDWICHES/ TAKEAWAY Alléz Bakery
This bakery has a small but mighty team, preparing and baking heaps of sourdough, ciabatta and rye on a threedeck Polin oven — an Italian import that dominates the front of house. The menu features lunch sandwiches — like chicken salad with tarragon, marinated beet and prosciutto with rapini pesto— served with a La Croix seltzer water and a bag of local Hen of the Woods chips. 1208 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, allezbakery.com.
28 W. Court Street | Cincinnati, OH 45202 (513) 246-0184 Lunch/Happy Hour/Dinner M-Sat
www.courtstreetlobsterbar.com 5 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Dutch’s established itself as a wine and bottling shop and open-air pony keg in 1947 and expanded into a deli/grocery. Pair one of 200 different available wines or craft on-tap beers with farmstead cheeses, natural meats or snacks like truffle popcorn. They embrace both old-world techniques
and the new wave of domestic artisans. Thursday is Burger Night, with a special one-nightonly gourmet topped burger available from 6 p.m. until they sell out. 3378 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, dutchscincinnati.com.
Fred & Gari’s
For more than 25 years, Fred & Gari’s has been a bustling favorite of the downtown lunch crowd, with its ’80s-throwback neon sign, house-roasted meats and homemade dessert. The deli also specializes in a damn-good soup-and-sandwich combo. The meats are smoked in-house, and their egg salad is a nostalgic throwback, full of mayonnaise-y goodness and topped with lettuce, tomato and onion. While you wait for your sandwich to arrive in its Styrofoam container, enjoy the lighthearted banter between Fred, Gari and the slew of regulars. 629 Vine St., Downtown, facebook.com/fredgaris.
Fond Lunch and Deli
An organically inspired lunch stop that does locally sourced deli and ready-made meals. 10764 Montgomery Road, Montgomery; 3923 Isabella Ave., Oakley, fondcincinnati.com.
Frenchie Fresh is a fast-casual French-American sandwich/ street food shop located in a strip mall. The menu is pleasingly arranged by categories: Soups, Salads, Mac & Chez, Create Your Own Masterpiece (burgers), Sandwiches, Chef’s Choice, Sides, Kids’ Meals and Desserts. The Sloppy Jean, described on the menu as “like mom made but ‘French,’“ is served with a side of Frenchie Slaw. The banh mi is the “veggie version of Vietnamese sandwich,” with crispy tofu, pickled veggies and sprouts and a plain Mac & Chez. Even the “plain” version of Frenchie’s Mac & Chez is not plain — it comes with penne pasta, leek, celery, mushroom and a béchamel sauce. 3831 Edwards Road, Norwood, frenchiefresh.com.
Fresh Table at Findlay Market
Meredith Trombly, Louis Snowden and their staff do all the hard parts — finding the best locally sourced ingredients and cooking 40-50 delicious and beautifully presented dishes every day. Baby-back ribs and grilled wild-caught salmon highlight the main courses at this constantly evolving eatery. Try the eggless egg salad. 1801 Race St., Findlay Market, Overthe-Rhine, freshtable.biz.
Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen
Old-fashioned comfort food, cooked and ready for you to take home. 1801 Race St., Findlay Market,
PA N I N O | P H OT O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G ER
Company 2. Collective Espresso 3. Sidewinder Coffee
Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ grammadebbiesatfindlaymarket.
Neighborhood Coffee Shop (NKY)
The Gruff is a gourmet market/ deli, bar and pizzeria/restaurant all working in tandem. The restaurant does brick-oven pizzas, salads and hot and cold sandwiches, with Graeter’s ice cream and Covington’s Piebird pies and milkshakes for dessert. The pickle fries appetizer is crunchy with housemade dipping sauce, and the set of nine deviled eggs is truly enough to satisfy any paprikasprinkled craving. You can even order food and beer through the drive-thru. 129 E. Second St., Covington, Ky., atthegruff.com.
1. Carabello Coffee 2. Braxton Brewing Company 3. Reality Tuesday Café
Neighborhood Coffee Shop (East Side)
1. Coffee Emporium 2. Deeper Roots Coffee 3. Awakenings Coffee & Wine
Neighborhood Coffee Shop (West Side)
1. The Coffee Peddlar 2. BLOC Coffee 3. Aroma’s Java and Gelato
Neighborhood Coffee Shop (’Burbs)
1. Kidd Coffee Company 2. The Daily Grind & Slice 3. Coffee Beans & Brew
1. Churchill’s Fine Teas 2. Coffee Emporium 3. Teavana
1. Jungle Jim’s International Market 2. Findlay Kitchen 3. Sur La Table
A Cincinnati tradition, Izzy’s serves a Reuben we can all be proud of. Sandwiches such as the Reuben-ator and the Izzy’s Mex showcase their delicious corned beef. Multiple locations including 800 Elm St., Downtown; 610 Main St., Downtown, izzys.com.
Made with chutzpah, Lil’s Bagels is a tasty and twee experience nestled beside Roebling Point Books in Covington. A sign sits out front of a stone pathway, lit by twinkly lights, which leads to
the best lil’ bagels in Greater Cincinnati. Order through a walk-up window (windough) like a champ and pair your bagel and schmear with a local Smooth Nitro Coffee. The menu includes sweet and savory spreads — options like plain cream cheese, Dolly’s Caviar pimento cheese and Judy Garden, with beet, roasted veggies and goat cheese — and a whole buncha bagels. Lil’s are hand-rolled, boiled and then baked and come in flavors ranging from sesame and salt to Old Bay and cranberry cardamom. 308 Greenup St., Covington, lilsbagels. com.
Nino Loreto expanded his Italian-style charcuterie and meat-sandwich food truck Panino, which he established in 2013, into a full restaurant on Vine Street. Having more space to cure his meats is ideal for an operation that literally uses the entire animal — from snout to tail — and stores the meat in the basement at a controlled 55 degrees. By day, Panino is more of a lunch spot in which hungry customers can order sandwiches to go, but at night the place lights up with a table service, a full menu, cocktails and beer. The front-of-house includes a cold case filled with
local cheeses and meats, giving off a classic deli vibe. 1313-1315 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, findpanino.com.
Revolution specializes in hormone-free, preservativefree roasted Amish chicken on a number of pita sandwiches named after revolutionaries — Gandhi, Mandela, Joan of Arc, etc. — as well as in chickencentric house specialties, indulgent appetizers, fresh salads and traditional sides made with a twist. There is also a full drink menu with beer, wine and boozy punch. 1106 Race St., Over-the-Rhine; 6063 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, revolutionrotisserie.com.
Findlay Market-adjacent cheesemonger The Rhined aims to give new meaning to the phrase “American cheese” by offering a changing selection of domestic artisan and regional cheeses in its cute little shop. Take a cheese 101 class, order a cheese flight (with accompanying wine selections) with charcuterie, grab an adult “lunchable” from the cold case or come for a weekday grilled cheese. Keep an eye out for special themed evenings, like wintertime raclette nights. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 51
SACRED BEAST | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, therhined.com.
Pleasant Ridge cheesebar Share offers grab-and-go options to build your own cheeseboard and chacuterie at home, or stay and select from several menu listings with cheese combos, cheese and meat combos, burrata boards, chevre plates and more, including themed nights once a week offering everything from sandwiches to fondue. Happy hour runs Friday evenings with discounted craft beer and wine. 6105 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge, sharecheesebar.com.
The Takeaway’s premise is simple: grab a really good sandwich …and go. Step inside, though, and you’ll probably be tempted to stay as long as possible. The cheerful white subway-tiled interior is full of blonde wood surfaces — including long, thin countertops, which line the huge picture windows looking out onto Main Street — complemented by a gleaming silver deli case. Business is split between the deli — with sandwiches and cut-to-order meats and cheeses — and a tidy retail grocery. The deli offers an assortment of sandwiches, sides, daily soups, 5 2 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
salads and a kids menu — a rarity in to-go shops. 1324 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ takeawayonmain.
beer and wines. 3036 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, urbansteadcheese.com.
The Wheel is an Italian takeaway restaurant housed on a well-hidden residential block in Oakley. The food provides evidence that cooking is an act of love and creativity for Chrissy Antenucci, who named The Wheel after a Grateful Dead song. Though the ingredients seem simple in the rosemary roasted carrot sandwich, the first bite alone is enough to convert a Punk into a Deadhead. The carrots are tender and hearty. Within the dish, they are a vegetable transformed — the taste is more exploratory and creative than most other vegetarian sandwiches. 3805 Brotherton Road, Oakley, thewheeloakley.com.
A gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup shop with a famous grilled-cheese donut. Featured on Shark Tank. Multiple locations including 125 E. Court St., Downtown; Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., tomandchee.com.
Total Juice Plus
Total Juice Plus has been serving natural fruit smoothies, lunch and fresh-squeezed juices to the weekday downtown population for more than two decades. They use all-natural flash-frozen fruit and make excellent wraps with a Mediterranean lean. 631 Vine St., Downtown, totaljuicecincy.com.
Urban Stead Cheese
Co-owners and husband and wife duo Andrea and Scott Robbins both came from dairy farming families that date back generations, so opening Urban Stead Cheese felt like a natural extension of their backgrounds. They make the cheese in-house and as naturally as possible, including cheddar, cheese curds and quark topped with local honey or bits of ginger. They also offer a selection of craft
The ’Wich on Sycamore
Quality made-to-order sandwiches with roasted meats. 425 Sycamore St., Downtown, wichonsycamore.com.
DINERS/CHILI PARLORS Anchor Grill
Taking its blazing neon “We May Doze, But Never Close” sign to heart, the Anchor Grill stays open 24/7, offering round-theclock breakfast fare along with lunch and dinner comfort-food
1. Izzy’s 2. Avril-Bleh & Sons 3. Carl’s Deli
1. The Cheesecake Factory 2. Grand Finale 3. O Pie O
1. Graeter’s 2. The BonBonerie 3. Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli
Overall Bakery (Breads)
1. Blue Oven Bakery 2. Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli 3. Sixteen Bricks
Overall Bakery (Sweets)
1. The BonBonerie 2. Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli 3. Holtman’s Donuts
Neighborhood Bakery (Downtown/OTR)
1. Holtman’s Donuts 2. Brown Bear Bakery 3. Blue Oven Bakery (Findlay Market)
Neighborhood Bakery (Central)
1. The BonBonerie 2. Graeter’s 3. North College Hill Bakery
classics. 438 Pike St., Covington, Ky., 859-431-9498, searchable on Facebook.
Blue Ash Chili
This family-owned chili parlor, established in 1969, not only offers traditional Cincinnatistyle chili with coneys and 3-, 4- and 5-ways, but also a menu loaded with sandwiches, burgers, salads and sides. Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. 9565 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, blueashchili.com.
Blue Jay Restaurant
Since its opening in 1967, the Blue Jay Restaurant has, for the most part, remained the same, boasting a nostalgic image and homestyle eats. As with any good local diner, there’s Cincinnati-style chili in bowls, on coneys and 3-ways, plus classics like all-day breakfast, double decker sandwiches and homemade pie. 4154 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-541-0847, searchable on Facebook.
Camp Washington Chili
A great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Camp Washington Chili features greasy-spoon breakfast offerings, double-decker sandwiches, Cincinnati-style chili, coneys and even a few salads. A James Beard Award winner, Camp Washington Chili opened its doors in 1940, and current owner Johnny Johnson has been working at the parlor since 1951. Open 24/6 — they’re closed on Sundays. 3005 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, campwashingtonchili.com.
Founded in 1929 by “Papa Nick,” Dixie Chili has classic, secretingredient Cincinnati-style chili with cheese and onions on spaghetti. Multiple locations including 733 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky.; 2421 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., dixiechili.com.
Opened as a sandwich shop in 1945 by Louise Schwartz, customer favorites include the Echo Grill (baked ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato served with tartar sauce), an open-faced turkey sandwich and the “hangover helper” Hot Mess, with layers of home fries, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy and cheese. The Echo now offers seasonal features and has a liquor license. And, as always, it serves up homemade pie. 3510 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, echo-hydepark.com.
The old-fashioned flavors of the soda fountain are found at Hathaway’s, including the best darn chocolate shake in town. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped through a time portal
to the 1950s (the diner opened in 1956). Get a plate lunch or a burger, but if you’re there for breakfast (and when isn’t it time for breakfast food?) don’t miss the French toast and goetta. Hathaway’s does them both exactly right. 441 Vine St., Carew Tower, Downtown, facebook. com/hathawaysdiner.
This old-school diner serves huge double-decker sandwiches, good chili, cheese coneys and all-day breakfast at a great price. Tucked into a strip mall, this is a no-frills neighborhood staple with lots of regulars and quick service. 6159 Glenway Ave., Westwood, 513-661-2260.
Open 24 hours a day so you can get your fried-pickle fix whenever the craving hits — and once you have the Pepper Pod’s fried pickles, the hankering will hit you often. The meatloaf goes very quickly in the evening, so get there early. Greasy spoon dining at its best, the Pepper Pod is a Newport legend. 703 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., 859-431-7455.
Pleasant Ridge Chili
A local multi-generational chili joint that recently celebrated 50 years. Offers chili to go and late-night eats (until 4:30 a.m.), like french fries topped with everything from chili to cheese to gravy. 6032 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, pleasantridgechili.com.
Price Hill Chili
Generations of West Side patrons have grown up on this iconic, family-owned restaurant’s diverse, fairly priced menu. Having expanded several times over the years, there are now multiple dining areas and a full-service attached cocktail lounge called Golden Fleece. What sets them apart from other chili joints is their liquor license and full menu, which features an excellent Greek salad (with secret-recipe dressing), specialty sandwiches, steaks, all-day breakfast and amazing homemade macaroni and cheese on Fridays (available after 4 p.m.). 4920 Glenway Ave., Price Hill, pricehillchili.com.
“Simple food. Taken seriously” is the motto for Sacred Beast, the modern diner at 15th and Vine streets in Over-the-Rhine, helmed by chef Jeremy Lieb, most recently of the Boca Group, and his wife Bridget. The menu is a collection of Lieb’s favorite things, which run the gamut from literally the best French-style omelet in town — fluffy, soft and full of goat cheese and piquillo peppers — to a “Diner Breakfast”
with scrambled eggs, mapleglazed pork belly and ricotta pancakes and a double or triple burger with Dijonnaise, onions, pickles and American cheese on a freshly made Blue Oven bun. 1437 Vine St., Over-theRhine, sacredbeastdiner.com.
A locally based chain of chili parlors founded by Greek immigrants in Cincinnati in 1949. Their Cincinnati-style chili is poured over spaghetti or hot dogs along with chili burritos, fries and baked potatoes. Their vegetarian version is almost as tasty with black beans and rice. Multiple locations including 643 Vine St., Downtown; 290 Ludlow Ave., Clifton; 617 W. Third St., Covington, Ky., skylinechili.com.
Sugar n’ Spice
Huge, fluffy omelets and “wispy-thin” pancakes have made Sugar n’ Spice a bona fide breakfast institution for 75 years. One of the city’s most popular places for people of all ages and socio-economic groups to dine and socialize, new owner Steve Frankel has made updates to the menu, digging some old favorites from the basement archives and improving ingredients, moving from canned veggies to fresh. Frankel is also the guy behind the genius marketing plan of giving patrons little rubber ducks from Ace Toys on Reading — and passing out fried macaroni and cheese bites during long waits. It’s a charming quirk that keeps people coming back. 4381 Reading Road, Avondale, sugarn-spice-restaurant.com.
Truly an Over-the-Rhine institution (same family since 1946!) and an “everyman” restaurant. Solid, Midwestern staples for hungry, working people. Features a full breakfast menu complete with a variety of omelets, pancakes and egg dishes. Try the Big Tucker, a double-decker burger with cheese and special sauce. Other standbys include biscuits and gravy and the fried cod sandwich. 1637 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/tuckersrestaurantotr.
AFRICAN Elephant Walk Injera & Curry House
One genius way to set yourself apart in Cincinnati’s sea of Indian restaurants is by also serving Ethiopian food. Elephant Walk Injera & Curry House boasts a large, double-sided menu — Northern Indian on one side, traditional Ethiopian on the other. But what’s really awesome is the daily lunch buffet. It has both Ethiopian and Indian dishes, so you can sample all you can eat of both
country’s cuisines and carbo load on both naan and injera. 170 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, elephantwalkcincy.com.
A great hidden-gem restaurant offering authentic Ethiopian dishes and an Ethiopian-style coffee ceremony. While it looks like kind of a hole-inthe-wall from the outside, the cuisine is on par with Ethiopian eateries in Washington., D.C. — which is saying a lot. 5070 Crookshank Road, Westwood, habesharestaurantandcafe.com.
An African/American fusion restaurant with a diverse and affordable menu. Find $5 meals, like the Senegalese Senburger, or full diners like grilled tilapia and Jamaican-inspired oxtail with rice and peas. It’s a great place to try West African dishes such as Michoui Gigot (stuffed lamb leg with onion sauce). Sides range from couscous and French fries to fufu and attiéké. 8438 Vine St., Hartwell, terangacinci.com.
ASIAN 3501 Seoul
There’s a popular greeting in Korea, “Bap Meogeosseoyo,” that translates to, “Have you eaten rice (bap) today?” As with all Korean restaurants, rice and noodles figure largely on 3501 Seoul’s menu, like in the Bibimbap, literally mixed rice and a signature Korean dish. The fresh Bibimbap is a mixture of raw salmon, red snapper, tuna, flying fish roe, octopus and maguro-tataki. While 3501 Seoul is a Korean bistro, not a barbecue with tabletop grills, the kitchen does offer several grilled choices. 3501 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 3501seoul.com.
Ando Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Chef Ken Ando and his wife Keiko have been welcoming guests to Ando Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Blue Ash since 1998, where Ando prepares traditional Japanese cuisine accompanied by the couple’s daughter, Chiaki. The dining room includes a 10-seat sushi bar, which is the perfect place to watch Ando work his magic on the freshest of fish, sourced directly from Japan and Taiwan. 5889 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash, andojapaneserestaurant. com.
Buddha Barn Thai
Using family recipes and those gained from experience in New York City Thai restaurants, owner Niruti Puakkawe makes classics and new Thai dishes. Find Pad Thai, curries, soups and Thai ice tea. BYOB. 6625 Gracely Drive, Sayler Park, buddhabarnthai.com. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 5 3
China Gourmet has been serving fine Chinese cuisine since 1977. The menu at China Gourmet is divided into classics, what’s new and traditional favorites, with highlights including wok-seared sea scallops, moo shu pork and Yang Chow-style fried rice. 3340 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, thechinagourmet.com.
Delicious gifts for food lovers!
“Eat well. Eat fresh. Eat often.” These three sentences serve both as a tagline and as a personal philosophy for local restaurateur Darren Phan, owner of Cilantro Vietnamese Bistro, Clifton’s brothy, herby, vermicelli-filled landmark. A collection of family recipes and flavors brought over from the motherland serve as the heart from which joy and laughter still pump. Mama Phan’s secret-recipe sweet and spicy chicken Sate soup can’t be found anywhere else. 235 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, eatatcilantro.com.
Cloud 9 Sushi
An unpretentious sushi joint serving half-price sushi all day, every day, with a selection of more than 50 different rolls. Open until 4 a.m. on the weekends. 1018 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, cloudninesushi.com.
Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop
Regular Store Hours Monday | closed Tuesday | 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Wednesday | 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Thursday | 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Friday | 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Saturday | 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Sunday | 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
33 E. 6th Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 w e o l i v e . c o m /c i n c i n n a t i 513.954.8875 5 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Dope! serves ramen bowls, dumplings and lighter fare like a green papaya salad. The big difference is the theme — the music, artwork and names of some dishes are a paean to the 1990s. Noodle bowls are graced with names like Baby Got Beef or Wu-Tangy chicken noodle, and rice bowls have punny names like Ice Ice Baby chicken. 29 E. Court St., Downtown, dopecincinnati.com.
Fortune Noodle House
You know your noodles are made with love when a restaurant dedicates an entire employee just to their production, but here’s the thing: Everything else at Fortune is delicious, too. Inspired by classic Chinese noodle houses, owners Steven Sun and his wife Rachel serve a La Mian-style of handmade noodles, a practice that dates back to the 1500s. The noodles are hand-pulled and stretched out into strands, then paired with everything from vegetables to squid and shredded pork to tripe. 349 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, fortunenoodles.com.
Fusian’s fast-casual approach, in which you choose your own custom sushi roll, prompted many to coin the restaurant the “Chipotle of sushi.” They offer a
diverse selection of non-traditional proteins, including steak, chicken and roasted tofu, but the classic tuna and salmon rolls remain among the most popular. Multiple locations including 600 Vine St., Downtown; 3780 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park, fusian.com.
If you’re a Thai food fan, this mainstay — locally owned by Bangkok-born husband and wife Sak Kertpet and Sunee Panichluechachai — focuses on unique sushi rolls, curries and noodle dishes. Sak, a former chef, and Sunee, a sushi chef, bring their expertise to dishes like Massaman curry, Pad Woonsen noodles and a TaTa roll (lightly fried shrimp, smoked salmon, cream cheese and avocado). 2942 Wasson Road, Hyde Park; 4002 Plainville Road, Mariemont, greenpapayacincinnati.com.
In Cincinnati, Korean joints and many other ethnic restaurants seem to be relegated to strip malls in the suburbs. But when Haru, Korean for “spring,” opened, downtown finally had a fine-dining Korean option. White tablecloths might not be synonymous with Korean dining, but Haru still offers the same authentic tactics of other eateries, serving banchan (small bowls of appetizers like kimchi and potato salad) before the meal and a wide variety of entrées such as kimchi fried rice, sweet potato noodles (jap chae) and vegetarian-friendly tofu dishes. To drink, you can try plum tea, soju and Korean beers. 628 Vine St., Downtown, harucincy.com.
House of Sun
A great find for Saturday and Sunday mornings, you’ll love the traditional Chinese Dim Sum, with long, sweet fried bread sticks, small sausage-filled steamed dumplings, a scallion pancake with egg and the most delicious sesame Shao Bing with beef — all bargain-priced. The rest of the menu is divided between Americanized and traditional Chinese, with cold jellyfish, sliced hot maw with dried lily and fresh tomato with egg. 11959 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, houseofsuncincy.com.
Sushi, sashimi and Robotayaki grill (traditional Japanese charcoal grill) offerings abound in the cozy Ichiban dining room. Tapas-style small plates, dishes to tempt carnivores and a dizzying variety of noodle dishes round out the menu. Belly up to the sushi bar or bring a group and dive into the half-price sushi menu while enjoying a warm sake or Asian-inspired cocktail. 1020 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout,
LE’S PHO AND SANDWICHES | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Neighborhood Bakery (NKY)
1. Emerson’s Bakery 2. The Buttercream Boutique 3. Cookie Jar Bakery
Neighborhood Bakery (East Side)
1. Servatti Pastry Shop & Deli 2. Busken Bakery 3. Graeter’s
Neighborhood Bakery (West Side)
1. Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli 2. Busken Bakery 3. Graeter’s
Neighborhood Bakery (’Burbs)
1. Holtman’s Donuts 2. Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli 3. Wyoming Pastry Shop
1. Abby Girl Sweets Cupcakery 2. Gigi’s Cupcakes 3. The BonBonerie
1. Holtman’s Donuts 2. Busken Bakery 3. Dunkin’ Donuts
1. Macaron Bar
Izen’s Drunken Bento
Nestled in the student area of Clifton Heights, Izen’s casual décor (there’s a wall of exposed textured 2-by-4 beams you can graffiti) complements its selection of fresh sushi, $6 ramen and more than a dozen Korean entrées at less than $15, including Dolsot Bibimbap for $11 — a big hot bowl of rice, carrots, soybean sprouts, shiitake mushroom, zucchini, spinach and protein. 212 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, 513-381-5905, searchable on Facebook.
The old Cincinnati Color building on Vine Street is such a landmark that it would have been dreadful had it been torn down. Thankfully, Japanese gastropub Kaze saved it. With a distinct bar and dining room, favorites are the pork belly buns, pork belly ramen and the OTR Roll with tuna, avocado, cucumber and ponzu. The huge patio and attached bar do one of the city’s best daily happy hours, with $5 specialty cocktails, discounted sushi rolls and half-price wine bottles on Sunday. 1400 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, kazeotr.com.
KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia
Quaint and comfortable with a huge beer list, AmerAsia offers
all the usual Chinese dishes and chef specialties, but the food is anything but the usual. Chef Chu makes it all from scratch. His motto: “Do not take short cuts and do everything with passion and love.” Enjoy it all while taking in the eclectic décor of Kung Fu movie posters and paper lanterns. Favorite dishes include the inferno-hot Dragon Breath wontons and General Chu’s orange and sesame street chicken. 521 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ kungfoodchu.
Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine
Fresh and authentic casual Thai, Lemon Grass is a favorite hidden gem spot. Reasonably priced farm-fresh spring rolls to signature pad Thai. 2666 Madison Road, Hyde Park, lemongrasscincy.com.
Le’s Pho and Sandwiches
The menu is simple yet extensive, offering both traditional Vietnamese dishes as well as those that cater to less adventurous palates. The banh mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, comes complete with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, teriyaki or Dac Biet (a hearty combination of pork and pâté), topped with pickled carrot, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and just the right amount of mayonnaise.
But the dish you will most often find in front of Le’s customers is the pho, with a heaping serving of Vietnamese broth, rice noodles, meat, vegetables and herbs. 3 E. Court St., Downtown, 513-721-9700, searchable on Facebook.
Lulu’s Rice & Noodles
It’s not a Chinese restaurant — it’s a noodle shop that serves up inexpensive steaming bowls of various Asian rice and noodle dishes garnished with vegetables and seafood or meat. Their soups are great, too. Try the spicy and intense Tom Yum soup with shrimp. The restaurant can prepare any dish to suit your spice-loving needs. 135 W. Kemper Road, Springdale, 513-671-4949.
Maki Express Ramen House
Formerly known as Maki Express, this itty, bitty izakaya (sans booze) has been a mainstay in Clifton Heights for more than a decade. And after a recent modern makeover, the eatery has reopened with a new name — Maki Express Ramen House — a new look and a new menu. Brightly colored Pop art murals with swirling geishas, tigers and dragons cover the walls, and the left side of the dining room has been converted into traditional seating. Where A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 5 5
ZUNDO R AMEN & DONBURI | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
the old menu offered a range of sushi and noodle dishes, the new, streamlined edition features traditional ramen with pork belly, spinach, bamboo, sweet corn and a soft-boiled egg in tonkotsu, miso or shoyu broth (the friendly young chef will also make vegetarian ramen upon request). 209 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, 513-721-6999.
Transcending the typical Chinese American menu since 1977, Oriental Wok and the Wong family offer upscale, innovative, fresh and delicious chef-prepared cuisine that’s never boring — from five-spice tofu over stir-fried spinach to sea bass with black bean and garlic sauce or a steak with peppercorn sauce. Serves excellent beer and wine selections, and their annual Chinese New Year party is a blast. 317 Buttermilk Pike, Fort Mitchell, Ky.; 2444 Madison Road, Hyde Park, orientalwok.com.
Pho Lang Thang
Located in the heart of Findlay Market, Pho Lang Thang offers dishes like hot pho soup, spring rolls and the ever-popular banh mi sandwiches, which come sprinkled with assorted pickled vegetables and your choice of meat or tofu. They 5 6 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
also serve Vietnamese coffee sweetened with condensed milk and brewed right on the table into your glass. 114 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, pholangthang.com.
Poke Hut Fish & Tea Bar
Serving variations of proteins, sauces and toppings in both bowls and “Pokirritos,” Poke Hut lets customers tap into their creative side when crafting an ideal poke dish. There’s a smattering of raw fish favorites (spicy tuna, scallops, salmon) in addition to cooked chicken, pork, beef and shrimp, with tofu and veggies for vegetarians. Start with a base for your bowl or burrito, like sushi rice or zucchini noodles, then add a protein, pick a sauce (sweet miso, spicy yuzu, shoyu sesame, etc.) and top it with items ranging from radish and pineapple to hot Cheetos and masago. 1509 Race St., Overthe-Rhine, pokehutusa.com.
“Hapa” is the word for a mixedrace Asian or Pacific Islander — the perfect nomenclature considering the street foodfocused menu is an iteration of the best dishes and spirits from the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and China. Their menu is delineated into sections
of small plates, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), noodles, ramen and bowls. Dishes are very shareable, especially the DIY salad rolls and Hapa Wings. 1331 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, quanhapa.com.
Riverside Korean Restaurant
For authentic Korean dishes, Riverside Korean Restaurant is an excellent choice. They offer traditional rice-based, steaming hot Dolsot Bibimbap with mixed vegetables, a sunny-side up egg and your choice of beef, chicken or tofu. All entrées are served with a delightful selection of traditional side dishes called Ban Chan. Floor tables available. 512 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., riversidekoreanrestaurant.com.
Saigon Subs & Rolls
The refreshingly minimal Saigon Subs & Rolls is an underrated and often overlooked hiddengem destination that serves some of the best tofu in town. Their banh mi sandwiches are a true work of art; between slices of baguette smeared in creamy homemade butter sit pickled carrots and daikon and your choice of seasoned grilled beef, chicken, pork or seasoned fresh tofu. 151 W. Fourth St, Downtown, facebook.com/ saigonsubsandrolls.
2. The BonBonerie 3. Taste of Belgium
1. Aglamesis Bros. 2. Esther Price 3. Maverick Chocolate
1. Graeter’s 2. Aglamesis Bros. 3. United Dairy Farmers
1. Orange Leaf 2. Yagööt 3. United Dairy Farmers
1. Dojo Gelato 2. Graeter’s 3. Aglamesis Bros.
Creamy Whip/Soft Serve
1. Putz’s Creamy Whip 2. Dairy Queen 3. Mt. Washington Creamy Whip & Bakery
1. Findlay Market 2. Hyde Park Farmers Market 3. Blue Ash Farmers Market
Farmers Market Stall
1. Blue Oven Bakery 2. Taste of Belgium 3. Pho Lang Thang
Shanghai Mama’s menu gives you the option of mixing and matching proteins with starches. The noodles are homemade, thick and rustic and very delicious. And Mama’s is very vegetarian-friendly. There are several seitan dishes, including veggie cashew chicken and the Happy Buddha. Open late on weekends to accommodate the post-hours, after-bar crowd. 216 E. Sixth St., Downtown, shanghaimamas.com.
In addition to being the name of the most widely known Thai beer, Singha translates as “guardian lion,” a national symbol common throughout Southeast Asia and China. What sets Singha apart from other Thai restaurants is a section of noodle soups, sushi rolls made with black rice and several dishes in a menu section called Singha’s Special Roll. The Black Pearl roll has an unorthodox ingredient: mozzarella cheese. It sounds weird but totally works. 2912 Wasson Road, Hyde Park, singhacontemporarythai.com.
A favorite stop for inexpensive, good Thai food and friendly service. The tiny, no-frills kitchen puts out some very tasty Thai food. Everything is cooked in one of the two giant iron woks, and nothing on the menu is outside a nearby University of Cincinnati student’s budget. Most dishes come with your choice of tofu, chicken, pork or shrimp. All-time favorites are pad Thai, the red curry with chicken, spring rolls and the beef salad. 213 W. McMillan St., Clifton, facebook.com/ thaiexpresscincinnati.
Located in a strip mall, Thai Namtip has a rather unassuming location, but diners who know good Thai food make regular pilgrimages to this spot. Their specialty is the Orange Chicken, with breaded chicken breast drenched in a tangy orange sauce with vegetables and cashews. 5461 N. Bend Road, Monfort Heights, thainamtip. com.
We’re lucky to have Song Long’s authentic Vietnamese food in town. Family-run, Song Long is often busy enough to have a line out the door on weekday nights. Try the Bahn Xeo crepe stuffed with bean sprouts and shrimp, or the Goi Cuon with its clear, cool rice paper and blend of fresh cilantro sprigs and vermicelli doused with peanut sauce. Not fancy, just fantastic. Also offers a selection of Chinese specialties. 1737 Section Road, Roselawn, songlong.net.
Thai Taste offers traditional recipes with a family-run vibe. Yes, they do cater to a wide audience: there are some Amer-Asian options like General Tso’s Chicken to satisfy picky eaters and take-out orders that need to feed full families. But the actual Thai-inspired food is as fresh and flavorful as a trip to Phuket. The Basil Drunken Noodles are a favorite, as are any of the assorted curries and pineapple fried rice. Grab a Thai iced tea, and it’s a vacation in a carry-out container. 5120 Crookshank Road, Western Hills, thaitastecincinnati.com.
Stone Bowl’s somewhat slapdash appearance belies its tasty food. The mostly Korean menu — sometimes there’s sushi — offers up delicious pancakes, noodles and rice dishes; it’s the perfect familyfriendly fare if you can keep small fingers off of the pipinghot stone bowls. Conveniently located adjacent to the giant MadTree 2.0 taproom. 3355 Madison Road, Oakley, stonebowloakley.com.
Sukhothai Thai Cuisine
Features exotic dishes like mango prawns stir-fried in a tamarind sauce or tamarind crispy duck. There are also familiar options like stir-fry and noodle dishes like pad Thai with your choice of meat and house fried rice. All of the dishes can be made vegetarian-friendly with vegetables or tofu. 8102 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, sukhothaicincy.com.
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Many Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes complement the creative sushi menu. A recent expansion added a Hibachi grill to the mix. Try the Hee Ma Roll, with shrimp tempura, asparagus and avocado, topped with yellowfin tuna and sprinkled with crabmeat and tempura flakes. 3655 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, wildgingercincy.com.
Zundo Ramen & Donburi
Ramen, a traditional Japanese dish consisting of a meat- or fish-based broth, noodles and a range of vegetables and protein, has grown in popularity in recent years. Donburi, a Japanese stew that consists of various meats and vegetables served over steamed rice, will be topped with options like chicken teriyaki, eel or sashimi. Zundo also offers sake, Japanese beer, soju and latenight dining on weekends. 220 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, zundootr.com.
161 E Freedom Way # 180 Cincinnati, OH 45202 (513) 832-2817 © 2017 BurgerFi International, LLC© 2017 BurgerFi International, LLC
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CARIBBEAN Caribe Carryout
A Caribbean carryout that offers up real-deal spicy empanadas with nine handmade fillings ranging from vegetarian to seafood. The stews are bursting with flavor — the coconut-curry chicken stew is as sweet as Caribe owner Basil Balian himself, who bases his recipes off those he learned from his former Puerto Rican wife. If you’re indecisive, go with the super combo: two flavors of stew and two empanadas for less than $10. 2605 Vine St., Corryville, caribeonvine.com.
Island Frydays is the definitive restaurant to break out of culinary monotony, featuring authentic Caribbean cuisine made by former University of Cincinnati football captain and Jamaican native Leo Morgan. You really owe it to yourself to stop by and taste its curry and jerk dishes or go all the way Jamaican with escovitch snapper (a sort of island ceviche), an oxtail dinner or curried goat with a side of plantains. 2826 Vine St., Corryville, islandfrydays.com.
CAJUN/CREOLE Allyn’s Café
The sheer number of menu items you’ll find at Allyn’s will surprise you. There are Tex-Mex treats like enchiladas and chimichangas; Cajun specialties like fried gator, jambalaya, plenty of blackened proteins — featuring “the finest seasoning this side of New Orleans” — and red beans and rice; and standard pub grub like hot wings, fries and sandwiches. Their booze list has several of NOLA’s Abita brews, a Hurricaine and a French Quarter martini. 3538 Columbia Parkway, Columbia Tusculum, allynscafe.com.
Dee Felice Café
Randy, originally from Algiers Point, La., were among the first pioneers to establish a foothold in the Cincinnati food-truck movement with their popular New Orleans to Go eatery. Now they’ve parlayed their mobile success into Mardis Gras on Madison, a café featuring classic Cajun and Creole dishes. Foster invents the menu each morning, serving up items like catfish tacos, black beans and rice, fried okra and shrimp po’ boys from opening until they’re gone. 1524 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, facebook.com/ mardigrasmad.
Southerners will feel right at home. An ample lineup of classic Louisiana favorites like jambalaya, gumbo, po’ boys and red beans and rice are paired with a selection of slow-smoked ribs, barbecue chicken and pulled pork. 3742 Kellogg Ave., East End, swampwatergrill.com.
BRITISH/CELTIC Cock & Bull Public House
Cock & Bull serves awardwinning fish and chips and better-than-average pub grub, including excellent crab cakes and gourmet burgers. The atmosphere is convivial, and the beer selection is fantastic — 60 beers on tap. Multiple locations including 2645 Erie Ave., Hyde Park; 601 Main St., Covington, Ky.; 275 E. Sharon Road, Glendale, candbpublichouse.com.
Celebrating a decade in business, Northern Kentucky’s own Irish Pub has a great mix of Irish and American fare for lunch, brunch and supper and serves pizza and appetizers until the wee hours. With 28 draft beers, trivia, karaoke and live music seven nights a week, Molly’s will fill your dance card. 112 E. Fourth St., Covington, Ky., mollymalonesirishpub.com.
If you’re looking for more of an experience than just dinner, swing into Dee Felice Café. Along with spicy New Orleansstyle dishes, you’ll enjoy great live Jazz performed on a raised stage behind the bar. The star dish here is the crawfish étouffée, a generous pile of crawfish tails with vegetables and spicy sauce over rice. 529 Main St., Covington, Ky., deefelicecafe. com.
For some gastropub food with Scottish influence and a cocktail or two, Nicholson’s is a hot spot to hit. They’re known for their fish and chips, but their menu also offers duck-fat fries, a Scotch egg and shepherd’s pie. If you’re not hungry, check out one of their 90 single-malt scotches, craft cocktails or draft beer. 625 Walnut St., Downtown, nicholsonspub.com.
Knotty Pine on the Bayou
Louisiana cooking featuring alligator, lobster bisque, oysters, fried catfish and frog legs with a mess of sides. Be sure to ask about the nightly special. 6302 Licking Pike, Cold Spring, Ky., theknottypineonthebayou.com.
Mardi Gras on Madison
Latoya Foster and her husband
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The Pub was recognized as having the best fish and chips in America by representatives of Greene King, the U.K.’s largest pub retailer and brewery, and Old Speckled Hen brewery — aka people from England who know their fish and chips. The Pub Crestview Hills, 2853 Dixie Highway, Edgewood, Ky.; The
Pub Rookwood, 2692 Madison Road, Norwood, experiencethepub.com.
FRENCH/BELGIAN French Crust Café
French Crust Café and Bistro is as jaunty and friendly as its owner, chef Jean-Robert de Cavel. Patrons sit at booths, tables or a 20-seat bar and soak up the bonhomie of a lively ambiance. The food matches the surroundings and delivers note-perfect versions of dishes you’d expect for breakfast, brunch or lunch — a variety of quiches, sandwiches on croissant or baguette, omelets and, of course, a croque monsieur. At dinner, more bistro classics tempt diners, from appetizers of snails and beef tartare to mains ranging from duck leg confit to steak frites. 1801 Elm St., Overthe-Rhine, frenchcrust.com.
Le Bar a Boeuf
Jean-Robert de Cavel’s Le Bar a Boeuf (French slang for ‘beef bar’) is set in The Edgecliff high-rise residences in East Walnut Hills, boasting stunning views over Eden Park and the Ohio River. The city’s most beloved restaurateur opened the bar to specialize in ground meat served with potatoes and veggies, with a selection of sauces, cheese and garnishes to dress. The bison topped with goat cheese and ‘forestiere’ mushroom-based sauce is perfect in every way. 2200 Victory Parkway, East Walnut Hills, barboeuf.com.
The casual, upscale menu of French-American cuisine includes foie gras, duck breast and the French Chateau Burger with blue cheese, caramelized onions, tomato and bacon on a fluffy brioche bun. A Duo of Snail & Frog Leg appetizer is also available, served with a brie and garlic tart. For lunch, the best-bang-for-your-buck, fourcourse $15 French Lunch Tray (soup, salad, savory and sweet) changes every week and is available only at the bar. 713 Vine St., Downtown, jeanroberttable.com.
Taste of Belgium
Hot, fresh Belgian waffles are made from a thick dough and coarse Belgian beet sugar, which caramelizes on the cast iron press. Find the heavenly breakfast food topped with strawberries and cream or ricotta, or as the bread in a McWaffle sandwich (egg, gruyère and maple syrup). The crepe station prepares sweet and savory crepes, like the Nati Crepe with goetta, made fresh to order. At dinner, the sophistication goes up a notch with mussels, steak frites and Belgian specialties. Exclusive
selection of Belgian beers. Multiple locations including 16 West Freedom Way, The Banks; 1133 Vine St., Over-theRhine; 2845 Vine St., Corryville; 3825 Edward Road, Rookwood, Norwood, authenticwaffle.com.
The French-ish restaurant may be named for the gloomy French philosopher, but there’s nothing gloomy about its interiors. Warmly lit and cozy, with a beyond-gorgeous bar, the well-designed space is plenty inviting, creating an ambiance that is at once majestic and intimate. While people have been raving about the décor itself, the food ain’t too shabby either. Entrées range from buckwheat crepes with raclette to steak frites and seared sea scallops, but a big hit under the shareable section are the vegetable beignets. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, sartreotr.com.
GERMAN Bauer Farm Kitchen
Bauer European Farm Kitchen is a truly unique exploration of German cuisine with French accents — a farm-to-table, Alsatian-influenced eatery that no one has done here before. The sausage, charcuterie, steaks and chops are all dry-aged in house. The seasonal sausage is served in a cast-iron pot with German potato salad, toasted pretzel buns, housemade sauerkraut and fresh mustard, and the sauerbraten short ribs — braised for 48 hours — are served with roasted root vegetables and spaetzle (tiny German pasta) that’s as light as a baby’s kiss. 435 Elm St., Downtown, bauercincinnati.com.
The first authentic German Hofbräuhaus in America, modeled after the legendary Munich location. Traditionally decorated rooms, beer brewed on-site (in line with the German Purity Law “Reinheitsgebot,” using only hops, malt and water), a huge biergarten and German dishes make this a fun dining option. Servers bring you your schnitzel and wurst in traditional German garb and there’s live music almost every night. 200 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., hofbrauhausnewport.com.
Did you even know that there are 10 kinds of schnitzel? The Iron Skillet celebrates traditional Eastern European cuisine with a schnitzel for every day of the week — and then some. 1020 Ohio Pike, Withamsville, laszlosironskillet.com.
TA S T E O F B E L G I U M | P H O T O : B R I T TA N Y T H O R N T O N
1. Blooms & Berries Farm Market 2. Burger Farm & Garden Center 3. Gorman Heritage Farm
1. Taste of Cincinnati 2. Oktoberfest 3. Cincinnati Food Truck Association Food Festival
For a taste of Zinzinnati’s German heritage, Mecklenburg Gardens showcases some of the best German cuisine the city has to offer. Their specialty is wienerschnitzel, a tender, pan-fried veal cutlet topped with lemon; it’s served with mashed potatoes and cabbage. They have about a dozen beers on tap, most of which are German, along with some local microbrews. Nationally ranked as one of the best biergartens in the country, and one of the oldest restaurants in Cincinnati (open since 1865). 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, mecklenburgs.com.
Specialty Food Market
1. Findlay Market 2. Jungle Jim’s International Market 3. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Food Festival or Event
1. Red Sesame Korean BBQ 2. C’est Cheese 3. Hungry Bros.
1. Five Guys 2. Penn Station 3. Senate
1. Sleepy Bee Café 2. Green Dog Café 3. Melt
1. Glier’s Goetta 2. Eckerlin Meats 3. Avril-Bleh & Sons
Wunderbar! is one of those restaurants that’s considered a “hidden gem.” The authentic German-inspired menu features housemade wursts with locally sourced meats, like the restaurant’s super popular currywurst — a peculiar invention of post-World War II Germany. It’s a spiced sausage served with a ketchupWorcestershire-curry sauce. The rotating sausage menu is written on a blackboard behind the bar, but a must-try is the Riesen Brezel, a gigantic, plate-sized pretzel that easily complements any of the bar’s
more than 35 beers. 1132 Lee St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ wunderbar.covington.3.
INDIAN Adeep India
Adeep India’s simple, cheaper take on takeout is welcome in the Clifton brotherhood of Indian restaurants. Head to the counter to order and then wait for your giant Styrofoam container of Saag to come out. You can either eat in at one of their fast-food-style tables or take your Goliath order home and make a few meals out of it. 211 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, deepindiacincinnati.com.
Authentic Northern Indian with an awesome lunch buffet and Indian beer. 24 E. Sixth St., Downtown, akashindia.net.
Perhaps the classiest of the Indian restaurants along Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, Ambar touts a neat and simple dining room with consistently good service. 350 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, ambarindia.com.
Amma’s serves only vegan and vegetarian Indian food, but you won’t miss the meat when the flavors are this complex. In fact, the lunch buffet is completely
vegan on Wednesdays. Homemade breads include the puffy pillows of cooked dough called Batura. They also carry Indo-Chinese dishes. 7633 Reading Road, Roselawn, ammaskitchen.com.
Baba is known for its gentle blending of herbs and spices, featuring authentic cuisine from Northern India. Try the savory tandoori oven dishes, exotic curries, excellent naan and various mango juice beverages. 3120 Madison Road, Oakley, babarestaurant.com.
Chef Rip brings style and class to a cuisine popularized by buffets, Americanized dishes and rushed, overcrowded dining rooms. What’s their philosophy? Northern Indian recipes done the only way they know: authentically. 7791 Cooper Road, #5, Montgomery, bombaybraziercincy.com.
Brij Mohan Indian Sweets & Restaurant
Brij Mohan features authentic Northern Indian cuisine specializing in desserts and street-food-style dishes. Try the Malai Kofta, a creamy onion and tomato sauce with mixed vegetable balls, or homemade cheese dishes
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like spicy Chili Paneer or Saag Paneer with spinach. All dishes are vegetarian and made from scratch, including their pastries. 11259 Reading Road, Sharonville, brijmohancincinnati.com.
Bridges is the first full Nepalese restaurant in the area. On a menu behind the counter, diners will find options to build their own bowls or combos, with additional soups, sides and samosas — all for under $15. Diners can choose from meat options like grilled Chicken Tikka Masala or Haku Chuala (smoked chicken) or vegan dishes including cauliflower and potatoes or aloo wala. 4165 Hamilton Ave., Northside, bridgesnorthside.weebly.com.
Sitting at the bottom of Ludlow Avenue right across from Cincinnati State, Dusmesh is a foodie favorite, offering Northern Indian food made fresh with organic produce. Vegans can substitute coconut milk in any of their dishes. If you want to sample a little bit of everything, check out the lunch buffet. BYOB with no cork fee. 944 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, dusmesh.com.
Grill of India
While it might be the only Indian
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dinner buffet in town, Grill of India’s evening buffet stands in a class of its own. Grill of India offers not one but two buffet tables and an advertised 36 items, with more than 12 different clearly marked entrées catering to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. For about $15, stop by and grab a cheap beer and a few plates of Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer and Fish Pakoras before catching an indie flick at the Esquire (or going home to put on sweatpants). 354 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, grillofindiacincinnati.com.
With only a few seats in house and every dish served in a Styrofoam container, it’s no wonder why the emphasis is on the food. Krishna offers budgetfriendly Indian fare without compromising the quality. Go in for the Lamb Biryani or the Saag Paneer, and add some vegetable samosas to your order. Their food is friendly whether you’re a carnivore or herbivore. 313 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, 513-961-2878.
Shaan Indian Cuisine
Located in Hyde Park, Shaan Indian Cuisine provides Northern Indian specializing in Saag dishes, like the Chicken Saag and the Saag Paneer. The Chane
Ki Chat is a blend of fruit and vegetables mixed with chickpeas served cold as an appetizer that you don’t normally see, but don’t miss the spicy Lamb Vindaloo or the ginger lamb. 3880 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park, shaanindiancuisineohio.com.
The former owners of Dusmesh opened this spot that’s friendly to all: gluten-free eaters, vegans, bring-your-own-beer types and those who just love excellent garlic naan. 1810 W. Galbraith Road, North College Hill, swadtasty.com.
Adriatico’s has a huge draft beer selection and 64-ounce growlers to go, plus spicy, garlicky sauce, oversized pepperonis and the super-thick crust that their pizzas are known for. Good luck finding calzones like theirs, too. It’s “madness” every Monday and Tuesday with specials that the college kids can’t turn down. The Bearcat pizza will feed your entire party. 113 W. McMillan St., Clifton, adriaticosuc.com.
ALTO Pizza Kitchen + Bar
ALTO is the first tenant in Covington’s $19 million Duveneck Square development, bringing pizza, pasta,
1. Bakersfield 2. Chipotle 3. Mazunte
1. Senate 2. Queen City Sausage 3. Eli’s BBQ
1. Kung Food Chu’s AmerAsia 2. P.F. Chang’s 3. Oriental Wok
1. Hofbräuhaus 2. Mecklenburg Gardens 3. Wunderbar!
1. Ambar India Restaurant 2. Baba India Restaurant 3. Amol India Restaurant
1. Sotto 2. Pompilios 3. Maggiano’s Little Italy
1. Kaze 2. Fuji Steak House 3. Ichiban
1. Riverside Korean 2. Red Sesame BBQ 3. Bibibop
G LO BA L F L AVO R S + LO C A L LY S O U RC E D I N G R E D I E N T S
W I N E , S C O T C H W H I S K Y, + BOURBON SELECTIONS
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600 Washington Ave. Newport, KY 41071
FIRESIDE PIZZ A | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Cloud 9 Sushi Ichiban Kaze Green Papaya Fusian E+O Kitchen Mr. Sushi Ando Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar 9. Wabi Sabi 10. Wild Ginger 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
1. Gomez Salsa 2. Goodfellas Pizzeria 3. Anchor Grill
1. Chipotle 2. Eli’s BBQ 3. Gomez Salsa
1. Abigail Street 2. Mita’s 3. Ché
1. Aladdin’s Eatery 2. Andy’s Mediterranean Grille 3. Sebastian’s Gyros
1. Mazunte 2. Cancun Mexican Restaurant 3. Bakersfield
sandwiches and more than 30 wines and craft beer and cocktails to the downtown area. The menu currently boasts items like brisket pasta (penne, brisket, barbecue sauce, caramelized onions, smoked gouda and mozzarella), a charcuterie pizza (pepperoni, salami and mortadella on a tomato sauce pizza with multiple cheeses), a roasted portabello mushroom sandwich and extras like cannoli and Charleston crab dip. Order at the restaurant or from the kiosk inside nearby Braxton Brewing Company’s taproom. 43 W. Seventh St., Covington, altopizza.com.
Armed with a pizza oven from Naples, Italy, A Tavola strikes a resounding chord of authenticity while redefining the perfect pie. Their playful selection of signature pizzas — such as the Fig + Prosciutto, Sweet Pea + Bacon or Sausage + Sage — are a blend of the familiar coupled with the exotic. Whet your appetite with their stuffed dates, filled with house sausage, wrapped in smoky bacon and topped with tomato sauce, or share a plate of Tagliatelle al Ragu. 1220 Vine St., Over-theRhine; 7022 Miami Ave., Madeira, atavolapizza.com.
Betta’s Italian Oven
Plenty o’ choices here to give any local Italian chain a serious run for its money. Familiar favorites include antipasto, soups, salads and Italian and NYC-style sandwiches, but pizza is the real word. The wood-fired oven produces tasty, thin-crust pies like the Quattro Stagioni with kalamata olives, prosciutto, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and breadsticks including the spicy pepperoni sticks. 3764 Montgomery Road, Norwood, facebook.com/bettasitalianoven.
ranging from sopressata and local hot honey to four cheeses. The American-style pies are more traditional. 2475 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, Ky., camporosso.com.
Buona Vita Pizzeria
A hip neighborhood pizza chain with craft beers, seasonal salads, specialty toppings and a window where kids (and adults) can watch the pizzas being hand-tossed. Multiple locations including 3014 Madison Road, Oakley; 7767 Kenwood Road, Kenwood; Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., deweyspizza.com.
Since opening a brick-andmortar version of their popular wood-fired pizza cart last year, Fireside Pizza has been able to attract a crowd. With the family-friendly vibe, old school Ms. Pac-Man game and the fact that it’s located inside an actual historic firehouse, Fireside’s appeal transcends its nicely singed wood-fired pizzas. 773 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, firesidepizzawalnuthills.com.
Truly a family affair, Joseph Frommeyer runs the front of the house while his brother/ chef Matthew runs the kitchen using recipes handed down from their Nonna. Mamma helps out in the dining room, serving her homemade cookies and other Italian treats to guests; plus cousin Ralph drops off his Dolce Vita Gelato. 2513 Ritchie Ave., Crescent Springs, Ky., buonavitapizzeria.com. This wood-fired pizza destination in Northern Kentucky is a neighborhood hang in a converted auto shop. Enjoy Italian-American classics and crusty Neapolitan-style pizzas topped with options
Forno Osteria + Bar
One of the city’s First Families of Food — the Pietosos of Nicola’s and Via Vite — have brought upscale-casual Italian cooking to the East Side with Forno, serving what they describe as A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 6 3
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“Italian comfort food.” The restaurant is one large dining room with an open kitchen showcasing the brick ovens and a large bar. In addition to a selection of red- and white-sauced pizzas, the menu lists six pasta plates and five meat- and fish-based entrées. 3514 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, fornoosteriabar.com; 9415 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, fornomontgomery.com.
The place to be when you stumble out of the bar at 2 a.m. (or for lunch), Goodfellas makes their dough fresh every morning and their sauce in-house. The slices are New York-style and as big as your face. They also offer subs, calzones and a multitude of delectable dipping sauces. A bourbon bar is upstairs. 1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 603 Main St., Covington, Ky., goodfellaspizzeria.com.
Harvest Pizzeria pizzas have a magically crunchy-yet-chewy and light-but-substantial crust with gourmet toppings like fennel sausage, almond pesto and vegan chorizo; the menu is rounded out by yummy small plates, salads and burgers — the whipped cheese, cherry tomato and candied prosciutto bruschetta is almost good 6 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
enough to fight over. Also try the buttermilk-fried pickles with zesty remoulade. They’re addictive. 1739 Elm St., Over-theRhine, harvestpizzeria.com.
LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria
A chain of local pizzerias that’s been dishing up pies for 60 years, as well as pasta, salads, sandwiches and more. The sauce and crust are both a tiny bit sweet. Multiple locations including 2684 Madison Road, Hyde Park; 7691 Montgomery Road, Kenwood; 2411 Boudinot Ave., Western Hills, larosas.com.
Mac’s Pizza Pub
It’s kind of a collegiate Chuck E. Cheese. There are games, live music, sports and food — good food with vegan options. They make their own dough and pizza sauce in-house, hand-shred the cheese and use fresh and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Mac’s pizza has won numerous awards, and the rest of its menu — which consists of plenty of pub grub — ain’t too shabby, either. 205 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights; 6309 Wooster Pike, Mariemont; 2920 W. US-22, Maineville; 604 Main St., Covington, Ky., macspizzapub.com.
Choices are endless at this groovy pizza joint. Choose from
an extensive list of specialty pizzas including the Holy Shiitake Pie or opt to craft your own creation. Multiple locations including 9238 Floer Drive, West Chester; 1014 Town Drive, Wilder, Ky., mellowmushroom.com.
Newport Pizza Company
The pizzas are excellent, of course, and the vegetarian options are much better than average since Newport Pizza roasts most of their veggies themselves. Best thing on the menu, though, is the Antipasti Basket with salami, pepperoni, capicola ham, asiago and fresh mozzarella, manzanella olives, banana peppers, Roma tomato, fresh basil and a big fat head of roasted garlic. 601 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., newportpizzacompany.com.
This restaurant, where the toothpick scene in Rain Man was filmed, has been offering classic family Italian since 1933. Can’t go wrong with any pasta dish. Play a game of bocce ball on the back court or grab a beer-andburger special in the attached Colonel Pomp’s Tavern. 600 Washington Ave., Newport, Ky., pompilios.com.
Try the pizza challenge — two people, 10 minutes, one 26-inch
1. Chipotle 2. Gomez Salsa 3. Mazunte
Bakersfield Mazunte Gomez Salsa Nada La Mexicana Restaurante Cantina & Tienda 6. Cancun Mexican Restaurant 7. Frida 602 8. Chuy’s 9. Django Western Taco 10. Taco Casa 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Green Papaya 2. Bangkok Bistro 3. Lemon Grass
1. Pho Lang Thang 2. Le’s Pho & Sandwiches 3. Cilantro
Overall Pizza (Chain)
1. Dewey’s Pizza 2. LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria 3. Goodfellas
Overall Pizza (Non-Chain)
1. A Tavola 2. Adriatico’s 3. Catch-A-Fire Pizza
pizza. Winners get their photo on the wall. 3166 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, ramundospizzeria.com.
Avocados are usually associated with Mexican food, but if you crave the green stuff on unconventional dishes, Red Rose Pizza offers it in the form of a fresh guacamole appetizer, avocado cheese loaf, the Goats & Guacamole salad and May’s Funky Chicken grinder. Add avocado to any grinder for an extra couple bucks. 5915 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, redrosecollegehill.com.
Family-owned for more than a century, Scotti’s must be doing something right. Their large menu features just about every pasta imaginable and nearly 20 different varieties of veal dishes. Finish off your meal with a bottle of wine and you’ll be full for days. Multi-colored tiles plaster the walls, and candles drip layer upon layer of wax on Chianti bottles at every table, providing a little light to the otherwise dimly lit dining room. Scotti’s is named after early 20th-century opera star Antonio Scotti, so the sounds pumping through the speakers isn’t Muzak or clichéd Sinatra tunes, it’s Rossini and Puccini and Pavaratti — just another aspect that sets this landmark apart from the pack. 919 Vine St., Downtown, 513-721-9484.
Located under Boca restaurant, the Tuscan-inspired Sotto offers a more approachable atmosphere and price point than its upstairs neighbor. With multiple dining rooms, the kitchen is open to view, including the custom-made wood-fire grill in front and a fresh-pasta room in the back hallway. Menu items include handmade pasta, housecured salami and big-ticket items like Bistecca Fiorentina, a grilled creekstone porterhouse steak with daily sides. Sotto sources their bread from Blue Oven and also grows their own herbs and vegetables. Now serving lunch during the week. 118 E. Sixth St., Downtown, sottocincinnati.com.
Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
The eatery’s signature Pizza Alla Vodka is a must-order every time you go. The dough is thin with beautiful, crisp air pockets that bulge out of the golden, charred and chewy crust. The toppings are tossed deliberately but asymmetrically, rustic in every sense. This goldmine of flavors combines creamy sauce with mushrooms, spinach and the salty-sweet prosciutto di Parma. There is no such thing as leftovers with this pizza. 336 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., strongsbrickovenpizza.com.
An extension of Over-theRhine’s Taft’s Ale House, the Brewpourium is fitted with all of Taft’s top beers, New Haven-style “apizza” and enough televisions to satisfy all of Cincinnati’s sports fans. Apizza is a crispy, coal-fired version of Neapolitan pizza that originated in Connecticut, which the Brewpourium opted to serve over other styles (e.g. New York, Chicago) because William Howard Taft — former president, Cincinnati native and brewery namesake — went to Yale in New Haven. The dough is made with filtered water and flour imported from Italy, and toppings range from classic white clam to a BBQ Pork Pie. 4831 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, taftsalehouse. com/brewpourium.
In Italian, “pizza al taglio” means “pizza by the slice” and this restaurant focuses on large slices of gas-fired New York-style pizza (hand-tossed, thin crust, real cheese). The concept is simple: walk up to the counter, order a slice or a whole pizza, grab a six-pack or a bottle (or two) of wine from their booze wall, go home and stuff your face. They make all of their meats in-house and import the ricotta and mozzarella from Italy. They also deliver (food and alcohol!). 3531 Columbia Parkway, Columbia Tusculum, eattaglio.com.
mustard and sauerkraut. 202 W. Main St., Mason, twocitiespizza. com.
baked goods. 3307 Clifton Ave., Clifton, baladicincy.com.
This veg-friendly, Kosher spot combines cultures and dishes from around the Mediterranean, specializing in Israeli food. Everything is made in-house and the only meat on the menu is fish. 8316 Plainfield Road, Deer Park, kinneretcafe.com.
Via Vite showcases chef Cristian Pietoso’s casual take on Northern Italian cuisine. Crispy, stone-fired pizzas and hearty pastas hearken to the motherland, while entrées like 12-hour braised lamb shank with white polenta and rosemary lead the diner on an Italian journey. Classic Italian cocktails like a Negroni and Aperol Spritz are a clever accompaniment to a collection of Italian (and California) wines. 520 Vine St., Fountain Square, Downtown, viaviterestaurant.com.
MEDITERRANEAN Aladdin’s Eatery
Healthy Lebanese-American eats from a friendly franchise. The OTR lounge also offers a cocktail menu. 3664 Edwards Road, Hyde Park; 9344 Union Centre Blvd., West Chester; 1203 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, aladdinseatery.com.
The Mediterranean-inspired menu of small plates revels in Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Greek influences, with unique twists only chef Daniel Wright could pull off — chorizo-stuffed dates, grilled octopus, Batata and more. Wines are available on tap, by the bottle or the glass. 1214 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, abigailstreet.com.
A beverage drive-thru with above-average pizza, including the Lotta Trotta big-ass pie, available in a variety of interesting topping combinations: the Salami Roll-Up (salami, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and provolone), Chili Pizza (chili and cheddar cheese) and Hot Wing (hot wing sauce, bits of blue cheese, chicken and provolone). 3501 Werk Road, Westwood, trottaspizza.net.
Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill is a tiny hole in the wall serving up gargantuan falafel and gyro platters that won’t break the bank. Stock your plate with a variety of fresh toppings doled out by a friendly server, then sit down to watch Persian singer Mansour and others belt out hits in music videos hearkening back to MTV’s glory days. 4793 Red Bank Road, Madisonville, 513-271-0706.
Two Cities Pizza Company
Andy’s Mediterranean Grille
New York City and Chicago are well-known for several things. But most importantly, each city is known for a particular style of pizza. Now, you don’t have to travel further than Mason to get a taste of both. Two Cities Pizza Company, a dining destination housed in Mason’s former city hall — with a bit of an Art Deco nightclub rebrand — closes the chasm between the dueling pizza metropolises. Go classic and grab a Windy City with sausage, onion, green pepper and chunky tomato; and the Marathoner NYC-style margherita. In addition to pizza, they offer tempting best-of-both-worlds street food from each city, like a Chicago dog with all the fixings (no ketchup; add celery salt) or a New York dog with brown
Expect maximum Mediterranean flavor at Andy’s, from the signature Shish Tawook, a marinated chicken kabob, to authentic stuffed grape leaves and many varieties of baklava and Turkish coffee. Belly dancers perform every Friday and Saturday night, with hookahs available to rent. 906 Nassau St., Walnut Hills, andyskabob.com.
Baladi Restaurant & Bakery
Baladi means “my country” in Arabic, which describes how the Barazi family wants their guests to feel — welcomed and at home. The Syrian-focused and authentic menu has French and Turkish influences and features dishes like cheese fatayir, kafta kebabs, foul, musaka and more, including delicious and unique
Marrakech Moroccan Café & Grill
The chefs, who hail from Marrakech, serve up Mediterranean staples, plus a variety of Tajines, flavorful stews slow-cooked in a conical earthenware pot, and Bastilla, a sweet-and-savory chicken pie layered with scrambled eggs, shredded chicken, caramelized onions, ground almonds, confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon. Don’t miss out on the Moroccan mint tea. 341 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, facebook. com/cliftonmoroccancafe.
Owned by two Armenian-American brothers, Mirage features authentic family recipes that have been passed from generation to generation. Most dishes hail from around the Black Sea, including kebabs, Russian borscht, Khinkali dumplings and Mikado cake. 11381 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, miragecincinnati.com.
A hidden gem in a Mason stripmall, Phoenician Taverna specializes in Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine, all made in-house — from the pita bread to the sausage stuffed in natural casings. For entrées, find Shawarma, Mouzat (braised lamb shank in tomato sauce), Mashawi and Ouzi (braised meat over rice). Plenty of hot and cold vegetarian mezza abound. 7944 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason, 513-770-0027.
Serving as a West Side staple for almost 40 years, Sebastian’s family-owned restaurant is a Greek treasure. With mouthwatering baklava, flaky spanakopita and the handsdown best gyro in town, it’s no wonder why customers keep coming back for more. 5209 Glenway Ave., West Price Hill, sebastiansgyros.com.
Authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Owner and executive chef Mustafa Koylu prepares a wide selection of excellent kebabs, and the menu also reflects Ottoman specialties and traditional appetizers (grape leaves, hummus, Cacik), along with plenty of vegetarian entrées. 7305 Tyler’s Corner Drive, West Chester, sultanscincinnati.com.
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Celebrating 20 years of bringing Scotland to Cincy
Photos: Twinspire Photography
Downtownâ€™s finest gastropub, loft-style event venue, and world-class bourbon bar...all under one roof.
Ceremonies | Rehearsal Dinners | Receptions | Post-Wedding Brunches | Corporate Events 625 Walnut St. | 513.550.1869
A G AV E & R Y E | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
4. Fireside Pizza 5. Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria 6. Camporosso 7. Mac’s Pizza Pub 8. Trotta’s Pizza 9. Two Cities Pizza Co. 10. Newport Pizza Company
Neighborhood Pizza Joint (Downtown/OTR)
1. Goodfellas Pizzeria 2. A Tavola 3. Pies and Pints
Neighborhood Pizza Joint (Central)
1. Dewey’s Pizza 2. Adriatico’s 3. Fireside Pizza
Neighborhood Pizza Joint (NKY)
1. Goodfellas Pizzeria 2. Dewey’s Pizza 3. Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
Neighborhood Pizza Joint (East Side)
1. Dewey’s Pizza 2. LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria 3. A Tavola (Maderia)
Neighborhood Pizza Joint (West Side)
1. Dewey’s Pizza 2. LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria
MEXICAN/ TEXMEX /LATIN/SOUTH AMERICAN Alfio’s Buon Cibo
Italian for “good food,” the restaurant aims to wed Italian and Argentinian cuisine. The menu is dotted with Italian (ravioli, risotto) and Argentinian (empanadas, grilled lamb with chimichurri) dishes, but steers more toward the former. And, as both countries are located on coasts, there’s always fresh seafood. 2724 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, alfios-cincy.com.
Agave & Rye
Agave & Rye faces both Hotel Covington and The Madison Event Center and is just around the corner from the Braxton Brewing Company. With its full bar and kitchen open until 2 a.m. seven nights a week, this glossy taqueria has been an instant hit for patrons of those neighboring establishments and pulls in families and young couples earlier in the evening as well. Except for a few small side dishes and a couple of desserts, the menu consists entirely of tacos. They’re organized as “Graze” for meat-based fillings, “Swim” for fish-filled tortillas and “Grow” for veggie versions. Graze is the largest category, with eight different options
that include kangaroo meat as well as chicken, pork, beef and duck confit. 635 Madison Ave., Covington, agaveandrye.com.
The Arepa Place Latin Grill
Owner and chef Isis ArrietaDennis and her husband make everything from scratch using an arepa recipe passed down from Isis’ mother, who owns her own restaurant in Colombia. The grill has a handful of different arepas, stuffed with cheese, beans and plantains, and then your choice of beef, chicken or both, sourced from Findlay’s Mackie Quality Meats. The grill is currently open at Findlay Market. 1801 Race St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, arepaplace.com.
B&A Street Kitchen
B&A Street Kitchen’s menu consists of Mexican-influenced urban comfort food, everything from tacos and hot dogs on bolillo buns to 16 craft sodas on draft. From 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily, B&A operates as a counter-order daytime diner, and after-hours Thursday through Sunday it opens its walk-up window until 8 p.m. so passersby can order a more limited menu of their Southwestern fare. The best part about B&A is their focus on vegan and vegetarian items.
1500 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, bastreetkitchen.com.
Part bar, part taco joint, all classy. Bakersfield specializes in gourmet tacos (pollo rojo, pastor, huitlacoche, etc.), quality tequilas and whiskeys and hand-crafted margaritas made the old-fashioned way, not from a pre-made mix. 1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, bakersfieldtacos.com.
Boi Na Braza
Brazilian Steakhouse with a lot of fancy meat on sticks delivered tableside by gauchos, plus a salad bar. 441 Vine St., Downtown, boinabraza.com.
This Mexican restaurant attached to Western Bowl bowling alley is an area favorite. Multiple locations including 6385 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, cancunmexicanrestaurantes.com.
Well before you sip or bite anything, you’ll be wowed by the artwork and décor — from displays of Mexican folk art to wall-sized murals. So far, the menu skews mostly Mexican (heavy on really good tacos), with eventual plans to move toward a more pan-Latin cuisine. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 6 7
G O M E Z S A L S A | P H O T O : PAT T Y S A L A S
The chips are warm, full of corn flavor and not at all greasy; the guacamole has a chunky consistency and few if any ingredients other than avocado. The best tacos are Baja fish, smoked duck confit and chicken and chorizo. 6112 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, casafig.com.
Located just a hair off the beaten path in Over-the-Rhine, the South American Ché is snugly nestled on Walnut Street. The menu spans from Soup de Locro (traditional Argentine stew with steak, squash, corn and sausage) to Choripan (flame-grilled sausage) and melted Provoleta provolone cheese dip to a slew of empanadas: jamon y queso, shrimp scampi, short rib, de carne, mushroom artichoke and more. 1342 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, checincinnati.com.
A neighborhood bar with tons of bottled beer options and a limited Mexican-inspired menu available from 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Choose chicken, beef or jerked tofu for your burrito or have the same in a quesadilla, nachos or tacos. 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, cometbar.com.
Since 2014, Condado’s
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build-your-own-taco concept has taken Columbus’ taco loving population by storm, starting with their first location on North High Street. Now, the creative taco joint opened shop in Cincinnati, right across from the Reds’ stadium on The Banks. They commit to the build-your-own tacos concept down to the type of tortillas. For protein, customers have several options (even ones for vegetarians!) — like housemade chorizo, Thai chili tofu, BBQ pulled jackfruit, ghost pepper marinated steak and more. They’ve got the toppings, too; cilantro and onions, jicama and cabbage slaws, queso fresco and more. 195 E Freedom Way, Downtown, condadotacos.com.
El Rancho Grande
One of the largest local Mexican chains. Multiple locations including 6475 E. Galbraith Road, Kenwood, elranchogrande.info.
The restaurant, named after the legendary painter Frida Kahlo, has Kahlo’s portrait and famous unibrow emblazoned all over the place. The cocktail list is divided into margaritas and house cocktails made with either tequila or mezcal, and they offer both alcohols in a flight, served in copitas (small clay cups). The
menu is categorized into antojitos of chips and salsas, salads, nachos and several kinds of tacos. The vegetarian chickpea and Brussels sprout tacos are the best. Also a must: the queso dip. 602 Main St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/frida602.
Gomez’s walk-up taco window in OTR has it all: mahi-mahi tacos with slaw and Baja sauce, chips with pineapple salsa, taco salad bowls and owner Andrew Gomez’s greatest invention, the Turtle Shell. Take a tortilla, stuff it with rice, beans, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, meat, veggies and cheese, layer in a tostado for crunch, put some cheese on the top and then brown it. It’s a fat little crunchy burrito envelope, a walking taco. And the Turtle tastes even better if you stumble over after imbibing at the adjacent HalfCut, a craft beer café of sorts. Now open for lunch and brunch, with a second cantina location in Walnut Hills. 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine; 2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, gomezsalsa.com.
Cincinnati’s original foilwrapped Latin fare. Habañero opened in 1999, before most of us had even heard of that national burrito chain. Known
3. Trotta’s Pizza
Neighborhood Pizza Joint (’Burbs)
1. LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria 2. Mellow Mushroom 3. Pies and Pints
1. Incline Public House 2. Eli’s BBQ 3. Cabana on the River
1. Incline Public House 2. Arthur’s 3. Arnold’s Bar and Grill
1. Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct 2. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 3. Jeff Ruby’s Carlo & Johnny
1. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 2. The Anchor-OTR 3. Kaze
1. Bonefish Grill 2. The Anchor-OTR 3. Mitchell’s Fish Market
1. Boca 2. Taft’s Ale House 3. Sotto
ANDERSON 7625 Beechmont Ave • 513-231-5550
DOWNTOWN 800 Elm St • 513-721-4241 612 Main St • 513-241-6246
FOREST PARK 1198 Smiley Ave (At Winton Rd) • 513-825-3888
WEST CHESTER 7624 Beechmont Ave 8179 Princeton-Glendale Rd • 513-942-7800 Across from Beckett Ridge Kroger
WESTERN HILLS 5098B Glen Crossing Way • 513-347-9699
MADISONvILLE 4766 Red Bank Expressway • 513-376-6008
FLORENCE 7905 Mall Road (Next to Starbucks) • 859-525-2333
FT. WRIGHT 1965 Highland Pike • 859-331-4999
Voted Best Deli in Cincinnati, CityBeat
Pair your burger with a beer from our wide selection of 30 drafts 4767 Creek Road Blue Ash | 513-745-9484 6691 Western Row Road | Mason, Ohio 45040 | 513-486-3772 A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 6 9
for their more creative burrito options like the Calypso Chicken (with adobo-glazed chicken breast and pineapple salsa) and Venus de Veggie, along with various quesadillas and signature salsas. 358 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, habanerolatin.com.
Home of some of the city’s best tacos: tacos al pastor with delicious marinated pork shoulder, barbacoa, carne asada, lengua (tongue) and sesos (brains; they wash down perfectly with a cerveza). For vegetarians, wide-ranging fillings include seasoned pumpkin flower, corn truffle, hongos, beans and queso fresco. This inexpensive and authentic menu has been known to incite cravings after as little as one visit. 642 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., 859-261-6112.
Lalo refers to itself as “Chino Latino” cuisine because Asia has a lot of Spanish and Latin influence. The menu is divided into tacos, burritos, tortas, rice bowls, specialty plates, soups and salads, with dishes like ceviche, a black bean quesadilla with kale and bibimbap. 709 Main St., Downtown, lalocincinnati.com.
Maize specializes in a unique fusion menu that honors traditional recipes from across Latin America, with an emphasis on Venezuelan cuisine. The restaurant takes its name from maize, a corn flour dating back some 10,000 years and first utilized by indigenous Mexicans. The flour serves as the basis for the arepas, cachapas and empanadas served at Maize and acts as an access point for the rich world of Latin American cuisine. The ceviche is perfect: plump and plentiful mahi, snapper and shrimp with diced mango, serrano pepper and lime. The bright blue accents of the restaurant lend to the tropical vibe, as do the multitude of rum options on the drink menu — there are more than 30 in house. 1438 Main St., Over-theRhine, maizeotr.com.
Taco fillings range from shredded pork to crispy braised chicken, and specialties include Memelitas (open-faced tortillas), corn husk tamales and corn empanadas with queso Oaxaca. It’s a refreshing and authentic culinary surprise, considering the restaurant’s location in a Madisonville strip mall. The Mazunte Mercado in the restaurant’s commissary (6216 Madison Road) serves meat by the pound, homemade salsa, dried goods and fresh produce. 5207 Madison Road, Madisonville, mazuntetacos.com. 7 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Chef Jose Salazar is a continent away from his mamita and the hand-cranked mill she still uses to grind corn for arepas and empanadas, but his restaurant, Mita’s, is a tribute to her spirit and to Spanish and Latin American food. Some of the more intriguing dishes at Mita’s use familiar ingredients in new ways. The fresh emerald-green sauce for the short-rib empanadas is unexpectedly minty, and the beef is tucked into cornmeal crusts so light and crisp that it lifts the dish to the sublime. 501 Race St., Downtown, mitas.co.
Friendly service and fresh, affordable food have kept Montoya’s a neighborhood staple for more than 20 years. Patrons rave about their authentic Mexican dishes like chilaquiles, their signature spicy Pirata Plate and anything with mole. Great margaritas are the cherry on top. 2507 Chelsea Drive, Fort Mitchell, Ky., 859-341-0707.
Modern Mexican. Outstanding guacamole tops beer-batterfried hake on crisp, Baja-style tacos and fried avocado tacos are stuffed with chipotle bean puree, pickled cabbage and red onion and maple. The braised chicken enchiladas zing with citrus-marinated bird, sweet corn, Chihuahua cheese and diablo salsa. Churros, classic fried dough with cinnamon and sugar, are a sweet way to wrap it up. Great location next to the Aronoff Center downtown, and the patio is a big attraction when nice weather beckons. 600 Walnut St., Downtown, eatdrinknada.com.
Serves up good strip-mall Mexican, with the giant portions and plentiful margaritas you’d expect. 34 Carothers Road, Newport, Ky., riograndenewport.com.
Fajitas come with your choice of grilled steak, chicken or shrimp. Go in Sunday morning for a not-so-typical American brunch; get their spicy chilaquiles with chorizo and pair it with their Michelada — it’s like a bloody mary, but with your choice of light or dark beer mixed with tomato juice, lime juice and hot sauce. 100 E. Eighth St., Downtown; 6507 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, taqueriamercado.com.
Taqueria Yolandita is a tiny taco trailer. The menu is brief, but you’ve still got a tough choice — you’ll want to try everything. Overstuffed tacos, priced at three for $6; burritos, quesadillas and tortas, all $7 each. An order of three is a
sit-down, eat-with-a-fork feast, heaped high with braised meat, fresh avocado, chopped onions and cilantro, quartered lemons — not limes — and slices of crisp radish. 2336 Quebec Road, Price Hill, 513-551-0828.
FINE DINING Boca
A trip to chef David Falk’s Italian/French gemstone is an experience to be savored as much as the food itself. Take your time, invest a few hours and allow him and his attentive, knowledgeable staff to unfold an epic tale of two or three courses, plus dessert. The Pommes Soufflees “1942” — puffy french fries — are a call back to the restaurant’s former iteration as the Maisonette, and most entrées are available in full or tasting portions. 114 E. Sixth St., Downtown, bocacincinnati. com.
Meritage offers upscale classic American cuisine, ranging from pan-seared scallops with lemon butter to New York strip topped with demi-glaze. Reserve a table for Seafood Night, and you’ll get a three-course meal with an optional three-course wine pairing. Meritage boasts an extensive wine cellar and signature cocktails. 40 Village Square, Glendale, meritagecincy. com.
A celeb-spotting treasure, Nicola’s renown is undeniable. One of Cincinnati’s top, Zagat-rated restaurants, its housemade pastas and secondi piatti are among some of the thoughtfully conceived dishes transporting patrons to the heart of Italy. Indulge in winepaired tasting menus, or cap off your meal with a dessert. 1420 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine, nicolasotr.com.
Orchids at Palm Court
Nestled inside Carew Tower’s historic Art Deco Hilton hotel, Orchids hosts a breathtaking feast for the eyes — a perfect backdrop the seasonallyattuned menu that takes advantage of seasonal produce and combines those ingredients with top-quality seafood and meat from a variety of sources. The AAA five-diamond menu features creative, fresh cuisine paired with an award-winning wine list and delicious desserts. 35 W. Fifth St., Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, Downtown, orchidsatpalmcourt.com.
With a breathtaking city view, Primavista wins frequent reader’s choice and magazine awards such as “most romantic,” “best date spot” and “best dining with a view.” They offer fine
Italian dishes from all regions, specializing in veal and fish, with sauces made in-house. The gnocchi sautéed in sage butter with pancetta melts in your mouth, and the bread pudding is excellent. Includes special menus for vegans, vegetarians and those with a gluten intolerance. 810 Matson Place, Price Hill, pvista.com.
Restaurant L has its own upper-crust vibe. L is more intimate than Orchids, more contemporary than Jeff Ruby’s and, whenever you can swing it, a unique way to spend a pampered evening. The $89-per-person three-course dinner menu — or $125 Menu Gourmand — features a sophisticated seasonal selection blending French soul with contemporary flair (and optional wine pairings). Don’t forget: There’s an à la carte bar menu if you’re not up for the prix fixe dining room extravagance. 301 E. Fourth St., Downtown, lcincinnati.com.
STEAKHOUSES/ SEAFOOD Alabama Fish Bar
Get in line at the Alabama Fish Bar and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best fried fish in the city: a choice of whiting, perch or cod served atop a pile of fries resting on a bed of white bread. A side of sautéed peppers, onions and hot sauce make it a spicy, lip-smacking experience. 1601 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, alabamafishbar.com.
Located in a historic building at the corner of Washington Park, Anchor OTR offers impressivequality seafood. The raw bar selections are tempting, and they also offer interesting starters: crawfish beignets, octopus and deviled eggs with smoked salmon. Beachside classics like hush puppies and lobster rolls will transport you to the coast. The salads change seasonally and the Longshoreman’s Bloody Mary gets a lot of local attention — a bloody mary with vodka, housemade pickles and your choice of shrimp, oyster or lobster claw. 1401 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, theanchor-otr. com.
Court Street Lobster Bar
At Court Street Lobster Bar, there is nary a bright-red shell in sight. Instead, there are several ways to enjoy tender, buttery lobster meat — in a creamy bisque or as an ingredient in poutine; as part of the decadent lobster mac and cheese; or in one of two styles of lobster rolls. The Maine roll is a chilled lobster salad with lemon mayonnaise while the Connecticut roll
O R C H I D S AT PA L M C O U R T | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
Restaurant for a First Date
has warm lobster meat drizzled with hot butter. 28 W. Court St., Downtown, courtstreetlobsterbar.com.
Restaurant for Fine Dining
An upscale chain of primeaged steak and seafood. House recommendations include a romaine Waldorf salad with maple apple-cider vinaigrette, sesame calamari, chateaubriand for two and a bone-in filet. 10808 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, eddiemerlots.com.
1. Sotto 2. Incline Public House 3. Bakersfield
1. Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct 2. Boca 3. Orchids at Palm Court 4. Primavista 5. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 6. Nicola’s 7. Restaurant L 8. Jean-Robert’s Table 9. Sotto 10. Jeff Ruby’s Carlo & Johnny
Restaurant for Large Parties
1. Buca di Beppo 2. Montgomery Inn 3. Moerlein Lager House
Restaurant for the Best Bang For Your Buck
1. Eli’s BBQ 2. Skyline Chili 3. Le’s Pho & Sandwiches
Restaurant to Take a Foodie
1. Boca 2. Eagle OTR 3. Sotto
Eighth & English
This seafood-centric, Italianflavored eatery — which goes by the nickname 8 & E — is a godsend for those looking for innovative, thoughtfully crafted fare somewhere in the city outside of Over-the-Rhine, downtown or parts of Covington. The menu looks Italian, with sections such as Primi (first course, usually pasta) and Contorni (vegetables and sides). But if you read ingredients and style of prep, clearly there’s a range of influences, such as Middle Eastern (little lamb sandwiches with tzatziki and harissa) and solidly American (dry-aged NY strip with herbs, garlic oil and charred cipollini). As suggested by the sea-themed art on the walls, there are a lot of seafood offerings in just about every
menu category, and yet plenty for landlubbers, too. 2038 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, 8thandenglish.com.
There is a seemingly endless variety of Thai/sushi/Asian restaurants in our city. How about a steakhouse/sushi joint? That’s what you’ll find in Embers. Steaks are aged 28 days and are served with housemade compound butter or a variety of “extras” like truffle sauce or caramelized onions. Try the pickled veggie sushi or crunchy eel sushi to start, and then dig into some Vietnamesestyle baby-back ribs. 8170 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, embersrestaurant.com.
Jag’s Steak and Seafood
This upscale steakhouse and piano bar does everything from innovative meals to craft cocktails and extensive wine choices to live music. For dinner, opt for sushi or the raw bar to start, followed by a West Chester Chop salad (with bacon, egg, cheddar, tomato, cucumber and onion) or signature entrées, like the black truffle filet, chateaubriand for two or vegetarian portobellos with goat cheese and tomato. 5980 West Chester Road, West Chester, jags.com.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
Modeled after a 1940s New York Art Deco steakhouse. If you love steak you have about a zero-percent chance of being let down with one of Ruby’s — they dry-age their own. There are several non-steak options on the menu, including good seafood dishes, but the cow is king (queen?) at Ruby’s. 700 Walnut St., Downtown, jeffruby.com.
A Dutch-inspired steakhuis. Start with smoked whitefish pate or bitterballen, a mixture of ground meat, rolled in panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried. For dinner, move to the coast with Faroe Island salmon, or the farm, with a Dutch filet — a barrel-cut filet grilled à la plancha, seasoned with salt and pepper and served over hutspot cake. 530 Main St., Covington, Ky., lisse.restaurant.
Maury’s Tiny Cove
Maury’s has been packed full of flavor and West Side tradition since 1949. The dimly lit supperclub vibe will have you feeling like a regular on your first visit. The extensive menu consists of all the classic steakhouse options: tender, juicy steaks, seafood and chicken cooked just right, plus pasta, Atomic Age sides (shredded lettuce salads; A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 7 1
CHERBOURG CYPRUS | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
a complimentary ramekin of pickles on every table) and a perfect martini. Ask for the Carol booth — the restaurant appears in the locally filmed, Oscarnominated movie starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara — or take a photo with the Maury’s sign, featuring a kitschy cartoon steer holding a cocktail. 3908 Harrison Ave., Cheviot, mauryssteakhouse.com.
For 20 years, the laid-back island oasis Pelican’s Reef has been serving up super-fresh seafood in Anderson. While much of the menu features breaded and fried items with plenty of tartar sauce — choices like fried oyster po’boys or broiled grouper stuffed with crab meat and cornbread stuffing — none of the restaurant’s diehard fans are complaining. 7261 Beechmont Ave., Anderson, thepelicans-reef. com.
You can always rely on a Jeff Ruby restaurant for a big, rare steak and platters of seafood. The Precinct, housed in a historical Romanesque-style former police precinct, was the first in a long line of Ruby steakhouses. You can’t go wrong with a sirloin or porterhouse, named after current and past Cincinnati sports 7 2 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
greats. But there are other options, like blackened diver scallops or something from the tableside service menu like seafood fettuccine alfredo for two. 311 Delta Ave., Columbia Tusculum, jeffruby.com.
Tony’s of Cincinnati
A luxury steakhouse operated by Tony Ricci, former GM of Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct, serving USDA prime meats with all the toppings you could want — Oscar, au poivre, sauce béarnaise. Also features a raw bar, indulgent pastas, non-steak entrées and classic steakhouse sides. 12110 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, tonysofcincinnati. com.
Established in 1875 (and reestablished in 1986), the saloon is home to an annual Oyster Festival, Lobstapalooza and Crab Carnival. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, washingtonplatform.com.
VEGETARIAN/ VEGAN The Elusive Cow
The owner of The Elusive Cow, Jim Fisher, wanted to create a space where eaters of every kind can sit down and enjoy something off the menu. Focused on sustainable and organic farms, the food supports the omnivore
in us all, including dishes with bison, tofu, fish and, of course, hamburgers. 519 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., theelusivecow. com.
Happy Chicks Bakery
The café and bakery offers cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies and more, all with fresh, seasonal flavors, and light lunch options, including sandwiches, salads and soups that are all freshly prepared from non-processed foods and are free from preservatives and animal products. 4035 Hamilton Ave., Northside, happychicksbakery.com.
Restaurant to Take the Kids
1. Chick-fil-A 2. Dewey’s Pizza 3. Skyline Chili
Restaurant to Take Visitors
1. Montgomery Inn Boathouse 2. Incline Public House 3. Skyline Chili
1. Sotto 2. Primavista 3. Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct
The mission behind Loving Hut is to offer affordable, healthy, vegan cuisine. The restaurant’s environment was created using many found, reclaimed and reused materials. For disposable goods like containers, cups and utensils, they choose biodegradable and/ or recyclable products. Tons of paninis, wraps, sandwiches and burgers to choose from. 6227 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, lovinghut.us.
1. Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct 2. Sotto 3. Boca
Melt Eclectic Café
Live Music While You Eat
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diners aren’t an afterthought at Melt. But no worries — the carnivorous can feast, too. A plethora of
View From Your Table
1. Incline Public House 2. Primavista 3. Moerlein Lager House
1. Montgomery Inn Boathouse 2. Moerlein Lager House 3. Cabana on the River
1. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 2. Dee Felice Café 3. Hofbräuhaus
sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads tempt every palate. Sandwiches include items like the veggie cheesesteak made with seitan and The Rachel, a smoked turkey sandwich with red cabbage, apple sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. 4100 Hamilton Ave., Northside, meltrevival.com.
Off The Vine Juice Bar
We’re not talking smoothies — we’re talking nutrient-dense, cold-pressed juice funneled into a pint-sized glass container. Juice heads can stop by and purchase an 8-ounce juice or 16-ounce juice in a reusable glass bottle that can be returned and recycled. Customers can also purchase a set of juices and homemade nut milks for a one, three or five-day juice cleanse. 1218 Vine St., Over-theRhine; 580 Walnut - Skywalk, Downtown, otvcincinnati.com.
Rooted Juicery + Kitchen
From coolers housing a rainbow display of juices to vegan meal bowls to a mini bakery, Rooted is out to prove that plant-based eating offers a vast variety of flavors and quality options. The Mexican grain bowl (quinoa, black beans, guacamole, walnut crumble, cashew cheese) is a favorite in the bowl category. Everything is as locally sourced as possible. The downtown location features a full coffee and matcha bar. 3010 Madison Road, Oakley; 6844 Wooster Pike, Mariemont; 17 E. Sixth St., Downtown, rootedjuicery.com.
Unwind Wine Bar
The expansive indoor and outdoor space around the corner from Hyde Park Square has fused an upscale-casual ambiance with a wide selection of New World and Old World wines and small plates that complement the drinks. All of the food is either vegetarian or vegan (the owners are vegan). With choices such as crostini, flatbread, warm olives, cheeses and a hummus sampler, along with a few desserts, there’s enough for a light meal — or at least some satisfying bites to accompany your wine. We’d especially recommend the warm artichoke dip, pleasantly garlicky with truffle oil and topped with browned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. 3435 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, unwindhydepark.com.
The Weekly Juicery
The juicery boasts an almost entirely gluten-free and vegan menu, and the staff is sensitive to just about every allergy imaginable. Their weekly juicing programs offer three, four and five-day juicing regimens in the $27 to $54 price range. 2727 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, theweeklyjuicery.com.
The Whole Bowl
It’s a walk-up window serving a single recipe: a bowl of brown rice, beans, black olives, cheese, avocado slices and lemon-garlic Tali Sauce. The secret to the bowl’s popularity rests with the Tali Sauce. A Google search finds blogger and YouTube video attempts to recreate it. Ask for a little extra spoonful when you order. 364 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, thewholebowl.com/ cincinnati.
BAKERIES/DESSERTS Abby Girl Sweets
A from-scratch cupcakery with two locations and special, seasonal flavors. 4773 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash; 41 W. Fifth St., Downtown, abbygirlsweets.com.
A classic 1900s ice cream parlor at its best, wooing foodie visitors from all around the country with its unblemished reputation for quality. The Raspberry Hot Fudge and the Banana Classique shakes are chart-toppers. 3046 Madison Road, Oakley; 9899 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, aglamesis.com.
Twin Peaks’ Agent Dale Cooper was onto something with his interest in pairing a cup of coffee with a slice of pie. And at Bluebird Bakery in historic Glendale’s quaint village square, their from-scratch seasonal pies, made with farm-fresh eggs, sweet butter and real gardenfresh fruit, are as authentic as it gets. 29 Village Square, Glendale, bluebirdbakery.com.
Have your cake and eat it too as the BonBonerie crew shows off their savory skills. Scones, tea and quiche adorn the café menu, but the real treat is for those with a sweet tooth. The bakery menu features tortes, cakes, pastries and old-fashioned cookies to please everyone. 2030 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, bonbonerie.com.
Brown Bear Bakery
Cincinnati pastry artist Blair Fornshell uses allnatural ingredients to create so-beautiful-you-almost-feelbad-about-eating-them desserts, such as vanilla bean scones, oat flour salty chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon brown sugar hand pies, summer tarts and beareos. The OTR bakery and café space is the perfect blend of old and new and has a very Lower Manhattan vibe. 116 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, brownbearbakes.com.
European-style street food and gelato. Savory crepes — with fillings like pesto, turkey, fontina and spinach — are made with
buckwheat-based batter and sweet crepes — with fillings like lemon curd, Nutella, pastry cream and brown sugar — are made with something similar to pancake batter. They also serve colorful French macarons. 1028 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, buonaterragelato.com.
Busken Bakery opened in 1928 and quickly became a Cincinnati staple with bakery counters in grocery stores, 24-hour drive-in bakeries and delicious donuts, bread and apple pies. Their award-winning baked goods can be found in Remke Markets, Kroger, UDF and eight bakeries around the city. Hyde Park location open 24/7. Multiple locations including 2675 Madison Road, Hyde Park, busken.com.
Buzzed Bull Creamery
The chemistry behind Buzzed Bull’s frozen, alcoholinfused desserts seems like magic. Liquid nitrogen is an odorless, colorless, safeto-eat element that freezes the ingredients it comes into contact with, including alcohol. They serve alcoholic flavors like honey bourbon, margarita and whiskey sour, but there are plenty of nonalcoholic options, too. 1408 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, buzzedbullcreamery.com.
Well known for its selection of gluten-free, nut-free goodies, the OTR shop features not only pastries — donuts, Cherbourg’s famous double lemon bars, muffins, cookies and cake — but also eggy deliciousness, like inventive stratas, quiches and individual skillet servings of shakshuka. 1804 Race St., Overthe-Rhine, cherbourgcyprus. com.
Authentic Italian-style gelato. Dojo Gelato loves to create unexpected flavor profiles — rose petal, olive oil, bellini, honey lavender, Vietnamese coffee, etc. And they use fresh, seasonal ingredients in their creations. Dojo’s Northside shop serves more than just scoops. The shop always has 10 flavors of gelato on offer, but with bonus milkshakes, a sundae bar and a funky soft-serve menu along with killer draft rootbeer on tap. 137 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine; 1735 Blue Rock St., Northside, (seasonal), dojogelato.com.
Graeter’s Ice Cream
Since its founding in 1870, Graeter’s French Pot Ice Cream, handmade chocolate confections and fresh-baked goods have become traditions in the Queen City. Today, the Graeter family still faithfully uses century-old recipes and
methods of production. Multiple locations including 511 Walnut St., Fountain Square, Downtown, graeters.com.
In September 2013, the Loveland-based Holtman’s Donuts finally opened an OTR location, complete with a window you can peer through and watch them make donuts, like the sensational maple bacon. Homer Simpson would be so proud... and hungry. Multiple locations including 1332 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine; 1399 State Route 28, Loveland; 214 W. Main St., Williamsburg, holtmansdonutshop.com.
La Grassa Gelato
Proprietor John Berman trained in the art of gelato at Gelato University, near Bologna, Italy, but the concept began in the basement of pizzeria/restaurant A Tavola, where the first batches of this creamy dairy treat were concocted for the restaurant’s dessert menu. The shop, located in a converted historic home, opened just down the street from A Tavola’s Madeira location. Besides gelato — and fruity sorbettos — coffee is the other menu staple, with espresso, lattes, affogato, drip coffee, Chai, iced tea, lemonade and a few other beverages. 7014 Miami Ave., Madeira, lagrassa.com.
In the past, the closest thing Cincinnati had to Paris was the Eiffel Tower replica at Kings Island. Now we have Macaron Bar, the only local bakery and coffee shop specializing in the brightly colored French pastry, which offers traditional and seasonal macarons, with flavors like salted caramel, Earl Grey tea and pistachio. Multiple locations including 1206 Main St., Overthe-Rhine, macaron-bar.com.
A bean-to-bar chocolatier in Findlay Market, made with ethically sourced cocoa beans. 129 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine, maverickchocolate.com.
This Findlay Market-based pastry shop turns out baked goodies like cookies, fruit danishes, chocolate croissants and more — all from the minds behind cult favorite Collective Espresso coffee shop. Check their social media for info about secret pizza parties featuring homemade dough and seasonal toppings. 113 W. Elder St., Overthe-Rhine, mainwoodpastry.com.
North College Hill Bakery
A neighborhood favorite open for more than 80 years. Start with a selection of daily fresh donuts or a double butter yeast coffee cake, then move onto the tea cookies and sesame knot A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 7 3
Small plates with a Southern twist 60 wines by the glass, bourbon, craft beer & cocktails In the heart of OTR www.louvino.com
12-40 person Private Event Spaces Saturday & Sunday Brunch $2 mimosas Chef Driven Seasonal Menus
BOOK AN EVENT IN ONE OF OUR 2 PRIVATE DINING ROOMS! email@example.com
Yes, it is as good as it looks. www.KAZEOTR.com
1400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202 74 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
THE SWEET PL ACE | PHOTO: T Y W ESSELK AMPER
Under the Radar Restaurant
1. Mazunte 2. Incline Public House 3. Cheapside Café
1. Melt 2. Green Dog Café 3. Loving Hut
1. Krueger’s Tavern 2. Arthur’s 3. Arnold’s Bar and Grill
1. Dewey’s Pizza 2. Olive Garden 3. Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
1. Smoothie King 2. Rooted Juicery + Kitchen 3. Off the Vine
1. Pho Lang Thang 2. Zoup! 3. Tom+Chee
1. Penn Station 2. Jersey Mike’s 3. Firehouse Subs
1. Buffalo Wild Wings 2. Knockback Nat’s 3. Buffalo Wings & Rings
dinner rolls. 1807 W. Galbraith Road, North College Hill, northcollegehillbakery.com.
Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., schneiderscandies.com.
OTR Candy Bar
Fourth-generation family bakery, started by great-grandfather George in Muenster, Germany. Known for their pastries, desserts and especially for their soft pretzels, which you can get in sizes ranging from six ounces to three pounds. Multiple locations including 511 Walnut St., Fountain Square, Downtown, servatii.com.
The shop feels a bit like the candy store from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, chock full of sticky sweets, and an entire table devoted to out-ofthe-box candies. Then there’s an actual bar upon which a sharply dressed candy barista will make you a float using the vintage soda of your choice, dressed with a piece of old-fashioned stick candy. 1735 Elm St., Overthe-Rhine, otrcandybar.com.
Quaintrelle Confections makes all marshmallows in house, which they then use to create creative s’more concoctions. The s’mores offerings on the hand-written blackboard change every month but include fillings like white chocolate, caramel, pecans and the classic, with mallow, graham cracker and chocolate. Also look for marshmallows available by the bag and infused with booze. 1210 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, quaintconfections.com.
Schneider’s Sweet Shop
An old-time candy and ice cream corner store serving the area since 1939. Specializes in opera cream candy. 420
Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli
Simply Rolled Ice Cream
A franchise from Columbus, shop offers made-to-order ice cream creations with a veganfriendly option and over 20 toppings and mix-ins. It also offers 10 signature ice cream rolls such as the Pina Colada, Buckeye Madness and seasonal rolls like Orange Rollsicle. 32 W. 12th St., Downtown, simplyrolledicecream.com.
Grown-up ice pops made from unique combinations of fresh ingredients and unexpected flavors, like peach tea, Thai basil lime, Vietnamese coffee, lemon lavender and more. Find them in your grocer’s freezer or local pop-up markets and events. 4720 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, streetpops.com.
Sweet Petit Desserts
Taren Kinebrew specializes in tiny treats at her aptly named shop, Sweet Petit Desserts — macarons, chocolate-covered strawberries, petit fours, even layered cake push-pops. And while the third-generation baker and her team whip up sweets for the shop and special events, they can also teach you how to do it. 1426 Race St., Over-theRhine, sweetpetitdesserts.com.
The Sweet Place --
The Sweet Place offers a slew of sweet treats like baked goods, funnel cakes, churros and cookie shots in addition to ice cream. The bakery owners, Allison and Robert Craig, noticed there weren’t any options for rolled ice cream in the area so along with their store managers, they ventured to California to sample and research the flavors and types of rolled ice cream in order to open up their shop. 2910 Short Vine, Corryville, thesweetplacebakery.com.
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SUNDRY AND VICE PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
UNLEASH YOUR INNER CHILD... WITH ADULT BEVERAGES.
Braxton Brewing Company was born out of a garage on Braxton Drive in Union, Kentucky. Itâ€™s there where a passion was born, sparked and ignited. The creativity and craft of brewing became a entrepreneurial obsession and now we thrive to create the ultimate experience by celebrating the life, family and communities that build our history. Dreams are born and fermented at Braxton Brewing Company.
WWW.BRAXTONBREWING.COM @BRAXTONBREWCO BRAXTON BREWING COMPANY
Over-the-Rhine + 16-BitBar.com
Born in a garage. Brewed at 27 W. 7th St., Covington, KY 41011
Guzzle ’80s-themed drinks with names like the Molly Ringwald or Kevin Bacon while playing more than 50 different classic arcade games and pinball. If you drink, you play for free. It might not be the ’80s or the ’90s anymore, but 16-Bit makes those decades feel new again. 1331 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, 16-bitbar.com/cincy.
Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition
Retro arcade games plus alcohol and hot dogs (even vegetarian ones). Monday Night Fights are for serious players, and there’s a high-score board for some local fame. Some arcade bars are for drinking and gaming; Arcade Legacy is for gaming and drinking. 3929 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, arcadelegacyohio. com/bar-edition.
Queen City Exchange
An interactive bar where the pricing of drinks is dictated based on consumer demand — like a bar meets the stock exchange, hence the name. 32 W. Court St., Downtown, queencityexchange.com.
Pins Mechanical Company
From the Columbus-based Rise Brands, the group behind 16-Bit, this new bar has 25 pinball machines and 10 duckpin bowling lanes, plus other “old school” entertainment options like foosball, bocce ball and shuffle board. 1124 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, pinsbar.com.
The Rook OTR
People can play Twister, Cards Against Humanity, The Game of Nasty Things…, The Resistance: Avalon and Pictionary, all the while snacking on sliders and drinking board-game-themed cocktails (with candy garnish), local beers on draft or wine. 1115 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, therookotr.com.
Pirate’s Cove Tropical Bar & Grill
Located in the Four Seasons Marina, this bar and grill offers seafood, island entertainment and tropical drink specials, rain or shine. 4609 Kellogg Ave., California, piratescovecincy.com.
Riverside Marina Bar & Grill
A floating bar and grill with a full bar, food and live music on the weekends. Enjoy sunshine, a river view and a daiquiri on their tropical patio. 145 Mary Ingles Highway, Dayton, Ky., riversidemarinaky.com.
It’s a day at the beach, with seven volleyball courts and a view of the river. Tap into your inner river lover with the Ohio River Mudslide: bourbon, Bailey’s and half and half on the rocks. 4609 Kellogg Ave., California, thesandbarcincinnati.com.
BOURBON BARS Bourbon Haus 1841
With an impressive selection of over 150 bottles, you’ll be overwhelmed by your options in the very best way. Whether you’re partial to an Old Fashioned or keen to try new things, the Haus has a lovely list of bourbon-backed libations for you to sip on while you decide which crafted flight is going to take you on a trip into Kentucky’s liquid history. 522 Main St., Covington, Ky., bourbonhaus1841.com.
Multi-leveled with a large atrium, crackling fireplace and two outdoor patios, their craft cocktail menu was developed by mixologist Brian Van Flandern, with a huge scotch and whiskey selection that includes their own private-label bottles of Four Roses bourbon. 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown, igbysbar.com.
A seasonal tropical watering hole with a famous Long Island iced tea (with sour pink lemonade) and plenty of seafood. 7445 Forbes Road, Delhi, cabanaontheriver.com.
A neighborhood bar and bistro specializing in bourbon and regional craft beer. Clever cocktails mix sweet and savory flavors and the kitchen puts out excellent seasonal plates and heavenly desserts. 3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, littlefieldns.com.
Drew’s on the River
Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar
BEACH BARS Cabana on the River
A well-kept West Side secret, Drew’s features an oversized, partially shaded patio and Tiki bar right on the river. 4333 River Road, Columbia Tusculum, drewsontheriver.com.
Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club
With a giant shark figurine impaled on the sign, this bar, grill and marina has a definite sense of laid-back island humor — and cheap drinks. 860 Elm St., Ludlow, Ky., ludlowbromleyyachtclub.com.
Houses a mind-boggling bourbon selection, served in snifters by a well-educated, passionate staff. For those less interested in straight booze, enjoy select preProhibition cocktails or bourbon barrel-aged beers. 629 Main St., Covington, Ky., oldkybourbonbar. com.
Prohibition Bourbon Bar at Newberry Bros.
A collection of more than 1,000 bottles and counting of bourbon and rye whisky, including Scotch, Irish, Tennessee and
Japanese brands, along with more than 50 wines by the glass and more than 50 craft beers. Named one of the best bourbon bars in America by The Bourbon Review. 530 Washington Ave., Newport, Ky., newberrybroscoffee.com.
A speakeasy above Goodfellas Pizzeria with bourbon, craft cocktails and 16 beers on draft. Offers a bourbon connoisseurs club for serious imbibers. 603 Main St., Covington, Ky.; 1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, goodfellaspizzeria.com.
BREWERIES 13 Below
Named in honor of its location — 13 nautical miles from downtown Cincinnati — this craft brewery welcomes adults, kids and pets. Beers include options like the Submerged Witbier, Fernbank Czech Lager (named after a nearby park) and the 1516 Dunkel. 7391 Forbes Road, Addison, 13belowbrewery. com.
3 Points Urban Brewery
With eight of their own beers on draft so far (the goal is 12) and a 185-person taproom, this urban brewery is a design-forward and artful space where all are welcome to indulge. Six artists were commissioned to create pieces inspired by the house beers and taste profiles. Check out the art that goes with each brew online or in the taproom. 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, 3pointsbeer.com.
Bad Tom Smith Brewing
ARCADE/GAME BARS 16-Bit Bar+Arcade
Craft brewers with a focus on quality, taste and originality. The renovated taproom features a new bar and barstools, a big TV and the same old record player for spinning vinyl. #badassinaglass. 4720 Eastern Ave., East End, badtomsmithbrewing.com.
Braxton Brewing Co.
The “taproom of the future,” Braxton’s comfy garageinspired brewery and taproom was the first in the nation with gigabit internet. The taproom opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday through Friday as a public workspace, serving local Carabello coffee and Nitro cold brew. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., braxtonbrewing.com.
Braxton Labs features 40 taps dedicated to the brewery’s most innovative offerings, as well as brews from across the U.S. and around the world. It’s a destination for curious craft beer drinkers and offers something for everyone, including an outdoor beer garden with giant Connect Four. 95 Riviera Drive, Bellevue, Ky., braxtonbrewing.com.
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M A DT R E E B R E W I N G C O M PA N Y | P H OT O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G ER
Brink Brewing Company
“Good beer is about the people, the stories and the experience,” according to Brink’s co-founders John and Sarah McGarry. The taproom’s communal table sits 20 and a brick wall stands covered in framed photos of the customers and community. 5905 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, brinkbrewing.com.
Craft beers produced in a vineyard. The tasting room is open daily, offering pints of pale ales, stouts and wheats, as well as pizza and cheese plates. 2276 E. U.S. 22 and OH-3, Morrow, valleyvineyards.com.
Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom
Enjoy a rich piece of Cincinnati’s brewing heritage at the Christian Moerlein craft brewery, taproom and tour center. Take a free tour of the production brewery and go inside the historic underground malt house from before Prohibition. Offers trivia, fowling and the Wienerwurst Mike Frankfurtary, serving up sausages, Bavarian pretzels and stuffed sandwiches. 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, christianmoerlein.com.
The microbrewery focuses on the dark and unusual — stouts, 8 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
porters and browns with ingredients like coco nibs, lactose, coffee and roasted peppers. 224 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., facebook.com/darknessbrewing.
An ever-expanding nanobrewery helmed by two former scientists and passionate homebrewers. The taproom and brewhouse serves up craft beer and plays host to local food trucks, complete with picnic tables, couches and skee-ball. Staple beers include On the Aisle Kölsch, a classic German blonde twisted with modern hops, and Maiden Flight RyePA, a spicy modern rye ale. 9964 Crescent Park Drive, West Chester, dogberrybrewing.com.
A nanobrewery with a focus on science, math and nature and brewing non-traditional and hybrid beer styles. Their Foundational Series is offered year-round with numerous additional seasonal and rotating brews, available to sample in the taproom or in growlers to go. Fibonacci also makes wine, with varieties on tap and in bottles. 1445 Compton Road, Mount Healthy, fibbrew.com.
Fifty West Brewing Company
Located in a historic home, this craft brewery and taproom
doubles as a restaurant with a focus on beer pairings to match dishes like pork chops, blackened mahi mahi and a wide array of meaty and veg-friendly sandwiches. Find their signature orange VW bus, Penny, parked out front. Across the street, the expanded Fifty West Pro Works is home to additional fermenters to produce thousands more barrels of Fifty West beer each year, and an event space that can be rented out for larger parties. Pro Works also includes sand volleyball courts and canoe and kayak rentals. 7668 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township, fiftywestbrew.com.
FigLeaf Brewing Co.
Thousands of years ago, the Buddha achieved Nirvana under the Bodhi Tree, a large and sacred fig. But FigLeaf Brewing Co. seeks a different kind of enlightenment: one in the world of craft beer. To the brewery’s founders, the fig leaf is a symbol of learning and improvement. The 20-barrel brewhouse boasts a large taproom and patio — a comfortable place to experience enlightenment for yourself. 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Middletown, figleafbrewing.com.
The Growler House
Focusing on growlers but also offering tastings, the Growler
BEST OF NIGHTLIFE CityBeat’s Best Of Cincinnati® issue is an annual collection of the city’s best as voted on by readers and staff. Here are some of the 2018 reader picks for Cincinnati’s best nightlife.
1. Longfellow 2. Revel OTR Urban Winery 3. Octave 4. Bourbon Haus 1841 5. The Hi-Mark 6. Mixwells Northside 7. The Pony OTR 8. Higher Gravity 9. Bay Horse Café 10. The Hub OTR
1. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade 2. Queen City Exchange 3. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 4. Queen City Radio 5. Below Zero 6. Japp’s Since 1879 7. MOTR Pub 8. Northside Yacht Club 9. Sundry and Vice 10. Longfellow
Bar/Club (Downtown/ OTR)
1. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade 2. MOTR Pub 3. Queen City Exchange
House is one of the new guard bringing East Walnut Hills back to life. With 30 taps of fresh beer, it’s not exactly a brewery, but it’s pretty darn close. 1526 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, thegrowlerhouse.com.
Listermann Brewing Company
Handcrafted ales, a growler station and contagious enthusiasm for home brewing characterize this owneroperated brewing company. Also offers frequent brewing classes, home-brewing supplies and wine-making ingredients and equipment. The in-house Renegade Grille makes awesome wings. 1621 Dana Ave., Norwood/Evanston, listermannbrewing.com.
MadTree Brewing Company
MadTree’s million-dollar makeover did not disappoint. The hugely expanded operation on Madison Road is bigger on all fronts, including its 10,000-square-foot beer garden. With 32 MadTree-exclusive taps, ambient lighting and an industrial brick façade leftover from the building’s factory days, there’s more than enough space to accommodate all the beer-drinking, cornhole-playing, dog-loving humans that hang at MadTree on the regular. Bonus: The expansion included bigger bathrooms. 3301 Madison Road, Oakley, madtreebrewing.com.
March First Brewing
With a taproom that opens directly to the brewery, guests get a front-row seat to the brewery’s daily operations. Brewers are always ready to interact and answer questions. Though March First thrives on classic brews, like the popular craft lager or Denali IPA, it still finds room for experimentation in its taps. The Dry Limed Cider offers something different. 7885 E. Kemper Road, Blue Ash, marchfirstbrewing.com.
Jon Wells and Tony Harrell are the brewmasters behind experimental nanobrewery Mash Cult. The duo brews small-batch weird beers like Ramathorn, a smoked maple syrup coffee stout; an unfiltered and raw mango gose; and a Mic Drop double IPA. Located inside Party Town. 6823 Burlington Pike, Florence, Ky., partytownky.com.
Mt. Carmel Brewing Company
Founders Mike and Kathleen Dewey started brewing out of the 1920s farmhouse storm cellar in 2005. The oldest craft microbrewery in the area, they now produce 900 gallons of exceptional craft beer a year. 4362 Mount CarmelTobasco Road, Mount Carmel,
Municipal Brew Works
You’ll enter Municipal Brew Works through the garage door of a municipal building in Hamilton. Bring your friends, your dog or your whole family; this brewery has a place for everyone. It also has a brew for everyone. Play some cornhole or hang on the patio with your favorite food trucks. Pair your brew with eats from trucks like Caravasos Mexican Fusion, Packhouse and NonStop Flavor. 20 High St., Hamilton, municipalbrewworks.com.
Narrow Path Brewing Co.
Located in downtown Loveland, Narrow Path is beer garden meets bike trail. Bike or skate down the Loveland Bike Trail to have a seat at picnic tables in the yard. It’s a location that fosters a sense of community. The brewery also takes pride in supporting nonprofits — it wants to make the world a better place; a portion of sales are shared with charities. 106 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, narrowpathbrewing.com.
Nine Giant Brewing
A brewery and snackery in the heart of Pleasant Ridge, Nine Giant is the stuff of legends. There are no flagship beers at Nine Giant — its 10 taps are subject to endless experimentation. You’ll find that general styles remain, but each batch offers an opportunity to swap out flavors and ingredients. 6095 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, ninegiant.com.
A microbrewery inside a former firehouse focusing on handcrafted, session-driven beers. The dog-friendly taproom and brewery is filled with firefighting memorabilia — owner Adam Cowan is a former firefighter — and serves cleverly named brews, like Code 3 copper ale and Flash Point IPA. 237 W. Main St., Wililamsburg, oldfirehousebrewery.com.
A large brewery and event space in historic Over-the-Rhine (housed in an old Moerlein bottling plant) producing hoppy and sessionable ales. The seasonal deck is an excellent addition to the city’s rooftop bar scene. Climb on up for views of the historic Jackson Brewery building, downtown, Mount Adams and the Elm Street streetcar line. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.
Rivertown Brewery and Barrel House
Part brewery, part lab experiment. Rivertown produces high-quality beers with a focus on spontaneous fermentation, wild yeast and
1910 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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We are urban beekeepers providing local honey, beeswax candles and gifts from the hive. Visit us weekends at Findlay Market.
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4037 Hamilton Ave. Northside, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223
funky flavors. The Monroe Barrel House offers 30 taps at the bar, 24 taps on the patio, guest brews, cocktails, wine and Barrel House BBQ, beer-infused slow-smoked hickory barbecue, plus tours and free all-day-play on vintage arcade consoles. 6550 Hamilton Lebanon Road, Monroe, rivertownbrewery.com.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
A restaurant and brew pub that brews its own beer in the heart of downtown, right on Fountain Square. More than 10 homebrewed styles and a lengthy food menu. 10 Fountain Square, Downtown, rockbottom.com.
Built between the historic East End and Columbia Tusculum. The brewery produces IPAs, wheats, lagers, stouts and specialty beers of its own, while the taproom offers guest taps to support other local brewers. Beers here have funny names like Goseface Killah, Glitter Freeze and Be A Lot Cooler if You Did. 4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum, streetsidebrewery.com.
Taft’s Ale House
We are urban beekeepers providing local honey, 13BELOWBREWERY.COM beeswax candles and gifts from the hive. Visit us weekends at Findlay Market.
Located inside a former church, the building is an ode to Cincinnatian and former president William Howard Taft. The multi-floor brewpub maintains some of the sanctuary’s charm (like the bell tower) and serves a menu focused on tri-tip beef, complemented by creative brews. 1429 Race St., Over-theRhine, taftsalehouse.com.
The Brewpourium is an extension of Over-the-Rhine’s Taft’s Ale House, fitted with all of Taft’s top beers, New Havenstyle “apizza” and enough televisions to satisfy all of Cincinnati’s sports fans. 4831 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, taftsalehouse.com.
Triple Digit Brewing Company
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Housed inside Listermann Brewing Company, their Chickow! hazelnut double brown ale and its variants have a dedicated cult following. 1621 Dana Ave., Norwood/Evanston, tripledigitbrewing.com.
A brewery, taproom and music venue located in a historic church. Beers are crafted with locally caught wild yeast and bacteria, resulting in sour, tart brews, like their flagship Harrow Gose. If sour isn’t your thing, add some sweet flavored-syrups from the bar or try local Skinny Piggy green tea kombucha on tap. 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, artifactbeer.com.
West Side Brewing
Overseen by four passionate
homebrewers, the taproom offers 20 West Side beer taps, including West Side’s amber ale, common ale, pale ale and more, plus a handful of other local brews, cider, wine and soda. The bar also offers a ton of TVs and games. 3044 Harrison Ave., Westwood, westsidebrewing. com.
The brewery and taproom were created by an L.A. Transplant and lifelong Cincinnatian, combining — as the website says — “West Side hustle and West Coast swagger.” Their innovative beer menu features core brews, like the earthy Cedar IPA; limited releases, like the Chocolate Mint Imperial Stout (tastes like a Girl Scout cookie!); seasonals; and a very cool Home Brewer series, where they let accomplished home brewers tap their brews at the bar. 2800 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, woodburnbrewery.com.
Wooden Cask Brewing Co.
Wooden Cask Brewing is located in the heart of Newport’s historic section. Formerly the Flamingo and Jockey Club, the building’s history is being relived through its transformation into a brewery and taproom: The bar is hand crafted from the building’s own reclaimed wood. Wooden Cask’s menu includes 10 craft beers always on tap, along with featured small-batch brews and a guest cider. 629 York St., Newport, Ky., woodencask.com.
COLLEGE BARS Brass Tap
It’s not necessarily a college bar, but it’s a bar near the University of Cincinnati. The “upscale beer emporium” offers more than 80 craft beers on tap, live music, trivia on Tuesday, karaoke and plenty of TVs. They also have wine and food, like a pretzel pizza. 251 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, brasstapbeerbar.com.
Clifton Heights Tavern
A college-adjacent down-toearth sports bar with local brews, bar games and TVs. 239 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, facebook.com/ cliftonheightstavern.
Since 1938, Dana’s has been the home of all things Xavier; it’s like walking into a sports-centric XU grad’s basement. Watch the Muskie basketball team hoop it up and enjoy pub fare with students and fans alike. Loosely Irish-themed. 1832 Dana Ave., Evanston, danagardens.com.
Located on historic Short Vine (right by head shop The Cupboard and music venue
WOODBURN BREWERY | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
1. Blind Lemon 2. Northside Yacht Club 3. The Video Archive
1. Hotel Covington 2. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant 3. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar
Bar/Club (East Side)
1. Mount Lookout Tavern 2. Overlook Lodge 3. Dutch’s
Bar/Club (West Side)
1. Incline Public House 2. Knotty Pine Rock Club & Tiki Bar 3. The Crow’s Nest
1. The Village Tavern 2. Back Porch Saloon 3. Fox & Hound
1. Riverbend Music Center 2. Bogart’s 3. Music Hall
Local Band (Originals)
1. Over the Rhine 2. The Cliftones 3. Young Heirlooms
Bogart’s), this cozy location feels like a house party. It’s a local leg of the bar The Dime Los Angeles. It features 16 beers on tap, easy-drinking cocktails and a daily happy hour. 2611 Vine St., Corryville, thedimecincy.com.
Self-described as “not your average dive bar,” this establishment offers 70 different beers and 80 different liquors — about one semester’s worth. It also has free WiFi, games and TVs for watching sports. 2608 Vine St., Corryville, facebook.com/ divebarcincinnati.
A laid-back dive-bar legend near the University of Cincinnati. Appeals to everyone from UC students taking a break from exams to Cliftonites and downtown professionals. The first floor features a draft bar with a focus on craft beer and a popular old-fashioned shuffleboard table. The lower level features two billiards tables and the top floor has darts and billiards with access to the seasonal patio and deck. 3247 Jefferson Ave., Clifton, friescafeclifton.com.
A bar and gastropub located in the historic Corryville firehouse.
Offers 15 beers and Fireball Whiskey on tap, plus cocktails like the 64 oz. The Hydrant moonshine punch, and S.J. Parker, with citrus vodka, lemonade and tea. Includes easy bar eats (and a bottomless mimosa and bloody mary brunch on weekends), a darts room, pool table and patio. 2701 Vine St., Corryville, ladder19.com.
The Mad Frog
Live music almost every night ranging from Gothic/Industrial to Cincy EDM Showcases. Tons of dancing and drinking and fog machines. 1 E. McMillan St., Corryville, themadfrog.net.
Established in 1969, this dive bar offers everyday deals on pitchers, bar games and team sports, frequent free pizza, soup and hot dogs. Murphy’s represents its Irish roots on Saint Patrick’s Day. 2329 W. Clifton Ave., Clifton Heights, murphys-pub.com.
The St. Clair
A nightclub/bar in the University of Cincinnati area from 4EG. Offers weekly drink specials and signature shots like the Bearcat Bomb. 245 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, thestclair.com.
Uncle Woody’s Pub
A college student’s rec room dream — long wooden bar,
sports on TV and an outdoor patio are tough to turn down during the walk home from class. Try their famous Cajun burger. 339 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, facebook.com/unclewoodys.
CELTIC/IRISH BARS Cock & Bull Public House
Try a local beer flight (there are more than 50 brews on tap) to spice up a menu dotted with authentic English pub staples like fish and chips. Hosts frequent daily specials including Pint Night on Thursdays. With a different craft ale featured every week, they pour the pint, you keep the glass. 601 Main St., Covington, Ky.; 275 E. Sharon Road, Glendale; 2645 Erie Ave., Hyde Park; 2801 Vine St., Corryville, cockandbullcincinnati. com.
Cincinnati’s oldest Irish pub. Smithwick’s, Guinness and Killian’s on draft in an unpretentious atmosphere. 958 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, 513-721-7709 and searchable on Facebook.
The Crow’s Nest
One of Cincinnati’s oldest Irish pubs. Established in 1895 by Irish immigrants, this cozy neighborhood dive bar features live music — lots of Bluegrass A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 8 3
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and Americana — cheap drinks, a famous fish sandwich and a patio out back for cornhole and casual conversation. 4544 W. Eighth St., Covedale, cincycrowsnest.com.
Hap’s Irish Pub
Hap’s considers itself the most authentic Irish pub outside of the Emerald Isle; it’s been pouring a perfect pint of Guinness for more than three decades. 3510 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-8716477, searchable on Facebook.
Maloney’s Pub West
A West Side classic that specializes in brews and burgers. 408 Greenwell Ave., Delhi, 513-9223156, searchable on Facebook.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Like a good Irish pub, this place can get rowdy; and like a good community gathering space, it hosts trivia nights, live Irish music and karaoke. For all you soccer fans — futbol, if you’re a traditionalist — enjoy the best Guinness in town while you watch live English Premier League games. 112 E. Fourth St., Covington, Ky., mollymalonesirishpub.com.
Nicholson’s offers one of the best Scotch selections in the city (view their extensive 8 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
single-malt Scotch and whiskey menus online), plus pub food — shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, fish and chips — and servers in kilts. 625 Walnut St., Downtown, nicholsonspub.com.
O’Bryon’s Bar & Grill
Neighborhood bar and grill with two floors and an outdoor patio. Enjoy peanuts — in the shell — while watching one of 14 TVs and explore the regularly rotating draft beer selection. Famous for their Shark Tank novelty cocktail: vodka, Sprite, sour mix and a rubber shark filled with grenadine you pour in yourself; you get to take the shark home. 1998 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, obryonsirishpub. com.
O’Malley’s in the Alley
Cincinnati’s second-oldest bar, this Irish pub calls itself “Downtown Cincinnati’s Traditional Irish Hole in the Wall.” It offers a full menu, happy hour and a great stop before Reds, Cyclones or Bengals games. 25 W. Ogden Place, Downtown, omalleyscincy.com.
The Public House
Bartenders are certified “perfect pint pourers” from the Guinness brewery in Dublin. 3807 North Bend Road, Cheviot, thepublichousecheviot.com.
R.P. McMurphy’s Pub
All-seasons patio with a fire pit, televisions galore and Irish bar-food staples. Live music on the weekends. Mug Club every Wednesday: Buy a $5 mug, get it refilled with $3 premium beer and only $2 for domestics. 2910 Wasson Road, Hyde Park, rpmcmurphyspub.com.
DISTILLERIES Boone County Distilling
A craft bourbon distillery in the northern hills of Kentucky that creates spirits including Eighteen 33 straight bourbon whiskey, a bourbon cream, a 12-year single barrel, Tanner’s Curse bourbon mash whiskey and Tanner’s Curse Rye. Find tour and tasting times online. 10601 Toebben Drive, Boone County, Ky., boonedistilling.com.
New Riff Distilling
This craft distillery, which opened adjacent to the Party Source in 2014, is all about embracing patience and forging their own way: They released their first batch of highlyanticipated bourbon and rye whiskey in fall 2018, made using well water discovered on site. Free tours of the distillery take visitors behind the scenes to see production from grain to barrel, and end in a tasting which includes samples of their
Local Band (Covers)
1. The Rusty Griswolds 2. Naked Karate Girls 3. The Menus
1. Bootsy Collins 2. Kevin Fox 3. Ricky Nye
1. Bunbury Music Festival 2. Northside Rock ‘n Roll Carnival 3. MidPoint Music Festival
1. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade 2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 3. Below Zero Lounge
Bar/Club for Live Music (National Acts)
1. Bogart’s 2. Madison Theater 3. Woodward Theater
Bar/Club for Live Music (Local Bands)
1. MOTR Pub 2. Bogart’s 3. Southgate House Revival
Beer Selection (Draft)
1. Yard House 2. Queen City Exchange 3. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade
bourbon, Kentucky Wild Gin and unaged white dog. Newport Distillery and Event Center, 24 Distillery Way, Bellevue, Ky.; New Riff West Newport Warehouse Campus, 1104 Lowell St., Newport, Ky., newriffdistilling. com.
Northside Distilling Company
This award-winning local distiller started several years ago in a nearly 100-year-old abandoned horse barn in Northside. Now, Northside Distilling Company’s bar on Race Street pays homage to its roots. Reclaimed barn wood decorates the walls of the space, giving it a rustic vibe. Take a seat in the cozy bar and enjoy a selection of cocktails crafted in-house from their spirits: Northside Shine, corn whiskey, bourbon and award-winning vodka. 922 Race St., Dowtown, northsidedistilling.com.
Shumrick & Leys
The founders of this distillery and tasting bar have a history with wine, but now spirits are their specialty. The lineup includes small-batch rum (dark and light), bourbon (finished in wine barrels) and vodka (including a horseradish variety for the spiciest of bloody marys), distilled, bottled and aged in an industrial Norwood building that once held Banasch’s sewing company. 2810 Highland Ave., Norwood, shumrickleys.com.
Second Sight Spirits
An artisan distillery that produces innovative premium unbarreled white rum, spiced rum, bourbon-barreled rum and Villa Hillbillies Moonshine. The tasting room offers samples and tours under the watchful eye of Second Sight’s steam-punkesque copper still that looks like it came straight from the mind of Jules Verne. 301 B. Elm St., Ludlow, Ky., secondsightspirits. com.
A true artisan winery and boutique distillery, Woodstone Creek produces 100-200 cases of wine, mead and distilled spirits yearly. The offerings include dry to sweet wine from Ohio grape varietals, a wide range of mead, five-grain bourbon, single malt whisky (peated and unpeated), rum, gin, bierschnaaps, vodka and more. Sample anything and everything they have available during Saturday tastings. 4712 Vine St., Saint Bernard, woodstonecreek.com.
HOTSPOTS Aster on Fourth
This social sippery is a casual cocktail space above the new downtown location of Sleepy Bee Café. Beverage director Giacomo Ciminello — known as much for his distinctive
handlebar mustache as the boozy milkshakes he has made a staple at Sundry and Vice — worked with Bee chefs to create a menu that brought “the farm to the cocktail world.” Tapping into the latest trend in mixology, there’s also a smattering of nonalcoholic and low ABV cocktails that go beyond soda and virgin mixed drinks to accommodate everyone in your party. Socials — carafes of drinks for sharing with friends old and new — are perfect when imbibed on the rooftop patio. 8 E. Fourth St., Downtown, asteronfourth.com.
There’s local beer and local music at this OTR joint, famous for its rowdy karaoke night. 1150 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, drinkotr.com.
Named for Ohio River flooding, the Hi-Mark — from the groups that brought you cult favorites Eli’s BBQ and Pho Lang Thang — is a laid-back neighborhood hang with a rotating tap list of local, regional and “essential” (read: Budweiser, Guinness, etc.) beers, and interesting hi-balls, like the Horse’s Neck, made with bourbon, bitters and ginger ale. 3229 Riverside Drive, East End, thehimark.com.
Japp’s Since 1879
Craft cocktails inspired by classic recipes from the 1700s to 1950s. Drinks are made with fresh ingredients — homemade syrups, real fruit, liquor from craft distillers — in a historic environment. Named one of Esquire’s 18 best bars in America; the mag recommends “A Cool Jules, a gin-and-port stunner. (Unless it’s Tiki night).” 1136 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/japps1879.
OTR’s izakaya, this Japanese gastropub is notorious for its excellent outdoor space and one of the best happy hours in the city. Starting at 4 p.m., grab $5 specialty cocktails and discounted sushi rolls, among other options, and enjoy them on the giant private patio, featuring string lights, colorful vertical planters and Acapulco lounge chairs. It even has its own outdoor bar, perfect for not moving too far when you want a refill of $4 house sake. 1400 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, kazeotr.com.
Located in a turn-of-the-century building built by brewer Herman Lackman, it serves 14 beers on tap and more than 30 bottles and cans (microbrews, imports and domestics) in a cozy environment. Try the barrel-aged Negroni, with Plymouth gin, Carpano Antica and Campari. 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine,
The OTR version of a dive bar, the menu showcases the life of the owner, Mike Stankovich. Stankovich has a Southern and Italian background — he grew up eating cornbread and rolling out homemade ravioli. Combine that with his experience traveling through Europe and Japan and his stint in New York bartending, and you have Longfellow’s menu. The cool cocktails include selections like the Spruce Goose, with barrelaged gin, honey, lime, bitters and tonic. A fun pay-it-forward menu allows you to buy drinks for friends, strangers and crushes. 1233 Clay St, Over-theRhine, longfellowbar.com.
4EG’s Low Spark offers a chill atmosphere at its squareshaped, theater-in-the-round bar, featuring an aquarium in the center and a slew of comfy button-tufted orange leather bowling-alley-ish chairs. They have everything from $3 Bud to local beers on draft and a fine cocktail list. 15 W. 14th St., Overthe-Rhine, lowsparkbar.com.
This hip hideaway in OTR just got an outdoor overhaul. With a courtyard main entrance tucked away down 15th Street, this destination feels very “in the know.” But the big-ass gravel patio, hanging plants, colorful street-art murals, panoply of rainbow lighting and plethora of communal seating makes this a welcoming hangout for those interested in no-frills drinking, L.A. vibes, vinyl tunes and corndogs. 1429 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ meccaotr.
Warning: Townies and tourists alike have been known to bust a move and seriously enjoy themselves at this establishment. Nestled along Hamilton Avenue’s eclectic assortment of dive bars and record stores sits Mixwells — Northside’s best and only dance club. It’s a neonlit discotheque with rotating DJs and a let-loose, college-basement-party vibe where people be getting wasted, taking selfies in a makeshift photo booth and sweating it out to ’80s tunes. Check the schedule for upcoming themed dance nights, which range from Studio 54 to Darkotica Goth. 4169 Hamilton Ave., Northside, facebook.com/ mixwellsBar.
Myrtle’s Punch House
Non-beer drinkers, rejoice! Myrtle’s focuses on handcrafted punch sold by the bowl, glass or state-of-the-art draft system. The punch features fresh juice,
syrup and in-house infusions. Shareable plates include vegan, vegetarian and carnivorous options. Holding down the corner in East Walnut Hills, right across from Woodburn Brewery, Myrtle’s makes for an easy group bar-hopping destination. There’s also half-price bottles of wine all day Sunday, trivia on Wednesday nights and Highly Improvable Comedy the second and fourth Thursday of the month in the downstairs Rathskeller, among other events. 2733 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills,513-834-8589 and searchable on Facebook.
Nation Kitchen + Bar
The name is a nod to Carrie Nation, the Temperance warrior who destroyed many a saloon window with a hatchet. She was so overwhelmed by the sheer number of Cincinnati bars in the early 1900s, she turned around and left, destroying not a one. Nation pays tribute to the city’s rich social and alcoholic heritage with a burger menu, bottomless brunch and signature cocktails. 1200 Broadway St., Pendleton, nationkitchenandbar.com.
The Overlook Lodge
This The Shining-themed bar features rustic cocktails like the Mr. Torrance and The Writer’s Block that can help guarantee some much-needed play after a hard day’s work. Combine the cozy atmosphere and weekend Bluegrass performances and you’ve got a recipe for a terrifyingly addicting watering hole. 6083 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, thatshiningbar.com.
Located in a historic building in the heart of Columbia Tusculum (Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood), Pearl’s offers a rooftop bar and large outdoor patio for the warmer months and serves classic cocktails, draft beer and small bites. 3520 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum, pearls-cincy.com.
Treehouse Patio Bar
Live entertainment, local brews, and custom-made wooden swings can be found at this patio bar. 1133 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ treehousepatio.
Queen City Radio
The historic Queen City Radio building has been turned into a well-manicured full-service bar and outdoor beer garden. The bar serves 14 rotating taps of local, regional and national beer, canned and bottled brews, wine, a small cocktail program and boozy slushies. Garage doors create indoor/outdoor space, weather permitting, and there’s an on-site food truck with burgers, shakes and chili fries. 222 W.
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AUTHENTIC THAI CUISINE in the heart of Mason
12th St., Over-the-Rhine, qcrbar. com.
When Neons closed in 2016, people were devastated to lose “OTR’s backyard.” Then, 4EG — the entertainment group behind Lackman, Mount Adams Pavilion, Igby’s and more — announced they’d be taking over the space. After some upscale renovations, they reopened as Rosedale in January 2018. They’ve added industrial-farmhouse chandeliers, bold floral wallpaper (perfect for an Instagram photoshoot), leveled out the first floor and added lounge seating. It’s a little more classed up than comfy-old Neons but has retained the former’s focus on craft cocktails… and the giant, dog-friendly patio (now with brand new seating). Sip discount drinks from the monthly $3 menu then grab some grub and support your community at the MORTAR Mess Hall, where food entrepreneurs hone their skills in a professional setting. 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, rosedaleotr.com.
Southwest Porch at Washington Park
When Southwest Airlines took over and rebranded the porch at Washington Park last year, this almost 3,000-square-foot space got a real upgrade. With a Southwest-inspired blueand-white color scheme, the company added carnival-style string lights, patio chairs, a giant chess set, ping-pong tables and cornhole. Add those public party games to the selection of local beer from breweries like Taft’s Ale House, Rhinegeist, Fifty West and Christian Moerlein and you’ve got a space for happy-hour-goers, families and competitive gamers alike. 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.
Sundry and Vice
Apothecary-themed with an extensive and inventive cocktail menu. The drinks — meticulously crafted by be-aproned bartenders — take a little longer to make than usual, but that’s only because they’re so good. 18 W. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, sundryandvice.com.
101 E MAIN ST, MASON, OH 45040 (513) 234-0779 bananaleafmodernthai.com 8 6 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
The neon-lit and uber kawaii Japanese karaoke bar plays off of Lost in Translation by offering seven themed private karaoke rental rooms — with high-tech in-room robot drink delivery via Bbot — a karaoke mainstage, a dance floor and Tiki-style cocktails. Private karaoke rooms go for between $20 and $50 an hour and singers can choose from around 500 popular party hits. It’s a futuristic fantasy land full of “happy fun song time” and shelves of pink wigs. 575
Race St., Downtown, thattokyobar.com.
The Vestry at The Transept
The Transept was built in 1867 and was once the home of St. John Unitarian Church, the first German-American congregation in Cincinnati. Today, it’s a multiroom event center for weddings, meetings and nonprofit banquets. The in-house bar, called Vestry, manages to feel intimate inside the capacious setting. The bar offers 11 beers on tap, mostly local and regional, wine and five signature cocktails. 1205 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thetransept.com.
The Video Archive
Named in honor of the video rental store where director Quentin Tarantino once worked, The Video Archive is a video store that doubles as a speakeasy, like a Blockbuster with a back-alley bar. We won’t tell you which videotape opens the secret door into the Tarantino-themed bar; you need to go to Video Archive and figure it out yourself. The drinks have names like Mr. Pink, the Texas to Tokyo and Five Dollar Shake. 965 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, facebook.com/ videoarchivecincinnati.
ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATIONS Axis Alley
Boutique bowling with lane-side food and beverage service. 1 Levee Way, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., axisalleylevee.com.
Bobby Mackey’s Music World
A classic Honky Tonk with Country music, cowboys and a mechanical bull. If you’re a thrillseeker looking for a little scare, the place is haunted and offers spooky tours. 44 Licking Pike, Wilder, Ky., bobbymackey.com.
Break loose before or after hitting the slots. Jam with the best DJs in the area and shake what your mama gave ya. Hollywood Casino, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., hollywoodindiana.com.
Features national headlining comedians as well as up-andcomers. 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, funnybone.com.
Go Bananas Comedy Club
One of Cincinnati’s premier comedy clubs. See the up-and-comers on Wednesday Pro-Am Nights or come and see your favorite touring comedians. 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
Voted the best bowling alley in the city by CityBeat
TOK YO K IT T Y | PHOTO: H A IL E Y BOLL ING ER
Beer Selection (Bottles/Cans)
1. Dutch’s 2. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade/ The Comet (TIE) 3. Higher Gravity
1. Revel OTR Urban Winery 2. Vinoklet Winery 3. Elk Creek Winery
1. New Riff Distillery 2. Northside Distilling Co. 3. Boone County Distilling Co.
Local Tap Room
1. MadTree Brewing 2. Rhinegeist 3. Braxton Brewing Company
1. Rhinegeist 2. MadTree Brewing 3. Braxton Brewing Company 4. Listermann Brewing Company 5. Brink Brewing Company 6. Mt. Carmel Brewing Company 7. Taft’s Ale House 8. Urban Artifact 9. Fifty West Brewing Company 10. Nine Giant Brewing
readers. This historic alley is open until 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 24 hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The in-house Madison Diner is a quaint Atomic Era throwback. 4671 Madison Road, Madisonville, madibowl.com.
A classic family-owned bowling alley near Xavier University. Open until 11 p.m. or later Monday through Saturday. Join the Can Club and get a Stone Lanes growler can for $6, which you can refill with Miller Lite at the alley for $2.95 anytime. 3746 Montgomery Road, Norwood, stonelanes.com.
Hit a microchipped golf ball into colorful targets to score points. This chain of driving ranges brings golf out of the country club and into the public as a space to practice your swing, grab a bite to eat or even watch the sun go down over West Chester on a rooftop patio. 9568 Waterfront Drive, West Chester, topgolf.com.
Western Bowl Strike & Spare
A family fun center with 68 lanes of bowling, a state-of-theart scoring system and glow bowling on Friday nights. 6383 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, westernbowl.strikeandspare.com.
GERMAN BIERGARTENS Hofbräuhaus
Beers brewed on-site in the Munich tradition (under the license and supervision of Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München), with a keg tapping of seasonal brews the final Wednesday of each month. Buy a liter of beer and keep the stein for $10. 200 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., hofbrauhausnewport.com.
Kreimer’s Bier Haus
Located in the backyard of Kreimer’s Bier Haus, this Bavarian biergarten on the Great Miami River has three decks, fire pits and a ton of Black Forestinspired wood features, from picnic seating to a whimsical cuckoo-clock-looking German grill house, which serves snacks like sauerkraut balls, pretzel bread, bier cheese and plenty of meaty metts. 6052 State Route 128, Cleves, bierhauswest.net.
Oktoberfest all year long. Wash down your triple-goettawurst and spaetzle with a 1-liter glass boot of doppelbock or hefeweizen in the grape vine-laden outdoor biergarten. Wednesday night, the garden offers quarter flip specials: The bartender flips a coin and you call heads or tails while it’s in the air. If you guess right, you
pay 25 cents for a half-liter beer. 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, mecklenburgs.com.
Rhineland ambiance with wooden picnic tables and German signage. Food options include giant pretzels, sauerkraut, sausage and doner kabobs, one of Germany’s favorite street-food dishes. Beer choices abound with German staples such as Franziskaner and Warsteiner. 1132 Lee St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ wunderbar.covington.3.
HOTEL BARS The Bar at Palm Court
This lobby-level bar with French Art Deco décor in the historic Hilton Netherland Plaza is like stepping into an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Sidle up to the bar — if you’re lucky enough to find a stool — and peruse the drink menu, which offers classic cocktails like the Chef’s Old Fashioned and the NP, a bestof-both-worlds cocktail that pairs bourbon with something bubbly. Named after the Netherland Plaza, the cocktail features Four Roses yellow label bourbon, lemon, ginger, bitters and sparkling wine. It’s light, refreshing and still packs a boozy kick. Go during happy hour 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 8 7
BELOW ZERO LOUNGE | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
and grab a plate of discounted light bites to accompany your cocktail, or Friday and Saturday night for live Jazz. 35 W. Fifth St., Downtown, orchidsatpalmcourt. com.
Coppin’s at Hotel Covington
Located in the center of Hotel Covington’s dining atrium, with floor-to-ceiling windows and al fresco courtyard, Coppin’s restaurant offers a seasonal menu of comfortable Kentucky cuisine plus local beer, wine, cider and craft cocktails. The Run for the Roses features Four Roses bourbon, lemon demerara, crème de flora and birch bitters, while the simpler Bluegrass Tonic features Watershed gin or vodka with tailor-made Covington tonic. 638 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., hotelcovington.com.
Housed in the 21c Museum Hotel, the Metropole is a restaurant and lounge with craft beers on tap, clever cocktails and a smart selection of old- and new-world wines. Or take a secret elevator up 11 floors to the roof for the hotel’s cocktail terrace, open seasonally and weather permitting. The hip 75-seat oasis has cushy patio furniture, tableside service and glass partitions for full views of 8 8 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
downtown’s glowing nighttime cityscape. The terrace is known for its boozy slushies and pop-tails, aka cocktails with a submerged flavored ice pop. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com.
The Phelps/Top of the Park
Both located in the Residence Inn Marriott. The Phelps is a hidden oasis in the city — a tapas bar featuring small bites, wine and hand-crafted cocktails. On the roof, the Top of the Park features unparalleled views of Lytle Park, downtown Cincinnati, the Ohio River and Mount Adams. Open to the public select evenings. 506 E. Fourth St., Downtown, topoftheparkcincinnati.com.
Southerby’s at Mariemont Inn
If you feel like escaping to the suburbs, the historic Mariemont Inn’s Southerby’s bar is a lobby-level drinking destination worth exploring. With the same hunting-lodge-meets-Englishmanor ambiance as the hotel, this small pub features a food menu of shareable snacks and chef-crafted cuisine from the in-house National Exemplar restaurant, plus craft beer, seasonal cocktails and wines by the glass or bottle. 6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, nationalexemplar. com.
The Symphony Hotel
This hotel is a quiet spot for a cocktail or glass of wine near Music Hall, Memorial Hall and Washington Park. The historic bed-and-breakfast — housed in a restored 1871 mansion — offers nine rooms named after famous composers, a fivecourse pre-concert dinner in the onsite restaurant and a tasting room bar with a nice selection of bourbon. Only open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, this hidden gem also features live Jazz. 210 W. 14th St., Over-the-Rhine, symphonyhotel.com.
The Upper Deck at AC Hotel
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.
1. Bakersfield 2. Cancun Mexican Restaurant 3. Nada
1. Hotel Covington 2. Japp’s Since 1879 3. Bonefish Grill
1. Hang Over Easy 2. The Eagle 3. Crazy Fox Saloon
Bourbon Selection (Bar)
1. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar 2. Wiseguy Lounge 3. Newberry Bros. Prohibition Bourbon Bar
Bourbon Selection (Retail)
1. The Party Source 2. Jungle Jim’s International Market 3. DEP’s Fine Wine & Spirits
1. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar 2. Wiseguy Lounge 3. Japp’s Since 1879
1. Madison Bowl 2. Western Bowl 3. Axis alley
LGBTQ BARS Below Zero Lounge
OTR’s hip nightclub has one of the area’s largest vodka collections — more than 100 varieties (some dispensed at 6 degrees Fahrenheit) — with Martini Madness on Wednesdays. Karaoke on Thursdays lets you be the star. The Cabaret club upstairs features fantastic drag shows on Saturdays. 1120 Walnut St., Over-theRhine, belowzerolounge.com, cabaretcincinnati.com.
The Birdcage, “an upscale LGBTQ nightclub and lounge,” features cocktails that are named for tropical birds, featuring “fresh juices and unique spirits.” You’ll get more than a simple lemon twist with that, too — drinks are garnished with candied fruit and lollipops made by local candy makers Minges. 927 Race St., Downtown, thebirdcagecincinnati.com.
Crazy Fox Saloon
Drink specials, smoke-free interior, pinball, darts, trivia, pool, TVs, off-street parking and an assortment of absinthe. Dogfriendly. 901 Washington Ave., Newport, Ky., 859-261-2143 and searchable on Facebook.
A dive bar with Thursday night drag shows. 835 Main St., Downtown, facebook.com/ maineventcincinnati.
A mixed crowd of beer drinkers and regulars at this gay-friendly bar. Pool, shuffleboard, pitcher specials, live music and more. 643 Bakewell St., Covington, Ky., rosiestavernky.com.
Named after a famous circus elephant who paraded the streets of Northside in John Robinson’s Circus in the early 20th century, Tillie’s is a plush champagne bar with lounge décor. 4042 Hamilton Ave., Northside, tillieslounge.com.
LIVE MUSIC BARS The Blind Lemon
Mount Adams’ favorite backyard bar since 1963. Walk down a set of stairs to find a secret, little hideaway. Inside, the cozy walls are lined with eclectic paraphernalia. Outside, the relaxed patio is incredibly popular in the warmer months. Live music almost every night. 936 Hatch St., Mount Adams, theblindlemon.com.
Corryville/Live Nation’s premier live music venue featuring local, national and international acts, plus six bars. 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.
Eclectic neighborhood bar and big-ass burrito joint with more than 150 beers, homemade ginger ale, live music, art exhibits and one of the best jukeboxes in town. The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars play every Sunday. Kitchen menu served until 1 a.m. daily. 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, cometbar.com.
Dee Felice Café
Jazz, Swing and the food of the French Quarter. A credit to the notion that Cincinnati is as far as one can be North while still being South. 529 Main St., Covington, Ky., deefelicecafe.com.
Walnut Hills’ answer to Greenwich Village. Features a combination of Jazz, Spoken Word and Hip Hop. 2442 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, the-greenwich.com.
In its 100-year history, the Ludlow Garage has been everything from an auto repair shop and parking garage to a shopping mall and pizzeria, but it’s most well known for its legacy as a music venue from 1969 to 1971. New owners have revamped the venue and reclaimed its music history; it’s once again a concert hall welcoming national touring acts for intimate concerts. 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, ludlowgaragecincinnati.com.
Mansion Hill Tavern
Come for the excellent Blues and troll dolls, stay for the casual bar fare, extensive beer selection and live music. 502 Washington Ave., Newport, Ky., mansionhilltavern.tripod.com.
Hosts some of the best live shows in the city, highlighting local and touring Indie, Rock and Folk acts — all without a cover. Also boasts a nice bar menu, patio, spoken-word nights and sketch comedy. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.
- You guys
A laid-back neighborhood drinking destination, with a front bar, back bar and huge patio. Free live music almost every night of the week, including live band karaoke. Not uncommon for happy hour here to last far into the night. 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav.com.
Northside Yacht Club
A loosely nautically themed Rock club from two local music veterans. The mixology is masterful, made with fresh juice, fruit and herbal garnish. Tropical-themed drinks are served in Tiki glasses and the bar-food menu features satisfying items like house-smoked wings and vegan lentil chili fries. 4231
Thank you for voting us best local winery, 2nd best new bar/club and 3rd best wine bar. congratulations to all of this year’s winners. collectively, we are WHat makes cincinnati ‘The Best’.
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“I love slow rambling from our side of the river in Covington on foot on a Sunday. Working our way from coffee and the crossword at Cheapside or Lil’s Bagel’s patio to the Contemporary Arts Center and then posting up for an afternoon cocktail at Longfellow or Aster. Coffee, walk a while, museum, walk a while, cocktail, walk a while — what’s better?” —Hannah Lowen Vice President of Operations, New Riff Distilling
Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com.
Columbia Tusculum, facebook. com/stanleys.pub.
The Tin Roof
Pianist Ed Moss is a Cincinnati Jazz legend for his musical achievements, but he was also beloved for his low-key venue, which was written about as one of the area’s “Best Kept Secrets” so often, it wasn’t really a secret anymore, particularly among the city’s Jazz players. When Moss passed away in 2016, his daughter, Zarleen Watts, decided to honor her father by keeping his passion project going. The club reopened in 2017, retaining the eccentric character and regular Jazz performances (by a who’s who of the Cincinnati scene) that were a part of Moss’ vision, but modernizing it a bit and adding a new drink menu. 1901 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, thepoint.club.
The Southgate House Revival
New location for an old favorite. Live music from a variety of genres several nights a week. 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com.
A favorite spot for live, eclectic tunes along the river. Local and out-of-town bands with cheap drinks make Stanley’s an area favorite. A big place for Jamgrass. 323 Stanley Ave.,
A live music joint chain from Nashville. 160 E. Freedom Way, Downtown, tinroofcincinnati.com.
Live music with ballroom and swing dancing. 9980 Kings Automall Drive, Mason, thevenuecincinnati.com.
The owners of popular Overthe-Rhine music club MOTR Pub took over the 100-year-old building across the street from the club and turned it into the beautiful Woodward Theater. Hosts local and national touring acts. 1404 Main St., Over-theRhine, woodwardtheater.com.
NEIGHBORHOOD BARS & PUBS Animations Lounge
A pool bar with drink specials. 3059 Madison Road, Oakley, facebook.com/animations.oakley.
The Gaslight District’s neighborhood pub for the thinking man or woman. Have a beer on the back patio or enjoy live music and bar food. 307 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, facebook.com/arlinsbar.
Arnold’s Bar & Grill
A friendly, diverse and historic gin joint, Arnold’s is the city’s oldest bar — since the 1830s. Arnold’s draws folks for its food, live music (lots of Americana and Bluegrass), local brews and casual atmosphere. Named as one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine. Friendly service, cheap drinks, awesome courtyard (used to be a stable and carriage house) and a bathtub that was once reputedly used for making bathtub gin. 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.
Arthur’s, located in both Hyde Park and Anderson, is a favorite neighborhood tavern. If you’re looking for more than just a beer and the average pub fare, this is the right place. Let burger madness ensue — $8.99 for any burger with your choice of toppings on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The tap features only local beers. 3516 Edwards Road, Hyde Park; 8221 Beechmont Ave., Anderson, arthurscincinnati.com.
Back Porch Saloon
PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Open since 1972, this casual spot serves up lunch and dinner with a focus on fun; their motto is, “It’s more fun to eat in a saloon than drink in a restaurant.” Find burgers, ribs, tons of TVs, cornhole, a Tiki bar and seasonal sand volleyball leagues. 9626 Princeton-Glendale Road, West Chester, back-porch-saloon.net. 9 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Bay Horse Café
The historic Bay Horse Café, with roots dating back to 1817, reopened in 2017. The $4, 25-ounce Hudepohl schooners, $6 cocktails and draft beer mark it as an affordable, laid-back hangout. 625 Main St., Downtown, facebook.com/ bayhorsecafe.
A Walnut Hills institution since 1978 with funky décor, friendly people, good burgers and cheap drinks. 1047 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, brewhouse.com.
A neighborhood nightclub with themed nights, an event space, a large venue hall for live music, drink specials and more. Now offers an in-house pizza parlor. 4114 Hamilton Ave., Northside, chameleon-northside.com.
Chapter Mount Adams
Chapter features live music, outdoor seating and a menu that includes brunch. 940 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, mtadamschapter. com.
City View Tavern
A fine neighborhood bar offering panoramic vistas of our fair metropolis, along with burgers, soups, sandwiches and a spicy bloody mary. 403 Oregon St., Mount Adams, facebook.com/ cityviewtavern.
Dean’s Hops & Vines
Sports bars and “Lite” beer populate the West Side, but Dean’s Hops & Vines serves craft beer, great bourbons, wines and small bites in the heart of Cheviot. 3722 Harrison Ave., Cheviot, facebook.com/deanshv.
A former pony keg turned artisan bottle shop and larder. They have the largest selection of refrigerated beer in the region, more than 200 wines for carryout or to enjoy at the bar, freshly butchered meats and farmstead cheeses, with a backyard patio, bocce court and relaxed atmosphere. 3378 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, dutchscincinnati.com.
Edge Inn Tavern
If you’re a dive bar fan and looking to ditch the chains around the Rookwood area, this is your place. Super-cheap drinks. 3935 Edwards Road, Norwood, facebook.com/edgeinntavern.
Known colloquially as “The E” for its unassuming local flavor. 2900 Wasson Road, Hyde Park, 513-631-9000, searchable on Facebook.
With a welcoming, dog-friendly atmosphere, Gypsy’s is perhaps most well known for their fully stocked bar and large craft beer selection on draft or in bottles
NOW OPEN: MAIN STREET OTR!
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H I G H TA I L M O U N T A D A M S | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
1. JACK Cincinnati Casino 2. Hollywood Casino 3. Belterra Casino Resort & Spa
1. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant 2. Nicholson’s 3. The Pub at Rookwood Mews
1. Sundry and Vice 2. Japp’s Since 1879 3. Wiseguy Lounge
1. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade 2. Uncle Woody’s Pub 3. Murphy’s Pub
1. Below Zero Lounge 2. Crazy Fox Saloon 3. Rosie’s Tavern
1. Go Bananas Comedy Club 2. Liberty Funny Bone 3. MOTR Pub
1. DJ Mowgli 2. DJ Etrayn 3. DJ Chinn Chilla
and cans. Watch your favorite game on one of several TVs or enjoy their back patio equipped with fire pits and giant Jenga. 641 Main St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/gypsyscovington.
There’s nothing quite like a big plate of Habits’ “potato rags” (hash browns on steroids) to complement a craft beer or three. Home to weekly open mic nights, live music, almost 90 bottled beers and possibly a ghost. 3036 Madison Road, Oakley, habitscafe.com.
While not exactly a bar, you can fill a growler with local beers and hard-to-find crafts in this OTR store or at the walk-up window to go. Or even enjoy your beer inside, sitting at one of HalfCut’s tables. 1126 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook. com/halfcutotr.
A bar and bottle shop with more than 400-plus rotating beer selections, 100 wines and a cool garage door that turns the bar indoor-outdoor. Has free internet and is both kid and pet friendly. 4106 Hamilton Ave., Northside, highergravitycrafthaus.com.
Hightail Mount Adams
This hillside watering hole, inspired by mid-19th-century whaling clubs in New England, brings a warm welcome to everyone who walks in the door. With an enormous selection of bourbons and beer, this is a perfect place to whet your whistle. 941 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, hightailmtadams.com.
The Hub OTR
Celebrating Cincinnati’s urban bike culture and cycling activism, The Hub OTR services bikes by day and slings beer and cocktails at night. 1209 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ thehubotr.
Northern Kentucky’s “strip club” scene’s loss was the area’s classy cocktail lounge scene’s gain with the opening of Covington’s The Globe. The former Club Venus sign is still outside, but little else remains from the structure’s days as a non-nude strip joint. The slick modern bar serves high-end cocktails inspired by Prohibition-era classics, as well as regional craft beers and spirits. 12 E. Fith St., Covington, Ky., theglobecov.com.
Incline Public House
Sitting high atop the nowdefunct Price Hill incline, the Incline Public House offers
brick-oven dishes, craft beers with a focus on local craft breweries (featuring meet-the-brewer evenings) and a panoramic view of the Ohio River and downtown. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, inclinepublichouse.com.
A West Side Rock club and Tiki bar. There’s live music on weekends, karaoke on Tuesdays and leagues for sand volleyball in the summer and pool and darts the rest of the year. 6947 Cheviot Road, Cheviot, knottypinerocks. com.
Madonna’s Bar and Grill
Cozy dive bar with a pool table and jukebox, friendly bartenders and a great BLT. 11 E. Seventh St., Downtown, facebook.com/ madonnasbarandgrill.
MainStrasse Village Pub
The microbrew mecca of MainStrasse Village — 200 different, constantly changing bottled brews. No beers on draft, but there’s happy hour all day Sunday. 619 Main St., Covington, Ky., mainstrassevillagepub.com.
Marty’s Hops & Vines
A bottle shop and bar in a restored 1920s building in College Hill. Marty’s Hops & Vines offers fine wine, craft beer and small plates and pizza, A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 9 3
SECOND PL ACE | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
along with a rotating weekly event schedule featuring deals, tastings and live music. 6110 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, martys-hopsandvines.com.
Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern
Prospect Hill’s neighborhood joint is chatty, diverse and full of character. A great place to have beer, relax and chat it up with the regulars. 301 Milton St., Liberty Hill, facebook.com/ miltonstheprospecthilltavern.
Mount Adams Bar & Grill
Once a speakeasy, today it is one of the city’s most picturesque taverns with lots of wood grain, class and photos of famous patrons. 938 Hatch St., Mount Adams, mtadamsbarandgrill.com.
Oakley Pub & Grill
Trivia Night Tuesdays are wildly popular, and regulars swear by the fish tacos (only $7.95 Fridays). Food specials nightly. 3924 Isabella Ave., Oakley, oakleypubandgrill.com.
The Oak Tavern
Catch your sports obsessions at this beloved local drinkery on multiple TVs. Live bands, patio and food. 3089 Madison Road, Oakley, oaktavernoakley.com.
The Pony OTR
By the looks of it, you’d think The Pony has been around for 9 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
decades with its honeycomb tile floors, low-hanging green bar lamps and a glowing neon sign luring you in for an Old Fashioned. Turns out the excellently comfortable dive-bar décor is the machination of hipsters, and we’re not at all mad about it. It’s Main Street’s neighborhood bar where you’ll run into a nice cross section of OTR visitors and residents here for a drink, to escape from the nightlife chaos of Vine Street or to watch assorted sports on TV. 1346 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, searchable on Facebook.
Massive double deckers, an enthusiastic sports scene, spirits and fun. Either catch a live band or show everyone your own skills on the karaoke machine. 7201 Montgomery Road, Silverton, silvertoncafe.com.
The Strasse Haus
Serving up bar food and German fare with an outdoor patio and live music for more than 20 years. 630 Main St., Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.
A historic neighborhood watering hole in the heart of Montgomery. There is something to do at VT every night: trivia, karaoke, bands and DJs. 9390 Montgomery Road,
Montgomery, thevillage-tavern. com.
Yesterday’s Old Time Saloon
A no-frills dive bar with free popcorn. 930 Hatch St., Mount Adams, facebook.com/ yesterdayssaloon.
Since 1926, Zip’s has served up some of Cincinnati’s best hamburgers, including the Girth Burger — a Zip burger with a split grilled mettwurst on top. The bar is housed in an old Prohibition-era “Code Room.” 1036 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, zipscafe.com.
NIGHTCLUBS/LOUNGES Bromwells HÄRTH Lounge
Opened in 1819, Bromwell’s is the oldest business in Cincinnati. The next-door Bromwell’shelmed bar is a lovely and comfortable piano bar, open to the public Wednesday through Saturday (available other days for private rentals). 125 W. Fourth St., Downtown, bromwellsharthlounge.com.
Laser lights, DJs and a dress code. 700 W. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, energycincy.com.
Mount Lookout’s sister bar to Mount Lookout Tavern. Live
Happy Hour (Food)
1. Bar Louie 2. Bakersfield 3. Kaze
Happy Hour (Drinks)
1. Queen City Exchange 2. Bar Louie 3. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade
1. Below Zero Lounge 2. Boogie Nights 3. Mount Adams Pavilion
1. Rhinegeist 2. 21c Cocktail Terrace 3. Top of the Park at The Phelps
Open Mic Night
1. Go Bananas 2. MOTR Pub 3. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Place to Throw Darts
1. Hap’s Irish Pub 2. Murphy’s Pub 3. Crazy Fox Saloon
1. Northside Tavern 2. Tostados Grill 3. Below Zero Lounge
Place to Shoot Pool
1. Animations 2. MainStrasse Village Pub 3. Northside Tavern
music and frequent parties plus sports on TV and food deals daily. 3210 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, millions-cafe.com.
has volleyball and trivia. 479 Orphanage Road, Fort Wright, Ky., dickmannscafe.com.
An old-school burger joint meets up with a modern sports bar, and Flipdaddy’s is born. Hear some live music, watch the game or just enjoy some delicious burgers and beer. Multiple locations including 12071 Mason Montgomery Road, Symmes Township; 7453 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, flipdaddys.com.
An island-themed oasis offering Jell-O shots from a giant, plastic syringe. During college and NFL football, find beer bucket specials. 1104 St. Gregory St., Mount Adams, monkscove.com.
Mount Adams Pavilion
A multi-level nightclub and lounge with four patio decks, city views and VIP table service. DJs and live music every night. 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, mountadamspavilion.com.
Mount Lookout Tavern
A nightlife staple and sports bar. Goes by MLTs. Food menu features tacos, apps, wings, wraps and burgers. 3209 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, mtlookouttavern.com.
The Righteous Room
A bar and lounge that caters to the YP crowd as well as arts patrons (it’s directly across from the Aronoff) and after-dinner drinkers. 641 Walnut St., Downtown, therighteousroom.com.
Scene Ultra Lounge
An ultra sleek lounge with a long bar and plenty of space to see and be seen. 637 Walnut St., Downtown, scenecinci.com.
SPORTS BARS Beer Sellar
The Beer Sellar barge offers 63 taps and live music with a scenic view of downtown — literally on the Ohio River. And you can’t beat the $5 round-trip water taxi for all home Bengals and Reds games. 301 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., facebook.com/ thebeersellar.
The Blind Pig
Located between the heart of downtown and The Banks, with a huge patio featuring a view of the riverfront, stadiums and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The tap features 20 ever-changing brews, a simple food menu and eight big-screen TVs. 24 W. Third St., Downtown, blindpigcincy.com.
Drink specials daily with nice, fried bar bites, like Gator Balls — chicken breast wedges wrapped in bacon, stuffed with cheese and peppers and served with ranch. Tons of TVs playing sports and UFC to watch while imbibing pitchers of Long Islands in five different flavors: red, blue, orange, green and purple. 1 Levee Way, Newport, Ky., brothersbar.com.
Dickmann’s Sports Café
“Great grub, cold beer and a place to cheer.” A sports bar on steroids. Not only are the sports on TV, Dickmann’s also
Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beers
Game Time Sports Bar & Grill
Offers sand volleyball leagues, 20 premium craft beers, 20 gourmet burgers, steel-tip darts, cornhole, pool, shuffleboard and more in multiple locations. 3613 Harrison Ave., Cheviot; 136 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., gametime2012.com.
Holy Grail Tavern & Grille
Within 100 yards of Great American Ball Park you can chug a beer and get to the game almost as fast as “Neon” Deion could steal second, third and home. Features 31 TVs so you won’t miss a dunk, goal, run or touchdown. The Delhi option offers similar atmosphere on the West Side. 161 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, holygrailcincy.com.
House of Orange Sports Bar & Grill
A family-friendly sports bar and pub devoted to the Cincinnati Dutch Lions, a local amateur soccer club. The club’s logo and shield are proudly displayed on the building exterior, while inside almost 50 TVs offer all the sports you can handle. Pub grub includes a handful of Dutch-inspired appetizers, wings and burgers. 433 Johnson St., Covington, Ky., houseoforangesportsbarandgrill. com.
Craft beers, a ton of tequila and nachos done up with any variety of meat. Wings go from spicy to dry-rubbed and there are plenty of tacos on the menu. Find weekly trivia, a large patio and draft deals. 101 E. Freedom Way, The Banks, Downtown, jeffersonsocial.com.
Part neighborhood hangout, part sports bar, part destination for hungry individuals looking for delicious smoked wings (featured on the Travel Channel), Knockback Nat’s has a little something for everyone. And there are always sports on TV. 10 W. Seventh St., Downtown, 513-621-1000 and searchable on Facebook.
Martino’s on Vine
An Italian-American restaurant on Short Vine that doubles as a Steelers bar. 2618 Vine St., Corryville, martinosonvine.com.
MVP Sports Bar & Grill
Full menu, live music, free Wi-Fi, DirecTV with NFL Sunday Ticket. 6923 Plainfield Road, Silverton, mymvpsportsbarandgrille.com.
Drink specials, ladies night, giant margaritas, beer buckets and Bengals Mania. Also has a pool table and outdoor patio. 424 W. Sixth St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/pachinko.bar.9.
The Pirate’s Den Bar and Grill
Sports bar, nightclub, pub and eatery with live music and a VIP room. 3670 Werk Road, Suite 6, Bridgetown, piratesdencincy. com.
Houses more than 12 TVs, 16 occasionally rotating taps and channels/packages like NFL Sunday Ticket and FOX Soccer Channel. Shots are named after rhinos, like the Fresh Rhino, with cucumber vodka, watermelon schnapps and Sprite. 119 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinehausbar.com.
Catch the game and enjoy a selection of booze on tap, bottled, canned and a few (kind of) fancy cocktails. This bar boasts a pool table, courtyard, board games darts, a carry-in menu from The Littlefield and early morning soccer. What else? Free popcorn. 3936 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, secondplacebar.com.
Just a stone’s throw away from Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium, this 3,000-square-foot bar features a cozy patio and chill interior. Catch up on the game and sip from one of their 12 beers on draft, eight cocktails or four wines on tap. Every seventh inning stretch when the Reds are at home, enjoy $1 shots and $1 Bud Light for seven minutes. 191 East Freedom Way, Downtown, thestretchcincy.com.
Tavern on the Hill
Sports bar and tavern with late-night food. Carries the NFL, MLB and NCAA March Madness TV packages. Late night pizza by the slice is served after 10 p.m. 1111 St. Gregory St., Mount Adams, mtadamstavernonthehill. com.
A third-generation familyowned and -operated bar in the heart of downtown. Just one block north of Paul Brown Stadium, it’s also basically a Bengals bar. Stop in before games or watch them on one of their 13 TVs. 350 W. Fourth St., Downtown, tinasbar.com.
WINE BARS/ WINERIES 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab
This OTR spot is an eclectic coffee shop by day and wine bar by night. Try the wine flights, which double as both alcohol and a game. Three different wines are served in numbered glasses; use the tasting notes from the menu and blindly identify which is which. See if you’re correct on a provided card. 1215 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 1215vine.com.
Crafts & Vines
A great wine and beer store. The shop has more than a dozen different beers and wines on draft, and all of the beer is from Kentucky and Cincinnati. It also features Mash Cult beers, making it one of the only places in the area to pour their drafts. 642 Main St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ craftsandVines.
Elk Creek Vineyards
The largest winery in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Award-winning wines are produced and bottled on-site, where there is a deli, art gallery, cooking classes and nearby Elk Creek shooting range. 150 Highway 330, Owenton, Ky., elkcreekvineyards.com.
Wine and dine the old-fashioned way, with both food and grapes processed in-house. This familyowned and -operated urban winery was considered one of the 10 best in the country by Food Republic. 3077 Harrison Ave., Westwood, henkewine. com.
Liberty’s Bar & Bottle
Though it is much more wine bar than neighborhood corner store, Liberty’s offers the best of both worlds with 20 rotating craft beers on tap and 15 wines available by the glass — including half-pours — along with 60 bottles of wine and 40 more craft beers in its retail selection. 1427 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, searchable on Facebook.
A craft beer and wine shop in Northside that offers a casual drinking environment as well as great carry-out options. 4124 Hamilton Ave., Northside, listingloon.com.
Since 1963, this has been a family-owned and -operated wine and craft beer merchant in Clifton’s Gaslight District. Tastings Friday and Saturday nights. 343 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, ludlowwines.com.
A wine and beer shop at Findlay Market that offers six taps of craft beer, wine by the glass after 4 p.m. on weekdays A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 9 5
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1. Mount Lookout Tavern 2. Queen City Exchange 3. Northside Yacht Club
1. Coppin’s (Hotel Covington) 2. Metropole (21c Museum Hotel) 3. Orchids at Palm Court (Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza)
1. 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab 2. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant 3. Revel OTR Urban Winery
1. The Comet 2. Anchor Grill 3. MOTR Pub
No-Frills Watering Hole
1. Arnold’s Bar and Grill 2. Blind Lemon 3. The Comet
Place to Drink While You Wait for a Table 1. Taft’s Ale House 2. 16-Bit Bar+Arcade 3. The Lackman
(and after noon on Friday and weekends) and popular weekend wine tastings. Findlay Market, 128 W. Elder St., Overthe-Rhine, market-wines.com.
Meier’s Wine Cellars
Ohio’s oldest and largest winery producing wine and juices from Native American grape varieties. 6955 Plainfield Road, Silverton, meierswinecellars.com.
Oakley Wines started as a boutique bottle shop just off the main drag in Oakley. And then it became more than a neighborhood hang when upward of 100 people started stopping in for Friday-night wine tastings. So, expanding with demand, they revamped the basement transformed into The Cellar bar. The subterranean bar features a full drink list, with wine and beer on tap, and upscale snacks. Recently taken over by the owners of The Rhined cheeseshop, expect some new events, some cheese wines to pop up. 4011 Allston St., Oakley, oakleywines.com.
Revel OTR Urban Winery
Boutique winery and event space specializing in promoting local, regional and familyowned wineries. Revel makes it own small-batch house wine, 44 barrels at a time, and serves it in
juice glasses. Also carries cool and fun wine cocktails, like a fizzy mojito made with prosecco and a Manhattan featuring malbec and brandy. 111 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, revelotr.com.
The Skeleton Root
A working winery and event space in OTR that pays homage to Cincinnati’s wine history by producing heritage and French and European style wines, crushed and aged on site. Wines are produced in-house with minimal intervention, showcasing the terroir of the fruit in bottles of red, white and even rosé wine. The tasting room, with its beautiful illustration of grape harvesters on a Cincinnati hillside, is a perfect backdrop for happy hour and rotating live music, food and yoga events. 38 W. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine, skeletonroot.com.
Somm Wine Bar
This worthy wine destination is in the Incline District in Price Hill. Somm Wine Bar offers a large patio with tables and lounge chairs, live music on Fridays and weekday specials. You’ll find a lot of food choices — from the light fare you expect at a wine bar to several more substantial entrées. 3105 Price Ave., East Price Hill,
Small family winery featuring a farmhouse tasting room. Part of the Back Roads Wine Trail. 6570 Vineyard Lane, Camp Springs, Ky., stonebrookwinery.com.
Unwind Wine Bar
California-style wine bar in the heart of Hyde Park with a full vegetarian and vegan-friendly snack menu. 3435 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, unwindhydepark.com.
Award-winning, estate-grown table and dessert wines since 1970. Also home to Cellar Dweller brewery. 2276 E. U.S. 22, Morrow, valleyvineyards.com.
A storefront tasting room for Verona Vineyards wines in historic Rabbit Hash. 13815 Walton Verona Road, Verona, Ky.; 10021 Lower River Road, Rabbit Hash, Ky., veronavineyards.com.
Thirty acres of picturesque rolling hills and ponds in the only working winery with a vineyard in Hamilton County. Also home of Vinoklet Restaurant. 11069 Colerain Ave., Bevis, vinokletwines.com.
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A 500-foot-long replica of the biblical Noah’s massive wooden boat built far, far away from any significant body of water. Helmed by Answers in Genesis, the same people who run the Creation Museum, it’s as much a theme park as it is an attempt by Evangelicals to prove that one man really could build a giant boat and fill it with every type of animal out there. Bonus: There’s also a zipline, buffet dining and the Ararat Ridge Zoo, with camels and kangaroos. Open daily. Admission fee. 1 Ark Encounter Drive, Williamstown, Ky., arkencounter.com.
The Beach Waterpark
Thirty-five acres of real sand, real waves and real cocktails. A tropical getaway with a chill lazy river, cabana rentals, wild waterslides — like the fivestory free-fall The Cliff — and sand volleyball. Open MaySeptember. Admission/parking fees. 2590 Waterpark Drive, Mason, thebeachwaterpark.com.
In operation since the 1880s, this historic amusement park is home to classic rides — bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, a wooden roller coaster and grand carousel — an old-fashioned arcade, live shows, familyfriendly fests and Sunlite Water Adventure. Take a canoe or paddle boat out on Lake Como or dance under the starts at Moonlite Garden. The dazzling Christmas Nights of Lights drive-through display takes over during the holiday season. Open May-Jan. 1. Admission/ parking fees. 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.
The largest amusement park and waterpark in the Midwest. There are thrill rides — like Mystic Timbers with 16 airtime moments and a mystery shed ending; the Invertigo faceto-face inverted coaster; and the Beast, the world’s longest wooden roller coaster — family rides (like a one-third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower), daily live shows, Soak City Waterpark, the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur park and lots of traditional carnival games. The popular WinterFest returns with holiday displays and ice skating in November 2018. Open AprilDecember. Admission/parking fees. 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, visitkingsisland.com.
A family-owned and -operated private amusement park. Features nostalgic rides, mini golf, an arcade and a pair of hand-built wooden roller coasters — The Tornado
and The Teddy Bear — both constructed by late owner Ralph Stricker, the only person in the United States to ever build his own coaster. The park is open only a handful of days per year, including Fourth of July and Labor Day. Open to the public four times a year; available for private rental. Admission/parking fees. 11490 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, strickersgrove.com.
CASINOS/GAMING Arcade Legacy
A classic arcade with 7,600 square feet of arcade games and pinball cabinets and a console area with stations to play everything from NES and PS4 to Atari. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission fee. Cincinnati Mall, 662 Cincinnati Mills Drive, Forest Park, arcadelegacyohio.com.
Belterra Casino Resort
This eastern Indiana casino and resort offers a spa, golf course and live entertainment in addition to slot machines, table games and daily poker tournaments. Open 24/7. Free admission. 777 Belterra Drive, Florence, Ind., belterracasino. com.
Belterra Park Gaming
Originally opened in 1925, the racetrack features live thoroughbred racing (AprilOctober) plus simulcasting, 24/7 gaming, live entertainment and multiple dining options. Check website for live racing schedule; simulcasting year-round. Free admission. 6301 Kellogg Road, California, belterrapark.com.
Cincinnati Escape Room
Once you arrive, you’ll receive a mission to be a completed in a themed, locked room, including 221B Baker Street and Prison Break. Solve puzzles and hidden clues to escape. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 2300 Montana Ave., Suite 420, Westwood, cincinnatiescaperoom.com.
Escape the Room Challenge
One room. One hour. Get locked in a room with family and friends and solve clues to escape. Themes include gypsy curses and mob escapes. Open daily. Admission fee. 7391 Squire Court, West Chester, escapetheroomchallenge.com.
Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg
This casino and hotel gambling complex includes Boogie Nights dance club, live music acts and a large poker room in addition to many slot machines and table games. Open 24/7. Free admission. 777 Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., hollywoodindiana.com.
Houdini’s Room Escape
Use teamwork, observation
skills and the power of deduction to solve clues to escape a locked room. For 2-16 players. Open ThursdaySunday; extended hours during summer. Admission fee. 9309 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, houdinisroomescape.com.
JACK Cincinnati Casino
A casino located in the heart of downtown that features highstakes poker, more than 2,000 slot machines, live entertainment and a classic casino buffet. Open 24/7. Free admission. 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, jackentertainment.com.
Miami Valley Gaming
AMUSEMENT PARKS Ark Encounter
More than 1,700 gaming machines, live horse-andharness racing, simulcasting, live entertainment and multiple buffets and restaurants. Open 24/7. Free admission. 6000 State Route 63, Lebanon, miamivalleygaming.com.
Straight out of the Tom Hanks movie Big, the all-ages lending and activity space is designed for kids — and adults. There are thousands of toys and games for anyone to borrow or play on site, and it hosts 21-andover game nights and family fun times. Open WednesdaySunday. Membership/borrow fees. 1517 Elm St., Over-theRhine, playlibrary.org.
Rising Star Casino and Resort
A casino with concerts, a golf course, hotel and several restaurants. Open 24/7. Free admission. 777 Rising Star Drive, Rising Sun, Ind., risingstarcasino.com.
A 90,000-square-foot indoor entertainment center with an arcade, bowling alley, laser tag, black-light mini golf, go-karts, food, drink and other interactive attractions. Open WednesdaySunday. Free to play. 876 State Route 28, Milford, scene75.com.
One of the busiest horse tracks in the country, Turfway Park is home to a prestigious prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Check website for live racing schedule; simulcasting year-round. Free admission. 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, Ky., turfway.com.
Betts House Research Center
Built in 1804, it’s the oldest brick house in Ohio. Offers programs and exhibits about historic preservation, architecture and regular walking tours of the Betts Longworth Historic District — 10 blocks of the historic West End that contain Federal, Italianate and Queen Anne architecture. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Admission fee. 416 Clark St., West End, thebettshouse.org.
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Carew Tower and Observation Deck
Completed in 1930, Carew Tower is one of the world’s finest examples of French Art Deco architecture and includes Rookwood Pottery floral tiles, an Art Deco shopping center and the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza hotel (complete with a Great Gatsby-esque hotel bar and five-diamond restaurant). One of downtown’s tallest skyscrapers, the viewing area and observation deck on top of the building features a wonderful panoramic view of downtown, the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky. Open daily. Admission fee for observation deck. 441 Vine St., Downtown, 513-579-9735.
Cincinnati City Hall
Designed by Samuel Hannaford and completed in 1893, the Romanesque building with massive stonework and rounded arches boasts a nine-story clock tower, stained glass windows that depict Cincinnati’s early history and ceiling frescos. Open daily; call to schedule a tour. Free admission. 801 Plum St., Downtown, cincinnati-oh.gov.
Clinton County History Center
Home of the 19th-century Creeping Baby automaton/ mechanical clockwork doll who 10 2 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
became an internet sensation when she visited the DASA Museum in Dortmund, Germany. Also houses a history and genealogy research library and Rombach Place Museum in an 1835 Greek Revival mansion. Open select days MarchDecember. Admission fee. 149 E. Locust St., Wilmington, clintoncountyhistory.org.
Columbia Tusculum Historic District
Cincinnati’s oldest riverside neighborhood boasts some of the city’s oldest homes and a collection of pastel “painted lady” Victorians, along with Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Folk Victorian and Stick style homes. Most houses in the historic district area were built between the mid-1800s to early 1900s. Open daily. Free to wander. Tusculum Avenue, Columbia Tusculum, columbiatusculum.org.
Dayton Street Historic District
Historic Cincinnati “Millionaires’ Row,” with elegant architecture seen in narrow Italianate mansions. Open daily. Free to wander. Dayton Street, West End, daytonstreethistoric.org.
Breathtaking French Art Deco.
Once home to a streetcar terminal, the 1920s building now houses offices, but you can still view the exterior Rookwood Pottery entry arch and ornate ceiling for free. Open daily. Free to wander. 49 E. Fourth St., Downtown.
East Row Historic District
Walk the district to view bungalows from the 1930s and 1940s, Colonial Revivalstyle houses from the 1910s and Queen Anne and Princess Anne styles. Open daily. Free to wander. Linden, Maple, Monroe, Oak and Overton streets, Newport, Ky., eastrow.org.
At more than 150 years old, Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continually operated public market. Go for the farmers market, butcher shops, flower stalls, OTR Biergarten and eclectic eats. Open TuesdaySunday. Free admission. 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarket.org.
A 100-acre park of Native American earthworks and remains of village sites built by ancient Hopewell Indians and other tribes since the ice age. The circular earthwork mounds were used as sundials. Open Tuesday-Sunday
BEST OF ATTRACTIONS CityBeat’s Best Of Cincinnati® issue is an annual collection of the city’s best as voted on by readers and staff. Here are some of the 2018 reader picks for Cincinnati’s best attractions.
Place to Take a Visitor
1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden 2. Findlay Market 3. Over-the-Rhine 4. Jungle Jim’s International Market 5. Smale Riverfront Park 6. Cincinnati Reds game 7. Carew Tower Observation Deck 8. Cincinnati Museum Center 9. The Banks 10. FC Cincinnati game
1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden 2. Smale Riverfront Park 3. Kings Island
1. The Brewing Heritage Trail Tour 2. American Legacy Tours 3. ArtWorks Mural Tours
April-November; Saturdays and Sundays December-March. Admission fee. 6123 State Route 350, Oregonia, fortancient.org.
German Heritage Museum
Located at refurbished West Fork Park, this reassembled 1800s German-style log home aims to be the focal point of German culture in Cincinnati. Open Sundays May-October. Free admission. 4764 West Fork Road, Monfort Heights, gacl.org/ museum.
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
The Cincinnati home of the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the center of Abolitionist debate leading up to the Civil War. The house offers tours, cultural programming and select exhibits. Open Thursday-Sunday March-November. Admission fee. 2950 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, stowehousecincy.org.
Heritage Village Museum
A “living history” village that offers an interactive glimpse into what life was like in 19th-century Ohio. Periodauthentic costumed guides lead tours through historic buildings and grounds. Also hosts Civil War reenactor weekends and vintage baseball tournaments. Open Wednesday-Sunday May-September; WednesdayFriday October-April. Admission/ parking fees. Sharon Woods Park, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, heritagevillagecincinnati.org.
Holy Cross-Immaculata Parish
This Roman Catholic church sits high atop Mount Adams. Known for the annual Good Friday pilgrimage, when the faithful climb 85 steps to the church while praying the rosary. Built in 1859, the building is made of limestone and offers one of the best views of the Ohio Riverfront. Masses daily. Free admission. 30 Guido St., Mount Adams, 2011.hciparish.org.
Licking Riverside Historic District
A collection of historic homes bordering the Licking River, including one that belonged to the parents of Ulysses S. Grant. Walk the row for stunning city views, interesting bronze sculptures of historical figures (like a sketching John James Audubon), as well as examples of Bungalow/Craftsman architecture, Second Empire architecture and Italianate architecture. Many homes have connections to the Underground Railroad. Open daily. Free to wander. 322 E. Third St., Covington, Ky., covingtonky.gov, hlrca.com.
This designated historic district surrounds Covington’s old German area with a collection of shops, restaurants, parks
and Victorian and Classic Italianate homes of the mid- to late-1800s. It’s also home to the Carroll Chimes clock tower, a glockenspiel with animatronic characters that play out the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Open daily. Free to wander. 406 W. Sixth St., Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.
Great Oaks is
Built by famed architects Samuel Hannaford & Sons, Memorial Hall is considered one of the area’s finest Beaux Arts buildings. The exterior includes a symmetrical façade, stairs, Corinthian columns and statues of historical pioneers, soldiers and sailors as well as the Roman god Mars. In 1978, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After an $11 million renovation, it’s a full-fledged player along the Elm Street arts corridor. Open during events and by appointment. Ticketing fees. 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, memorialhallotr.com.
The Mercantile Library
A Harry Potter hideaway. This historic members-only library (more than 175 years old) houses a grand collection of books, artworks and the sketchbooks of Cincinnati artist Elizabeth Nourse. The library also presents discussions, national author lectures, workshops, cocktail hours and musical events. Open MondaySaturday. Membership fee; free to wander. 414 Walnut St., 11th Floor, Downtown, mercantilelibrary.com.
Miller House Museum
Built in 1922, this Sears Roebuck kit house operated by the Madeira Historical Society presents an accurate slice of life as it was from the 1920s-1950s. Open the first Saturday and third Sunday April-December. Free admission. 7226 Miami Ave., Madeira, madeirahs.org.
30 career majors for high school students
Professional and career training for adults
Short-term personal enrichment classes
Completed in 1878, the freshly renovated Venetian Gothic Music Hall houses a concert theater — Springer Auditorium — which serves as home for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera and the May Festival Chorus, among other local performing arts organizations. The National Historic Landmark is built over a pauper’s cemetery and is rumored to be one of the most haunted buildings in America. The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall hosts “Beyond the Bricks” walking tours Thursdays and Saturdays for a fee. Also keep an eye out for haunted tours. Open during events and by appointment. Ticketing fees. 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.
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3525 N. Ohio 48, Lebanon, OH 45036 adult Education: 513-932-8145 high school: 513-932-5677 MyWCCC.org
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Old St. Mary Church
A Roman Catholic church opened in 1841 by German immigrants. The Greek Revivalstyle building was designed by Franz Ignatz Erd and is the second-oldest German-Catholic parish in Cincinnati. Masses held daily and in Latin, German and English every Sunday. Free admission. 123 E. 13th St., Overthe-Rhine, oldstmarys.org.
Promont House Museum
Ohio Gov. John M. Pattison lived in this stately Victorian mansion from 1879-1906. The house is now operated by the Greater Milford Area Historical Society. Offers special exhibits. Open Sundays March-December. Admission fee. 906 Main St., Milford, milfordhistory.net.
The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Main Library Built in 1955, the main library building was designed by noted Cincinnati architect Woodie Garber and is widely recognized for its contemporary design and use of open space. This library attracts more than 1 million users annually. Open daily. Free admission. 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org.
Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
A historic rivertown in Kentucky that boasts a series of dog mayors. The Rabbit Hash General Store, open since 1831 and regarded as one of the best-preserved country stores in Kentucky was destroyed by a fire, but the town rallied to reopen it. Rabbit Hash is unincorporated, so it is without fixed boundaries, but the hamlet is considered to have a population of about 40. Visit weekends for beer and music. Open daily. Free to wander. 10021 Lower River Road, Rabbit Hash, Ky., rabbithash.com.
Ohio Historic Markers
Find a listing of all the city’s informational historic markers at remarkableohio.org.
• Little Miami Scenic Trail for cycling • 2000 acres of hiking trails & camping in Glen Helen, John Bryan State Park & Clifton Gorge • Over 64 shops, galleries, eateries, brewery &distillery • Festivals, art shows, theatre & live music
Yellow Springs Street Fair Second Saturday In June & October f 10 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
The largest surviving example of a prehistoric effigy mound in the world, dating between 1,000 and 2,000 years old. Stretching more than 1,000 feet, the ancient earthwork depicts an immense serpent, the purpose of which remains a mystery. Burial ground? Ceremonial site? Aliens? Park open daily. Parking fee. 3850 State Route 73, Peebles, arcofappalachia.org/ visit/serpent-mound.
Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum
One of the largest cemeteries in the U.S. — 773 sprawling acres — featuring a bird sanctuary and park. This National Historic Landmark is the final resting place of many famous (and
not-so-famous) Cincinnatians, from Salmon P. Chase and Skip Prosser to William Procter and James Gamble. But for local ale fanatics, it’s worth making a pilgrimage to the cemetery just for one of their Beer Baron tours, where guides lead you on a walk to visit the graves and ornate mausoleums of the likes of Christian Moerlein, John Kauffman of the Kauffman Brewing Company and more. Frequent other themed tours available. Open daily. Free admission. 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, springgrove.org.
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
A Greek revival Roman Catholic church, formally dedicated in 1845. Stone angels, created by Odoardo Fantacchiotti, which once flanked the main altar, were the first European sculptures to come to the city and can now be viewed in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Masses daily. Admission fee for concerts. 325 W. Eighth St., Downtown, stpeterinchainscathedral.org.
St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Basilica
Modeled after Notre Dame in Paris, the Gothic architecture features 26 Italian-carved gargoyle water spouts, flying buttresses, vaulted arches, columns and one of the world’s largest church stained-glass windows. Masses daily; open hours Monday-Saturday. Free admission. 1101 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., covcathedral. com.
Ulysses S. Grant’s Homestead
The boyhood home of Grant is a National Historic Landmark. On display are Grant’s binoculars from the Civil War, the family cradle, a nearby schoolhouse and an animatron of the former president at 15 years old. Open WednesdaySunday. Admission fee. 219 E. Grant Ave., Georgetown, usgrantboyhoodhome.org.
White Water Shaker Village
One of 24 communal Shaker villages founded between 1787 and 1824. More than 20 original Shaker buildings remain on site including a broom shop, meeting house and dwelling. Open during open houses, workshops and scheduled tours. Admission fee. Miami Whitewater Forest, 11813 Oxford Road, Harrison, whitewatervillage.org.
William Howard Taft National Historic Site
Come see the boyhood home of the nation’s 27th president and 10th chief justice. Features a kind of weird animatronic version of Taft’s son, Charles Phelps Taft II, and house tours. Open daily. Free admission.
AMERICAN SIGN MUSEUM | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
2038 Auburn Ave., Mount Auburn, nps.gov/wiho.
American Sign Museum
1. Washington Park 2. Ault Park 3. Eden Park 1. Cincinnati Nature Center 2. Miami Whitewater Forest 3. Sharon Woods
1. Smale Riverfront Park 2. Washington Park 3. Summit Park
1. Eden Park 2. Devou Park 3. Ault Park 4. Mount Echo Park 5. Smale Riverfront Park 6. Bellevue Park 7. Alms Park 8. Shawnee Lookout 9. Mount Storm Park 10. Fairview Park
Weekend Getaway (Within 100 Miles)
1. Hocking Hills, Ohio 2. Red River Gorge, Ky. 3. Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Washington Park Event
1. The City Flea 2. Taste of OTR 3. Asian Food Fest
MUSEUMS Take a walk down Memory Lane and experience the only public sign museum in America. Take a guided tour of more than 200 signs, beginning with the fancy gold-leaf signs of the 1900s through the plastic era of the funky 1950s and 1960s. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington, americansignmuseum.org.
Behringer-Crawford Museum of Natural History
Set in Devou Park, the museum is the legacy of William Behringer, who collected artifacts from all over the world. You can find 450 million years of Northern Kentucky history in one spot. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 1600 Montague Road, Devou Park, Covington, Ky., bcmuseum.org.
Cincinnati Art Museum
Encyclopedic permanent displays include collections of art, sculpture and artifacts from various periods and cultures from the past 6,000 years, including Contemporary and Folk art. Traveling and changing exhibitions are
popular attractions and often require a separate entrance fee. The Rosenthal Education Center offers hands-on activities for children to discover art. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Free admission. 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
Cincinnati Fire Museum
The museum preserves and exhibits Greater Cincinnati’s firefighting artifacts from the last 200 years. A permanent installation honors Paula Duncan-Anderson, one of the city’s first female AfricanAmerican firefighters. Open Tuesday-Saturday. Admission fee. 315 W. Court St., Downtown, cincyfiremuseum.com.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
Union Terminal is Cincinnati’s grand Art Deco home to multiple museums. A former train terminal, the space is an architectural wonder. Houses the Museum of Natural History & Science, which features a recreated limestone cave; the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, consistently ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the U.S.; the Cincinnati History Museum, which allows you go to back in time and climb aboard historical replicas of
steamboats, buses and more; the Cincinnati History Library, with its impressive regional history collection; the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater, which features a five-story domed screen; the Arts Consortium of Cincinnati; and the Cincinnati Railroad Club. Recently underwent a massive restoration. Open daily. Admission fee; free to view rotunda. 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.
Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
Spanning more than 130 years of history, the Reds Hall of Fame features 10 galleries including “The Front Office,” “Hall of Records,” “Play Ball!” and more. Open Saturday, Sunday and game days April-October. Admission fee. 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, Downtown, cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof.
Contemporary Arts Center
The city’s major downtown art facility, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, features changing displays and exhibitions, a children’s UnMuseum and special events. Also home to an avant-garde performance calendar, eclectic gift shop, bookstore and hip café and bar. Closed Tuesdays. Free admission. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 1 0 5
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44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.
Christian theme park that takes a romp all over science and evolution to explore “answers in Genesis.” There’s also a planetarium, botanical garden, zip line and a petting zoo (with camel rides). Open daily. Admission fee. 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, Ky., creationmuseum.org.
Greater Cincinnati Police Museum
Take a step back in time to explore the lives of men and women who served. Features artifacts and ephemera from Greater Cincinnati-area police forces, including photos of those killed in the line of duty since the 1880s, historic uniforms and badges, weapons, vehicles and the city’s first police dog, Handsome, a 19th-century mutt who went on daily patrols. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Donations requested. 308 Reading Road, Pendleton, police-museum.org.
Holocaust & Humanity Center
Subjects covered include the cultural heritage of the Jewish people, artifacts and modern objects relating to contemporary Jewish 10 6 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
holidays and celebrations. There is also the occasional visiting display. Open SundayFriday. Admission fee. 8401 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, holocaustandhumanity.org. Relocating to the Cincinnati Museum Center at 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate in 2019.
Lloyd Library and Museum
Once home to a popular 19th-century pharmacy run by the local Lloyd brothers, the library still features their rare collection of books on pharmacy, botany, pharmacognosy, alternative medicine and horticulture. Features rotating art and science exhibits, as well as permanent displays of vintage pharmaceutical instruments and other mildly morbid-looking historical medical equipment. Open Monday-Friday. Free admission. 917 Plum St., Downtown, lloydlibrary.org.
Lucky Cat Museum
Boasts a one-of-a-kind collection of Japanese maneki neko “lucky cat” figures. See almost 1,000 of these waving felines, varying in design from antique porcelain to slot machines and popculture-themed cats. Open Tuesday-Saturday and during Essex Studios’ ArtWalks. Free
admission. 2511 Essex Place, Walnut Hills, facebook.com/ luckycatmuseum.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
This monument to freedom explores courage, cooperation and perseverance through films and artifacts from the Underground Railroad to contemporary times. A 19th-century slave pen has been rebuilt as a walk-through experiential exhibit. Traveling exhibits celebrate strength and diversity. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown, freedomcenter.org.
The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting
Cincinnati is home to the earliest and strongest AM radio station (700 WLW) and this museum is dedicated to the preservation and display of historical artifacts of radio and wireless communication. Open the third Saturday of the month and by appointment. Admission fee. 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester, voamuseum.org.
Taft Museum of Art
This historic house museum, one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the Palladian style in the country, was once home to Anna Sinton
Fountain Square Event
1. Opening Day Parade 2. Fountain Square Ice Rink 3. Cincy Beerfest
1. Cincinnati Pride 2. Cincy Beerfest 3. Bockfest
1. Panegyri Greek Festival 2. Immaculate Heart of Mary 3. CincItalia
1. Music Hall 2. Union Terminal 3. Carew Tower
1. Over-the-Rhine 2. Northside 3. Hyde Park
Northern Kentucky Neighborhood
1. Covington 2. Newport 3. Bellevue
1. Anderson Township 2. Mariemont 3. Blue Ash
Taft and Charles Phelps Taft (half-brother of President William Howard Taft). The villa, bequeathed to the people of Cincinnati in 1927 — along with a collection of more than 690 works of art ranging from European and American masters to decorative arts and Chinese porcelain — includes a large garden, tearoom and historical displays related to the permanent collection in addition to changing and traveling exhibitions. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Admission fee; free on Sundays. 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.
Vent Haven Museum
parks around the city (almost 10 percent of the city’s total land area). Open daily. Free admission. cincinnatiparks.com.
Cincinnati Recreation Commission
Provides recreational, cultural, leisure and educational activities to Cincinnatians of all ages and abilities. Includes pools, tennis courts, workout facilities, public golf courses and on and on. CRC centers are located throughout the city. Admission fees may apply. cincinnati-oh.gov/recreation.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. It houses more than 700 figures, photographs and playbills. Collector and founder William Shakespeare Burger also left a massive library devoted exclusively to “vent” volumes. Open by appointment and for Tuesday tours. Admission fee. 33 W. Maple Ave., Fort Mitchell, Ky., venthaven.org.
The second-oldest zoo in the United States, it’s also one of the nation’s best, with more than 500 species represented, many endangered. Be sure to check out Fiona the famous hippo, the interactive giraffe area and the reptile house, the oldest zoo building in the country. Open daily. Admission/ parking fees. 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.
PARKS & RECREATION
Boasts fantastic scenic views of downtown Cincinnati and features a golf course, the Behringer-Crawford Museum and a nature trail. Open daily. Free admission. 1201 Park Drive, Covington, Ky., covingtonky.gov.
Big Bone Lick State Park
Five-hundred-twelve acres of Kentucky parkland named after the Pleisotocene megafauna fossils found there, including mammoths, sloths and bison. The park is nicknamed the “birthplace of American paleontology” and is an official Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Site. Along with giant fossils, American art and trails, the park has a small herd of bison. Open daily. Free admission. 3380 Beaver Road, Union, Ky., parks.ky.gov/parks/historicsites/ big-bone-lick.
Caesar Creek State Park
An outdoor recreation and nature preserve with boating, camping, hiking, etc. Open daily. Free admission. 8570 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, caesarcreekstatepark.com.
Cincinnati Axe Throwing
Cincinnati Axe Throwing in West Chester invites anyone 15 years or older to throw an actual axe at a bullseye. Sessions are an hour-and-a-half long and you play three team-style games, ending with an individual competition. Open daily. Admission fee. 4814 Peter Place B, West Chester, cincinnatiaxe.com.
Cincinnati Nature Center
This privately run park offers 1,020 acres of trails, plus wildlife and nature classes, bird watching and more. Open daily. Admission fee. 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, cincynature.org.
Cincinnati Parks includes more than 5,000 acres and 100 scenic
Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Krohn Conservatory, this park boasts tree groves, walking paths, Mirror Lake, several sculptures, a playground and fantastic views of the river and Kentucky. The Spring House Gazebo is rumored to be the haunting place of the ghost of Imogene Remus, wife of bootlegger George Remus, whom he shot and killed nearby. Open daily. Free admission. 950 Eden Park Drive, East Walnut Hills/Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com.
Fifty West Canoe & Kayak
Fifty West Brewing Company has expanded their offerings. The Fifty West Canoe & Kayak rental offers canoes, kayaks and tubes for a floating trip down the Little Miami River. Open weather permitting. Admission fee. 7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township, fiftywestcanoe.com.
A four-acre park that was once the site of Charles Fleischmann’s (of Fleischmann Yeast Company) estate, which today is home to the state’s largest ginkgo tree and an evergreen maze. Open daily. Free admission. 524 Forest Ave., Avondale, cincinnatiparks.com.
A Louisville-based axe-throwing company. Two players compete at a time; each thrower gets five throws per round. Throwers get points based on where the axe sticks into the target. Leagues available. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 100 W. Sixth St., Covington, flyingaxes.com.
This square at the center of downtown is a gathering place for friends and family. Enjoy coffee or lunch from one of the neighboring restaurants on the outdoor plaza or attend one of the scheduled events ranging from concerts to dancing to open-air movie nights — or just enjoy the Genius of Water fountain. Fun fact: The water from the four auxiliary spigots is drinkable. Open daily. Free admission. 520 Vine St., Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
The Golf Center at Kings Island
Jack Nicklaus designed this classic 18-hole Grizzly course in 1972. Open March-December. Admission fee. 6042 Fairway Drive, Mason, thegolfcenter.com.
A spiritual retreat and education center, Grailville offers opportunities to connect with other seekers, work on an organic garden, meditate and explore connections between people, the divine and the planet. It also has a meditation labyrinth. Open daily and for special events. Free admission. 932 O’Bannonville Road, Loveland, grailville.org.
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Offers a vibrant array of green spaces all over the city, including 21 parks spanning more than 16,000 acres. Boating, cycling, hiking, horseback riding lessons and much more. Winton Woods, Sharon Woods and Miami Whitewater all have lakes to which you can bring your own small watercraft or rent one for the day. Open daily. Vehicle fee. greatparks.org.
Green Acres Canoe & Kayak Rental
Rent canoes, kayaks, tubes and rafts to take on a meandering journey along the Whitewater River. Also offers guided trips. Open daily seasonally. Admission fee. 10465 Suspension Bridge Road, Harrison, greenacrescanoe.com.
Gorman Heritage Farm
Gorman Heritage Farm is a 122acre working and educational farm located minutes from downtown. Explore gardens and meet farm animals or hike wooded trails and challenge yourself to climb Calf Builder Hill for a great view
of the Mill Creek Valley. Open Monday-Saturday. Admission fee. 10052 Reading Road, Evendale, gormanfarm.org.
This favorite nearby destination (outside of Columbus) is perfect for unwinding and getting back to nature. Area parks feature caves, hollows and waterfalls. Open daily. Camping and rental fees may apply. Hocking Hills State Park, 19852 State Route 664, Logan, Ohio, hockinghills. com.
This giant greenhouse features deserts, tropics, a butterfly garden, orchids and an interior waterfall, which guests can walk behind. Seasonally themed exhibitions feature unique plants, and the everpopular annual butterfly show showcases butterflies from various parts of the world. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com/ krohn-conservatory.
Step into one local man’s obsession and lifetime construction project, a handbuilt Medieval castle based on European counterparts and built from stones from the Little Miami River. Open daily April-September; weekends October-March. Admission fee. 12025 Shore Drive, Loveland, lovelandcastle.com.
The Miami Trail/Loveland Bike Trail
Also known as the Loveland Trail, it’s a 70-mile-long segment of the Little Miami Scenic State Park. The Loveland segment is closed to motorized traffic and is composed of flat, paved-over train tracks for easy biking. Open daily. Free admission. lovelandbiketrail.com.
Morgan’s Canoe Livery
Canoe, raft and kayak rentals for the Little Miami River and Whitewater River, plus riverside camping. Open weekends. Rental fee. 5701 State Route 350, Oregonia, morganscanoe.com.
Mount Airy Forest
Almost 1,500 acres of woods, trails and greenspace. Includes hiking and bridle trails (for horsies), a dog park, an arboretum, camp sites, lodges and disc golf. Home to the magical Everybody’s Treehouse, Ohio’s only wheelchairaccessible arboreal abode. Open daily. Free admission. 5083 Colerain Ave., Mount Airy, cincinnatiparks.com.
See and touch a variety of aquatic life at this massive, walk-through aquarium, which boasts the world’s first Shark
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“There is so crazymuch to love about Cincinnati/ NKY but, I gotta say, I do love our parades. Our artful, quirky, wild and wonderful parades are second to none! I have driven the Arnold’s bathtub in the Bockfest parade, Red’s Opening Day Parade and Pride for years and it is one crazy, wonderful ride! I’ve danced with DANCEFIX and dressed up with Chicken Lays an Egg for the Northside Fourth of July Parade, and no matter how hot it is outside, everyone is having a blast.” —Pam Kravetz Artist, Art Educator, ArtWorks Board Trustee
Bridge. View exhibits featuring penguins, jellyfish, the world’s largest collection of shark rays and more. Open daily. Admission fee. 1 Levee Way, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com.
A statewide corridor of biking trails and on-road routes that connects the Ohio River to Lake Erie. The trail follows the Little Miami Scenic Trail from Newtown to Xenia and then along a historic rail corridor. Open daily. Free admission. ohiotoerietrail.org.
Perfect North Slopes
Twenty-three ski and snowboard trails, two terrain parks and 23 snow tubing lanes. Offers rental shop and lessons. Open December-March. Admission/ rental fee. 19074 Perfect Place Lane, Lawrenceburg, Ind., perfectnorth.com.
Purple People Bridge
Walk across the bridge from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky (or vice versa) for a unique view of the river or attend one of the many events held on the bridge. Open daily. Free admission. Bridge entrances on Pete Rose Way in Cincinnati and on Third Street in Newport, Ky., purplepeoplebridge.com.
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum
Peruse almost 60 pieces of monumental sculpture on 265 acres of rolling hills in one of the few outdoor sculpture museums in the United States. Open daily. Admission fee. 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, pyramidhill.org.
Red River Gorge
A popular scenic and natural refuge outside of Cincinnati that capitalizes on the canyon system along the Red River in East Central Kentucky. The national geological area in Daniel Boone National Forest features natural stone arches, unique rock formations, sandstone cliffs and the namesake river. Open daily. Camping and rental fees may apply. East Central Kentucky, redrivergorge.com.
A mile-long linear park right on the riverfront. Offers a performance pavilion, concessions, an outdoor skating rink, tennis courts, volleyball courts, playgrounds, water features (including the Armleder Memorial Sprayground) and more. See the river from a variety of heights and viewpoints and climb the curving Serpentine Wall. Open daily. Free admission. 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincinnatiparks.com.
Hamilton County’s oldest park, Sharon Woods features multipurpose trails for exercising and hiking and a popular boathouse, where you can rent row, pedal or pontoon boats to cruise around the 35-acre Sharon Lake. Open daily. Parking fee. 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, greatparks.org.
Smale Riverfront Park
PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Nestled between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium in the center of The Banks by the Roebling Suspension Bridge, the park features fountains, walkways, a bike center, gardens, an event lawn and stage, a meditative labyrinth, the Black Brigade Monument and a glass-encased carousel with Cincinnatithemed critters. Open daily. Free admission; fee to ride carousel. 100 W. Mehring Way, Downtown, cincinnatiparks.com/ smale-riverfront-park.
Wake Nation Cincinnati
Cable wake boarding involves a cable system that drags riders around a lake. Wake Nation is one of only eight places in the entire country where you can do it. Open May-October. Admission fee. 201 Joe Nuxhall Way, Fairfield, wakenationcincinnati.com.
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Washington Park is a central civic space in the heart of Cincinnati, right across the street from Music Hall. A fenced dog park, playground, fountain, concessions with local craft beer, the American Classical Music Walk of Fame, a civic lawn and big deck with a full bar are just part of its charm. The 3,000-square-foot deck features comfortable and colorful Adirondack chairs and other lounge seating, plus a full bar: beer, wine, liquor and local drafts, including MadTree, Moerlein, Taft’s Ale House and Rhinegeist. It’s an excellent addition to OTR’s “backyard,” and a great space to grab a beer on weekends when the weather is warm. Open daily. Free admission. 1230 Elm St., Overthe-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.
The park features a boat-able harbor, 18-hole disc golf, 2.6 miles of paved trails, basketball courts, an equestrian trail and riding center and Parky’s Farm, an educational space that features goats, gardens, bees and a barnyard. Open daily. Parking fee. 10245 Winton Road, Greenhills, greatparks.org.
Wolf Creek Habitat & Rescue
The Wolf Creek Habitat & Rescue can fulfill your desires of hanging out up close and personal with wolves. The sanctuary, which is only open on weekends, allows visitors to roam and pet all the wolves they want for a suggested donation. Open weekends. Admission fee. 14099 Wolf Creek Road, Brookville, Ind., wolfcreekhabitat.org.
This freshly renovated 4.5-acre urban greenspace features everything from an amazing seasonal community pool (with a diving board, zero-depth entry and splashy climbing wall) to an entirely ADA-accessible playground, game grove (with bocce ball!) and six basketball hoops. Open daily. Free admission; pool requires admission fee. 1322 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine, zieglerpark.org.
OBSERVATORIES/ PLANETARIUMS Cincinnati Observatory
Founded in 1842, the Cincinnati Observatory houses the oldest fully operational telescope in the nation. Hosts public viewings, special date-night events and more. Open to explore Monday-Friday; programming most Thursdays-Saturdays. Suggested donation. 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, cincinnatiobservatory.org.
Located inside Norwood Senior High, this planetarium conducts
S M A L E R I V E R F R O N T PA R K | P H OT O : S C OT T D I T TG EN
1. University of Cincinnati 2. Xavier University 3. Northern Kentucky University
1. BLINK (returning 2019) 2. Fiona the Hippo 3. Cincinnati Women’s March
1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden 2. Findlay Market 3. Music Hall
1. Shaw Farms 2. Burger Farm & Garden Center 3. Niederman Family Farm
1. Jeff and Jenn (Q102) 2. Scott Sloan (WLW) 3. Cincinnati Edition (WVXU)
1. 91.7 (WVXU) 2. 101.9 (Q102) 3. 700 (WLW)
1. WKRC (Channel 12) 2. WCPO (Channel 9) 3. WLWT (Channel 5)
educational programs as well as astronomical glimpses and laser light shows. Almost daily public showings. Admission fee. 2020 Sherman Ave., Norwood, drakeplanetarium.org.
Haile Digital Planetarium
Tucked away on the fourth floor of Northern Kentucky University’s Science Center, the planetarium isn’t only available to students — they work with the surrounding community to schedule visits and are open to the public several times a month. Open for scheduled shows. Free admission. 409 Natural Science Center, Highland Heights, Ky., nku.edu.
The oldest planetarium west of the Allegheny Mountains. Twenty adults can sit and gaze at the constellations while an experienced naturalist leads you on a journey through the stars. Open daily. Admission fee; reservations required. Trailside Nature Center, 3400 Brookline Ave., Burnet Woods, Clifton, cincinnatiparks.com.
PROFESSIONAL SPORTS Cincinnati Bengals
Who dey! Cincinnati’s NFL team. Season runs August-December. Admission fee. Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Way,
The minor league hockey team returns to action with cool theme nights and regular deals on food and (adult) beverages. Season runs October-March. Admission fee. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway St., Downtown, cycloneshockey.com.
Catch the up-and-coming Redlegs led by veteran superstar Joey Votto. Season runs April-October. Admission fee. Great American Ball Park, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, reds.mlb.com.
Just a quick trip up I-75 takes you to Fifth Third Field, home of the Reds’ Class A minor league baseball team, the Dayton Dragons. Season runs AprilSeptember. Admission fee. Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, daytondragons. com.
Local orange-and-blue European-style professional soccer team joining Major League Soccer in 2019. It’s the city’s hottest sports ticket. Season runs April-October. Admission fee. Nippert Stadium, University of Cincinnati campus,
Clifton Heights, fccincinnati.com.
This 100,000-plus capacity speedway hosts big time races, including those in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Admission fee. 1 Kentucky Speedway Blvd., Sparta, Ky., kentuckyspeedway.com.
SEMI-PRO/AMATEUR SPORTS Cincinnati Dockers
Australian-rules football with roots in early forms of rugby and Gaelic football. Season runs April-October. Admission fee. Point Pleasant Park, Resor Road at Windemere Lane, Fairfield, cincinnatidockers.com.
This bad-ass flat-track roller derby squad does its thing locally at the Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse and at tracks throughout North America. Season runs spring and fall. Admission fee. Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse, Xavier University, 3900 Winding Way, Evanston, cincinnatirollergirls.com.
High-quality rugby. Seasons spring and fall. Free admission. Brimelow Fields, 6441 Stockton Road, Fairfield, wolfhoundsrfc. com.
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ART WORKS MUR AL TOURS | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Minor league baseball in the independent Frontier League. Season runs May-September. Admission fee. University of Cincinnati Health Stadium, 7950 Freedom Way, Florence, Ky., florencefreedom.com.
COLLEGE SPORTS Mount St. Joseph University
One of the best Division III football programs in the country. Mount St. Joseph University, Delhi, msj.edu/athletics.
Northern Kentucky University
The Norse compete in Division I athletics. BB&T Arena, Northern Kentucky University, Louie B. Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky., nkunorse.com.
Thomas More College
The Saints compete in Division III and the school’s football team regularly competes for the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship. Thomas More College, Bank of Kentucky Field, Crestview Hills, Ky., mcsaints. com.
University of Cincinnati
The Bearcats football and basketball teams are on the rise. UC’s athletic complex is a great place to catch other sports as well. University of Cincinnati, Clifton Heights, gobearcats.com.
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The Musketeers are enjoying life in the new Big East Conference. Cintas Center, Xavier University, Evanston, goxavier.com.
TOURS American Legacy Tours
“Historically entertaining.” Guided tours through the history of the Queen City. Tours include the Newport Gangster Tour, which explores historic brothels, speakeasies and casinos; Queen City Underground, which explores the city’s brewing history and underground tunnels; 1919 Baseball; Newport Is Haunted; and Queen City Is Haunted. Tour times vary; group tours available. Admission fee. Tours begin at various venues, americanlegacytours.com.
ArtWorks Mural Tours
Each summer, ArtWorks, a local arts nonprofit, connects professional artists with apprentice students to create public murals. Found throughout the city, they range from small and quirky to entire walls. Guided walking tours of downtown and Over-the-Rhine murals available. Admission fee. artworkscincinnati.org.
Historic riverboat cruises along the Ohio River. Pick from themed dinner cruises, sightseeing cruises, holiday cruises or charter your own private ship. Daily. Admission fee. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com.
Brewing Heritage Trail Tours
Run by a nonprofit aimed at preserving the history of Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati’s brewing legacy, the Brewing Heritage Trail tour offers guests a look inside the city’s breweries, cellars and lagering tunnels. Tour times vary. Admission fee. brewingheritagetrail.org.
Cincy Brew Bus
Don’t drink and drive. Cincy Brew Bus takes patrons to a variety of different local breweries on themed five-hour tours. Also offers a Wine Wagon tour of local wineries and Bourbon, Brews and a Winery too!, which takes you to Braxton Brewing Company, StoneBrook winery and New Riff distillery. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission fee. cincybrewbus.com.
Cincinnati Food Tours
Hosts walkable culinary tours of Over-the-Rhine and Findlay Market. Taste the World at Findlay Market makes stops at five specialty merchants for
tastings and includes hidden gems and optional wine or beer tastings. The three-hour OTR tour includes tastings at four local establishments. Private tours also available. Tour times vary. Admission fee. cincinnatifoodtours.com.
Cincinnati German Heritage Tours
Learn about Cincinnati’s 19th-century German immigrant boom. See historic German neighborhoods, iconic buildings and landmarks, and learn about local businesses built by German immigrants. Led by German-American historian Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann. Tours available Saturdays and Sundays by appointment. Admission fee. germanheritagetours.com.
Craft Connection Brewery Tours
Visit three to four breweries in three to four hours. Transportation, tastings and tours are all included. Try several samples at each brewery, learn about their beer and brewing process and then hop back on the bus to do it again. The bus includes water, snacks, souvenir cups and a cooler to store any growlers you grab to go. Tours run almost daily. Admission fee. craftconnectiontours.com.
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Cycling Backroads Tour
Promotes cycling in the area. Take guided tours of Spring Grove Cemetery or Over-the-Rhine. Tours last about two hours. Admission fee. Reservations required. cyclingbackroads.com/ backroads/cbtours.html.
Downtown Self-Guided Walking Tours
Downtown Cincinnati offers a choice of pre-planned Queen City Walking tours. Also includes itinerary suggestions for all ages and interests. Free. Download a brochure and map at downtowncincinnati.com.
Flavors of the Queen City
A delicious walking tour of downtown restaurants. Enjoy bite-sized portions of establishment favorites, as well as history lessons for each. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission fee. Tour leaves from Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown, flavorsofthequeencity.com.
The Garage OTR
Offers three distinct Segway tour routes in the immediate Cincinnati area. All three routes include 15-20 minutes of training and a 90-minute guided ride. Also offers custom tours and electric bike rentals. Tours daily. Admission fee.
1150 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, thegarageotr.com.
Go Vibrant Walking Tours
Go Vibrant tours lead walkers on one- to three-mile walking tours throughout Cincinnati neighborhoods, including Avondale, Covington, East Walnut Hills, Northside and more. Free. govibrant.org.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
A variety of carriage providers offer rides through downtown Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Rides available most Friday and Saturday nights. Admission fee. Most carriages depart from Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown, downtowncincinnati.com.
Inspired by the pedal wagons in Belgium and Germany, this is a 15-person, pedal-powered rolling party. Take a Tavern Cruise for a two-hour ride that stops at three bars, the Redlegs Rally for a pub crawl before Reds’ home games or create your own tour. Now allows alcohol on board for light drinking while pedaling. Tour times vary. Admission fee. 1114 Bunker Alley, Over-the-Rhine, pedalwagon.com.
Queen City History Tours
Tour includes stories of Overthe-Rhine’s immigrant origins, ethnic conflicts, industrial triumphs and notorious alcohol history. Also see historic architecture and travel into subterranean malt oven cellars two stories below Washington Platform. Tour times vary. Admission fee. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, queencityhistory. com.
Riverside Food Tours
Traverse historic neighborhoods in Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati/Overthe-Rhine (on the streetcar!) to share stories, sites and bites from down-home and ethnic establishments. The walking tours include generous tastings and drinks from five unique locally owned restaurants. Tour times vary. Admission fee. riversidefoodtours.com.
Stratus Helicopter Tours
Scenic aerial tours of Greater Cincinnati, taking off and landing right on the banks of the Ohio River. Tours by appointment. Admission fee. stratushelicopters.com.
TRAINS Cincinnati Dinner Train
drink or two in the Queen City Tavern car as you travel along the scenic railways of Cincinnati to downtown, the riverfront and back to the suburbs. Runs Saturdays. Admission fee. Departs from 2172 Seymour Ave., Norwood, cincinnatirailway.com/ dinnertrain.
The area’s only train-themed family entertainment center, including the world’s largest indoor interactive train display. Open daily. Admission fee. 7379 Squire Court, West Chester, entertrainmentjunction.com.
Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad
Offers an hour-long train ride through the beautiful rolling countryside of Southwest Ohio. Open select dates. Admission fee. 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, lebanonrr.com.
Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati
Visit Cincinnati’s four-acre outdoor museum filled with locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars and railroad memorabilia. Open Saturdays. Admission fee. 323 W. Southern Ave., Covington, Ky., cincirailmuseum.org.
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Art on Vine
An art show and market where more than 70 local fine artists and makers come together to sell handmade goods. Monthly at various locations including Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine; Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown, artonvinecincy.com.
Burlington Antique Show
For more than 35 years, Burlington has been the Midwest’s premier antiques and vintage-only show with more than 200 dealers. Find everything from Art Deco and Farmhouse Primitives to metal letters, knickknacks, furniture and more. Third Sundays April-October. Boone County Fairgrounds, 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky., burlingtonantiqueshow.com.
The City Flea
Cincinnati’s curated urban flea market with vendors from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and more. Find vintage clothes and décor, upcycled goods, handmade arts and crafts, artisanal food, pet supplies and more. Monthly April-December. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-theRhine, thecityflea.com.
Juried indie craft show with annual spring and holiday markets featuring crafters from across the region and the U.S. Shows in spring and during the holidays. Various locations, craftysupermarket.com.
1970s. 1202 Main St., Overthe-Rhine, facebook.com/ leftcoastmoderncincinnati.
Oakley Fancy Flea Market
A monthly neighborhood marketplace that brings together specialty food and beverage vendors, independent businesses, artists and farmers. Monthly May-September. MadTree 2.0, 3301 Madison Road, Oakley, theoffmarket.org.
Ohio Valley Antique Mall
Cincinnati’s largest multidealer antique mall. Even if you’re not a diehard antiquer or collector, there are a lot of things here great for decorating your home, room, store or work cubicle — sports memorabilia, bottles, rare toys, license plates, coins and vintage postcards. 7285 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, ohiovalleyantiques.com.
Richwood Flea Market
Family-friendly flea market. 10915 Dixie Highway, Walton, Ky., richwoodfleamarket.com.
Riverside Centre Antique Mall
More than 100 vendors selling everything from vintage and collectible furniture, clothing, estate jewelry, Rookwood pottery and primitives to books, photos, novelty items and more. 3742 Kellogg Ave., East End, riversidecentreantiques.com.
That Shop in Milford
Wide variety of antiques and collectibles along with one-of-a-kind finds. 217 Main St., Milford, facebook.com/ thatshopinmilford217.
Fine European antiques, European-made replicas, home furniture and accessories. 2041 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, englishtraditions.com.
Indoor/outdoor flea market with giant animal statues and neon palm trees and more than 16 buildings and 400 outdoor vendor spaces. Saturdays and Sundays. 601 Union Road, Monroe, tradersworldmarket.com.
Flamingo Haven Antique Mall
Treasure Aisles Flea Market
An urban antique mall with more than 15,000 square feet. 4530 W. Mitchell Ave., Spring Grove Village, flamingohavenantiquemall.com.
A pirate-themed bargainhunter’s paradise. 320 N. Garver Road, Monroe, treasure-aisles. com.
Florence Antique Mall
The largest regularly scheduled gathering of antiques and vintage-goods dealers in Indiana. All merchandise is required to be at least 30 years old and out of production. First Sundays May-October. Lawrenceburg Indiana Fairgrounds, U.S. 50 at Argosy Casino Parkway, Lawrenceburg, Ind., lawrenceburgantiqueshow.com.
50,000-square-foot showroom with 300 showcases featuring antiques, collectibles and furniture. 8145 Mall Road, Florence, Ky., florenceantiquemall.com.
Grand Antique Mall
Peruse 27,000-square-feet of antiques. 9701 Reading Road, Reading, grandantiquemall.com.
English and American antique furniture, home accessories, ceramics and fine art. 2701 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park, facebook.com/hanoverhouseltd.
Retailer of all things modern from the 1950s through the
Tri-State Antique Market
Wild Things Antiques
A hidden-gem antique shop that specializes in funky and modern antiques with an emphasis on the wild and odd. 2809 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, wildthingsarehere.com.
Wooden Nickel Antiques
Buys and sells vintage items.
Specializes in architectural wares, stained glass, wooden bars, decorative arts and furniture. 1410 Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine, woodennickelantiques.net.
ARTS/CRAFTS/HOBBIES Absolutely Needlepoint
Needlepoint and sewing arts supply store that offers classes. 7117 Miami Ave., Madeira, absolutelyneedlepointcincy.com.
A World of Beads
A make-your-own jewelry store featuring beads, beadmaking products and classes. 1429 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, aworldofbeads.com.
The Bead Shop
Almost two decades old, the Bead Shop sells beads and related items. Also offers classes. 7754 Camargo Road, Madeira, 513-271-5222.
Boardwalk Hobby Shop
Model kit and hobby shop, featuring a wide variety of board and card games. 1032 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, 513-871-2110.
Brazee Street Studios
Solar-powered green building that houses more than 25 artist studios; a school of glass; a retail store for tools, supplies, glass products and gifts; and a gallery featuring regional and national art. 4426 Brazee St., Oakley, brazeestreetstudios.com.
The Candle Lab OTR
A Columbus-based shop specializing in soy candles and custom fragrances. Pour your own custom-scented candles or customize home fragrance products. 1325 Vine St., Overthe-Rhine, thecandlelab.com.
With a little bit of everything, Cappel’s is known as a costume destination but also offers party decorations, floral supplies and event ephemera. Multiple locations including 920 Elm St., Downtown, cappelsinc.com.
A shared studio with more than 40 artisans that also sells clay supplies, including their own line of in-house glazes and special tools. Also offers classes from child and beginner to advanced. 2533 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, coreclay.com.
Cameras, lenses, flashes and accessories, plus printing services, rentals, repairs, classes and more. 6475 E. Galbraith Road, Kenwood, doddcamera.com.
Fabulous Frames & Art
Custom framer with a wide selection of art, specializing in nature-based Midcentury Modern prints from Cincinnatian Charley Harper. Multiple
A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 117
OHIO BOOK STORE | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
locations including 17 W. Fourth St., Downtown, fabframes.com.
as possible. 1334 Main St., Downtown, indigohippo.org.
Artsy and eclectic yarn boutique. Also offers knitting lessons. 8157 Camargo Road, Madeira, fiberlicious.com.
Knitting classes, supplies, yarn and accessories from around the world. 735 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., knit-on.com.
Helmed by a rag-tag collection of good-looking craftsmen, frameshop specializes in modern framing applications for unique artwork and prints to display your favorite pieces. 1317 Main St., Over-theRhine, frameshopusa.com.
Hank, A Yarn Boutique
Large selection of yarn (from cotton to cashmere), patterns for knitting, crafts and classes. 2651 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park, shop.hankyarn.com.
Handcrafted gallery with contemporary American fine crafts. 1609 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, indigenouscraft.com.
Indigo Hippo’s stock is entirely donation-based, coming largely from area artists, students and makers. Inside, you’ll find everything from charcoal, paints and brushes to buttons, yarn and natural materials like feathers and stone. And prices are always set as low 118 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Paint-your-own pottery studio. Multiple locations including 7754 Camargo Road, Madeira, madpottercincinnati.com.
Manitou Candle Co.
Hand-poured, small-batch candles made from 100-percent, American soy wax. Pour and scent your own in one of the frequently held candle-making workshops. 4015 Eastern Ave., East End, manitoucandleco.com.
Pit Row Hobby Shop
R/C cars, boats and planes, models, rockets and more. 7796 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, pitrowrc.com.
Plaza Artist Materials
A smaller national chain of art supply stores. 230 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights; 701 Main St., Downtown; 8118 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, plazaart.com.
Pull Club Girl-Powered Printmaking
Printmaking and design studio that transfers hand-drawn images and designs — including
whimsical rabbits, crisp yellow peaches and cute (but tomato-devouring) hornworms — to paper prints and items like T-shirts, pillows, fabrics and bags. pullclubstudio.com.
Queen City Clay
Offers pottery classes, demonstrations and goods to nurture the human impulse to create. 3130 Wasson Road, Hyde Park, queencityclay.com.
The Rookwood Pottery Co.
World-renowned art-tile and pottery company known for impeccable design and craftsmanship. The public can take guided tours of the production facility and showroom in Over-the-Rhine. Showroom 1920 Race St., Downtown; retail location at 1209 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, rookwood.com.
A community space for fashion designers and entrepreneurs. Provides access to production services, education, workspace. and classes to the public. 1010 Hulbert Ave., Camp Washington, sewvalley.org.
Silk Road Textiles
The area’s premier stop for ethically sourced fibers from fine fabrics to yarn. With an emphasis on eclectic, exotic and
BEST OF SHOPS & SERVICES CityBeat’s Best Of Cincinnati® issue is an annual collection of the city’s best as voted on by readers and staff. Here are some of the 2018 reader picks for Cincinnati’s best shops and services.
Best New Store
1. Rose & Remington 2. Wild Things Antiques 3. Burlap & Birch
1. Cincy Shirts 2. Elm & Iron 3. Rose & Remington 4. Rookwood Pottery 5. MiCA 12/v 6. Homage 7. Black Owned 8. Kismet 9. Downtown Girl 10. Handzy Shop + Studio
1. Cincy Shirts 2. Elm & Iron 3. MiCA 12/v
1. The Chocolate Bee 2. Casablanca Vintage 3. Pangaea Trading Co.
1. Urban Chick Boutique 2. Coda Co.
globally sourced textiles. 6106 Hamilton Ave., North College Hill, silkroadcincinnati.com.
St. Theresa Textile Trove
Eclectic sewing notions, fabric and quilting supplies. 1310 Pendleton St., Pendleton Art Center, Pendleton, sttheresatextile.com.
books specializing in antiquarian, art and architecture, decorative binding, ephemera, leather binding and literary classics. 214 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, duttenhofers.com.
Cincinnati Public Library Friends’ Shop
Housed in the public library’s main branch, the shop has treasures for readers, writers and gift-givers including gently used books, greeting cards and literary-themed items. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine St., Downtown, friends. cincinnatilibrary.org.
Independent bookstore chain buying and selling books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and more. Multiple locations including 8118 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, hpb.com.
Fine art and contemporary crafts including jewelry, handbags, accessories, garden art, soaps and more by local and regional artists. 1313 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-260-8434. A shop offering tabletop, CCG, mini and board games, as well as an RPG academy every first Tuesday. 2803 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, facebook.com/ woodburngames.
Arcadian Comics & Games
The latest graphic novels, comic books and games, including options for young readers and Magic: The Gathering events. 627 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., arcadiancomics.com.
Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore
Blue Manatee Bookstore fosters a cozy and colorful space that promotes creativity and offers an expansive selection of titles alongside a friendly and knowledgeable staff. 3094 Madison Road, Oakley, bluemanateebooks.com.
Blue Marble Books
An independent bookstore offering toddler through teen books, games and activities. 1356 S. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, Ky., bluemarblebooks.com.
The Booksellers on Fountain Square A locally owned and operated independent downtown bookstore with a coffee shop. 505 Vine St., Downtown, facebook.com/ booksellersonfountainsquare.
A small, neighborhood bookstore with an edited selection of books and individual service. 7754 Camargo Road, Madeira, cincybookshelf.com.
The Book Rack
The largest chain of independently owned used bookstores offering a freespirited experience for those who love to read. 8315 Beechmont Ave., Beechmont, thebookrack.com.
Comic Book World
Comic book and gaming store. 7130 Turfway Road, Florence, Ky., comicbookworld.com.
Tons of quality used and old
design/photo: Raïssa Bump
Half Price Books
Coffee shop and bookstore with large selection of vintage books on topics like art, architecture, literature and film. Also has children’s books in many languages and the largest collection of Polish books in Cincinnati. 1331 Main St., Overthe-Rhine, irisbookcafeotr.com.
Independent chain of bookstores offering a large selection of books for all ages, author signings, gifts and a bistro. 2692 Madison Road, Norwood; 2785 Dixie Highway, Crestview Hills, Ky., josephbeth.com.
1511 race streeet, cincinnati, oh 45202 513.813.7278 www.ombregallery.com @ombregallery
Ohio Book Store
In operation since 1940, the store offers five floors of books and magazines, as well as book repair and binding. 726 Main St., Downtown, ohiobookstore.net.
Queen City Comic & Card Co.
Provides a large and diverse selection of comic books, trading cards, movie posters and toys. 6101 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge; 6600 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, queencitycomics.com.
Roebling Point Books & Coffee
A small, independent bookstore and coffee shop at the foot of the Roebling Bridge. Features titles ranging from best-sellers to pieces by local authors. Dog-friendly. 306 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ roeblingpointbooksandcoffee.
Rockin’ Rooster Comics & Games
Comics, games, trade paperbacks, graphic novels, T-shirts, statues and action figures. 5000 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, rockinroostercomics.com.
Up, Up and Away! Comics
Wide selection of graphic novels, A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 11 9
more than 57,000 back-issue comics on display and hundreds of new items every week. 4016 Harrison Ave., Bridgetown; 5885 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash, upupandawaycomics.com.
BRIDAL BOUTIQUES Amanda’s Hyde Park Bridal
Specialty bridal boutique offering exclusive and couture designers and one-on-one services. 3319 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, hydeparkbridal.com.
Belle Bridal Boutique
Plus-size bridal couture. 328 W. Benson Ave., Reading, thebellebridalboutique.com.
Bridal & Formal
Carries the largest selection of wedding dresses in the area. 300 W. Benson St., Reading, bridalandformalinc.com.
Carrie Karibo Bridal Boutique
Fun, stylish and unique wedding dresses in an intimate, boutique atmosphere. 334 W. Benson St., Reading, carriekaribobridal.com.
Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Bridal
Four floors of the runway’s latest bridal fashions in a historic building. 601 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., fabulousbridal.com.
Lace Bridal Couture
Chic boutique for any budget. Prices range from $1,000$10,000. 100 W. Benson St., Reading, lacebridalcouture.com.
Cincinnati’s Only Hemp Spa, Tea House, and Boutique • Massage • Facials • Waxing • Detox Sauna • Mani/Pedi • Tea House • Smoothie Bar • Hemp Boutique
942 HATCH ST. • MT ADAMS 513-421-8644 • TOHISPA.COM
A Cincinnati location of the indie N.Y.-based Lovely bridal chain featuring inspiring and emerging designers and a fun shopping experience. 2718 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, lovelybride.com.
A high-end consignment boutique that offers gently used designer wedding gowns without the big price tags. Designers like Vera Wang, Pronovias, Badgley Mischka and more are all represented and affordable. 203 W. Benson St., Reading, luxereduxbridal.com
513-671-7433 • 32 W. CRESCENTVILLE, CINCINNATI, OH 45246 • LOCALSKATEPARK.COM 513-671-7433 • 32 W. CRESCENTVILLE, CINCINNATI, OH 45246 • LOCALSKATEPARK.COM 513-671-7433 W. CRESCENTVILLE, FRIDAY CINCINNATI, OHSATURDAY* 45246 • LOCALSKATEPARK.COM $5 ADMISSION• 32 MON-THURS SUNDAY 513-671-7433 W.1PM-9PM CRESCENTVILLE, CINCINNATI, OHSATURDAY* 45246 • LOCALSKATEPARK.COM $5ALL ADMISSION FRIDAY SUNDAY 11AM-9PM 9AM-11PM 9AM-9PM TIMES • 32 MON-THURS 1PM-9PM 11AM-9PM 9AM-11PM 9AM-9PM TIMES $5ALL ADMISSION MON-THURS FRIDAY SATURDAY* *9AM-11AM for 12 & SUNDAY younger only $5ALL ADMISSION MON-THURS FRIDAY SATURDAY* SUNDAY 1PM-9PM 11AM-9PM 9AM-11PM TIMES *9AM-11AM for 12 &9AM-9PM younger only 1PM-9PM 11AM-9PM 9AM-11PM 9AM-9PM ALL TIMES *9AM-11AM for 12 & younger only *9AM-11AM for 12 & younger only
Coolest Toys on Earth
Superior and extraordinary toys from around the world. 314 Main St., Milford; 6840 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, coolesttoysonearth. com.
King Arthur’s Court Toys
A purveyor of beloved classic toys for more than 25 years. Rediscover old favorites like LEGO, Playmobil, Calico Critters and Breyer horses and ride back home on a purple micro scooter. 3040 Madison Road, Oakley, kingarthurstoys.com.
Little Lords and Ladies Boutique
Children’s boutique with clothing, toys and accessories for girls and boys. 7816 Cooper Road, Montgomery, 513-891-1569.
Helps your kids unleash their inner Rock stars by mixing and matching whimsically printed onesies with hipster hoodies and quirky graphic T-shirts. 3048 Madison Road, Oakley, thespottedgoose.com.
Stoney’s Village Toy Shoppe
All things fairy princess and magical with wings, gifts and more. 323 W. Sixth St., Covington, Ky., stoneystoys.com.
ECO & GREEN Greener Stock
Sells green building materials and architectural components for homes and businesses. 3747 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum, greenerstock.com.
Quality hemp and eco-friendly goods. Celebrating two decades in business. Multiple locations including 2034 Madison Road, O’Bryonville; 4181 Hamilton Ave., Northside, hemptations.com.
EYEWEAR Buten Eyewear
Unique and designer eyewear. 21 E. Fifth St., Downtown, buteneyewear.com.
Locally owned family business offering a large selection of gowns, bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses, plus accessories from local designers. 6 W. Benson St., Reading, splendidbridal.com.
High-end and unique eyewear, featuring brands like Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Oliver Peoples and more. 2648 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, eye-1.com.
Wendy’s Bridal Cincinnati
Eye 1 Unique Eyewear
A large selection of bridal designers including Allure, Venus Bridal and more. 301 W. Benson St., Reading, wendysbridalcincinnati.com.
Motto is “The art of being unique.” Offers stylish eyewear. 7599 Kenwood Road, Kenwood, yorkvisionkenwood.com.
CHILDREN’S APPAREL / TOYS
This hip, mail-order eyewear shop is slated to open a local showroom in OTR in 2018. 1419 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, warbyparker.com.
Providing upscale designer
12 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
clothing and shoes for boys, girls and infants for more than 55 years. 3435 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, castlehouse.com.
DEERHAUS DÉCOR | PHOTO: K ELLIE COLEMAN
3. Handzy Shop + Studio
Boutique (East Side)
1. Kismet 2. indigenous 3. Soho
Boutique (West Side)
1. Metallic Giraffe 2. LouLou’s 3. Treasure Alley
1. Rose & Remington 2. Busy Bee Boutique 3. A Village Gift Shop at the Century House
Third-generation Cincinnati optometrist and eyewear provider. Multiple locations including 1351 E. Kemper Road, Glendale, wingeyecare.com.
GIFTS & NOVELTIES A Village Gift Shop at the Century House
A gift shop in historic Glendale that has been around for more than 60 years. 3 Village Square, Glendale, avillagegift.com.
Busy Bee Boutique
Men’s Clothing Store
Unique gifts for infants, kids, teens and adults. 110 S. Second St., Unit G, Loveland, busybeeboutique.biz.
Women’s Clothing Store
Camargo Trading Company
1. JoS. A. Bank 2. Homage 3. Black Owned
1. Macy’s 2. The Pink Box 3. Kismet
Stylish destination for highend home accessories and more. 7744 Laurel Ave., Madeira, camargotrading.com.
The Chocolate Bee
1. Once Upon A Child 2. The Spotted Goose 3. Justice
1. Ohio Valley Antique Mall 2. Wooden Nickel Antiques 3. Florence Antique Mall
Arts & Crafts Supplies
1. Hobby Lobby
The collective home of Chocolats Latour and Bee Haven. Chocolats Latour concocts fairtrade, gourmet chocolates made with local ingredients, while Bee Haven is a honey-lovers’ dream, offering products like beeswax lanterns, candles and lip balms made with the help of the owners’ own beehives. 4037 Hamilton Ave., Northside, chocolatebeecincy.com.
Hip and crafty shop that features maker-made products from upcycled materials, like wall hangings, coffee-bag pillows and bourbon barrel pub tables. 400 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., shopcodaco.com.
weavings and more, along with a curated assortment of beautiful, thriving plants. Recurring classes cover artful pursuits ranging from floral arranging to calligraphy and watercolors. 6040 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, fern-shop.com.
The Fig Leaf
Local handmade gifts and crafts. 307 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., barbscozycottage.com.
Provides a brick-and-mortar location for local craftsmen and artisans to display their work, which ranges from soaps and ceramics to jewelry and woodwork. There are also unique maker-made items from across the United States. 135 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine, deerhausdecor.com.
Eden Floral Boutique
Step inside to purchase a curated line of houseplants, succulents, containers and graband-go bouquets or just peruse the fresh flower bar for inspiration. 1129 Walnut St., Downtown, edenfloralboutique.com.
Offers minimal, modern and nature-inspired items. Located in a converted gas station, find a carefully edited selection of unique hand-thrown pottery, art,
Quality handcrafted jewelry, accessories and gifts. 3438 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, 513-321-2970.
Game Day Feels
Their rawhide gender-inclusive wrist wraps are handmade from genuine tanned baseball glove lace leather and secured with a buckle. 529 Main St., Loveland, gamedayfeels.com.
Gia and the Blooms
Contemporary and clean seasonal floral arrangements at an affordable price point. Offers a curated selection of items like greeting cards, candles and locally made ceramics. Burlapwrapped bouquets begin at $35, and delivery is free within the Cincinnati metro. 114 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, giablooms.com.
GOODS on Main
A shop with rotating themes featuring items handpicked by staffers. 1300 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ goodsonmain. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 1 2 1
W E H AV E B E C O M E V I K I N G S | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
I Love Cincinnati Shop
Owned and operated by three sisters. A wood and design shop offering unique handmade pieces. 33 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., grainwell.com.
Reds, Bengals and local college goods galore, plus collectibles, shirts, hats, glassware and photos. 441 Vine St., Downtown, ilovecincinnatishop.com.
Local and independently made crafts and homegoods. 1201 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, shopmica.com.
Hail Dark Aesthetics
Keep Your Shirt on Covington
Full spectrum of gifts from baby to home décor, including monograms. 3439 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, facebook.com/ nestgiftscincinnati.
An oddities and record shop in MainStrasse. The storefront is stuffed with taxidermy, tarot cards, religious ephemera, Black Metal-style jewelry, branded Ouija boards and a bunch of dead snakes. For good or bad, there aren’t too many other stores where you can buy a pig fetus and the Twin Peaks soundtrack on vinyl in the same transaction. 720 Main St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/ hailcincinnati.
Handzy Shop + Studio
A bright yellow door marks the opening to Handzy Shop + Studio, a purveyor of cheerful cards, art prints and calendars in Covington. The colorful shop offers a wide assortment of watercolor invites and cards for weddings, holidays, announcements and beyond, complete with modern, eyecatching lettering and plenty of watercolor cacti. You can also peruse a very fun collection of pins, patches and local giftables. 15 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., hellohandzy.com. 12 2 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Celebrates the quirky side of the Tri-State. From “Straight Outta Covington” mugs to “I Wish I Knew How to Quit You” Bengals tees, there’s no shortage of ways to express your local pride (or, in some cases, shame). keepyourshirtoncovington.com.
The Little Mahatma
Exotic jewelry, folk art and artifacts from the world’s traditional cultures. 1205 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-723-1287, searchable on Facebook.
Lucca Laser Workshop
Specializes in laser-cut wood, natural gifts, supplies and décor. 1342 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, luccaworkshop.com.
Showcases the work of artisans, local vendors and specialty retail lines. 2034 Anderson Ferry Road, Delhi, metallic-giraffe.com.
M. Hopple & Co.
Creative paper goods and stationery plus design services. 7920 Hosbrook Road, Kenwood; 511 Walnut St., Downtown, mhopple.com.
Personal stationery, unique gifts, custom invitation design services, clever sundries and more. 3446 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, poeme-online.com.
Pomegranate & Lime
Creative gifts for every age, every occasion and every taste. Specializes in gift wrapping. 6804 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, facebook.com/ pomegranateandlime.
Queen City Alchemy
A high-end locally made holistic skincare line. There are no dyes, fillers, parabens or sulfates. Find 40-some-odd products in the community-focused storefront near Findlay Market, which also carries a curated collection of pieces from other local makers. 1808 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, queencityalchemy.com.
Ten Thousand Villages Fair-trade jewelry, gifts
2. Michaels 3. Indigo Hippo
1. Clifton Barbers 2. Spanky & Co. Barber 3. Kings Court Master Barber & Shoe Shine
1. Montgomery Cyclery 2. Reser Bicycle Outfitters 3. Spun Bicycles
1. Joseph-Beth Booksellers 2. Barnes & Noble 3. Half Price Books
1. Blue Manatee 2. Ohio Book Store 3. The Booksellers on Fountain Square
1. Dodd Camera 2. Best Buy 3. Western Hills Photo & Hobby
1. Shake It Records 2. Everybody’s Records 3. Plaid Room Records
Indie Craft Market
1. The City Flea 2. O.F.F. Market 3. Art on Vine
and more from across the globe. 2011 Madison Road, O’Bryonville; 11316 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, tenthousandvillages.com.
Original jewelry, home décor, trinkets and more. 325 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-751-3338, searchable on Facebook.
HOUSEWARES /DECOR Algin Retro Furniture
Family-owned store selling Midcentury Modern reproductions. 800 Main St., Over the-Rhine, alginretro.com.
Artichoke Curated Cookware Collection
Brad and Karen Hughes opened their Artichoke storefront down the street from Findlay Market in order to offer marketgoers a convenient destination for cookware. From basics to unique pieces not available anywhere else, you’ll find the tools you need to throw down in the kitchen like you’re an Iron Chef. And if you’re looking to enhance your skills, take a class in Artichoke’s demonstration kitchen — just make sure you don’t step on lazy shop greyhound Gus. 1824 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, artichokeotr. com.
Contemporary furniture shop open for three decades. Locations in other cities, including Washington, D.C. and Dallas. 12130 Royal Point Drive, Mason, bova-furniture.com.
Luxury fireplace design and accessories since 1819. 117 W. Fourth St., Downtown, bromwells.com.
Remodelers donate used or leftover building materials to the nonprofit, which resells these materials to the public at a deeply discounted rate; prices are often a third the cost of new. The constantly changing merchandise selection includes antique doors and windows, funky Atomic Age-colored sinks and toilets, vintage ranges and even authentic clawfoot tubs. 4040 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, buildingvalue.org.
Burlap & Birch
A home décor branch of the local Rose & Remington Boho Farmhouse chic chain. Think chalkboard signs with inspirational quotes, woven wall hangings, vintage-industrial antique recreations, succulent planters and more. Multiple locations including 15 E. Main St., Lebanon; 7550 Bales St., Liberty Township; 9281 Governors Way, Fields Ertel, myburlapandbirch.com.
Elm & Iron
An eclectic collection of new and vintage industrial home décor and accessories. 1326 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, elmandiron.com.
Old-school hat shop with frequent celebrity clientele. 1 W. Sixth St., Downtown, 513-721-9345.
Elm & Iron Loft
A handmade outerwear and fashion line that represents every person of every culture, every generation and every style. 822 Elm St., Downtown, blackowned19xx.com.
This Elm & Iron second location features an expanded furniture selection. 1411 Vine St., Overthe-Rhine, elmandiron.com.
London-inspired urban lifestyle store with an excellent and odd collection of design-minded produts ranging from clothing and homegoods to vintage finds and art books. 1401 Reading Road, Downtown, highstreetcincinnati.com.
Jack Wood Gallery
High-quality vintage posters and period graphics from the late-19th to mid-20th centuries. 1413 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-321-7077.
Vintage and second-hand furniture, homegoods and jewelry. Proceeds benefit Cancer Support Community. 3854 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park, shoplegacies.com.
Lentz & Company
Vintage homegoods, furniture, local art and handmade gifts. 339 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, lentzandcompany.com.
Twentieth-century collectibles. 3711 Madison Road, Norwood, mainlyart.com.
Quince & Quinn
A “vintage” T-shirt brand helmed by local stand-up comic Josh Sneed that mines both the past and present to create apparel showcasing Cincinnati’s unique institutions and idiosyncratic culture. 1301 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 2709 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park, cincyshirts.com.
Men’s clothing store and sneaker shop. 2643 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, corporategotem.com.
Sporty vintage-inspired team T-shirts, sweatshirts and other athletic apparel. 1232 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, homage.com.
Hunt Club Clothiers
Men’s suits and tailoring since 1974. 441 Vine St., Downtown, huntclubclothiers.com.
Mike & Carol Trotta
Tailor offering bespoke men’s suits and made-to-measure clothing. 406 Walnut St., Downtown, mikeandcaroltrotta. com.
An ever-changing array of curated home and garden goods — uncommon upholstery, lighting, tabletop items, gifts and one-of-a-kind finds. 3066 Madison Road, Oakley, qandqhome.com.
Established in 1967 by tailor Peppe Ramundo, this West Side store is one of the best spots in town to shop for fine menswear and tuxedo rentals. 5229 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, pepperamundo.com.
A curated shop featuring furniture, home décor and various unearthed arcana from the wilds of the Midwest. 923 Vine St., Downtown, facebook. com/923rooster.
Super-soft vintage-style local apparel and print shop with a Cincinnati theme. 3096 Madison Road, Oakley, therivertowninkery.com.
Switch Lighting & Design
Ready-to-wear, formalwear, tailoring and suiting. Bespoke offerings for men and women are available. 7121 Miami Ave., Madeira, romualdo.com.
Contemporary lighting from Scandinavia, Europe and Asia. 312 W. Fourth St., Downtown, switchcollection.com.
Modern high-design furniture, lighting and accessories from Europe. 3209 Madison Road, Oakley, voltagefurniture.com.
A street pusher of rare goods. T-shirts, hats, Nikes and more. 15 W. Fourth St., Downtown, unheardofbrand.com.
MEN’S APPAREL / ACCESSORIES
We Have Become Vikings
45/46 Fine Men’s Apparel
A ready-to-wear mens store with custom shirts and suits. 2719 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 4546finemens.com.
A local design and print shop that specializes in hand-pulled music and event posters, as well as unique Cincinnati-centric apparel and a small collection of records and cassette tapes. 1335 Walnut St., Downtown, wehavebecomevikings.com.
Stocks a wide variety of food for dogs and cats — dry, wet, treats and beyond — as well as health products like probiotics, calming chews and senior formulas. 7713 Camargo Ave., Madeira; 2801 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, argospet.com.
The Bird Shoppe
Parrot supplies, services like grooming and boarding, a nursery and adoptable birds. 6160 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, thebirdshoppe.com.
A shop for unique gifts for humans and the cats who own them. 6923 Main St., Newtown, confetticats.com.
Growing Trade Pet & Plant
Services and products for the urban homesteader. 3840 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, growingtradestore.com.
Petey’s Pet Stop
Pet food and treats, DIY bath stations, toys and boarding. 311 Howell Ave., Clifton, peteyspetstop.com.
Locavore pet food and supply store for urban pet owners. 1813 Pleasant St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine; 1409 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, petwants.com.
Pet grooming, clothing and supplies. 605 Main St., Covington, Ky., 859-431-7387.
RECORD STORES Another Part of the Forest
Unique used vinyl, comics, pulp fiction and DVD rentals. 1333 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyvinyl.com.
Black Plastic Records
An independent record store with bins and bins of unique vinyl plus Cincinnati- and Ohiocentric clothing items. Kind of like stumbling into the best basement ever. 6470 Glenway Ave., Bridgetown; 1411 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ blackplasticrecords.
Full-service record store specializing in a wide variety of new and used records, CDs and cassettes. 6106 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, everybodysrecords.com.
Jet Age Records
A new and used record shop with bonus listening stations and craft coffee. 817 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., facebook.com/ jetagerecords.
A new music collective and emporium designed to bring together the region’s music community and welcome
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visiting musicians to participate in the city’s rich and diverse music scene. Located in the historic Herzog building, where Hank Williams Sr. cut classics like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Sells vinyl, guitars and other instruments and hosts lessons via the Queen City Music Academy. 811 Race St., Downtown, herzogmusic.com.
More than 10,000 new and used vinyl and culture items. 2942 Markbreit Ave., Oakley, metamodernmusic.com.
“We start almost every day at Left Bank Coffeehouse. If you value being on a firstname-basis with your barista, then Left Bank is for you. It is the quintessential coffee shop and the perfect, intimate spot to sit and enjoy coffee or tea with a friend.” —Suzy Strachan and Brittney Braemer Co-owners, Handzy Shop + Studio
Mole’s Record Exchange
Open since 1974, Mole’s is a record exchange store by the University of Cincinnati. 111 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, searchable on Facebook.
streaming. 3914 Winston Ave., Latonia, Ky., philsrecords.com.
Plaid Room Records
New and used LPs plus accessories. Home to the Colemine Records label, an analog studio and live music venue. 120 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, plaidroomrecords.com.
Shake It Records
Named one of the 30 best record stores in America by Rolling Stone, Shake It has two floors of CDs and vinyl. They also have a great selection of used CDs and LPs, books, fanzines and Japanese-style trinkets. 4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, shakeitrecords.com.
Torn Light Records
Covington-born Mike Morrow has a lifelong love for both electronics and music. Come here to buy a custom record player and vinyl, too. 6608 Dixie Highway, Florence, Ky., morrowaudio.com.
The shelves are stocked with obscure cassette tapes and shoeboxes of ’90s Emo records to pique any music nerd’s curiosity. Make sure to check out the shop’s back room, which boasts a ’zine library and a smattering of risqué B movies on VHS. 406 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, tornlightrecords.com.
Morrow Audio Records
A no-frills musical paradise selling records, CDs (someone please remind us what those are again), artwork and more. In the heyday of the ’90s before
Founded in 1974, friendly Benchmark Outfitters stocks everything you need to tackle the wilderness, from footwear, clothing and hiking gear to tools, luggage and electronics. 9525 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, benchmarkoutfitter.com.
Located next to the Little Miami Bicycle Trail. 313 Main St., Milford, bishopsbicycles.net.
Provides people of all ages, skill levels and experience with quality bicycles and fitness equipment. Multiple locations including 9449 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, montgomerycyclery.com.
Military and tactical clothing, base layers, outerwear, bags, packs, knives, tools and camping and outdoor gear. 4019 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsidesurplus.com.
Motorcyle and urban scooter rentals. 214 E. Liberty St., Overthe-Rhine, pistonsociety.com.
Reser Bicycle Outfitters
Sales and repairs on bikes for beginners and pros. 648 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., reserbicycle.com.
Roads, Rivers and Trails
Independently owned adventure outfitter offering seminars, presentations and classes. 118 Main St., Milford, roadsriversandtrails.com.
Barnett Bicycle Institute certified in advanced bicycle mechanics and United Bicycle Institute certified in frames. 6000 Wooster Pike, Fairfax, smittyscyclery.com.
Fifty West Canoe & Kayak/ Cycling Company
Local brewery Fifty West has expanded their beer empire to include the great outdoors. Across the street from the taproom, find a canoe and kayak rental for trips down the Little Miami River. Located just off the Little Miami Scenic trail, Fifty West Cycling Company is a full-service bicycle shop that also offers fittings, rides, rentals and bikes for the whole family. 7605 Wooster Pike and 7669 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township, fiftywestcanoe.com, fiftywestcycling.com.
PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
MoBo Bicycle Coop
A bicycle cooperative (the only one in the city) dedicated to making Cincinnati a cycling hub. 1415 Knowlton St., Northside, mobobicyclecoop.org.
One of the oldest full-service bike shops in the city, which sells and repairs bikes. 241 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, campuscyclery.com.
Local skateboard shop. 625 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., galaxieskateshop.com.
Local specialty running store; named one of the best in the nation. 1993 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, jackrabbit.com. 12 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Koch Sporting Goods
Cincinnati’s oldest and largest sporting goods store offering an array of men’s and women’s licensed sports apparel and accessories. 131 W. Fourth St., Downtown, kochsports.com.
New bikes, parts, accessories and a full repair shop plus some awesome, occasional used bikes. 4122 Hamilton Ave., Northside, spunbicycles.com.
Velocity Bike & Bean
Bike and coffee shop. 7560 Burlington Pike, Florence, Ky., velocitybb.com.
VINTAGE/CONSIGNMENT Casablanca Vintage
Classic apparel and accessories from the 1920s-1980s. Also offers theater costuming, shoe repair and leather repair. 3944 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, casablancavintage.com.
Chicken Lays an Egg
Chicken Lays an Egg is what it looks like in John Waters’ brain. Vintage clothing, accessories and housewares. 4178 Hamilton Ave., Northside, facebook.com/ chickenlaysanegg.
CONTINUUM | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Comic Book Store
1. Queen City Comics 2. Comic Book World 3. Everybody’s Records
1. Cappel’s 2. Costume Gallery 3. Talk of the Town
1. LensCrafters 2. Wing Eyecare 3. Eyemart Express
1. Adrian Durban Florist 2. Kroger 3. Oberer’s Flowers
1. Michaels 2. frameshop 3. Hobby Lobby
1. HomeGoods 2. Bed Bath & Beyond 3. Elm & Iron
1. IKEA 2. Home Depot 3. Elm & Iron
1. MiCA 12/v 2. Cincinnati Art Museum 3. Elm & Iron
1. M. Hopple & Co. 2. Handzy Shop + Studio
community-based programs for those with disabilities via consignment shops and donations. Multiple locations including 3080 Markbreit Ave., Oakley, cincinnatigoodwill.org.
via thrift stores that provide furniture, clothing, household items and more. Multiple locations including 3015 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, svdpcincinnati.org.
Julie’s Inspiration Consignment Shoppe
The Snooty Fox
Gifts, jewelry, art, collectibles, furniture and clothing, from vintage to designer. 608 Main St., Covington, Ky., juliesinspiration.com.
Vintage clothing and accessories handpicked from a Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Associationregistered set designer and costumer. 2100 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, pixel19vintage.com.
A local chain of upscale furniture and clothing consignment shops. Multiple locations including 3854 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park, shopsnooty. com.
Vintage clothing and costumes for men and women. 9111 Reading Road, Reading, talkofthetowncincy.com.
A curated boutique with vintage clothing, jewelry, vinyl, housewares and curiosities. 2807 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, facebook.com/ hibredlife.
Women’s used-vintage and upscale-consignment boutique where proceeds go directly to seven local service agencies, including the FreeStore FoodBank, Tender Mercies and Lighthouse Youth Services. 1311 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, mannequinboutique.org.
Fun, affordable vintage clothing, rotating art shows and home furnishings alongside handcrafted, redesigned or repurposed items by local artists and designers. 4577 Hamilton Ave., Northside, nvisionshop.com.
Ohio Valley Goodwill
A nonprofit that provides job training, employment, placement services and other
A high-end thrift store that financially supports Dress for Success Cincinnati. 209 W. Fourth St., Downtown, portaluca. org.
A vintage streetwear shop for men and women with a ’90s and neon lean. Buy, sell and trade here. 1315 Main St., Over-theRhine, radotr.com.
The merchandise spans the 1930s to the 1980s, with a large focus on workwear and World War II items, made to be indestructible. 1212 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ reunionclothiers.
St. Vincent de Paul
Caring for those in need in Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Talk of the Town
WOMEN’S APPAREL / ACCESSORIES Alligator Purse
Sophisticated and edgy contemporary women’s clothing, including designers Diane von Furstenberg, Helmut Lang, Vince and more. 2701 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, shopalligatorpurse. com.
An eclectic women’s clothing store and bazaar that features a curated selection of items from independent artists, designers and makers. 1407 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ continuumbazaar.
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PRET T Y PONY BOUTIQUE | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Women’s apparel, handbags, jewelry and more. 7791 Cooper Road, Montgomery, 513-9848837, searchable on Facebook.
Clothing and lifestyle destination that embraces the beauty and creativity of the modern woman. 1230 Vine St., Over-theRhine, idlewildwoman.com.
Moccasins, sheepskin shoes, clogs, hats, rugs and all sorts of other interesting global clothing and accessory imports. 369 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, hansaguild.us.
Carries brands for men and women like Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Jack Rogers, Southern Tide and many others. 3445 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, khakiscincinnati.com.
Kilimanjaro African Heritage
African heritage and import store. Clothing, accessories, art. 310 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, africanforus.com.
The best of Tulle, Free People, Dansko and other eclectic purveyors of women’s fashion and accessories. 2037 Madison Road, O’Bryonville; 1321 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ kismetovertherhine. 12 6 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Knickers of Hyde Park
Lingerie experts; also sells sleepwear, swimwear, accessories and gifts. 2726 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, knickersofhydepark.com.
Lane & Kate
High-quality, independently made accessories and gifts, including jewelry and watches. An outpost for floral shop Two Little Buds. 1405 Vine St., Overthe-Rhine, laneandkate.com.
A clothing store and jewelry studio. 1307 Main St., Over-theRhine, 513-409-4256.
Leeli + Lou
Chic and affordable boutique for the trendy college girl. 2732 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, leeliandlou.com.
Women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and bags. 6145 Bridgetown Road, West Side, shoploulous.com.
Monkee’s of Madeira
Trendy women’s shoes, clothing and accessories. 6928 Miami Ave., Madeira, monkeesofmadeira.com.
Morrison & Me
The only haute couture shoe store in Cincinnati. 2643 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, morrisonandme. com.
The Native One
1. Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa 2. Salon Lofts 3. Tanya’s Image & Wellness Salon
A women’s fashion, accessories, apothecary and home décor shop featuring trendy items. 1421 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, thenativeone.com. A global bazaar of fashion and overseas imports. 523 Main St., Covington, Ky., 859-291-9555, searchable on Facebook.
paolo a modern jeweler
A modern jeweler featuring everything from bridal to readyto-wear and custom designs. 278 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, paoloamodernjeweler.com.
Pangaea Trading Co.
Eclectic women’s jewelry, apparel, shoes and more. 326 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-7513330, searchable on Facebook.
Pretty Pony Boutique
Fairly priced women’s clothing boutique featuring a selection of hand-picked apparel, shoes, gifts and accessories. 2837 Town Center Blvd., Crestview Hills, Ky., prettyponyboutique. com.
The Pink Box
Women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and unique inhouse, monogrammed items. 6929 Miami Ave., Madeira, facebook.com/thepinkbox.
1. Deluxe Nails and Spa 2. Ambiance Nail Salon 3. Katy’s Nails
1. Findlay Market 2. Jungle Jim’s International Market 3. Clifton Natural Foods
1. Schwartz Jewelers 2. Genesis Diamonds 3. Richter & Phillips
1. Victoria’s Secret 2. Knickers of Hyde Park 3. Hustler Hollywood
1. Kenwood Towne Centre 2. Liberty Center 3. Rookwood Commons/ Pavilion
Neighborhood Shopping District
1. Over-the-Rhine 2. Hyde Park Square 3. Ludlow Avenue
Old Green Eyes Music S i n at r a S o u n d C i nC i n n at i S t y l e Weddings, Parties, Holiday Music
the art of being unique
Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4 and Sun 12-3 w w w.y o r k v i s i o n i n t e r n a t i o n a l.c o m
FREE AND OPEN TO ALL @CincyCAC
CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER 6th & Walnut • Downtown Cincinnati • 513.345.8400 • contemporaryartscenter.org
T M B T I T W I | P H O T O : B R I T TA N Y T H O R N T O N
Pink Tulip Club
1. Natorp’s 2. White Oak Gardens 3. A.J. Rahn Greenhouses
Apparel and accessories for women and girls. 9395 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, pinktulipclub.com.
Rose & Remington
1. REI 2. Bass Pro Shops 3. Cabela’s
1. Hemptations 2. Jungle Jim’s International Market 3. Straus Tobacconist
1. Designs by Dana 2. Beelistic Tattoo & Piercing 3. White Whale Tattoo
1. Churchill’s Fine Teas 2. Coffee Emporium 3. Essencha Tea House
Vintage Clothing Store
1. Casablanca Vintage 2. Talk of the Town 3. Chicken Lays An Egg
1. King Arthur’s Court 2. Toys “R” Us 3. Coolest Toys on Earth
1. Bridal & Formal 2. David’s Bridal 3. Amanda’s Hyde Park Bridal
Eclectic boutique with affordable chic and contemporary clothing and jewelry. Multiple locations including 7562 Bales St., Liberty Township, roseandremington.com.
Fashion-forward, fresh clothing and accessories. 6810 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, sarabenjamins. com.
Mix of American and European clothing and accessories catering to the edgy, urban woman. 1216 Vine St., Over-theRhine, sloaneboutique.com.
Well-edited selection of highend dresses, separates and shoes. 2757 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-6930.
Helmed by a world-traveling art specialist, the clothing, home products and accessories are fully eclectic. Features items like hand-loomed textiles, baskets from Africa, handmade ceramics and a highly curated collection of modern and breezy
women’s wear. 6 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ TMBTITWI.
Three French Hens
Eclectic trend-based clothing, accessories, home décor and gifts. 3444 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-1161.
Unique fashion at a moderate price. 2946 Markbreit Ave., Oakley, trendcincinnati.com.
Urban Chick Boutique
Large selection of women’s dress and casual attire. 634 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., urbanchickboutique.net.
Chic, casual and sophisticated women’s clothing. 6816 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, thewardrobecincinnati.com.
A licensed supplier of original lederhosen and dirndls from Munich’s Oktoberfest. 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, wiesnkoenig-usa.com.
MALLS/OUTLETS Cincinnati Premium Outlets
Calvin Klein, Coach, Levi’s Outlet Store, Michael Kors, Reebok, True Religion and more. 400 Premium Outlets Drive, Monroe, premiumoutlets.com.
Deerfield Towne Center
Francesca’s, Lane Bryant, LOFT, Ulta Beauty, White House/Black Market, Whole Foods and more. 5085 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, deerfieldtownecenter.com.
Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, Buckle, H&M, Hot Topic, Victoria’s Secret and more. 2028 Florence Mall, Florence, Ky., florencemall.com.
Kenwood Towne Centre
Apple, Anthropologie, lululemon, Madewell, Nordstrom, Sephora and more. 7875 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, kenwoodtownecentre.com.
A mixed-use center that blends shopping with recreation, socialization and residential. 7100 Foundry Row, Liberty Township, liberty-center.com.
DSW, HomeGoods, Nordstrom Rack, T.J. Maxx, REI, Whole Foods and more. Corner of Edmonson, Edwards and Madison roads, Norwood, shoprookwood.com.
Charlotte Russe, Ethan Allen, Hollister, Hot Topic, Journeys and more. 11700 Princeton Pike, Glendale, tricountymall.com.
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SWING HOUSE PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Cincinnati Art Museum
Located in scenic Eden Park, the museum’s collection spans 6,000 years and includes galleries devoted to photography, folk art, antiquities, European painting and more, including works by Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. The Rosenthal Education Center is a hands-on art experience for kids. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Free admission. 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
Contemporary Arts Center
The city’s major downtown art facility, designed by late architect Zaha Hadid, features changing displays and exhibitions as well as special events, a hip café, a gift shop and the avant-garde Black Box Performance Series. Closed Tuesdays. Free admission. 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.
Lloyd Library and Museum
The library archive features books, holdings and ephemera centered around medical botany, pharmacy, eclectic medicine and horticulture. Also includes changing art exhibits. Open Monday-Friday. Free admission. 917 Plum St., Downtown, lloydlibrary.org.
Taft Museum of Art
This fine art museum, the former historic home of relatives of President William Howard Taft, features a large garden, tearoom and historical displays related to the permanent collection in addition to changing and traveling exhibitions. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Admission fee. 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.
ART Beyond Boundaries
Offers pricing, exhibition and sale of American and European paintings. 225 E. Sixth St., Second Floor, Downtown, cincyart. com.
Art Design Consultants
A fine art press that specializes in small-edition hand-pulled prints in lithography, etching, woodcut and silkscreen. 1312 Clay St., Over-the-Rhine, patsfallgraphics.com.
An art consultation company and gallery — and event space. 310 Culvert St., Downtown, adcfineart.com.
ArtWorks, a local arts nonprofit, connects professional artists with apprentice students to create public murals and other works. Found throughout the city, they range from small and quirky to entire walls. Guided walking tours of downtown and Over-the-Rhine murals available. Admission fee. artworkscincinnati.org.
An alternative-art practice gallery that weaves community and craft. 3105 Harrison Ave., Westwood, basketshopgallery.com.
A creative refuge, design studio, community-mural painter and gallery for innovative and avant-garde contemporary art. 30 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., bldgrefuge.com.
Inside Brazee Street Studios. Exhibits solo, group and collaborative exhibits of Cincinnati artists, craftsmen and designers to encourage the purchase of locally produced goods. 4426 Brazee St., Oakley, brazeestreetstudios.com.
Carl Solway Gallery
ART GALLERIES & SPACES
The only member of the Art Dealers Association of America in the Tri-State, it features nationally known modern and contemporary artists in a variety of media. 424 Findlay St., West End, solwaygallery.com.
21c Museum Hotel
Cincinnati’s only museum hotel. Features rotating exhibits of Contemporary art and a permanent collection that includes site-specific commissioned works. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, 21cmuseumhotels.com.
Features works by local and up-and-coming artists. Open for Final Fridays and select days during the week. 1305 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook. com/1305Gallery.
Art Academy of Cincinnati
The Art Academy offers several spaces for viewing works by students, faculty and others, with openings and events coinciding with Final Friday Gallery Walks. Chidlaw and Pearlman galleries, plus a Convergys space in the lobby. 1212 Jackson St., Overthe-Rhine, artacademy.edu.
Cincinnati Art Galleries
This space, sponsored by The Center for Independent Living Options, features work by local artists with disabilities. 1410 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, artbeyondboundaries.com.
A key spot in Covington’s visual and performing arts community. Hosts the yearly Art of Food culinary event and exhibit, along with regional surveys and exhibits in painting, sculpture, video and more. 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., thecarnegie.com.
Cincinnati Art Club
Established in 1890. Offers peer review for area artists as well as educational opportunities and an outreach program. 1021 Parkside Place, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartclub.com.
Collaborative art space hosting weekly (if not bi-weekly) public events, encouraging discourse, collaborative art making, radical workshops and poetry readings. 2868 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, chasepublic.org.
Clay Street Press, Inc.
College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning Galleries, UC
Student work from one of the nation’s best-regarded art programs. Also hosts work from faculty. Dorothy W. and C. Lawson Reed, Jr. Gallery, DAAP Complex, Fifth Floor; Philip M. Meyers, Jr. Memorial Gallery, Steger Student Life Center, University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Ave., Clifton Heights, daap.uc.edu/galleries.
Enjoy the Arts
A membership to Enjoy the Arts exposes students and professionals 35 and younger to local art. Provides tickets to a wide variety of visual- and performing-arts education. 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, enjoythearts.org.
Features more than 100 local artists’ studios, showcased at quarterly art walks. 2511 Essex Place, Walnut Hills, essexstudios. com.
Housed in the former Felsenbrau brewery space in the West End, this large warehouse offers multiple open spaces for events, art shows, dance parties and more. 242 W. McMicken Ave., West End, felsenhaus242.com.
Fitton Center for Creative Arts
Renowned arts center for the Hamilton area that hosts changing exhibitions and offers many education programs. 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton, fittoncenter.org.
An 800-foot storefront space in Findlay Market on the ground floor of People’s Liberty’s headquarters. The philanthropic lab gives grants to three individuals a year to transform the space into a provocative installation that engages the surrounding neighborhood. 1805 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, peoplesliberty. org.
A contemporary art gallery with high ceilings and a roll-up garage door helmed by Angela Jones. 1110 Alfred St., Camp Washington, hudsonjonesgallery.com.
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PIQUE GALLERY | PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Kennedy Heights Arts Center
Hosts a variety of exhibitions and art classes. Recent expansion into a new annex allows for additional programming and classes, performing arts, concerts and special exhibitions. 6546 Montgomery Road, Kennedy Heights, kennedyarts.org.
Features changing and frequently juried group exhibitions, including the popular annual Magnitude SEVEN small works exhibition. Also offers internships, study opportunities and a drawing center. 2727 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, manifestgallery.org.
Marta Hewett Gallery
Offers exhibitions of rarely seen works in contemporary studio glass. The Annex at Pendleton Art Center, 1310 Pendleton St., Pendleton, martahewett.com.
Mary Ran Gallery
A fine-art gallery dedicated to local and global 19th- and 20thcentury American and European art. 3668 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, maryrangallery.com.
Exhibits national and international artists in all media in genres ranging from 13 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
contemporary realism to abstract to traditional. 2715 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, millergallery. com.
An industrial multi-use venue in a historic brewery space with a DIY ethos. Hosts changing exhibits, live music, workshops, dance parties, open mics and more. 2260 Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ themockbee.
Northern Kentucky University Fine Arts Center
Showcases work by NKU students and faculty. Northern Kentucky University, 312 Nunn Drive, Third Floor, Highland Heights, Ky., nku.edu.
A gallery and workshop space housed in an old lumber-drying facility and shipping container. The owners have touted a vision of an outdoor movie theater, exhibit space and arts education center. 1662 Hoffner St., Northside, facebook.com/parprojects.
Pendleton Art Center
Boasts eight floors of artists’ studios, which are open to the public each month via the Final Friday Gallery Walks and holiday open houses. 1310 Pendleton St., Pendleton, pendletonartcenter. com.
People’s Liberty Camp Washington Gallery
An extension of the People’s Liberty Globefront Gallery in Findlay Market, this Camp Washington campus features rotating community projects and art exhibits in a converted storefront. 2840 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, peoplesliberty.org.
An open-ended art experiment where guests can view and even temporarily lodge with artwork, operated out of a two-unit storefront space. 210 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., piquewebsite. com.
A mobile pop-up gallery housed in a converted 1963 Rainbow Caravan camper with the goal of increasing community interaction using the power of art. Find upcoming exhibits and locations at poppedart.gallery.
Rock-poster shop and design studio. 33 E. Ninth St., Newport, Ky., powerhousefactories.com.
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Permanent and temporary art, book and historical exhibits at the Main Library. 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org.
BEST OF ARTS CityBeat’s Best Of Cincinnati® issue is an annual collection of the city’s best as voted on by readers and staff. Here are some of the 2018 reader picks for Cincinnati’s best arts.
1. 21c Museum Hotel 2. Art Academy of Cincinnati 3. Contemporary Arts Center
1. Cincinnati Art Museum 2. Contemporary Arts Center 3. American Sign Museum
1. “Charley Harper’s Beguiled by the Wild” 2. “Cincinnati Toy Heritage” 3. “Swing Around Rosie” 4. “Mr. Dynamite” 5. “Dream Big and Fly High” 6. “Martha, The Last Passenger Pigeon” 7. “Homecoming (Blue Birds)” 8. “Little Sure Shot” 9. “Lookin’ Good”
513.621.5282 C BA L L E T.ORG
SEPTEMBER 13-23 ARONOFF CENTER Samantha Griﬀin & Matthew Griﬀin
photography : Aaron M Conway
design + illustration : BR AND-Y-DESIGN
DIANNE & J. DAVID ROSENBERG
THE KAPLAN FOUNDATION
SEASON SPONSORS MARGARET & MICHAEL VALENTINE OFFICIAL SPORTS MEDICINE PROVIDER
“I’m new to Cincinnati and still learning and experiencing more about my new city every day. I love how it’s a city of neighborhoods, each one different than the next. We live in Clifton Gaslight and love walking to the Ludlow shops. Our 2-year-old always asks to go to Clifton Market, especially because he knows Graeter’s is across the street and it’s harder for us to say no when we’re so close!” —Ainsley M. Cameron Curator of South Asian Art, Islamic Art, and Antiquities at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum
An outdoor sculpture museum focusing on monumental pieces. Also features an Ancient Sculpture Museum displaying historic Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan works. 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, pyramidhill.org.
Red Tree Gallery
Coffee shop and art gallery featuring many group shows. 3210 Madison Road, Oakley, redtreegallery.net.
Studio San Giuseppe
Displays the works of regional professionals as well as Mount St. Joseph students and faculty. Dorothy Meyer Ziv Art Building, Mount St. Joseph University, 5701 Delhi Road, Delhi, msj.edu.
The Swing House is a wholebuilding art project — a freestanding 1880s three-story brick home in Camp Washington where owner and artist Mark de Jong has removed the interior walls and upper floors and built a swing right in the middle of the opened-up interior. Made from pine he salvaged from third floor joists, the swing is attached by 30 feet of naturalfiber rope to a metal beam on
the ceiling. Open intermittently for tours, the home was the subject of a 2018 art show at the Contemporary Arts Center and is available as an Airbnb rental. 1373 Avon Place, Camp Washington, swing-house.com.
Founded in order to preserve the legacy of outsider artist Raymond Thunder-Sky and to provide an exhibition space for other unconventional artists. 4573 Hamilton Ave., Northside, raymondthundersky.org.
Upstairs at The Greenwich
Changing exhibitions in a local nightclub/Jazz club. 2442 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, thegreenwich.com.
Visionaries + Voices
Started with the vision of creating a space for artists with disabilities, Visionaries + Voices now helps hundreds of artists find their voices within Cincinnati. 3841 Spring Grove Ave., Northside; 225 Northland Blvd., Tri-County, visionariesandvoices.com.
Visionaries + Voices Visionarium
Visionaries + Voices, the nonprofit that is dedicated to providing artistic training to people with disabilities, opened its third location in Oakley. The Oakley Visionarium has a larger shop for its students’ artwork and also acts as a progressive learning studio to engage both V+V artists and the community at large. 3054 Madison Road, Oakley, visionariesandvoices. com/visionarium.
Wash Park Art
A creative art gallery located across from Washington Park, in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. 1215 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washparkart.com.
Wave Pool Gallery
Art gallery, studio and residency program for emerging and established artists. Contributes to the local community through experimental art, interpretation and interactive programming. 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, wavepoolgallery. org.
PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Features works by XU students and faculty. A.B. Cohen Center, First Floor, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, xavier.edu.
GALLERY WALKS Essex Studios Art Walk
Recurring art walks inside a collective gallery with works from resident artists. Held first Fridays and Saturdays. 2511 Essex Place, Walnut Hills, essexstudios.com.
Final Friday Gallery Walk
A monthly gallery hop in historic Pendleton and on north Main Street. Meet artists, view and purchase artwork and, if you’re lucky, get some free wine and cheese and crackers. 5 p.m.-midnight Final Fridays. Main Street, Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/finalfridayotr; The Pendleton Art Center, 1310 Pendleton St., Pendleton, pendletonartcenter.com.
Walk on Woodburn (WoW)
East Walnut Hills’ version of a gallery walk occurring on irregular Fridays corresponding with gallery openings in the neighborhood. 27002800 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, facebook.com/ walkonwoodburn.
ONSTAGE Aronoff Center For the Arts
The Cincinnati Arts Association presents an eclectic mix of entertainment and performances, including celebrity appearances, eclectic dance, live music, theater and the Cincinnati Ballet. Full calendar online. 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
Broadway in Cincinnati
Broadway Across America brings touring shows — mostly musicals — to Cincinnati. The 2019 season includes Rent, Hamilton and Cats. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnati. broadway.com.
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Changing exhibitions of local and regional artists. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts. org/weston-art-gallery.
One of America’s best regional theaters and winner of two Tony Awards. The Playhouse produces comedies, dramas, musicals, classics and new works. 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.
Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Weston Art Gallery
Fondly known as “The Barn,” the center hosts children’s art classes, social events, lectures, art exhibits and more. 6980 Cambridge Ave., Mariemont, artatthebarn.org.
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Xavier University Art Galleries
Resident company of experienced professional actors presents works by Shakespeare, as well as other classics, and one of the only company’s to perform all 38 plays in the canon. The Otto M. Budig Theater, 1195 Elm St., Over-theRhine, cincyshakes.com.
2018/19 Season Highlights C I N C I N N A T I S Y M P H O N Y. O R G • C I N C I N N A T I P O P S . O R G
STAR OF HAMILTON
CSO OPENING NIGHT Gala + Après
the free after-party
One City weekend:
+ THE RITE OF SPRING
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. Anglia is a trademark owned and licensed by Ford Motor Company. (s18 (s18)
Harold C. Schott Foundation / Francie and Tom Hiltz, Trustees
THE 18/19 BROADWAY SEASON
OCT 23 - NOV 4, 2018 ON SALE NOW
FEB 19 - MAR 10, 2019 ON SALE TBA
DEC 11 - 23, 2018 ON SALE NOW
JAN 15 - 27, 2019 ON SALE NOV 2
APR 9 - 21, 2019 ON SALE NOV 2
APR 30 - MAY 12, 2019 ON SALE OCT 26
NOV 27 - DEC 2, 2018 ON SALE NOW
MAR 19 - 24, 2019 ON SALE NOV 2
JUN 11 - 16, 2019 ON SALE NOV 2
Join our eCLUB to get first notice and exclusive access for pre-sales and on-sales! BroadwayInCincinnati.com Aronoff Center Ticket Office • CincinnatiArts.org • 513.621.ARTS
E N S E M B L E T H E AT R E C I N C I N N AT I | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
10. “Ezzard Charles: The Cincinnati Cobra”
1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (@cincinnatizoo) 2. Cincinnati Art Museum (@cincyartmuseum) 3. Cincinnati Refined (@ cincyrefined)
1. Bob Herzog 2. Andrew Maloney 3. Brooke Steele
1. C.F. Payne 2. Brad Thiele 3. Chad Turner
Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre
High school talent in an annual summer production. Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., Covedale, cincinnatilandmarkproductions. com.
Clifton Performance Theatre
Contemporary works featuring professional actors. 404 Ludlow Ave., Clifton; Liberty Exhibition Hall, 3938 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, cliftonperformancetheatre.com.
College-Conservatory of Music, UC
1. Molly Wellmann 2. Jillian Kuhlmann 3. Phil Nuxhall
Professional-grade musical theater and drama productions. Corbett Auditorium, Patricia Corbett Theater or Cohen Family Studio Theater, University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Ave., Clifton Heights, ccm.uc.edu.
Local Classical Music Group
Covedale Center for the Performing Arts
1. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra 2. Cincinnati Pops 3. Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra
Local Dance Group
1. Cincinnati Ballet 2. Cin City Burlesque 3. Elementz
Renovated movie theater presenting semi-professional works, including musical theater. 4990 Glenway Ave., Covedale, cincinnatilandmarkproductions. com/ccpa.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
Excellent productions of local, regional and world premieres. 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, ensemblecincinnati.org.
Semi-professional theater. Monmouth Theatre, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., falcontheater.net.
The venue is nestled inside a historic church, with actors as passionate as if they were on Broadway. Stained Glass Theater, 802 York St., Newport, Ky., footlighters.org.
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Adventurous company presents plays with an emphasis on contemporary issues. Also manages the annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival at venues throughout Over-the-Rhine in early June. 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com.
New Edgecliff Theatre
Founded in 1998, New Edgecliff Theatre’s mission has always been to create a powerful artistic experience utilizing local professionals. Presents contemporary dramas, comedies and musicals. Hoffner Lodge, 4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside, newedgecliff.com.
Northern Kentucky University
Musical theater and drama productions. Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University, 1 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky., nku.edu.
School for Creative & Performing Arts
High school talent and productions/concerts in drama, dance, vocal arts and music. The Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education, 108 W. Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine, scpa. cps-k12.org.
Hosts frequent national and international musicians, along with comedians, theatrical productions and evenings with celebrities. Full calendar online. 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.
Thomas More College Villa Players
A liberal arts theater program. Thomas More College, 333 Thomas More Parkway, Crestview Hills, Ky., thomasmore.edu.
Untethered Theater Company
Little-seen recent works in an intimate space. Clifton Performance Theatre, 404 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, untetheredtheater.com.
Warsaw Federal Incline Theater
A performing-arts venue in East Price Hill’s Incline District staging modern musicals and dramas. 801 Matson Place, East Price Hill, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com/incline.
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C I N C I N N AT I B A L L E T C H O R E O G R A P H E R J E N N I F E R A R C H I B A L D | P H O T O : H A I L E Y B O L L I N G E R
Xavier University Players
Classics, musicals and new theater. Gallagher Student Center Theatre, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, xavier.edu.
CHILDREN’S THEATER Calico Children’s Theatre
Children’s community theater. UC Clermont College, 4200 Clermont College Drive, Batavia, ucclermont.edu.
of friendly scrimmage for improvised comedy — began in Milwaukee in 1984 and boasts such alumni as Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudeikis and The Daily Show ’s Jessica Williams. Cincinnati is the 23rd city to be awarded a ComedySportz license. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, otrimprov. com/comedysportz.
Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
Features national headlining comedians as well as up-andcomers. 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, liberty.funnybone. com.
Frisch Marionette Company
A live multi-media sketch comedy show the last Sunday of the month at MOTR Pub. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook. com/futurescienceshow.
One of America’s oldest professional theater companies for young audiences. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, thechildrenstheatre.com. Traveling marionette and puppet theater, focused on young audiences. Various venues, frischmarionettes.com.
Features giant puppets and normal-sized actors. Various venues, madcappuppets.com.
Wump Mucket Puppets
A traveling local puppet theater. Various venues, wumpmucketpuppets.com.
COMEDY ComedySportz Cincinnati
ComedySportz — a type 14 0 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Go Bananas Comedy Club
Established comedy club featuring national and local acts. 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
A home-grown improv comedy troupe. Various venues, facebook.com/highlyimprovable.
Offers free intro to improv classes, as well as more complex fundamentals courses, plus weekly shows.
Clifton Performance Theatre, 404 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, improvcincinnati.com.
Improvisational group inside the Know Theatre offering performances and open-mic jams. Presents the annual IF Cincy Improv Festival. Performances and classes take place at variuous venues. 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, otrimprov.com.
This African cultural ensemble performs throughout the year at various venues, with classes and weekly drum circles. 5601 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, bi-okoto.com.
One of the top ballet companies in the country. Also performs smaller works at its rehearsal studio and offers classes through Otto M. Budig Academy. Cincinnati Ballet Center & Mickey Jarson Kaplan Performance Studio, 1555 Central Parkway, Downtown; Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown; Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cballet.org.
Contemporary Dance Theater
Nationally known acts perform a variety of dance styles from ballet to jazz to modern. Guest
1. Allyson West 2. Hal Carlton-Ford 3. E.C. Holt
Local Theater Company
1. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park 2. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company 3. Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Local Vocal Arts Group
1. MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir 2. Cincinnati Children’s Choir 3. May Festival Chorus
1. Esquire Theatre 2. Cinemark Oakley Station 3. AMC Newport on the Levee
1. Cincinnati Art Museum 2. Cincinnati Museum Center 3. Contemporary Arts Center
1. Steve Caminiti 2. Gary Owen 3. Josh Sneed
Waxing Cincinnati 2525 years Waxing Cincinnati forfor Over Years
Heavenly Bodies Wax Spa
Cincinnati’s 5 Star Waxing Spa. Home of the 15 minute Brazilian Bikini Wax
3608 Marburg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208 (513) 321-8252 | www.cincyspa.com
Discover an oasis in downtown Cincinnati! • Delight your senses with art, history, and unique experiences. • Savor lunch or weekend brunch at the Lindner Family Café. • Have fun at our many family programs!
FREE SUNDAYS Find out more at taftmuseum.org. LEFT: Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair (detail), 1633, oil on canvas. Taft Museum of Art | Photo of Patrick Dougherty’s sculpture Far Flung, by Robert A. Flischel Photography
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Artist Series performed at Jarson-Kaplan Theater at Aronoff Center for the Arts. 1805 Larch Ave., College Hill, cdt-dance.org.
de la Dance Company
High-quality professional dance performances ranging from contemporary to full-length classical works. Performs the annual popular The Nutcracker Jazzed Up! de la Dance Company, 5141 Kennedy Ave., Oakley; Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, deladancecenter.com.
Exhale Dance Tribe
february 23-24, 2019 sharonville convention center exit #15 off I-75 show hours: sat & sun 11-5 $8 admission good both days
java preview sat. 9 am - 11 am $25 advance, $30 at the door
A contemporary dance troupe made up of Cincinnati-based performing artists and dance educators. Various venues, exhaledancetribe.com.
This modern dance company performs original works. Various venues, mamluftcodance.org.
CLASSICAL MUSIC Catacoustic Consort
Vocal and instrumental works from Renaissance chamber music to Baroque opera that’s performed on antique instruments. Various venues, catacoustic.com.
Annie Fitzpatrick & Becca Howell in Bloomsday. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.
Chamber Music Cincinnati
Presents well-known Chamber ensembles as well as newbies in concerts throughout the year. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincychamber.org.
FOR TICKETS or TO SUBSCRIBE www.ensemblecincinnati.org | 513.421.3555
18 19 17 18 SEASON
FLY BY NIGHT
conceived by Kim Rosenstock by Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, & Michael Mitnick
SEPT 1 – 29 ALICE IN WONDERLAND book by Joseph McDonough music & lyrics by David Kisor
NOV 28 – DEC 30 RIPCORD
by David Lindsay-Abaire
JAN 19 – FEB 16 A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 by Lucas Hnath
MARCH 2 – 30 SKELETON CREW
by Dominique Morisseau
APRIL 13 – MAY 11 THE WOLVES
by Sarah DeLappe
JUNE 1 – 29 Torie Wiggins and Scot Woolley in His Eye is on the Sparrow. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.
SEASON PRESENTING SPONSOR
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Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra
Small orchestra performs a Classical repertoire. Various venues, ccocincinnati.org.
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
College-Conservatory of Music, UC
Presents hundreds of concerts, performances, recitals, master classes and more — often daily, often free. CCM Village, University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Ave., Clifton Heights, ccm.uc.edu.
CSO Chamber Players
The small group of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra members performs four Fridays each season. Various venues, cincinnatisymphony.org.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
Orchestra that caters to the common man with concerts built around approachable themes. Various venues, kyso. org.
Linton Chamber Music Series
The finest chamber music series in the Tristate, featuring worldclass soloists. Also presents Peanut Butter & Jam sessions for kids. Various venues, lintonmusic.org.
MYCincinnati Youth Orchestra
Music for Youth Cincinnati is a free youth orchestra program with frequent performances. Inspired by El Sistema, a revolutionary youth orchestra from Venezuela, and founded on the idea that personal transformation can be achieved by striving towards musical excellence. 3120 Warsaw Ave., East Price Hill, mycincinnatiorchestra.org.
Northern Kentucky University
Various college performing arts. Greaves Concert Hall, 1 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky., nku. edu.
Celebrities galore regularly pop into town to perform everything from Broadway show tunes to modern earworms. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-theRhine (and in summer at Riverbend Music Center), cincinnatisymphony.org/pops.
Various college performing arts, including guitar and piano series with artists from around the world. Gallagher Student Center Theatre, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, xavier.edu.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Louis Langrée directs the fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. The symphony performs around 125 concerts a year, from enduring works by beloved composers to innovative and well-loved programs. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.
Exploratory chamber ensemble comprised of Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra musicians that performs traditional and contemporary Classical music. Various venues, concertnova. com.
VOCAL GROUPS Mount St. Mary’s seminary choir specializes in religious Classical music. 6616 Beechmont Ave., Mount Washington, athenaeum. edu/discover/chorale.aspx.
Comprised of young men from more than 75 schools around the Tristate. Various venues, cincinnatiboychoir.org.
The area’s cutting-edge chorus performs a broad spectrum of works “from the Renaissance to the avant-garde.” Various venues, cincinnaticamerata.com.
Cincinnati Chamber Opera
Professional operatic productions in intimate, chamber settings and featuring emerging
E S Q U I R E T H E AT R E | P H O T O : E M E R S O N S W O G E R
Local Improv/Sketch Comedy Group
1. OTRimprov 2. Improv Cincinnati 3. Future Science
Opportunities for Local Artists
1. ArtWorks 2. The City Flea 3. Cincy Fringe Festival
1. ArtWorks Murals 2. BLINK (returning 2019) 3. Roebling Murals
Regional Arts Theater
1. Human Race Theatre Company (Dayton, Ohio) 2. Actors Theatre of Louisville (Louisville, Ky.) 3. Pioneer Playhouse (Danville, Ky.)
1. COSI (Columbus, Ohio) 2. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 3. Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, Ohio)
artists. Various venues, cincinnatichamberopera.org.
Cincinnati Youth Choir
An educationally based choral ensemble program where participants learn vocal technique, sight reading, music history and music theory. Perform at various venues but are an ensemble in residence at CCM. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, W. Corry Street and Jefferson Avenue, Clifton, cincinnatichoir.org.
Cincinnati Men’s Chorus
Various music styles are featured and performed by GBTQ men and allies. Various venues, cincinnatimenschorus.org.
for LGBTQ and straight youth ages 13-22, supported by MUSE. Various venues, diversecityyc. com.
MUSE: Cincinnati Women’s Choir
A feminist-centered, social justice-oriented chorus of women of diverse backgrounds, celebrating queer and straight identities. Various venues, musechoir.org.
Queen City Chamber Opera
A professional opera company that presents emerging artists in fully staged productions of repertory composers. Various venues, queencitychamberopera.org.
Vocal Arts Ensemble
The nation’s second-oldest opera company stages productions every summer with national and international opera stars. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiopera.org.
This professional choir performs a variety of historic and religious Western music. Various venues, vaecinci.org.
Cincinnati Song Intiative
Their mission is to provide the community with outstanding motion pictures that explore the human condition and celebrate cultural diversity. Programming frequently includes Oscarnominated shorts, foreign films and other indie fare. Garfield Theatre, 719 Race St., Downtown, cincyworldcinema.org.
Devoted to performance of the “art song,” the newer Cincinnati Song Initiative has big plans. An art song is poetry set to music. Various venues, cincinnatisonginitiative. org.
Diverse City Youth Chorus
Performing arts organization
FILM Cincy World Cinema
Offers movies from mainstream to foreign, including special themed events and midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, esquiretheatre.com.
Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Film Commission
With the advent of Ohio tax incentives, the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission has done its best to bring Hollywood to the Queen City. filmcincinnati.com.
Holiday Auto Theatre
A drive-in open for more than 60 years. 1816 Old Oxford Road, Hamilton, holidayautotheatre. com.
Locally owned state-of-the-art theater screening everything from commercial to indie to foreign films. 7815 Kenwood Road, Kenwood, kenwoodtheatre.com.
Indie theater in a neighborhood with eclectic restaurants and shops nearby. 6906 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, mariemonttheatre.com.
Celebrating more than 65 years of flicks, food and fun. 2255 State Route 125, Amelia, starlitedriveinohio.com. A N N U A L M A N U A L 2 0 18 -19 | 14 3
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CITYBEAT EVENTS Best of Cincinnati®— A party to fête the annual Best of Cincinnati® issue. March 2019.
A guide to Cincinnati’s annual festivals and parties
Bourbon and Bacon — And beer. Dec. 5, 2018. Brunched — A boozy breakfast club. June 2019. Cincinnati Burger Week—$5 burgers from participating restaurants. July 2019.
Appalachian Festival — 50th-annual. May 10-12, 2019. appalachianfestival.org. BLINK — An immersive art and light fest that takes over downtown and OTR. October 2019. blinkcincinnati.com. Bockfest — Celebrates OTR, Cincinnati’s brewing heritage and spring. March 2019. bockfest.com. Bunbury Music Festival —Bigname Indie Rock, EDM and Hip Hop. May 31-June 2, 2019. bunburyfestival.com. Cincinnati Fringe Festival — Two weeks of experimental theater. May 31-June 15, 2019. cincyfringe.com. Cincinnati International Wine Festival — Raises funds for local charities. March 8-9, 2019. winefestival.com. Cincinnati May Festival—A two-week choral festival around since the 1870s. May 2019. mayfestival.com. Cincinnati Music Festival—Bigname Blues, Jazz and R&B. July 25-27, 2019. cincymusicfestival. com. Cincinnati Pride — 46th-annual celebration of Cincinnati’s LGBTQ+ community. June 22, 2019. cincinnatipride.org. 14 4 | C I T Y B E AT. C O M
Cincy Beerfest— Offers both summer and winter craft beertasting sessions. 2019 dates TBD. cincybeerfest.com.
the values of the black family. August 2019. myblackfamilyreunion.org.
Cincy Brew Ha-Ha— A riverfront beer and comedy festival. August 2019. cincybrewhaha.com.
Northside Rock N’ Roll Carnival —Beer, music, carnival sideshows and the best Fourth of July parade. July 4, 2019. northsiderocks.com.
Cincy Blues Fest— One of the longest-running Blues fests in the country. August 2019. cincybluesfest.org.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati — North America’s largest Oktoberfest. September 2019. oktoberfestzinzinnati.com.
Festival of Lights — The Cincinnati Zoo’s annual holiday light display. Nov. 17, 2018-Jan. 1, 2019. cincinnatizoo.org.
Panegyri— Greek festival! Food! Wine! Dancing! June 28-30, 2019. panegyri.com.
Flying Pig Marathon — More than two decades old; a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. May 5, 2019. flyingpigmarathon.com. Glier’s GoettaFest — Rooted both in German ancestry and Queen City history, this meat is made with pinhead oats, pork and beef scraps. August 2019. goettafest.com. Hamilton County Fair— More than 160 years old. August 2019. hamiltoncountyfair.com. Harvest Home Fair — A West Side street festival dating back to the 1860s. September 2019. harvesthomefair.com. Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion — Celebrates
Reds Opening Day Parade — March 28, 2019. findlaymarketparade.com. Riverfest — One of the largest Labor Day fireworks displays in the Midwest. Sept. 1, 2019. Searchable on Facebook. St. Patrick’s Day Parade — Held rain or shine (or sleet or snow or hangover). March 16, 2019. cincystpatsparade.com. Summerfair — Cincinnati’s premier fine arts and crafts festival. May 31-June 2, 2019. summerfair.org. Taste of Cincinnati— The nation’s longest-running culinary arts festival; 42nd-annual. May 25-27, 2019. tasteofcincinnati.com.
Cincinnati Entertainment Awards — Honors the city’s best bands. Nov. 25, 2018. Cincinnati Pizza Week — $8 pizzas at the city’s favorite pizzerias. Nov. 5-11, 2018. Cincinnati Taco Week —$2 tacos from the city’s most-popular taquerias. October 2019. Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week — Three-course prix-fixe menus from area restaurants. April and September 2019. HopScotch — An Irish whiskey, Scotch and craft beer tasting event. October 2019. Mac & Cheese Throwdown — Chefs go head-to-head in a cheesy smackdown. Nov. 2, 2018. Margarita Madness — Vendors compete to make the best margarita; you win. May 2019. Sugar Rush — A smorgasbord of sweets. August 2019.
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