Located at the intersection of Ohio and Kentucky, separating the South from the North, and defining itself as thoroughly Midwestern, Cincinnati is a city undergoing a renaissance. New initiatives are attracting a younger workforce, a once derelict downtown is getting a spark of life, and a fresh culture is emerging that combines world-class shopping, dining, and attractions…. All sprinkled with a bit of history.
When one thinks of a Midwestern foodie paradise, Cincinnati is admittedly not the first thing that comes to mind, or maybe even the second. It’s likely that your mind wanders to Chicago, St. Louis or Milwaukee. However, those who miss Cincinnati’s emerging and vibrant food scene are missing out. It’s a city where chefs come to start working and then eventually stay simply because they love the area so much and there’s an endless supply of great food.
Nada is a trendy Mexican restaurant in downtown Cincinnati with a lively atmosphere that’s just right for the menu – just familiar enough to make you feel relaxed, yet eclectic enough to surprise and delight your taste buds. Try three tacos and choose from options that are far from ordinary, like Se?or Mu Shu (beer and ginger roasted pork with sesame seeds, ancho jalapeño, lime, cabbage and avocado) or Sir Winston’s Pot Roast (braised short ribs with fresh potatoes, crispy onions, horseradish and cilantro peppers). Of course, drinks are a must, and the Chilean Mango Margarita is one you can’t miss.
600 Walnut Street｜Reserve your table
A taste of Belgium.
When the owner of A Taste of Belgium, a native of the birthplace of Belgian waffles, first started his business, he ran a waffle stand behind a friend’s farmer’s market. Waffles were more popular than his friend’s business, and before he knew it, he was looking for a new place to set up shop. Now, A Taste of Belgium has more than one location, each offering a delicious menu that combines Belgian traditions with Cincinnati’s culinary heritage. Try the goetta hash (goetta is a local breakfast meat), crepes, frittatas, and of course, waffles. No matter what you order, you can rest assured that the ingredients here are the best.
1133 Vine Street.
Cincinnati Chili is not your average chili. The Cincinnati chili is Greek-based, on the sweet side, served over spaghetti with your choice of toppings – beans, onions and/or cheese. No spoons or spinning forks here, though. What you get is a knife and a fork and expect to cut into your chili dish like a casserole. This hearty, warming dish can be found in many parts of the region, but Skyline is arguably the biggest follower of the development. You’ll find people from all walks of life enjoying this city dish on their lunch break.
1001 Vine Street.
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
The airy, hip and upscale feel of Maplewood Kitchen and Bar is just the first pleasure you’ll find at this acclaimed brunch spot. Here, you can place your order at the counter and enjoy a cup of coffee or mimosa while you wait for your meal. From the first bite, you can feel the emphasis on organic, healthy and locally sourced ingredients here. There’s lots of love and tender care in every dish, whether it’s the lemon ricotta pancakes or the chicken salad.
525 Race Street.
Eagle, on the Rhine.
When a restaurant claims its focus is on fried chicken, you know you’re in for a great time. The Eagle serves all-natural, marinated fried chicken, along with Southern sides, craft beer, and live music. You can order any amount of chicken you like and pair it with options like kale, spoon bread, sweet potatoes, grits, mash, and more.
1342 Vine Street.
Kokomo is a small hole in the wall. You walk up to the window on the sidewalk, place your order from the chalkboard on the wall, and wait. Whether it’s rain, snow or a hot summer day, it’s worth the wait. A crowd favorite is the turtle shell, a hybrid burrito stuffed with rice, beans, vegetables, meat and cheese, then sealed with an exterior cheese shell. Turtle shells can easily serve two people, but if you’re really hungry, don’t feel guilty about keeping it all to yourself. You definitely won’t be the first.
107 East 12th Street.
As Ohio’s oldest continuously operating market, Findlay Market offers a dining experience unlike any other. Stroll through the stalls and pick out your favorite treats for a smorgasbord, oh no. There is a large selection of food vendors selling gyros, pinochle, baked goods, candy, sandwiches, seafood and more. In addition to the food vendors, you’ll also find some craft vendors so you can snack and shop at the same time.
1801 Race Street.