Here you can view a list of all of my favorite places in one place. There are so many components regarding why I Love Cincinnati, and below are a few more helpful signifiers as to why. [Note: not all of these places have been reviewed on Tour de Cincinnati. If a place has been reviewed, it has been linked.]
It’s really difficult to narrow down my favorite Asian restaurants, given the broad genre. But my go-to Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean restaurants would be:
Green Papaya (Thai) Favorite dish: teriyaki salmon. See also: shrimp shumai, mango fried rice, and TaTa roll. (Another review.)
Kyoto Japanese Cuisine (Japanese) Favorite dish: hibachi chicken lunch box.
Bamboo Kitchen (Thai and Vietnamese) Favorite dish: Thai garlic chicken. See also: veggie roll, sesame chicken, and everything else. (Formerly Mekong Thai Cuisine)
Suzie Wong’s (Asian fusion) Favorite dish: beef bibimbap. See also: crab rangoon, mongolian chicken, Thai fried rice, and BonBonerie opera cream cake.
Wabi Sabi (half-price sushi) Favorite rolls: Bengal, Dancing Shrimp, Dragon, and Volcano.
Yat Ka Mein (Chinese) Favorite dish: cream cheese puffs. See also: sesame chicken.
Brewery/Bar/Local Beer Pusher
Blank Slate Brewing Company Favorite brew: all of them are solid, but particularly Fork in the Road, Opera Cream, RYEsing Up, and Shroominous.
Ei8ht Ball An insane beer list, and always unique. 42 taps, with a handful of their own recipes at all times.
The Growler House 30 beers on tap; 15+ of which are dedicated to local breweries.
Listermann Favorite brew: Planetary Eclipse (Black IPA), Later 562 (Oatmeal Stout). See also: food trucks for Xavier men’s basketball pre-games.
Rhinehaus Note: fantastic for watching soccer on weekend mornings.
Taft’s Ale House Favorite brew: Maverick chocolate porter, among many others. See also: food!
The Woodburn Favorite brew: Cedar IPA, Steinpils, and Pineapple Saison. Fantastic space.
“Hybrid meals are for people who are too lazy to wake up for a proper breakfast.”
Cheapside Cafe Challah French toast and breakfast sandwich. See also: the ambiance entirely.
Eckerlin Meats Goetta, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich.
Maplewood Breakfast sandwich.
Melt Eclectic Cafe Challah French toast. See also: vegan chocolate cupcake.
Taste of Belgium ‘Nati Crepe with maple syrup. See also: Belgian frites!
BrewRiver Gastropub (East Walnut Hills) Streetcar Burger
Gordo’s Pub (Norwood) The Gordo
Renegade Street Eats (food truck) Sausage Burger
The Rookwood (Mt. Adams) Barnsdale
Senate Pub (OTR; another review) Senate Burger
Zip’s Cafe (Mt. Lookout) Zip Burger
There are a ton of outstanding restaurants in the greater Cincinnati area, but not all of them are easy on the wallet. Thankfully there are a number of places that don’t break the bank:
Currito Cincinnati-based build-your-own burrito chain, featuring burritos (even small ones!), bowls, and unique ingredients.
Eli’s BBQ Favorite dish: macaroni and cheese. See also: jalapeno cornbread (and everything else).
The Eagle OTR Favorite dish: macaroni and cheese. See also: spicy honey (served with fried chicken).
Pho Lang Thang Favorite dish: Bánh Mì Xá Xíu (Chinese BBQ pork). See also: Chả Giò (fried spring rolls).
FUSIAN Favorite dish: spicy edamame. See also: sushi’s pretty great, too.
Gomez Salsa Cantina Walnut Hills Favorite dish: turtle Gomez style. See also: Fire Margarita
Holtman’s Donut Shop Favorite dish: cake donut with chocolate icing. See also: cinnamon/sugar twist.
Mazunte Taqueria Favorite dish: tacos dorados. See also: grilled corn.
Knockback Nat’s Favorite dish: steamed wings. See also: counter service.
Food Trucks Favorite truck/dish: C’est Cheese bee sting; Red Sesame Combo #1
Steak Nina Favorite dish: wings. See also: saratoga chips.
Some of our favorite places to take the dog around town.
The Growler House Craft beer bar, East Walnut Hills
The Gruff Pizza and sandwiches, Covington
Otto Armleder Park Dog park, Hamilton County Parks
The Pet Spot Boarding and doggie daycare, Norwood
Pet Wants Pet food and delivery, multiple locations
Washington Park Dog park, OTR
The Woodburn Brewery, East Walnut Hills
French Fried Potatoes
French fries are a food group all their own, and it’s surprising I haven’t set off on a journey of finding the city’s best. In the meantime, I can provide this starting point:
Poutine served with truffle fries, local cheese curds, braised shortrib, and gravy (Senate Pub)
Belgian frites (Taste of Belgium)
Fresh cut fries (Terry’s Turf Club)
Nina Style Rags French fries with melted cheese, bacon, and ranch (Steak Nina)
Saratoga chips Fried potatoes served with BBQ (Steak Nina)
Ranch Fries Waffle fries with melted cheese, bacon, and ranch (Bacall’s Cafe)
Cincinnati, in my opinion, does Indian right. I’d point out which dish is my favorite at each place, but I always get the same thing when Indian is involved (paneer makhani or shahi paneer, and garlic naan). There are a number of really good places in the area, but my favorites include:
Shaan Indian Cuisine
Swad Indian Restaurant