Show Menu



It shouldn’t surprise you that while you weren’t looking, Cincinnati has become legit, again. Underground brewery tours, pop-up cinema, a full-fledged foodie scene, and more await on the banks of the mighty Ohio. After all, those cool cats from WKRP must have known something. The Shepherd Fairey murals scattered about town should tip you off that this is a city on the verge. From the oh so epic City Flea to Santacon, Cincinnati has hipness and hominess all wrapped in one. So pack your gear and head over to the Queen City.

Over the Rhine

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Queen City Radio Bar and Beer Garden 222 W. 12th St. (E)

Coffee Emporium  Cincinnati loves Coffee Emporium, and you should too (voted “best of” by Cincinnati Magazine, well…pretty much constantly). Working with small farms to bring you a great product, they encourage sustainable farming practices by their partners around the globe. Not only is their direct trade coffee delicious, but they serve actual food (not just carbs that will have you snoozing on your laptop in twenty minutes). 110 E. Central Pkwy. (E)

Gomez Salsa  The Grandmaster Flash of the takeout window, Gomez Salsa can lay it down. Using his grandmother’s techniques, Andrew Gomez offers a bevy of gourmet salsas and street tacos that will make you want to slap your mamma. Sorry, Mom. (We would never.) Gomez Salsa window is open Tuesdays through Saturdays starting at 11 a.m. and Sunday brunch from 10-2. 107 E. 12th St. (E)

Halfcut  They deliver your beer by bike! They offer beer classes. They’ve even got their own app for growler orders. Besides that, they’re just all around a cool place to chill and sample some of the best obscure craft beers around, plus all your local faves. 1126 Walnut St. (E)

Know Theatre of Cincinnati  produces the popular Cincinnati Fringe Festival with 150 performances in eleven days of the weird stuff we all love. But don’t wait until Fringe rolls around again to support Cincinnati’s essential alternative theatre, buy tickets for the Main Stage season and stay culturally relevant all year long.1120 Jackson St. (D)

Ensemble Theatre  This respected regional theatre is known for its “socially conscious new works.” Despite the stately pillars out front, you’ll find the venue quite intimate and engaging. Book your tickets for a memorable night of live theatre or hone your artistic vision with a few classes at Ensemble. Find out about their current season here.1127 Vine St. (D)

Article Menswear and Provisions carries quality goods which counter “today’s disposable culture” for the sharp dressed dude. Gentleman get your Noble premium denim fitted and hemmed here. 1150 Vine St. (S)

MiCA12/v  This cool little corner shop carries modern home decor and gifts, locally crafted art and jewelry, and great little T’s to exhibit your hometown pride. This is an absolute favorite stop when tooling around Over the Rhine.1201 Vine St. (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Senate has racked up too many accolades to repeat here.  So let’s just get straight to the dogs. Though Senate serves other delicious dishes, such as the egg topped Poutine–an interesting mess of fries, cheese curds, braised short rib and gravy– we suggest you start with one of their gourmet wieners. If you’re in a wasabi mood, order the Hello Kitty 2.0 or bite into some cultural irony with the Lindsey Lohan dog topped with goat cheese, caramelized onion, bacon, and arugula. 1212 Vine St. (E)

Bakersfield OTR serves up some of the best street tacos anywhere. In fact, we wish we were there  drinking a boot glass of beer and savoring a trio right now, seriously. 1213 Vine St. (E)

Abigail Street  The problem with OTR is not about the lack of interesting food, it is about deciding what kind you’re in the mood for. For us, Abigail St.’s Mediterranean fare is always topping the list–Grilled Octopus, Gambas De Ajo (spicy shrimp with chile garlic sauce, corn and mint), Ricotta and Local Honey smeared on grilled bread–yes, yes, and yes. Pair it with Abigail’s wine of the day on tap, and then ask them to bottle one to go.1214 Vine St. (E)

1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab is a good place to sharpen your varietal acumen (the note lists themselves are fascinating), or relax with a Pale Horse Bourbon Latte. You weren’t going to do any more work today, were you? If you’re so inclined, their flights are always a fine adventure. 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab has been voted Best Wine Bar in Cincinnati by CityBeat readers. 1215 Vine St. (E)

Sloane Boutique has just enough urban edginess to keep you on point.1216 Vine St. (S)

A Tavola Bar and Trattoria will have you dreaming of wood-fired Neapolitan style pizza. Naturally you can order one of their masterful creations, but you also can build your own with choices like adding a dash of Maldon sea salt or an arugula lemon finish after baking. Leave enough room for dessertA Tavola’s house made gelato is the stuff of legends (particularly when bathed in salted caramel and surrounded by gently charred, toasted marshmallows.) 1220 Vine St. (E)

Idlewild Woman  Showcasing American designers and quality-made goods for the discerning modern woman, Idlewild carries the perfect denim jean to the wool motorcycle jacket you’ve been lusting over. This lifestyle brand “seeks to celebrate the beauty, comfort, and creativity that comes with womanhood.” 120 Vine St. (S)

Homage  Everybody loves a super soft vintage-style tee. Homage can hook you up with all the team-centric apparel you can’t wait to sport around town or couch-side. 1232 Vine St. (S)

The Lackman  This handsome corner bar is a welcome respite from the bustle on Vine. That’s not to say this happening little spot doesn’t get packed. We’ll put it this way, there’s a good chance you’ll make friends at the communal sink.1237 Vine St. (E)

panino. 1313 Vine St. (E)

The Mercer OTR  Wine Flight Wednesdays start at 4; we can’t think of a better reason to cut out of work early mid-week. Well, unless it’s half-price bar bites every Thursday. The housemade ricotta with onion compote is dynamite, as is everything on the menu. 1324 Vine St. (E)

Elm & Iron  While they hail from Columbus, Elm & Iron definitely has a beat on OTR style. Their vintage accessories and one-of-a-kind furnishings will have you plotting your next redesign. 1326 Vine St. (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Quan Hapa has a casual “Asian street food” vibe. Of note here is the Bahn Mi Burger and the Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes). For those of you with an adventurous palate, Quan Hapa delivers the exotic too–Balut (fertilized duck egg) along with a disclaimer to enjoy at your own risk. 1331 Vine St. (E)

Holtman’s Donut Shop  This family owned donut shop has been sweetening the hearts of Cincy natives since 1960. Don’t worry, though they make them the old fashioned way, Holtman’s gives a nod to the times with two specialties:  Maple Bacon Donuts and Doughssants (a cross between a donut and a croissant). 1332 Vine St. (E)

The Eagle Food and Beer Hall  Wondering what the line out the door is all about?  It’s just some good ole southern food winning the hearts of you Northerners. Talk is the fried chicken is da bomb. Try the spoonbread, we insist. 1342 Vine St. (E)

Happy Belly on Vine  Get your whole food fix in this friendly sandwich shop. You’ll find plenty of yummy vegan options as well. Start your morning off right with an egg sandwich on a sprouted English muffin, or power through your day with their Sweet Potato Burger. Clean eating is happy eating. 1344 Vine St. (E)

The Famous Neon’s Unplugged  makes their own infusions. The patio is indeed famous and equipped with multiple fire pits for year round drunk canoodling or just a friendly game of Jenga, your choice. Neon’s hosts Trivia Night every Monday, and Movie Nights on Tuesdays. Go hear live music with your pooch on the patio–they’re pet-friendly. 208 12th St. East (E)

Kaze Japanese Gastropub and Sushi Bar has ambiance in spades.  They also serve amazing pork buns…amazing, we tell you.  For the thrifty, you can get a pretty sweet deal during Happy Hour in the bar and Beer Garden (daily 4-7) with half price sushi and $5 cocktails.1400 Vine St. (E)

Pontiac Bourbon & BBQ  Brisket. Get the brisket. Seriously, get the brisket on your plate. You don’t need convincing to order a bourbon, right? We knew we liked you. They’ve got pimento cheese and Ritz crackers for you snackers. Classic. 1403 Vine St. (E)

Lane & Kate  You don’t have to be marching into wedded bliss to appreciate Lane & Kate’s beautiful collection of handmade fine jewelry. While those looking to “put a ring on it” will find a unique selection of artisan designs, the single ladies will also be lovestruck by the delicate lariat necklaces and elegant stacking rings.1405 Vine St. (S)

Continuum  You will adore shopping this curated bazaar in OTR. Feel the good vibes from the moment you step in. Browse the hand-marbled coin purses from Scout and Catalogue, rad jewelry, and eclectic accessories like Cincy local Taylor Carter’s ceramic flasks. Augment your wardrobe with Continuum’s feisty mod pieces. 1407 Vine St. (S)

Picnic and Pantry You can always find something yummy to nosh at Picnic and Pantry. We feel like it is more wholesome when prepared by the lovely folks of Melt. That’s what we tell ourselves. It has nothing to do with the fact that we don’t want to cook. Really. 1400 Republic St. (S)

Salazar Restaurant  There is nothing about this jewel-box of a restaurant that doesn’t appeal to us. From the hexagon tile floor to the schoolhouse pendant lighting, and that includes every morsel they are dishing out. Try the petite oyster sandwich with kimchi and radish sprouts, or the incredible White Gazpacho with green grapes,  marcona almonds, and pimenton. For you purists, Salazar’s burger has already created quite a buzz. 1401 Republic St. (E)

Sundry & Vice  Cincy’s newest “it girl” is a nod to apothecary days. From the reflective tin ceiling to the shellacked prescription wallpaper, Sundry & Vice is pitch perfect. The cocktails are inventive, nuanced, and seasonal. Their Last Refuge of a Scoundrel libation is the closest you’ll get to a “boozy apple pie” sans baking: Art in the Age Snap, vodka, butternut squash syrup, apple, lemon, ginger, and cinnamon. If you’re looking for a refuge on Tuesdays, S&V is the place–Happy Hour all day with $5 craft beer and $6 draft cocktails. Yes, that’s cocktails on draft. You’re welcome. 18 W. 13th St. (E)

Zula Bistro and Wine Bar  Adjacent to Washington Park, Zula is humming. You will be too once you’ve tasted their mussels. Try any of the 9 variations, each a bowl of bliss. Make room on your table for the Roasted  Mushroom Flatbread with garlic confit and thyme. 1400 Race St. (E)

ZBGB  Zula’s spinoff restaurant will serve gourmet burgers with Milkshakes of the Moment and a full bar. They’ve been teasing the menu to great effect–Braised Pork Cheek with Bourbon Coffee Barbecue Sauce, Carbonara Mac N Cheese, and the Tsvili Burger of locally farmed lamb topped with Charred Tomato Pepper Compote to name a few mouth-watering items. Can’t wait! 1438 Race St. (E)

513 City Flea “A Curated Urban Flea Market” happens once a month. See our blog post for great pics of this year’s kick-off. Check for deets at and synchronize your digital devices accordingly. 1230 Elm St. Washington Park (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Sweet Petit  Right on the edge of  Washington Park, Sweet Petit is the perfect afternoon diversion where you can submit to your sweet tooth. Two bites and it’s done. Nobody needs to know. Unless you want to impress your friends with gorgeous mini desserts–that’s on you. 1426 Race St. (E)

Taft’s Ale House  No, you have not walked into the courtroom of To Kill a Mockingbird. You are, in fact, in the confines of one of Cincinnati’s newest “purveyors of first-rate comestibles and exceptional ales.” Housed in what was once Cincy’s oldest Protestant church,Taft’s Ale House serves up their own fine brews and exceptional pub fare to a convivial packed crowd. Order The Big Billy in homage to the 27th President; all that tri-tip goodness will have you imagining you can hear Taft’s belly laugh from across the room.1429 Race St. (E)

The Original Cincinnati Brewery Tours are presented by the Over the Rhine Brewery District CURC (Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation). Their Prohibition Resistance Brewery Tours will lead you deep underground, beneath the streets of OTR, to explore the winding tunnels, breweries and cellars built in the height of the Prohibition. Proceeds from the tours go towards preserving the architecture of these historic breweries. 1619 Moore St. (D)

Christian Moerlein Brewery  Whether you came for the Helltown Rye, or to trounce your office mate in cornhole, if you haven’t had the full Moerlein experience until you’ve wandered the tunnels below the Malt House Taproom (on a tour of course). We must admit, our other favorite thing about going to Christian Moerlein is stopping in the Wiesnkoenig flagship store right outside the taproom. Imported Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses will have you crushing Octoberfest and beyond. 1621 Moore St. (E)

Epicurean Mercantile Co. is a “chef-owned and operated urban grocery store.” Go to The Counter in the back for a quick tasty bite while planning your next epicurean adventure. 1818 Race St. (S)

 Food Truck Watch: Cafe De Wheels, Red Sesame, Huit, catch-a-fire pizza, wake and bake breakfast truck

Findlay Market is a culinary paradise. We list the vendors we love below. But don’t stop at these, with over 35 full-time vendors, not counting the seasonal Findlay Farmer’s Market, you’ll be sure to find a long list of favorites calling your name. At the intersection of Elder and Pleasant Streets. (S)

Dirt: A Modern Market  Get farmers market goods on your own schedule. Dirt carries local produce, meats, cheese, honey, eggs, and cottage goods. Stop in 10-7 Tuesday through Friday; 12-6 Saturday, or 10-4 Sunday. 131 W. Elder St. (S)

Deerhaus Decor 135 W. Elder St. (S)

Bouchard’s Anything’s Pastable has fresh pasta.  We are talking any pasta you can think of and a few you can’t.

Dojo Gelato balsamic pear sorbetto, Vietnamese coffee gelato and more

Taste of Belgium has delicious banana & Nutella waffles waiting for you,plus artisan roasted coffee and a few dozen more delectables.

Blue Oven Bakery Unless you are an early riser, there is a good possibility that Blue Oven will be sold out by the time you arrive at the farmer’s market.  Maybe we shouldn’t sugar coat it—the good stuff will be sold out.  So, traipse over to Findlay Market and see if your luck is better.

Summuh has hummus.  Now say that three times as quickly as you can. If you still can’t remember, just read the shop name backwards. Enough of that, Summuh has hummus the likes of which you’ve never known before.  The Down by the Sea hummus is epic.

Pho Lang Thang has mouth-watering bowls and bundles of your favorite Vietnamese food–pho, banh mi, bun thit nuong.

Colonel De’s Herbs and Spices Chances are, the colonel has what you are looking for.

Market Wines carries over 500 wines as well as local and imported beers.  Stop by for their weekend wine tastings.

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Rhinegeist believes in “the power of beer to bring great people together, foment fantastic ideas, and build a community that values craft beer and one another.” We must admit, Rhinegeist is one of our favorite breweries, well…anywhere. Housed in the massive former Moerlein bottling plant, the wide open space dotted with reclaimed wooden tables and propeller-like fans makes us feel relaxed. There’s lots of room to get your swing right for cornhole and most importantly some stellar beers and ciders to fuel your love of Cincy even further. 1910 Elm St. (E)

Sartre 1910 Elm St. (E)

The Rhined 1737 Elm St. (E)

Nicola’s Ristorante  You don’t have to be in an amorous mood to enjoy Nicola’s sumptuous pasta and impeccably prepared Italian cuisine, but we imagine you soon will be. 1420 Sycamore St. (E)

High Street Design Studio and Lifestyle Store  We make it company policy to never miss a trip to High Street when in town. This place seriously rocks. Not only can you find way too many fierce accessories and furnishings for your abode, but the folks at High Street are happy to make you look good too. They carry unique fashion and jewelry as well as clever books, gifts and oddities. 1401 Reading Rd. (S)

Second Sunday on Main is “the eclectic neighborhood street festival” of the historic Over the Rhine district. Join in.  Deets are available on their facebook page. (D)

Streetpops  You don’t have to depend on the fickle hand of chance any longer. Stop in Streetpops brick and mortar and get your fix. 1437 Main St. (E)

Liberty’s Bar & Bottle  This winning watering hole on Main is the new multi-tasker–“a craft beer and wine bar and retail shop featuring 20 rotating draft handles, 40 craft beer bottles/cans, 60 bottles of wine and 15 glass pours of wine.” The frisky mural is likely to put you in the Bacchanalian spirit. 1427 Main St. (E)

Cincinnati Art Underground 1415 Main St. (S)

Please 1405 Clay St. (E)

Che 1342 Walnut St. (E)

Buzzed Bull Creamery 1408 Main St. (E)

The Pony 1346 Main St. (E)

MOTR Pub  If your nights are getting a little stale, you can rest assured there’s always something happening at MOTR Pub. MOTR features live music seven nights a week, open mic Writer’s Nights on Tuesdays, and Stand Up Comedy in the basement. You don’t need to be hung-over to enjoy their Sunday brunch, but most everyone else will be. Soak up your indiscretions with Corned Beef Hash in Guinness Gravy or the Trucker’s Casserole.1345 Main St. (E)

Shadeau Breads  The Salt Top Rye, Rosemary Olive Sourdough, Country Loaf–the temptation to live on Shadeau’s breads alone is strong. Pick up a crusty loaf and an almond bear claw. Feel the bliss of freshly baked bread on the daily. 1336 Main St. (E)

Porter’s Pinball Parlor  Be a pinball wizard on your own terms, sans alcohol (or bring your own). Porter’s is your mini gaming haven on Main. It’s an entertaining diversion while waiting out the rain, dinner crowd, or traffic. 1334 Main St. (D)

Another Part of the Forest   Foraging this record store is bit like truffle hunting, an investment of time but all worth it when you find the black diamond you’ve been hunting. Another Part of the Forest carries unique vinyl, comics and pulp fiction; you can even rent an art flick. 1333 Main St. (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Iris BookCafe and Gallery  If you haven’t found Iris’ courtyard, you’re missing one of the more delightful hidden treasures of OTR. Wander through their fascinating collection of rare and collectible books, grab a Kombucha, warm soup, or tasty sammy from the cafe (specializing in vegan and vegetarian eats) and relax out back in the dappled light surrounded by sculptures, greenery, and the company of friends. 1331 Main St. (S)

We Have Become Vikings 1355 Walnut St. (S)

16-Bit Bar and Arcade  Dreaming of crushing your old top score on Donkey Kong? 16-Bit can help you out with that. Well, they have the game anyway. Order your libation of choice and play for free. They show retro flicks on Wednesdays, too. Go claim your spot on the leaderboard, Boss. 1331 Walnut St. (D)

Mannequin Boutique is not your average clothing resale boutique. You’ll find superb vintage and designer goods for both men and women. Owner Moe Rouse augments donated items with exotic finds from her world travels. We’d encourage you to shop there just on its hipness factor alone, but knowing the proceeds support local service agencies just makes Mannequin Boutique that much more awesome. Stop by Wed-Sat 11-6 or Sundays 12-4. 1311 Main St. (S)

Libby Shop was voted the store to score the Best Handcrafted Jewelry to Wear Everyday by CityBeat readers.This popular women’s boutique also carries fetching accessories and loads of sass for your wardrobe. 1307 Main St. (S)

Rock, Paper, Scissors is our favorite place to score hand-drawn cards that make us feel way cooler than we actually are. Rock, Paper, Scissors has all the art supplies you need to work your special brand of magic, plus some radical vinyl from local labels Phratry Records and Realicide Youth Records.1301 Main St. (S)

Goods on Main  Honestly, we are kind of grooving on a concept store. Goods on Main selects all their merchandise to revolve around the current chosen “theme” such as Adventure or Comfort. “Everything is picked with meaning, reason, and a story. Come and discover.” As if that wasn’t enough to intrigue us, we hear they often have vintage mopeds. We’re so there. 1300 Main St. (S)

Reunion 1212 Main St. (S)

Quaintrelle Confections 1210 Main St. (E)

Allez Bakery 1208 Main St. (E)

Macaron Bar has a plethora of gorgeous, delicately-flavored, happiness-inducing French macarons for you to gobble down with abandon. Then, learn their secrets to baking the perfect disc of love in one of their intro classes. 1206 Main St. (E)

Park+Vine  City Beat declared Park+Vine to be the “General Store of the Future”. We’re digging it. To find all you need to live the eco-conscious life, stop in Park+Vine. We love their non-toxic cleaning and painting supplies, and local specialty foods.1202 Main St. (S)

Japps since 1879  If you order one of their libations inspired by cocktails of the 1700’s to the 1950’s, you’re likely to find at least one ingredient you’ve never heard of. Japps specializes in unique liquors, and their mixologists can fill you in on the spirits’s history if that’s your groove. Those that would rather shake their booties can bounce on over to the Annex. Japp’s features live music Tuesday through Saturday. 1136 Main St. (E)

Brown Bear Bakery  Squash hand pies with sorghum and vanilla bean, Matcha loaf, seasonal Pop-tarts–you’ll quickly see that Brown Bear is not your average bakery; everything is gorgeous, delectable, and made from all-natural ingredients. We are addicted to their “power cookies” fueled with figs, nibs, chocolate, walnuts and oats. 116 E. 13th St. (E)

Gia and the Blooms 114 E. 13th St. (S)

Longfellow 1233 Clay St. (E)

Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey 1201 Broadway St. (E)


D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

French Crust Café is Jean Robert’s sister restaurant. Stop in the tiny cafe for a masterful croissant or eggs benny on brioche. 915 Vine St. (E)

Avril and Bleh Meat Market 33 E. Court St. (S)

Le’s Pho and Sandwiches  Get your Bahn Mi fix. Yowza. 3 E. Court St.(E)

Huit Craft BBQ  Think Asian Barbecue meets hipster comfort food. You can’t go wrong with the 8 SpiceRice Bowl or the Indonesian Laska Curry Noodle Soup. Huit’s grilled corn is bonkers–it is that good. But you’ll have to wait for it to come back in season (plenty more to keep your palate happy until then). 29 E. Court St. (E)

Cheapside Cafe  From the air ferns to the Challah French Toast–this is true love. Cop a squat in the outdoor teepee or plug in at the coffee bar; Cheapside needs to be your go-to for breakfast or lunch–Hen of the Woods wood chips, locally-brewed sodas, Nitro coffee, on-point salads and sandwiches. Yes, you can get their infamous Breakfast Sandwich all day. Go, you’re wasting time already. 326 E. 8th St. (E)

Arnold’s Bar & Grill  has been racking up the Best of awards since the Best of awards were in short pants. Go by and soak in the history of Cincinnati’s oldest established bar, see the tub where Hugo Arnold brewed bathtub gin during Prohibition, order a soothing libation, Charred Bourbon Cheese with warm Servatii Pretzels, listen to a live band, and have a good time. If we were snowed in, we’d want Arnold’s within walking distance. 210 E. 8th St. (E)

Algin Retro Furniture  Stop in to see some local art, get a Mid-Century Modern reproduction chair, or plan a kick-ass table using Urban Timber logs–a portion of the proceeds from the locally salvaged wood benefits the Releaf program (an urban reforestation project by Cincinnati Parks to replace old or diseased trees). Do good while making your pad rock. 800 Main St. (S)

Ohio Book Store has five floors of books for you to get lost in–go down the rabbit hole. 726 Main St. (S)

Lalo Chino-Latino 709 Main St. (E)

Jean Robert’s Table  Of course you can go to Jean Robert’s for an elegant meal, but what catches our fancy is the 15.50 French Lunch Tray (only at the bar)–a soup, salad, savory and a sweet. It is served on an actual lunch tray.  This makes us happy. 713 Vine St. (E)

Cappel’s Costume Annex 917 Race St. (S)

Northside Distillery 922 Race St. (D)

Court Street Lobster Bar 28 W. Court St. (E)

Butcher and Barrel  700 Race St. (E)

Ferrari Barbershop and Coffee Co. 5 Garfield Place (E)

Tokyo Kitty 575 Race St. (E)

Mita’s 501 Race St. (E)

Shanghai Mama’s 216 E. 6th St. (E)

Igby’s Their tagline, “Truth and Cocktails” might be a little of a tall order, but we still can’t resist this swanky cavernous speakeasy. The wood planked walls, the catwalk, the globes of light suspended from three stories above–Igby’s is the perfect backdrop for your next film noir screenplay or Twitter selfie (whichever way you roll). 122 E. 6th St. (E)

Sotto Traditional Italian Trattoria  Down the few steps and through the large wooden door with the unassuming white lettering lies culinary bliss. The short rib cappellacci and ricotta doughnuts will rock your world. 118 E. 6th St. (E)

Boca  If you are going to splurge on a meal, it should be at Boca. You’ll be wondering when George Clooney will walk in when seated in their spectacular dining room noshing on a perfectly caramelized brussel sprout and pommes soufflée. 114 E. 6th St. (E)

Nada Try for a seat on the patio.  If you’re feeling decadent, order the pork belly tacos. We hear the wait staff claims many customers can’t finish the rich dish.  Prove them wrong. We almost forgot…be sure to see the vintage Catwoman poster inside. 600 Walnut St. (E)

Metropole in 21C Hotel  Truth be told, we love the 21C Hotel…in any city. The whole concept just works for us. They even list procedures in the room manual for what to do in case of a zombie apocalypse. Classic. So, when you see the giant outdoor chandelier, you’ve arrived.  Wander through their smart and edgy contemporary art gallery.  Then stop at the bar for a cocktail. Make sure to visit the 21C Cocktail Terrace for an amazing view of the city. If you choose to dine at Metropole, and we heartily recommend you do, order the burnt carrot salad.  Trust us.  Say hello to the penguins. 609 Walnut St. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Batsakes Hat Shop 1 W. 6th St. (S)

Contemporary Arts Center  If you haven’t been to the CAC Store, make it a point– clever gifts abound, and you’ll be supporting a great museum. Drop in summer evenings on Mondays for One Night, One Craft. There is no class fee fortwohour crash courses like Wet Felting and Mason Jar Madness, just a meager materials charge.  Sweet. CAC is now spicing up your break time with Lunch Beat, pop-up dance parties.  You didn’t see that one coming, did ya?  44 E. 6th St. (D)

Via Vite  This wonderful Italian restaurant is centrally located in Fountain Square. Take advantage of Happy Hour in the courtyard or Piazza Bar.  Via Vite is a great stop for dinner before a show, or after if you’re running late; the dining room is open until 1am on weekends. 520 Vine St. (E)

Fusian is a casual sushi place where you can build your roll just how you please. 600 Vine St., multiple locations (E)

Bauer European Farm Kitchen 435 Elm St. (E)

Restaurant L  301 4th St. (E)

Mercantile Library  “The convergence of curiosity and knowledge” is waiting for you on the eleventh floor. Mercantile Library regularly hosts fascinating book discussions, riveting lectures and events to decode your world. Be the cosmopolitan one you set out to be this morning. While some events are free, yearly memberships start at $55. 414 Walnut St. #1100 (D)

Cincinnati Bike Center  Encourage your friends to commute by bike whenever possible. Cincinnati Bike Center provides every service imaginable for the city cyclists: showers, lockers, secure bike parking, and mechanic service. They also rent bikes and Segways for trips downtown or across the Purple People Bridge to Newport. Smale Riverfront Park 120 E. Mehring Way (D)

Eden Park and Mount Adams

Our favorite city workout:  Mount Adams steps down to Riverfront Park and across the Purple People Bridge to Newport, KY and back! You’ll find the Mt. Adams Steps outside Holy Cross-Immaculata Catholic Church.  They will take you down the hill and across the highway overpass. You’ll come out at Adams Crossing.  Cross over Riverside Dr. and take the short staircase down, step over the train tracks and you’ll be outside the tennis courts at Sawyer Point Park.  Hang a right, and continue towards Riverfront ParkAfter you pass Cincinnatus’ proud statue, look for the stairwell that leads up to the Purple People Bridge.  Ascend and make your way across the bridge to the Newport entertainment complex, Newport on the Levee You did it!  On the Newport side, visit the Newport Aquarium, or walk a few blocks north for brunch at Mokka and the Sunset Bar and Grill. 500 Monmouth St.
D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

The Rookwood has the best side salad in the land, and we’re not the only ones who think so. (Cincinnati Magazine agrees.)  Besides, it may make you feel less guilty about the devilish eggs and Barnsdale burger dripping with caramelized onions and melted fontina cheese. 1077 Celestial St. (E)

Sprout Market & Eatery  This cozy neighborhood spot needs to be on your radar. No need to travel down the hill when you’ve got farm-to-table food this delicious, 14 craft beers on tap, and a convenient market with local gourmet goods like  FAB Ferments and Luna Kombucha. Join them for “social hour” to enjoy half-off appetizers and bottles of wine Tuesday through Friday from 5-7 pm. 941 Pavilion St. (E)

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park  Shake it up–take a 2.5 hour improv class one weekend at Cincinnati Playhouse. If you prefer to be an audience member, we respect that. The Playhouse has a great season of professional shows. 962 Mount Adams Circle (D)

Cincinnati Art Museum  Check out Final Friday Happy Hours during Art After Dark at the museum. You’ll have full access to the galleries, hear live entertainment, and enjoy docent led tours. Free admission. Beverages and snacks will be available for purchase. In addition, great local acts like OTRimprov regularly join in the fun. Or if you can break away during the week, Sound Bites features free performances by local musicians on the first Friday of every month from 12-2. 953 Eden Park Dr. (D)

Eden Park and Krohn Conservatory  Not only is Eden Park beautiful, it offers a myriad of activities. From hiking the trails, to scaling the thirty foot Old Reservoir Wall, Cincinnati natives can find plenty of ways to commune with nature. Or spend an afternoon exploring Krohn Conservatory’s 3500 plants. Wander through the tropical rainforest or desert landscape in one of their four greenhouses. ($4 admission fee) 1501 Eden Park Dr. (D)

Charnee’s Mindful Donuts

Cinema in the City has music, foodtrucks, and a huge screen in Seasonwood Pavilion.  Bring the bug spray. 950 Eden Park Dr.

East Price Hill

Incline Public House  Make it before sunset for one of the best views of the city skyline. Order the Andouille Corn Dogs and a limited release beer like Brooklyn Defender or Saugatuck’s seasonal Pumpkin Chai. Incline has some mighty fine pizza bubbly hot out of the wood stove.  2601 W. 8th St. (E)

BLOC Coffee Company  Westsiders are devoted to BLOC and for good reason–phenomenal Deeper Roots coffee, Six Bricks bread for their toast and sammies, and a genuine commitment to the community. Stop in for live Jazz Tuesday nights. 3101 Price Ave. (E)


D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

After you’ve seen the white Bengal Tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Bogart’s music venue 2621 Vine St. (D)

Elephant Walk Injera and Curry House  Choose from tasty North Indian or Ethiopian specialties, or take the fence-sitters option–a few samplers. Enjoy half-priced wine bottles daily from 3-7 p.m. 170 W. McMillan St. (E)

Thai Express  Sometimes you just need a good carryout. 213 W. McMillan St. (E)

Fries Cafe  If you are feeling low-key and want to chillax but with other people around and possibly a beer in hand, Fries is for you. Hang out on the patio or go upstairs and play pool. It’s that kinda place. 3247 Jefferson Ave. (E)

Esquire Theatre has garnered City Beat’s Best of Cincinnati award five years running. See a quality arthouse film or independment flick in a very cool location. 320 Ludlow Ave. (D)

Arrietty stocks whimsical gifts and adorable handmade items for the small tikes you know. 323 Ludlow Ave. (S)

Sitwell’s Coffee Shop  Their Mexicoco might very well be addicting. Drink responsibly. 324 Ludlow Ave. (E)

Pangaea Trading Co.  When you want to mix in a little boho style, this women’s boutique is a Clifton mainstay. Strappy booties, floppy hats, nubby woolens, scented candles–all the fall essentials to get you feelin’ the season. 326 Ludlow Ave. (S)

Graeter’s Ice Cream has used French Pot freezers to create their legendary ice cream since the turn of the century. Our favorite is black cherry chocolate chip. I don’t think we’re alone in that. Have a scoop before you leave Cincy. 332 Ludlow Ave. (E)

Live at the Ludlow Garage music venue in the basement 342 Ludlow Ave. (D)

The Hansa Guild  The cold is coming, Cincinnati. Go get your mocs and muk luks at Hansa Guild. They also carry a large selection of  quality hats. You know what your mom told you about heat escaping through your head. 369 Ludlow Ave. (S)

Postmark Restaurant 3410 Telford St. (E)

Ambar Indian Restaurant  This curry house is the most popular on the block and for good reason. Get your curry on. 950 Ludlow Ave. (E)

Clifton Cultural Arts Center   While there is no shortage of exciting programming at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, we suggest you check out their Sunset Salon series. Each intriguing panel discussion and audience participation event centers around one of the following: art, antiques, craft, confections, dance, or design. Check out the deets here. 3711 Clifton Ave. (D)

Camp Washington

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Mom ‘N ‘Em Airstream Coffee 3132 Colerain Ave.coming soon (E)

Camp Washington Chili   It is a little bit like a cult topped in cheese. If you haven’t experienced Camp Washington Chili, no worries–they’re still open. Yup. 24hrs, except Sundays. 3005 Colerain Ave. (E)

Wave Pool Gallery  You might wonder what a “contemporary art fulfillment center” is. Wave Pool is a non-profit gallery aiming  to “fulfill audiences through visual art; aesthetically, culturally, emotionally.” They present “art that is a catalyst for change, providing new ways to experience and transform our city.” Go see their varied and thought-provoking shows. Wave Pool also rents studio space and has a residency program to enrich the community and broaden the reach of talented local, national and international artists. They are open Thursday through Saturday 12-5. 2940 Colerain Ave. (D)

American Sign Museum  Embrace the kitsch. Bathe yourself in the warm glow of multi-colored neon. 1330 Monmouth St. (D)


West Side Brewing 3044 Harrison Ave. (E)

Henke Winery 3077 Harrison Ave. (E)


D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Be sure to check out Northside Second Saturdays–“See art, shop, imbibe, and eat in one of Cincinnati’s most creative and diverse neighborhoods.” Click here for this month’s deets.

Arcade Legacy Bar Edition  Annihilate Mondays with some gaming action and $5 dogs. With the exception of pinball, all games are free when you order off the Haute Dogs menus or your bev of choice (Don’t sweat it–there’s convenient beer holders to keep your trigger fingers available.) 3929 Spring Grove Ave. (E)

The Littlefield  If it hasn’t made your list of favorite haunts in Cincinnati, you just haven’t been paying attention. The Littlefield rocks. From the simple, but elegant garnishes on their amazing cocktails to the fantastic bar fare,  The Littlefield has our number (not to mention the live music and great patio). Every month they have a signature cocktail benefiting a local non-profit–now that’s a good neighbor. 3934 Spring Grove Ave. (E)

We don’t know where The Mini Microcinema will pop-up next, we hear they’re looking for a forever home–but when they do, we want to be there. Promoting non-traditional and experimental film, video, and media, The Mini Microcinema is a “community that celebrates the art of the moving image, both contemporary and historical, from both near and far.” Right on. For more details, click check out their website.

Casablanca Vintage  Can you blame celebrities for shopping Casablanca’s massive vintage mecca? Don’t worry, there’s still loads of sick clothes and accessories from the 20’s to 70’s to pimp your style (organized by size and decade), plus an epic costume selection. Co-owner Tim Willig’s Awesome Time Shoe and Leather Repair is right inside and able to gussy up your wingtips with ease. Casablanca Vintage was voted Best Vintage by CityBeat readers. 3944 Spring Grove Ave. (S)

Taft Brewpourium 4831 Spring Grove Ave. (E)

Black Plastic Records has an ever rotating stock of new and used vinyl in a chill store that makes you want to stay and flip through just a few more bins. 4027 Hamilton Ave. (S)

Happy Chicks Bakery  This cheerful vegan nest was voted Best Neighborhood Bakery by CityBeat readers. Happy Chicks serves lunch too. While we’ve been meaning to drop in for The Greens croissant, the devil on our shoulder won’t stop yapping about Saturday donuts (unique flavors like Cardamom Pistachio, Coconut Matcha with candied orange peel, and Green Apple Lime). 4035 Hamilton Ave. (E)

Collective Espresso is absolutely worth scouting out. This tucked away spot serves pour overs and espressos featuring a rotating selection of incredible small batch coffees. This is the perfect place to try a new roast while basking in the natural light amid this lovely oasis of neighborhood love. 4037 Hamilton Ave. in Northside or 207 Woodward St. in OTR (E)

Urban Legend Institute at Wordplay  Bang out your next novel on a vintage Remington and help Wordplay, a mega-worthy non-profit supporting youth literacy and expression through creative writing. The Urban Legend Institute is “designed as an Old Curiosity Shop and carries unique offerings in the way of t-shirts, posters, postcards, one-of-a-kind locally designed, locally crafted oddities, classic children’s books, fun and unique books for grown-ups, McSweeny’s publications, and those much-sought-after antique typewriters, ink ribbon and typewriter repair services.” ULI is open 2:30-6 Monday through Thursday and Saturday 12-4. For more about Wordplay click here. 4041 Hamilton Ave. (D)

Ruth’s Parkside Cafe  We hear the Creole Catfish is pretty spectacular, as is the popular Spinach Saute and Red Beans & Rice. Save room for Ruth’s homey desserts. 1550 Blue Rock St. (E)

Northside Yacht Club  Their garnish is bigger than your garnish–the Yacht Club’s Mary is made with Jon’s homemade bloody mix and skewered with a house-smoked Boston butt pulled pork slider, Amish chicken wing, bacon, Wisconsin cheese curd, citrus, celery, olive, and a cherry tomato. So there. Brunch buffet goes from 11-3 on Sundays. Drunk Bastard Bingo is on Thursdays and dance parties pop up on the regular. 4227 Spring Grove Ave. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Urban Artifact  Oh, you wily wild yeast culture! Sour beer fans, Urban Artifact has your number. Try their Harrow, a tart Gose, or Finn, a Berliner Ale laced with lemon, grapefruit and citrus. Blue Wisp Big Band is on deck every Wednesday, delivering incredible sound with their 16-piece ensem. 1660 Blue Rock St. (D)

Bonomini Bakery  This German bakery sells something called “klunkers,” fried misshapen balls of doughnut deliciousness. The decadent little treats are usually sold out by noon. 1677 Blue Rock St. (E)

Northside Grange Pet and Urban Farm carries supplies for those backyard chickens or indoor furry friends along with all you need for a kickin’ urban garden. They’re also a pickup spot for your Ohio Valley Food Connection weekly bounty. We’re stoked about their kombucha kits too. From soil amendments to pickling, homesteaders unite at Northside Grange. 4116 Hamilton Ave. (S)

Spun Bicycles  Owners Dominic and Judi LoPresti want you to have fun in the saddle. Whichever form of cycling you’re into–BMX, Cyclocross, mountain biking, or commuting–Spun Bicycles can pimp your wheels. A full service repair shop, Dominic and his crew specialize in restoration and custom fabrication. Spun has wicked new bikes and accessories too. 4122 A Hamilton Ave. (S)

The Listing Loon 4124 Hamilton Ave. (E)

Shake It Records was voted best record store twelve years running. You’d be amiss to pass up this Cincinnati music landmark. Hit up Shake It Records while you’re on the Northside.  4156 Hamilton Ave. (S)

Melt Eclectic Deli is known for their baked sandwiches. The Joan of Arc and Verde Chicken have us addicted. Melt has plenty of vegetarian options as well. Make sure to get a side of roasted herb potatoes with curry catsup. 4165 Hamilton Ave. (E)

Chicken Lays an EGG  This popular vintage store is just as exuberantly wacky as you think it is.  4178 Hamilton Ave. (S)

Sidewinder Coffee  As far as we’re concerned, it is now Mexican Latte season at Sidewinder. Of course you might be in the mood for a Hot Toddie, and we stand with you. Say hello to Patrick, the shop rabbit. 4181 Hamilton Ave. (E)

The Kitchen Factory  Friday and Saturday the street side Late Night Window serves righteous pizza by the slice and delicious vegan & vegetarian fare from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. Yup. You heard us. 1609 Chase Ave. (E)

Chase Public is a space for art and assembly–the subversive types that you know and love will probably be there. “Chase Public hosts poetry readings, music concerts, art openings, book signings, independent theater, stand-up comedy, hotly-contested debates, collaborative art-making, radical activism workshops, crazy-ass parties, and maybe one bird fight. Mostly poetry readings.” 1569 Chase Ave. Suite 4 (D)

Tickle Pickle Northside  Get your outrageously delicious burgers and handmade shakes from the pick-up window while the dining room gets gussied up for service. The back patio is dog-friendly, so take your juicy Bread Zeppelin burger or Red Hot Chili Peppers (beef burger topped with jalapeno goat-cheese stuffed peppers, spicy ketchup and mayo, and pepper jack) and enjoy al fresco. 4176 Hamilton Ave. (E)

Last House on the Left is a basement music venue for those who like their music underground. Keep it loud. 4328 Kirby Ave. (D)

Thunder-Sky Gallery is a non-profit gallery whose mission is to preserve the legacy of Raymond Thunder-Sky and promote the work of other unconventional artists in the city. The gallery is opened weekends 1-5 p.m. 4573 Hamilton Ave. (D)

NVision sells “vintage & designer clothing, art, & furnishings, alongside items that are handcrafted by local artists and designers, as well as an array of funky to fabulous secondhand & collectible wares.” We are diggin’ their capes for chillier weather. Plus, their vintage games and toys give us a serious case of the feels. 4577 Hamilton Ave. (S)

The Comet is known for several things, all oddly beginning with the letter b–“burittos, beer, booze, bands, brunch & bluegrass.” They left off (being) badass. 4579 Hamilton Ave. (E)

College Hill/Mount Healthy

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Fern Studio This home decor store will help get your place Instagram-ready. Circle planters, Herbivore sea salts, P.F. Candle Co.’s amazing scents, killer planters and lust-worthy ceramic vessels, plus much more. Romy Northover’s Machiatto Mug and 22 Karat Climax Cups are heading up our wish list. 6040 Hamilton Ave. (S)

Marty’s Hops + Vine  Break up your week with Marty’s $3 draft nights every Wednesday–plenty of craft brews on tap, including new releases. (Marty describes himself as obsessive about beer, so you know he’s got the good stuff.) On Fridays, stop in for a wine tasting to ease into the weekend. Marty’s Hops and Vines features live music Fridays and Saturdays.  6110 Hamilton Ave. (E)

Deeper Roots Coffee Roastery offers public tours and tastings on Tuesdays from 1-6 p.m., open cupping at 2. Go check out how they roast the magic beans. 7945 Elizabeth St. (E)

Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House  Yes, the Divergent Sour Ale is worth the drive.  607 Shepherd Dr Unit 6

Walnut Hills/ East Walnut Hills

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Fireside Pizza  This wood-fired pizza destination is totally worth the trip. In a beautiful converted fire station, Fireside delivers an awesome pie and loads of atmosphere. Stop in for Happy Hour, Monday through Fridays 5-8. 773 E. McMillan St. Walnut Hills (E)

Brick 939  A Walnut Hills pop-up market set to open Nov. 27th, Brick 939 encompasses a gallery space and a screening room as well as a local retail market for all the cool kids. 939 E. McMillan St. Walnut Hills (S)

The Video Archive 965 E. McMillan St. (D)

Gomez Salsa Walnut Hills  2437 Gilbert Ave. (E)

The Greenwich  The infamous jazz venue has been jamming for decades. 2442 Gilbert Ave. (D)

Assumption Art Gallery 2622 Gilbert Ave. (D)

The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation has been doing phenomenal work reinvigorating Walnut Hills with tons of neighborhood happenings to get you out enjoying the place you live and work. Our faves include the Cincinnati Street Food Festival, Music off McMillan, and the Five Points Alley Biergarten. Find out more here.

Growler House  Consider Growler House to be your fun, friendly craft beer filling station–28 rotating taps of hopped goodness including kombucha and cider. Order in some food and sit a spell. 1526 Madison Rd. (E)

O Pie O  Way to go, O Pie O!  Yes, the hub-bub is totally justified. Get your pocket pie, sweet or savory, and find out why we’re all obsessed with O Pie O. Linger with a glass of wine (beer too) or go the classic route with a cold glass of milk. Take a honey vinegar pie home for later. You’ll thank us. 1527 Madison Rd. (E)

Steincamp Outfitting Co.  Get set for your next outdoor adventure with quality goods from this handsome father and son-owned shop. 2813 Woodburn Ave. (S)

Leftcoast Modern  Specializing in Mid-Century Modern, you’ll find a plethora of groovy lamps, credenzas, accessories, artwork, and clean-lined chairs to enliven your space. 2809 Woodburn Ave. (S)

Hi-Bred  If vintage is your jam, you need to get to Hi-Bred pronto. Giving equal time to the ladies and gents, this “carefully curated boutique featuring contemporary and vintage clothing, jewelry, vinyl, housewares and curiosities.” We can’t resist popping in to scour every well-done vignette. 2807 Woodburn Ave. (S)

Your Friends and Neighborhoods 2803 Woodburn Ave. (S)

Woodburn Brewery and Taproom  2800 Woodburn Ave. (E)

Myrtle’s Punch House  Head downstairs to the Rathskeller for some free live music. If luck is on your side, you might score a coal bin booth. Go for a bowl of their house-made punch, 4 cleverly-named varieties concocted daily. 2735 Woodburn Ave. (E)

Manifest Gallery is not only a top notch contemporary gallery, but also an incredible educational resource in the city. Their Artist Residency program supports both emerging and established artists, allowing the artists larger exposure and widening the perspective of the viewer. Truly one of our favorite galleries, we recommend you put Manifest on your regular rotation. 2727 Woodburn Ave.  Manifest’s Drawing Center Studio (4905 Whetsel Ave., 2nd Fl) offers a full roster of classes including Open Figure Life Drawing. Their philosophy:  “learning to draw is learning to see, and learning to draw well is learning to see clearly. This, we know, makes a person of any background, profession, or age a better thinker, citizen, and overall person in the world.” Get your feet wet with one of their Quickdraw sessions on final Thursdays from 7-9, only five bucks. More details here. (D)

Kitchen 452  This tiny, sun-drenched lunch spot on Woodburn will have you craving their healthy sandwiches and soups. Their white bean soup with truffle oil and chives is calling our name. 2714 Woodburn Ave. (E)


D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shopping

The BonBonerie  Part of the pleasure of ordering at the counter is watching the bustle just beyond. It is not elves baking up those gorgeous pastries. Of course if you’re the tearoom type, they’ve got a quaint one that would charm your nana silly and a full cafe menu serving breakfast and lunch. Try the Opera Cream Torte, The BonBonerie’s claim to fame for over thirty years. 2030 Madison Rd. (E)

Kismet is the sister store of the popular Clifton boutique, Pangaea2037 Madison Rd. (S)

Eighth & English 2038 Madison Rd. (E)

Hyde Park

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Hyde Park Farmer’s Market is open Sundays mid-May through October from 9:30-1:30. We adore this small farmer’s market in beautiful Hyde Park. There is nothing better than browsing the market and surrounding shops then plopping down at Cock and Bull’s patio with a beer. 3424 Edwards Rd. (S)

Arthur’s  Locals love the burger madness special (Sunday through Tuesday). The back patio is the place to be. 3516 Edwards Rd. (E)

Alligator Purse is a Hyde Park staple. This elegant women’s clothing boutique featuring contemporary, sophisticated looks by upscale designers. 2701 Erie Ave. (S)

Keegan’s Specialty Seafood / Butcher Betties is a must stop for gourmands. Keegan’s features crazy fresh seafood and housemade items like their popular lobster roll, while Butcher Betties has all the locally-raised, grass-fed, natural pastured meats you want to stock your fridge or supply your next dinner party. Try Butcher Betties’ celebrated bacon burger. 2724 Erie Ave. (E)

The Weekly Juicery   No time to mess up the blender before heading out this morning? No worries. The Weekly Juicery has got your back–raw, fresh-pressed juice made from local, organic produce plus Superfood Smoothies, Acai Bowls, and Take & Shake Salads. Or if you’re considering a detox, but clueless about where to start, The Weekly Juicery can help you out with their stepped cleanse program. 2727 Erie Ave. (E)

Leeli + Lou is a “women’s style bar providing what’s trending in clothing, jewelry, gifts, and monogramming at affordable prices.” Yep, it’s gonna be all over your Instagram.  2732 Erie Ave. (S)

Nest has mini terrariums and Blenko glass 384 water pitchers. The small shop is perfect when you are stumped looking for a gift. 3439 Michigan Ave. (S)

Poeme is the stationary boutique to inspire that epistolary relationship you’ve been dreaming of. 3446 Michigan Ave. (S)

Soho Hyde Park is an elegant women’s boutique carrying sophisticated and sleek designs that are both wearable and modern. Edgy denim to cocktail attire, Soho has your next favorite piece. 2757 Observatory Ave. (S)

Carl’s Food Shop  This is the Hyde Park that only the locals know about. Get a great bottle of wine, imported beer, and the best deli sandwiches this side of the Ohio (since 1938). Carl’s piles it high and serves up their own chopped liver. 2836 Observatory Ave. (E)

Element Cycles  The chic minimalist look of Element will let you know they sell high-end bikes. But what may not be initially apparent is how committed they are to getting as many people riding as possible. They can help you out with maintenance and upkeep to your existing bike, or fit you for a new ride. Take advantage of their nifty Redul 3-D motion capture system and optimize your cycling experience. Join them on Thursdays to keep your spare tire off this winter with free trainer-supervised workouts starting at 6:15; bring your bike. 2838 Observatory Ave. (S)

Forno Osteria & Bar   For the gustatory adventurer there’s Cristian’s Braised Honeycomb Tripe. At Forno, working your way through the menu is a delicious prospect. We’ve been fantasizing about the Whole Wheat Pappardelle with beer braised wild boar ragout. Be sure to add on a side of the Cauliflower Gratin or Truffled Cream Corn. Get there for BOLO Tuesday and the Tagliatelle Bolognese with beef and veal meat sauce along with salad and crusty Blue Oven Bakery bread is only $12 at the bar. 3514 Erie Ave. (E)

Dutch’s Larder pastrami was voted best sandwich in town by Cincinnati Magazine (we would wager it’s the “magic mayo”), though we’ve heard talk that the short rib grilled cheese with a side of truffle popcorn is pretty amazing as well. 3378 Erie Ave. (E)

FUNKe FIRED ARTS (soon to be Queen City Clay) is “the region’s largest and oldest existing clay studio, gallery, and supply center focusing on education and promotion of the ceramic arts.” Go log some studio time, or sign up for a technique class in glazes, handbuilding, wheel throwing and more. (The Food & Pots class looks super fun.) Find out more here3130 Wasson Rd. (D)


D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Edge Inn Tavern 3935 Edwards Rd. (E)

Oakley Fancy Flea, O.F.F. Market  On the last Saturday of every month May-September (10-4 pm) you’ll find this amazing pop-up market full of great local vendors and quality handmade goods. Thankfully the food trucks are always out in force. Be sure to earmark Dec. 6th for the Winter Market at 20th Century Theater from 11-5–brunch, booze, and shopping. 2980 Madison Road (S)

Rooted Juicery & Kitchen  So much real, raw goodness you won’t know where to start. Rooted features 100% organic ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. Delicious cold pressed juices, nut milks, smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches and bowls–for some nutrient dense eating. Now that you’ve done the right thing for your body, a vegan treat from the dessert case seems only fitting. 3010 Madison Road (E)

Dewey’s Pizza  Cincy’s love affair with Dewey’s is still hot. You know it’s quality when even the salads are memorable. 3014 Madison Rd. (E)

Oakley Wines  Check out the swanky new renovations to Oakley’s favorite boutique bottle shop including a wine bar and groovy fireplace in the cellar. As always, enjoy “free drinking lessons” on Fridays 5-8 p.m. 4011 Allston St. (E)

Aglamesis Brothers  How many companies do you know have been in business since 1908? Aglamesis Bros.does it old school in fluted glass bowls and footed silver goblets. You’ll feel like you just stepped into Pleasantville, only there’s delicious ice cream and gourmet chocolates! 3046 Madison Rd. (E)

The Spotted Goose  If you know and love any wee ones, you need to stop in The Spotted Goose. Both adorable and hip, these fun kid clothes, gifts and accessories will have even honorary aunts and uncles cooing. 3048 Madison Rd. (S)

Blue Manatee  Besides being a totally rockin’ independent bookstore, Blue Manatee has made shopping easy and awesome with their Blue Manatee Boxes. Designed by a pediatrician and an art teacher, these eco-friendly boxes are filled with the best children’s books and toys (hand picked by you or the staff at Manatee). Cool.  3054 Madison Rd. (S)

Deeper Roots Coffee  This winsome coffeeshop in the heart of Oakley makes you wish you took more time to sit and contemplate life while enjoying the perfect pot of tea. Of course there’s always Nitro for those who need a bit more jolt to their days. 3056 Madison Rd. (E)

Sleepy Bee Café is committed to “serving local, pesticide-free, non-genetically-modified foods whenever possible.” They’ve got a wide selection of vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free items. This uber-popular breakfast and lunch spot gives you the option to swap out your favorite comfort foods for versions that will have you feeling slightly more virtuous–like their Bee Cakes, a  gluten-free version made with almond, quinoa, and buckwheat flour; you’ve even got a choice of thick-cut or Marksbury Farm no added nitrates bacon. While you’re celebrating the weekend, raise a glass to the honeybee with a bottle of Pollen-nation by Crafted Artisan Meadery,  a dry-hopped blackberry mead. 3098 Madison Rd. (E)

Red Feather Kitchen was nominated one of the top ten restaurants in the city by Cincinnati Magazine. Try their signature dish, the Short Rib nestled on whipped pumpkin and potato, root vegetables and cherry mostarda jus.  3200 Madison Rd. (E)

Red Tree Art Gallery and Coffee  There’s almost nothing Red Tree wouldn’t do for its neighbors. This community minded spot is the perfect place to have a cup of joe or pick up a locally-crafted gift. 3210 Madison Rd. (E)

Brazee Street Studios Gallery One One has a beautifully renovated new space for its shows.  Drop by to see the exhibitions, take a class, or tour on an open studio night. 4426 Brazee St. (D)

Stone Bowl  Get your Bibim-bap or house-made ramen bowl from Oakley’s favorite Korean and Japanese spot. We are seriously digging the Korean pancakes too. 3355 Madison Rd. (E)

Mazunte  The battered fish taco is calling our name.  We don’t even care that it’s in a strip mall.  We just want some tasty tacos, and the salsa bar, and maybe some tamales. 5207 Madison Rd. (E)

El Mercado The market brought to you by the folks at Mazunte is going to be your new best friend because finding the perfect guajillo chilies for your famous brunch Chilaquiles has not always been this easy. But an insane variety of dried peppers is not all you’ll find there: carnitas michoacan, chicken tinga, chorizo, shredded pork, housemade salsas, pickled red onions, fresh produce and more await you. Essentially, the ingredients for every Mexican dish you can imagine are ready for your shopping pleasure at this spiffy commissary. 6216 Madison Rd. (S)

The Wheel 3805 Brotherton Rd. (E)

Listermann Brewing 1621 Dana Ave. (E)

MadTree Brewing  Get yourself some Thundersnow action or their uber popular Russian Imperial Stout Axis Mundi. MadTree’s taproom is one big party–Catch-a-Fire pizza, cornhole on their sexy patio, and a line-up of mighty fine beers, just to name a few of their charms. 5164 Kennedy Ave. (E)

Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse  O.K. even though they don’t sell retail quite yet, Sixteen Bricks bears mentioning. You’ve most likely enjoyed their crusty, Old World loaves at great restaurants all over town. Keep your eyes peeled. The moment they open the new spot to the public, we’d recommend getting in on that. Until then, pick up a few loaves at Clifton Natural Foods, 336 Ludlow Ave.

Pleasant Ridge

Dandy Haberdashery features local artisan made and vintage goods, jewelry, home furnishings and accessories, as well as design consultations. Dandy Haberdashery is a brilliant stop to score holiday gifts. We’re loving the streetcar token cufflinks and felted coasters. 6030 Ridge Ave. (S)

Everybody’s Records has been putting a groove in the lives of Cincy natives for over 35 years. If Everybody’s Records can’t put the funk back in your step, it can’t be done. Soak in the good vibes and score some boss vinyl, cds, cassettes, dvds, music posters and more. They’ve got killer band tees too. 6106 Montgomery Rd. (S)

Loving Hut is the vegan cafe of the Gods. Try the Spring Roll Meal. 6227 Montgomery Rd. (E)

The Coffee Exchange of Pleasant Ridge 6105 Montgomery Rd. (E)

Gorilla Cinema is a pop-up experience combining “artistic, and often interactive movie-viewing with drinking, dining and socializing.” Keep up with Jacob’s newest brainchild here. 322 W. 4th St. (D)

Overlook Lodge  We’re not sure what appeals to us more, the fact that Overlook serves trail mix and exotic jerky, or the fact that we can order cocktails called The Hatchet, Garden Maze and Red Rum in a bar inspired by “The Shining” movie. Either way, we’re on board. 6083 Montgomery Rd. (E)

The Pink Box has chunky cardigans, soft organic bamboo tops, faux-suede minis and furry vests to get you stoked for the season. Naturally, The Pink Box still carries all the fun monogram goodies and jewelry that made them famous too. 6929 Miami Ave., Madeira (S)

Mariemont, Mt. Lookout and Columbia-Tusculum

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Fifty West Brewing Company has quickly made a name for itself among beer enthusiasts by offering a dozen well-executed craft beers on tap and more to come. The food pairings are beyond the usual brew pub fare, but still tasty and satisfying compliments to your pint. Try them for brunch. 7668 Wooster Pike (E)

El Trio offers twelve salsas to generously ladle over some solid Mexican food. 7227 Wooster Pike (E)

Mariemont Theatre screens art house films as well as your typical blockbusters. Take a little time out, and go see a flick. There is something about Mariemont that makes us feel like we’re playing hooky (in a good way). 6906 Wooster Pike (D)

The Sweeterie  Upstairs from the Dilly Bistro lies a sweet surprise. It’s probably those jars of marshmallow fluff from our childhood that has us obsessed with Sweeterie’s chocolate ganache cupcake filled with the white billowy stuff.  6820 Wooster Pike (E)

Dilly Bistro Bar and Bottle Shop  Get the Dilly beer cheese. You won’t be disappointed. Buy a bottle of wine(from the selection of 1000) and have the server uncork it for you. Or if you’re the craft beer type, they’ve got 15 on tap as well as 500 varieties on the shelves.  6818 Wooster Pike (E)

Lolli’s is truly one of our favorite haunts when we are in Cincy. Owner Leah Osgood’s great sense of style comes through in everything she does.  We know we will always see something in Lolli’s that is  both edgy and earthy all at once.  We don’t know how she does it. One of the best selections of jewelry in town. 6814 Wooster Pike (S)

Sarah Benjamin’s considers themselves a little denim-obsessed. It’s a good thing. They’ll get you in the right fit, and then take it up a notch with the perfect city jacket or fringed scarf. 6810 Wooster Pike (S)

Buona Terra Gelato and Crepes  You’ll find uniquely addicting flavors of gelato and sorbetto, made using traditional Italian methods, as well as macarons, and terrific savory crepes. Buona Terra prepares elegant custom cakes for special occasions as well. All we know is, we can’t go very long without our affogato fix. 1028 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout (E)

Coup D’ Etat Vintage  Dashiki embroidered caftans to vintage cocktail glamour, Coup D’ Etat has the ideal ensemble for everything from binge-watching Mad Men to weekend getaways. They do in-house alterations too. 3165 Linwood Ave., Mt. Lookout (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Terry’s Turf Club  Look for neon–lots and lots of neon pointing you towards burger nirvana. Terry’s offers eleven different sauces to dress your meat, including Burgundy Wine with Wild Mushrooms and Truffles, Peanut Garlic, and Mango Curry. 4618 Eastern Ave., Tusculum (E)

Blank Slate Brewing Company is crafting small batches of seasonal ales not typically brewed in Ohio. Their Pourhouse is open Thursday through Saturday where you can sip on tasty brews like Blank Slate’s Out and About Gose or Ryesing Up, a Rye Saison with peppercorn. Be sure to sample their wildly popular Opera Cream beer made with BonBonerie’s Opera Cream coffee blend. 4233 Airport Road, Unit C (E)

The Velvet Cricket  This online auction company and gallery in the burgeoning Columbia-Tusculum area is just the kind of place you’d go to add that ephemerel unexpected element to your decor.  3700 Eastern Ave. (S)

Pearl’s  The patio, it’s all about the patio. Take advantage of half-priced bottles on Wine Wednesdays. 3520 Eastern Ave. (E)

The Hi-Mark 3229 Riverside Dr. (E)

Eli’s BBQ  Spectacular BBQ that’s served by good people. The $5 pulled pork sandwich is reported to be life altering. We wouldn’t dispute that. Get some jalapeno “yeller” bread to go along.  3313 Riverside Dr. or now open in their second location at Findlay Market, 1801 Race St.–hurrah! (E)

Local Gourmet Goodness: Whirlybird Granola is handmade in small batches with nothing artificial to sully your breakfast bowl.  Grateful Grahams and Love& Fluff Gourmet Marshmallows will become your new addictions.  Find them at quality markets about town. eat Hen of the woods potato chips whenever possible. Gadabout doughnuts is hosting regular pop-ups–yippee!

You won’t want to miss this…

Urban Basin Bike Club sponsors a weekly themed bike ride that departs from Fountain Square Tuesdays at 6:30. All skill levels welcome. Get out and get social. Join their Facebook group for details.

Bunberry Music Festival  You’ll want to keep tabs on this 3-day summer music festival along the banks of the Ohio. See the lineup here. Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove

Lumenocity is one of the coolest things you’ll do in Cincinnati, no question. Head to Washington Park in Over the Rhine to see an ahh-mazing lightshow projected on the Music Hall accompanied by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

America’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati  This 3-day celebration in mid-September is the largest of its kind in the country. Finally a legit reason to don your Lederhosen and Dirndls. See 100 Dachshunds race in hot dog bun costumes–we kid you not, and do other things you might expect like drink too much and do a chicken dance with 40,000 of your closest friends. There will be music, food, and merriment the Deutsch way. 5th St. Downtown

The Crafty Supermarket happens thrice yearly. Yes, we said thrice. This mammoth juried art show features all things handmade by nearly fifty (ninety at the holiday show) crafters, artists and designers. With a live D.J. and tasty eats, this craft fair will be on your “must do” list. Swag bags will be on hand for the first 100 shoppers. More deets here.

Santacon  Yes, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to be in the midst of hundreds of Santas all gathered in one place. Get your jingle on in Fountain Square. Deets here.

Get Out-of-Town Outdoor Adventure:

Loveland Bike Trail  This paved bike trail meanders along the scenic Little Miami River for nearly 70 miles, through charming Historic Loveland and other small Ohio towns. 206 Railroad Ave. Loveland, Ohio

Loveland Canoe Rental  If you’d rather experience the Little Miami with a paddle in your hands, go see the good folks at Loveland Canoe and Kayak.  They’ll set you up for a great day on the river. 200 Crutchfield Place Loveland, Ohio

Mash Cult in florence’s Party town was just voted best Local Brewery. Check ’em out 6823 Burlington Pike, Florence, KY 
Newport’s guide is hot off the presses. read here. want to check out covington’s guide? cool. click here.


© 2021



14 Responses to Cincinnati

  1. J Everett Taylor

    This is truly a great list and write-up! There’s a few things that even this diehard Cincinnatian needs to check out.

    You did forget to list Rhinegeist Brewery in OTR just north of Findlay Market, and Christian Moerlein Brewery in OTR on Moore Street — which is housed in a beautiful, historic brewery building itself.

    There’s a lot more of great things in Northern Kentucky like The Party Source in Bellevue, which has its own microbrewery (Ei8ght Ball) and microdistillery (New Riff), along with the best beverage selection in the area! I suppose Northern Kentucky could probably take up a whole other list on its own.

  2. Jason K Caudill

    I agree with J Everett Taylor. This is a great list, but it seems short-sighted to have left out everything “across the river.” Lots of great things in Northern Kentucky are even closer to downtown than Mariemont. Just because it’s in a different state doesn’t make a venue “too far away” to list.
    Disagree with me, and we’ll stop letting you use our airport. *grin

    • hiptraveler

      Jason and J.Everett–We totally agree. In fact, we almost included Covington spots–but at the last minute decided to save them for a different guide. We will give this serious thought 🙂 We too have mad love for Northern Kentucky.

      Hip Green Scene

      • J Everett Taylor

        Very glad to hear that! Jason and Jason have made some very good points. There’s definitely a lot to see and do in the communities of Northern Kentucky, and I look forward to your guide.


        Jason Everett Taylor

  3. Jason Franz

    It’s really great that you’ve put together this travel guide, and covered so many fantastic places and things to do. However, it disappoints greatly that you jumped right over Walnut Hills, East Walnut Hills, and O’Bryonville. All three places, sometimes operating as one big extended family and other times as three distinct neighborhoods, have wonderful offerings worth mention in your guide. All have historic charm and value, and each represents a different stage of urban revitalization.

    For our own small part, Manifest, which serves as ‘the neighborhood gallery for the world’, anchors what has become Cincinnati’s Instant Arts District when our fellow businesses coordinate the Walks on Woodburn nine times each year. Woodburn Avenue also boasts a bike shop, Hi-Bred vintage boutique, Parlor Salon, Kitchen 452, Le Bon Vivant, Suzie Wong’s, and many many others I am not mentioning here. A number of these have been named in Cincinnati Magazine’s BEST OF issues.

    It’s easy to drive right through WH, EWH, or OBV on your way to the other places you mentioned. This is why it’s even more important to point the bright spots out, so folks take a moment to pay attention to what they may otherwise just pass right by.

    Thank you for your efforts to spread the good word about our city!

  4. Tara Heilman

    If you venture to the west side…Broadhope Art Collective is a gallery, boutique and workshop space proudly displaying the local work of over 36 artisans! We offer classes for young and old, pro and novice! We are across from the Westwood Town Hall, home to the Westwood Art Show and neighbor to Madacp Puppets new home. Four Directions Yoga Studio, Treasure Alley Vintage and Heinke Winery. Watch the west side art district grow!

  5. Sonya Staffan

    Lebanon is a quaint suburb just north of Cincy. We consider ourselves Cincinnatians, since most of us enjoy jobs downtown. We welcome you to check out our Golden Lamb (Ohio’s oldest inn), Flavors Eatery, our train station and railroad, historic homes, and fabulous shops! Truly enjoyed your article (especially since at our shop – The Jam and Jelly Lady – we lovingly stock Whirlybird Granola and Grateful Grahams, too! Thanks for your interesting and helpful write-ups!!

  6. Brian

    While this list is a great start, it is missing a few locations. You may want to consider adding Rohs Street Cafe to the list of places in Clifton. I was baffled you included Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition when it literally opened up 3 months ago, but neglected to put Rohs, an establishment that has been around for nearly 10 years, on this list. Also, some of the lines were short on locations that deserved a hell of a lot more comments. The Greenwich, for instance, needs more than “been jamming for decades”. Do you know more things happen there besides jazz? Same goes for Rohs, which offers artwork, fair trade coffee, and bands. Plus, there’s a certified poetry slam venue (Queen City Poetry Slam) that has been operating out of that space for the last four years.

  7. Bonnie Speeg

    Great compilation (and that’s not easy for me to write!) Reading the comments, yes, I too, am a ‘diehard’ Cincinnatian…lover of Arnolds from its inception…the old stuff, former resident of OTR in the 60’s. I was prone to suggest the standards to visitors when I worked at the Krohn and Taft. I expected this to be a review of the concentrated efforts and development in the ‘Gateway’ district/OTR. But you did it…you went all the way up the hill to the Esquire, Sitwell’s …and so much more. Yes, you missed a few things, I read the other comments; but you’ve created an initial list here you can expand on. I DID NOT scroll through and see ‘the usual’ of the new stuff new transplanted residents of CVG go to in OTR; and wouldn’t know Groesbeck from Delhi (they’re Cincinnati too)…I saw a great dedication to being as thorough as one article can be, considering the volume you had to draw from. Do it some more!

  8. MamMaw

    This was really a great review of Cincinnati. Believe it or not, there is still a lot about Cincinnati not shown. Coney Island, The Zoo and Kings Island to name a few. The sports teams we have here also. Well done, Kyle, it was a great presentation. Keep up the good work. Cincinnati misses you. We also have the best high school, St. X.

  9. Mary Kenyon

    I would love to get these list, I am planning several weekend escapes without leaving town. Especially if I can spend on shopping and food what I would on a weekend hotel and gas for a trip.

  10. Ron Morton

    I lived in Cincinnati form 1948 to 1977 when I moved to LA. I have not seen most of what is posted here but my wife and I loved the tour. Thanks you for the tour, it was very different that what I last saw there. I lived at 27 E. Ninth Street, 45202 zip, and my father raised me in the Morton Hotel at that location. He was shot to death in April 1774 and no one knows who did it. I was also very active with the Save the Albee Theater and lost out to Fred Lazarus (Shillito’s). It was one of many things that broke my heart and motivated me to leave. I now live in Washing State, Camano Island with Carol Ann wife of 37 years and we really love it here. Maybe someday we’ll come back for a visit, my brother still live there.


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.