Since its settlement in 1788, Cincinnati has become a culturally diverse city due to its location on the border of free and slave states during the Civil War, and an influx of immigrants during the late 19th century. The increasing cultural diversity manifested itself in the city’s food, which can be found in its numerous restaurants. The top restaurants that best showcase what Cincinnati has to offer are listed here.
As a Japanese Gastropub and sushi bar, Kaze combines a contemporary dining room, sophisticated bar-lounge, and landscaped beer garden. It offers a gluten free lunch and dinner menu and boasts fantastic service and interesting and well-presented food, all in the historic location of the old Color building.
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Nada is a great restaurant for any occasion, it serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert! The decor is modern yet intricate, and the gorgeous outdoor seating comes complete with string lights and lanterns hanging from tree branches. The staff is attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about the ingredients of the dishes and how they are prepared. The food is flavorful, unique, and served with great presentation.
Goodfellas has mastered the art of making New York style pizza: their pizzas (which you can buy by the slice or as a 22’’ pie) have a thin, crisp crust and are topped with fresh ingredients, homemade sauce, and 100% whole milk mozzarella cheese. The restaurant is quick-service, guests can order a small pizza at the counter and have it brought to them, or choose a slice from the many in a display case. Food can also be eaten upstairs in what is known as the Wiseguys Lounge. Modeled after the energy and ambiance of the 1920s Prohibition-era but with a modern twist, the Wiseguys Lounge provides an enviable atmosphere and top-of-the-line bar.
Conveniently located on Vine Street in the trendy neighborhood Over the Rhine, The Mercer offers Italian-European cuisine and a fantastic bar in a restaurant with an upscale casual atmosphere. The restaurant is very dynamic, equally suited to friends catching up at the bar over drinks or for a couples’ date
One of the few Asian restaurants in the city, Quan Hapa is a deliciously rich, decadent, and fun restaurant with long tables for a communal dining experience. The menu is exotic without being intimidatingly so, and customers have the opportunity to create their own salad roll as an appetizer. The service is friendly and attentive, which provides a welcoming atmosphere to dine in, although take out is also an option.
With its roots in Findlay Market, Revolution Rotisserie is the quintessential Cincinnatian restaurant. The ingredients are organic and all natural, even the chickens are entitled to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. Revolution Rotisserie specializes in gourmet rotisserie chicken sandwiches served on grilled pita bread, which is finished off with fresh toppings and homemade sauces. In addition to serving superior cocktails at its bar, the restaurant is vegetarian friendly (you can substitute hummus, black beans, or veggies for chicken) and gluten-free friendly (you can substitute arugula or greens for pita).
Located on the ground level of the Carew Tower, Hathaway’s Diner is a blast from the past. Its decor consists of black and white checkered tile, long and winding counter tops, and waitresses in 1950s style clothing: dresses and beehive hairstyles included. The atmosphere of the diner truly makes it look as though it were frozen in time, which is something many diners struggle to achieve. With its fantastic menu that is perfect for breakfast or lunch, Hathaway’s Diner is a hidden gem.
Taste of Belgium was formed for a single purpose: mixing classic Belgian and American dishes and flavors to create something new. With roots dating back to 2007 in Findlay Market, Taste of Belgium quickly gained popularity for its waffles (which are made with a cast iron waffle maker) and large Belgian beer selection. Boasting superb service and incredibly knowledgeable staff, Taste of Belgium is well known throughout the Over the Rhine area, and for good reason.
With its prime location at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Terrace Café offers an incentive to visit the museum after dining, all visitors receive free parking with a $10 café purchase. The café primarily serves soups, salads, and sandwiches in its chic restaurant, which includes lovely outdoor seating during warm weather. Service is fast and the museum just outside provides a great view.
With a fresh, natural, and inviting atmosphere, Happy Belly is the diamond in the Downtown crown. Happy Belly is a health-conscious place that tells you the nutritional information of every item on the menu, so you can eat delicious food without having to worry about loosening your belt buckle. Happy Belly makes itself readily accessible by delivering and offering takeout, so you can have your health lunch on the go.