The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Clifton, Cincinnati

Photo of Camille Carr-Harris
9 February 2017

Clifton is a neighborhood in northern Cincinnati that encompasses Ludlow Avenue shopping and Dining District, and part of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. With all these attractions, there is always something to do and see in Clifton! Listed below are the best places to go.

Graeter’s Pumpkin Ice Cream l | © stu_spivack/Flickr


Handcrafted ice cream

All Cincinnati residents know that Graeter’s is an absolutely necessary destination for out-of-towners. Its custom, handmade ice cream is truly one-of-a-kind perfection and its creamy black raspberry chocolate chip and rich mint chip perfectly embody this. In addition to serving ice cream Graeter’s provides its customers with various flavors of gelato, milkshakes, and assorted desserts.

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 7am-10pm Fri-Sat 7am-11pm Sun 9am-10pm

Address and Telephone Number: 332 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 281 4749

Clifton Cultural Arts Center

A regional arts and learning center unlike any other

With a historic aesthetic, including hardwood floors and antique windows, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center is truly a magical place to be. Its mission is to strengthen the critical links of successful, healthy communities and participation in the cultural arts. As a former school, the Center has successfully made the transition to a host for several arts and enrichment activities.

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 9am-5pm

Address and Telephone Number: 3711 Clifton Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 497 2860

Esquire Theatre

A century old treasure

The Esquire Theatre is a historic monument that has been resurrected by the citizens of Clifton. Located in the historic Gaslight District, It was built in 1911 and used to show silent films and live feature shows. After enduring the Great Depression and surviving suburban expansion, Cliftonites voted against turning the Theatre into a Wendy’s restaurant. The theatre has rebounded since coming close to closing during the 1980s, and was named ‘One of the Top 10 Reason to Visit Cincinnati’ by USA Today in 2012, cementing its vital role in Clifton life.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:30pm-close

Address and Telephone Number: 125 East Court St. Suite 1000, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 281 8750

Biagio’s Bistro

Charming neighborhood hangout

With roots in Centola, Italy, Biagio’s Bistro has long been a favorite of both locals and out-of-towners alike, and has enjoyed success in Clifton’s Gaslight District since its debut in 1999. Biagio’s provides customers with a warm and inviting environment and top-of-the-line cuisine. Everything from soups to pastas to salads are made from scratch in the kitchen!

Price range: Mid-range

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm

Watch out for: Tomato basil soup, tiramisu

Address and Telephone Number: 308 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 861 4777

Mount Storm Park

A historic estate with an original gazebo

This 57-acre state park was once the residential home of successful Cincinnati businessman Robert Bowler, who entertained 19th century celebrities such as the Prince of Wales and Charles Dickens in his magnificent estate. The iconic Temple of Love gazebo-pavilion is all that remains of the original architecture of Bowler’s home, which was designed in 1850. It has since been converted into a charming playground and shelter which provides perfect sledding grounds and a great view of the Clifton skyline and Millcreek Valley.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6am-10pm

Address and Telephone Number: 700 Lafayette Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 357 2604

Ambar India

North Indian fare

The vegetarian-friendly restaurant offers northern Indian cuisine to its clientele, which consists mainly of University of Cincinnati students. In order to cater to its customers, the restaurant serves very mild dishes in comparison to its spicy counterparts. Ambar India provides dishes with the perfect trifecta of flavor, spice, and portion size.

Price range: Mid-range

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-10:30p Sun 11am-9:30pm

Watch out for: Chicken saag, tikka masala

Address and Telephone Number: 350 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 281 7000


Pan-Latin restaurant

Fast and friendly service combined with a refreshing, comfortable atmosphere make Habañero the ideal place to relax during a lunch break, or for a lovely dinner date. The restaurant also offers great deals: tacos are only $2 on Tuesdays, which are dubbed ‘Taco Tuesdays.’ Boasting a great menu revolving around the ever-popular tacos, quesadillas, and burritos, Habañero is the place to be.

Price range: Budget

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

Watch out for: Mango salsa, Taco Tuesday

Address and Telephone Number: 358 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 961 6800

Burnet Woods

The perfect place for a family walk

Both owned and operated by the Cincinnati Park Board, Burnet Woods is a city park in Cincinnati made up of 89.3 acres. It serves as a luxurious greenspace against the backdrop of an urban landscape, and is usually populated by University of Cincinnati students looking for a respite from city life. It is a beautiful place to take a walk when you need to escape to nature.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm

Address and Telephone Number: 3251 Brookline Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 357 2604

Brown Checco Fine Arts

An eclectic, artistic statement

Named for and founded by Jan Brown Checco, Brown Checco Fine Arts is a testament to the Cincinnati resident’s body of work. The gallery contains her ceramic mosaics, drawings, and paintings which, when combined, form thematic exhibitions with conceptual designs. The gallery is unique with its mixture of influences from around the globe – Brown Checco studied in Florence and Paris, and one can clearly see aspects of both cultures in her work.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm

Address and Telephone Number: 360 Resor Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 751 4783

Sitwells Coffee House

A Cincinnati staple

Sitwells Coffee House is a cozy, eclectic spot in the Gaslight District, perfect for many different occasions: early birds can eat breakfast from 8am-4pm each day, and night owls can finish the day with dinner that is served until 1am. In addition to having a full stock bar and fresh meats and cheeses from Findlay Market, the restaurant offers a diverse menu: customers can order anything from coffee to milkshakes to quesadillas.

Price range: Budget

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 8am-1am Fri-Sat 8am-2am Sun 8am-1am

Watch out for: Astral Buddha (chai mixed with espresso), live music

Address and Telephone Number: 324 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 281 7487

Camille Carr-Harris

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