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Why You Should Visit Cincinnati's Hyde Park Square

Picture of Laura Dorwart
Updated: 18 April 2018
Less than five miles from downtown Cincinnati, Hyde Park Square showcases the best of city living alongside the beauty of Victorian-era architecture. Thousands of visitors stroll along the square to shop, dine, and drink every year.

Cincinnati’s community of Hyde Park was founded in 1896. The quaint, quiet beauty of its historic buildings, green spaces, and flower-laden gardens stood out against the hustle and bustle of city life. In 1900, the Kilgour family donated a fountain for the center of the neighborhood square (as an “apology” for the construction of a public trolley line, no less!).

The Kilgour Fountain is still the centerpiece of Hyde Park Square at Cincinnati’s Erie Avenue between Michigan and Edwards, a stunning shopping district with over 175 restaurants, markets, art galleries, salons, and boutiques. Dotted with benches and street vendors against a backdrop of sprawling lawns, flowering trees, and landscaped parks, Hyde Park Square makes for an ideal afternoon of shopping or night on the town.

Some of Hyde Park Square’s most popular eateries include Graeter’s Ice Cream, a Cincinnati favorite featuring handmade French pot ice cream, and The Echo, a neighborhood restaurant that has served up modern takes on classic, old-school dishes for decades. Try Echo lunch and dinner specialties like the Funky Chicken Sandwich (mushroom, banana peppers, and jack cheese atop chicken) or hearty breakfast meals such as Glier’s German Greats (eggs, goetta, potato cakes, baked apples, and toast) and the Hyde Parker (an omelette with mozzarella, spinach, and tomatoes). If it’s sweets you’re after, try the Macaron Bar, a bakery devoted solely to delicate French macarons in every flavor, from lemon lavender and mint julep to pistachio and birthday cake.

Hyde Park Square is also known for its wineries and bars, including the Unwind Wine Bar—a rustic, classy late-night spot perfect for date night—and the Cork & Cap, a neighborhood joint serving up craft beers and local wines in a laid-back atmosphere.

The gift shops, high-end clothing stores, and specialty boutiques in Hyde Park Square also make for an adventurous afternoon of shopping (or maybe just window shopping, if you’re on a budget), whether you’re looking for designer duds or quirky handmade items.

Knickers of Hyde Park offers luxury, custom-made lingerie, sleepwear, and swimwear; Alligator Purse, like many of the neighborhood’s eclectic boutiques, sells jewelry, shoes, clothing, and accessories by Diane von Furstenburg and Rag & Bone as well as local artists. Castle House features high-end pieces just for the little ones in your life, while Lululemon and its “little sister,” Ivivva, specialize in yoga, dance, and athletic wear.

Hyde Park Square hosts a number of special events each year to delight tourists and locals. The neighborhood has hosted the annual Hyde Park Art Show, the largest juried arts event in the entire Midwest, for over 50 years. Weekly Sunday farmers’ markets from May to October are also a popular draw, while Hyde Park BLAST hosts races and games for kids and adults alike, and the Hyde Park Holiday Happening fills the neighborhood with the sounds of carolers and the aroma of nutmeg.

Rededicated in 1976, Hyde Park Square remains a Cincinnati mainstay and a regional landmark.