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25 Unique Local Cincinnati Eats

With summertime quickly approaching, you may be beginning to plan vacations and weekends away from home. If you’re looking for a unique and fun city to explore, look no further than Cincinnati, Ohio. Not only are there countless museums, historical tours, beautiful parks, and stunning overlooks, but Cincinnati has become quite the haven for incredible local eats. It doesn’t get more Cincinnati than Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream, but there is definitely more for your taste buds to explore in this amazing city.

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The Eagle

Two words: Fried. Chicken. The best chicken in the city. Enough said.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Two words: Fried. Chicken. The best chicken in the city. Enough said.

Eli’s BBQ

Meat that falls off the bone. Cornbread, coleslaw, and other tasty fixin’s. It’s finger lickin’ good.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Meat that falls off the bone. Cornbread, coleslaw, and other tasty fixin’s. It’s finger lickin’ good.

Dojo Gelato

People who have had true European gelato have experienced Dojo and described it as a taste of Italy in Cincinnati. Owner Michael Christner studied gelato with Italian ice cream and pastry makers to bring this authentic treat to The Queen City. This Findlay Market institution offers everything from classic cups of cherry and chocolate to the funky fun flavors of beer and Cap’n Crunch. I also highly recommend adding a shot of espresso to your gelato for a classic Italian Affogato or a cup of hot Italian Drinking Chocolate when the weather gets cooler. Dojo is worth every penny.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

People who have had true European gelato have experienced Dojo and described it as a taste of Italy in Cincinnati. Owner Michael Christner studied gelato with Italian ice cream and pastry makers to bring this authentic treat to The Queen City. This Findlay Market institution offers everything from classic cups of cherry and chocolate to the funky fun flavors of beer and Cap’n Crunch. I also highly recommend adding a shot of espresso to your gelato for a classic Italian Affogato or a cup of hot Italian Drinking Chocolate when the weather gets cooler. Dojo is worth every penny.

Senate

Hot Dog! From kimchi and poached eggs to crushed chips and wasabi peas, this crafty OTR establishment will put everything but the kitchen sink on top of a dog.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Hot Dog! From kimchi and poached eggs to crushed chips and wasabi peas, this crafty OTR establishment will put everything but the kitchen sink on top of a dog.

Holtman's Donuts

Have you ever wondered what Lucky Charms or bacon on a donut would taste like? Wonder no more. Head on over to Holtman’s and enter donut heaven.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Have you ever wondered what Lucky Charms or bacon on a donut would taste like? Wonder no more. Head on over to Holtman’s and enter donut heaven.

Maplewood Kitchen

At the heart of downtown, this kitchen has a light California/Hamptons aesthetic and serves up delicious meals all day long. But, they are perhaps best known for their especially amazing brunches. The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Provencal Potato Salad are to die for!
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

At the heart of downtown, this kitchen has a light California/Hamptons aesthetic and serves up delicious meals all day long. But, they are perhaps best known for their especially amazing brunches. The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Provencal Potato Salad are to die for!

Mazunte

Amazing tacos AND a salsa bar. Need I say more?
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Amazing tacos AND a salsa bar. Need I say more?

Nicola's

The homemade bread basket alone is enough incentive to eat at Nicola’s, but it’s their homemade Pasta Bolognese that puts this place over the top. The carb coma you’ll experience for the next few days is worth every tasty bite.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

The homemade bread basket alone is enough incentive to eat at Nicola’s, but it’s their homemade Pasta Bolognese that puts this place over the top. The carb coma you’ll experience for the next few days is worth every tasty bite.

Taste of Belgium

Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson said it best, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” “People are idiots.” At Taste of Belgium, you can have breakfast all day in the form of waffles. That’s right. I said it. Waffles. You can have waffles with fruit or whipped cream or gelato. And if you’re extra hungry you can have a burger with waffles for a bun or their famous Waffle and Chicken.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson said it best, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” “People are idiots.” At Taste of Belgium, you can have breakfast all day in the form of waffles. That’s right. I said it. Waffles. You can have waffles with fruit or whipped cream or gelato. And if you’re extra hungry you can have a burger with waffles for a bun or their famous Waffle and Chicken.

Ruth’s Parkside Café-

Located instead the old, historic American Can Company factory, this quirky and quant café is the perfect place for nice ambiance, warm comfort foods, and unique flavors.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Located instead the old, historic American Can Company factory, this quirky and quant café is the perfect place for nice ambiance, warm comfort foods, and unique flavors.

Metropole

Metropole is a hip and chic restaurant situated at the base of the 21c Hotel and Museum. With an ever-changing menu, you’re always bound to be surprised every time you walk in the door. Their charcuterie, burnt carrot salad, and burger are phenomenal regular staples. Also, the place is perfect for a nightcap and dessert. And who knows you may even make a friend of the yellow penguin variety.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Metropole is a hip and chic restaurant situated at the base of the 21c Hotel and Museum. With an ever-changing menu, you’re always bound to be surprised every time you walk in the door. Their charcuterie, burnt carrot salad, and burger are phenomenal regular staples. Also, the place is perfect for a nightcap and dessert. And who knows you may even make a friend of the yellow penguin variety.

Bistro Grace

This café located in the center of Northside offers traditional eats with unique twists and flavors. The poutine and grilled donuts are definite fan favorites.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

This café located in the center of Northside offers traditional eats with unique twists and flavors. The poutine and grilled donuts are definite fan favorites.

Maribelle’s

This Oakley owned and operated eatery prides itself on local and organic ingredients, a complete in-house menu, and vegan and gluten-free options.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

This Oakley owned and operated eatery prides itself on local and organic ingredients, a complete in-house menu, and vegan and gluten-free options.

The Bonbonerie

The Bonbonerie is a bakery that boasts perfect petit fours, custom cakes, and decadent desserts. And they host afternoon teas that are practically perfect in every way. They have served Cincinnati for over thirty years with their divine confections and have made their mark as an institution in the city.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

The Bonbonerie is a bakery that boasts perfect petit fours, custom cakes, and decadent desserts. And they host afternoon teas that are practically perfect in every way. They have served Cincinnati for over thirty years with their divine confections and have made their mark as an institution in the city.

Sleepy Bee

Sleepy Bee is the name and honey is their game. This “buzz”worthy café has bee-themed and honey-inspired brunch dishes with quality ingredients that are sourced from local farms. It’s B-E-E-A-UTIFUL!
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Sleepy Bee is the name and honey is their game. This “buzz”worthy café has bee-themed and honey-inspired brunch dishes with quality ingredients that are sourced from local farms. It’s B-E-E-A-UTIFUL!

Pho Lang Thang

Nothing better on a cold or rainy day than a giant warm authentic bowl of Vietnamese pho.
Findlay Market / Via Instagram: @findlaymarket

Nothing better on a cold or rainy day than a giant warm authentic bowl of Vietnamese pho.

Public Incline House

Pizza Flatbreads. Tater Tots. A nice drink. And the best view in the city.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Pizza Flatbreads. Tater Tots. A nice drink. And the best view in the city.

Orchids at Palm Court

Located in the historic Netherland Plaza hotel, Orchids is not only a visually-stunning architectural masterpiece, but it serves one of the best and biggest Sunday brunches you will ever have.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Located in the historic Netherland Plaza hotel, Orchids is not only a visually-stunning architectural masterpiece, but it serves one of the best and biggest Sunday brunches you will ever have.

The Quarter Bistro

Want to feel like you’re in Paris without even touching your passport? Dine al fresco in the cute Mariemont Village Square and enjoy hearty American fare with an atmosphere of Parisian flair.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Want to feel like you’re in Paris without even touching your passport? Dine al fresco in the cute Mariemont Village Square and enjoy hearty American fare with an atmosphere of Parisian flair.

French Crust

French chef, Jean-Robert, has had his roots in Cincinnati since the early 90's and his cozy little café creates the best in French pastries and delicacies. You have not lived until you’ve had a croissant or chocolate croissant from French Crust. Melt in your mouth and out of this world.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

French chef, Jean-Robert, has had his roots in Cincinnati since the early 90's and his cozy little café creates the best in French pastries and delicacies. You have not lived until you’ve had a croissant or chocolate croissant from French Crust. Melt in your mouth and out of this world.

Zip’s Cafe

Zip’s is a Cincinnati icon that has been in business for over 90 years. The menu has not changed much since its opening and people would probably be mad if it did. This classic joint doesn’t sling out anything fancy, just simple burgers and fries. And Cincinnati loves them for it!
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Zip’s is a Cincinnati icon that has been in business for over 90 years. The menu has not changed much since its opening and people would probably be mad if it did. This classic joint doesn’t sling out anything fancy, just simple burgers and fries. And Cincinnati loves them for it!

Red Feather

This snazzy little spot has everything from hand-pulled mozzarella and pate to grits and beignets. A definite hot spot for those with more refined palates.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

This snazzy little spot has everything from hand-pulled mozzarella and pate to grits and beignets. A definite hot spot for those with more refined palates.

The Echo

If you’re looking for the Luke’s diner of Cincinnati, you will find it in Echo. Opened in 1945, many Cincinnatians can attest that multiple generations of their family, dating back to their great-grandparents, have enjoyed Echo’s diner delights.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

If you’re looking for the Luke’s diner of Cincinnati, you will find it in Echo. Opened in 1945, many Cincinnatians can attest that multiple generations of their family, dating back to their great-grandparents, have enjoyed Echo’s diner delights.

Boca

Their beet salad and brussel sprouts are game-changers. And their burger is fantastic. But, I recommend that you just close your eyes and ask them to bring you ALL the pasta. Boca turns little pillows of pasta into a religious experience.
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

Their beet salad and brussel sprouts are game-changers. And their burger is fantastic. But, I recommend that you just close your eyes and ask them to bring you ALL the pasta. Boca turns little pillows of pasta into a religious experience.

Cheapside

This cute little hipster café is known for their airy and cheery atmosphere, coffees, and breakfast sandwiches. And, did I mention, Challah French Toast? Challah-lujah!
Jillian Leedy / Via Instagram: @jcleedy

This cute little hipster café is known for their airy and cheery atmosphere, coffees, and breakfast sandwiches. And, did I mention, Challah French Toast? Challah-lujah!

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