Cincinnati is a lovely, bustling city on the Ohio River, with a rich cultural heritage, excellent sports teams, and fantastic food. There’s tons of stuff to do in Cincinnati all year round. If you go during the summer, you can always try to catch a Cincinnati Reds game or spend your day wandering around the gigantic Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is one of the best museums in the city, where you and your family can learn about the brave people who traversed the Underground Railroad on their way to freedom in the north. The Ohio River was a crucial juncture on the railroad itself.
After a long day of sightseeing and taking in all of the fantastic things that Cincinnati has to offer, you’ll probably be pretty hungry. Fortunately, this city is also famous for its dining options. So whether you’re in the mood for casual or high-end fare, there’s something for everyone in Cincinnati.
Check out my list of the best restaurants in Cincinnati below!
Galla Park Gastro
175 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Coming away at number one is Galla Park Gastro, loved by Cincinnati locals and visitors alike, and for good reason.
There’s no better place to grab dinner or a weekend brunch than Galla Park Gastro. Not only is the food phenomenal, but their location couldn’t be more convenient.
You can find Galla Park Gastro on the corner of Joe Nuxhall Way and Second Street East, right next to the Great American Ball Park which is the home field of the Cincinnati Reds.
When you get to this awesome restaurant, I highly recommend a Galla Burger and a beer, but there are many other delicious options, too.
311 Delta Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Right near Rakestraw Memorial Field, you will find Jeff Ruby’s Precinct, a Cincinnati favorite for all things steak. Although you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, I prefer the steak and crawfish sauce.
The crawfish lends a delicate and unexpected note to the steak that’s both familiar and unique at the same time.
Additionally, the Oysters Rockefeller are exquisite, as is the Blue Crab Bisque. If you love good old-fashioned comfort food, their take on baked macaroni and cheese is superb. Jeff Ruby’s Precinct tends to get pretty busy, so it’s a good idea to make reservations if you’re going during the weekends or dinner rush.
118 E 6th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sotto Cincinnati is very close to the Aronoff Center for the Arts and is one of the top places to get your Italian food fix in Cincinnati. If you’re craving authentic old-world favorites, this is definitely the spot to go. Not only is the food second to none, but the customer service is also exceptional.
Personally, I love their tortellini and angel hair pasta entree. You would be hard-pressed to find better pasta outside of Italy. Their goat cheese and honey are exceptional, too, with a beautiful balance of sweet honey and creamy cheese served on perfectly grilled bread.
1401 Republic St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Walk one block down the street from Washington Park, and you’ll come across Salazar Cincinnati, a friendly, beautiful local gem serving some of the best food in all of Cincinnati. Salazar Cincinnati is a super popular restaurant, so reservations are a must no matter what time you visit. It’s all worth it, though.
Salazar Cincinnati puts a significant premium on presentation. All of their dishes are artfully plated and just as tasty as they are beautiful. My favorites include fried Brussel sprouts, roasted chicken chilaquiles, and artisanal burgers. If you can, save room for dessert. Their chocolate pot de creme is out of this world.
35 W 5th St #2801, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Orchids at Palm Court is right around the corner from Fountain Square, so if you’re doing some sightseeing in downtown Cincinnati, make sure that you swing by for a bite to eat.
Everything on the menu is just incredible, fresh, and many ingredients are locally sourced. Plus, the atmosphere is friendly and accommodating.
I love their house salad with pickled mushrooms, radishes, and baby lettuce. The popcorn grits with leeks and a touch of black truffle are great too. Sometimes restaurants go overboard with the black truffle, but Orchids at Palm Court hits the balance just right. It’s one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati for sure.
114 E 6th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Catch a performance at the Contemporary Arts Center, then walk across the street to dine at Boca. This European-style restaurant is the last word in elegance, but it’s welcoming and not pretentious at all. This beautiful balance of style and comfort is what sets Boca apart from the rest.
Expect excellent cuisine when you dine at Boca. Even something as simple as a beet salad gets elevated to brave new heights at the hands of Boca’s chefs. I love their ravioli, fresh scallops, and pasta with Bolognese sauce. If you like wine, you’ll love the selection at Boca too. It’s superb!
5207 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45227
Mazunte Taqueria is just a few blocks away from the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and it’s a great place to go if you’re craving good Mexican food.
They serve fresh, flavorful, and traditional Mexican cuisine in a friendly atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Plus, their staff are all very accommodating and knowledgeable about the menu.
Try their homemade chips and salsa. You can really taste the difference. I also love their enchiladas. The portions are large enough for sharing or taking the rest home with you. Grab a couple of sides and dips, and you have an authentic Mexican feast.
1201 Broadway St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey is adjacent to the Spring Street Playground, and as the name suggests, they specialize in biscuits.
Their bread products are flaky, packed with flavor, and pair perfectly with other menu items. I love their biscuits and fried chicken. The crispiness of the chicken and the buttery goodness of the biscuit is a match made in heaven.
Their poutine is delicious too. It’s authentic, loaded with gravy, and large enough to share. Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey also has a good drink menu with both classic and signature cocktails. I like their twist on an Old Fashioned, personally.
4165 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223
Bridges Nepali Cuisine is a short car ride away from Jacob Hoffner Park. This restaurant is an unassuming gem of a very popular place with Cincinnati natives.
You’ll find classic Nepali favorites like momos, samosas, and various rice bowls here. Plus, it’s reasonably priced and a great place to go with the whole family.
Their rice and lentil bowl with a side of vegetable samosas are a satisfying meal if you’re looking for something a little lighter and healthier. I love their Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s perfectly spiced, tender, and comes with tons of yummy sauce.
1501 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Get off at the Vine and 15th street bus stop, walk across the street, and you’ll find Pepp & Dolores.
This exceptionally popular Cincinnati restaurant is easily one of the hippest places in the city and maybe even the entire state. Reservations are an absolute must, and many people find that they need to book their dinner several weeks in advance. But, it’s all worth it.
Pepp & Dolores is in a class of its own. Their crostini with mushrooms is a melt-in-your-mouth odyssey of flavors. You get the crispiness of the bread, the earthiness of the mushrooms, and a delicate seasoning blend that ties it all together. My other favorites include the ragu of lamb, goat cheese and beet pasta, and meatballs.
1342 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Eagle is right next to Leftcoast Modern Furniture Store, and it’s a great spot to go for a cold pint of beer and a fried chicken sandwich.
Their fried chicken is outstanding, with crispy breading and juicy meat. You can get it with several different sauces, but I prefer their spicy honey sauce—the sweetness and spiciness of the sauce pairs beautifully with the breading.
You can also get other comfort food classics at The Eagle. I like their macaroni and cheese or their sweet potatoes. Both are tasty, perfectly baked, and hit the spot every time.
210 E 8th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Two blocks from the Hamilton County Justice Center, you will find Arnold’s Bar & Grill. This restaurant is undoubtedly lively on the weekends when they generally have live music.
During the week, it’s a little quieter but still a great time. Arnold’s Bar & Grill is a fun, local place to hang out that happens to serve excellent beer and great food.
I love their veggie burgers. They are massive, packed with flavor, and you won’t miss the meat at all. Their lava cake is terrific, too, oozing with tons of tasty chocolate.
521 Main St, Covington, KY 41011
Walk one short block away from Goebel Park, and you’ll come across Otto’s, an exceptional brunch restaurant in Cincinnati where you can find traditional favorites and tasty new spins on classic dishes. So whether you’re in the mood for something savory or sweet, you can certainly find it at Otto’s.
I love their chicken salad sandwich. It tastes homemade, with big chunks of juicy chicken in a creamy sauce. Otto’s serves it on a huge, fresh croissant. Their fried green tomatoes are sumptuous too. The delicate batter and tart green tomato combination are both refreshing and satisfying.
No visit to Cincinnati is complete without a heaping plate of barbecue from Eli’s BBQ. Since there are locations all over Cincinnati, there’s bound to be an Eli’s BBQ near you.
Eli’s BBQ is one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati if you want good, homestyle comfort food and all of your favorites.
Their dry ribs are absolutely phenomenal, as is their pulled pork. It’s fork-tender, covered in beautiful barbecue sauce, and simply delicious. For sides, I love their macaroni and cheese and jalapeno cornbread. Both hit the spot and are large enough that you can share or take the leftovers home for later.
1429 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Taft’s Ale House is just one block away from Washington Park, and it’s my favorite spot in Cincinnati to get macaroni and cheese.
The secret to Taft’s Ale House’s success lies in their signature recipe. They make their macaroni and cheese with beer, lending it an excellent, heady flavor that’s just irresistible.
If you prefer to drink your beer instead of eating it, you’ll find a good selection at Taft’s Ale House, including a sweet and slightly tart Key Lime Pie Caribbean ale. Their IPAs are off-the-charts as well, with perfectly balanced hops and a great aftertaste.
If you’re looking for a bite of the old world, look no further than Taste of Belgium. With several locations all over Cincinnati, there’s bound to be one right near you.
As you might guess, Taste of Belgium specializes in Belgian beers, waffles, and traditional Belgian dishes like mussels and frites. They also serve poutine, burgers, and other comfort food staples.
I like their mussels in white wine sauce. The combination of mussels, butter, wine, and garlic is delicious. It also comes with toasted bread so that you can sop up all of that incredible sauce. If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, Taste of Belgium does excellent salads too.
525 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar is one block away from Fountain Square and is one of my favorite places in the city to have a great breakfast.
Their food is hearty, with some unexpected but tasty flavors and combinations. For example, try their quinoa cakes with egg. The crunchy quinoa and the creaminess of the egg are a stellar combination.
Additionally, their coffee and tea selection is excellent, fresh, and beautifully presented. Specialty and classic cocktails are available if you’d prefer a little glass of cheer with your Eggs Benedict.
1524 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Go across the street from St. Francis de Sales Church, and you’ll be at Cafe Mochiko, a Japanese-inspired cafe with a whimsical and tasty menu.
One of the things that I like most about Cafe Mochiko is that I can order large or small plates of food depending on how hungry I am. Their small plates are satisfying for a small meal or snack and will certainly take the edge off your hunger.
I love their Miso Eggplant. The eggplant is roasted, slightly sweet and smoky, and comes with miso glaze and rice. Every bite is an excellent balance of flavors. Their Hokkaido Smashburger is good too, loaded with caramelized onions, yuzu mayonnaise, and all fixings.
1401 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Losanti is right next to Washington Park, and locals know it as one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati for special occasion dining. So even if you’re not celebrating something big, you can still stop in for some fine food in a chic but comfortable atmosphere.
Everything on the menu is impressive, but I love their crab cakes, steaks, and Eggplant Parmesan. The flavors are on-point, and the ingredients are fresh and perfectly cooked.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try their crunchy kale salad. It’s got just the right amount of dressing and is great as an entree, or goes well with some of their more substantial option.
2724 Erie Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Across the street from Hyde Park Square is Alfio’s Buon Cibo. This restaurant has amazing service, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a fantastic food and specialty cocktails menu. Their Pear Moscow Mule is extraordinary, with the delicate flavor of pear balancing off the stronger ones of the cocktail.
For food, I love their salmon and ravioli dishes. If you’re in the mood for something a little bit spicier, try their Korean BBQ. It’s balanced, flavorful, and big enough to share. Save room for dessert because their chocolate cake is the ideal ending to a great meal
810 Matson Pl, Cincinnati, OH 45204
Visit the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, then walk a few short minutes to Primavista for a memorable meal. Primavista is a chic and comfortable restaurant with a very friendly staff who are all willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your meal is as great as possible.
Some of my favorite menu items at Primavista are the simplest ones, like their Caesar Salad. It’s loaded with flavor, plenty of cheese, and a generous serving of croutons.
Their pasta is excellent too, especially the gnocchi, and spaghetti and meatballs. With impeccable service, a great menu, and a pleasant atmosphere, Primavista is easily one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati.
1420 Sycamore St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Next to the Salem United Church of Christ, you will find Nicola’s, a historic landmark that’s been part of Cincinnati’s cultural heritage since 1862.
If you’re looking for authentic and tasty Italian cuisine, Nicola’s is it. I love their signature cocktails, particularly their unique spin on Negorinis. Their Negronis are crisp, balanced, and presented beautifully.
Great menu items include their scallops, gnocchi, and biscotti. For lighter fare, try the rhubarb salad. The rhubarb is crunchy and tart, and the salad itself is perfectly dressed.
2601 W 8th St, Cincinnati, OH 45204
Incline Public House is right next to Olden View Park and one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati to get classic comfort food served with a smile.
Whenever I’m craving a Cobb salad, I head straight to Incline Public House. Their salads are massive, packed with farm-fresh ingredients, and have just the right amount of dressing.
Their grilled cheese is good too. You can get it with tomato, or spinach too. It’s crispy, creamy, decadent, and nostalgic. Their sides are enormous and good for sharing. I like the onion rings at Incline Public House. They use sweet onions, and the rings come out hot and well-seasoned.
600 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
A block away from Broadway in Cincinnati, you’ll find Nada, a local favorite for brunch or a quick bite to eat. One thing that really makes Nada shine is the quality of its ingredients. You can taste the freshness in every bite. This means that even the simplest dishes at Nada are exceptionally flavorful.
I love their shrimp cocktail. It comes with punchy cocktail sauce and a generous serving of plump shrimp. You can share it or enjoy it as a meal all on its own. If you stop in for brunch, try their avocado toast with lox. The creamy avocado and salty lox are incredible together.
24A W Court St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
To taste some of the best baked goods in the city, get off at the Central Parkway and Vine Streetcar Station and walk two blocks to Mon Petit Choux. It’s one of the best bakeries in the city by a long shot. If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, you’ll love their vanilla cream puffs. Each bite is crispy, creamy, and sweet.
Their croissants are good too. I love their pistachio croissants with glaze. They are good with butter or enjoyed by themselves. Try their ham and cheese croissant with onion jam if you’re in a more savory mood.
3821 Edwards Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209
Walk just a few blocks down from the Courtyard by Marriott Cincinnati, and you’ll be at The Capital Grille. This sophisticated steakhouse is a local treasure that hasn’t quite hit the tourist map yet. So if you love good steak prepared in a classic and tasty way, The Capital Grille is your spot.
I’m a big fan of their surf and turf entrees. The tenderloin and lobster tail is a fantastic combination that’s big enough to split between two people if you wish. If you want something a little less decadent, go with the ribeye sandwich and fries. It’s a great lunch menu item.
580 Walnut St #100, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Thirsty locals and tourists can find some of the best cocktails in Cincinnati, one block from the TTB National Revenue Center. Prime Cincinnati serves incredible classic and signature cocktails in a beautiful but welcoming atmosphere.
Their Amaretto Sour is a classic blend that’s expertly balanced and tasty. I like their Lemon Bullet too. It’s packed with citrus flavor and finishes nicely.
Their dining options are equally as good. I always order their crab cakes. They hit all of the right flavor and texture notes with a crunchy crust and a meaty, creamy center. For some of the finest, tastiest dining in the city, check out Prime Cincinnati.
3819 Edwards Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209
Seasons 52 is conveniently located right next to the Residence Inn by Marriott Cincinnati and is a reasonably-priced, higher-end restaurant where you can get elevated comfort food.
With a sizable food menu and a robust selection of wines, Seasons 52 is a great family-friendly choice for upscale dining.
Their soups are exceptional. I love their Butternut Squash Soup. It’s creamy, hearty, and has a great depth of flavor. Their burgers are good too, cooked to perfection and large enough that you’ll probably take some home with you. If you like wine, their house Chardonnay is exceptional.
From family-friendly to top-notch steakhouses, there’s something on the menu for everyone in Cincinnati. Most of these restaurants are very close to downtown tourist activities, so you won’t have to go very far to grab a delicious meal.
Just make sure that you make reservations ahead of time, as some of our picks can get a little bit busy.
Craving for a more specific taste? You should check out our list of the best sushi spots in Columbus.
Did we mention all of the best places to eat in Cincinnati? Let us know if we left off your favorite local haunt in the comments below. We will be sure to check it out!
- Jeff Ruby’s Precinct
- Sotto Cincinnati
- Salazar Cincinnati
- Orchids at Palm Court
- Mazunte Taqueria
- Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey
- Bridges Nepali Cuisine
- Pepp & Dolores
- The Eagle
- Arnold’s Bar & Grill
- Eli’s BBQ
- Taft’s Ale House
- Taste of Belgium – Over The Rhine
- Cafe Mochiko
- Alfio’s Buon Cibo
- Incline Public House
- Mon Petit Choux
- The Capital Grille
- Prime Cincinnati
- Seasons 52
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