Being from Michigan and attending a university in Tennessee, I did many a drive up and down I75, and probably passed through Cincinnati over 25 times. Yet, my idea of it was Skyline Chili (a chain of chili restaurants based in Cincy), a nice-looking riverfront I’d see as I crossed the bridge, and mostly a grungy, industrialized city off the highway. Nothing really beckoned me to stop and dig in. That was until my good friend moved there about two years ago, and boy had I gotten it all wrong… after a quick visit I contemplated moving. (PS: this form of unbridled zeal is always my MO after a great trip!)
After a few more in-depth visits, here are some of my favorite spots…
Sleepy Bee Cafe– (pictured at top) Get your day started within the walls of a historic, reclaimed building. Rest assured that the delicious menu options will delight your taste buds as well as protect the earth and our little buzzing friends. They source ALL meat and dairy locally, paying particular attention to pro-bee practices. The owner, mama of three kiddos, is motivated to make meals that children will enjoy, and that will nourish their growing bodies!
Washington Square Park– Wide open spaces with equipment rentals and bike accessibility, right in the heart of the city. Access to parking right on campus, and only a short walk from the riverfront. Pack a picnic and play some kickball!
Over the Rhine or “The OTR”- This area is the shiz. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read about the reemergence of this neighborhood anywhere as it was so prolific. I mean, an area where every moral ill flourished transitioning to trendy boutiques and restaurants with two hour waits in the middle of the day… this is press worthy!
- Go to The Eagle, a made over post office, for a fried chicken sandwich that will make you wish you had a southern grandma.
- For a dynamite Bloody Mary Bar or a nice red visit the 1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab… day-drinking at its finest.
- Holtman’s for delicious doughnuts or Streetpops for a refreshing gourmet popsicle.
- As far as shopping goes, MiCA stood out as the best of the best with unique finds for your home or gifts for others!
- And since we love stationery, you must check out Steamwhistle Press, a local letterpress shop churning out custom goods as well as a line of greeting cards.
Findlay Market: Bright, cheery, eclectic, full of ethnic food stalls, artisan foods, and fresh produce, this market has retained its history, dating back to 1855! Try the Vietnamese pho at Pho Lang Thang.
Fusion: Their motto is “You roll, your way.” and not kidding I would need to be rolled out of this place if we had it in GR. Think Chipotle meets sushi, now let the daydreams begin… and there you have it, a creative, engaging experience with fresh, made to order rolls right in front of your eyes. They’ve got an entire wall of yummy flavored teas, and they’re about sustainability. I’m leaving the stationery business and opening a franchise tomorrow.