People are always asking me, “What’s your favorite place to eat in Cincinnati?” My answer varies from day to day depending on how hungry I am, how much I want to spend, and where I am at that moment. Of course, we have Cincinnati restaurants to fit everyone’s needs, but if you’re visiting for the MLB All-Star Game, you may be looking for a more succinct answer.
Obviously I recommend all of the restaurants that partner with me on my Cincinnati Food Tours. From the vendors at Findlay Market to the fine establishments in Over-the-Rhine, I am proud to offer such a broad view of what Cincinnati has to offer on my tours. (Check out our list of partners below.)
However, I have many other Cincinnati favorites that are not on my tour either because of space and traffic constraints or because of location in relationship to my tours. If I’m near Great American Ball Park, I love the Moerlein Lager House not only because the food is delicious, but also because they offer a great view of the Ohio River and Smale Riverfront Park. Local beer and optional outside seating seal the deal for me at the Lager House. I also enjoy Montgomery Inn Boathouse for its world-famous ribs and spectacular river view. (Entertainer Bob Hope was a fan and singer Rosemary Clooney served Montgomery Inn ribs at her wedding. Enough said.)
Special occasions warrant special restaurants and we have so many choices in the Central Business District just a few blocks from the stadium. For a touch of French dining in a casual atmosphere, Jean-Robert’s Table is my recommendation. When I’m looking for upscale Italian, I head to Boca. You will see master chefs at work and make memories at either destination.
When I want to be where the action is, I go to Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. I know I may have to wait for a table, but I can leave my cell phone number and have a drink somewhere else while I’m waiting. I’ll stop by The Lackman or Sundry and Vice and follow that with pizza from the wood-burning oven at A Tavola or authentic tacos and guacamole from Bakersfield OTR.
Occasionally, I get THAT craving. Cincinnatians know what I’m talking about. I crave an original cheese coney or Cincinnati 3-way chili and nothing answers the call for me better than Skyline. With locations all over town, I can satisfy that craving quickly and inexpensively so after my stop at Skyline, I may decide to just finish the day with another Cincinnati tradition. Nothing like a Graeter’s ice cream cone as I’m rounding third and heading for home.
You may not be able to do it all during your All-Star visit, but we hope you get a taste of Cincinnati and enjoy what the locals have to serve. Our food scene and our Cincinnati Reds baseball team have a lot in common. Strong traditions, a blend of old and new, and some things that are just uniquely Cincinnati. Come for the game. Stay for the food. Welcome to Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Food Tours Partners:
Our Findlay Market Merchants–Bean Haus, Cake Rack Bakery, Churchill’s Fine Teas, Dojo Gelato, Eckerlin Meats, Eli’s BBQ, Fresh Table, Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen, Mama Lo Hizo, Market Wines, Maverick Chocolate, Mediterranean Imports, Mimi’s Gourmet Eggrolls and Curry Bowls, Taste of Belgium, Velvet Smoke BBQ
Our Over-the-Rhine Establishments–The Anchor, Brezel, Holtman’s Donuts, Gomez Salsa, Goodfellas Pizzeria, Kaze, Krueger’s Tavern, Macaron Bar, Nation Kitchen & Bar, Revolution Rotisserie, Taft’s Ale House, Taste of Belgium, Salazar, Sweet Petit Desserts