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Taste the World of Mediterranean Foods


When I saw Aladdin’s Eatery was opening in Over-the-Rhine, I immediately thought a typical franchise restaurant was moving into the neighborhood. I couldn’t imagine it working out as a stop on my food tours because I work hard to feature locally-owned, independent businesses. It’s difficult to deal with “corporate;” I prefer face-to-face relationships.

Luckily, one of the owners Carla Chalkey reached out to me. We met, I sampled some amazing dishes, and Carla explained to me how she and her brother worked their way up from servers to corporate positions to owners of three Cincinnati locations. What really sold me on getting involved with Aladdin’s is the “hands-on, sleeves-rolled-up attitude” of Carla and her staff. They use as many locally owned products and ingredients as possible and continue to make the dishes that Carla’s Lebanese family served her whole life. Everything is made from scratch from the amazing hummus to the baklava, and and the staff makes everyone feel welcome as soon as they come in the door.

With plenty of comfortable indoor seating plus a full bar and outdoor patio, Aladdin’s Eatery in OTR has become one of my favorite stops. The extensive menu has something for everyone, and the staff is happy to offer suggestions to those who may be unfamiliar with the Mediterranean cuisine. In fact, for our tours, Carla customizes a menu just to fit our sample selections for that particular group.

If you haven’t tried Aladdin’s yet, make it a point to get there soon. Conveniently located near the 12th & Main Streetcar Stop, it’s also just a short walk from the often-crowded restaurants on Vine Street to some of the best food and the nicest people in the neighborhood.