Oakley Pub & Grill

3924 Isabella Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45209
websiteIMG_03394 stars

Just east of Cincinnati lies Oakley Pub & Grill, a neighborhood watering hole with a major accolade you’ll see all over: It got top honors from Cincinnati Magazine for best burger in the city. It’s popular at night with the locals, and of course a game day destination, but this hard-to-spot bar knows how to get it done in the food department. Of course, bar food appetizers, pizzas and sandwiches top out the menu, but it’s that burger that is truly unique.

Damn! That is a tasty burger!

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  • The Burger: Simply titled, “The Burger” isn’t made with anything special. It’s angus chuck served with cheese and the classic burger veggies. But wow! It’s indescribably good. Order it medium or well done, and it will come perfect. The beef is juicy and tender, delicious. The mayo is served on the bottom of the bun instead of the top, which is nice, but other than that I can’t really detect what it is that makes this burger great. Didn’t detect any spices that stood out too much, other than the standard salt and pepper. All told, it deserves its reputation. To this point it’s definitely the best burger I’ve ever had in Cincinnati to be sure.
  • Fish tacos: Served on white tortilla and grilled cod, these tacos come with a whole host of veggies, the tacos are heavier but still good.
  • Nachos: While a mountain of nachos is pretty cheap. these are topped with a boring salsa, cheese that isn’t melted and a bunch of pulled chicken and peppers. Kind of forgettable.
  • Cole slaw: The cole slaw, it’s just as fantastic. It’s a different recipe, a vinegar-based one that has sort of an Asian twist to it; it’s got some crushed up uncooked noodles in it to give it a little stronger of a crunch. Add in a few other side ingredients like nuts and maybe a few veggies and overall you’ve got a pretty upstanding recipe, definitely unique to this bar, of a form of cole slaw you don’t get to taste too often in these parts.

Oakley Pub isn’t quite as big as the other pubs surrounding it, they tend to attract a lot of young people over the course of the day and into the evening, and this place doesn’t seem to put up those same numbers. That makes it an ideal location if you might not be feeling a crowded bar. The food also comes pretty quickly, though they seem to get backed up pretty quickly and service can be inefficient, but nothing out of the ordinary. And, to my surprise, the price point on the food is actually pretty good; a half-pound burger for about $8 is a tough deal to beat, especially when talking food of this quality.

You’ve just got to try the place. If you happen to be in the area it’s highly recommended, but if you’ve ever lived in Cincinnati, it’s a must.


  • This burger is an absolute must. One of my favorites of all time. The rest of the food, I think, doesn’t quite compare to the quality of it.
  • Side cole slaw is definitely a preferable alternative. The fries lack the unique flavor the cole slaw does.
  • Also, avoid lunch rush or prime time, which can see slowed down service.

Oakley Pub and Grill on Urbanspoon

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