Cincinnati, OH 45202
513. 621.2222 website
Just across the street from Great American Ballpark at Cincinnati’s The Banks development, Holy Grail Tavern & Grille is a mainstay in Cincinnati — a place to grab good food after the game is over, and a nightlife spot that gets packed during ball games and downtown events. This bar has lasted even as others have closed up shop at the Banks. A favorite of reds fans and downtown dwellers a like, odds are this will be one of the first destinations the locals will direct you to if you find your way to Cincinnati’s downtown or its thriving riverfront.
The food here is generic pub grub, which is to say it’s got an assortment of sandwiches, wings, fried things and the like. What I like:
- Black Angus Burger: The classic black angus burger is cooked about to a medium rare and served with a dusting of seasonings and a sort of spicy mayo. The burger is huge and almost too much to handle. Almost. Very satisfying.
- Holy Grail of Nachos: A mountain of chips topped with nacho cheese, lettuce, chopped onions, tomatoes, sour cream and salsa. This enormous app is built to be consumed by a group (or one of two very hungry people.)
- Hot BBQ Wings: Barbecued wings (they can come bone-in or boneless to your liking) with a barbecue sauce that isn’t sweet as is typical. Instead, it’s hot.
- Goebel’s Reuben Wontons: A unique appetizer, a fried wonton wrapper stuffed full of corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Then it’s drizzled with a thousand island dressing. So this dish is rich. Very rich. But give a few people a bite of it and everyone will find it great. Best when shared.
- Texas Style Chili: Meaty and very tasty. Texas style chili is heavy on the cheese and onions, but it’s not Cincinnati-style, the iconic saucy variety. Just so you know.
The bar is always pretty full, especially on game days and especially on weekend nights as well. It should be noted your party won’t be seated until everyone is there. To be sure, this is one of those places that will never run out of patrons when it’s literally right outside the door of the ballpark. Price points are pretty good, and the food comes relatively fast, which is nice given how big and busy the place can be.
Reds fans love the place — that will always be its big diver. On game night, not a bad experience at all.
- This spot is very crowded on weekends and game nights, and the parking is at a premium at the Banks. To be kept in mind.
- Food isn’t bad if you’re around, though.
- Parties won’t be seated until everyone is present.