West Side Brewing

Newly opened on Cincinnati’s Harrison Avenue, West Side Brewing had a high profile run-up as it raised money and prepared to open, bringing a counter-balance to the beer scene in the other sections of the city. A wide interior with games, long tables and plenty of room to play with, this is a destination stop where you’ll want to hang out for awhile.

To understand Cincinnati, you have to get it has two very distinct sides in the East and the West. The former gets a lot of attention and, in this Cincy native’s perspective, the latter is less understood, especially by outsiders. Something that brings more people this way is always a good thing.

Rate this:

Breakfast Club

Lebanon Ohio is very much a little slice of Midwestern America, with a quaint stretch of Main Street populated by small businesses that are beloved by the locals. Of all the restaurants along that stretch, the Breakfast Club is the resident morning spot. Like many classic pancake houses, you come in, take your order lightning fast, and breakfast is served within minutes. This is classic comfort food, with the simplicity to be enjoyed.

Rate this:

Cinebistro

There are a dozen Cinebistro locations all over the country, most to be found in new high-end developments. Bringing a new and creative take to the traditional movie night, Cinebistro offers something all-too-handy: the chance to eat right in your seat as you watch the movie — a very convenient choice! With a general menu of a lot of different kinds of foods, this place offers the seafood, sandwiches and other dishes you would expect at many an Americana-style grill around town anyway. While you might pay a bit more for the experience, I would also said you might find it an attractive novelty.

Rate this:

Holy Grail Tavern & Grille

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.

Rate this:

Cantina Laredo

A concept that hails from Dallas, Texas, Cantina Laredo has since expanded to a few key cities all over the country, typically finding its way into upscale shopping centers, airports and commercial centers. An open concept busy with decorative earthen pots, hanging lights and a massive bar that serves up refreshing drinks of all kinds. The menu is ‘Modern Mexican,’ a version of Tex-Mex that is cleaned up a bit and served with higher-notch ingredients. The locations often end up being large-size very busy establishments, but they don’t make for a bad place for a happy hour.

Rate this:

Dancing Roll

A sit-down sushi restaurant that was founded in West Chester, Dancing Roll recently added a second location in Hyde Park on Cincinnati’s East Side, with a menu that has broadened with the interest in Japanese and Korean food that has increased in the Midwest recently. This spot is best known and liked for its half-price sushi nights and its whole plates of great Korean specialties, which are otherwise not easy to find in a lot of other places in Cincinnati. This spot is one to remember.

Rate this:

La Mexicana Restaurant & Grocer

Newport, Kentucky is dominated by the huge developments along the river, but this town is much more than that. The historic stretch of town to the south is home to plenty of great little restaurants, dive bars and small businesses. Amid the bevy of interesting food to try, you can find little storefronts like La Mexicana, a taco stand and shop with big-time tasty Mexican dishes and preparation styles for Tex-Mex favorites and more authentic dishes alike. It almost feels over the top, but this spot is all deliciousness.

Rate this:

A Tavoola

Inspired by the classic Italian trattoria, or casual restaurant, A Tavoola brought this concept to Cincinnati as an eatery that offers shareable bites in a less formal setting. Now with locations both in downtown’s Over-the-Rhine and in Maderia on the East Side. Pizzas, pastas and other shareables dominate this menu and there are more than a few good drinks to try. A Tavoola brings a concept to areas that really benefit from having something like it, and I like the concept for its welcoming interior.

Rate this:

Asiana Korean Restaurant

The growth of West Chester has meant many kinds of new restaurants have followed as population and offered an increasingly diverse array of great foods. It’s no short task to try and keep track of them all. A stalwart hole-in-the-wall in the sea of ever changing trendy names, Asiana Korean Restaurant is a relatively low key place, catering to the Asian American population of southwest Ohio with a simple joy: Korean food. The restaurant offers dishes few other places which are not so niche would bother to try, but the end result is something altogether amazing. A trip to Korea will leave you hungry for the foods that typify the land. This spot brings them to Ohio and in a good way.

Rate this:

Istanbul Cafe

A downtown Cincinnati destination that specializes in Mediterranean, specifically Turkish, cuisine, Istanbul Cafe is popular with groups and larger crowds, specifically for events that might be a little nicer and more upscale. It’s got a following with tourists, a space popular with the local Turkish American population, and brings people in quantity on weekend nights. Plenty of great dishes from kebabs, falafel, lamb dishes, chicken and more. It’s a delightful place, a nicer restaurant that still delivers with friendly service and good food. The restaurant has landed some good reviews in local media, but where it continues to find good ratings, really, is with crowd-sourced reviewing sites.

Rate this: