Taqueria St. Marks Place

St. Mark’s in Manhattan is home to probably some of the best concentrations of ethnic food in the city and so a lot of people like to come here to try something new. When you step into the Taqueria, there are a few expectations: this is not a Tex-Mex place that uses Americanized ingredients. It goes for something more genuine, and the front of the menu makes it clear. There are no nachos, no seven layer dips, no fajitas, and they say it three times so you’re clear. There are no “cute clay or adobe plates.” There are no “adorable red, white and green uniforms.”

This place is about representing a genuine culture. And it’s delicious.

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Taft’s Ale House

Served up with a healthy dose of history for its namesake, Taft’s Ale House honors a Cincinnatian who just happens to have been President of the United States once. So it’s nice that this eccentric church-turned-brewery has an aura of history to it, and a heck of a lot of character. While the libations are what bring the crowds to this spot on the weekends, it has a huge menu of food to keep people returning, including a brunch menu that isn’t often advertised. The food here is really worth a special visit.

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Market Bar

1137 Linda Street Rocky River, OH 44116 440.799.4292 website Another of the hot restaurant concepts that has exploded in Cleveland’s suburban scene, the Market Bar in Rocky River is a magnet for the city’s young and energetic population. Built up as a classy modern bar concept that brings people in force at night, the spot offers … Continue reading

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Harris Grill

As Shadyside has rapidly developed in east Pittsburgh, its new restaurant concepts have thrived with the advent of many new concepts springing up. Harris Grill does burgers, sandwiches, and other contemporary cuisine like few others. But where this spot really thrives, though, is in a very favorite meal where it faces stiff competition in this city: brunch. But in spite of the great well-known national brunch corners of Steel City, this spot holds its own handsomely.

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Basils on Market

Opened just off the square in downtown Troy, Basils on Market is a significant departure from the Night Sky Coffeehouse which formerly occupied this space. While it keeps the same intimate and cozy interior feel that made the former space so comfortable, this new concept goes instead in the direction of a high-quality bar with a menu of pub grub and an appreciation for the local arts scene. Good to see local artists are still represented in the space, but now you’ll want to take a look at that menu, too. The dishes you’ll find here are definitely worth a detour.

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Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery

Oregon District has a lot of bars with a lot of good bar food, and when you first walk through downtown Dayton’s main nightlife spot, you might not at first set your sights on the small operation that is Lucky’s. But make no mistake, this spot is much beloved by Dayton city-dwellers. Whether they’re making use of the spot’s extensive tap list or just looking to sample one of the burgers or sandwiches that fill its menu, people come to this spot in droves. The hype leaves you wondering, is it worth a try? The answer is yes.

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The Famous Neons Unplugged

The Famous Neons Unplugged; Cincinnatians simply call it “Neons” and it’s an Over-the-Rhine bar that has contributed to the city’s vibrant downtown scene. You know the spot for its massive patio, with outside bars and jenga block towers, as well as the comfortable second story, where pool tables and couches make for a more intimate scene. There’s a ton going on at this place. So much so that you might not even notice there’s a food menu. There is one. And it’s great.

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Keystone Bar & Grill

The Keystone Bar is a small chain in the Cincinnati area, currently with three locations. All of the locations have a very sophisticated-feeling interior, low-lit with fancy woodwork, and all-in-all it might look like an upscale bar when you first walk in. Not to be trite, the Keystone has a very cool twist: They specialize in mac and cheese. Yes, this is a bar you go to to enjoy a few beers and watch a game like so many other corners of the Queen City, but if you’re here, you’d better have a craving for some seriously hearty pasta and cheese concoctions.

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