Cincinnati Travel

My Favorite Restaurants in Over-the-Rhine/Downtown Cincinnati. Part 2.

Today’s post is for the locals. It’s actually a follow up of a post that got awesome feedback from my fellow Cincinnatians and made me want to share some other great food spots around the Queen City.

As some of you know, my husband and I live in Over-the-Rhine.  A little neighborhood in downtown Cincinnati that is now known for its food and bar scene along with local shops. There are new restaurants and cafes opening up what seems like every other week or so and there’s so many good ones to share.

Scott and I don’t go out to eat that often. It might seem like we would have to, for me to be able to write a post like this but we do our research before we go which usually results in some great picks. I wrote about 5 awesome foodie spots in the original post which you can check out here and today, I’m going to tell you about 5 more. And you know what? I’m not stopping. There will be a part 3 and part 4 if Cincinnati keeps doing what it’s doing, and awesome little places keep popping up. So, let’s get into it.

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Maplewood Kitchen and Bar – I honestly debated whether or not to add Maplewood only for the fact that it’s about to open its second location in Mason and no longer be exclusive to downtown but the food is too good to not share. There are multiple things I love about Maplewood. First off, obviously, the food. The food at this place is phenomenal. It’s always busy and for a good reason. The fruit and vegetables seem to have been picked right before preparing your meal as they are the best of the best and the breakfast and brunch options have something for everyone. If you’re gluten free/vegetarian/vegan, you’ll still have plenty to choose from. My personal favorites include the granola yogurt bowl with berries, the avocado toast (aka the Maplewood Toast) and the ricotta lemon pancakes. The second reason I love this place is the interior. The place is very rustic meets coastal and I enjoy just simply looking around at how the place is decorated while I’m there. You definitely have to check this place out if you’re into brunch. Have I mentioned this place is every Instagram foodie’s dream?

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The French Crust – This one is located across from the legendary Findlay Market and will take you out of your brunch comfort zone. This is one of Jean Robert’s restaurants, so if you’re a fan of the chef, you’ll have to check it out. The food options here are a bit more creative so no, you won’t be getting your steak and eggs or pancakes at this place. Think more BLT on a croissant sandwich or a vegetable filled bacon quiche. The pastries here are to die for as well, so make sure to walk over to the back of the café (aka the entrance to the bakery) and check out the options. Make sure to grab yourself a latte while you’re there and check out their salt and pepper shaker collection in the back as it has hundreds of ceramic salt and pepper shakers in the forms of chefs and animals displayed on the wall.

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Haru – Now, for lovers of Asian cuisine. Haru is located downtown, between 6th and 7th street on Vine. Haru is a Korean restaurant with a huge menu and great food. I highly recommend getting the Bibibop here but there’s a lot of customization that comes with the dish at Haru. You can add pretty much anything you’d like to the steaming hot cauldron and all the sides come in little dishes so you customize as you wish. It’s kind of a hidden gem so don’t expect to have a long wait.

Quan Hapa – Now, let’s venture back down to OTR. Another representative of Asian cuisine. This one is also for those that like to try different kinds of food and aren’t limited to eating what they know. Quan Hapa has a full bar as well, so if that’s a perk for you, look no further. I highly recommend getting the Japanese pancakes, either the cauliflower version or the cabbage one. I am yet to find one person that isn’t blown away by how delicious those things are, so I would say it’s a pretty good recommendation. If you’re into specialty noodles (aka Ramen dishes) they have plenty to choose from as well. Feel free to sip on some sake while you’re at it.

The Pony – The most recent find and if I’m not mistaken, the most recent one to open up in OTR out of today’s list. This one is located on Main Street and is quickly gaining popularity as this place is packed every weekend night that I walk past it. The Pony is a saloon style bar, but the food here deserves to be talked about. If you’re into crispy chicken sandwiches, wings or tenders, you have to check out The Pony. The chicken sandwich I had there left my mouth on fire, but it was so good. The wings were phenomenal according to my husband (I’m not super into wings myself) and their cocktail list was very creative. They have Taco Tuesdays as well, which I am determined to check out in the near future.

Well, that wraps it up for part 2 of my favorite restaurants in OTR/Downtown area! If you’re local, let me know if you’re into these kinds of posts and if you’ve checked out any of the restaurants. I’m always looking for new places to check out, so if you have recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!!

As always, thanks for reading.

Eat well, travel often.

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