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Mar 8, 2005 12:59 PM

DC chowhounds visiting Cincinnati area. Any recs?

  • k

Washington DC chowhounds will be visiting the Northern KY, Cincinnati area next month. Any recommendations? We love just about any type of chowhound-worthy food.

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  1. You must try the chili. You'll either love it or hate it, but it's an essential part of the Cincinnati dining experience. Don't let anyone lead you to Gold Star, please. Skyline, Skyline, Skyline! I recommend a 3-way and a coney.

    For finer dining, there are many good options downtown. My girlfriend and I rang in the new year at Bella once and it proved a wonderful experience. The lamb chops melted in my mouth and her sea scallops possessed the most wonderful combination of texture and flavor. Also, the service was top notch! I've never been, but Maisonette is Ohio's only 5 star restaurant (for what it's worth).

    For dessert, you are in luck. I don't agree with Oprah on many points, but the deliciousness of Graeter's Ice cream is one. Also, Busken Bakery makes the best frosted sugar cookies I've ever had.

    Hope you have a good time!


    1. Yes, Skyline and Graeter's are a must. Montgomery Inn Boathouse for ribs. For fine dining, Maisonette and its 5-star rating or Jean-Robert at Pigall's. Or any of the close Jeff Ruby's places (Jeff Ruby's, The Waterfront, The Precinct) for steak. Jean-Ro Bistro is a nice French Bistro ( with good food. In Northern Ky, Dee Felice Cafe for Cajun food and dixieland ahead the music changes nightly.


      2 Replies
        1. See the link provided below for more Cinti/NKY info


          1. If you have time/want an excursion, go East on route 50 (Columbia Parkway) to a little town called Mariemont. It was built in the early 1900s as a model town (modeled after a town in England) and it has retained tons of charm from then. The town is on the National Register for Historic Landmarks.

            When you hit the town center (route 50 goes directly through) you'll see on your left the Mariemont Inn, in which there is a terrific restaurant called the "National Exemplar" - nice setting, excellent food (melt in your mouth filet mignon). Also in the town square (right next to the movie theater) is another restaurant called "The Quarter" with a menu that changes, but is good. Nice atmosphere. And, to top it off, there's a large Graeter's in the town center as well for dessert! (other side of the theater) If it is nice out, the square and town are nice for a walk.

            Admission: I grew up there and my parents still live there, so I love it!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Cintigirl

              Oddly enough, the best pizza in town for my dollar....Mio' also located right on that same block with the Quarter et al mentioned in the previous posting. Thin or Chicago style, both great, but if you haven't had a Chicago style stuffed pizza before, get one here, very authentic and easily as good as Giordanos in Chicago

              1. re: TJ Jackson

                TJ, for various reasons we have not had Mio's pizza here. But we ate a lot of Giordano's when we lived in Chicago. Between Mio's stuffed and Uno's here in Cincinnati, which would you pick?

                1. re: MikeH

                  Yes, Mio's is very good; didn't mention it because the other person seemed to be "finer dining" oriented! (I confess to a partiality for LaRosa's pizza and sauce - I've been eating it all my life and Mio's is a relative "newcomer" to the square, having been there only a little more than 15 yrs or so! I always pick up cans of it on visits home)

                  I've lived in Chicago and had Uno's, Giordano's, and other famous brands of Chicago deep dish. You cannot go wrong with Mios. But you can't get Mio's outside of Cinti, I believe, while Uno's is a national chain at this point. So go local!

                  1. re: Cintigirl

                    I love Mio's when the pizza first hits my plate and for the first few bites, but by then end of my first piece I've had enough. I think LaRosa's is more "Cincinnati" since it does have a very unique flavor, and Mio's is more of a Cincinnati take on Chicago style pizza.

                  2. re: MikeH

                    The UNo's franchise's are pale shadows of the original in Chicago. Don't even bother with them.

                    The one in Beechmont even closed due to lack of business.

                    Mio's is what you want.

                  3. re: TJ Jackson

                    Mio's has a great veggie pizza but what really sets them apart from all the other pies in Cincinnati is their signature sesame seed crust. They coat the edges of the crust with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds and then bake it off. The seeds toast up in the oven and make for an outstanding flavor to accent the pizza.

                2. In addition to all mentioned above. I'll make these additions

                  Fine(ish) Dining:
                  Boca in Oakly
                  Daveeds in Mt Adams
                  Primavista (Somewhat near downtown)
                  Beluga in Hyde Park (Asian Fusion and Sushi)

                  Zips in Mt Lookout is consistantly voted as having the best burgers in town.

                  And definitely try the chili if you've never had it.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ang99

                    Agreed that Zips is considered have really good hamburgers, though personally, I don't get it. For a great basic burger, I vote for Quatman's in Norwood.

                    1. re: CincinnatiLisa

                      Would take Quatman's over Zip's. I've eaten at both within the last 2 weeks, and Zip's is good, but Quatman's is the quintessential burger. Got to love a place where the beverage is included in the special, and you can choose beer. Also they feature a "lunchmeat" sandwich, but I've never tried get a choice of "lunchmeat" from their meat case.

                      For pizza, I'd recommend Dewey's in Oakley. I think they have a couple of other locations, too. They are great.

                      1. re: sudiepav

                        There is a thread further up about Dewey's Pizza in Missouri, but I always thought it was local to Cincinnati w/the one in Oakley being the original (I live near the one in Symmes). The MO thread mentions the speciality pizzas (Green Lantern, Edgar Allen Poe) so it seems like the same place. Have they expanded or was I mistaken in thinking Dewey's was local?

                        1. re: CincinnatiLisa

                          Andy DeWitt started Dewey's in Cincinnati (he worked for a similar concept while living in Seattle and virtually duplicated the concept to his liking when he opened Dewey's Pizza in Cincinnati in 1998) however his father once owned (and maybe still owns, I'm not certain) the St. Louis Cardinals. Hence the Dewey's Pizza in the MO thread. It is the same concept and owned by the same person.

                          Hands down Dewey's makes the best 'gourmet' pizza in Cincinnati.

                      2. re: CincinnatiLisa

                        Quatmans is much, much better than Zip's

                        Parking is a problem at both of these places