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Cincinnati - Any great food/restaurants that we should try?

We are heading to Cincinatti for a wedding this weekend. Are there any places or foods that we absolutely have to try? We will be staying downtown...

Thanks
Rich

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  1. Latest and greatest are in the Over the Rhine area of downtown. Tavola for Pizza, John Roberts Table for french bistro, Senate for gourmet hot dogs. There's a really interesting tour of the area too--googleCincinnati tours. If you want a view of downtown go a bit further by car or cab to Primavista for upscale italian or View ( in an apartment building, don't let it fool you) for good small plates etc. I like Nada downtown if you don't mind trendy. Make a reservation on Open Table.

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    Primavista
    810 Matson Place, Cincinnati, OH 45204

    4 Replies
    1. re: gungadin

      great, thanks. I don't mind trendy so we will give it a go!!

      1. re: gungadin

        Senate looks great! Considering we are coming from Southern California we should probably try that rather than the Mexican of Nada! Thanks so much for the suggestions.

        1. re: foodiefavorite

          One other suggestion: Orchids downtown. It's been rated the top restaurant in the city by Cincinnati Magazine for the past three years in a row, and it's exceptional. The menu changes regularly, the service is the best in the city, the chefs grow their own vegetables (and honey) on the roof and the desserts are super imaginative.

          Here's the review: http://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/bes... and menu: http://www.orchidsatpalmcourt.com/

          I live in NYC and come home to Cincinnati regularly to visit family. Orchids keeps getting better and better and could easily fit in with some of New York's best restaurants.

        2. re: gungadin

          In OTR, loved Mr. Pig, a bare-bones bbq joint. Take joint, but tables outside if weather is good.

        3. Assuming the wedding was Saturday and you are leaving on Sunday it's probably too late for most suggestions if you even read this in time. But if stay until lunch tomorrow, chili is the local specialty although you should know it can be an acquired taste for some. Skyline Chili is probably the most popular and they have 3 locations downtown. The other local specialty is gourmet ice cream and it needs no "acquiring" of a taste for it. Graeter's is the most popular and they have a location downtown at 511 Walnut Street. I recommend at least trying a chip flavor - black raspberry chip is the most popular. It's the best way to top off your visit that I can think of.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Bearhawkeye

            Ya, anyone who's never had Cinci chili really needs to give it a go. It's a really great regional specialty. Not your average bowl of red though. Be prepared.

            BTW, I picked up cans of Skyline at Wally-World in Fayetteville, Tn in July.

            DT

            1. re: Davwud

              Have you tried the other canned Cincy chili, like Dixie? I wonder who they compare in a can.

              1. re: Fibber McGee

                As a Cinci chili fan, I think you're better off using one of the spice mixes & making it yourself. Gold Star has a good one, but the knockoff Skyline style mix (it comes in packets with a Skyline-style logo on it) is best.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  I use the can as an utmost convenience thing. If I'm gonna use a spice pack I'll go all in and do it from scratch. Which is what I usually do.

                  DT

                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                    So Skyline>Gold Star in terms of mixes? I prefer Gold Star over Skyline in terms of dining, although I prefer the more localized places than the "chains."

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                    Gold Star
                    219 S Winemiller, Batavia, OH 45103

                    1. re: Fibber McGee

                      Ya, Blue Ash and Camp Washington are far superior but we thought Gold Star paled in comparison to Skyline.

                      To each their own though.

                      DT

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                      Gold Star
                      219 S Winemiller, Batavia, OH 45103

                      1. re: Davwud

                        Indeed. I do like Skylline's menu variety, so I go there when in Dayton.

                        1. re: Fibber McGee

                          Miller Lane Skyline is a regular stop on the way home from the inlaws.

                          DT

                          1. re: Davwud

                            I work near the Dayton Mall, so that's the one I go to when I feel like joining my co-workers. What I do like about that one is the same family has owned it for years.
                            Does Skyline have downtown Cincinnati outlets?

                              1. re: Davwud

                                Oh, yes, I've partaken at Great American. Goes well with the Maker's Mark they serve in the plastic cups with a wax Reds insignia.

            2. Anyone have any other updates they'd like to add? We're coming in from Los Angeles and will be there a week.
              Tavola looks good, Terry's Turf Club is a must and I hear there is a new Mediterranean place somewhere.
              Looking for a couple of recommendations for places we can go with the kids and a few without.
              TIA

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              Terry's Turf Club
              4618 Eastern Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226

              3 Replies
              1. re: lolabelow

                Terry's is delicious but having been there a couple of times I would tell you to stay away from the fancy sauces and cheese and get a classic cheeseburger. Not that anything is wrong with the sauces but they tend to distract from what might be the best hamburger I've ever had. I have done tasting menus at Boca (sister restaurant to Nada but Italian (truffle and taglateli not spaghetti and red sauce italian)) and more recently at Le Poste. Both a bit from downtown but both really good food. And Le Poste was $50 for a 5 course tasting...tough to beat that.

                1. re: lolabelow

                  Not sure what areas your going to be in, but I'll suggest some northern places. The best BBQ is Jim Dandy's in Sharonville right off I-75. My fave burger joint is Sammy's in Blue Ash. Both of those are kid friendly.Grammer's in Montgomery has good Italian food in a slightly upscale setting. Surprisingly for a city that has heavy German influence there aren't many good German restaurants left around here. The best that I've been to is the Hoffbrau Haus in Covington KY but Laszlo's Iron Skillet in Mariemont gets good reviews.

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                  Laszlo's Iron Skillet
                  6900 Valley Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45244

                  1. re: JohnE O

                    I'll echo Jim Dandy's. Iron Skillet is in Newtown, near Mariemont. Love Rincon Mexicano in Eastgate.

                2. It's been a few years since I lived in the area, but one of my favorite restaurants is right across the river from downtown in Covington, KY -- an easy bus ride. Riverside Korean Restaurant is very traditional Korean and has terrific food, worth checking out.