HOME > Chowhound > Great Lakes >


Cincinnati -UC college graduation - need lunch and dinner ideas for next weekend...help!

Son graduates from UC next Saturday. Driving to Cincinnati Saturday morning from Northeast Ohio expecting to arrive on campus & park. Hope to walk somewhere for lunch about 11-11:30am. Ceremony should end about 4:30pm at Fifth Third Arena - hoping to walk somewhere for dinner about 5pm before heading back home to NE Ohio that evening. Am worried about tons of people being in the area for graduation & heavy traffic so I am thinking if we are parked in a lot on the southeast part of campus we can walk. I know that area of campus is iffy. We've eaten at Floyd's, Chicago Gyros & Cilantro in the past four years plus a few places on Ludlow. Nothing fancy.We've also been to Newport, KY but I don't think we want to venture far away from campus since we have the long drive down to Cincinnati in the morning & the drive back home in the evening. Wondering if there is any place that is a little nicer in that area that we could walk to. Don't want to worry about finding parking or fighting traffic/people but would like to have a nice place with a nice ambiance to sit down and enjoy a good meal and have a nice family visit. Anyone have any recommendations? I would really appreciate it -my plate has been full recently & I haven't had the time to do a lot of research on restaurants. You CHers never disappoint me & always come up with such great recommendations!!!! Thanks so much in advance!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I haven't lived in Cincinnati for the past 4 years - so you may want to get this recommendation confirmed from other CHers, but my parents are big fans of La Poste which is located just off of Ludlow in the Gaslight district.

    I have no clue how crowded it would be during graduation - but I've eaten there before and it's definitely nicer than many of the restaurants in the neighborhood.

    La Poste: http://laposteeatery.com/

    1. I have heard very good things about La Poste, but we have not been there yet. I think a lot of people going to the graduation at UC are thinking just like you, so you are probably going to run into crowds where ever you go, especially near the campus. There are lots of good little place along Ludlow, but I am sure they will be packed. If your heart is set on eating in that area, by all means, make a reservation.
      Here are a few other spots on Ludlow:
      Habanero – Written up as serving the best burrito in Cincinnati a few years ago.
      Ambar Indian Restaurant- Also known as one of the best Indian Restaurants in Cincinnati (next door to Habanero)
      One thing I might consider for dinner (I know you didn’t want to drive) is to take Vine Street from UC down the hill toward downtown and eat in what is known as the Gateway District. This is in the block of Vine Street north of 12th. There are wonderful restaurants lining both sides of the street.
      Senate – Very eclectic menu – Lobster BLT, Hamburger, Mussels, Gourmet Hotdogs, Truffle Fries – it is all wonderful!! http://www.senatepub.com
      A Tyvola – Italian, not the kind of Italian that you are probably used to in NE Ohio (I grew up near Youngstown), but very good. Gourmet pizzas, etc. Also very good.- http://www.atavolapizza.com/
      Lavomatic - www.lavomaticcafe.com
      Bakersfield - http://www.bakersfieldotr.com
      Local 127 - http://www.mylocal127.com/
      Taste of Belgium - http://www.authenticwaffle.com
      I’m sure there may be others, but I just can’t think if them right now.
      If you are familiar with the Flats in Cleveland, this area is what they were like in their heyday. There are other places I could recommend, but this area is relatively close to UC, but you would need to take your car, or take a taxi. This area is extremely popular in the evenings, but if you get down there by 6:00PM, you should not have a long wait, if any. It is very easy to get on I-71 from here if you are leaving right after dinner.

      1. Like cresyd, I'm four years out of Cincinnati, and used to live right next to what used to be Tink's, and is now La Poste. If La Poste is anything like Tink's, you'll be good to go. Hopefully you'll soon get some input from someone more current with the Clifton dining scene!

        Closer to campus, on McMillan, you could try Myra's Dionysus. It is a total hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern place and is clean & cozy; definitely a step up from the typical Clifton carryouts, Chicago Gyro, etc. It is tiny, but I think most people don't even see it there, so it will probably be fine even on graduation weekend. I wouldn't recommend it for a big group, but it is a great place for 2-3 people. I definitely had lower dining standards during my college, but I do remember their food being genuinely good.

        Have a good trip!

        2 Replies
        1. re: haveapeach

          Excellent recommendation! Any place that serves 8 fresh soups daily has got to be doing something right. Myra's is very small and very "funky." It has seating for about 20, inside, but the food is wonderful. Moslty Middle Eastern, but some South American, etc.,also. I think Myras has been open for over 30 years now and it usually caters to UC students and professors. It is very close to campus, just about 8 blocks east of Cilantro on Calhoun. It is also very reasonable.

          1. re: haveapeach

            I graduated 15 years ago and with all the changes that've gone on in the Clifton area, it does my heart good to know that Myra's is still there. Excellent soups.

          2. I don't have any rec's within walking distance (since they've completely renovated the area), but as an '85 grad may I say, congratulations on raising a fine Bearcat.

            1. I live in the Clifton area and Le Post would be a perfect graduation dinner. If you want something a little fancy, I recommend getting the tasting menu. At $50 for 5 courses its tough to beat. But everything I have ever had there has been great and by the service its obvious that it is a neighborhood place because even on my first visit I was made to feel like a regular.

              1. When I went to UC, my family always enjoyed a visit to Dewey's PIzza (at Ludlow/Clifton). Casual, great pizza, not super fancy, but nice and unique.

                1. I want to thank everyone for their restaurant recommendations. All of the Chowhounders who replied to my post were very helpful and I think it is only fair that I report back & share our experiences. Here's how graduation weekend played out....we got to Cincinnati earlier than we told our son we'd be there on Saturday just because I was worried about crowds & finding parking & finding places to eat. Well, to our surprise, the campus was deserted. I guess I miscalculated & didn't take into account that finals week concluded the day before (Friday) and all the dorms were empty & most students had left campus. The only students on campus were the graduates & their entourages. Thus, there was PLENTY of parking everywhere. So, we walked to Myra's Dionysus at 11am - they weren't open & I was worried they were closed for the summer or whatever. We waited around for about ten minutes & they opened up. We LOVED that place! There were four of us - we ordered a sampler plate to share which was Baba Ganouj, Hummus & Stuffed Grape Leaves. We all agreed it was some of the BEST hummus we had ever had. My husband I each had a cup of soup - he had the gypsy soup & I had the black bean soup. Husband & son had Falafel Sandwich and they claimed it was the best they'd ever had. Daughter had a gyro sandwich. While we were eating lunch, it was sinking in to me that parking/crowds were not going to be a problem after the commencement ceremony and that we should try to venture to the Gateway District for dinner. I had printed out the recommendations from here & was ready. Well, my husband & daughter insisted on going to Cilantro for pho!! We don't have any Vietnamese restaurants in the Akron area & need to drive to Cleveland for that. Last time we had pho was last fall in Cincinnati at Cilantro...so, out the window went my plans for a nice dinner in the Gateway District. Sitting at a counter slurping pho wasn't exactly what I had in mind for a post-commencement dinner BUT my family was HAPPY to get their hands on very good tasting pho!!!

                  Looks like we're going to be headed to Cincinnati a few more times before the summer is over to help with moving...so maybe we'll make some headway on some of the recommendations that came our way.

                  Also, while we were seated at Myra's Dionysus, I said to our son, "You've lived here four years & never knew this restaurant existed???" He said his college friends/roommates are largely from the Cincinnati area & they are "uncultured swine!!!" They only like to eat at chains like Chipotle or Panera thus our son never really had anyone to go with him in exploring restaurants. Only when us parents come to visit, we go outside of the comfort zone.

                  Thanks to everyone for helping with food recommendations!!!

                  Thanks so much to everyone for your input! You never disappoint me!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: CurryLover

                    If you're around more over the summer - I'd also recommend Floyd's which is right next to Myra's. It's better for lunch than dinner - but they do excellent Lebanese food. I believe that they may take a month or two in the summer off, but I highly recommend their roast chicken. I currently live in Jerusalem - and they still rank as some of the best Middle Eastern food I've ever had.

                    1. re: CurryLover

                      Glad you liked Myra's! I hope it's there forever.

                      1. re: CurryLover

                        I went to UC for four years (with one year in Calhoun Hall, right next to Myra's) and most students never knew the place existed. Those who did had no idea it was a restaurant. It was my little secret!

                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                          Ha! I was driving down Calhoun yesterday and say the sign for Maya's and thought, "that must be new". Then I saw the sign that they were celebrating 30 years. I lived in Calhoun Hall and 3 years on Ohio Ave. and walked by it several times a day and never new it existed. Now I'll have to stop in the next time I'm in the neighborhood.