Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Great Lakes >
Jun 5, 2013 04:48 PM

Vegetarian in Cincinnati

Hi everyone,

I'll be in Cincinnati for almost two weeks, staying downtown. I will have a car. I am looking for places to eat dinner most nights. I'd prefer not to have to get my car out of the garage every single night, so perhaps it would be good to favor downtown. I'll be alone, also, so would prefer places where I'd feel comfortable dining by myself. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Downtown specifically, I really love Shanghai Mama's ( - specially for their Happy Buddah bowl. As a general rule, I find their tofu/seitan dishes much better than items such as faux ribs which I've found to be just weird.

    Melt in Northside I also really like for vegetarian food ( They're in Northside which isn't far from downtown but definitely requires a car.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cresyd

      Wow, thanks for this!! I really like the looks of Shanghai Mama's! I will definitely go there!

      I'll check out Melt as well!! thank you!

      1. re: cresyd

        I tried melt tonight and LOVED it!! What a great find. Right up my alley.

        I hope to try shanghai mamas very soon.

        Pardon my bad writing- I'm on my phone.

        1. re: IndyGirl

          I'm glad you liked it! It's definitely one of my favorites - and they also have an amazing brunch but unfortunately can be crazy busy during brunch hours.

          1. re: cresyd

            Well, this is an eleven-day straight work thing, so I'll never be free during brunch or breakfast, unfortch. I'm trying to decide right how where I'll try tonight?

      2. downtown:

        There is an ancient 70's style red sauce Italian joint on Vine Street called Scotti's:

        Good falafel and other vegetarian delights at Raya's on Court Street:

        The cream of mushroom soup and the flatbread pizzas are really good at Palaminos, which is right across the street from Fountain Square:

        There is one Indian joint downtown, and while I consider it very average, the vegetarian choices are as usual for an Indian joint quite extensive:

        Several very high end restaurants that I am sure will have multiple vegetarian items to choose from

        Orchids at the Palm Court:

        The Palace:

        Jean Robert's table:

        Jimmy G's (a steakhouse with a good number of vegetarian offerings, including a daily vegetarian special):

        For your one "drive outside downtown" visit, I would recommend either

        Amma's Kitchen, which has both northern and southern indian food and is 100% vegetarian:


        Myra's Dionysius, which is mostly vegetarian fare and has been around a long, long time:

        There is a Graeter's Ice cream on Fountain Square, local sensation and becoming nationally famous:

        6 Replies
        1. re: TJ Jackson

          Fabulous list!! thanks so much. I will definitely refer to this while I am there on multiple occasions.

          I should mention that I've been going to Cincinnati for a few years now, and am definitely aware of Graeters! I have just simply never felt like I've really found what I know must exist downtown--the cheap gems with vegetarian food. Thanks for this list!

          1. re: IndyGirl

            I didn't see in the original post where you were looking for "cheap"

            Raya's is really cheap, the rest of the list is moderate to (very) expensive

            Cheap -and- vegetarian -and- gem -and- dinner-only -and- downtown is really, really, REALLY hard.

            It'd help a lot, I think, if you'd define "cheap" as in "cheap gem" in the context of this thread so we know a dollar limit

            If lunch was an interest, i'd have mentioned Tom and Chee, which has been featured on one of Adam Richman's shows in the past year or so

            I'll add since you mentioned it'd be an extended stay that downtown is kinda a graveyard on Sunday, so plan to get out of downtown that day at the very least

          2. re: TJ Jackson

            For other outside of downtown Indian options I would also recommend Ambar India ( in Clifton. Though, if the options are walking to something easy and convenient to something a bit better but having to drive - personally, I'd go to Akash. They also do take away - which might be nice. Take the food to a nicer place to eat.

            Also downtown would be Nada ( It's not the greatest for vegetarians - but (as a non-vegetarian) it's quite good and does have some good vegetarian options. It's also in one of the easiest to access areas downtown (lots of foot traffic), even if you're alone and it's later at night.

            1. re: TJ Jackson

              I have eaten at Myra's before. I have to try Amma's Kitchen as I adore Indian food.

              I wonder if I've eaten at Raya's. Last year, I wandered into an extremely small and utilitarian-looking hole-in-the-wall that served middle eastern food. Not bad!

              1. re: IndyGirl

                Gonna throw two more cheap gem-ish type spots for you, one downtown, one a short distance away

                First, the downtown spot, and I hope eggs are OK for you (if not, skip down to the 2nd item)


                They have pre-designed crepe combinations, but there can pretty much custom-tailor one for you from any of the wide range of ingredients they have. This is counter service so you can avoid both tax (order it to go) and tip and all that, and the prices are what I'd call moderately inexpensive.

                2nd - there is a by-the-slice pizza joint that is flat out excellent in the Covington Mainstrasse area......maybe a mile away from downtown. 3 bucks plus tax gets you a huge cheese slice. They usually have a few other 1-3 topping combinations (+45 cents per topping) on hand, and they always (every time I have been there) include a vegetarian choice. Their calzone is a bit pricier but superb, full of good mozzerella and fresh ricotta cheese and whatever else you ask for in it. They have a better than average set of veggie toppings, as well. Open very, very late hours.

            2. so how goes your visit so far, Indygirl?

              1. Just a bit north of downtown, there Pho Lang Tang for Vietnamese at Findlay Market. If you like noodles, you can try their vegan BĂșn Chay