Cincinnati Travel Guide- Explore Like Locals

If you’ve been following along for some time now, you’ll know that one of my favorite things to do is travel and explore new cities! I am extremely motivated by good food and fun experiences. I love to research bars, restaurants and attractions- but one of the greatest parts about being a local, is finding those spots you wouldn’t have normally found on the internet. It’s been roughly nine months since I moved across the country (again), but we visited Cincinnati pre-COVID in 2019 so we have experienced a fair amount of the city. My list might be a little advantageous, but I would hate to look back on the city and think, “I could have eaten that.” Some of the options are just across the Ohio River in Covington and Newport Kentucky, just minutes away from downtown Cincinnati.

Just like my locals guide to ATX, I’ve created a guide for our new hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. You’ll find my type A list organized alphabetically in categories such as; eat, drink and things to do. 


A Tavola 

Adriatico’s Pizza

Abagail Street Mediterranean Wine Bar

Anderson Pub Grill (APG)- A small pub in Mt Washington with great pub food and some delicious summer cocktails. This pub’s food and service never disappoints.

Andy’s Mediterranean Bar & Grill

Asiana- I’m told this is the closest to authentic asian cuisine you will find in the city.

Augusta Pub 


Baker’s Table ( KY)


Boldface Dairy Bar

Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey- Their biscuits are incredible, for brunch you can get a Bloody Mary and sub tequila or bourbon.

Bluebird Bakery

Brown Bear Bakery- They have some beautiful baked goods, but I love a classic chocolate chip walnut cookie!

Butler County Donut Trail- Visit all of the donut shops on the map in Butler county and receive a free t-shirt once completed!

Buzzed Bull Creamery

Camp Washington Chili- Cincinnati Chili is a thing here… I’m not sure how I feel about it.


Cheapside Cafe- Although they are closed right now due to COVID, I hear their Mac & cheese grilled cheese slaps.

Cincinnati Dinner Train 

City View Tavern- Go for the view!

Clough Crossings 

Coppins at Hotel Covington- Also in Covington KY, such a beautiful restaurant in a modern hotel.

Court Street Lobster Bar

Dairy Corner- An old school, cash only, Mom & Pop ice cream stand.

Del Gardos (Covington)- Every week they announce the five concoctions they have created. Featured to the left are flavors such as Wasabi and Matcha.

Dojo Gelato

Donna’s Gourmet Cookies 

Elks Run Bar & Grill 

Ferrari’s little Italy and Bakery- Sadly, I don’t have any photos from this amazing meal. We ordered carry- out during the height of COVID last spring and it did not disappoint! Their bakery case is incredible and I want one (or two) of everything!

Flipdaddy’s (KY)

Forno Osteria & Bar

Goose & Elder

Grater’s Ice Cream- A Cincinnati staple, we got an ice cream cake for my birthday!

Holtman’s Donuts 

Incline Public House- Go for the view!

Joellas- I’m always on the hunt for the SPICIEST Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich!

Lake Nina 

LaRosa’s- A Cincinnati pizza staple.

Libby’s Southern Comfort

Liberty’s Bar & Bottle

Lobsta Bakes on Main

Ludlow Yacht Club

Maple wood Kitchen & Bar

Maverick’s Chocolate

Mazunte Mexican- Get the queso, you will not regret it!

Mecklinberg Gardens 

Milkman Cincy


Montgomery Inn Boathouse


Nation Kitchen & Bar

Nicholson’s Tavern & Pub

Night Drop- Go for the boozy shakes!

Nine Giant Brewing

Noodle & Hot Pot

O Pie O

Orchids at Palm Court 

Osaka Ramen

Park at the Phelps Hotel 

Parlor on 7th (KY)

Peace Love & Little Donuts (PLL)- These are the cutest, tiniest, yummiest donuts in Hyde Park! There are so many flavors, its great they’re so little- because you’ll want to try them all!

Pendelton Parlor- Ice Cream and Cookie Dough shop in OTR. Get a cooke dough flight!!

Pho Lang Thang

Pontiac BBQ

Postmark Restaurant – An incredible wine selection!

Pirates Cove 


Postmark Restaurant- Go for the wine!


Rood Food & Pie


Sacred Beast 

Salem Gardens- A hidden gem in Mt Washington, a little divey on the inside, but their back yard garden is beautiful!

Sammy’s Craft Burgers & Beers  

Senate- Was featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives

Schoolhouse Restaurant

Share Cheesebar 

Skyline Chili- Y’all, I don’t know about this one… but the locals are crazed.

Sleepy Bee’s

Spoon & Cellar 

Social OTR


Stone House Tavern 

Sugar 513

Sugar n Spice

Talego Bar & Pizzeria 

The Littlefield – Go for the boozy shakes!

The Mac Shack 

The Pickled Pig

The Train Stop

The Root Beer Stand 

Taste of Belgium- Incredible waffles with a great draft beer selection!

Tousey House Tavern 

The Macaron Bar 

Urban Grill on Main

Urbanstead Cheese 

Zip’s Cafe- Known as one of the best places for burgers in Cincinnati


Arnold’s Bar & Grill- Downtown 

Arthur’s Cafe- The inside might not look like anything more than an old school eclectic restaurant- but their back yard garden is a hidden gem!

Bean & Brew 

Big Ash Brewing- This is probably the closest brewery to our house, and they deliver pizza & beer… need I say more?

B- Line Bourbon Tour (KY)

Braxton Brewing Co- Locations in Covington and Cincinnati. Great beer, huge tap rooms. The rooftop at their Covington location is gorgeous.

Brew Dog- This was one of the first places I went when things opened back up from COVID. I was so happy I could have cried.

Clean City Radio OTR


Cork & Cap- There’s just something about sipping a summer cocktail on a patio with string lights.


Covington Yard- An outdoor bar with a twist. A beautiful bar surrounded by container bins, with a turf lawn, picnic seating and plenty of food trucks! Perfect on game day!

Fishbowl at the Banks- It’s exactly what it sounds like… fishbowl drinks! Drink like a fish!

Ghost (speakeasy)

Goose & Elder

HofbrauHaus (Newport)- Liter beers anyone?! I always say, “The only way to drink a beer is three at a time.”

Holiday Spirits

HomeMaker’s Bar

Indian arrow distillery/ winery (Miami county) 


Jery’s Jug House (KY)

Little Miami Brewing Co.

Karrikin Spirits Company- know for distilling, but go for their Brussels sprouts!

Lola Shops & Sips

Lost & Found

Lytle Hotel- Sit on the rooftop!

Mad Tree Brewing- Known for their great beers, unique tap room and beautiful beer garden.

Moerlin lager House- Located at the banks in downtown Cincinnati, an awesome view of the Reds stadium.

Mt Carmel Brewing- A small farm style brewery on the outskirts of the city.

Neon’s Unplugged 

Northside Yacht Club

Northern Row Brewing- We stumbled upon this brewery when the line at Rhinegeist was out of control. And I’m so glad we did, because I could sit in their cozy taproom all day and taste their huge variety of beers!

Parlor on 7th (KY)

Platform OTR

Rhinegeist Brewery- Their spacious tap room with a rooftop bar is located in Over The Rhine. It’s Cincinnati’s most popular brewery.

Rich’s Proper Food & Drink (Covington)- Great food, cozy ambiance with tables outside. I love their oyster shooters!

Riverton Brewing & Barrel House

Ripple Wine Bar

Rock Bottom Bar & Brewery

Rooted Juicery 


Second Place

The Rooftop at Shire’s Garden- This gorgeous bar is located at the top of an apartment building on Vine. Their indoor restaurant is rustic and cozy while their rooftop patio has an amazing view of the city facing the river! Their menu is incredible with options like duck confit Mac n’ cheese. Plus their cocktails are original and instaworthy (like their unicorn froze).

Saeso- This place is a vibe- the only vibe you need. A small bar, exposed brick, tons of greenery and incredible cocktails.

Skeleton Root Winery 

Sugar Whiskey Sis (KY)

Sundry & Vice

Taft’s Ale House- A brewery in OTR, their taproom is in an old church with incredible features!

Tellers Hyde Park

The Baker’s Table

The Banks

The Phelps Bar

The Standard (KY)

The Video Archive- A Quentin Tarantino themed speakeasy.

Treehouse Patio Bar- A beautiful outdoor bar downtown in OTR.

Urban Artifact Brewing- I’m obsessed with their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir concoctions!

Yonder Rooftop Bar

16 Bit Bar & Arcade

50 West Brewing- Their beer is incredible and their burger bar is even better!!

Things to do:

American Sign Museum 


BB Riverboats 

Bengals Game

Bridgeview Box Park- A view of Cincinnati from Newport on the Levee.

Cabana on the River 

Cathedral at the Basilica 

Carew Tower ( city view)

Cincinnati Art Museum 

Cincinnati Observatory 

Cincinatti Zoo

Cyclones Game 

Devou Park

Findlay Market

Fountain Square

Hocking Hills

Kitchen Aid Museum

Kings Island

Lake Cumberland 

Loveland Castle 

Library Center

Little Miami River- A great place for kayaking, tubing, paddle boarding, etc.

Little Miami River

Mainstrauss Village

Milford Trailhead Riverwalk 

Mt Airy Forest

Newport Aquarium

Newport on the Levee (KY)

OTR (shops, restaurants, bars & breweries)

Purple People Bridge 

Reds game 

Roebling Suspension Bridge

Starlight Drive In

Symphony Orchestra 

Taft Theater

The Banks

The City Flea

The Chateau Laroche

The Mushroom House  

Traders World

Turner Farm

Underground Freedom Center 

21 C Cincinnati Museum Hotel




Hyde Park



Mount Adams  





Alms Park

Anderson RecPlex 

Ault Park

Bettman Nature Preserve 

Burnet Woods 

Clear Creek 

East Fork Lake 

Eden Park

Fairview Park 

Hyde Park Square

Lytle Park 

Mt. Airy Arboretum 

Mt. Echo Park

Mt. Storm Park 

Olden View Park

Piatt Park 

Sawyer Point Park & Yeatman’s Cove

Smale Riverfront Park

Spring Grove Arboretum

Summit Park

Washington Park 

Zeigler Park

5 Mile Trail


Festival of Lights

Fountain Square Ice Rink

Goetta Fest

Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods 

Irons Fruit Farm

LaRosa’s Balloon Glow 


The Christmas Ranxh

The Western and Southern Open 


Awakenings Coffee Roasters

Bigby Coffee

Bloc Coffee Company


Coffee Emporium

Coffee Exchange

Coffee Garden 

Collective Espresso 

Deeper Roots

Hyde Perk 

Iris Book Cafe 

Kidd Coffee


Lookout Joe

Red Tree Art Gallery

Roebling Point Books & Coffee (KY)

Rohr’s Street Cafe


1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab

So obviously this list is pretty extensive and we haven’t done everything on the list… but we’re going to try! Is there anything missing from this list that needs to be included? Look out for my upcoming guide on breweries, wineries and the bourbon trail!

A Starter Guide to Dallas & Dallas- Fort Worth (DFW)

It’s been a minute since I lived in Texas and I’m finally getting around to publishing my travel guides. We lived in Austin, which is a pretty centralized location in relation to the other popular cities like Dallas and DFW, Houston and San Antonio. We have visited each of those cities a number of times […]

A Weekend Getaway in Louisville, KY

Although I really miss living in Austin, one of the things I love most about our move to Ohio is how centralized it is in location to a lot of fun things. In Texas- you could drive for 9 hours and still be in Texas. In Ohio, you could drive for two or three hours […]

DIY Hot Chocolate Bar

I wanted to create a cozy centerpiece for my Kitchen table, while also freeing up some cabinet space. Let me tell you, the possibilities for this Hot Chocolate Bar are endless and it ended up being more of a Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate Bar. I added a few holiday touches for the season, but […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s