Best Of 2019

Best Vegetarian Encore: Sitwell’s Act II

Clifton coffee shop mainstay Sitwell’s reopened under new ownership last year and a new name: Sitwell’s Act II. Now owned by Florencia Garayoa and her husband Alex Barden, the couple is determined to preserve what made Sitwell’s an iconic Cincinnati hangout while adding their own philosophy and personality. While Barden is a Cincinnati native, Garayoa is from Argentina and she was an employee at Sitwell’s during its last few months of operation under the original owner, Lisa Storie. The couple purchased Sitwell’s and began renovations, giving the interior a complete overhaul. Chef Kyle Scrimsher, formerly of E+O Kitchen in Hyde Park, was hired and tasked with creating a fully vegetarian and vegan menu. Dishes include options like a Greek gyro made with seitan, a glass noodle summer roll and vegan chili. Garayoa’s heritage is also represented on the menu via empanadas, Argentine wine and mate, an herbaceous drink similar to yerba mate tea that’s served in a traditional gourd and sipped through a filtered metal straw. The bohemian bonhomie is still there, as is the eclectic seating and opportunities for local artists and musicians. Sitwell’s Act II, 324 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, facebook.com/sitwells.coffeehouse.