Best Of 2019

Dean’s Mediterranean Imports is packed so full of wonderful tastes, smells and textures that it’s hard to fit more than a few folks at a time inside the store’s narrow aisles. Maybe you’ve seen bags of their awesome roasted nuts at bars around town. Maybe you’re a regular patron drawn by the aromatic wall of hard-to-find spices behind the counter. Or heck, maybe you just like dropping by to chat with Dean and his daughters, the charming folks who run this one-of-a-kind gem. Whatever the reason, this Mediterranean shop is the perfect place to pick up Mediterranean spices and Dean’s own unique blends. There’s falafel spice; shawarma spice; a Syrian seven-spice blend; Jamaican, Indian and Pakistani curry; fenugreek; and the list goes on. Find some of those spices on nuts roasted in-house. Cashews, imported from India, walnuts, macadamias, pecans and more are all roasted onsite — everything except the pistachios. Buy them in bulk and buy the spices in whatever amount you need, even itty bitty portions. Dean’s Mediterranean Imports, 108 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine,

Shops & Services

2. TriHealth Fitness & Health Pavilion

3. Tiny Needle Community Acupuncture

2. Wooden Nickel Antiques

3. Wild Things Antiques

Lynne & Lucille artist Kelli Fisher has been “making almost nothings into pretty somethings” since 2013. A transplant from Columbus, Ohio, Fisher specializes in jewelry crafted from the retired gear of local musicians. “I’ve always been a huge fan of music but have never been able to grasp the concept of actually playing it,” she says, “so making jewelry from recycled (and) unusable music materials and instruments is the way I have found to make my own version of music.” Check out her Etsy shop for necklaces and earrings made from shaped guitar strings and polished cymbal segments. She also utilizes hand-tooled leather and, occasionally, remains of the natural world: dig her popular rattlesnake vertebrae hoop earrings and African porcupine quill bar necklace. Lynne & Lucille,

2. Cincinnati Art Museum

3. Silk Road Textiles

2. Michaels

3. Indigo Hippo

The fact that Continuum has held its own on Vine Street in OTR since 2015 is a prime example of the fact that Cincinnati is home to many humans who are interested in innovative, experimental and individual fashion. Shop owner Ericka Leighton is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning with a passion for embracing creativity and creating a space for others to explore their own, whether they’re makers or shoppers. Recently name-checked in Vogue, the shop’s entire vibe — from the neon pink logo to hanging plants and Vaporwave meets Art Nouveau eclecticism — meets the modern woman at the intersection of aspirational and attainable in style, silhouette and price point. Brands range from Paloma Wool and No 6 to Black Crane and Cold Picnic and run the gamut from boxy tops and 1980s jeans to cult mother apparel. Continuum also carries textiles, candles, jewelry, fragrances and artful publications to round out its lifestyle offerings. Continuum, 1407 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine,

2. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

3. Kings Toyota

2. Courtesy Automotive

3. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

2. Donovan’s Auto & Tire Center

3. AAA | Bob Sumerel Tire & Service