Welcome to the Best of Cincinnati 2021: CityBeat's 25th-annual ode to the best people, places, businesses, eats and arts in town, as chosen by readers and staff.

Best Of Cincinnati 2021 pig

CityBeat has been in the business of curating the Best Of Cincinnati® for 25 years, highlighting the city’s most outstanding selections in Arts & Culture, Eats, Shops & Services, Music & Nightlife, City Life and Sports & Recreation.

And the responsibility of selecting these exceptional entities is divided between our readers and staff. Readers logged on to the ballot site to vote for their favorites in broad categories like Best New Bar, Best Carry-Out and Best Sushi, with more niche topics including Best Place to Throw Darts, Best Chicken Sandwich and Best Haunted House. You might not need to know who the Best Birthing Center is right now, or the Best Lawyer, but when you do, we’ve got you covered.

For the Staff Picks — selected by a slightly smaller number of humans — we curated an assemblage of and wrote about our favorite Cincinnati people, places and things (and sunflower fields and tiny fairy doors and free fridges and pumpkin spice seltzer), stuff we like, appreciate and want other people to know about.

Of course, not everything we want to highlight about the city could fit into this issue, but we tried to cram as much in here as we could. So if your favorite brewery or zoo animal or chili parlor isn’t featured, there’s always next year.