Best Of 2022

Best Chicken and Waffles

Brought to Cincinnati by the crew behind Dope!, Decibel Korean Fried Chicken is the city’s first purveyor of the favorite Asian street food. For the uninitiated, Korean fried chicken is an airier, crispier iteration of Southern-style fried chicken. Gone are the browned crunchy bits that stud American fried chicken; instead, Korean-style chicken is sheathed in an airy golden-brown crust and twice fried. The eatery has two locations — one in the Kroger On the Rhine food hall and one adjacent to Esoteric Brewing in Walnut Hills. The Walnut Hills and Kroger spot both serve Korean fried wings, tenders and drumsticks, along with fried cauliflower, assorted sides (waffle fries, cured cucumbers) and even a Korean fried corndog. But the Walnut Hills spot also serves brunch, with a menu featuring kimchi fried rice (with Spam), Korean street toast stuffed with an omelet, and an ube waffle. Ube, or purple yam, is a hip ingredient at the moment and can be found on restaurant menus, especially in baked goods. At Decibel, ube is mixed into the waffle batter to create a crispy, golden exterior with a pillowy, chewy, violet interior. The waffle comes dusted with powdered sugar and is served with two Korean fried chicken tenders. The crunch of the tenders next to the soft ube goodness is just *insert chef’s kiss*.