September 15, 2018

20 Essential Places to Take a Cincinnati Visitor

This year, Cincinnati placed No. 8 on The New York Times’ list of “52 Places to Go in 2018”–like, in the entire world. It’s not without good reason. Between our arts scene and our food, sports, little hidden gems and claims to fame (a likely tie between Skyline and Fiona), there’s a lot to show off here in our sweet little hometown. And show off we will. Since the rest of the world is finally catching on to just how cool our city really is, it’s our civic duty as Cincinnatians to be righteous tour guides and show these out-of-towners what’s up. From bites and sights to views and booze, here are the best places for visitors to experience Cincinnati in all its Midwestern glory. After all, they don’t call it the Queen City for nothin’.    
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Sip, Bite and Stroll at Findlay Market
1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
At more than 150 years old, Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continually operated public market. Go for the farmers market, butcher shops, flower stalls, OTR Biergarten and eclectic eats.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sip, Bite and Stroll at Findlay Market

1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
At more than 150 years old, Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continually operated public market. Go for the farmers market, butcher shops, flower stalls, OTR Biergarten and eclectic eats.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
See Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St., Avondale
The second-oldest zoo in the United States, it’s also one of the nation’s best, with more than 500 species represented, many endangered. Be sure to check out Fiona the hippo, the interactive giraffe area and the reptile house, the oldest zoo building in the country.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

See Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

3400 Vine St., Avondale
The second-oldest zoo in the United States, it’s also one of the nation’s best, with more than 500 species represented, many endangered. Be sure to check out Fiona the hippo, the interactive giraffe area and the reptile house, the oldest zoo building in the country.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Eat Some Damn Good Food at Salazar
1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine
The eponymous restaurant from chef Jose Salazar mixes old and new to create an approachable yet refined farm-inspired menu. Salazar offers creative dishes including cured and potted items, like housemade rillettes and chicken liver mousse. There are also comfortable choices like burgers, fish and a vegetarian option. Seasonal, farm-fresh specials frequently pop up on the changing menu, as do staple favorites like the little fried oyster sandwich with kimchi, local radish sprouts and garlic mayo. The wide-ranging drink menu features thoughtful craft beers, cocktails and wines. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Eat Some Damn Good Food at Salazar

1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine
The eponymous restaurant from chef Jose Salazar mixes old and new to create an approachable yet refined farm-inspired menu. Salazar offers creative dishes including cured and potted items, like housemade rillettes and chicken liver mousse. There are also comfortable choices like burgers, fish and a vegetarian option. Seasonal, farm-fresh specials frequently pop up on the changing menu, as do staple favorites like the little fried oyster sandwich with kimchi, local radish sprouts and garlic mayo. The wide-ranging drink menu features thoughtful craft beers, cocktails and wines.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Pet a Dog, Have a Drink and Catch a Show at Washington Park
1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Washington Park is a central civic space in the heart of Cincinnati, right across the street from Music Hall. A fenced dog park, playground, stage with free performances, fountain, concessions with local craft beer, the American Classical Music Walk of Fame, a civic lawn and big deck with a full bar are just part of its charm. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Pet a Dog, Have a Drink and Catch a Show at Washington Park

1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Washington Park is a central civic space in the heart of Cincinnati, right across the street from Music Hall. A fenced dog park, playground, stage with free performances, fountain, concessions with local craft beer, the American Classical Music Walk of Fame, a civic lawn and big deck with a full bar are just part of its charm.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Sip on a Fancy Craft Cocktail at Longfellow
1233 Clay St., Over-the-Rhine
The OTR version of a dive bar. Cool crafted cocktails include selections like the Spruce Goose, with barrel-aged gin, honey, lime, bitters and tonic. A fun pay-it-forward board menu allows you to buy drinks for friends, strangers and crushes. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sip on a Fancy Craft Cocktail at Longfellow

1233 Clay St., Over-the-Rhine
The OTR version of a dive bar. Cool crafted cocktails include selections like the Spruce Goose, with barrel-aged gin, honey, lime, bitters and tonic. A fun pay-it-forward board menu allows you to buy drinks for friends, strangers and crushes.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Have a 3-way, it’s Skyline Time
Multiple Locations
Pure and simple, Skyline is a Cincinnati staple. This Cincinnati-style chili literally warms your soul. Load up your spaghetti with chili, cheese, onions and beans for a “5-way” or if you’re more of a hotdog guy (or gal), order a coney topped with chili, cheese, onion and mustard. 
Photo via skylinechili.com

Have a 3-way, it’s Skyline Time

Multiple Locations
Pure and simple, Skyline is a Cincinnati staple. This Cincinnati-style chili literally warms your soul. Load up your spaghetti with chili, cheese, onions and beans for a “5-way” or if you’re more of a hotdog guy (or gal), order a coney topped with chili, cheese, onion and mustard.
Photo via skylinechili.com
Grab a Coffee & a Scone at Brown Bear Bakery
116 E 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
OTR’s neighborhood bakery and sweets stop. Grab a savory scone, cinnamon roll, salted chocolate chip cookie or some coffee to start your morning off right. Indoor seating is available as well as seasonal patio seating. 
Photo via Instagram.com/BrownBearBakery

Grab a Coffee & a Scone at Brown Bear Bakery

116 E 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
OTR’s neighborhood bakery and sweets stop. Grab a savory scone, cinnamon roll, salted chocolate chip cookie or some coffee to start your morning off right. Indoor seating is available as well as seasonal patio seating.
Photo via Instagram.com/BrownBearBakery
Eat Handmade Pasta at Sotto, a Cozy, Romantic Italian Spot
118 E. Sixth St., Downtown
Located under Boca restaurant, the Tuscan-inspired Sotto offers a more approachable atmosphere and price point than its upstairs neighbor. With multiple dining rooms, the kitchen is open to view, including the custom-made wood-fire grill in front and a fresh-pasta room in the back hallway. Menu items include handmade pasta, house-cured salami and big-ticket items like Bistecca Fiorentina, a grilled creekstone porterhouse with daily sides. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Eat Handmade Pasta at Sotto, a Cozy, Romantic Italian Spot

118 E. Sixth St., Downtown
Located under Boca restaurant, the Tuscan-inspired Sotto offers a more approachable atmosphere and price point than its upstairs neighbor. With multiple dining rooms, the kitchen is open to view, including the custom-made wood-fire grill in front and a fresh-pasta room in the back hallway. Menu items include handmade pasta, house-cured salami and big-ticket items like Bistecca Fiorentina, a grilled creekstone porterhouse with daily sides.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Visit the Foodie Amusement Park: Jungle Jim’s International Market
5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield
Jungle Jim’s is an amusement park for foodies, and not just because of its kitschy statues and animatronics. It sells nearly 1,000 different kinds of hot sauce, which makes the Aisle of Inferno (as it’s so dubbed) “the largest retail selection in the United States.”  It’s pretty hard to miss — it’s the one with the giant fire truck on top of it. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Visit the Foodie Amusement Park: Jungle Jim’s International Market

5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield
Jungle Jim’s is an amusement park for foodies, and not just because of its kitschy statues and animatronics. It sells nearly 1,000 different kinds of hot sauce, which makes the Aisle of Inferno (as it’s so dubbed) “the largest retail selection in the United States.” It’s pretty hard to miss — it’s the one with the giant fire truck on top of it.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Root on the Reds at a Cincinnati Reds Game
100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown
Catch the up-and-coming Redlegs led by veteran superstar Joey Votto. 
Photo via mlb.com/reds

Root on the Reds at a Cincinnati Reds Game

100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown
Catch the up-and-coming Redlegs led by veteran superstar Joey Votto.
Photo via mlb.com/reds