November 23, 2021

26 Essential Over-the-Rhine Restaurants You Should Have Tried By Now

Cincinnati's bustling Over-the-Rhine neighborhood has developed a glittering reputation when it comes to its top-notch food offerings. From decade-old culinary staples to hot new spots stealing the show these OTR restaurants serve up some of the best food Cincinnati has to offer.
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Pearlstar
1220 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Pearlstar offers both East and West Coast oysters and other raw delicacies including crudo, ceviche and tartare. The kitchen — overseen by former Senate executive Chef Leroy Ansley — also features a wood-burning grill to create (non-raw) burgers and steak sandwiches. They also mix some great seasonal cocktails, old-school martinis and cheap beer options. 
Photo: Catie Viox

Pearlstar

1220 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Pearlstar offers both East and West Coast oysters and other raw delicacies including crudo, ceviche and tartare. The kitchen — overseen by former Senate executive Chef Leroy Ansley — also features a wood-burning grill to create (non-raw) burgers and steak sandwiches. They also mix some great seasonal cocktails, old-school martinis and cheap beer options.
Photo: Catie Viox
The Eagle
1342 Vine St.,  Cincinnati
The Eagle OTR is nestled inside a retired post office off of Vine Street. The restaurant offers a relatively small menu, comprised of fried chicken, sandwiches, snacks and several side dishes. Booze-wise, they serve a wide variety of beer on tap. The fried chicken is free-range, all-natural and sourced from Ohio farms. Opt for a whole, half chicken (white and dark meat) or a quarter of a chicken (select white or dark). 
Photo via Facebook/theeagleotr

The Eagle

1342 Vine St., Cincinnati
The Eagle OTR is nestled inside a retired post office off of Vine Street. The restaurant offers a relatively small menu, comprised of fried chicken, sandwiches, snacks and several side dishes. Booze-wise, they serve a wide variety of beer on tap. The fried chicken is free-range, all-natural and sourced from Ohio farms. Opt for a whole, half chicken (white and dark meat) or a quarter of a chicken (select white or dark).
Photo via Facebook/theeagleotr
Pepp & Dolores
1501 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Inspired by Sunday dinners at Thunderdome co-founders Joe and John Lanni's grandparents' house, the restaurant aims to embody the spirit and hospitality from those special evenings while honoring their family. The menu at Pepp & Dolores features housemade pastas — like the pomodoro, a butternut and mascarpone pasta and a lobster and Sunday sauce pasta— along with a focus on shareable dishes, salads and bread.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Pepp & Dolores

1501 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Inspired by Sunday dinners at Thunderdome co-founders Joe and John Lanni's grandparents' house, the restaurant aims to embody the spirit and hospitality from those special evenings while honoring their family. The menu at Pepp & Dolores features housemade pastas — like the pomodoro, a butternut and mascarpone pasta and a lobster and Sunday sauce pasta— along with a focus on shareable dishes, salads and bread.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Gomez
107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine; 2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills
Gomez’s walk-up taco window in OTR and main restaurant in Walnut Hills have it all: fish tacos with Baja sauce, chips with pineapple salsa, taco salad bowls and owner Andrew Gomez’s greatest invention, the Turtle Shell. Take a tortilla, stuff it with rice, beans, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, meat, veggies and cheese, layer in a tostado for crunch, put some cheese on the top and then brown it. It’s a fat little crunchy burrito envelope, a true walking taco.
Photo: Lindsay McCarty

Gomez

107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine; 2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills
Gomez’s walk-up taco window in OTR and main restaurant in Walnut Hills have it all: fish tacos with Baja sauce, chips with pineapple salsa, taco salad bowls and owner Andrew Gomez’s greatest invention, the Turtle Shell. Take a tortilla, stuff it with rice, beans, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, meat, veggies and cheese, layer in a tostado for crunch, put some cheese on the top and then brown it. It’s a fat little crunchy burrito envelope, a true walking taco.
Photo: Lindsay McCarty
Mighty Good: Meat n’ Three
1819 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
As the "Meat n’ Three" title implies, customers who stop by get to choose one meat and three sides (family-style and vegetarian options are also available). There are daily specials including Good Burger and Fries Tuesdays, Catfish and Hush Puppies Fridays and Fried Chicken Sunday Brunch. There’s also, of course, sweet tea and customers can pick from a series of seasonal cocktails. 
Photo: Catie Viox

Mighty Good: Meat n’ Three

1819 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
As the "Meat n’ Three" title implies, customers who stop by get to choose one meat and three sides (family-style and vegetarian options are also available). There are daily specials including Good Burger and Fries Tuesdays, Catfish and Hush Puppies Fridays and Fried Chicken Sunday Brunch. There’s also, of course, sweet tea and customers can pick from a series of seasonal cocktails.
Photo: Catie Viox
Bakersfield
1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Part bar, part taco joint, all classy. Bakersfield specializes in gourmet tacos (pollo verde, pastor, short rib, etc.), quality tequilas and whiskeys and hand-crafted margaritas made the old-fashioned way, not from a pre-made mix. 
Photo: Facebook.com/BakersfieldOTR

Bakersfield

1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Part bar, part taco joint, all classy. Bakersfield specializes in gourmet tacos (pollo verde, pastor, short rib, etc.), quality tequilas and whiskeys and hand-crafted margaritas made the old-fashioned way, not from a pre-made mix.
Photo: Facebook.com/BakersfieldOTR
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. There are creative, comfortable choices like burgers, fish and a vegetarian option. Seasonal, farm-fresh specials frequently pop up on the changing menu, as do staple favorites. The little fried oyster sandwich is a favorite. The wide-ranging drink menu features thoughtful craft beers, cocktails and wines. 
Photo: Facebook/SalazarCincinnati

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. There are creative, comfortable choices like burgers, fish and a vegetarian option. Seasonal, farm-fresh specials frequently pop up on the changing menu, as do staple favorites. The little fried oyster sandwich is a favorite. The wide-ranging drink menu features thoughtful craft beers, cocktails and wines.
Photo: Facebook/SalazarCincinnati
Taste of Belgium
1135 Vine St., Over The Rhine
In 2007, Jean-François Flechet began baking Belgian waffles in the back end of a store at Findlay Market. Soon, he was told to find somewhere else to go because the store was too crowded. It has since expanded to multiple locations, including one in Over-the-Rhine. Hot, fresh Belgian waffles are made from a thick dough and coarse Belgian beet sugar, which caramelizes on the cast iron press. Find the heavenly breakfast food topped with strawberries and cream or ricotta, or as the bread in a McWaffle sandwich (egg, gruyère and maple syrup). The crepe station prepares sweet and savory crepes. At dinner, the sophistication goes up a notch with mussels, steak frites and Belgian specialties. 
Photo: Brittany Thornton

Taste of Belgium

1135 Vine St., Over The Rhine
In 2007, Jean-François Flechet began baking Belgian waffles in the back end of a store at Findlay Market. Soon, he was told to find somewhere else to go because the store was too crowded. It has since expanded to multiple locations, including one in Over-the-Rhine. Hot, fresh Belgian waffles are made from a thick dough and coarse Belgian beet sugar, which caramelizes on the cast iron press. Find the heavenly breakfast food topped with strawberries and cream or ricotta, or as the bread in a McWaffle sandwich (egg, gruyère and maple syrup). The crepe station prepares sweet and savory crepes. At dinner, the sophistication goes up a notch with mussels, steak frites and Belgian specialties.
Photo: Brittany Thornton
Abigail Street
1214 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
The Mediterranean-inspired menu of small plates revels in Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Greek influences, with unique twists only chef Daniel Wright could pull off — crispy falafel, grilled octopus, Kefta and more. Wines are available on tap, by the bottle or the glass.
Photo: Facebook/AbigailWineBar

Abigail Street

1214 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
The Mediterranean-inspired menu of small plates revels in Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Greek influences, with unique twists only chef Daniel Wright could pull off — crispy falafel, grilled octopus, Kefta and more. Wines are available on tap, by the bottle or the glass.
Photo: Facebook/AbigailWineBar
The Rhined
1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
The Rhined is a little slice of cheese heaven located across from Findlay Market. The artisan shop stocks a collection of the best hand-selected domestic cheeses. On top of their excellent selection of cheese, which you can grab to go by weight or eat inside on a curated cheese board, they also offer sandwiches, adult "lunchables" and specialty nights like Raclette Night. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Rhined

1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
The Rhined is a little slice of cheese heaven located across from Findlay Market. The artisan shop stocks a collection of the best hand-selected domestic cheeses. On top of their excellent selection of cheese, which you can grab to go by weight or eat inside on a curated cheese board, they also offer sandwiches, adult "lunchables" and specialty nights like Raclette Night.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger