24 Northern Kentucky Restaurants Every Cincinnati Foodie Needs to Try

It’s easy for Cincinnati foodies to focus all their energy on the city proper, but there are plenty of top-notch establishments on the other side of the river that deserve love. From decades-old joints to hip new eateries, here’s a list of some Northern Kentucky restaurants you don’t want to miss the next time you venture across the Ohio River.
Scroll down to view images
Page 1 of 2
Mama’s
621 Main St., Covington
Drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol’s “Birth of Venus," Northern Kentucky restaurateurs Emily Wolff and Paul Weckman (Otto’s, Frida, The Standard, Larry’s) opened Mama's Italian restaurant in Covington in March. The menu focuses on dishes like cacio e pepe, eggplant parmesan and rigatoncini with vodka sauce. The bar serves up craft cocktails and a massive wine list. The attached Mama’s Mornings is the pastry and espresso bar portion of the eatery and serves goodies like tiramisu donuts, foccaia and pine nut croissant sticky buns.
Photo: Catie Viox for Zest Cincy

Mama’s

621 Main St., Covington
Drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol’s “Birth of Venus," Northern Kentucky restaurateurs Emily Wolff and Paul Weckman (Otto’s, Frida, The Standard, Larry’s) opened Mama's Italian restaurant in Covington in March. The menu focuses on dishes like cacio e pepe, eggplant parmesan and rigatoncini with vodka sauce. The bar serves up craft cocktails and a massive wine list. The attached Mama’s Mornings is the pastry and espresso bar portion of the eatery and serves goodies like tiramisu donuts, foccaia and pine nut croissant sticky buns.
1 of 24
The Baker's Table
1004 Monmouth St., Newport
The Baker's Table is owned by chef Dave Willocks and wife Wendy Braun. The spot focuses on farm-to-table items made with fresh ingredients. The Baker's Table is open for dinner Thursday-Sunday, serving a seasonal prix fixe menu.

The Baker's Table

1004 Monmouth St., Newport
The Baker's Table is owned by chef Dave Willocks and wife Wendy Braun. The spot focuses on farm-to-table items made with fresh ingredients. The Baker's Table is open for dinner Thursday-Sunday, serving a seasonal prix fixe menu.
2 of 24
Coppin’s at Hotel Covington
368 Madison Ave., Covington  
Located inside Hotel Covington, Coppin’s serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  Popular menu items include the Coppin’s Burger (steak burger, applewood bacon, pimento cheese, garlic aioli, pickles and shredded lettuce on a challah bun) and Braised Short Rib (strozzapreti pasta, mushrooms, tarragon and parmesan). Coppin’s bar serves local craft beer, cider, soda, wine and craft cocktails.
Photo: Hailey Bolliger

Coppin’s at Hotel Covington

368 Madison Ave., Covington
Located inside Hotel Covington, Coppin’s serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Popular menu items include the Coppin’s Burger (steak burger, applewood bacon, pimento cheese, garlic aioli, pickles and shredded lettuce on a challah bun) and Braised Short Rib (strozzapreti pasta, mushrooms, tarragon and parmesan). Coppin’s bar serves local craft beer, cider, soda, wine and craft cocktails.
3 of 24
Bouquet
519 Main St., Covington
Since 2007, Bouquet has been a charming bistro where diners can always find great seasonal food and excellent wines. Chef/owner Stephen Williams is a leader in using fresh, local food on his ever-changing menu. The "Motherboard" charcuterie is a menu staple and guest favorite, featuring five cheeses, four cured or smoked meats, pickles and accoutrement.

Bouquet

519 Main St., Covington
Since 2007, Bouquet has been a charming bistro where diners can always find great seasonal food and excellent wines. Chef/owner Stephen Williams is a leader in using fresh, local food on his ever-changing menu. The "Motherboard" charcuterie is a menu staple and guest favorite, featuring five cheeses, four cured or smoked meats, pickles and accoutrement.
4 of 24
Frida
602 Main St., Covington 
The restaurant, named after the legendary painter Frida Kahlo, has Kahlo’s portrait and famous unibrow emblazoned all over the place. The cocktail list leans heavily on tequila and mezcal, and dinner (and lunch) options run the gamut from tacos and burritos to pozole and ceviche. The caramelized Brussels sprouts tacos with smoked peanut salsa are a must.

Frida

602 Main St., Covington
The restaurant, named after the legendary painter Frida Kahlo, has Kahlo’s portrait and famous unibrow emblazoned all over the place. The cocktail list leans heavily on tequila and mezcal, and dinner (and lunch) options run the gamut from tacos and burritos to pozole and ceviche. The caramelized Brussels sprouts tacos with smoked peanut salsa are a must.
5 of 24
Riverside Korean Restaurant
512 Madison Ave., Covington
Riverside serves excellent Korean cuisine in Covington. The menu offers traditional rice-based, steaming hot Dolsot Bibimbap with mixed vegetables, a sunny-side up egg and your choice of beef, chicken or tofu. All entrées are served with a delightful selection of traditional side dishes called Ban Chan.

Riverside Korean Restaurant

512 Madison Ave., Covington
Riverside serves excellent Korean cuisine in Covington. The menu offers traditional rice-based, steaming hot Dolsot Bibimbap with mixed vegetables, a sunny-side up egg and your choice of beef, chicken or tofu. All entrées are served with a delightful selection of traditional side dishes called Ban Chan.
6 of 24
OLLA Taqueria Gutierrez
302 W. MLK Jr. Blvd., Covington
OLLA Taqueria Gutierrez is owned by Sergio Gutierrez, whose father owns Gutierrez Deli just down the street. The menu is stacked with dishes like tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Customers can choose from nine different meat/seafood/veggie options (including birria) when ordering their meals, as well as their choice of a couple entrees, sides and drinks, both alcoholic and non. Try the “Guti fries,” which are similar to nachos but made with fries as the base.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger and Mary LeBus

OLLA Taqueria Gutierrez

302 W. MLK Jr. Blvd., Covington
OLLA Taqueria Gutierrez is owned by Sergio Gutierrez, whose father owns Gutierrez Deli just down the street. The menu is stacked with dishes like tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Customers can choose from nine different meat/seafood/veggie options (including birria) when ordering their meals, as well as their choice of a couple entrees, sides and drinks, both alcoholic and non. Try the “Guti fries,” which are similar to nachos but made with fries as the base.
7 of 24
Cedar
701 Main St., Covington 
Cedar serves high-quality and locally sourced comfort food for breakfast, brunch and lunch in a relaxing and welcoming environment. The popular Hangover features housemade breakfast potatoes, chorizo, avocado, sunny-side-up eggs, crema, cilantro, jalapeño and house pico. For lunch, try a selection of burgers or tacos.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger and Francisco Huerta Jr.

Cedar

701 Main St., Covington
Cedar serves high-quality and locally sourced comfort food for breakfast, brunch and lunch in a relaxing and welcoming environment. The popular Hangover features housemade breakfast potatoes, chorizo, avocado, sunny-side-up eggs, crema, cilantro, jalapeño and house pico. For lunch, try a selection of burgers or tacos.
8 of 24
Libby’s Southern Comfort 
35 W. Eighth St., Covington 
Libby’s Southern Comfort blends the flavors of Kentucky and Charleston. Menu items include a variety of appetizers like goetta hush puppies and fried chicken skins, plus entrees like buttermilk fried chicken (served by the piece, half or whole bird). Sunday brunch features classics like chicken and waffles and Kentucky breakfast browns. Bourbon is king here and found in the Cheerwine bourbon slush.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Libby’s Southern Comfort

35 W. Eighth St., Covington
Libby’s Southern Comfort blends the flavors of Kentucky and Charleston. Menu items include a variety of appetizers like goetta hush puppies and fried chicken skins, plus entrees like buttermilk fried chicken (served by the piece, half or whole bird). Sunday brunch features classics like chicken and waffles and Kentucky breakfast browns. Bourbon is king here and found in the Cheerwine bourbon slush.
9 of 24
Otto’s 
521 Main St., Covington 
Otto’s opened in 2003 and serves Southern-style cuisine in MainStrasse Village.  The restaurant does lunch and dinner, but it’s definitely a happening brunch spot. Try the breakfast casserole, which comes with potatoes, sausage, eggs, artichoke hearts, red peppers, onions, mushrooms, sour cream, cheddar and spinach.

Otto’s

521 Main St., Covington
Otto’s opened in 2003 and serves Southern-style cuisine in MainStrasse Village. The restaurant does lunch and dinner, but it’s definitely a happening brunch spot. Try the breakfast casserole, which comes with potatoes, sausage, eggs, artichoke hearts, red peppers, onions, mushrooms, sour cream, cheddar and spinach.
10 of 24
Camporosso
2475 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell 
Northern Kentucky’s Camporosso was founded by married couple Eric and Amy Redfield, who opened the wood-fired pizzeria in what was previously a 1920s-era gas station in Fort Mitchell. Meaning “red field” in Italian, Camporosso is laid-back yet modern. With both indoor and outdoor seating available, the restaurant is best known for its traditional Neapolitan, wood-fired pizzas.
Photo: Emerson Swoger

Camporosso

2475 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell
Northern Kentucky’s Camporosso was founded by married couple Eric and Amy Redfield, who opened the wood-fired pizzeria in what was previously a 1920s-era gas station in Fort Mitchell. Meaning “red field” in Italian, Camporosso is laid-back yet modern. With both indoor and outdoor seating available, the restaurant is best known for its traditional Neapolitan, wood-fired pizzas.
11 of 24
Covington Yard
401 Greenup St., Covington 
Covington Yard is an outdoor gathering destination offering different dining and drinking options located inside shipping containers on the grounds. Current food vendors offer Cubanos, chicken mac and sliders. The yard is a hip place for friends, family and even pets to hang.

Covington Yard

401 Greenup St., Covington
Covington Yard is an outdoor gathering destination offering different dining and drinking options located inside shipping containers on the grounds. Current food vendors offer Cubanos, chicken mac and sliders. The yard is a hip place for friends, family and even pets to hang.
12 of 24
Wunderbar
1132 Lee St., Covington
Wunderbar is one of those restaurants that's considered a "hidden gem." The authentic German-inspired menu features housemade wursts with locally sourced meats, like the restaurant's super popular currywurst — a peculiar invention of post-World War II Germany. It's a spiced sausage served with a ketchup-Worcestershire-curry sauce. The rotating sausage menu is written on a blackboard behind the bar, but a must-try is the giant pretzel, a gigantic, plate-sized pretzel that easily complements any of the bar's refreshing beers.

Wunderbar

1132 Lee St., Covington
Wunderbar is one of those restaurants that's considered a "hidden gem." The authentic German-inspired menu features housemade wursts with locally sourced meats, like the restaurant's super popular currywurst — a peculiar invention of post-World War II Germany. It's a spiced sausage served with a ketchup-Worcestershire-curry sauce. The rotating sausage menu is written on a blackboard behind the bar, but a must-try is the giant pretzel, a gigantic, plate-sized pretzel that easily complements any of the bar's refreshing beers.
13 of 24
Ripple Wine Bar
4 W. Pike St., Covington
Ripple Wine Bar is one of those sweet little spots that hits all the right notes: good wine (and lots of it) paired with good food. The wine selection, knowledge and care with which the wines are served have few peers in our region. If you’re hungry, the tiny kitchen somehow produces a plethora of tasty dishes, from beef wellington popovers and stuffed poblano peppers to shrimp and grits and pan-seared scallops. Ripple recently achieved notable accolades from the Kentucky Restaurant Association, which gave its 2022 Outstanding Restaurateur award to owner Matt Haws and the 2022 Outstanding Manager award to Gabriella DiVincenzo.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Ripple Wine Bar

4 W. Pike St., Covington
Ripple Wine Bar is one of those sweet little spots that hits all the right notes: good wine (and lots of it) paired with good food. The wine selection, knowledge and care with which the wines are served have few peers in our region. If you’re hungry, the tiny kitchen somehow produces a plethora of tasty dishes, from beef wellington popovers and stuffed poblano peppers to shrimp and grits and pan-seared scallops. Ripple recently achieved notable accolades from the Kentucky Restaurant Association, which gave its 2022 Outstanding Restaurateur award to owner Matt Haws and the 2022 Outstanding Manager award to Gabriella DiVincenzo.
14 of 24
Smoke Justis
302 Court St., Covington  
Smoke Justis is an urban sports bar where you can catch live music, sporting events and other festivities. The menu includes a variety of smoked meat plates, with options ranging from ribs and wings to brisket and pulled pork. The menu also sports a wide selection of bourbon and craft beer.

Smoke Justis

302 Court St., Covington
Smoke Justis is an urban sports bar where you can catch live music, sporting events and other festivities. The menu includes a variety of smoked meat plates, with options ranging from ribs and wings to brisket and pulled pork. The menu also sports a wide selection of bourbon and craft beer.
15 of 24

The Standard
434 Main St., Covington
The dynamic duo behind popular Covington dining and drinking destinations Otto's, Frida and Larry's also own The Standard, which breaths life into a familiar corner in the neighborhood. The Standard's food menu features bright and playful flavors. They serve up lunch and dinner with a weekend brunch that features dishes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch-crusted french toast and a goetta, egg and cheese sandwich. Popular cocktails like the U-Haul and Hot Rod are on-brand with the establishment's overall theme. The Standard has both indoor and outdoor seating, with plenty of patio space beneath the garage's canopies.
Photo: Savana Willhoite

The Standard

434 Main St., Covington
The dynamic duo behind popular Covington dining and drinking destinations Otto's, Frida and Larry's also own The Standard, which breaths life into a familiar corner in the neighborhood. The Standard's food menu features bright and playful flavors. They serve up lunch and dinner with a weekend brunch that features dishes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch-crusted french toast and a goetta, egg and cheese sandwich. Popular cocktails like the U-Haul and Hot Rod are on-brand with the establishment's overall theme. The Standard has both indoor and outdoor seating, with plenty of patio space beneath the garage's canopies.
16 of 24
Rich's Proper Food & Drink
701 Madison Ave., Covington
Rich's Proper Food & Drink operates out of the more than 100-year-old building formerly occupied by Rich's Gruen Watches, a high-end jewelry store. The bar's menu includes wine, beer and cocktails, with a special emphasis on bourbon. The kitchen provides Southern fare with Creole and Kentucky influences, including raw oysters.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Rich's Proper Food & Drink

701 Madison Ave., Covington
Rich's Proper Food & Drink operates out of the more than 100-year-old building formerly occupied by Rich's Gruen Watches, a high-end jewelry store. The bar's menu includes wine, beer and cocktails, with a special emphasis on bourbon. The kitchen provides Southern fare with Creole and Kentucky influences, including raw oysters.
17 of 24
La Mexicana
642 Monmouth St., Newport  
No-frills in décor, but all serious with the cuisine, La Mexicana is deemed to be one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. From asada to bistec to milanesa, they've got the meats. But they also serve up a host of veggie options.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

La Mexicana

642 Monmouth St., Newport
No-frills in décor, but all serious with the cuisine, La Mexicana is deemed to be one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. From asada to bistec to milanesa, they've got the meats. But they also serve up a host of veggie options.
18 of 24
Agave & Rye
635 Madison Ave., Covington
Diners flock to the restaurant to enjoy its vibrant murals and funky decor while chowing down on unique tacos, with proteins including kangaroo, duck, crab cakes, butter-poached lobster, crispy cauliflower, fries and crispy chicken — in addition to more familiar bases like steak, pork carnitas and mahi mahi.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Agave & Rye

635 Madison Ave., Covington
Diners flock to the restaurant to enjoy its vibrant murals and funky decor while chowing down on unique tacos, with proteins including kangaroo, duck, crab cakes, butter-poached lobster, crispy cauliflower, fries and crispy chicken — in addition to more familiar bases like steak, pork carnitas and mahi mahi.
19 of 24
Yuca
700 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue
Jeremy Faeth, co-owner and executive chef of popular Covington brunch restaurant Cedar, opened Yuca, a Latin-American restaurant, in Bellevue. Yuca serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. Dishes are made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients.
Photo: Francisco Huerta

Yuca

700 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue
Jeremy Faeth, co-owner and executive chef of popular Covington brunch restaurant Cedar, opened Yuca, a Latin-American restaurant, in Bellevue. Yuca serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. Dishes are made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients.
20 of 24
Page 1 of 2