April 08, 2022

25 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.
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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.
The Baker's Table and  The Baker's Table Bakery
1001 and 1004 Monmouth St., Newport
The Baker's Table and its across-the-street counterpart Baker's Table Bakery are owned by chef Dave Willocks and wife Wendy Braun. The sister spots focus 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 bakery offers baked goods in the morning and afternoon Wednesday-Sunday with brunch available Saturday and Sunday and pizza nights on Wednesdays.

The Baker's Table and The Baker's Table Bakery

1001 and 1004 Monmouth St., Newport
The Baker's Table and its across-the-street counterpart Baker's Table Bakery are owned by chef Dave Willocks and wife Wendy Braun. The sister spots focus 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 bakery offers baked goods in the morning and afternoon Wednesday-Sunday with brunch available Saturday and Sunday and pizza nights on Wednesdays.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.