28 Low-Key Cincinnati Bars For a Chill Night Out

A night out on the town doesn't have to mean navigating through crowded bars and dodging elbows — there are plenty of laid-back bars in the Queen City to choose from. From a brand new East Walnut Hills wine bar to some classics that have been around for over 100 years, we've found the best low-key bars in Cincinnati perfect for a chill night out on the town. 
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Somerset
139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
An exotic escape in the heart of Over-the-Rhine, Somerset features two bar spaces — one in a plant-filled and glass-roofed conservatory and another in a cozy lounge space. The large back patio offers an awe-inspiring garden, loaded with tropical plants, unique seating nooks and imported pieces from co-founder and creative lead James Fisher’s collection, as well as the collections of his friends and family.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Somerset

139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
An exotic escape in the heart of Over-the-Rhine, Somerset features two bar spaces — one in a plant-filled and glass-roofed conservatory and another in a cozy lounge space. The large back patio offers an awe-inspiring garden, loaded with tropical plants, unique seating nooks and imported pieces from co-founder and creative lead James Fisher’s collection, as well as the collections of his friends and family.
Low Spark
15 W. 14th. St., Over-the-Rhine
This small, '70s-inspired bar is centered around a big tropical aquarium, an oasis in the bustling Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Sip a pop culture-themed cocktail (or a glass of wine or one of the beers on tap) while jamming out to songs from the vinyl record player. Grab a massive $3 Budweiser that is always on tap, or if you're looking for a pick-me-up, order their version of a vodka Red Bull: the Excita-Bull.

Low Spark

15 W. 14th. St., Over-the-Rhine
This small, '70s-inspired bar is centered around a big tropical aquarium, an oasis in the bustling Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Sip a pop culture-themed cocktail (or a glass of wine or one of the beers on tap) while jamming out to songs from the vinyl record player. Grab a massive $3 Budweiser that is always on tap, or if you're looking for a pick-me-up, order their version of a vodka Red Bull: the Excita-Bull.
The Blind Lemon
936 Hatch St., Mount Adams
Mount Adams' favorite backyard bar since 1963. Walk down a set of stairs to find a secret, little hideaway. Outside, the relaxed garden patio is like a bohemian blend of Bourbon Street and Paris life. With live music often on the schedule, it's one of the most romantic drinking destinations in the city.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Blind Lemon

936 Hatch St., Mount Adams
Mount Adams' favorite backyard bar since 1963. Walk down a set of stairs to find a secret, little hideaway. Outside, the relaxed garden patio is like a bohemian blend of Bourbon Street and Paris life. With live music often on the schedule, it's one of the most romantic drinking destinations in the city.
Symposium
2835 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut
A new wine bar and cafe has entered the East Walnut Hills culinary scene. The wine bar and cafe finally hosted its grand opening on May 11. The space features a main dining room with a lounge known as The Nest, a private dining and event space called the Rumpus Room, an outdoor patio that currently seats 10 (weather permitting) and Symposium’s three bars. Each bar offers something different — one serves coffee, the other has drinks and the last, food. Cocktails known as “Birdtails” are delicious, imaginative and avian-inspired and include the Magpie Gin and Tonic, Macaw Mojito and Bird on a Wire espresso martini.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Symposium

2835 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut
A new wine bar and cafe has entered the East Walnut Hills culinary scene. The wine bar and cafe finally hosted its grand opening on May 11. The space features a main dining room with a lounge known as The Nest, a private dining and event space called the Rumpus Room, an outdoor patio that currently seats 10 (weather permitting) and Symposium’s three bars. Each bar offers something different — one serves coffee, the other has drinks and the last, food. Cocktails known as “Birdtails” are delicious, imaginative and avian-inspired and include the Magpie Gin and Tonic, Macaw Mojito and Bird on a Wire espresso martini.
Queen City Radio
222 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine
The historic Queen City Radio building was turned into a well-manicured full-service bar and outdoor beer garden. The bar serves rotating taps of local, regional and national beer, canned and bottled brews, wine, and a small cocktail program. Tables and heaters are placed throughout the patio and dogs are always welcome.

Queen City Radio

222 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine
The historic Queen City Radio building was turned into a well-manicured full-service bar and outdoor beer garden. The bar serves rotating taps of local, regional and national beer, canned and bottled brews, wine, and a small cocktail program. Tables and heaters are placed throughout the patio and dogs are always welcome.
Sundry and Vice
18 W. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
This apothecary-themed bar features an extensive and inventive cocktail menu. The drinks — meticulously crafted by be-aproned bartenders — take a little longer to make than usual, but that’s only because they’re so good. After a weekend of drinking like this, you’re going to need an apothecary.

Sundry and Vice

18 W. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
This apothecary-themed bar features an extensive and inventive cocktail menu. The drinks — meticulously crafted by be-aproned bartenders — take a little longer to make than usual, but that’s only because they’re so good. After a weekend of drinking like this, you’re going to need an apothecary.
Arnold's Bar & Grill
210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
Downtown's Arnold's Bar & Grill is renowned for being the oldest continuously operating drinking destination in Cincinnati — one of the oldest in America, in fact, at 160 years. There's the infamous Arnold's bathtub, reportedly used to make bootleg gin during Prohibition. There is even a rumor that this bar filled with spirits (as in alcohol) and other sorts of spirits (as in dead people).
Photo: Maggy McDonel

Arnold's Bar & Grill

210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
Downtown's Arnold's Bar & Grill is renowned for being the oldest continuously operating drinking destination in Cincinnati — one of the oldest in America, in fact, at 160 years. There's the infamous Arnold's bathtub, reportedly used to make bootleg gin during Prohibition. There is even a rumor that this bar filled with spirits (as in alcohol) and other sorts of spirits (as in dead people).
Streetside Brewery
4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum
Streetside Brewery is proud to be located in Cincinnati's oldest neighborhood — Columbia Tusculum. The Hickey family are residents of the neighborhood, and founded Streetside Brewery to share their talent with their community. Enjoy craft beer and grab a bite to eat at The Black Dog Grille food truck that is always parked out front. The brewery recently expanded its patio, adding a massive outdoor area with tons of seating, a bar and bathrooms.
Photo: Scott Dittgen

Streetside Brewery

4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum
Streetside Brewery is proud to be located in Cincinnati's oldest neighborhood — Columbia Tusculum. The Hickey family are residents of the neighborhood, and founded Streetside Brewery to share their talent with their community. Enjoy craft beer and grab a bite to eat at The Black Dog Grille food truck that is always parked out front. The brewery recently expanded its patio, adding a massive outdoor area with tons of seating, a bar and bathrooms.
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 tacos, sliders and Korean barbecue. Grab a drink at their bar that features a rotating draft menu, specialty cocktails and alcoholic slushies. 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 tacos, sliders and Korean barbecue. Grab a drink at their bar that features a rotating draft menu, specialty cocktails and alcoholic slushies. The yard is a hip place for friends, family and even pets to hang.
Gulow Street
1614 Hoffner St., Northside
Gulow Street is a cozy yet sophisticated bar and restaurant located at the corner of Hoffner and Gulow streets — the establishment’s namesake. The streamlined menu offers bites like a burger and breakfast sandwich with pimento cheese, plus a cocktail menu. Clever house drinks include the Spaghett (Miller High Life, Aperol and lemon) and a basil paloma with Tajin. A converted garage on the property doubles as a patio space, and dogs are welcome to hang out there with their people.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Gulow Street

1614 Hoffner St., Northside
Gulow Street is a cozy yet sophisticated bar and restaurant located at the corner of Hoffner and Gulow streets — the establishment’s namesake. The streamlined menu offers bites like a burger and breakfast sandwich with pimento cheese, plus a cocktail menu. Clever house drinks include the Spaghett (Miller High Life, Aperol and lemon) and a basil paloma with Tajin. A converted garage on the property doubles as a patio space, and dogs are welcome to hang out there with their people.