March 11, 2022

30 Iconic Cincinnati Restaurants to Take Out-of-Towners

From classic staples like Skyline and LaRosa's to new favorites such Pho Lang Thang, the Queen City has many unique dining options to delight outsiders. If you have guests visiting, you can start off the day with a Holtman's donut, wispy thin pancakes from Sugar n' Spice or a traditional breakfast from Sleepy Bee. Later, either make the obligatory chili run to Camp Washington Chili or grab some tacos at Gomez Salsa. The Cincy-exclusive possibilities are endless.
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Camp Washington Chili
3005 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington
Named one of the “10 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati” by USA Today, there’s no question as to why Camp Washington Chili has been operating since 1940. It is good eats! Despite having ‘chili’ in the name, this establishment offers many chili-free options, including burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, fries, coleslaw and salad.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Camp Washington Chili

3005 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington
Named one of the “10 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati” by USA Today, there’s no question as to why Camp Washington Chili has been operating since 1940. It is good eats! Despite having ‘chili’ in the name, this establishment offers many chili-free options, including burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, fries, coleslaw and salad.
Zip's Cafe
1036 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout
Zip’s Cafe has been open since 1926 and is known for its Zip Burger, named the best in Ohio by Food & Wine. They also have other menu items, including “famous chili” and a classic grilled cheese. With worn wood flooring and dark wood paneling, the small space is separated into a dining area and a bar by a saloon-style door with a model train circling above. Head to the back bar for a local beer on draft while you wait for space at a booth or a seat at one of the shared family-style tables.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Zip's Cafe

1036 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout
Zip’s Cafe has been open since 1926 and is known for its Zip Burger, named the best in Ohio by Food & Wine. They also have other menu items, including “famous chili” and a classic grilled cheese. With worn wood flooring and dark wood paneling, the small space is separated into a dining area and a bar by a saloon-style door with a model train circling above. Head to the back bar for a local beer on draft while you wait for space at a booth or a seat at one of the shared family-style tables.
Pho Lang Thang
1828 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Pho Lang Thang has been serving excellent Vietnamese eats since opening in Findlay Market in 2011. After relocating to a larger storefront right nearby the original, the restaurant now offers a 14-seater bar with Asian-inspired cocktails. The food menu features everything from pho to banh mi to bun thit nuong (lemongrass grilled pork). For a pick-me-up, try some delicious Vietnamese-style iced coffee made with condensed milk.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Pho Lang Thang

1828 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Pho Lang Thang has been serving excellent Vietnamese eats since opening in Findlay Market in 2011. After relocating to a larger storefront right nearby the original, the restaurant now offers a 14-seater bar with Asian-inspired cocktails. The food menu features everything from pho to banh mi to bun thit nuong (lemongrass grilled pork). For a pick-me-up, try some delicious Vietnamese-style iced coffee made with condensed milk.
Sotto
118 E. Sixth St., Downtown
Sotto is the perfect place for a romantic Italian meal or a night out with friends. The basement trattoria is one of hottest places in town to grab homemade pasta and a classic cocktail. Be sure to reserve a table in advance, or snag a seat at their bar. Ask for a table with a view of the kitchen to get a front-row seat to all of the behind-the-scenes action.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sotto

118 E. Sixth St., Downtown
Sotto is the perfect place for a romantic Italian meal or a night out with friends. The basement trattoria is one of hottest places in town to grab homemade pasta and a classic cocktail. Be sure to reserve a table in advance, or snag a seat at their bar. Ask for a table with a view of the kitchen to get a front-row seat to all of the behind-the-scenes action.
Sleepy Bee Cafe
3098 Madison Road, Oakley; 9514 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash; 8 E. Fourth St., Downtwon
Serving locally sourced food for breakfast, brunch and lunch, Sleepy Bee Cafe offers both dine-in and carry-out options.  Popular items include the Queen City Bee, which is a breakfast sandwich with goetta, apple, arugula, broken yolk egg and “nectar” sauce on a milk bun, and The Worker Bee, which is two eggs of any style, your choice of bacon, sausage and goetta or vegan goetta.  If you go for brunch, be prepared for a wait.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sleepy Bee Cafe

3098 Madison Road, Oakley; 9514 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash; 8 E. Fourth St., Downtwon
Serving locally sourced food for breakfast, brunch and lunch, Sleepy Bee Cafe offers both dine-in and carry-out options. Popular items include the Queen City Bee, which is a breakfast sandwich with goetta, apple, arugula, broken yolk egg and “nectar” sauce on a milk bun, and The Worker Bee, which is two eggs of any style, your choice of bacon, sausage and goetta or vegan goetta. If you go for brunch, be prepared for a wait.
Arnold's Bar & Grill
210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
Open since 1861, Arnold’s is the oldest continuously running tavern in town, complete with dark wood walls, vintage memorabilia and a big ol’ bathtub in the dining room, rumored to have been used to make gin during Prohibition. A Cincinnati classic, it serves up a nice range of lunch and dinner options — pasta, sandwiches and burgers, plus vegan and gluten-free options — at bargain prices. Enjoy a local draft in the outdoor beer garden and almost daily live music. Named as one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Arnold's Bar & Grill

210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
Open since 1861, Arnold’s is the oldest continuously running tavern in town, complete with dark wood walls, vintage memorabilia and a big ol’ bathtub in the dining room, rumored to have been used to make gin during Prohibition. A Cincinnati classic, it serves up a nice range of lunch and dinner options — pasta, sandwiches and burgers, plus vegan and gluten-free options — at bargain prices. Enjoy a local draft in the outdoor beer garden and almost daily live music. Named as one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine.
Brown Bear Bakery
116 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
Brown Bear Bakery first started in 2012 and has become increasingly popular every year. It grew from just a table with some pastries to a full retail bakery, featuring a variety of desserts. Lines can be long, sometimes out the door, but getting to try popular items like the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Twist or the Coffee Cake is worth any wait. Online ordering starts at 9 a.m. each day they are open.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Brown Bear Bakery

116 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
Brown Bear Bakery first started in 2012 and has become increasingly popular every year. It grew from just a table with some pastries to a full retail bakery, featuring a variety of desserts. Lines can be long, sometimes out the door, but getting to try popular items like the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Twist or the Coffee Cake is worth any wait. Online ordering starts at 9 a.m. each day they are open.
The Rhined
1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
The Rhined is a little cheese shop located across from Findlay Market. It's great for grab-and-go goodies, but also features indoor seats and a seasonal outdoor patio. Guests can choose from assorted cheese board options or from a variety of snacks, including a sandwich menu. And the lovely staff can not only recommend a particular cheese based on your preferences, but a perfect wine pairing, too.

The Rhined

1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
The Rhined is a little cheese shop located across from Findlay Market. It's great for grab-and-go goodies, but also features indoor seats and a seasonal outdoor patio. Guests can choose from assorted cheese board options or from a variety of snacks, including a sandwich menu. And the lovely staff can not only recommend a particular cheese based on your preferences, but a perfect wine pairing, too.
Goodfellas Pizzeria
1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 6099 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge; 603 Main St., Covingvton
Goodfellas Pizzeria features New York-style pizza in a 1920s-inspired setting. The wait in a literal line to try their popular pizza can be long, especially on the weekends, but it's worth it. Alongside their giant slices and pies, other menu items include calzones, salads and their signature meatball sub. For an extra dose of carbs, grab a breadstick the size of your arm. Plus a side of their housemade ranch dressing.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Goodfellas Pizzeria

1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 6099 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge; 603 Main St., Covingvton
Goodfellas Pizzeria features New York-style pizza in a 1920s-inspired setting. The wait in a literal line to try their popular pizza can be long, especially on the weekends, but it's worth it. Alongside their giant slices and pies, other menu items include calzones, salads and their signature meatball sub. For an extra dose of carbs, grab a breadstick the size of your arm. Plus a side of their housemade ranch dressing.
Sugar n’ Spice
4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills; 1203 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine
Open since 1941, Sugar n' Spice's original pink Paddock Hills diner is known for its fun atmosphere and being a comfortable and family-friendly place to eat (ask for a free rubber duck with your meal). Huge, fluffy omelets and “wispy-thin” pancakes have made Sugar n’ Spice a bona fide breakfast institution for over 75 years. One of the city’s most popular places for people of all ages and backgrounds to dine and socialize, the original Paddock Hills location got a sister spot in Over-the-Rhine when the owners renovated an old diner with their signature colorful and vintage flair. They are famous for giving patrons little rubber ducks as a souvenir. It’s a charming quirk that keeps people coming back.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sugar n’ Spice

4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills; 1203 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine
Open since 1941, Sugar n' Spice's original pink Paddock Hills diner is known for its fun atmosphere and being a comfortable and family-friendly place to eat (ask for a free rubber duck with your meal). Huge, fluffy omelets and “wispy-thin” pancakes have made Sugar n’ Spice a bona fide breakfast institution for over 75 years. One of the city’s most popular places for people of all ages and backgrounds to dine and socialize, the original Paddock Hills location got a sister spot in Over-the-Rhine when the owners renovated an old diner with their signature colorful and vintage flair. They are famous for giving patrons little rubber ducks as a souvenir. It’s a charming quirk that keeps people coming back.