December 17, 2021

29 Tiny Cincinnati Restaurants You Should've Visited By Now

These quaint Queen City eateries range from authentic Thai cuisine to tasty taquerias and burger joints and what they lack in size, they make up for in flavor. They may have limited seating, but it's absolutely worth the shortage of elbow room.
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Cincy Steak and Lemonade
2607 Vine St., Clifton
Cincy Steak and Lemonade offers everything from burgers and gyros to cheesesteaks and chicken sandwiches — not to mention their super colorful lemonades, with flavors ranging from rainbow to blue raspberry, and pina colada. With only a few booths in the restaurant, it’s a cozy spot for fast, casual bites.

Cincy Steak and Lemonade

2607 Vine St., Clifton
Cincy Steak and Lemonade offers everything from burgers and gyros to cheesesteaks and chicken sandwiches — not to mention their super colorful lemonades, with flavors ranging from rainbow to blue raspberry, and pina colada. With only a few booths in the restaurant, it’s a cozy spot for fast, casual bites.
Adeep India
211 W. McMillan St., Clifton
Adeep India’s simple, cheaper take on takeout is welcome in the Clifton brotherhood of Indian restaurants. Head to the counter to order and then wait for your giant Styrofoam container of saag to come out. You can either eat in at one of their fast-food-style tables or take your Goliath order home and make a few meals out of it.
Paige Deglow

Adeep India

211 W. McMillan St., Clifton
Adeep India’s simple, cheaper take on takeout is welcome in the Clifton brotherhood of Indian restaurants. Head to the counter to order and then wait for your giant Styrofoam container of saag to come out. You can either eat in at one of their fast-food-style tables or take your Goliath order home and make a few meals out of it.
Herb & Thelma’s
718 W. Pike St., Covington
Opened in 1939 as Heine’s Cafe, the small drop-ceilinged dining room is what some may call a “hole in the wall,” but the simple and delectable burgers are made to order and served by an incredibly friendly staff.
Hailey Bollinger

Herb & Thelma’s

718 W. Pike St., Covington
Opened in 1939 as Heine’s Cafe, the small drop-ceilinged dining room is what some may call a “hole in the wall,” but the simple and delectable burgers are made to order and served by an incredibly friendly staff.
The Littlefield
3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
The Littlefield is a little bourbon bar and restaurant with a fantastic string-lit patio. They offer brunch on weekends and favorite cocktails — named after local streets — including the Fergus (bourbon, balsamic vinaigrette, ginger beer and basil simple syrup) and Beech Hill (tequila, mezcal, lime, habanero, aquafaba and hellfire bitters with lime garnish).
Hailey Bollinger

The Littlefield

3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
The Littlefield is a little bourbon bar and restaurant with a fantastic string-lit patio. They offer brunch on weekends and favorite cocktails — named after local streets — including the Fergus (bourbon, balsamic vinaigrette, ginger beer and basil simple syrup) and Beech Hill (tequila, mezcal, lime, habanero, aquafaba and hellfire bitters with lime garnish).
Krishna Indian Carryout
313 Calhoun St., Clifton
Krishna Indian Restaurant is University of Cincinnati's best kept secret. The tiny restaurant offers both carry-out and dine-in, with about a handful of booths to choose from. It dishes out plates such as saag paneer, a vegetarian spinach dish filled dish with onions, spices and a hint of cream, and chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken in a creamy tomato sauce. Be careful: The food can get spicy ranging on a 1-7 spice scale.
Paige Deglow

Krishna Indian Carryout

313 Calhoun St., Clifton
Krishna Indian Restaurant is University of Cincinnati's best kept secret. The tiny restaurant offers both carry-out and dine-in, with about a handful of booths to choose from. It dishes out plates such as saag paneer, a vegetarian spinach dish filled dish with onions, spices and a hint of cream, and chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken in a creamy tomato sauce. Be careful: The food can get spicy ranging on a 1-7 spice scale.
Eli's BBQ
3313 Riverside Drive, East End
While the inside of this location is definitely considered tiny, there is plenty of outdoor seating and Southern hospitality at Eli's BBQ. The no-frills affair specializes in meats, pulled and smoked and served in a red plastic basket.
Hailey Bollinger

Eli's BBQ

3313 Riverside Drive, East End
While the inside of this location is definitely considered tiny, there is plenty of outdoor seating and Southern hospitality at Eli's BBQ. The no-frills affair specializes in meats, pulled and smoked and served in a red plastic basket.
Zundo Ramen & Donburi
220 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine
Slurp-worthy bowls make Zundo a go-to for ramen in Over-the-Rhine. The restaurant’s traditional 14-hour broth, along with flavor-amping ingredients like pork belly and soft-boiled egg with custardy yolk, underpin the ramen options, like the stellar tonkotsu. Meanwhile, donburi choices range from pork katsu to curry to oyako. The large selection of sake pairs perfectly with anything from the food menu.
Hailey Bollinger

Zundo Ramen & Donburi

220 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine
Slurp-worthy bowls make Zundo a go-to for ramen in Over-the-Rhine. The restaurant’s traditional 14-hour broth, along with flavor-amping ingredients like pork belly and soft-boiled egg with custardy yolk, underpin the ramen options, like the stellar tonkotsu. Meanwhile, donburi choices range from pork katsu to curry to oyako. The large selection of sake pairs perfectly with anything from the food menu.
Sugar n' Spice
4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills
Open since 1941, Sugar n' Spice is a Cincinnati diner mainstay. Try the Slaughterhouse Five, a breakfast platter with a sausage link, pork patty, smoked sausage, one slice of bacon and half a slice of goetta, plus two eggs any style, home fries and white or wheat toast. The original location generally has a wait for the handful of tables or bar seats, but Sugar n' Spice opened a second and larger location in Over-the-Rhine.
Hailey Bollinger

Sugar n' Spice

4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills
Open since 1941, Sugar n' Spice is a Cincinnati diner mainstay. Try the Slaughterhouse Five, a breakfast platter with a sausage link, pork patty, smoked sausage, one slice of bacon and half a slice of goetta, plus two eggs any style, home fries and white or wheat toast. The original location generally has a wait for the handful of tables or bar seats, but Sugar n' Spice opened a second and larger location in Over-the-Rhine.
Pleasantry
118 W. 15th St., Over-the-Rhine
Pleasantry is another small restaurant with a big patio. Whether you choose to eat outside or in their chic and streamlined dining room, the restaurant is sunny and welcoming — and that’s before we even get to what’s on the seasonally changing menu. Try their wagyu burger topped with kimchi, pickles, mayo and American cheese with a side of crisp fries.

Pleasantry

118 W. 15th St., Over-the-Rhine
Pleasantry is another small restaurant with a big patio. Whether you choose to eat outside or in their chic and streamlined dining room, the restaurant is sunny and welcoming — and that’s before we even get to what’s on the seasonally changing menu. Try their wagyu burger topped with kimchi, pickles, mayo and American cheese with a side of crisp fries.
Izen’s Drunken Bento
212 W McMillan St., Clifton
Best known for their daily half-priced specials, Drunken Bento is a favorite of University of Cincinnati students. The name says it all: It is the hub for drunken college kids after a night out, but still perfect for a date night. This restaurant may be tiny, but their portions are generous.

Izen’s Drunken Bento

212 W McMillan St., Clifton
Best known for their daily half-priced specials, Drunken Bento is a favorite of University of Cincinnati students. The name says it all: It is the hub for drunken college kids after a night out, but still perfect for a date night. This restaurant may be tiny, but their portions are generous.