Cincinnati's 10 Best Bars and Clubs to Grab a Drink or Shake Your Booty

CityBeat has been in the business of curating the Best Of Cincinnati for more than two decades, highlighting the city’s most outstanding selections in Eats, Shops & Services, Music & Nightlife and more. And the responsibility of selecting these exceptional entities is divided between our readers and staff.

This year, more than 900,000 votes were tallied to determine our Reader Picks — and readers logged on to the ballot site to vote for their favorites in a slew of categories, including Best Overall Bar/Club.

Cincinnati likes to drink. With bars/clubs/breweries popping up on every block, the options for grabbing a cold one are (almost) endless. There's something for everyone in this city; whether you like to sip your cocktail while rocking out to live jams, you're a gamer who prefers a Popsicle with his/her vodka or maybe you're in the mood to groove, we're confident a place exists to tickle your fancy. And were here to help you find that place. Your friends and neighbors voted on their favorite go-to local bar/club. We put those bars together in a pretty little list with pictures. If your favorite didn't make the top 10 this time, make sure to vote for them in next year's Best of Cincinnati ballot. 


1. 16-Bit Bar + Arcade | 1331 Walnut St., OTR

2. Queen City Exchange | 32 W. Court St., Downtown

3. Arnold's Bar and Grill | 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown

4. Queen City Radio | 222 W. 12th St., OTR

5. Below Zero | 1120 Walnut St., OTR

6. Japp's Since 1879 | 1136 Main St., OTR

7. MOTR Pub | 1345 Main St., OTR

8. Northside Yacht Club | 4321 Spring Grove Ave., Northside

9. Sundry and Vice | 18 W. 13th St., OTR

10. Longfellow | 1233 Clay St., OTR



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1. 16-Bit Bar + Arcade (1331 Walnut St., OTR) // 16-Bit has more than 50 free arcade games and a tasty selection of celeb-inspired cocktails for you to slurp down as you relive your childhood nerdy nostalgia sans the quarters. Pictured is the Hulk Hogan cocktail.
Photo: Patty Salas
1. 16-Bit Bar + Arcade (1331 Walnut St., OTR) // 16-Bit has more than 50 free arcade games and a tasty selection of celeb-inspired cocktails for you to slurp down as you relive your childhood nerdy nostalgia sans the quarters. Pictured is the Hulk Hogan cocktail.
The bar at 16-Bit Bar+Arcade
Photo: Patty Salas
The bar at 16-Bit Bar+Arcade
16-Bit Bar+Arcade pinball machines
Photo: Patty Salas
16-Bit Bar+Arcade pinball machines
2. Queen City Exchange (32 W. Court St., Downtown) // Queen City Exchange is Cincinnati's first and only stock exchange-themed bar, featuring beers with prices that rise and fall depending on demand.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
2. Queen City Exchange (32 W. Court St., Downtown) // Queen City Exchange is Cincinnati's first and only stock exchange-themed bar, featuring beers with prices that rise and fall depending on demand.
The bar has 40-something beers on tap.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The bar has 40-something beers on tap.
3. Arnold's Bar and Grill (210 E. Eighth St., Downtown) // A friendly, diverse and historic gin joint, Arnold's is the city's oldest bar — in operation since the 1830s.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
3. Arnold's Bar and Grill (210 E. Eighth St., Downtown) // A friendly, diverse and historic gin joint, Arnold's is the city's oldest bar — in operation since the 1830s.
The cheap (strong) drinks and almost daily live music — Bluegrass and Americana to Jazz — complement the awesome interior courtyard, which used to be a stable and carriage house.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The cheap (strong) drinks and almost daily live music — Bluegrass and Americana to Jazz — complement the awesome interior courtyard, which used to be a stable and carriage house.
They claim to have one of the best bourbon lists in Cincinnati, with nearly 40 options on the menu.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
They claim to have one of the best bourbon lists in Cincinnati, with nearly 40 options on the menu.
4. Queen City Radio (222 W. 12th St., OTR) // Head to the beer garden at Queen City Radio for a local pint, boozy slushies, wine and cocktails.
Photo: Patty Salas
4. Queen City Radio (222 W. 12th St., OTR) // Head to the beer garden at Queen City Radio for a local pint, boozy slushies, wine and cocktails.
The former auto body shop turned gigantic, multi-level OTR hang features 14 rotating taps of local regional and national beer, canned and bottled brews, a small cocktail program and adult-themed treats including alcohol-infused Popsicles.
Photo: Philip Heidenreich
The former auto body shop turned gigantic, multi-level OTR hang features 14 rotating taps of local regional and national beer, canned and bottled brews, a small cocktail program and adult-themed treats including alcohol-infused Popsicles.