Cincinnati’s restaurant scene is tops. Thanks to abundant and diverse options, deciding which ones to try is no easy task. We’ll try to make it easier for you by sharing a few of our favorites. Bon apetit!
The concept: When it comes to upscale Mexican cuisine, Nada hits the nail on the head. Tucked in downtown, the colorful eatery is surrounded by skyscrapers, and its stunning patio peeks out onto the city’s streets. Inside, vibrant cocktails clink for toasts, and tasty dishes are shared across tables.
Why it’s a must: Nada’s sophisticated and trendy vibe adds unique flavor to the menu of Latin American comfort food. Tacos topped with everything from pork belly to pot roast are meant to be inhaled alongside a helping of the poblano and jalapeno-spiced macaroni and cheese.
What people are saying: “Try any of the tacos, and be sure to order the guacamole and the macaroni and cheese—delicious!” —Ric Booth, general manager, Duke Energy Convention Center
The concept: In this dimly lit underground trattoria, authentic Italian fare shines. The real charm is in the brilliant juxtaposition of weathered brick walls and simple table settings against a menu of dishes that are anything but. The experience transports you off East Sixth Street into a seat at a Tuscan dinner table.
Why it’s a must: Sotto’s robust plates receive top marks, and an impressive wine selection means you’ll have no trouble pinpointing the perfect pour to complement your entree. Save room for the star of the menu: the warm, sweet and seriously addictive ricotta doughnuts.
What people are saying: “Yelpers love the short-rib ravioli and ricotta doughnuts. All the pasta is homemade, and you can even watch them make it through the window toward the back of the restaurant.” —Cindy Galea, community director, Yelp Cincinnati
Montgomery Inn Boathouse
The concept: Montgomery Inn is a local institution. It’s the kind of downhome diner where devouring a plate of ’cue is best done while donning a plastic bib. The logoed bibs point to the spot’s reputation as a long-standing barbecue staple—and to the fact that your shirt is probably no match for this saucy indulgence.
Why it’s a must: The handspiced and slow-roasted ribs are world famous, and you can clean a slab while taking in an unbeatable porchfront view of the Ohio River. Try to put your finger on the secret ingredients in Montgomery Inn’s signature sauce, which it’s been mixing up since 1951.
What people are saying: “The sauce is what makes this place so good. My parents used to take me there when I was a kid. You never forget how great it is.” —Ross Stegall, Cincinnati native
Honorable Mention: Skyline Chili