*Editors Note* Upon it’s original running, this list included Bayou Fish House. While it was a delicious place, it has since closed. That still leaves 15 places to try out! -Hunter
Cincinnati isn’t know for cajun food, but this spot is on point with great food and amazing jazz. This casual, fun atmosphere will let you kick back and relax. Try the Shrimp Po Boy or Crawfish Etouffee. You’ll feel like you’re really in ‘nawlins.
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There’s no way that this place gets the respect that it deserves! It has some of the best breakfast food the city has to offer, but gets pushed aside in the bustle of Findlay Market. When you stop in, you have to try the Huevos Rancheros or French Toast: they’re the bomb diggity.
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Greendog’s sister restaurant is a Buz that’s under your radar. You won’t hear too much about the classy ambiance and upscale dining experience, but it’s phenomenal. Combined with the fact that they have some sick Mushroom Flatbread and a Savory Ribeye; it won’t be long until this is the “buz” of the town.
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Ando Japanese Restaurant
Who would have thought that ordering ramen noodles from a restaurant menu was a good idea? Sometimes the spices really make the food, and Ando’s remains underrated because people hear the word “ramen” and are instantly turned off. Don’t let your preconceived notions mislead you: those noods are what’s up.
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Ah, so many Indian restaurants to choose from in Clifton, but you haven’t heard of this place yet. This is your loss… until now. Featuring the best Indian buffet you’re going to find in the city, you’re gonna eat way too much of their amazing Vindaloo and Curry.
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Baba’s Shawarma Grill
The outside may be a little shabby but, if you’re crazy about hummus and falafels, you can’t judge this place by its appearance. Baba’s house made hummus and gyros are ready for devouring. If you have leftovers to smuggle for later, we won’t judge.
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Sure, they’re located off the beaten path and tucked into a small strip mall, but Mazunte deserves mass cred for their delectable tacos and to-die-for empanadas. They will soon have an outdoor patio so you can chow down and enjoy your tacos and margaritas and enjoy the summer breeze. Do you frequent Neon’s? Mazunte also serves their grub at Neon’s on occasion for you OTR lovers.
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Incline Public House
Sure, there are plenty of great views of the city, but few compare with the view from this place. Sitting out by a fire under the stars and taking in the view is pure bliss. It doesn’t get much better than one of their brick oven pepperoni pizzas or calamari while overlooking the city.
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There just aren’t enough classy Italian restaurants in Cincinnati, you say? Think again. Bella Luna is as classy as it gets and is still keeping a low profile. Put on your nicest set of clothes and enjoy fine dining under candlelight. You may have to bring your table manners, but their Shrimp Scampi and Chicken Florentina are well worth removing your elbows from the table.
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It’s hard to believe that Ryan Gosling sat in a table here without the ladies of Cincinnati ever knowing. Well, if it’s good enough for Hollywood, you know it has to be good for us. They even have nights when you can bring your favorite board game to play while having a few brews. You may still be terrible at Trivial Pursuit, but maybe everyone else can stoop to your level after a few beers.
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How has this place been here for so long without us ever knowing?! They’ve been in the city way longer than most of us from Generation Y, and they’ve held on for good reason. Just seeing red and white checkered table cloths made us feel like we were eating in Rome. You’ll definitely get your fill of carbs, but it will be worth the taste of that Fettuccine Ala Guido and Spaghetti Ala Monte Carlo.
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Most people hear the words “fried banana” and “burger” in the same sentence and lose interest. The joke’s on them, because sometimes you just have to go bold to find a hidden treasure. It may sound strange, but their PBJ and Jean Robert’s burgers are unusually good!
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In an age when just running to the supermarket or fast food chain is the easiest way to do things, it’s hard to find a quality deli. The truth is that most small delis can’t make it, but Carl’s has managed to persevere with their amazing sandwiches, stacked high with lunch meat. Go ahead, be creative! They’ll put anything on your sandwich that you want.
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Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar
We were starting to wonder how close you could be to the Bluegrass State without having a solid bourbon bar. That was until we found out about this place. Their bartenders are bourbon geniuses and you won’t find a better selection in the city. There’s nothing wrong with ordering an “old fashioned” or a simple bourbon on the rocks here, and you’ll never be disappointed. It is a bourbon bar, after all.
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Sometimes you have to venture off the beaten path to try a healthier alternative. Main Bite is a quaint little restaurant that doesn’t get much press, but has some great burger alternatives. Being tucked away from Mainstrauss, it’s easy to miss this spot, but you don’t want to miss out on those spicy Tilapia Tacos and Florentine Penne!
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