A Foodie’s Guide to Cincinnati

While Skyline Chili may be Cincinnati’s most well-known culinary hallmark, there’s so much more to the city’s food. From time-honored food traditions to up-and-coming establishments, Cincinnati has something for everyone when it comes to food. Whether you’ve lived here for years, just moved to the city, or are planning a visit, our guide to the […]
ML By Matt LaMar on January 4, 2024
A Cincinnati skyline at dusk with bright city lights.

While Skyline Chili may be Cincinnati’s most well-known culinary hallmark, there’s so much more to the city’s food. From time-honored food traditions to up-and-coming establishments, Cincinnati has something for everyone when it comes to food.

Whether you’ve lived here for years, just moved to the city, or are planning a visit, our guide to the Cincinnati food scene can help you find renowned restaurants, hidden gems, and local favorites. Read on to embark on a culinary adventure and discover excellent date night spots, brunch haunts, and coffee shops in Cincinnati.

Must-Try Cincinnati Foods and Restaurants

If you’re new to the city or visiting on a trip, try some of Cincy’s staple foods and restaurants. These well-established culinary establishments are vital symbols of Cincinnati’s culture and history. 

Skyline Chili

Founded in 1949 by Greek immigrants on Glenway Avenue, Skyline Chili has gained a loyal following for its signature chili dishes over more than 70 years of operation. Whether you prefer their well-loved chili three-way or classic cheese coney, Skyline Chili is one of those Cincinnati foods everyone should try at least once.

Graeter’s Ice Cream 

Churning their ice cream in a French pot for over 150 years, Graeter’s serves their frozen confection in a variety of flavors, from their signature black raspberry chocolate chip to seasonal offerings like orange and cream. While the shop has since expanded to over 50 locations, it grew from a cart on the streets of Cincinnati. Regardless of the season, their ice cream is worth a try.

Izzy’s Reubens

Izzy’s boasts the world’s best Reuben, and who can argue with over 120 years of experience? Grab one of the nine varieties of the Reuben with a side of potato pancakes for a great, hardy lunch. Don’t forget to try their signature pickles, included with each of their sandwiches. 

Best Date Night Restaurants in Cincinnati 

A couple toasts with glasses of red wine while on a date.

There’s no shortage of cozy, romantic date night spots in Cincinnati, from chic restaurants to classy bars. Our recommendations include some of the most happening locations in the city, so don’t forget to make a reservation in advance.

Pepp and Dolores

Located on the northern side of downtown Cincinnati, Pepp and Dolores offers beloved Italian dishes in a cozy, airy environment. Diners loved it so much it was included in Open Table’s 2022 list of the best 100 restaurants in America. Try their signature Sunday Sauce and one of their artfully crafted cocktails when you go.


You’ll find Baru near the Central Business District near Fountain Square, the perfect first stop for a night out on the town. You and your date will enjoy this sushi restaurant’s elegant, modern décor and unique sushi rolls. If you like spicy food, try the Fallen Angel roll, and don’t forget to share a few of the restaurant’s many unique drinks.


Get a taste of European cuisine in Cincinnati at Boca, a refined restaurant offering a fusion of French and Italian dishes. You’ll find Boca next to The Aronoff Center for the Arts, which is easy to spot thanks to its distinctive red door and elegant facade. This eatery serves its culinary delights in a small plate style, so order a few things for the table and savor them together. 

Best Brunch in Cincinnati

Are you looking for a good Cincinnati brunch spot? There are many great options to visit with your family, besties, or significant other!

Maplewood Kitchen and Bar

Start your day with fresh, West Coast-inspired cuisine at Maplewood Kitchen and Bar. Order a cold-pressed juice or brunch cocktail, then try one of the many all-day breakfast offerings. Coffee lovers will also appreciate the restaurant’s specialty coffee options. 

Sleepy Bee

Situated near the trendy Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Sleepy Bee is a well-loved locale for Parisian classics and exquisite patisserie. Order one of their croissants and a cup of coffee for dipping. Don’t forget to ask about their omelet of the day.

Taste of Belgium

The Taste of Belgium is a familiar favorite serving classic waffles all over the Cincinnati area. Bond with your family and friends over one of the many breakfast combos or weekly features. Taste of Belgium is a great place to take picky eaters thanks to its crowd-pleasing, timeless breakfast food.

Cincinnati Coffee Shops To Try

Five friends toast with cups of coffee and lattes while hanging out in a cafe.

Do you consider yourself a coffee snob? We don’t blame you! Our recommendations for the best coffee shops in Cincinnati can help satisfy your caffeine cravings. 

Coffee Emporium

Coffee Emporium offers drinks brewed with ethically grown and roasted coffee beans. It operates two shops in Hyde Park and Over-the-Rhine and seasonally operates carts in City Flea and Montgomery Farmers’ Markets. Keep it simple with their daily brew, or try something new, like the Aztec Warrior drink with cayenne pepper.

Deeper Roots

Similar to Coffee Emporium, Deeper Roots roasts their own coffee beans. If you love home-brewed coffee, be sure to pick up a bag of their whole bean or ground coffee. For those who like sweeter drinks, try a signature concoction like the “Holy Moly” with mocha, cinnamon, and cayenne.

Mom ‘n ‘Em 

Mom ‘n ‘Em was founded in 2015 by the Ferrari brothers, Tony and Austin, as a gift for their mother. The cozy décor, comfy chairs, and great coffee make for the ideal spot to work, study, or chat with friends. You’ll find two Mom ‘n ‘Em locations on the outskirts of Cincinnati, one in Madisonville and the other in Camp Washington. 

Find the Best Cincinnati Apartments With HILLS

Get the most out of the city by living in one of HILLS Properties’ upscale apartments in Cincinnati. Our Cincinnati apartment communities are spread throughout some of the best neighborhoods in the area, offering luxurious amenities and cozy features. Foodies, shopaholics, and adventurers enjoy living in our ideally located Cincinnati apartments. 
Whether you choose our newest up-and-coming community, Vantage at Anderson Towne Center, or our Fox Chase North community, just 20 minutes from downtown, you’ll feel at home in our modern, luxury apartments in Cincinnati. Select one of our Ohio apartment communities to apply online or schedule a tour. We also welcome you to contact us online with any questions.

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