Where to Eat, Drink & Stay in Cincinnati

I refused to believe that all Cincinnati had to offer from a culinary perspective was Skyline Chili. Listen, I'm sure it's fine. But, this is a modern, emerging town, full of artists, advocates and designers. There has to be good food here. 

So, I put out a call to my friends and the recommendations came rolling in. I'm going to share a few of the places I loved -- and also the spots that are next on my to-do list. Because 48 hours isn't enough to get to know this city. I'll be back.
Alleyway art at 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati
Where to Stay: 21C Museum Hotel
Is it a hotel within a museum or a museum within a hotel? Who knows? But, 21C is a mash up of sweet - cool - fun. Creatively designed spaces abound in this hotel concept. While I stayed there, the exhibit was called The Future is Female and featured amazing women artists. 

I was greeted by 21C's friendly staff and an upgraded room. They gave me a choice of a quieter interior room or a view of the city. (I choose city view and woke up to gorgeous sunrises.) The beds were comfortable, there were tons of outlets, fast wifi and great bathroom products. 
Room at 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati
If you're not staying at the hotel, you can still visit the exhibit, the gift store and Metropole, the  restaurant in the lobby.
21C Museum Hotel is located at 609 Walnut Street.

Where to Happy Hour: Kaze in Over-The-Rhine
If the weather works, escape to the patio at Kaze Sushi Bar & Gastro Pub for happy hour. I had $5 rosé, spicy tuna rolls and yellowtail nigiri, all while meeting a fabulous group of women who have made Cincinnati home. There were actually three of them who had moved there from DC. 
Kaze OTR is located at 1400 Vine Street.

Happy hour with some amazing women in Cincinnati
Where to Get Breakfast: Cheapside Cafe
This spot is SO CUTE. Before I get to the food and coffee, can we talk about the design aesthetic? It's all weathered white wood and air plants. I wanted to immerse myself in there all day... but clients called. So, I ordered a perfect latte and an incredible breakfast sandwich that layered egg, bacon and pimento cheese. I know, dead. It was Instagram egg porn for days.
Egg, bacon and pimiento cheese breakfast sandwich at Cheapside Cafe
All that, plus a great outdoor patio for upcoming fall mornings. Don't. Miss. This. Spot.
Cheapside Cafe is located at 326 East 8th Street.

Where to Get To Go Lunch: Allez Bakery
Allez Bakery is owned by family of DC's Nikki Rappaport, so I had to stop by. They have amazing breads and sandwiches. I grabbed two to-go to bring my client for lunch. We had the chicken salad and the jerk tofu (at the recommendation of the baker.) Both were delicious.
Allez Bakery in Cincinnati
If I was in Cincinnati just for fun, I'd say, pick up sandwiches from Allez and then go on a wander to see how many amazing works of street art you can find. It's a heck of a way to spend the day.
Allez Bakery is located at 1208 Main Street.

My To Do List Next Time:
  • Sundry & Vine for craft cocktails 
  • Venice on Vine for perfect pizza and supporting a great cause, job training and placement 
  • Salazar for seasonal farm-focused menu by Chef Jose Salazar
  • Ché for Argentinian grilled meats, salads and sides
  • Please for gorgeous plates and a neat back garden bar with craft cocktails
  • Sotto for Italian eats and wine in an underground, downtown hideaway
  • Boca for seasonal plates by Chef David Falk
  • Rooted Juicery for smoothies, bowls and other delicious, but healthy bites
Got recs? Leave them in the comments!

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