[Cincinnati] Recommendations for a coming trip

Since this is the most active board here at HO…
I have to be in Cincinnati for some business on the 23rd to the 25th of May. (I have taken the opportunity to secure transportation on Saturday to Indianapolis for the Indy 500, on Sunday… something to check off on my bucket list.)

Our regional boards do not cover this area. Am staying in the downtown area Thursday and Friday in Cincy…Any suggestions for restaurants here with respect to he most popular ethnic or real regional cuisine?

Anything from a counter/truck with paper napkin to “white tablecloth” or anything in between…

Maybe you should try Midwest board?


I did check that first, and could not find anything for the last 3 years (or that matter anything) related to Cincinnati. Thanks for the response!

LOL, it’s not active enough to have its own board.

Sometimes infrequent posters come out for a specific request- I’d start a new thread. Also check NYT 36h travel column - they cover a lot of places, not in depth, but just enough, and a search for that might pop up more recent/relevant info too.


@PHREDDY I don’t know if this will help, but below is a link from Tripadvisor for best restaurants in Cincinnati. I would take it with a grain of salt, but I guess at least you could look at the pictures of the food, and examine some menus, to see if they are to your liking. Unfortunately, Cincinnati doesn’t look like a culinary destination :smile: Good luck!



Here is the continuing towards 20 year old thread from Roadfood. Still current. I can ask too.


Cincinnati is known for a regional scrapple-ish sausage called goetta. I wasn’t able to try it when I was in the area since most of the restaurants I learned of were too far into town (I was passing by the outskirts). But that might work for you!

I personally don’t care for Cincinnati style chili but I do think it is something a person should try if they find regional food of interest.

If you enjoy checking out grocery stores Jungle Jim’s might be of interest. The place is huge - like an entire wall of hot sauce huge. These days with almost anything available online the selection isn’t as amazing as it would have been 15+ years ago. But I’m still glad I checked it out and I was able to pick up some interesting goodies that traveled home with me.

Fried pork tenderloin sandwiches are a regional specialty in Indiana. Think schnitzel on a bun - these things are seriously delicious!

Watch your speed driving to Indiana. The road is flat and straight and easy to speed. Consequently, speed traps are everywhere.

I’ve had good luck with many of the places featured on DDD. This site lets you search the map for the featured restaurants:

Have fun!


Indeed, Jungle Jim’s is legendary.
The idea of goetta makes me slightly queasy
given my aversion to oatmeal in all forms.


Terrific “reply” post, meatn3!


Ok, I enjoyed this more than the NYT’s actual column:

Lots more commentary where that came from (I did the google search - pages full of people complaining about NYT coverage and suggesting alternatives :grin:)


Thanks! When I travel I really try to find regional foods. Aside from often being delicious the foods are often a great lesson about the history of the area. Plus the prices fit nicely with my budget traveling!

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From a friend of a foodie friend, pretty basic, I know :frowning: “Cincinnati’s “low end” signature food is their chili. But they have their complete own take on what is “chili.” It’s not what we would think. You can order it one way, two way, three way, four way, or five way. Those refer to how many things are in it and they know exactly what that means. I like three way. There are two primary chains: Gold Star and Skyline and everyone has an opinion on which is better. I’m a Skyline Chili guy. On the higher end, tell them Taft’s microbrew is a MUST for both beer and food. It’s in the Over The Rhine neighborhood. Another must is Findlay Market.”


Thank you! (I know with spaghetti)

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Thank you for taking the time… I have checked most of the obvious such as trip Advisor, which I find marginally helpful.

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Interesting suggestions, especially the one about the “Pate”!

Indianapolis has a legendary old school steakhouse-

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After Cincinnati, I am meeting a friend and we will be driving up to Indianapolis. I was able to get tickets for the Paddock area at the wall (front row) of the Indianapolis Speedway on Sunday the 26th for the 500. Attending the race for the first time and has been on my bucket list since I was a kid in the early 60’s; watching the race on Wide World Of Sports!
I will definitely check it out.


Just inquired about a reservation… Saturday and Sunday are obviously sold :frowning_face:

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I’d keep trying, especially closer to the date. Things happen, plans change. Maybe dinner can be had at the bar without a reservation?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2