It’s no secret that Cincinnati and I had a rocky start. There were many tears, bits of grief and a lot of hard work as I started my life here two years ago today.
While I still dream of owning a ranch-style home on a few acres of land in Indiana so I can drink my morning cup of coffee while looking at cornfields and cows in a misty haze while sun rises, I’m content and thankful to be in the Queen City.
A few weeks ago, a family friend reached out to me and asked for a few suggestions of things to do in Cincinnati on a short visit. As I sat down to type a few things to do, I realized that the place of Cincinnati (not just my beloved community here) is slowly becoming part of me and our affection for one another deepens. So in celebration of my Cincy-versary, here are some of my favorite nooks and crannies in the city.*
At this point, Deeper Roots is my favorite coffee shop. It’s the best espresso I’ve had in Cincinnati and connected with the cutest children’s book shop.
Redtree is another wonderful coffee shop in Oakley. They also sell local art and handicrafts, so it’s a fun place to buy a gift too!
Aglamesis Brothers is a local ice cream place. When you step in the shop, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Graeter’s ice cream is still my favorite, but the atmosphere of Aglamesis Brothers tops the chart.
The Sleepy Bee is a cute little brunch place. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s darling and has a wonderful menu.
If you like burgers, Oakley Pub is delicious. Indoor seating is so-so, but they have a great outdoor area.
Coffee Emporium is the oldest set of coffee shops in Cincinnati. Their Hyde Park location is really cute, especially if it’s nice weather and you want to sit outside.
Carl’s Deli is classic sandwich shop with lots of fun options.
One of my favorite restaurants in Cincinnati is Taste of Belgium. There’s a downtown location, but I love the one near Hyde Park.
Cincinnati is known for their parks. And one of my favorite parks is Ault Park. It would be the perfect place to go on a pick with sandwiches from Carl’s.
Just outside Hyde Park in the adjacent neighborhood, O’Bryonville, is the cutest bakery called BonBonerie. It would be the perfect place to stop for a sweet treat and cup of coffee. They also serve meals.
Also, in O’Bryonville is the restaurant Son of a Preacher Man. It’s good soul food. I’ve never been there for lunch, but loved our dinner experience.
Findlay Market is one of the oldest markets in the nation. It’s filled with all sorts of food vendors and restaurants. Eli’s BBQ is hands-down my favorite food vendor there. The architecture in the neighborhood is beautiful.
The Krohn Conservatory is one of my favorites, and it’s adjacent to one of Cincinnati’s famous parks, Eden Park.
The Cincinnati Art Museum is free and really well done. They charge you for museum parking, but there are places to park for free if you’re willing to walk a few minutes. And it’s right next to Eden Park too!
You should definitely walk the Purple People Bridge.
If you want a fancy dinner, Sotto is where I’ll go. It’s a bit spendy, but it’s my favorite place for a special occasion. If you go, go all out (wine, bruschetta, appetizers, pasta, dessert… you know, the works!).
Cincinnati, you keep getting better and better. Looking forward to (hopefully) many more years to get to know one another!
*Though I admire folks like Ray Cannata (aka, the man who ate New Orleans), I’m a self-admitted homebody who loves to cook and eat in my home with those I love. Thus, this is not a comprehensive list. Know there are many wonderful places to eat and visit not mentioned here.