Cincinnati probably isn’t the first place you think of when looking for new restaurants or a bustling city life, but locals are workinghard to change that image. Not only is Cincinnati home to breweries like Sam Adams and various craft brewers, the downtown area is breaking out some amazing restaurants as well. Here are five reasons to visit Cincinnati. By the end of the trip, you may consider moving there.
Kreuger’s Tavern is a local bar and restaurant that serves a large selection of craft brews to pair with its menu items. Here the meat is ground in-house daily to create fresh sausages and classics like the Kreuger Burger: two patties with cheese, special sauce, shredded lettuce, pickles, tomato, topped with a challah bun. Most of the beers on the menu are canned and from local breweries.
This is one of the most popular bars in Cincinnati, and it’s easy to see why. Here, mixologist Molly Wellman serves up craft cocktails with a twist. All of her drinks are inspired by cocktail trends dating back to the 1700’s. Wellman stresses using only the freshest ingredients and keeping the drinks simple (no crazy gastronomy projects here). One thing you might find missing from this bar? TVs! At Japp’s, the staff wanted to create an authentic cocktail experience and engage its customers in conversation about what they’re drinking. You’ll have to visit a sport’s bar if you need to watch the game.
There is no shortage of breweries in Cincinnati, but Taft’s Ale House takes the cake. The oldest protestant church in the area, St. Paul’s Evangelical, fell into disarray and was eventually condemned. Enter Taft’s — the owners of the establishment renovated the church from top to bottom sparing no expense. The interior is reminiscent of President William Howard Taft’s home and time period. Many of the beers on the menu are also named in whimsical manners as homage to the 27th President, like the 27 Pils. This bar, microbrewery, and restaurant is frequented by families and of course craft beer-lovers.
If you’re a movie buff, you’ll want to see what they’re doing at The Overlook Lodge in Cincinnati. This rustic bar is inspired by the hotel in Stephen King’s movie The Shining. They’re serving up signature cocktails like the hatchet: tequila, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, lime, finished with a streak of Spanish spices which is meant to reminiscent of a blood streak. Drinking this while watching a scary movie at the bar, what could be better for a horror film enthusiast?
If you’re looking for a roundup of great beer in the area, look no further than Cincinnati’s Bockfest. This is a celebration of bock beer and the coming of spring in the Over-the-Rhine district. Being the largest and oldest Bockfest in the United States, this is one party you do not want to miss. The festival starts with a parade led by a goat pulling a keg of the aforementioned beer and ends at Bockfest hall where the ceremonial keg is blessed. There are of course beer tastings, home brewing competitions, and great food. If you want to look into the rich history of Over-the-Rhine’s brewing heritage take a tour of the underground brewery tunnel tour. Director of operations, Craig Maness, for American Legacy Tours has worked hard to ensure this tour is a differnet experience. It was ranked as National Geographic’s top five underground tours in the U.S.