Cincinnati's Trendy Eats

Cincinnati landed a spot on the map in recent years because of our fantastic new restaurants. Since the resurgence of Over-The-Rhine, new and trendy food spots have cropped up and attracted foodies with unique concepts and delicious offerings. All the restaurants in this guide are beautiful places to dine in,  hire young, knowledgeable food and drink lovers, and attract people who have a deep love of food and culture. The menus are small, the portions are small, and each bite is as delicious as the last. I’ve had the pleasure of dining at all these places and I can absolutely guarantee you, it’s impossible to pick a bad place to dine at in this list. Grab your friends, bring your appetite, and enjoy!

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KaZe

1400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Japanese and sushi food lovers, you have found your haven. Kaze is one of the trendy spots that opened up only a few years ago in OTR, and it's got a great reputation in serving amazing modern Japanese food. If you go there when the temperature is comfortable, definitely ask for courtyard seating. The courtyard is absolutely beautiful, complete with decorative plants, overhead string lights and an outdoor bar. Absolute must haves include; pork belly buns, kobe sliders, ramen soup, and any of the nigiri/sashimi and sushi rolls. Your waiter will have excellent recommendations on food and drink items, just ask.

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A Tavola

1220 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

I heard so many raves about the fig and prosciutto pizza at A Tavola, so when I finally had the chance to go that was the pizza I was set on ordering. I think it's easy to be skeptical of a prosciutto pizza with fig jam and arugula, but once I tried it it was easy to see why it has such awesome reviews. It's sweet, it's salty, it's savory and it's amazing. You really can't go wrong with any of the pizzas, though, the chefs really know how to handle that woof fired oven. Make sure you get a salad to kick things off; I really liked the fennel panzanella.

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Bakersfield OTR

1213 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

There's a reason why this restaurant always seems to have an hour and a half plus wait time. Everything on the menu is AMAZING. The tacos will be probably the best you've had in your life (cough, short rib tacos), and don't roll your eyes at that. This place really knows how to do Mexican food and drinks (margaritas are made from scratch). It's always packed but awesome atmosphere and superb staff. They don't take reservations, so head over there an hour or two before you want to eat, put your name down and then explore OTR or have a drink at one of the nearby bars. You'll be very happy you waited.

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The Eagle

1342 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Imagine country cooking with an urban twist. The Eagle prides itself on doing fried chicken right, and they definitely have it down. I always get the fried chicken sandwich, it's a delicious comfort food classic. All you need to order is fried chicken and a few sides to split with your companions, and you'll be in fried chicken heaven. The staff here is really great, too. They're professional and kind but will also take the time to have a conversation with you and goof off a little bit. Come here for awesome comfort food and great hospitality.

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Taste of Belgium

1133 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

These aren't just any waffles. These are authentic Belgium waffles that are light, fluffy and delicious. I always get the Chicken and Waffle, because it's a juicy, tender fried chicken resting on a freshly made Belgium waffle. It comes with sides of Ohio-made maple syrup and hot sauce, just completely dump them on and you'll be happy about it. They have sweet offerings for those who want to satisfy a sweet tooth like banana and nutella waffle or chocolate ganache and candied orange crepes. There's also savory options like the "'Nati" crepes, with eggs, goetta, peppers and onions.

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Findlay Market

1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

This is something you don't want to miss while you're in Cincinnati. Findlay Market is a giant outdoor market chock full of exotic to local foods, flowers and spices. If you're from out of town and planning to stay for awhile, go here to do you grocery shopping. You can easily lose several hours at Findlay checking out all the meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables. There are a few local places that serve food there as well. like Eli's BBQ (they know what they're doing with pulled pork), so stop by and grab a sandwich. You'll be able to experience a lot of Cincinnati in one market, make sure you don't miss out.

Nada

600 South Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Don't go to Nada if you're looking for authentic Mexican food; the food here is more of a modernized, contemporary American version of Mexican. But the food, though a bit pricier, is really excellent. They have a great lunch and dinner selection, but I feel like their brunch is severely underrated. I tried the bacon and egg tacos—tender pork belly, over easy egg and sauteed onion and peppers in the most delicious combination of spices. It's the kind of taste that makes your eyes widen because it's so unexpectedly good.

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Zula

1400 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

If you love mussels, you'll love Zula. It is a wine bar, and they have a very extensive wine list so I'd say it be remiss to go there and not order a glass or two. If you're unsure of what to pick, ask your waiter or waitress for a recommendation and they'll bring you something perfect. Start things off with a few small plates to share with your dining companions, everything's delicious so it's hard to go wrong, and then turn your attention to the mussels. They come in big pots so it's plenty to share with someone, and make sure you order a bread basket to soak up all that yummy sauce the mussels cooked in. The mussels themselves are tender and bursting with flavor. I'm a big fan of the French Classic and Funghi mussels.

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Sotto

114 E 6TH ST, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Authentic, yet modern Italian. Sotto is essentially an underground, but cozy, Italian cucina (kitchen), with exposed brick and dim lights. Usually when I think Italian food, I think of extra large portions and that uncomfortably full feeling you get when you eat too much. But the portions at Sotto are perfect size, and they're mostly smaller plates so you have the option to order a few different items and share with your date or friends. I went for the first time for my birthday, and the staff was exceptionally nice and friendly. I don't have much of a sweet tooth and didn't want any desert, but they still brought a candle for me to blow out, which I thought was really sweet. The experience, food and atmosphere is really great here.

Boca

114 E 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

If you're a true foodie you will really love Boca. Sotto's big sister restaurant, it's noticeably more upscale but with very unique plates. This is a really great place to go for a romantic date or a special occasion. The place is a beautifully decorated, two-story building with an extra large ornament chandelier hanging from the high ceiling. As for the food, the portions are small, so it's best to order several things or their six-course meal and share it with your companion or date. If you have a hard time deciding on the entrees, you also have the option to order several plates in a "tasting portion," so you can try them all. The wait staff really takes pride in what they do, so customer service is excellent.

Sung Korean Bistro -- CLOSED

700 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

My boyfriend lives right down the street from this place, so I always pass it but had never actually gone in to try it until recently. And I was very happy I did! Very modern and trendy looking restaurant, the wait staff is very friendly and the food was so good. I really love Korean food but don't come across truly authentic offerings here in Cincinnati, but Sung gets it just right. I tried the spicy udon noodle bibimbab, and it was definitely really spicy but not over the top, and very flavorful and tasty. They have patio seating here but stick to indoors, the patio is right on the street and the traffic sounds are a little too overwhelming.

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Venice on Vine

1301 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

This is a pizza place you can feel really good about visiting. Venice on Vine is owned and operated by a local nonprofit called Power Inspires Progress. It's PIP's mission to train those who have barriers to employment on furthering education, giving them job experience and further integrating them into the Cincinnati community. The food is prepared by people who really care about what they're doing, so you'll be able to appreciate the delicious pizza and sandwich offerings they have. Located on Vine Street in OTR, Venice is an adorable, semi-hipster pizza place that makes great food and supports a great cause.

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Cheapside Cafe

326 East 8th Street, Cincinnati Ohio, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Cheapside is the epitome of a trendy breakfast and lunch spot. It is a little hipster but the food is so good. They serve breakfast all day and have a small selection of salads and sandwiches for lunch. I've had their Grilled CHZ sandwich and pulled pork sandwich on separate occasions and was very pleased. They also have amazing coffee, and they even make their own house made soda, which you should try if you're in the mood. I wasn't the biggest fan, but that could have just been my personal taste.

Last updated at Oct 04, 2016