Yahoo Food on the Road: A Weekend in Cincinnati

Yahoo Food on the Road: A Weekend in Cincinnati

February 16, 2016

If you don’t live in Cincinnati, your idea of the cuisine might stop after Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream.

But in the last few years, lots of small, independent restaurants and breweries have sprung up in the city, especially in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood north of downtown. 

The neighborhood originally got the moniker because it housed German immigrants and was across the Erie Canal. The area fell on hard times, and was the site of the 2001 riots in the city. 

Restaurateurs like Dan Wright, who was a chef in Chicago, were one of the first to take a chance investing in the area. He opened Senate, a restaurant serving up creative hot dogs, six years ago.

“The neighborhood was as low as it could go,” Wright said, remembering the empty storefronts. “It could only go up.”

Now the area is now buzzing and dotted with small, Brooklyn-style restaurants and shops specializing in pretzels, fancy donuts, and coffee. The Eagle, which specializes in fried chicken, usually runs a two-hour wait on weekends.

“You’d be hard pressed to find another three block area in another city with this much variety,” Wright said.

Lower rent and cost of living has given many entrepreneurs more freedom to experiment. Molly Wellmann, who started opening bars after she moved back home to Cincinnati from San Francisco, has a knack for discovering neighborhoods on the verge of being hot. She’s now involved with four bars, a catering company, and a restaurant.

“I could never do what I’m doing here in San Francisco,” she said. “I talk to my friends there and think, ‘I could open five places for what you are spending on one.’”

Yahoo Food took a long weekend trip to explore all the area had to offer, eating and drinking our way through the city. Click through above to see some of our favorite places.

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