Ultimate Guide to the 10 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati

February 24, 2020
Food & Drink
jason wolfe

These restaurants consistently get the best ratings from local patrons just like you!

a waiter holds two places of food

Everyone enjoys going out and having a great meal, but not all restaurant experiences are created equal! The best restaurants in Cincinnati need to have the right combination of innovative and delicious recipes, have helpful and attentive service, and then put it all together in a warm and welcoming environment. No matter what kind of food is your favorite, you just know when you find a restaurant that consistently provides these requirements you’re going to keep coming back for more. 


It’s hard to please everyone all the time, but the restaurants on this “best of” list seem to have no problem doing that. While we can’t put everyone’s favorite restaurant on this list, we have put the ones that have garnered many rave reviews and whose rating reflects their excellence. So let’s see what restaurants are on Cincinnati’s best restaurant list!


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The Melting Pot - 5 Stars on TripAdvisor

Enjoy gourmet fondue with friends in a fun and welcoming environment

Cheers! A group of women have a drink at the meltimf pot
Whether you choose sweet or savory, you’re going to be pleased with your meal here. Image courtesy of The Melting Pot.

meltingpot.com | 11023 Montgomery Rd. | Sixteen Mile Stand

When you walk into the Melting Pot in Cincinnati you’re greeted by the welcoming aroma of melting cheese, just waiting to be enjoyed over drinks and laughs. The collaborative nature of this fun restaurant is just one of the reasons locals love it--the other part could be due to it having the cheesiest (or chocolatey) fondue options in the city!

“We LOVE the Melting Pot! There is no better place to celebrate your special occasion or special date night!” -TripAdvisor Review

The Precinct - 4.5 Stars on TripAdvisor

Spend a night out in one of the best steakhouses in the city

warm lit dining room
The historic atmosphere is wonderful, but people keep coming back for the steak! Image courtesy of The Precinct.

jeffruby.com/precinct

311 Delta Ave.

Columbia-Tusculum

Cincinnati has many steakhouses, but none seem to compare to this old-school restaurant located in a former police precinct. You don’t get to be on the list of the top 10 steakhouses in the country without doing a lot of things right, and the Precinct seems to do them all. No matter your favorite cut of steak, prepared to be blown away by the ambiance, food, and service at this Cincinnati staple.

“We couldn’t have had a better experience dining out. The food, the service, & the atmosphere combined makes this the best restaurant in the city.” -TripAdvisor Review

Pepp and Dolores - 4.5 Stars on Yelp

You’ll feel like family at this amazing Italian restaurant

Sage and buttnernut squash ravioli

You’ll feel like you just walked into your own kitchen! Image courtesy of Pepp and Dolores.

peppanddolores.com

1501 Vine St.

Over-the-Rhine


If a welcoming restaurant that feels more like your grandparents’ house--and also serves super comforting food is your thing-- then Pepp and Dolores is right up your alley. It has been a hit in Cincinnati because of their attention to detail--they know how to put just the right amount of sauce, cheese, or spice in their dishes as well as in their popular cocktails. These family recipes have been bringing people to the table for years, so let it bring yours together as well!


“Amazing! I loved everything. The ambiance, our server was great, the whole look of this place.” -Yelp Review

Delwood 5 - Stars on Yelp 

Delicious new takes on all your favorite classics!

fried chicken and fresh salad

You can’t go wrong with any of the menu items at this restaurant. Image courtesy of Delwood.

delwoodcincy.com | 3204 Linwood Ave. | Mt. Lookout

Delwood is one of the best infusions of American classics with a little bit of Latin flavor. Where else can you order up a chicken sandwich topped with rocoto aioli and salsa criolla? If it sounds a little different--that’s a good thing and according to satisfied customers--and one of the best reasons to keep coming back! Allow the friendly staff to escort you to your cozy table, and prepare to try as many menu items as you can!

“Really impressed with the latest concept in this space! The service was great, the chicken and sauces are SO delicious and they were super kind and accommodating.” -Yelp Review

Otto’s - 4.5 Stars on TripAdvisor

This Southern cuisine restaurant should be on the top of your list to try!

soup and sandwich

Try out an updated version of some comfort-food classics. Image courtesy of Otto’s.

ottosonmain.com | 521 Main St. | Covington, KY

There’s something incredibly comforting about good Southern cooking, and whatever that is, Otto’s has appeared to have mastered it. Since 2003 it has been treating customers to some of the area’s best short ribs, bourbon marinated pork, and fried green tomatoes--and is why this place comes up as many people’s favorite restaurant. You’ll love the cozy atmosphere of thise place once you arrive, and no matter what you order, it’s going to be amazing!

“We always enjoy eating at Otto's! The atmosphere is so fun, the food is always delicious and the staff is professional and friendly. This is the restaurant we take family and friends to when they come into the area.” -TripAdvisor Review

LouVino OTR - 4.5 Stars on Yelp

If you’re into small plates to share, this restaurant is a must-visit

charteucerie plate

Stop in and order a couple of plates to share with the table. Image courtesy of LouVino OTR.

louvino.com/otr | 1142 Main St. | Over-the-Rhine

Small plates are always fun to share, and it’s a great way to try a lot of what the restaurant has to offer. At LouVino, the chef creates interesting twists on all your favorite large plates such as steak frites, grilled pork tenderloin, or shrimp and grits and pares them down so they’re more shareable. 

When you can try more menu options, it also means you can sample some of their wines or special cocktails that pair very well with each dish. Even if you’d like to stop in when you’re flying solo, the portions are generous enough you will definitely have enough to bring home.

“We went to LouVino for apps and wine. Their wine selection is incredible to say the least. The flatbreads and apps were delicious and the staff was very nice.” -Yelp Review

Sotto - 4.5 Stars on Yelp

Gather friends and family for a rustic Italian dinner

Intimate candleit dinner with plates of pasta

What’s more satisfying than homemade pasta, sauce, and bread? Image courtesy of Sotto.

sottocincinnati.com | 118 E 6th St. | Downtown

As soon as you come down the stairs and walk into this interesting restaurant, you can tell you’re in for a fun evening. The darker ambiance sets an intimate atmosphere, but is also very welcoming--if you don't have a reservation, you most likely can find room at the communal table instead! But whatever you do, make sure you come hungry because the homemade pasta and sauces are something everyone needs to try. There are also plenty of items that can be shared with the table as well, such as goat cheese and honey grilled bread and the popular ricotta donuts too.

“Superb authentic Italian cuisine centered in the Downtown Cincy. From the homemade pasta to meats and dessert.” -Yelp Review

Karrikin Spirits Company - 4.5 Stars on Yelp

Come for the original spirit creations and stay for the gourmet food

a long wood table filled with people and food
Be sure to try out one of their popular sparkling spirits with one of their appetizers! Image courtesy of Karrikin Spirits Company.

karrikinspirits.com | 3717 Jonlen Dr. | Fairfax

Karrikin is a unique establishment that distills spirits, sparkling spirits, sodas, and even beer in an area that has seen its fair share of whiskey production. They truly pride themselves on creating products that go from grain to glass--each step of their process is done with fresh and handpicked ingredients, ensuring the best possible taste for their drinks. But when you stay for the food as well, you’re going to be treated to homemade food that complement their alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Just in case you can’t decide, you can’t go wrong with butternut spaetzle or fireplace snapper!

“Overall this place was super nice and everything tasty and enjoyable. I will definitely be back to explore the rest of their menu - both food and drink wise!” -Yelp Review

Please - 4.5 Stars on Yelp

The perfect bistro to have lunch, dinner, or an in between snack!

fried chicken and capers

Order a la carte or choose a tasting menu--either way you’re in for a delicious meal! Image courtesy of Please.

pleasecincinnati.com | 1405 Clay St. | Over-the-Rhine

Please is a relaxed, yet refined, restaurant that wants customers to feel right at home as they serve up eclectic and interesting fare. The chef is never afraid to take on new flavor combinations, and if the reviews are any indication, people love the results. You can choose a tasting menu and get a whole world of seamlessly blended flavors--or you can choose to order a la carte--which is highly recommended when you’re sipping their fresh made cocktails at the bar.

“All in all, I loved watching the open kitchen from my table, and the service was wonderful. I will definitely be going back to entertain guests from out of town!” -Yelp Review

Abigail Street - 4.5 Stars on Yelp

If you’re looking for a creative and adventurous menu, this is it!

A large plate of jambalaya

Whether you come for dinner or for cocktails, you’ll be impressed by the freshness and quality of the ingredients in both. Image courtesy of Abigail Street.

abigailstreet.com | 114 Vine St. | Over-the-Rhine

Known in Cincinnati as one of the best places to get tapa-style dishes, Abigail Street has quickly grown to a favorite among local patrons. Items off their interesting menu include lamb spaghetti, wood grilled octopus, and Kung Pao chickpea tofu. But don’t forget to try out their selection of red and white wine on tap, or their uniquely fashioned cocktails which will have you counting down the days until you can return to this spot!

“I've been here twice now and the food is amazing. Will definitely be going back again to try more dishes!” -Yelp Review

The Cincinnati food scene is varied and nuanced, with lots of options for adventurous diners! Based on patrons’ reviews, these are some of the top restaurants in the city, but don’t take their word for it, try them out for yourself! What do you consider the best restaurant in Cincinnati? Let us know in the comments!


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