CINCINNATI -- We have had guests in town a few times, but this weekend our best friends from Florida are visiting.
Our family of four has been strategizing for weeks about the best places to take our three guests – the places that best show off the city we have come to love.
Here are the top nine places we are planning to share with our friends.
NOTE: Cincinnati chili is an acquired taste. It’s a beautiful, glorious acquired taste. But sadly it is not for everyone. So we don’t take every guest for Cincinnati chili. We may or may not take the guys to Skyline.
1. The Reds: We are home to major league baseball’s first team. We have a great stadium in Great American Ball Park. Said stadium serves some fantastic local beer. Plus the aforementioned Skyline Chili. Besides, it is baseball. What better way to spend a summer evening.
3. Rhinegeist: The brewery is just a few blocks away. There’s probably much debate about this, but my wife and I consider Rhinegeist to be the king of local breweries. The boys don't get a vote. But the wide-open space offers pingpong and cornhole to occupy the kiddos.
4. Listermann: Speaking of breweries, we have to take guests to Listermann. We consider it our neighborhood brewery. It’s a little over a mile from our house. So we can walk (stumble?) home. The taproom is massively improved. And now Renegade Street Eats is serving food there. Great, inventive beer and a low-key taproom, close to home? Yes. Please.
5. Sleepy Bee Cafe: We take every guest who stays with us to Sleepy Bee for brunch at least once. That’s challenging because this place is SO popular. It can be hard to get in. But everything on the menu is heavenly. My favorite is the Queen City Bee sandwich with goetta, a "broken yolk" egg and apples. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. But the pancakes are really good too. Luckily, my kids never eat them all. So, like the vulture I am, I get to scavenge some of that fluffy goodness. The only downside is after brunch here, no one wants lunch.
6. Holtman’s Donuts: Speaking of breakfast/brunch, Holtman’s is another must. If guests are only here for one morning it presents such a conundrum -- Sleepy Bee or Holtman's. The specialty doughnuts catch guests’ attention. But every doughnut they make is:
7. Dewey’s Pizza: Specialty pizza is always a hit. For this visit, we are ordering takeout from Dewey’s. But I love to eat there thanks to the great draft beer list and good tunes. The seasonal pizzas are always worth checking out. But, thanks to this awesome piece by Grace Yek, my go-to at Dewey’s is the Dr. Dre pizza with banana peppers added.
8. Washington Park/OTR: It’s great to take guests on a brief walking tour around Music Hall, Washington Park and Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. There are shopping opportunities, great places to eat and historic buildings. Plus, just telling the story of OTR’ s comeback is compelling.
9. Bellevue Hill Park: This is our go-to view of the city. We like to go here after hitting OTR, so guests can see Music Hall, Washington Park and more from above. The view is stunning.
That’s our list. Where are your go-to places to take out-of-town guests?
Mike Canan is editor of WCPO.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @Mike_Canan.