Bow Tie Cafe is prime meeting spot day or night

Posted at 10:30 AM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 10:50:12-05

Seth Walsh and Erin Hinson have been asking people, “What’s your favorite thing to do in Cincinnati?” Whatever the answer is, they do. This is one of their adventures.

When you cross the “Big Mac” bridge coming into Cincinnati, you can see that there’s a little church at the top of a hill to your right. That church serves as the icon for Mount Adams; Bow Tie Café is on the walking tour route to it.

As we mentioned in our previous post on Mount Adams, there’s so much to do that we actually missed Bow Tie Café on our first visit. Thus, we went back to #UnlockCincinnati.

Erin: The last time we went to Mount Adams, it was specifically to go to Bow Tie Cafe. After we published our (mis)adventure, Nancy, a friend of ours who lives in Mount Adams and had not yet herself visited the eatery, promised to help us complete the journey. Yes, it took us two attempts, but we finally made it to Bow Tie Cafe.

Seth: There is a parking garage at the corner of Monastery and St. Gregory Street that usually has spots available. Parking in Mount Adams during the day may require off-street parking if the garage is full. Belvedere Street tends to have a few free, off-street spots. Be sure to put on your emergency brake, though.

Despite it being called Bow Tie Café, there is no need to dress up. Go in whatever makes you comfortable – bow tie optional.

The Bow Tie Cafe is situated at ground level when you enter. Stairs lead down to a below-grade sitting area. It’s pretty cool. It’s a great setting for a lunch date or to set up camp for the day and get some work done.

Erin: If bow ties are optional, then why is it called the Bow Tie Cafe? (I can’t be the only one that wonders this.) This cafe is part of the Bow Tie Cause, started by former Cincinnati Bengal Dhani Jones, which supports charities related to fighting leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jones started the Bow Tie Cause because of a close friend who had the disease. Check out the story on its website.

The café opened in 2010 and has been serving coffee, espresso, great salads, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, smoothies and even cocktails since. The variety of food offers light but filling options for any craving -- and its breakfast menu is just as expansive! We recommend this as your new meeting spot for any time of day. It’s a shame it took us five years to visit, but it was worth the wait. Seth got the buffalo chicken wrap, which quickly became a favorite of his. I got the veggie sandwich. It was delicious and had a flavorful twist with my favorite cheese -- feta!

Seth: The first time that we went wandering around Mount Adams, we smelled something awesome coming from behind the Monk fountain and walked straight past the Bow Tie sign. (Hey, you can’t fault me for finding that statue so distracting!)

Nancy treated us to lunch at Bow Tie Cafe, and it was a really enjoyable experience. I’m always a fan of seemingly going underground. Erin even treated herself to drinking more than just water! (Yes, it was that good a place.)

But frankly, I am still distracted by the Monk outside the Bow Tie Cafe. Do you know the story behind it? If you do, let me know, because I really want to know what inspired such a fun statue.

Why go: No matter the season, the Bow Tie Café will have beverages that hit the spot. With great options for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this cafe will be your new stop along the Mount Adams walking tour. You’re also supporting a great cause along your way to #UnlockCincinnati. What’s not to like?

Bow Tie Cafe
Address: 1101 St. Gregory St., Mount Adams
Price: Most meals under $10
Parking: On-street parking and garages
Time commitment: 1 hour
Pair it with: Mount Adams Walking Tour


We invite you to follow this journey in real time online at, on Twitter (@UnlockThe513, @SethTWalsh and @erinhinson2), Instagram (@sethtwalsh and @erinhinson2) and Facebook, or by following #UnlockCincinnati. Or you can email us at

Seth Walsh is passionate about Cincinnati. He spends much of his time working in the community as the executive director of the Sedamsville CDC and project director for the CDC Association. In his spare time, he travels Cincinnati to find the hidden gems he has too often overlooked.
Erin Hinson is a strong believer in local business. She was the youngest participant ever in Xavier University’s X-LAB Business Accelerator Program and has since started her own social media marketing firm. In her spare time, she is an avid gardener and fitness champion.