Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a more leisurely weekday lunch, Downtown’s lunch options have expanded.
From Asian cuisine to sandwiches, soups to chicken salad, there’s something for everyone at these nine lunch spots.
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar: Only open for a few weeks, this brightly lit restaurant in the 84.51 building is quickly becoming a Downtown favorite. Maplewood combines walk-up service with high-quality local ingredients. Both sweet and savory brunch and lunch dishes are available: Try the bacon blue cheese scone and the grilled cheese sandwich. 525 Race St. www.facebook.com/MaplewoodKitchen
Prime 47: A high-end restaurant serving lunch at not-so-high-end prices? This is a great spot for a business lunch, with a soup-and-salad combo or its Prime Stack of the Day (a generously portioned sandwich) for $12. Beyond the lunch combos, Prime Stacks are $17 and include a side salad, Parmesan wedges, soup or fruit. Standouts include the crab cake and Prime 47's version of a burger, with Nueske bacon and and balsamic onions. 580 Walnut St. prime47cincy.com
Ingredients: In a hurry, but want something healthy? Ingredients, inside the Westin Cincinnati, is the place for you. Get chopped salads with the ingredients of your choice, freshly made personal pizzas, custom sandwiches and soups. Ingredients has set menu items as well, like a terrific Asian-style chicken salad and a turkey and cranberry sandwich. The line may look long, but it moves quickly. 21 E. Fifth St., inside the Westin Cincinnati. www.ingredientsforyou.com
Cheapside Cafe: On the northern end of Downtown, Cheapside serves nearby design firms and government buildings fast, fresh and local food. Curried chicken salad and muffalettas are standout sandwiches, and the smoked salmon nicoise salad is light and refreshing. Wash it down with Cheapside's coffee, housemade tonic or housemade soda. (Or try my favorite, the espresso chinotto, which combines espresso and tonic.) 326 E. Eighth St. cheapsidecafe.com
Le’s Pho: This small, family-run Vietnamese restaurant serves some of the best pho and banh mi in town, but only at lunchtime during the week. Try chicken, beef or dac biet (a combo) pho, banh mi or bun (noodle salad). Prices range from $4 for banh mi to $6.50 for a large pho or bun salad. Food is served quickly, with condiments on the table (or to go). 3 E. Court St. www.facebook.com/Les-Pho-and-Sandwiches-434462703250836/
Jean-Robert’s Table: Table's French Lunch Tray is one of the worst-kept (or best-kept) secrets in town. For $14, get a four-course lunch that changes weekly; it's seasonal and occasionally thematic (particularly around French holidays, like Bastille Day). The tray includes the soup of the day, a salad, an entree and the perfect amount of dessert. It’s only available at the bar; I like going with a friend to catch up over a leisurely lunch. 713 Vine St. www.jrcincy.com
Fusian: This is sushi for both raw fish lovers and folks who like the cooked stuff. Create your own with brown rice, seaweed or soy wraps, and a variety of toppings, some of which change monthly. My usual order is spicy tuna with brown rice in a seaweed wrap, with crab mix and togarashi on top, but there are many other combinations that you can try, including steak and chicken. It’s easy to eat there or take it back to the office for a working lunch, and a roll is a filling lunch. Multiple locations, including 600 Vine St. fusian.com
Silverglades: This classic deli on Eighth and Sycamore streets has some of the best chicken salad Downtown, hands down. It also serves other classic deli sandwiches, smoothies and a variety of snacks and drinks. Try a sandwich of freshly roasted ham, turkey or beef or the delicious Cuban. 236 E. Eighth St.; also at Findlay Market. silvergladesdeli.com
Hathaway’s: The only classic diner left Downtown, Hathaway’s has quick counter service and takeout. It serves everything from burgers to sandwiches, to classic dishes like sauerkraut and mett and Salisbury steak. Try any of the homemade salads -- chicken, tuna or egg -- or if you’re really craving comfort food, get a PB&J or a grilled cheese sandwich. It also serves breakfast all day, as well as homemade pies and cakes. 441 Vine St. www.facebook.com/hathawaysdiner
Where is your usual lunch spot? Let us know on Facebook or tweet me at @winemedineme!