CINCINNATI — Booking reservations at the newest, hottest restaurants in Cincinnati can be a headache, but maybe that's something to celebrate because Cincinnati was just named one of "America's Next Great Food Cities."
Listed in a recent Food & Wine article, Cincinnati is paving the way as one of the “most exciting up-and-coming destinations for food lovers” – though we already know this.
Cincinnati may be known to outsiders for big names such as Joe Burrow, Joey Votto or Fiona the hippo, but the Queen City is no stranger to offering a good bite to eat for its dedicated and prideful residents.
Downtown and Over-the-Rhine spots like Goose & Elder, Fausto and Mita's were mentioned in the article, but Food & Wine also touched on some of the food ventures outside of the metropolitan area. The Oakley Kitchen opened it doors in summer 2021, and East Walnut Hills is serving up some craft cocktails at Anjou showing Cincinnati neighborhoods are making a name for themselves as well.
While there’s always a new place to grab lunch or dinner – almost too many to keep track of – Cincinnati is also home to multiple food expos and festivals hosted annually. Taste of Cincinnati, a beloved annual Cincinnati food festival, is returning May 28-30 after the pandemic has thrown a wrench into plans the past few years.
Furthermore, two household names in Cincinnati were included in OpenTable’s “Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2021.” The Central Business District’s Sotto took one spot and Over-the-Rhine’s Pepp & Dolores took the other. The two restaurants both feature authentic Italian dishes for customers, and their accolades speak to Cincinnati’s hold on the food world.
We all know that beloved spots like Skyline Chili, Graeter's ice cream and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse or the Precinct are go-to places to satiate food needs. The legacies of these long-standing restaurants aren't lost on us Cincinnatians, and while outsiders may find our food choices quirky or odd, we take pride in them — we even have a festival dedicated specifically to goetta. Tradition is strong in Cincinnati, and while that will forever remain true, new chefs and restaurateurs are trying to leave their mark on the Queen City. In lieu of that, innovation and new ventures are at the forefront.
Recently, MadTree Brewing opened Alcove on Vine Street. Open seven days a week, the new eatery is “warm, inviting and casual and features MadTree beers and house-made cocktails, sustainably-sourced wines and a range of seasonal farm-to-table offerings from chef Stephen Williams,” per the restaurant’s website.
Furthermore, beloved coffee and wine shop Mom ‘n ‘em Coffee & Wine — also mentioned by Food & Wine — is branching itself out and opening a new location, which they announced via their Instagram. Opening in Madisonville, Mom ‘n ‘em is setting up shop in the eastside as well as its original Camp Washington location.
The recognition not only sheds a light on Cincinnati’s many dedicated chefs and restaurant owners, but its also giving Cincinnatians another thing to take pride in around the city and that shouldn’t be hard for us at all.