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The Best Restaurants in Cincinnati, According to our Tastemakers

The "Queen City" of Cincinnati is one of the jewels of the Midwest, offering an exciting, growing Ohio hot spot with a thriving cultural scene, blossoming economy, and exceptional culinary scene. The best restaurants in Cincinnati are glowing examples of that excellent culinary scene, mixing the traditional tastes of the American Midwest with an expanding number of diverse food influences. But where are the smartest, savviest diners in Cincinnati heading out to when they're looking for a meal out? Welcome to our Tastemaker List. Here, we've gathered information from the city's in-the-know diners to put together a list of the best restaurants in Cincinnati. From local places serving the city's special chili recipe to downtown hot spots with top-notch fusion dinners, the best restaurants in Cincinnati have something for everyone. Grab a table and enjoy a top Cincinnati dinner tonight!

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The OpenTable Team
12 Restaurants
Updated February 25, 2020
Restaurants:Crown Republic - Gastropub, Salazar, Metropole @ 21c Museum Hotel
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:American
Neighborhoods:Cincinnati, Central Business District
A photo of Crown Republic - Gastropub restaurant

Crown Republic - Gastropub

$$$$
American
Cincinnati
4.7
891 reviews
This downtown restaurant is at the top of the list when it comes to the best restaurants in Cincinnati. Crown Republic is the place to go for creative cocktails and excellent rustic-style small plates. Start with the everything knots, crusted garlic knots with whipped vegetable butter. Fried chicken gobbets come with brine malt and honey hot sauce, and Yemeni mussels come with Moroccan curry, coconut, and sweet potato. On the cocktail menu, try the "Tipsy Beet" with vodka and beet shrub or the "Queen's Crown" made with Stoli, Malibu rum, and strawberry champagne.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Salazar restaurant

Salazar

$$$$
American
Cincinnati
4.8
671 reviews
An upscale eatery from celebrated chef Jose Salazar, this Republic Street hot spot is one of the top places for a relaxed dinner in the Queen City. The seasonal restaurant features farm-inspired dishes with a local flair. A "nibbles" menu boasts Kentucky paddlefish caviar, fried pimento cheese fritters, and local grilled bread with bone marrow butter. The local flair continues in main dishes. Go for the Ohio wagyu sirloin steak with succotash, plums, and chanterelle mushroom butter. Homemade spaghetti comes with Ohio sweet corn and heirloom cherry tomatoes with savory herbs. Try one of the local Cincinnati beers on tap, like the 50West Coffee Please or rotating Streetside draft.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Metropole @ 21c Museum Hotel restaurant

Metropole @ 21c Museum Hotel

$$$$
American
Central Business District
4.7
2382 reviews
The 21c Museum Hotel is one of the finest destinations for dining in all of Cincinnati. Right in the heart of the city and close to the Aronoff Center of the Arts, the Metropole restaurant is the place to go to for a drink or a meal after a day sightseeing. The Metropole menu is creative and cosmopolitan, with a full range of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Try the diver sea scallops with charred leeks, the grilled chicken with compressed melon, or the strip loin with farmer's cheese. The "sharable" menu features chilled cantaloupe soup, Panzanella, and flank steak tartare.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Goose & Elder restaurant

Goose & Elder

$$$$
American
Over the Rhine
4.7
561 reviews
Cincinnati's historic Finlay Market is the spot for Goose & Elder, one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati. The brainchild of celebrated Cincinnati chef Jose Salazar, Goose & Elder is a modern and engaging spot with a straightforward and engaging menu. The "Elder Greens" menu features a Big Salad with farm greens and seasonal tomatoes along with a grain bowl with seasonal vegetables. For a starter, go for the chicken wings with Calabrian chili rip or roasted bone marrow with sourdough toast. Mains include duck leg confit with grits, peppercorn-crusted sirloin steak, and a fried bologna sandwich made with American cheese.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sacred Beast Diner restaurant

Sacred Beast Diner

$$$$
American
Over the Rhine
4.7
1317 reviews
The Sacred Beast is an Over-The-Rhine spot in Cincinnati with a modern twist on classic diner dishes. A hip and lively place, Sacred Beast delivers plenty of creative cuisine in a refined atmosphere. The "Breakfast All Day" menu is a highlight. Try the lemon ricotta pancakes with Ohio maple syrup or the hearty diner breakfast with soft scrambled eggs, maple-glazed pork belly, and confit tomato. For an entree, go for the "One Big Ass Meatball." It's exactly what it sounds like - an oversized meatball with stuffed rapini alongside spicy garlic tomato sauce. Don't miss the Milwaukee-styled bratwurst with Dusseldorf mustard and griddled potatoes.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of BOCA restaurant

BOCA

$$$$
Contemporary European
Central Business District
4.9
4515 reviews
This upscale spot in the heart of the city is an elegant spot continually mentioned as one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati. The artful, stylish dishes take full advantage of local ingredients and styles to create a wide range of favorites. Start with the Rockefeller-style oysters, foie gras torchon, or Pommes souflees "1949" style. Seafood includes a bluefin tuna "a la Plancha" with summer beans and brown butter almond and halibut Grenoblise with parsnip puree. BOCA also features one of the best drink menus in Cincinnati. There are an extensive wine list and plenty of local beers from breweries like Jackie O's, Rhinegeist, Urban Artifact, and Fat Head's.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Orchids at Palm Court restaurant

Orchids at Palm Court

$$$$
Unspecified
Ohio
4.8
2333 reviews
This downtown location in the middle of Cincinnati's Netherland Plaza hotel is a spot for exceptional people-watching in a classic, upscale environment. Grab a glass or a bottle from the superb Orchids wine list and start the meal with blue cheese beignets, smoked salmon "tater tots," or tuna crudo with passion fruit and spiced cashews. Mains include prime New York strip, dry-aged duck breast, and chateaubriand with Mousseline potatoes. This is also a spot to save room for dessert. An in-house bakery produces favorites like pineapple upside-down cake and chocolate velvet cake.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sotto restaurant

Sotto

$$$$
Italian
Central Business District
4.9
5917 reviews
This basement dining spot is one of the best restaurants in Cincinnati. With a homely, rustic feel and a creative Italian menu, Sotto is a great place for dinner with friends and family. Appetizers feature blue oven tortano bread with olive oil and goat cheese with hazelnut honey and grilled bread. For the main course, try the wild mushroom risotto with Amish butter or the breaded pork loin with capers and lemon. A grilled Creekstone porterhouse is the perfect dish for two to six people.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Le Bar A Boeuf restaurant

Le Bar A Boeuf

$$$$
French American
Cincinnati
4.8
878 reviews
The upscale Bar a Boeuf delivers diners an excellent view of the river alongside some of the best burgers in Cincinnati. The highly-customizable burger menu features beef, bison, lamb, or wagyu burgers with a full selection of toppings. Try a bison burger with goat cheese and roasted portobello, or a lamb burger with bearnaise sauce, brie, and bacon. Another menu highlight? The beef tartare and toast served with an egg mimosa. Don't miss the bechamel macaroni and cheese with lobster or brined beef cheeks.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The View at Shires' Garden restaurant

The View at Shires' Garden

$$$$
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Cincinnati
4.5
1052 reviews
As diners can guess from the name, the vistas at Shires' Garden deliver some fantastic views for visitors. On the 10th Floor of a historic building, The Shires offers an incredible glimpse of Cincinnati from its rooftop lounge. Kick back with a cocktail or a local beer and some of the elegant, upscale cuisine at Shires. Try the skin-on roasted chicken breast with peach and bourbon glaze, or the nicoise with marinated tuna crudo and olive tapenade. The Viewtop burger comes with caramelized onions, herbed goat cheese, crispy pork belly, and smoked paprika aioli.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Eagle - OTR restaurant

The Eagle - OTR

$$$$
Southern
Over the Rhine
4.8
658 reviews
The Over-the-Rhine favorite called The Eagle is a prime destination for down-home Southern food in the heart of the city. This spot is a combination of upscale bistro and classic beer hall known for hearty fried chicken. The all-natural, free-range, and in-house brined fried chicken comes in whole, quarter, or half portions and comes with spicy hot honey. Grab sides of spoonbread, white cheddar grits, and ham hock collards alongside the chicken. Pair the meal with one of The Eagles 100+ craft beers or top-shelf craft cocktails.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of French Crust Cafe & Bistro restaurant

French Crust Cafe & Bistro

$$$$
Contemporary French
Over the Rhine
4.1
585 reviews
Another local standout from master restauranteur Jean-Robert de Cavel, this bistro is a hidden gem in Findley Market. The Cafe & Bistro is the place to go for a relaxing meal and a taste of Paris. Stop in for breakfast with eggs Benedict or a Croque Monsieur with a fried egg. Dinner favorites include French classics. Try snails with zucchini, foie gras mousse, or frog legs with pulette forestiere sauce. Try the burger "au cheval" with bacon, white cheddar, and a fried egg.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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