Stuck in Cincinatti
February 25, 2011 6:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm stuck in Cincinatti for the weekend. Help me stay sane and find something metafilter-worthy to do? Sights, food, bars. I know little to nothing about the place. Thanks!

Also, any tips for the Charlie Harper fan here in the city?
posted by jabberjaw to Travel & Transportation around Cincinnati, OH (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of food do you like? Where are you? Do you have a car?

Easy stuff:
Contemporary Arts Center
Cincinnati Museum Center
Southgate House (live music)
Newport Aquarium Fun Animals, not out in the rain

Take the Cake (brunch/lunch - new menu every day - posts it to twitter)
Mayberry - great dinners; small; can't find their actual website - it might be only on facebook?
Senate - new and hip; apparently amazing fries
The Palm Court - go here at least for a drink (dinner is also AMAZING - our favorite - but can be spendy). The space is awesome art deco. Won't feel like Cincinnati.
Local 127 : great food, great craft cocktails

I can also recommend Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Italian restaurants if those float your boat.
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2011

I grew up in Cincinnati. For bars, my favorite is Arnold's (one of the few bars that survived Prohibition, still has its bathtub they made gin in) and the Comet (excellent burritos). For a fancy meal in a funky place, check out York Street Cafe in Northern Kentucky. There's also a non-impressive but very fun restaurant at Lunken Airport, a small municipal airport where you can watch planes take off several yards from where you eat a burger.

I know it's changed a bit since I last lived there, but Ludlow is a good place for people watching and funky shops. Hamilton Avenue in Northside is a bit hipper than Ludlow, and has the Northside Tavern and Melt.

The Cincinnati Art Museum has free admission. Definitely check out the Contemporary Arts Center, for the architecture if nothing else.

Make sure you check out some parks, and some of the breath taking hills. I like seeing the Ohio River from the parking lot at the Celestial apartment building in Mount Adams.

On Saturday morning, definitely check out Findlay Market. See if one of the butcher shops will make you a goetta sandwich.

No trip to Cincinnati is complete without Graeters and Skyline Chili, though if you're not raised on it, most people don't like Cincinnati style chili. For my money, I prefer Camp Washington Chili.

Gosh, I miss that place sometimes.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:43 PM on February 25, 2011

If you have a car, get yourself to Jungle Jims, possibly one of the largest, most ridiculous and most fun international grocery stores in the world.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2011

Cincinnati (with 3 Ns and 2 Ts) Chili (3, 4 or 5 way recommended) and a couple o' coneys, at any of the dozens of either Skyline or Gold Star outlets. Schoenling's Little Kings Original Cream Ale to wash it down.

If the weather is nice, a walk around Over-the-Rhine, with your camera, can be fun, if you like architecture.
posted by paulsc at 6:47 PM on February 25, 2011

Just keep in mind that very very few Cincinnati chili parlors serve booze. Sadly.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:48 PM on February 25, 2011

Fountain Square has stuff downtown most nights; not sure if the skating rink is still up.
The University of Cincinnati has some neat sculptures.
Clifton, near UC, has a walkable gaslight district (Ludlow Ave) with eclectic shops and restaurants, and a locally owned theater.
is worth a walk through; what's for dinner has great food, but is really more for take out; the bonbonire has great cakes.
If you like cute suburbs, go to Maderia and get coffee at coffee please and eat some Jeni's ice cream (cincinnati natives tend to love graters; graters is good ice cream; aglemesis is better ice cream; jeni's has the most awesome flavors).
Spring Grove Cemetery is nice for walking and history.

There's the underground railroad museum, which is interesting (really!)

OH, And the riverfront park. Actually, lots of great parks.

Do you want to shop? Hike? I need more details, I could go on and on.
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:49 PM on February 25, 2011

Oh! AND you asked about Charley Harper. Check out this, where his archives will be showing original stuff this weekend!
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2011

Great ideas here in this thread. Across the street from the Contemporary Art Center is Nada which does some great upscale Mexican and has a nice Sunday brunch.
posted by mmascolino at 7:01 PM on February 25, 2011

If you eat meat, find Terry's Turf Club. I'll be damned if I know where it is, but you can get some tasty burgers. I suggest a burger with haloumi cheese.

I'd give directions, but I don't have a clue about that city. It's on the east side, that's all I know.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 7:17 PM on February 25, 2011

Oh hell, forgot: If you drink, and want to find low-price liquor, go across to Kentucky. There is a party store the size of the supermarket just across the river in Newport. Go across the Big Mac Bridge (I-471, it looks like the golden arches) and take the very first exit in KY. Alternatively you can probably walk there from the riverfront.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 7:19 PM on February 25, 2011

Jungle Jim's International Market!
posted by Kangaroo at 7:33 PM on February 25, 2011

Here's the free, fun things to do list for this weekend, from

"Just keep in mind that very very few Cincinnati chili parlors serve booze. Sadly."
posted by mostly vowels at 9:48 PM on February 25

Actually, none do, that I know. But they all do carry out, and so, you takes your 4 way(s) and your coneys, and your separately purchased and refrigerated Little Kings, and you repairs to the scenic location of your choice for a delicious carryout picnic, BooBoo...
posted by paulsc at 8:03 PM on February 25, 2011

Definitely check out the Cincinnati modern expo this weekend suggested by dpx upthread, that's where we'll be on Saturday!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:55 PM on February 25, 2011

One of my favorite days out in Cincy is going to the Art Museum, Eden Park, and Krohn Conservatory. They're all right next to each other, so you can take in as much artistic and natural beauty as you can stand.

I'm also very fond of Union Terminal (home to a natural history museum, American history museum, children's museum, and Omnimax documentary theater), but it might be just all my fond childhood memories there. Worth checking out if you're the museum type, depending on your interests.

Nthing Jungle Jims, you could easily spend a whole day in there looking at weird flavors of sodas, foreign snacks, and types of fruit you've never seen.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:16 AM on February 26, 2011

You guys are awesome! Thanks!!
posted by jabberjaw at 4:30 AM on February 26, 2011

If you go to Jungle Jims, go to Sabor Peruano. It's not exactly what you'll get in Peru but it's the best Peruvian in Western PA, Ohio, or Indiana and they do the best they can with the ingredients they can get here.
posted by arabelladragon at 5:53 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

paulsc, I seem to recall that someone told me once Blue Ash chili served booze. But I was a west-sider and later Clifton/UC resident, so I never made it out there to find out.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:08 AM on February 26, 2011

Also, Cincinnatians are very provincial about the areas in which they live. As evidenced by my comment above about never getting to a part of town that was relatively close by. People might ask you what parish you belong to. But it's kind of endearing.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:09 AM on February 26, 2011

Yes, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is well worth a visit. You can spend as much or as little time there as you like, but you may end up staying longer than you expect to if you are at all interested in this part of our history.
posted by BlooPen at 8:30 AM on February 26, 2011

I can't believe I misspelled Cincinnati, by the way.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:40 PM on February 26, 2011

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