Treat yourself - you deserve it! Check out this list of top-rated, lavish spots that are perfect for celebrating something, someone, or for when you're just looking for a much-needed swanky meal.
In town for the night? Pair your dinner reservation with a relaxing stay at one of the region's many hotels and B&Bs!
At this wine bar and restaurant in historic downtown Milford, you'll find a menu stocked with seasonal dishes and an impressive selection of 200+ wines! Dress down with a Brix Burger, or go all-out with scallops and crabcakes. The best part? Peruse the retail shop on your way out for wine and accompaniments.
What awaits behind the enticing red door of Boca? If you're looking for a lavish evening with expertly crafted dishes and impeccable service - step inside! Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Cincinnati and enjoy the contemporary European and American style atmosphere. The menu changes regularly, so you'll be choosing from creative takes on classic dishes like oysters, beef wellington, pomme souffles and much more. This is the perfect spot to be wined and dined - an upscale, foodie must!
The charming MainStrasse Village is located just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati in Covington, Kentucky. This German-influenced neighborhood is easily recognizable - and you'll find an amazing variety of restaurants and bars nestled among historic rowhouses and along brick streets. One of the hidden treasures of Covington is Bouquet, an upscale joint that focuses on farm-to-table dishes. This small and romantic spot touts an extensive wine list, and as a stop on the B-Line, many creative cocktails feature Kentucky's finest bourbons.
Jeff Ruby Restaurants
Ask anyone in the Cincy region where to get an unforgettable steak and the name "Jeff Ruby" will most certainly come up. The good news? There are a few "Ruby" restaurants to choose from, all with different atmospheres, but the same fantastic dining experience guaranteed.
The flagship Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse - conveniently located downtown across from Fountain Square - is the tried and true place to go for an elegant night out on the town. The Precinct is housed in a former police station, tucked away in cozy Mt. Lookout. If you're looking for a slightly more casual outing, you can always pull up a chair at the Bar at the Precinct for cocktails and full dinner service (don't forget to ask for a tour of the building!). Located in a historic mansion that was once a stagecoach stopover, a casino and a gangster hideout, Carlo and Johnny in Montgomery also serves the famous steaks and seafood for which Ruby's restaurants are known. Now, you can even have The Jeff Ruby Experience delivered straight to your front door (or hotel room)!
The Golden Lamb
For an evening that mixes elegance with small-town feel, The Golden Lamb is sure to please. Having had its fair share of tenants and diners - from presidents to authors - since 1803, this 19th century inn and restaurant boasts an upscale atmosphere, as well as a rich history. Come for a simplistic and delicious meal like the golden fried chicken or the Golden Lamb roast turkey dinner, and stay for a memorable evening in one of its antique-filled hotel rooms.
"Dutch steakhouse" might not be the first thing that comes to mind while exploring the German Mainstrasse Village in Covington, Kentucky - but that is what you'll find with Lisse, sitting front and center on Main Street. Located inside an expansive, three-story rowhouse (with a STELLAR rooftop bar), diners can choose from a variety of Dutch items - from charcuterie nibbles to an intimidatng 21-ounce ribeye steak.
Located within the boutique 21c Museum Hotel, Metropole utilizes an old-world fireplace for cooking modern dishes in an updated, modern space. Just across the hall you'll find contemporary art galleries that are free to explore before or after your meal. You can expect flavorful dishes created with seasonal ingredients, featuring elevated takes on traditional dishes like seared salmon and roasted duck breast. A fan favorite to start off the meal? Jam and cheese toast.
For an extra special experience, head up to the hotel's seasonal 21c Cincinnati Cocktail Terrace for charming city views, craft beers on tap, adult slushies, and freshly-prepared cocktails. Keep an eye out for the iconic, patrolling Yellow Penguin that is know to show up in different spots on the 21c Museum Hotel property!
What beats homemade pasta? Nicola's Italian restaurant has been a part of the Cincy region for more than two decades. Located on a quaint street in historic Over-the-Rhine, diners are surrounded by cozy, exposed brick walls that create a warm and romantic atmosphere. Begin your meal with the delectable break basket (all baked in-house), but save room for hearty dishes like tagliatelle alla bolognese or potato gnocchi. Looking for something more laid back? The bar is open for full-service!
Pepp & Dolores
A newer addition that has taken the Cincinnati culinary scene by storm is Pepp & Dolores - an upscale, foodie mecca located in Over-the-Rhine that is the perfect stop for a night out on the town. Opt for a seat in the airy and bright main dining room, with great people watching on Vine Street, or head downstairs for a cozy meal in the sultry, wood-paneled basement bar. All pasta is made in-house, and you can tell! For something unique and refreshing, try the lemony Limone spaghetti. Old-school more your style? The classic Sunday Sauce is a must.
The views don't get better than at Primavista, located in the Incline District of East Price Hill. Pair the views of the sprawling Cincy skyline with elevated Italian food, and you're in for a very special dining experience. Boasting multiple accolades and titles such as Cincinnati Magazine's "Best Italian Restaurant", along with "Best Dining with a View", "Best Date Spot", and "Most Romantic" - this is an iconic spot you'll be telling your friends and family about. You'll find all the classics on the menu - from fried calamari to ravioli and veal meatballs. You won't leave unsatisfied!
One of the most recognizable neighborhoods in Cincinnati is the quaint village of Mariemont - featuring tree-lined streets and Tudor-style homes. Nestled right on the main square is Quarter Bistro, the perfect location for a sophisticated yet cozy meal. The restaurant uses locally-sourced ingredients to create classic, signatured plates including 18 hour short ribs, seared verlasso salmon and steak frites.
Located directly across from Fountain Square, this new restaurant is all vibes! Described as a "modern French brasserie", this is a spot that will surely make it to your Instagram feed. Indulge in the offerings from the raw bar - oysters, shrimp and mussels await - or stick with something heartier like a hangar steak and duck frites.
Esteemed Chef Jose Salazar's namesake restaurant brings new heart to New American cuisine. Located in Over-the-Rhine near the beautiful Washington Park, Salazar is where seasonal food meets great taste and exquisite plating. The menu ranges from creative and refined to playful and casual - but all approachable! Indulge in a plate of Korean short ribs, thoughtfully paired with peaches and Tokyo turnips; or choose lighter fare like crispy skin branzino and harissa roasted carrots.
Enjoy more of Chef Salazar's fine cuisine at Mita's in downtown Cincinnati, where tapas and paella take center stage. Pick out several small plates and share with the table! Click here to read more about Chef Salazar's story.
Renovated in 1987 from a vacant general store - and before that, a boarding house, a consignment shop, and once a town tavern - the Tousey House is the crown jewel of Burlington, Kentucky. This federalist-style house-turned-restaurant offers Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, and native hot brown. The bar focuses on bourbon and is stocked to the brim with rare and eclectic, hard-to-find bottles of Kentucky's finest. Don't forget to get your passport stamped on the way out - this is a stop on the B-Line!
Pair your delectable meal with a stay at one of the region's hotels or B&Bs. Click here to find your perfect stay.
Written by: Amber Potter and Abby Davidson