Cincinnati Recommendations

Heading here for the first time with my wife for five days in early August (Friday to Tuesday).

Looking for recommendations on must-visit beer destinations - breweries, beer bars, and beer-focused restaurants - in the city proper. We are staying in the Over The Rhine area very close to Washington Park.

Our plan is to arrive early afternoon Friday and leave after breakfast/brunch on Tuesday, so time will be limited.

Also up for any suggestions on worthwhile tourist attractions/things to do, and safety tips if needed.

Any help is much appreciated. Cheers!

I also put the following guide together, based on combined BA and RB place ratings, to help guide us on our trip. Wondering which of these are must-visits, which ones are overrated, etc.

Breweries, Brewpubs & Taprooms:

Taft’s Ale House - 1429 Race Street, Cincinnati - RB: 95 / BA: 83 / CS: 89
Fifty West Brewing - 7668 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati - RB: 95 / BA: 83 / CS: 89
Rhinegeist Brewery - 1910 Elm Street, Cincinnati - RB: 88 / BA: 84 / CS: 86
Nine Giant Brewing - 6095 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati - RB: 88 / BA: 83 / CS: 85.5
Listermann Brewing - 1621 Dana Avenue, Cincinnati - RB: 84 / BA: 87 / CS: 85.5
MadTree Brewing - 3301 Madison Road, Cincinnati - RB: 84 / BA: 87 / CS: 85.5
Moerlein Lager House - 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati - RB: 83 / BA: 85 / CS: 84
BrewDog Cincinnati - 316 Reading Road, Cincinnati - RB: 86 / BA: 80 / CS: 83
Urban Artifact - 1660 Blue Rock Street, Cincinnati - RB: 84 / BA: 81 / CS: 82.5
Woodburn Brewing - 2800 Woodburn Avenue, Cincinnati - RB: 82 / BA: 83 / CS: 82.5
Brink Brewing - 5905 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati - RB: 80 / BA: 85 / CS: 82.5
Northern Row Brewery - 111 West McMicken Ave, Cincinnati - RB: 76 / BA: 84 / CS: 80
Samuel Adams Cincinnati - 1727 Logan Street, Cincinnati - RB: 79 / BA: 79 / CS: 79

Bars & Eateries:

Standard Beer - 112 West 15th Street, Cincinnati - RB: 86 / BA: 96 / CS: 91
Higher Gravity Northside - 4106 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati - RB: 84 / BA: 90 / CS: 87
The Lackman - 1237 Vine Street, Cincinnati - RB: 87 / BA: 86 / CS: 86.5
Liberty’s Bar & Bottle - 1427 Main Street, Cincinnati - RB: 81 / BA: 91 / CS: 86
Hoppin’ Vines – 8150 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati- RB: 83 / BA: N/A / CS: 83
The Comet - 4579 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati - RB: 83 / BA: 83 / CS: 83
Mecklenburg Gardens - 302 East University Ave, Cincinnati - RB: 82 / BA: 83 / CS: 82.5
Incline Public House - 2601 West 8th Street, Cincinnati - RB: 82 / BA: N/A / CS: 82
Nicholson’s Tavern & Pub - 625 Walnut St, Cincinnati - RB: 80 / BA: 84 / CS: 82
Arnold’s Bar & Grill - 210 East 8th St, Cincinnati - RB: 84 / BA: 80 / CS: 82
Allyn’s Cafe - 3538 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati - RB: 80 / BA: 79 / CS: 79.5
The Eagle - 1342 Vine Street, Cincinnati - RB: 76 / BA: 82 / CS: 79
Marty’s Hops & Vines – 6110 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati - RB: 80 / BA: 76 / CS: 78
Dewey’s Pizza Oakley - 3014 Madison Road, Cincinnati - RB: 70 / BA: 84 / CS: 77
The Loon Wine Bar - 4124 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati- RB: 70 / BA: 93 / CS: 76.5


Jungle Jim’s Eastgate - 4450 Eastgate Drive, Cincinnati - RB: 90 / BA: 87 / CS: 88.5
Country Fresh Market - 8315 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati - RB: 73 / BA: 100 / CS: 86.5
Country Fresh Market - 8425 Vine Street, Cincinnati - RB: 74 / BA: 90 / CS: 82

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Thanks b3shine. Good to know about Nine Giant, Streetside, The Eagle, and Incline. They are on the hit list now. Dewey’s is on our radar as a potential drinking/dining option if we go to the Zoo, as the Clifton location is very close by. I appreciate your recommendations!

Visited the city in 2019 so things might have changed since then.
Just my personal experience

I loved Urban Artifact, brewery based in a church
Taft’s is nice & historic, worth a visit for sure
Mad Tree is massive, an impressive operation. Beers were decent
Rhinegeist I wasn’t so keen on, just a bland warehouse serving beer
Moerlein was all long benches, Bratwurst etc. Munich taphouse vibes.

Hope you have a good trip.

Thanks for this, Cheeseboard. Wanted to provide a report-back since I received some solid recos from this forum (not sure why the other user deleted their post, though?).

Long story short, the Cincinnati Reds game, Taft’s Ale House, and the Roebling Suspension Bridge were three of the highlights of the trip. We were pleased to see that Great American Ball Park has excellent craft beer options. We hit the Fifty West Brewing stand and the Reds Brewery District beer bar, and were super impressed with the quality of beers on offer. Prices were reasonable, too.

Besides Taft’s and the Fifty West outlet, brewery highlights included Rhinegiest, Mad Tree’s Alcove location, and Sam Adams’ Cincinnati Taproom in Over-The-Rhine, and Moerlein Lager House Downtown. One of the themes of the trip was how early the breweries launch their Oktoberfests / Marzens. We were there in early August, and nearly every brewery and bar had a local O-Fest/Marzen on tap. In Canada, October is more the norm. But this was a welcomed change from the summer beers I had been drinking before our visit, and most of the beers ranged from good to outstanding.

Cincinnati also has a fantastic bar scene, with several bars that not only serve awesome craft beer but also solid wine options and respectable cocktail menus. This was appreciated by my wife, who likes tasty beer but is mostly a wine/cocktail drinker. Standouts here were Standard Beer, Liberty’s Bar & Bottle (wine bar with dope beer), The Loon (amazing paper planes), and Arnold’s Bar & Grill, which claims to be the oldest bar in Cincy.

In addition to beer/wine/cocktail spots, we tried to hit as many choice restaurants as possible, and fared decently given our limited time in the city. Favourites included Bakersfield OTR (taco joint with killer drink menu), The Eagle (fried chicken & craft beer), Dewey’s Pizza Clifton, Moxy and Coffee Emporium for morning coffee and a light breakfast, Graeter’s and Dojo Gelato for ice cream/gelato, Incline Public House, Skyline Chill for Cincinnati-style chill and cheese coneys, and Taste of Belgium for the most authentic “Euro cafe” experience I’ve had since visiting Brussels. Many of these places have been featured on the Food Network, the compass we used for navigating.

Beyond the Reds game/GABP and the Riverwalk/Roebling Suspension Bridge, we went to the Cincinnati Zoo, Findlay Market, and a Tripadvisor tour called the “Top 10 Sites + Top 5 Foods of Cincinnati” (2023 Top 10 Sites + Top 5 Foods of Cincinnati Morning Tour). All of these attractions were worthwhile and did not disappoint.

Overall, Cincinnati strikes me as a city on the rise. During our tour we learned that Cincy has experienced a major revival following two plus decades of redevelopment. A multi-billion dollar investment from 3CDC (3CDC), the recent success of the Bengals, Reds, and FC Cincinnati (Cincinnati sports fans welcome hot streaks by Reds, FC Cincy), and a burgeoning restaurant/bar scene (Cincinnati Food & Bars | Cincinnati Experience) seem to have fuelled an unlikely comeback (How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation’s Most Dangerous Neighborhood - POLITICO Magazine). The longstanding German-American influence also appears to have made stellar beer a fixture in this Midwestern/Mid-South centre. The fact that you can explore Kentucky’s bourbon scene in nearby Newport, simply by crossing the bridge, is another huge plus.

I can’t say enough good things about the so-called “Queen City,” and for nearby Canucks, it’s definitely an attractive and convenient option for a long weekend/late summer getaway.


Nice write up! Hopefully I make it back there some day.