Chili fries, chicken nuggets, hot dog, burger, fries and salad at Milkman in Cincinnati (photo courtesy of Milkman)
Food + Drink

Milkman, Cincinnati

This smash burger and boozy milkshake joint is bringing good food and quick service to diners in the city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. 

Sometimes the simple things just hit the spot, which is what we love about the retro diner vibe and comforting food at Milkman in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Owner Nick Pesola opened the smash burger and boozy milkshake restaurant last fall to bring the area something that was affordable, open for lunch and dinner, and offered quick service.

“It actually kind of started as a pop-up at my other restaurant,” says Pesola, who owns Revolution Rotisserie in Cincinnati’s Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. “That’s how I figured out we were on to something with these boozy milkshakes, which are a lot of fun.”

The menu makes ordering a breeze with a selection of juicy smash burger options, such as a spicy one with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and bacon, and an option that comes drenched in Cincy-style chili and smoked cheddar cheese. You can also make your own burger with 19 cheese, topping and sauce options.

Chicken sandwich, french fries and burger at Cincinnati’s Milkman (photo courtesy of Milkman)

“Smash burgers are great because they’re so salty and have a texture to them with the crispy edges,” Pesola says. “The cheese just really becomes one with the meat in all the right ways.”

While Pesola’s go-to order is the double deluxe, which comes with two burger patties, American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, dill pickles and special sauce, the menu also offers fried chicken sandwiches and hot dogs.

Milkman also serves french fries, of course, perfect for dunking into one of the restaurant’s milkshakes, which include nonalcoholic varieties such as vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. There are several boozy shakes, including the popular cookies and Irish cream — made with soft-serve ice cream, vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Oreo cookies and whipped cream. 1106 Race St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/381-0009,