Food spread at Mita’s in Cincinnati (photo by Gina Weathersby)

5 Must-Visit Cincinnati Restaurants for Foodies

The Queen City is home to a wealth of restaurants, and a tour of these spots shows the range, variety and creativity that its food scene has to offer.

Cincinnati has long enjoyed a great food scene, and it has the national accolades to prove it. The most recent came in the form of OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. for 2023 (generated by examining statistics from those who use the app), which had only Cincinnati restaurants among the six Ohio spots on it. Here are five Cincinnati restaurants we love.

Mita’s: Mita’s is the second restaurant from James Beard Award semifinalist chef Jose Salazar. He named the eatery for his Colombian grandmother and draws menu inspiration from Spain and Latin America. Mita’s focuses on tapas paired with wines, which are served in waves, so guests can enjoy a continuous feast of artfully composed small bites, from a rich variety of cheeses to arepas with chorizo and Spanish octopus with fingerling potatoes to fried plantains with crushed avocado. 501 Race St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/421-6482,

Pepp & Dolores: One of OpenTable’s Top 100 restaurants for 2023, Pepp & Dolores is inspired by heartwarming family Sunday suppers. Brothers Joe and John Lanni and their friend and business partner Alex Blust opened the eatery in 2019, and the corner space manages to be airy and open, and cozy and intimate at the same time. The best seats in the house are at the marble-top bar or in the plush booths, and the restaurant’s beautifully crafted, house-made pastas go perfectly with meatballs or veal cutlets. 1501 Vine St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/419-1820,

Monk crab dish from Nolia Kitchen in Cincinnati (photo courtesy of Nolia Kitchen)

Nolia Kitchen: Chef and James Beard Award semifinalist Jeff Harris draws on his upbringing in New Orleans and his travels throughout the American South to craft the menu for Nolia Kitchen (also on OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants 2023 list). This intimate Over-the-Rhine eatery has three sections: a 26-seat dining room, a five-seat raw bar looking into the kitchen and an eight-seat back bar. 1405 Clay St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/384-3597,

Kiki: Chefs and owners Hideki and Yuko Harada jointly earned a 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist spot for their College Hill neighborhood eatery, Kiki, that offers a creative, Tokyo-inspired menu. The restaurant is decorated in natural woods, warm creams and calming blues, and its focused menu features brilliantly executed dishes loaded with character. First-timers should try the crispy curry pan stuffed with potatoes, onions and carrots; the grilled eel skewers; or the brimming-with-flavor shio ramen. 5932 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati 45224, 513/541-0381,

Wood-grilled octopus from Abigail Street in Cincinnati (photo by Anthony Tahlier)
Abigail Street: The Mediterranean-focused Abigail Street artfully blends old and new with its white brick walls, subway tile and handsomely restored wooden floors. Owners Dan and Lana Wright, along with their culinary team, draw on fresh produce to craft a Mediterranean menu that deftly weaves bold, new techniques with traditional flavors. Think grilled octopus served with merguez sausage or seared bay scallops with spiced pears. 1214 Vine St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/421-4040,