Welcome to CityBeat’s annual Dining Guide, a roundup of great restaurants in Greater Cincinnati.
Following the tradition that started in 2005, rather than serving up a comprehensive, A-to-Z list of more than 900 places to get eats in the Queen City, we’ve created a list of 270-plus restaurants that are worthy of your investigation — from old favorites to new kids on the block, from chic upscale establishments to no-frills, homestyle joints. Restaurants are organized by cuisine and include notations if they won a readers poll category in the 2009 Best of Cincinnati issue. (So don’t blame us, dear diners, if you have a gripe with Montgomery Inn winning “Best Overall Restaurant.”)
This is not an exact science.
“Great” is a subjective term. Worthwhile establishments are inevitably left out, particularly those that have opened recently. We’ve focused on eateries that our dining writers have enjoyed (and likely written about) in recent years, places that make the Greater Cincinnati area a hotbed of culinary delights.
New this year are features called the Ultimate Progressive Meal, in which each of our dining writers — Lora Arduser, Brian Cross, Anne Mitchell and Contributing Dining Editor Heather Smith — were asked to choose at least three courses from different restaurants in town to create their own “dream” meal. Anne and Heather chose to focus on places in certain neighborhoods — Oakley and Mount Adams, respectively — while Lora and Brian included places — mostly Asian — from across the local dining landscape. The results yielded dishes from cutting edge (Boca’s Mediterranean Branzino) to quaint (Madisono’s Grapefruit Sorbet), just another reminder of our diverse, ever-evolving culinary scene.
I’d like to thank the aforementioned writers for their continued dedication to our dining coverage, for their contributions to this guide and for the burden of enjoying some of the best food our fair city has to offer. I’d also like to thank Danny Cross, Maija Zummo and Rachel Rayburn for their contributions to the guide.
We hope this roundup introduces you to something new or rekindles your interest in an old favorite. Whatever the case, there are plenty of worthwhile places to satiate your appetite. Dig in.