Flair: Hamburger Mary’s is the definition of flair. The funkdafied dining room features decoupaged tables, colorful walls and a colorful cast and crew.
909 Vine St., Downtown. 513-421-6279. Open 7 days. $6-$15.
Flavor: Ollie’s special seasoning spices up everything from grits and eggs at breakfast to a hearty lunch of barbecued turkey tips. Start with the Ollie burger and fries and stay for the ribs with homemade macaroni and cheese and lemon pound cake for dessert. This cooking feeds your soul.
Flair: The trolley is small and has limited outdoor seating in-season. Plan on carryout, or better still, hire Ollie to cater your next event — as he has for President Obama! Ollie brings the grill, the deep fryer and an excellent crew along to fill your guests from your choice of several menus.
1607 Central Ave., West End, 513-381-6100. Open Monday-Saturday. $3-$45 (for whole turkeys).
Flavor: Known for its burgers, which are a 1/2-pound of grilled beef served with a fat slice of onion and pickle. Additional dinner or lunch options include ham and cheese, roast beef, corned beef and turkey sandwiches and fish on Fridays. Classic soups include their famous mock turtle, bean and chicken noodle.
Flair: An authentic Norwood experience since 1966, but now they have a second location in Mason! Filled with regulars and characters of all makes, Quatman’s style is neon beer signs, checkered tablecloths and paper plates.
2434 Quatman Ave., Norwood, 513-731-4370 and 224 West Main St., Mason, 513-229-0222. Open Monday-Saturday. $5-$10.
Terry’s Turf Club
Flavor: The menu is short but sweet and centered on burgers; big, beautiful hamburgers, tender-as-butter filet mignon that you should order with crab and béarnaise, grilled chicken, portabellas, shiitakes. The fries are fantastic, and the sauces are formidable. Try the mango tequila on chicken, or the red wine and truffle on a burger with grilled onions. New this year is chili, and it is a bowl of filet, pork tenderloin and seasonings like no other.
Flair: Owner Terry Carter’s neon and nostalgia collection is unsurpassed, but the friendly staff and fantastic food are what really light up the joint. Great beer selection, awesome bartenders who make a cosmo that even a cocktail snob will adore. There’s no other place like it!
4618 Eastern Ave., East End, 513-533-4222. Open 7 days. $6.50-$26.
Flavor: Since 1926, Zip’s has been all about the burger. The meat is ground daily downtown at Avril-Behl’s. The lightly toasted, honey-egg buns are baked locally at Klosterman’s. Sure, there’s a black bean burger, a turkey burger and even a tuna sandwich on the menu, but would you go to the Sistine Chapel and look at the floor? Eat the cheeseburger. Or, if you’re wearing elastic-waist pants, get the Girth Burger — it’s a beef patty with a mett on top.
Flair: There’s a toy train running along the tracks, and patrons are packed in like sardines. There are Zips Burgers and there are onion rings. Go wild and order a pint of Cincy-made Mt. Carmel beer. Winner of “Best Burgers.”
1036 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, 513-871-9876. Open 7 days. $4-$8.
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