Flavor: Christy’s/Lenhardt’s is a piece of Cincinnati history. Housed in the once-regal surroundings of the former Moerlein mansion, it now provides a comfortable spot to indulge in some culinary local history. The menu includes signature German fare such as Pork Schniztel, Sauerbraten and Potato pancake and Homemade Sausage with sauerkraut, as well as Eastern European dishes such as Chicken Paprikasch and Hungarian Goulash.
Flair: Along with a cozy dining room to get your schnitzel fix, visit the outdoor Biergarten and the Rathskeller. The basement Rathskeller mimics the feel of an old-style German pub; both spots offer German favorites like Warsteiner.
151 W. McMillan Ave., Clifton Heights, 513-281-3600. Open Tuesday-Saturday. $8-$12.
Flavor: This place is modeled after the world famous Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany, and is as close as you can get to real German food and beer without actually going there. Hoisting an enormous glass mug is essential, but the food happens to be great, too. Tons of menu items that you don’t have to know how to pronounce to enjoy like the Oktoberfest Schweinshaxe (pork shank with crackling, sauerkraut and bread dumpling) with a few American favorites slipped in for picky eaters.
Flair: Stand on your chair and follow along with the kiddies doing the chicken dance inside.
The outdoor bier garden has food and beer, too, with picnic style tables. Great for families or groups of friends. Winner of “Best German.”
200 E. Third St., Newport, 859-491-7200. Open 7 days. $7-$30.
Flavor: Zinzinnati’s German heritage lives on at Mecklenburg’s — even the scallops have a German accent, with a sauce spiced up by Dusseldorf mustard. New to the menu is hasenpfeffer, as Chef Mark Fuller makes the menu his own. And you can please a vegetarian here with portabella spaetzle.
Flair: Mecklenburg Gardens is a Cincinnati landmark dating back to 1865 that owner Tom Harten rescued from abandonment in 1996. Now, as Tom says, they’re “alive and well after 145 years.” Enjoy happy hour in the Garden and look for live music most Friday and Saturday nights, including an Old German Brass Band Quartet.
302 E. University Ave., Corryville, 513-221-5353. Open Monday-Saturday. $18-$22.
Flavor: Who knew a hockey-playing Ukrainian would be cooking up a storm of authentic German food in the ’burbs? Actually, his establishment offers Eastern-European fare, as the traditional food of the Ukraine is influenced by Russian, German, Jewish and Polish cuisines. And his deep, rich sauerkraut will give any German grandma a run for her money.
Flair: It’s not easy to find this place, tucked in a strip mall south of Fields-Ertel Road behind a Morningstar coffee kiosk. The one-room venue is simple but spacious with an open kitchen and latticework on the ceiling that reminds one of Mecklenburg Gardens. The warmth of the place comes mostly from the graciousness of Oleg himself, who can be found cooking, serving and managing the register as the situation demands.
11929 Montgomery Road, Sycamore Twp., 513-774-0700. Open Tuesday-Sunday. $9-$14.