Lately, social media might be the best place to get the skinny on new restaurants to try — a friend posts a picture of a juicy hamburger or gooey queso dip dangling from a tortilla chip and someone inevitably comments, “WANT,” or, “Where?” And this time of year, as the leaves start to fall and sweaters come out of storage, those square-cropped, heavily filtered images seem to show more and more soup.
The following are some favorite photogenic and delicious soup offerings — both vegetarian and not — from local purveyors, enough to keep you eating soup for week.
A friend recently posted a picture of a delicious-looking soup from fine dining establishment Nicola’s. She raved about the Corn Soup ($10), which has a strong corn flavor with chanterelle mushrooms. The menu changes often and may be filled with different items, but you’re sure to enjoy their other soups as well. 1420 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine, nicolasrestaurant.com.
Tom + Chee
If you can’t remember the difference between a soup spoon and a teaspoon, then perhaps Tom + Chee is more your speed; the only spoon you’ll need is a nice, crispy grilled cheese, the quintessential vehicle for any tomato soup. The small chain keeps it simple with three soup options ($4.50): Classic, Chunky Tomato Basil and Creamy Tomato Basil. A bowl pairs perfectly with any one of the endless number of cheesy sandwich creations. Then again, you might want to skip the dunk with one of their grilled donut options, but who am I to say? Multiple locations including 133 E. Court St., Downtown, tomandchee.com.
C'est Cheese Cincy
If the hankering to get your dip on and coat your fingers in butter and breadcrumbs hasn't yet been sated, be on the lookout for the C'est Cheese Cincy food bus (yes, a bus — not a truck). They offer one kind of tomato soup, a rich and creamy recipe ($3), and a rotating menu of inventive gourmet grilled cheeses and three different kinds of pickle spears including Indian curry, spicy dill and sesame soy. Follow @cestcheesecincy.
Cream-based soups and cheesy delights aren't your forte? In that case, the Vegan Chili ($3.50) from Melt has your back. It's so thick, hearty and equally dunkable that even your meat-eating friends won't complain. 4165 Hamilton Ave., Northside, meltcincy.com.
Vegan options abound at longtime Clifton staple Myra’s Dionysusmyrasrestaurant.com.
Pho Lang Thang
Concerns with staying abreast of food trends might have recently led you to try pho, a Vietnamese rice noodle soup. And Pho Lang Thang is among the most popular purveyors of the dish. My favorite is their vegan Pho Chay ($5.50-$8.50), which includes either mushrooms, bamboo shoots or firm tofu. The soup, available in three bowl sizes, comes with a side plate of bean sprouts, herbs, jalapenos and lime. Drop in as much or as little of each as you see fit. Flavoring the subtle but unique broth with hoisin sauce or Sriracha will take it to the next level. A meat variety of their pho is also available with chicken or one of many cuts of beef. 114 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, pholangthang.com.
Song Long in Roselawn may not be quite as well known, but their pho is equally wonderful. They also serve a variety of other Vietnamese noodle soups that you’ll have a hard time tracking down anywhere else including the Canh Chua Ca Hoac Tom ($12.95),featuring pineapple and tomato sliced with catfish or shrimp in a tamarind broth. 1737 Section Road, Roselawn, songlong.net.
For a different Asian soup experience, head over to Teak Thai. Teak is perhaps most well known for their sushi, but you’re missing out if you don’t start with one of their tasty soups. The Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup ($4.50) features button mushrooms simmered in kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass and is better than you’ll find at any take-out joint. 1051 Saint Gregory St., Mount Adams, teakthaicuisine.com.
Silver Ladle’s Cuban Black Bean Soup ($5.49) nabbed the runner-up spot for Best Appetizer from Taste of Cincinnati this year. It also happens to be the restaurant’s only both vegetarian and gluten-free recipe, but they have a dozen other types of soup to choose from like Mock Turtle or Chicken Chili. 580 Walnut St., Suite 700, Downtown, silverladle.com.
East Walnut Hills may not have been your choice locale for dining plans recently, but don’t be surprised if it grows into a culinary hotspot. Kitchen 452 is receiving rave reviews and is one of the pioneers of the revitalization in the area. They offer a seasonal menu which includes an excellent Spicy Pumpkin Soup ($4.50) that might be impossible to resist telling all social media about. 2714 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, kitchen452.com.