Staff Picks

New to the area or just looking for a great night out? Here are just a few of the many cool things to see and do, as recommended by our staff and friends.


 

ArtsWave is the leading agency for supporting and promoting the arts in the region. Their Cincy Arts Guide is your best source for detailed listings of performances, exhibitions and events. The online calendar covers music, theatre, dance, museums, festivals and visual arts.

Cincy Arts Guide

 

The top drivers in NASCAR come to the Kentucky Speedway each July for the Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400. Get in on all the action. Enjoy an energetic atmosphere filled with music, food and fun while watching the world's best drivers face one of the toughest challenges in all of racing.

KYS

 

Visit beer church just one time and you will become a convert. The Taft Ale House offers three floors of craft beer and casual dining in a former church. The unique decor, beer and food are all first-rate. Even better still, the prices are reasonable. So what’s not to like about this place?

Taft Ale House

 

The Bunbury Music Festival transforms the banks of the Ohio River into a giant party each June, featuring an eclectic lineup of 50 or more national, regional and local acts on four stages. Now entering its fifth year, Bunbury is considered one of the 10 top music festivals in the U.S.

Bunbury

 

Explore the heart of Cincinnati with a stroll through Washington Park. The picturesque plaza features interactive fountains, a restored bandstand for concerts and outdoor movies in summer — all bordered by great restaurants, and the grand Music Hall as a backdrop.

Washington Park in Spring

 

Raise a glass to Cincinnati’s brewery tradition at the Christian Moerlein Malt House, preserved from the 1860s with arched stone ceilings and 12 beers on tap. Rhinegeist brews its hoppy creations in a beer hall that bustles with a community-center vibe.

Moerlein Brewery

 

Salazar’s unique set-up allows you to dine in or out. Chef Jose Salazar offers a farm-inspired menu that’s playful yet refined, creative yet approachable. Drop in or grab a seat at one of the windows to enjoy a truly great meal and a thoughtful selection of wines, beers and craft cocktails.

Salazar in Spring

 

A hidden oasis in Covinton’s Mainstrasse Village, Wiseguy offers a secluded patio with well-crafted cocktails in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. You’d never know it by walking by because it’s tucked behind Goodfellas’ Pizza. Upstairs is one of the best cocktail bars in the city.

Patio at Wiseguys

 

Late at night you might find one of the city's top chefs waiting in line at the walk-up window for a Gomez taco. Slow-roasted beef spiced just right, farm-fresh ingredients — Gomez redefines grab-and-go Mexican. If you're really hungry, go for the Turtle. You won't regret it.

Gomez Tacos

 

The Urban Grill is among the best of many great Cincy food trucks. Try their Central Porkway with pork tenderloin, slaw, bacon, onions and peppers. Or try any of their other creative sandwiches, most of which feature . . . bacon. Look for them downtown and at major events.

Urban Grill Food Truck

 

The 21c Museum Hotel is a unique experience in itself. The Cocktail Terrace on the 11th floor takes relaxation and great downtown views to a whole new level. Before joining the beautiful people on the rooftop, enjoy a meal at the Metropole on the ground floor.

Rooftop Terrace at the 21c Hotel

 

Via Vite is a contemporary Italian bistro in the center of Downtown. The adjacent rooftop Piazza overlooking Fountain Square offers one of the best settings for watching people while enjoying great food and wine. If the wind blows just right, you may even feel a slight mist from the fountain.

Piazza at Via Vite