Contemplating a move? Or maybe just interested in an outdoor and health-filled getaway? In 2019, LIVABILITY ranked Cincinnati as the #25th best place to live in the U.S. It’s not surprising as “Cincy” offers a hodgepodge of activities, from biking along the Ohio River to beer hopping in Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati’s entertainment district. The 308,000 people that already call Cincinnati home have year round access to places like the Cincinnati Zoo; Botanical Garden; and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Of course, dining plays an important part of a visit to Cincy: there are tons of chef-forward and healthy food options, from fresh pressed juices at Maplewood Kitchen + Bar to in house-made hummus and Middle Eastern cuisine at the historic Findlay Market. The next time you are visiting Queen City, put these 5 food stops on your list:
- Metropole at 21c Museum Hotel
Helmed by Chef David Kelsey, breakfast at Metropole can be had inside of the art-filled haven at the 21c Museum Hotel. After a long run around the nearby, landscaped Ohio River Trail, warm up with one of restaurant’s handcrafted loose leaf teas like the cherry rose green, lavender earl grey, or the ginger orange. To refuel after your workout, try one of the delicious carb-happy options like the breakfast burrito (packed with potatoes, white cheddar, Metropole sausage, soft scrambled eggs, chermoula, avocado, and pickled onion) or the pancakes topped with pecans. Also mark your calendar for one of Metropole’s upcoming drag brunches on June 23rd and August 25th.
Juicing fans need to make Rooted a stop on their wellness foodie tour through Cincinnati. Ivy and cactus plants are sprinkled throughout the airy and intimate Rooted Juicery & Kitchen located in downtown Cincinnati. The venue offers that nutrient boost; perfect for a midday pick me up. Try some of the popular blends like the Rooted (carrot, aloe, apple, and ginger) and the Grounded (beet, apple, carrot, celery, lemon, parsley, and spinach). If you’re hungrier than just a juice, they offer healthy bites like a roasted veggie sandwich, teriyaki quinoa wrap, and yogurt and granola.
The Cincinnati Bell Connector is the city street car installed 3 years ago that helped with the stimulus for development around the city’s historic Findlay Market. Opened in 1852, you can still see the original posts and beams painted red inside the market. Hungry? You can merge with the rush of lunch traffic coming from downtown to purchase food from 50 full time vendors. Many of the vendors are 2nd and 3rd generation at the market (for example, Eckerlin Meats is a long-standing 6th generation shop).
To navigate the market, sign up for a 90 minute food tour, run by owner, Barb Cooper. With Cincinnati Food Tours, Cooper takes you to meet and greet 5 purveyors and taste samples at each location for around 10 minutes. The stops will always showcase something different like a stop at Dean’s Mediterranean Imports will transport you to Lebanon, with the house made hummus, house made falafel, and house made yogurt now run by Dean’s daughter Kate. A stop at Churchill’s Fine Teas will allow you to sample 265 varieties: which happens to be the largest collection of loose leaf teas in the Midwest.
Located on Race Street downtown, Maplewood Kitchen + Bar is a bustling weekend brunch spot. The concept involves standing in line; ordering from an expansive menu; and then finding a seat inside the airy, floor-to-ceiling windowed venue. The menu contains omelets; lemon ricotta pancakes; blueberry pancakes; as well as healthier fare like super green salads and a handful of cold pressed juices.
For those that need a quiet place to catch up on work but also have healthy food and drink options, visit Coffee Emporium located on Central Parkway. The expansive coffee shop has an industrial-décor with plush seating and ample tables to prop your laptop. Try the Berry Goat Cheese Salad and single origin coffee from places like Nicaragua, Kenya, Costa Rica, and Sumatra.