Restaurant Guide to Cincinnati


Lila Joffe '21, Lifestyles Editor

Restaurant Guide to Cincinnati

Lila Joffe ’21, Lifestyles Editor


Cincinnati has a surprising amount of amazing restaurants. Many people think overly-priced and ridiculous restaurants like Boca in downtown are the best, but it is possible to get a delicious meal in Cincinnati without spending $90 a person. I will list 5 restaurants all over Cincinnati, each serving a different type of cuisine:

  1. Mazunte Taqueria

Mazunte is located in between Madisonville and Marimont. Founded around 2014, it has been a favorite of everyone living in the area. The restaurant puts a creative spin on tacos, adding feta cheese and mango-roasted salsa to their beef, pork, vegetable, and fish tacos. Along with their tacos, Mazunte serves many other classic Mexican dishes, like enchiladas, tostadas, tamales, empanadas, and Chile Relleno, and serves bevarages like horchata, jamaica, and lemonade.  The restaurant itself has a very fun atmosphere. The small interior is filled with colorful images of Mexico and barstool tables, and there is always loud music playing.

Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Price: $$

Food: 10/10

  1. Mei Japanese

Located in Montgomery, Mei is an authentic Japanese restaurant. Serving food from ramen to uni, Mei has everything you could possibly imagine on their menu. The sushi at Mei is probably the best in Cincinnati, with fresh vegetables and fish. Mei’s special lunch menu is a treat, offering many different bento boxes with dumplings, sushi, sashimi, and cooked fish. Mei has been open since about 2004, and has a cult-like following. The interior is neutral colored, with soft music always playing in the backround. Mei has tatami rooms for special events, and booths in the back.

Atmosphere: 9/10

Food: 9.5/10

Price: $$$$


  1. Maplewood Kitchen

Maplewood Kitchen is located in both Downtown Cincinnati and Mason. It has a different set-up than most restaurants, in which you order first and then find a table. Maplewood has both a brunch and a lunch/dinner menu. They have many different sides, and put their own special twist on classic American breakfast and lunch foods, incorporating fresh ingredients as well. Along with their menu, they serve house-made cold pressed juice. The atmosphere is very open and full of light, and the food comes relatively quickly. They have many healthy, vegetarian options, setting it apart from many other breakfast and lunch restaurants. Maplewood serves everything from burgers to quinoa bowls.

Atmosphere: 10/10

Food: 7/10

Price: $$$


  1. Forno Osteria and Bar

With locations in both Hyde Park and Montgomery, Forno is a more affordable option for Italian food than Boca and Sotto. Forno serves many classic Italian dishes, as well as many delicious salads. Their best dish is the tagliatelle bolgnese. It is a delicious pasta a la dente dish served with a tomato meat sauce. Some of Forno’s other dishes include the margarita pizza, truffled corn, and veal meatballs. Both of Forno’s restaurants have a bar area along with many wooden tables.

Atmosphere: 7/10

Food: 8/10

Price: $$$$


  1. Pho Lang Tang

Pho Lang Tang is located in Over The Rhine, Cincinnati, in the middle of Findlay Market. It serves a variety of delicious Vietnamese food. They serve their namesake, pho, which comes in three different sizes and offers both meat and vegetable broth. My personal favorite is their noodle bowl, which comes with all kinds of vegetables and fried tofu served with noodles and a flavorful dressing. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very nice, and it has many tables compared to other small downtown restuarants. They also serve traditional Vietnamese coffee with a drip with condensed milk, and also bubble tea. The service is relatively quick there considering the amount of customers they serve hourly.

Atmosphere: 7/10

Price: $$