Local Favorites

By Ginny Butsch posted 04-01-2014 13:49


Since we have the good fortune of hosting the 2014 EdTA National Conference right here in our hometown, the EdTA staff was excited to be able to share some of our favorite places. Check out the recommendations below for the most unique spots and tips for some of the main attractions!

Clare Jaymes: My three favorite places to eat in Cincinnati are Taste of Belgium (it’s really fun if you get it at Findlay Market on Saturday Mornings), Bakersfield, and Tom and Chee.

Jim Curtis:  Two of my favorites are Abby Girl Sweets Cupcakery – YUM! (It is fortunately connected to the host hotel, the Hilton Netherland Plaza) and Nada – best guacamole EVER!!!!!

Susan Doremus:  The Contemporary Arts Center is one of the nation's oldest art institutions. Great gift shop! The Blue Wisp Jazz Club features national, regional, and local talent in a casual dining atmosphere. Eden Park is one of the most popular of the Cincinnati Parks and home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Krohn Conservatory.

Brian Benz:

Dining with the best view of the Cincinnati skyline is the
Marriott Hotel – Covington, KY.  Casual dress. Indoor and patio seating available for a panoramic view of the skyline. Not your average hotel fare.

            -10 West Restaurant – For lunch or a great breakfast buffet

            -Center Cut Restaurant – For dinner, 10 West changes its menu to become Center Cut Restaurant (steaks and raw bar). Upscale menu (and prices), but an amazing view of the city lights.

Theatre House headquarters: Covington, KY: Many theatre folks order theatrical supplies online from Theatre House. They are located in Covington, KY, right across the river from Paul Brown Stadium. If you’d like to browse and maybe do some shopping, walk-in hours are 9:00-5:00 Monday-Friday. It’s nothing spectacular to look at – basically a warehouse with a little retail space at the front, but I’ve found it very helpful to be able to see, feel, and compare the quality of fabrics and other supplies in person.

Jim Huneke:
In July, a Reds ballgame, Kings Island, or Montgomery Inn Boathouse.

Ginny Butsch: Strolling along the river in Sawyer Point and then across the Purple People Bridge into Kentucky never gets old and it's free! I love watching the riverboats and barges sail right under my feet. The best part is that there's always a breeze by the river and usually a festival of some kind on one side or the other.

Hands-down favorite restaurant ever is Scotti’s. The atmosphere is magical, old and loved. Dusty chianti bottles hang from the ceiling, the walls are decorated in mismatched tiles and lit by candles. Turn off your cell phone, order a large house red and the green lasagna. Take the time to enjoy your company and the food. Don’t forget to end with a cannoli.

Merritt Beischel: Coffee Emporium, besides having coffee, also has a good selection of teas and food. They have two downtown locations so they’re in the same part of town as the Conference.

Graeter’s has several Cincinnati locations including one on Fountain Square downtown. In addition to ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, Graeter’s  also has delicious candy and pastries. They’re famous for their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream with large chunks of chocolate chips; I’m partial to their Mint Chocolate Chip and Elena’s Blueberry Pie (the proceeds from this flavor go towards The Cure Starts Now Foundation).

  Craig Branch:

  • Terry’s Turf Club: come for the most delicious burger you’ll ever have, stay for the beer selection and neon ambiance.  While their burgers made them famous—and earned them a spot on the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives—they have a menu that is a blend of pub food and casual deliciousness.  A bit off the path for folks who may stay downtown, you cannot miss the neon and signs as you approach. It speaks directly to the word-of-mouth marketing that propelled Terry’s to instant fame. 
  • Tom + Chee A brilliant local idea that has gained fame in the USAToday, The Today Show, and the show Shark Tank.  Their name is derived from their basic concept, tomato soup and grilled cheese.  But it is so much more than that!  The sandwich selection provides something for nearly every palate, and their soups always hit the spot.  Regardless of how hungry you are, no visit would be complete without a Glazed Donut Grilled Cheese.  I get the S’More Glazed Donut, which acts as my dessert after a Spicy Beef grilled cheese and a Dipper of soup.  
  • Reds Hall of Fame and Museum: Not all of our members or Conference attendees are baseball fans, and even fewer may be Reds fans. But those that have an interest would appreciate this classy tip-of-the-hat to baseball’s first professional team. From the late 1800’s squads and the Big Red Machine, the Red Stockings and Redlegs, to the World Series trophies and the current teams, this 2-hour historical journey is nostalgic, informative, and family-friendly. Where else in Major League Baseball will you see Pete Rose recognized?  Ben Martin, Bob and Marti Fowler, and any other vile Cardinal fans are welcome.    

Chelsey Cavender: Tom and Chee were featured on the reality show, Shark Tank, and are famous for their grilled cheese and tomato soup! You can create your own gourmet masterpiece or choose from one of their wacky combinations like the Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich or Grilled Donut Dessert Sandwich! Also, as someone with a gluten allergy, I appreciate that they offer gluten-free bread!

Angel Wuellner:

Left Bank Coffeehouse is right across the river via the Roebling Bridge on tree-lined Greenup Street in Covington, Kentucky. Features locally roasted coffee with an outdoor seating area.

Famous Neon’s Unplugged: a bar in Over-The-Rhine with a large craft beer menu (including lots of local brews), infused liquors, and an expansive outdoor area with giant Jenga!

Findlay Market is a Cincinnati staple. An outdoor-indoor market with loads of local businesses ranging from meat and produce to cheeses and jewelry!

Kat Fischer:
The Eagle OTR – I’m not big on fried chicken, but boy did this place change my mind. The fried chicken sandwich is amazing, along with everything else on the menu. And they have a huge beer selection – you can get almost any beer (especially local) that you want. Don’t like beer? They have cocktails (including a to die for Bloody Mary), too. The price point is spot on – cheap, without leaving you feeling like it’s cheaply made. Definitely worth the wait. Bonus: they are open for lunch now, too!

Sotto (Downtown) – I have only been here once, but can honestly say it is one of the best Italian restaurants in this city. The waiter recommended one plate from each section (there are 4) on the menu for two people. That is definitely the way to do it, and add more plates as needed. You might think you won’t get enough food, but trust me: you will. Get the short rib cappelaci and the pork. Amazing. And don’t leave without trying the ricotta donuts!

Neon’s (OTR) – This is one of my favorite bars in Cincinnati. Most of it is outdoors, which is great for warm weather. There are two bars and you can get anything from house infused liquor to local beers. There is also a place to buy food. Music, adult jenga, and bonus: you can bring your dog!

David LaFleche: Kings Island because it has THE BEAST which is the world’s longest wooden roller coaster. It has the thrill zone which is intended thrill seekers (for good reason) so it’s good for adults and kids.

Bass pro shops because it’s an outdoor person’s “heaven on earth” (mine anyway).

Kevin George: Eli’s Barbecue. While Cinci may not be known for its barbecue, we certainly have a tasty place to visit if you find yourself with an itch that needs to be scratched. While their pork sandwich is top notch, my favorite has to be the all-beef hot-dogs. They come smoked with coleslaw, barbecue sauce, and pork crisps on top. If you order a platter, you get a main course and 2 sides, all for $8. Feel free to sit inside and pick the tunes; they have a crate of vinyl that customers can rifle through and throw onto the turntable. Or sit outside on the numerous benches they have. It’s a great place to eat and drink. BYOB!

Julie Coppens: On a warm summer night, my daughter and I love taking off our shoes and running through the sprinklers in Washington Park, near Music Hall. Everything is lit up, you see a true reflection of Cincinnati in all its history and diversity, and everyone is relaxed and having fun together.

Have you been to the Queen City before? What were your favorite places? Feel free to share in the comments below!




06-17-2014 07:48

Any theatre suggestions for Thursday night?

04-19-2014 00:46

You all have me salivating for EdTA. Hadn't heard of Tom and Chee but now I'll be sure not to miss it. And, I've been sending my mom Graeter's for her birthday for years. It'll be nice to get it straight from the trough.

04-03-2014 14:27

Another favorite of mine is Jungle Jim's!! I live by the original, but there is now a location in Eastgate! Check them out if you are a foodie- they have groceries you can't find anywhere else in a really fun atmosphere. Jim started out working at a fruit stand on Rt. 4 and his business grew into a local staple!