You’ll often find former Cincinnati’s mayor and current councilwoman Roxanne Qualls traversing neighborhood streets on her bicycle.
Jean-Robert’s Table The menu has something at every price point. Dine for under $14 on a great hamburger and fries, or for more than $30 on one of the specials. The atmosphere is vibrant and friendly—a destination that also is a neighborhood place. 713 Vine St., downtown, (513) 621-4777, jrtable.com
La Poste Wonderfully refurbished dining room that encourages intimate conversation while dining on exquisitely prepared dishes and attended to by the best waitstaff in the city. 3410 Telford St., Clifton, (513) 281-3663, laposteeatery.com
Emanu Ethiopian food prepared by the matriarch of the family owned business. The flavors are distinctive and strong, but not overwhelming or excessively spicy. Wonderful vegetarian choices such as hiwswas complement the meat dishes. 6063 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 351-7686, emanuea.com
Sung Korean Bistro The music of The Gotan Project in the background captures the vitality and rhythm of the restaurant. Bento boxes of _bulgogi, the dolsot bibimbab in the hot ceramic bowl, sushi, or the vegetarian pancake are distinctive, refreshing, and filling. 700 Elm St., downtown, (513) 721-7864, sungkoreanbistro.com
Nada Nada pulses with energy—a place for people to see and be seen. The dishes creatively fuse flavors from south of the border. The margaritas made from fresh ingredients are the best in town. 600 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 721-6232, eatdrinknada.com
Nicola’s Some of the most innovative and flavorful Italian dishes in the region. From the appetizer to desert each course is meticulously prepared and presented. 1420 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 721-6200, nicolasrestaurant.com
Senate Hamburgers and hot dogs—including vegetarian dogs—made for grownups. Sit at the bar or the banquette and enjoy the energy and liveliness of a neighborhood on the way up. 1212 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-2020, senatepub.com
Coffee Emporium Politicians, activists, developers, students, and street people gather in one room to enjoy locally roasted coffee, soups, sandwiches, and salads. It’s the alternative to the Queen City Club for transacting business and getting things done. 110 E. Central Pkwy., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 651-5483, coffee-emporium.com
Chipotle Fast food that is fresh, healthy, remarkably tasty, and at a great price. chipotle.com
Via Vite Overlooking the fountain and the square Via Vite serves up nouveau Italian that is crisp and flavorful. Whether dining alone, enjoying an intimate moment, or celebrating with family, Via Vite does it with value and style. 520 Vine St., downtown, (513) 721-8483, viaviterestaurant.com
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