Cincinnati has its share of classic old restaurants, many of which are family-owned. Here are our five favorites:
1. Scotti’s Italian Restaurant Founded in Philadelphia in 1911, Scotti’s has been a Cincinnati institution since the Scoleri-DiMarco family moved here in 1912. Named for a dear friend of Mr. Scoleri’s, Scotti’s serves up classic Italian-American-style food, such as super-strength garlic bread, spaghetti, ravioli, and veal cutlet parmigiana. But it’s worth a visit just to see 100 years’ worth of tchotchkes on the walls. Lunch and dinner Tues–Fri, dinner Sat; 919 Vine Street, Cincinnati, (513) 721-9484
2. Floyd’s Mediterranean Restaurant Floyd’s has been a Clifton mainstay since the Salti family opened it up in 1992. Lovers of authentic Mediterranean food should try the famous spit-roasted chicken or vegetarian falafel sandwich with fried fava beans, chick peas, and spices. Lunch and dinner Tues–Fri, dinner Sat (closed daily: 2:30 p.m.–5 p.m.), closed Monday and Sunday; 127 Calhoun St., Clifton, (513) 221-2434
3. Hooligan’s Pub and Eatery Your own little hooligans can fill up on wings, ribs, and award-winning (à la Taste of Cincinnati) banana peppers. Then they can work it off with some sand volleyball. Hooligans has more than a few die-hard customers who have been there since they opened their doors nearly 20 years ago. Lunch and dinner 7 days, Dellivery everyday 11 a.m.–2 a.m.; 3340 Highland Ave., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 841-9994, hooligans-pub.com
4. Otto’s Named after owner Paul Weckman’s father-in-law, Otto’s opened back in 2003 with only one employee—Paul Weckman—and $300 worth of food. The restaurant has come into its own since then (and hired a few more employees). The atmosphere feels like home, the service is warm and friendly, and the fried green tomatoes taste like summer. Lunch Mon–Sat, dinner Tues–Sun; Brunch Sun; 521 Main St., Covington, (859) 491-6678, ottosonmain.com
5. Clough Crossings What was once an old schoolhouse is now a family favorite in Anderson Township. Opened as a restaurant in 1997 by Gary Sammons and his wife Mary, Clough Crossings serves gussied up classics like grilled pork chop, roasted chicken, and rainbow trout almondine. And with nightly specials, you can always try something new. Dinner Mon–Sat, closed Sundays; 6892 Clough Pike, Anderson, (513) 624-7800, cloughcrossings.com
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