Best of Four Neighborhoods

Best of the City 2009

THE BEST OF BELLEVUE

Schneider’s Sweet Shop

On the same corner of Fairfield Avenue since 1939, the Schneider family serves up ice balls in the summer, caramel apples in the fall, and their famous made-right-here-on-the-premises opera creams anytime. 420 Fairfield Ave., (859) 431-3545

The Party Source

Walk in with your list and your budget, and walk out with your party perfected. From invites and decorations to noshes and libations, it’s all here. And that’s reason to celebrate. 95 Riviera Dr., (859) 291-4007

Virgils Café

We love the frog legs, the cheddar and jalapeño hush puppies, the homemade pastrami, the flourless chocolate bourbon cake, and the warm welcome we get here. 710 Fairfield Ave., (859) 491-3287

Adaptique

With an ever-changing array of furniture, collectibles, lighting, and home decor, this consignment shop is a great place to search for treasures. We fell hard for the (new) striped Dash & Albert rug bags. 712 Fairfield Ave., (859) 360-1800

The Bellevue Beadery

You don’t have to be crafty. Sure, if you want to learn, they’ll teach (there’s a slew of how-to classes) but if you’re too overwhelmed to pick between this crystal and that glass, fear not. You can buy completed pieces, too. 341 Fairfield Ave., (859) 292-0800


THE BEST OF WEST CHESTER


Ikea

Plan for hours of distraction perusing the inspiring home setups at this massive Swedish home goods and furniture store. Don’t bother counting the calories you burn on the walk; hot cinnamon buns at the checkout can’t be denied. 9500 IKEA Way, (513) 779-7100

Keehner Park

Miles of walking paths, fields, and creeks beckon all ages and groups here daily, but the annual Great Pumpkin Fest, outdoor performances, and a historical 1833 log cabin make it a worthy and diverse experience year round. 7211 Barrett Rd., (513) 777-5900

Dewey’s Pizza and Graeter’s Ice Cream

Next to each other, where families can partake in hometown pizza then skip a few yards and order a black raspberry chip cone, they’re much more than the sum of their parts. 7651 and 7663 Cox Rd., (513) 755-2236 (Graeter’s), and (513) 759-6777 (Dewey’s)

Otto M. Budig Family Foundation Kite Fest

Tens of thousands of eyes are pointed in the skies annually, watching hundreds of brightly colored and impressively designed themed creations float through the air. Bring your childlike wonder. Voice of America Park, Tylersville and Cox roads, www.wguc.org/kitefest 

Rice Rocket Asian Grill

The local business crowd leaves the burgers and chili behind for a convenient and fresh BYOB (Build Your Own Bowl), while families like the variety and price. 9218 Allen Rd., (513) 874-7423


THE BEST OF MADEIRA

The Wardrobe

Sip complementary San Pellegrino or wine while browsing designer labels at this sophisticated boutique, owned by fashionista Lesley Hern. We adore the René Lezard blouse (classic style, divine fit). 6904 Miami Ave., (513) 271-4800, www.thewardrobecincinnati.com 

The Laurel House Shops

Ah, the elusive hostess (or baby shower, or graduation) gift. Here you’ll find plenty, like “Cocktails in Cincinnati” Caspari paper ware, Elegant Baby blankets, and Tervis tumblers. 7801 Laurel Ave., (513) 271-7801, www.laurelhouseshops.com 

The Bookshelf

Since 1975, these bibliofemmes have stocked our favorite titles, and those from local schools’ reading lists. Plus, book clubs receive 20 percent off monthly picks. 7754 Camargo Rd., (513) 271-9140

Coastal Seafood

Jim Brigham, “the fish guy,” sells roughly 700 pounds of fresh fish a week (shipments come on Wednesdays and Fridays). Phone in your order to get first dibs on his best seller, Atlantic salmon. 6928 Miami Ave., (513) 561-4487

Frieda’s Desserts

Master Pastry Chef Armin Hack opened this confectionery wonderland (almond croissants, pistachio opera creams, schnecken!) with his wife, Melanie, in 2004. Drooling with us yet? 6927 Miami Ave., (513) 272-0939, www.friedasdesserts.com 


THE BEST OF BRIDGETOWN


Aroma’s Java and Gelato

The city’s biggest—and almost only—gelataria, where owners Gretta and Rick Blankenship make more than 160 types of their smooth, rich Italian ice cream. 6407 Bridgetown Rd., (513) 574-3000

Noce’s Pizzeria

Just beyond the Bridgetown border, they serve New York-style pizza that attracts east-siders as well as East Coast transplants to taste the best in town. 4105 North Bend Rd., (513) 662-6623

Favorite Things

Pick up fabulous gifts and interior accents in an atmosphere where sophistication is presented in the unpretentious style you’d expect on the west side. 4465 Bridgetown Rd., (513) 598-9900

S&S Western Bowl

If you usually think bowling when you think Bridgetown, fear not. The new owners of the city’s largest alley still offer lots of open lanes and league action. 6383 Glenway Ave., (513) 574-2222

Bridgetown Finer Meats

Think of it as a miniature version of Seattle’s Pike Place Market with beef instead of fish, and the happiest staff in town. 6135 Bridgetown Rd., (513) 574-3100

Originally published in the December 2009 issue.

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