For those who visit Cincinnati, or for those fellow Cincinnatians who don’t do much exploring, having a list of places to visit can be quite helpful. When you need something to do in the city or over-the-rhine (OTR) it can be quite underwhelming for people who don’t know where to look. After exploring over-the-rhine a few times (night or day), I have found that there are plenty of places to see and many things to do. Visitors, and even some natives, would be very surprised to learn about the history of Cincinnati and how OTR came to be, but I’ll save the history lesson for another day. Last week on a hot summer day my cousin, Gabby, and I walked around over-the-rhine well into the evening. She talked about our adventures on her blog, Nerdette At large. Her blog consists of comics, tv/movies, and more. I’ve grown to be a huge fan of comics and anime because of her. So check out her site, and support my fam!
What was that list of places you should visit in OTR?
Buzzed Bull Creamery
Buzzed Bull Creamery is a handcrafted ice cream shop in which caters to adults by turning their favorite alcoholic beverages into a frozen dessert. The menu they provide is very extensive, and walking inside might convince you it’s an ice cream bar (emphasis on the bar), but the atmosphere is quite chill when filled with people who are looking to get a little buzzed with something sweet on the side. This shop recently opened in OTR earlier this summer, and walking in on a Tuesday night didn’t show me much of the buzz the place got raved for. Still I was eager to try it out. I got a strawberry margarita rum frozen yogurt, and it wasn’t awful, but it didn’t really impress me either. My friend, Dominique, seemed to have enjoyed hers since she finished it all. To enjoy this treat the cost was $7.17. The bathrooms were clean, and the staff was relatively helpful. The location is on Main St where other local bars reside. And I would definitely suggest going in and giving the place a try if you’re visiting or haven’t tasted ice cream laced with alcohol before. The concept is quite nice, and if you’re already out on the town bar hopping and enjoying a night out why not get buzzed on ice cream?
The Macaron Bar has always been something I walked past whenever I was in OTR. I never gave it much thought because the price was high for a cookie looking treat, and I had no idea what macarons were. I still have no idea what they are exactly, but I did decide to treat myself for once and indulge. I tried the strawberry chocolate macaron, and it was delicious. I was told that they are made using almond flour which is an interesting concept. To indulge all you need to pay is a lovely $2.25 for each macaron of your choice. The presentation of the store was very bright, and quite adorable. It was well lit, and there was a small section that patrons could sit and enjoy their macarons with a drink of their choosing. It is definitely a nice place to go and get snacks for a meeting or fancy event. It’s even more perfect as a dessert location after a date. Taking pictures inside is convenient because of the lightening which is a plus for those who love a good Instagram picture, right? This store is located on the same street as the Buzzed Bull Creamery, and in fact is only about a 60 second walk from it.
16-Bit Bar + Arcade
16-Bit Bar + Arcade is a pretty cool place, especially if you’re looking to have fun on a date. As long as you’re 21 & up you can go here and have a blast. The place is pretty creative with arcade games and a bar for those who drink. The walls in and around the bathrooms are chalk, and they are filled with writings from patrons that visit. The lighting is dim, but that doesn’t deter from the atmosphere. The staff was very friendly, and helpful with anything we needed to know for our time there. I would say this is the best place to hang out with friends or your significant other. I give this place a 5/5. Oh and try their slushies if you go, they are the best after walking around on a hot summer day.
Iris Book cafe
I stumbled upon this Iris Bookcafé alongside my cousin as we explored over-the-rhine. We had just decided to end our night before we saw it. Once walking in you get the feeling that this cafe is the place to go if you want a nice location to write or meet up to study with friends. Not only was the menu bomb, but the selection of books and music was too. They sold records, old magazines, and books (currently buy one, get one free). If they weren’t about to close I would’ve forced Gabby to stay longer while I scoured the shelves for something to read. I have a rule when I enter a bookstore: always leave with at least one. I haven’t done much reading since coming back from Korea, but that has been one of my goals while I finish out this last year of college. I could’ve stayed in there forever if they would’ve let me.
Exploring OTR was really fun, and I look forward to learning more about the hidden gems of the city I’ve lived in for 23 years. So much has changed downtown and in OTR since I was little. I can still recall trolloping through Findley Market with my grandparents, and my brother. If there’s anything my grandmother taught me it was to be a tourist in your own city. Even if you have been to those neighborhoods before, there’s always something new to learn and something different to see. I’m happy to know she’s never steered me wrong.
Ever been a toruist in your city? Leave me a comment below or chat with me on twitter @champagneroses_