Things to do in Cincinnati Bars

Things to Do in Cincinnati: Hidden Gems Worth a Visit

Cincinnati, Ohio is a top-tier midwestern city for many reasons. It has a landscape of rolling hills, the shimmering Ohio River (complete with beautiful bridges), professional baseball, football and soccer teams (the Reds, Bengals and FC Cincinnati, respectively), and so many craft breweries you could visit one per week and it would take you months to visit them all.


It also has a world-class zoo, a local amusement park that draws crowds from all corners, and the largest Oktoberfest next to the original in Munich, Germany. But there are also many hidden gems throughout the city that aren’t in the constant spotlight. Those are the ones we want to highlight here:


Over-the-Rhine Neighborhood


Washington Park
In the heart of Cincinnati’s revitalized downtown neighborhood known as “Over-the-Rhine” is Washington Park. This park features eight acres of “civic lawn” and has hosted events such as Cincinnati’s “Women’s March.” It also was designed for performances, relaxing with friends and family and socializing with your dog thanks to a bandstand, playground, rental pavilion and dog park. 


The Vestry
Right across the street from Washington Park is a cozy little bar called The Vestry. The Vestry is located in what used to be St. John’s Church, the first German American church in Cincinnati. Featuring leather couches and chairs, The Vestry is a quaint little bar with a unique aesthetic that is perfect for a sophisticated, yet relaxing evening with drink in hand.


The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Performing in Over-the-Rhine’s Otto M. Budig theater (which features only six rows less than 20 feet from the stage), the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a lesser known play company in Cincinnati that still blows the socks off attendees with shows such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Pride & Prejudice.


Downtown Cincinnati


Fountain Square
The heart of Downtown Cincinnati is Fountain Square. Known for its Tyler Davidson fountain, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this important Downtown attraction. Fountain Square is the headquarters for events such as Salsa on the Square, the American Heart Association 5K, the Cincinnati Oktoberfest and even features an ice skating rink throughout the winter season. It’s surrounded by restaurants, food trucks and is a frequent meeting/hangout spot during lunch hours and on the weekends.


Arnold’s Bar & Grill
The oldest continually open tavern in Cincinnati is a stop you don’t want to miss. With an old-school design aesthetic, Arnold’s Bar & Grill features comfort food served for lunch and dinner. It also has added vegan and gluten-free options for those with special dietary requirements. Also known as a great happy hour hangout, Arnold’s frequently features live music performances.


Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center
One of the nation’s first contemporary arts centers, the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center features frequently changing art exhibits as it doesn’t maintain its own full-time collection. Instead, it invites new artists to submit works on an ongoing basis and rotates exhibits in and out to provide trailblazing artists with more opportunities to share new perspectives. No two visits here will be the same.

Hyde Park Neighborhood


Hyde Park Square
One of Cincinnati’s oldest and “hippest” shopping meccas, Hyde Park Square features tables and chairs in the center of a boulevard where visitors can either sit and people watch, take in the nice weather, or visit with friends and family with fare from one of the eateries surrounding the square. 

This small family-owned restaurant in the Hyde Park neighborhood delivers authentic Thai cuisine for lunch and dinner. Voted “Best Asian Restaurant” 1997-2000 in CityBeat magazine, Lemongrass offers affordable, delicious ethnic food in an authentic atmosphere. 

Gallery 708
Located on Hyde Park Square, Gallery 708 is a curated, artist-owned art gallery that showcases work from 28 artists in the Greater Cincinnati area. From paintings to sculptures to jewelry, Gallery 708 features fine art and fine crafts to please the eye and make the heart happy. 


Oakley Neighborhood


Geier Esplanade
Formerly known as “Oakley Square,” this parcel of land in the center of the Oakley neighborhood business district is the home of “Oakley Afterhours” community parties in the summertime and is a local dedicated space to sit and eat or drink with friends.


Habits Cafe
Founded in 1980, Habits Cafe is a historic Oakley neighborhood bar & grill. It specializes in burgers, beers and fish & chips. Habits has more than 90 different beers on tap at any given time, and has a full brunch menu complete with a bloody mary bar. Don’t miss out on this Oakley staple.


RedTree Art Gallery & Coffee Shop
If you’re looking for the perfect mix between beautiful art on the walls and beautiful foam art on the top of your latte, RedTree should be your morning coffee stop. The walls are adorned with local artists’ pieces for sale, and the shop even features dedicated themed art exhibits.


Mt. Lookout Neighborhood

Alms Park
This hilltop 94-acre park is a local favorite for hikers, joggers, and dog walkers. From its heights, one can see the juncture of the Little Miami River with the gigantic bend of the Ohio, the hills of Kentucky, Lunken Airport and panoramic valleys.


Zip’s Cafe
Zip’s Cafe is known as one of Cincinnati’s best burger joints and it’s located right in the heart of Mt. Lookout Square. Known as a frequent after-church brunch spot, this little restaurant packs a big flavor punch. Sit in the last pew because you want to be the first in the door to grab a limited seat here.


The Redmoor
Located on Mt. Lookout Square, The Redmoor is not only a featured wedding venue in Cincinnati, it also is home to performances such as live music and comedy shows. Dinner fare includes appetizers, burgers and pizza.

Although we only highlighted a few different neighborhoods in Cincinnati, believe us…there are too many local hidden gems here to list all at once. Stay tuned for future blogs with additional spots you’ll want to be sure to visit.


If you’d like information on moving to the Greater Cincinnati area or to speak to a real estate expert about the Cincinnati/NKY real estate market…contact Varma Realty Group. We’d be happy to answer any and all questions.
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