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Old 04-17-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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my husband and i are coming to the area in august. we will have one day to spend in cincinnati. we are from the san francisco bay area. we would love to spend our one day checking out local culture - cool record stores, independently owned boutiques, vintage furniture shops, thrift stores, funky coffee houses, artists collectives, ethnic restaurants, etc. we have money to spend but want to spend it in the local businessness and not the malls. please recommend your favorites!!! btw we have never been to cincy before, so it would be great to spend a day in a neighborhood that combines local history with shopping and food. thanks in advance.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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If you are in on a Saturday, check out the Findley Market (farmers market). It is a few blocks from Over the Rhine, which has some cool architecture and local shops and is right next to downtown.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikisma View Post
we will have one day to spend ...checking out local culture - cool record stores, independently owned boutiques, vintage furniture shops, thrift stores, funky coffee houses, artists collectives, ethnic restaurants, etc.
Sounds like a pretty busy day. Makes me tired just reading it.

The funkiest coffee house I know of in Cincinnati is Sitwells in Clifton Gaslight. In fact there are several independently owned boutiques on Ludlow in Clifton. The gaslight district is probably the funkiest place in Cincinnati, but it is a big letdown compared to SF.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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Sounds like you'll be spending a lot of time in OTR's gateway quarter, Northside, Clifton, and Mainstrasse. For a great coffee you must check out The Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway. They have all fair trade coffee in many varieties that are freshly roasted daily inside the coffee shop. You could get a bag to bring back home. As mentioned, Sitwells has a cool atmosphere, but the coffee is terrible. Also, Highlands coffee on Highland Ave in Corryville is the best for atmosphere IMO.

For Ethnic food, there are a lot of really good Indian Restaurants on Ludlow Ave. in Clifton. There are a lot of Thai and Sushi places near Rockwood Commons (ex: Lemon Grass, Wild Ginger, etc.) and Teak in Mt Adams. The most popular sushi restaurant in the city is probably Dancing Wasabi in Mt. Lookout. Melt in Northside for good vegan and vegetarian food.

For Record Stores definitely go to Shake It Records in Northside. It is probably one of the best record stores in the country. Also, Everybody's records in Pleasant Ridge is pretty good.

There are a lot of neat little shops in the Gateway Quarter of OTR which is the area near just north of Central Parkway on Vine St. Also there's a cool vintage store called Atomic number ten and a Green General store called Park and Vine on Main street just a few blocks from the shops on Vine St. The buildings in this area are absolutely stunning. People on here will try to scare you from going to this neighborhood, but as long as you don't stray too far north of Central Parkway and you are aware of your surroundings, you'll be fine. Also on the last Friday of every month they have gallery hop on Main street and it is always a good time.

I don't know too much about furniture stores or Kentucky, but I would suggest you check out Mainstrasse in Covington, Ky and Newport, Ky while you are in town. Check Yelp.com for reviews.

Also if you don't know anyone in the area I would suggest setting up an account on couchsurfing.org and searching for people to "grab a coffee/drink." You should have no problem finding people that would love to show you around the city.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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You absolutely can't go wrong in the Clifton Gaslight district, for funky restaurants, coffee shops and locally owned shops. And Northside is just a few minutes away with a definite local edgy vibe. Other than that, check out Mount Adams for a (very small) slice of San Francisco and the downtown/Over-the-Rhine areas are a must. You won't find any generic suburban malls in those areas, though downtown does have some chain department stores and restaurants.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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Default great suggestions

i have heard about northside and clifton - it does seem like we'll get the most out of our short visit by sticking to these neighborhoods. are they walkable or can we expect to be driving a lot?

i am actually REALLY excited about checking out cincy, i've been hearing great things about it, especially the stuff that makes it unique. being urban dwellers we are not afraid of dodginess - we aren't seeking out danger but we realize that the out-of-the-ordinary places are sometimes found in the marginal parts of town. so please keep the great suggestions coming!

another question - what is the one food/restaurant we must experience while there? not the best, michelin-starred place but the one with the most quintessential local flavor?
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
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Agreed, no city anywhere (except Hong Kong) will ever compare with gorgeous San Francisco -- however, Cincinnati's winding Ohio River and many hills make it one of the most beautiful inland cities in the USA. All this is best seen in Mt. Adams, the unique hilltop enclave overlooking the downtown. Simply do not miss it and its shops, restaurants, and bars! The balcony of the famous Immaculata Church will afford you perhaps the best view ever of "The Queen City," and a drive through nearby Eden Park, with its two lower and upper river overlooks, will be worth the drive. THEN "do" the Clifton Gaslight District, Over-the-Rhine, and Northside, etc... Hope your venture here will be rewarding!
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikisma View Post
i have heard about northside and clifton - it does seem like we'll get the most out of our short visit by sticking to these neighborhoods. are they walkable or can we expect to be driving a lot?

i am actually REALLY excited about checking out cincy, i've been hearing great things about it, especially the stuff that makes it unique. being urban dwellers we are not afraid of dodginess - we aren't seeking out danger but we realize that the out-of-the-ordinary places are sometimes found in the marginal parts of town. so please keep the great suggestions coming!

another question - what is the one food/restaurant we must experience while there? not the best, michelin-starred place but the one with the most quintessential local flavor?
The commercial areas of Northside and Clifton are quite walkable, although coming from San Francisco you'll probably think they're really small. I'm not crazy about some of the restaurant suggestions you've received, and would urge you to visit Take the Cake in Northside for delicious sandwiches and cupcakes. Check Yelp for reviews, and also check the hours because they're not open every day.

Cincinnati's quintessential local specialty is Cincinnati style chili, more like a Greek-flavored spaghetti sauce than the chili you're probably accustomed to. You can experience it at any of the Skyline or Gold Star chain places, or at Camp Washington Chili if you prefer an independent. Camp Washington's not far from Northside.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,726,919 times
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OTR is the most interesting neighborhood for an urbanophile to visit in terms of urban form - it is the largest collection of Italianate architecture in the country. It is becoming the first stop for urban-minded transplants moving or starting businesses. There are some coffee shops and boutiques, but it is still very much transitional where you'll have nice shops, etc one block and then on the next you'll start looking over your shoulder. But few san franciscans would be intimidated by the occasional bum.

You're right on with clifton and northside for an urban area with more to do. Most likely you'll park near the business district of each and then get out and walk around. The drive from clifton to northside is short and easy. A mile or two, maybe. Both areas are really nice and must-see, but if you've been to a lot of cities you might find them less unique in absolute terms compared with OTR.
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