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Downtown :: Food & Drink

Downtown diningWhether you’re looking for high cuisine or street fare, Downtown dining offers it all - everything from upscale restaurants and cozy bistros to hot dog stands and chili parlors. Epicures with deeper wallets will enjoy the elegant and classy Via Vite perched over Fountain Square. To impress a business client or a date, you can't beat the opulent French Art Deco detailing of the Palm Court’s atrium, which houses a martini bar and Orchids (for fine dining), and The Grille (for something simpler). Seafood lovers will have to decide between McCormick and Schmick's, the Oceanaire, or the Washington Platform, home to the annual Crab Carnival and Oyster festival.

A spectrum of international cuisines exist Downtown, including Akash (Indian), Shanghai Mama’s (Chinese), Sung Korean Bistro (Korean), and Ko Sho (Japanese). Francophiles can visit Cafe de Paris, and those wanting a taste of the British Isles can sample the Haggis at Nicholson’s or the Guinness Pie at Sully’s. Boi Na Braza provides a Brazilian steakhouse experience complete with gauchos, and classic Italian can be found at Scotti’s or Campanello’s. Mexican is well represented with Javier's, but Nada, an upscale, hip take on Mexican is more than just a meal – it’s also a great place to hob knob with Cincinnati’s creative class before seeing a show.

For those in the mood for American eats, Morton's and Jeff Ruby’s offer extraordinary steaks, and Palomino features regional American cuisine along with a lovely view of Fountain Square. For pub fare and a great atmosphere, Cincinnati's oldest bar, Arnold's, does the job. And if it's New York Deli you're craving, it's tough to beat Izzy's corned beef on rye with a potato pancake on the side.


Downtown nightlife-Arnold'sDowntown nightlife has plenty to offer. From riding the mechanical bull at Cadillac Ranch to discussing politics elbow-to-elbow at O’Malley’s in the Alley, or enjoying an evening of live Jazz at the Blue Wisp, Downtown hums with a late-night electricity. Bars and restaurants surround the Backstage district near the Aronoff — including the Lodge Bar, Blackfinn, Rockin’ Robin’s and Madonna’s.

On warm summer nights Fountain Square features Salsa dancing, concerts and movies on the Jumbo-tron. Shooters, The Subway, Below Zero Lounge, and Simon Says anchor Downtown’s GLBT scene, and Arnold’s, the city’s oldest watering hole, is not only a great bar and restaurant, but also the perfect setting to catch live bluegrass or folk music. The Blue Wisp Jazz Club, which has an international reputation, attracts world class Jazz performers — as well as hosts its own hotshots on Wednesday nights (the Blue Wisp Big Band is not to be missed).

For late-night revelers who like to burn calories while they drink, Bang Nightclub hosts DJs playing the latest techno and break beats, with a series of sculpted spaces geared toward seeing and being seen. The Havana Martini Club offers everything from Funk and Salsa bands to a Ladies Eighties Dance Party. Those truly committed to Downtown nightlife may join serious fraternal organizations as Nicholson Pub’s Wild Scotchmen Whisky Society or the Rock Bottom Brewery Mug Club.

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