Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood once rivaled Brooklyn as the most densely populated neighborhood in the country. While it has seen several major changes in population since those days, much of it's handsome building stock has survived through the years and is currently housing "the Queen City's" most energetic and diverse neighborhood.
@nickdewald is an architect and developer who recently completed construction on a self-designed home for he and his family in the area and they couldn't be happier to call Over-the-Rhine (OTR) home. He has provided some insider tips for exploring OTR:
Nick and his wife Lindsay (@ourcityhouse) began a side project in 2011 shortly after moving back to Cincinnati from Brooklyn. The City Flea began in a surface parking lot downtown with 45 vendors selling everything from vintage clothes to brick oven pizza. The monthly event has now grown to upwards of 170 vendors and takes place at Washington Park- the highlight on a neighborhood tour any day of the week. Nick and Lindsay love to organize 'the flea' even more now that they live around the corner from it.
A tiny coffee spot where a cortado typically comes with some real conversation and a smile. One of several great sources of caffeine in the neighborhood that prove you do not need to be on a coast to find a high quality cup of coffee.
In OTR you should always be looking in every direction. It might be tricky but it will be worth it to make sure you catch the dozens of murals that exist thanks to local and international artists and Artworks, a local non-profit that works with local youth on art murals throughout the city.
Despite having opened only recently, Brown Bear Bakery is a hot spot! You'll typically find a line out the door shortly before doors open for the day with hungry customers anxious to get their hands on their signature Cinnamon Roll.
Stop by Taft's Ale House to see the building but don't leave without tasting one or all of the beers! Housed in a building that was once literally falling into the street due to disrepair and neglect, Taft's Ale House has turned a church built in the mid-1800s into a bustling cathedral of brewing. It is one of several can't-miss beer-enthusiast stops in OTR along with Rhinegeist Brewery and the lager tunnels you'll find on a Queen City Underground Tour.
One of the smallest spaces in town is home to one of the best restaurants in the region, Salazar. With a farm-focused menu, you can expect to see local farmers with their trucks parked outside this restaurant at all times of day. This is a place that you can stop by and grab a quick bite at the bar on a whim, or spend a couple hours celebrating a special event and exploring the menu.
A solid place to have a relaxed conversation with friends alongside a killer beer selection and legit wine list. Nothing fancy here, just the type of place you want to be.
This recently renovated and expanded park provides plenty of green places to picnic and relax. These along with a brand new swimming pool make Ziegler Park the place to be on a sunny day.
Worth waiting on a hot sidewalk for, Gomez. This spot is known best for their 'turtles', a hybrid burrito/tostada, which somehow manages to make a regular old burrito seem foolish. Order at the window along with a growler or six pack to go from Halfcut.
Every town has a donut shop that they say is the best around, but take it from a guy who has done the $4 glazed donut thing in several large cities that shall remain nameless- a $1 Holtman's Donuts, with its warm gooey center, can go up against the best of em. Get one for breakfast, dessert, or both!
If it wasn't obvious, there are no shortage of delicious things to consume while visiting Cincinnati. I really only covered about 3 square blocks and left out plenty. Pedaling around on a Bedford 3 or another handsome Brooklyn Bicycle will help offset the calories and get a whole new perspective!
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