Finding the perfect bar in a city like Cincinnati, which is chock full of everything from cocktail lounges and sports bars to microbreweries, can really be a challenge. We decided to create our bar essentials guide by choosing our favorite watering holes in three awesome neighborhoods across the city, so no matter where your night takes you, you’ll know the best places to wet your whistle and mingle.
Take a look at our list of the best bars in Cincinnati, broken down by neighborhood:
Over The Rhine
One of the most beautiful neighborhoods in our fair city, OTR is also home to some truly awesome bars. The idea of combining a bar with an arcade has been gaining popularity in cities across the country, and Cincinnati’s 16-Bit Bar+Arcade doesn’t disappoint. Many of the arcade games are free if you purchase a drink (score!), and the hilarious yet awesome drinks, like The Hulk Hogan (which comes with a full bomb popsicle in it) are fantastic.
If you’re looking for a bar in the area that’s a bit more laid-back with great food to boot, check out Krueger’s Tavern. Plenty of seating, a fantastic menu, and a classic OTR vibe make this gastropub one of our faves in the neighborhood. Wash down a juicy burger with a microbrew or a perfectly crafted cocktail.
If you’re not a local, you might not know that Cincy natives often refer to the neighborhoods of Clifton Heights, University Heights, and Fairview as CUF, but we do! If you find yourself in the area and you're looking for an ideal sports bar, stop by Clifton Heights Tavern. Their daily ($1 draft Fridays) and monthly drink specials, $5 liquor pitchers, free pool during happy hour, and the friendly but laid-back bartenders make it a spot you’ll want to return to again and again.
Another classic pick and all-around favorite of ours is the nearby Murphy’s Pub. Grab a cold pint at the bar, hit up the pool table or darts board, and put on your favorite tunes at the jukebox. Check their calendar for trivia nights and cook-offs.
Northside is home to some of the best bars in Cincinnati, and Northside Tavern is an awesome neighborhood gem. In addition to having craft beers like Madtree, Bell’s, and Rhinegeist on tap, Northside Tavern has a great venue in the back bar that draws weekly live music. They also host events like trivia night, the little planet supper club, and sweet karaoke.
The Comet is another truly fantastic find in Northside. Like Northside Tavern, they frequently have live music and DJs, but this Tex-Mex dive also serves up some of the best Mexican food in the neighborhood. With lots of local craft beer on tap, a delicious brunch menu, and the unbeatable Cincy vibe, it’s no wonder The Comet is always buzzing.
From classic arcade games and PBR to free pool and unstoppable tacos, every neighborhood in Cincinnati has its own unique bar scene. If you’re looking at this list and wondering where your neighborhood is, don’t despair! We’re still thirsty and absolutely determined to find the best bars in Cincinnati in every corner of our city, so check out NearSay for more local favorites.