Cincinnati Magazine’s Top 10

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February 12, 2013
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February 27, 2013

March Cincinnati Magazine

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again… my favorite time of year, actually, when the Cincinnati Magazine Top 10 Restaurant list comes out.  For the past few years‘ lists, click here.

1. Orchids at the Palm Court

2. Jean-Robert’s Table

3. Nicola’s

4. Senate

5. Abigail Street

6. Cumin

7. Via Vite

8. Dutch’s Larder

9. Bouquet

10. Eli’s

For those who are counting, Hugo, The Palace, Boca and Sichuan Bistro fell off the list (Hugo because it’s now closed). There’s always one “surprise” on the list– this time Eli’s.  If the list is about high end service, Eli’s makes no sense, but the trend in dining is towards a small menu done very well– and Eli’s is the best barbecue in town, hands down, and you can fill your belly (and soul) for under $10.  Dutch’s Larder is similar– though it’s not as expensive as some of the restaurants on this list, you can get some amazing charcuterie or a sandwich, paired with a beer.

Featured New Restaurants:


Jimmy G’s


Quan Hapa

Mantra on the Hill

What do you think are the top ten restaurants?  And what is your favorite new restaurant?



  1. Sara Ryan says:

    I must be the only person in town that has consistently and repeatedly had fairly mediocre experiences at Orchids, so I’m always surprised to see the praise heaped on it, but maybe my experiences have been truly atypical (though entirely typical in my own experience, so there’s that). Otherwise, I think the list is fair overall, though I think La Poste has to be one of the most overlooked restaurants in this city. I’ve had fantastic meals there, excellent wine pairings, and service as good or better than anywhere else in town. Yet it seems totally off the popular restaurant radar somehow. Sad to see Boca and Sichuan Bistro off the list, though I can understand why on each. And I’m now practically vibrating with excitement for Sotto, so next year’s list will probably include a few new names once again!

  2. Joe Robb says:

    Ugh, what’s with The Senate? I just don’t understand why people like that place so much. They’re just overpriced hot dogs with interesting accouterments.

    • Julie says:

      Have you tried anything else there? The hot dogs are fun, but their mussels are some of the best I’ve had anywhere, and they have killer soups. In my opinion, the real stars of the menu are the non-hot dog items.

      • Joe Robb says:

        I’ve had the poutine and it was absolutely delish. I have no doubt that the rest of their menu is fantastic, but I felt screwed the first time I went there so I’m not going to give them a second chance.

        I worked in restaurants for a long time & I have all the patience in the world when it comes to bad service, food that doesn’t seem quite right, even downright bad food, but I did restaurant purchasing long enough to get really offended when the restaurant is deliberately jacking up their prices to improve their profitability without improving my customer experience. It makes me feel like a chump, and I won’t go back.

        Geez, I really do sound like a stereotypical guy from the Westside don’t I? Cheap and crotchety. 🙂

  3. Josh says:

    Orchids is awsome but really think La Poste needs a nod. But some people dont know how to hang out with the cool kids under the bleachers.

  4. Yet again I am surprised by the inclusion of Cumin. Table at #2? Just no. No La Poste? No Boca? this list is suspect. And finally, this list fails to mention the real best restaurant in town – Ando. Regarding the best new restaurants, I’m surprised by no mention of Kaze.

  5. Joe says:

    The biggest surprise to me is Boca’s disappearance. They’d always been 1 or 2

  6. Ryan says:

    Any list without Boca has zero credibility. They would have been better off giving a nod to Ryan Santos somehow in the top ten (he deserves it) than giving a nod to a BBQ place. I love me some BBQ, but it’s not what this list is about at ALL the other 9 spots show that.

    • Courtney says:

      The restaurant can be Orchids or it can be Eli’s. It can serve up fine dining, barbeque, or hot dogs. Whatever the restaurant specializes in, I think the point of the list is to highlight 10 places that are doing it exceptionally well. I think that’s why you see a range of casual to fine dining (from Abigail, Dutch’s Larder, Eli’s, Senate … to Orchids, Nicola’s, etc.)

  7. Vudutu says:

    Shocked but happy to see Eli’s on the list, I have been a fan since
    their first week at Findlay. Don’t understand at all why Dutch’s is even
    on the list. Glad to see the Mantra nod also.

  8. MosquitoControl says:

    no burnell’s is a huge shame
    some real mediocre places, too. Via vite? And though I’ve yet to go, I don’t know a single person that has good things to say about table.

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