One of the great things about being alive in 2014 is that almost every city has a nice little hipster community. To be young and informed in this age means that local breweries, restaurants built on juxtapositions and high-end cafes are your stomping grounds. And smart venture capitalists help these niche shops, because good beer and good food are essential to 20-somethings.
This weekend I visited my sister in Cincinnati, a city in the stream of upcoming hipsterdom. At the heart of culture is Over-The-Rhine, right in downtown, Cincy’s response to New York’s Greenwich Village, Minneapolis’ Uptown. It has everything a young 20-something likes a mid-size city: good culture and better beer. Here are a few of my favorites parts.
Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine (OTR) district, Findlay Market is charming and memorable. Inside the market, butchers display prime cuts of meat alongside local gelato and cheeses. Outside booths sell produce and plants, even candles and ceramics. Just past the booths, established shops help the culture thrive—a tea shop (Churchill’s Fine Teas) and a wine bar (Market Wines) to name a few. The market is open most days from 9AM to 6PM. Check online for more details.
A few blocks away from Findlay Market sits a fairly new brewery: Rhinegeist. A giant, open-air environment makes Rhinegeist part frat house, part high-end brewery. On a Saturday afternoon young kids ran screaming past (families welcome) and 20-somethings played cornhole by giant murals by local artists. Long community tables somehow made the brewery friendly and intimate.
On top of that, Rhinegeist has some great beer. Their seasonal IPA (Saber Tooth Tiger) is hoppy, but not overpowering. The Oktoberfest (Franz) is also a strong contender, sweet and smooth. They do well in the midwest, a land known for its high-quality local beers. For a fairly new brewery, Rhinegiest certainly knows its market.
Finally, on the trip around OTR, we landed at Senate, a new eatery specializing in foodie hotdogs. As a five-year vegetarian, I sort of feared this place. While they have a handful of vegetarian options, most places are skittish about substituting. Thankfully, Senate is not one of those places. Vegetarians need not fear this hotdog king—a good selection of signature hotdogs can be made with veggie dogs. I wound up with Una Nocha Con Nick Lachey (the Lachey brothers are local Cincy celebrities), and I couldn’t be happier. Gourmet hotdogs are just as good as you think they’re going to be.
Obviously, Cincinnati has so much more to offer. The great thing about downtown is that it appears to reinvent itself often, opening new shops, restaurants and breweries often. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a trip. If you love good food, good culture and great beer, it’s the city for you.
Do you have any good local eats/drinks? Let me know in the comments!