Foodie Couple

Top 8 Cheap-ER Eats with Fantastic Food

Foodies all love fancy and expensive food but delicious food doesn’t have to be super pricey.    Fine dining isn’t our only option.  There are some excellent budget-friendly places in the Cincy Tri-State area and 8 of them are listed here.  Chef says:  Here are some nice mid-tier eateries.

Red Feather Bread

  1.  Annabel’s
    • French inspired breakfast, brunch, and lunch place.
    • Mt. Lookout; East side.
    • Good:  Food is sooooo phenomenal.  Croissants and muffins are worth the trip.
    • Bad: Parking, place is small and they don’t take reservations, hours are limited.
    • Chef says: Bakery products are amazing.  Eggs and crepes are delicate – the way they are supposed to be enjoyed.  Excellent food in a slightly hippy atmosphere.
  2. A Tavola
    • Italian
    • Two locations – Madeira; East side, and Cincy OTR.
    • Good:  Very fresh ingredients.  Wagyu (aka American Kobe beef) meatballs with goat cheese are soooo good.  The house tomato sauce is worth paying for extra.  Bacon-wrapped dates keep me coming back.
    • Bad:  The only pizza is thin crust and thinner crust.  Not much on the menu for kids.  No pasta.
    • Chef says: Variety of unusual beers and cocktails. Food is excellent but servings are small.
    • A Tavola Website
  3. La Petite Pierre
    • French bistro with American influences.
    • Madeira; East side.
    • Good:  Food quality is excellent.  Tartes are good (they are really high-quality flatbread pizzas).  Burgers and croque madame in the same place – yea!  The have a takeout option called “Fill the Pot” – my favorite.
    • Bad: While they change the menu often, the choices feel repetitive.
    • Chef says: Excellent wine options and pairings with an ever changing selection.  Menu is limited but everything is made using traditional French techniques.
    • La Petite Pierre Website
  4. Taste of Belgium
    • Belgian waffles and chicken
    • Downtown Cincy OTR on Vine St.; in the cool restaurant section.
    • Good:  Waffle & Chicken dish is a must-have.  Maple syrup and hot sauce together, yum.  Chicken is super good.  Salads are way yummy. Kid friendly.
    • Bad: No parking. No valet. No reservations. Wait is long for weekend brunch.
    • Chef says: Strong vibrant flavors.  Both spicy and sweet dishes.  Full bar.  You can watch them make the waffles in-house.  Waffles and other bakery items are available to-go.
    • Taste of Belgium Website
  5. Maribelle’s
    • Contemporary American
    • Oakley; East side
    • Good: Appetizers, sides, and cocktails are worth the trip. Chicken wings, fried brussel sprouts, and mac & cheese are excellent.  Kid friendly.
    • Bad: Specials are the only entrees, which are hit-or-miss.
    • Chef says: Creative cocktails.  Kitchen is actually in the same room with the dining area, which makes for easy viewing.  Appetizers and sides are Awesome!  Main dishes are hit or miss.
    • Maribelle’s Website
  6. Relish Modern Tapas
    • Mediterranean
    • Mason, Northeast
    • Good: Chorizo in medjool dates is crave-worthy.  Full bar.
    • Bad: Empanadas (spanish calzones/ravioli) were mediocre.
    • Chef says: All drinks, including beer and wine, are served in water cups – weird.  Prices are appropriate for the small/tapa sized portions.
    • Relish Modern Tapas Website
  7. Quan Hapa
    • Asian street food (aka finger and simple foods)
    • Downtown Cincy OTR on Vine St.; in the cool restaurant section.
    • Good: Ramen soup bowls were tasty.  Japanese pancake appetizer was great (like a potato pancake with your choice of onions, bacon, mushrooms, and eggs).
    • Bad: No parking.  No valet.  Picnic style seating.  The flavor of the wings appetizer was odd.
    • Chef says: Flavorful without being overly spicy.  Fresh ingredients and the meats are higher quality than the typical Asian fare.  Across the street from donut place — for dessert afterwards.
    • Quan Hapa Website
  8. Saigon Cafe
    • Vietnamese
    • Hyde Park, East side
    • Good: Pho (noodle soup).  Chicken curry stir fry is the chef’s choice.  Full bar.  Specialty drink menu is good.  Kid friendly.
    • Bad: Parking is limited, but parking across the street is available.
    • Chef says:  Doesn’t feel like a Vietnamese place because there is a melding of Pacific Rim cuisines.  They have sushi alongside curry and Chinese-style dishes.  Higher grade ingredients make any dish a good choice.
    • Saigon Cafe Website


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