Year 2021 was a big year for the return of restaurants. More people were comfortable dining out again and a slew of new eateries opened across Greater Cincinnati.
Here's a list of what's opened in 2021 (so far):
(Note: This list has been updated. It previously included three restaurants that had closed this year.)
Baker's Table Bakery, 1001 Monmouth St, Newport: The bakery is an all-day cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, including egg sandwiches, pastries and, from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, pizzas, from a traditional Margherita to a leek and mushroom version topped with gouda and rosemary. There is also a wide selection of breads.
Bandito: Food Park + Cantina, 3543 Columbia Parkway, Columbia Tusculum: A "one-of-a-kind outdoor indoor playground," according to its website. The scratch kitchen serves a Mexican-inspired menu, including nachos, tacos, chicken and burgers with "signature salsas and homemade sauces."
Bee's Barbecue, 5910 Chandler St., Madisonville: Bee's serves brisket that's smoked up to 15 hours, pulled pork and sausages made by hometown butcher shop Avril-Bleh.
Beeline, 1 Levee Way, Newport: The newest project from Four Entertainment Group (4EG) opened at Newport on the Levee. Beeline is a cocktail bar with an outdoor patio that offers some pretty stunning views of the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati.
Billy Yanks Restaurant and Bourbon Bar, 205 Main St., Hamilton: Serving dishes such as Southern-style burgers with pimento green tomato relish, fried Spam sandwiches and power-bowl salads in the heart of Hamilton, Billy Yanks opened in August.
Blind Squirrel, 8537 U.S. Highway 42, Florence: You'll also find burgers, pizza soups, salads, pulled pork barbecue sandwiches and a chicken sandwich with herbed Boursin, cream cheese, red onions, bacon and a lemon vinaigrette.
Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey, 9039 U.S. 42, Union, Kentucky: A second, far more suburban location of chef Christian Gill's popular Pendleton restaurant, Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey, opened in Union on July 9. The restaurant is known for its homemade biscuits served with a variety of gravies including sawmill and goetta versions, as well as its classic bourbon cocktails.
Branch and Night Drop, 1535 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills: Restaurant and bar reopened in April and started letting guests back into its dining room, located inside a former bank, the first week of May. It's also under new culinary leadership. Its downstairs cocktail bar, Night Drop, is also open for business.
The Bread Bar at Giminetti Bakery, 2900 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills: After temporarily shutting down, the Giminetti bakery and cafe is back in action with a brand new chef and menu. Chef Cory Colton, a Maine native who moved from New York City to Cincinnati for the job, offers a wide selection of house-made pastries, breads, as well as soups, sandwiches and salads.
Cackleberry, mobile: Breakfast sandwiches served out of a pop-up housed inside a vintage 1960s trailer.
Cafe Mochiko, 1524 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills: Japanese bakery and restaurant, serving items such as chrysanthemum cake and black sugar monkey bread and Japanese comfort food including barbecue pork bao.
Ché Empanadas y Más, 3009 O’Bryon St., O'Bryonville: The owners behind OTR's Ché expanded, and is focused on Ché's empanadas with additional scratch-made offerings and a full-service bar featuring handcrafted cocktails, wine and beer.
Cheba Hut, 2614 Short Vine St., Corryville: Part of an Arizona-based, weed-themed chain of restaurants, seems geared toward hungry late-night college crowds with the munchies and offers just about every kind of sub sandwich you can think of.
Clear Mountain Food Park, 2792 Old Ohio 32, Batavia: Billing itself as one of the largest food halls in town, Clear Mountain Food Park features rotating food trucks serving everything from Philly cheesesteaks from East Coast Eatz, to shrimp and grits from A Lil Taste of Soul. It is also offering live music, indoor and outdoor seating as well as outdoor games and activities.
Copper & Flame, 1115 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine: New, pour-your-own drink bar with almost 70 taps offering craft cocktails, beer and wine..
The Cutaway at Oakley Kitchen Food Hall, 3715 Madison Road, Oakley: The crew from Longfellow recently opened an East Side outpost of their beloved Over-the-Rhine bar. The Cutaway Bar joins eight food stalls at the new Oakley Kitchen Food Hall, where it will serve beer, wine, "weird soda" and cocktails, among other things.
Decibel Korean Fried Chicken, 922 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills: Unlike American fried chicken, Korean fried chicken is double fried, giving it a crispier skin. Decibel also offers fried cauliflower as well as sides that include waffle fries, kimchi, seaweed salad and a "picnic salad" made with macaroni, celery, mayo and spices. Specials include Korean fried corn dogs. Decibel will serve its food through a window at neighboring Esoteric Brewery, which will serve as the restaurant's dining room.
Deeper Roots Coffee, 338 W. Fourth St., Downtown: Coffee-roasting company's third location.
Deme Kitchen, 627 Main St., Downtown: Asian street food, serving dishes such as spicy Korean wings, lo mein, chow mein and banh mi sandwiches.
Dope Asian Street Fare, 2912 Wasson Road, Hyde Park: While Dope already has two locations – one inside Kroger's Downtown food hall and one inside the Kroger in Anderson Township – the Hyde Park location is its first standalone spot. Strategically situated across the street from the Wasson Way trail, the Asian street fare restaurant offers several styles of ramen, banh mi, bao buns and cold noodle dishes, among many other dishes.
FB’s Kitchen & Lounge, 126 Sixth St., Downtown: A sports bar – which serves Italian fare, including specialty pizzas and pasta, as well as cocktails, wine and beer – that refers to itself as a “chill Italian bistro and a Vegas-esque sports lounge.”
Fillo Greek Bake Shop, 1505 Race St., Over-the-Rhine: This combination espresso bar, bakery and full-fledged restaurant opened its doors on a beautiful corner near Washington Park. Espresso drinks, Greek pastries, salads and sandwiches, as well as a small Greek market selling Greek olive oil, snacks and coffee.
Frosthaus, 115 Park Place, Covington: Frozen-drink bar and eatery. A spot for "killer" frozen drinks, a wide beer selection, a "menu with German flair" and desserts.
Golden Corral, 4770 Houston Road, Florence: Buffets are back! While the national restaurant chain announced the permanent closure of its Florence location last November, a Facebook video recently announced that the restaurant, with its all-you-can-eat buffets, is officially back in action.
Graeter's,8167 Montgomery Road, Sycamore Township: The 56th location of Graeter's Ice Cream opened May 18 in the Kenwood area of Sycamore Township.
Gulow Street Bar and Kitchen, 1614 Hoffner St., Northside: Craft cocktail bar/cafe offers beer, wine and cocktails, as well as food options that include a ham and butter sandwich on a baguette, sesame noodles, burgers and rigatoni bolognese.
Hard Rock Cafe, 1000 Broadway St., Downtown: Yes, Cincinnati finally has a Hard Rock Cafe. The Queen City location opened this month in the former Jack Casino complex. The cafe features feel-good, whisk-the-world-away cocktails including hurricanes, mojitos, pina coladas and margaritas, as well as decadent burgers, steaks, sandwiches, wings and nachos.
Hart & Cru, 1206 Broadway St., Pendleton: This highly anticipated new wine shop and tasting room was opened by sommelier Kevin Hart, a veteran of Boca and Pigall’s, and features more than 250 bottles of wine as well as French bistro fare such as coq a vin, cassoulet and rabbit rillette.
Jerry’s Jug House, 414 E. Seventh St., Newport: September marked the first time in its history that it's offered a food menu. Options include the Salt, Fat, Acid plate with farm-picked vegetables from Bezold Farms in Moscow, Ohio, uncured soppressata and smoked goat cheese, as well as pimento cheese with veggies and pretzels and sourdough slices with pulled pesto chicken salad, heirloom tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
Jot India Restaurant, 1709 Monmouth St., Newport: The restaurant features classics such as naan, saag paneer, tikka masala and aloo choley (chickpeas and potatoes prepared North Indian style).
Kanji Sushi & Korean, 1739 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine: Restaurant serves Korean classic dishes such as bibimbap, Korean-style ramen noodles and sun du bu chi ke, a tofu stew with clams, eggs and mushrooms, served in spicy seaweed broth.
Kealoha's Kitchen, 3428 Decoursey Ave., Covington: What started as a food truck is now a brick-and-mortar Hawaiian restaurant in Covington. It offers pineapple-teriyaki short ribs, marinated pork kebabs, Portuguese bean soup, ahi poke tuna, Spam musubi sandwiches and bento boxes that let you choose your protein and your sides.
Knox Joseph Distillery at the OTR StillHouse, 2017 Branch St., Over-the-Rhine: The city’s first all-in-one brewery, distillery, eatery, retail establishment and indoor/outdoor entertainment venue.
La Cantina, 720 Sycamore St., Downtown: Chef Anthony Sitek and the team behind Cincinnati’s Crown Republic Gastropub, Over-the-Rhine’s Losanti steakhouse and Rosie’s Cocktails & Pies have opened a new cantina-style pop-up restaurant inside Crown Republic, Downtown. According to La Cantina chef Johnny Curiel, all of the food on the menu is gluten-free.
Latin House, 823 Main St., Downtown: This breakfast and lunch spot is located inside the former Sports Page bar on Main Street. It specializes in Cuban American cuisine, with a menu that includes empanadas, ham croquettes and, of course, Cuban sandwiches.
Lori’s Roadhouse, 4924 Union Centre Pavilion Drive, Suite B, West Chester: This roadhouse and music venue accommodates up to 2,000 people and has two stages featuring local and national acts. It's also home to three bars and a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner.
Lucy Blue Pizza, 6732 Clough Pike, Anderson Township: While Lucy Blue shuttered its OTR location last June, it reopened in a small strip mall on Clough Pike in Anderson Township and is still offering whole pies and pizza by the slice.
Maplewood Kitchen (reopened), 525 Race St., Downtown: After being closed for 16 months, the popular Downtown power-breakfast and lunch spot reopened.
MashRoots, 5903 Hamilton Ave., College Hill: Offering mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish made with fried plantains mixed and mashed with garlic, salt and olive oil with a mortar and pestle, and mixed up with proteins such as pork, chicken, shrimp or beans.
Mighty Good Meat 'n' Three, 1819 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine: The diner near Findlay Market specializes in Southern-style meat and three plates, which include one main dish and three sides. Meats include Mississippi pot roast, sweet-tea-brined turkey and blackened redfish among others, while sides run the gamut from cornbread to butter beans and rice. It’s a lot of food, and for just $10, it’s a bargain, too.
Morsel & Nosh, 4183 Hamilton Ave., Northside: Cheese shop/delicatessen and specialty grocery store also offers soups and sandwiches (everything from braunschweiger to BLTs). It also serves paninis, salads and deli-case classics such as egg, tuna and chicken salads.
Moxy, 517 W. Seventh St., Newport: A meal kit delivery service run out of the Incubator Kitchen Collective in Newport. It specializes in French and Pennsylvania Dutch comfort food. Meals must be ordered 48 hours in advance and are about 90 percent finished when you pick them up.
Nine Giant Fermentorium, 6111 Ridge Ave., Pleasant Ridge: Nine Giant opened a second location just around the corner, with more space and more experimental beers. It'll also offer artisan wines and tiki cocktails.
North High Brewing, 2724 Erie Ave., Hyde Park: Columbus-based brewery serving ambers, stouts, sours and just about every other style you can think of. Also home to Hyde Park Pizzeria, which serves pizza, chicken wings, charcuteries, salads and subs.
Oakley Kitchen Food Hall, 3715 Madison Road, Oakley: Food hall, located in a former antique mall, home to eight food stalls featuring the cuisines of New Orleans, Mumbai, Syria, Belgium and Hawaii to name a few.
Okto, 645 Walnut St., Downtown: This new Downtown restaurant specializing in Greek cuisine, serving dishes such as a Greek meza platter with tzatziki, hummus, htipiti, crudite and fresh grilled pita, grilled lambchops and octopus carpaccio.
Pearlstar Oyster Bar, 1220 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine: Over-the-Rhine's new oyster mecca features a raw bar with several varieties of bivalves mostly from the East Coast, as well as baked oysters served "Rockefeller-style" and other seafood dishes, as well as steaks, burgers and brick chicken from a wood-fired grill.
Brews, views and igloos:Your guide to outdoor dining spots in Greater Cincinnati
St. Francis Apizza, 3392 Erie Ave., Hyde Park: Takeout pizza joint serves pizzas with a perfectly charred and airy crust, topped with ingredients from local farmers and producers (they also serve salads).
Steak 'n' Shake, 4949 Ridge Ave., Oakley: After the corporate-owned Steak 'n' Shake locations in Oakley and Eastgate were shuttered a few years back, they’ve been franchised off and are back in business.
The Park Pour, 4815 Cooper Road, Blue Ash: Coffee shop, bistro and wine bar. It offers brunch Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday. The Pour is also offering dinner, wine and desserts from 5 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Pig Candy, 5901 Kellogg Ave., California: New barbecue joint in town, but this one offers something known as pig candy, a gluten-free waffle pressed with pulled pork and topped with maple syrup and pecan butter. Other offerings include pulled pork and brisket and vegan goetta sandwich served with roasted salsa and your choice of sauce.
Pilar, 56 E. Court St., Downtown: The bar, which pays homage to Ernest Hemingway and is named after Hemingway’s boat, opened recently, serving Papa-inspired cocktails such as the Sun Also Rises and Islands in the Stream.
Piper's Ice Cream Bar, 520 W. Sixth St., Covington: In its new incarnation, Piper's is selling "adult" slushes, shakes and malts, as well as alcohol-infused coffee beverages and seltzer mixed with your favorite shot.
Pizza Cicerone, 4614 Industry Drive, Fairfield: Neapolitan-style pizzeria.
Pontiac OTR, 1403 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine: Former barbecue joint reopened with a new focus on a tiki-themed bar program.
Proud Hound Coffee, 6717 Montgomery Road, Silverton: Along with coffee and espresso drinks, the cafe features Cincinnati- and Southern-inspired dishes.
Quan Hapa, 1331 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine: While Quan Hapa restaurant originally opened in 2012, the OTR Asian eatery closed temporarily in September and is now back with a renovated space and a reimagined menu that includes seven specialty ramen dishes as well as Filipino fried rolls with pork, carrots and garlic, braised pork shoulder wrapped in a banana leaf and served with cabbage.
Red Feather Larder at Dutch's, 3378 Erie Ave., Hyde Park: After much anticipation, Dutch's, the Hyde Park pony keg that originally opened in 1947, has been reborn yet again under the ownership of Brad Bernstein, who also owns the Red Feather restaurant in Oakley. The restaurant, grocery and pony keg are offering hundreds of beers and wines, as well as a menu that includes a duck confit and duck prosciutto sandwich with cheese and apple-fennel slaw, as well as a Cuban, a Reuben and an Italian sandwich.
Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Co., 1077 Celestial St., Mount Adams: The new menu at Rookwood features American-style dishes such as burgers, pizza and chicken-fried steak, as well as more upscale dinners such as steaks and glazed pork chops.
Rosie's Cocktails and Pies, 300 E. Seventh St., Downtown: Trenton-style pizza. What's that you ask? Well, it's basically a pizza in reverse, wherein the cheese goes on first and the tomato sauce, last, resulting in a crispier "tomato pie."
Shanghai on Elm, 700 Elm St., Downtown: After shutting down its East Sixth Street location in October, Shanghai Mama’s is back in business.
SushiNati, 3501 Erie Ave., Hyde Park: Shelly Choi, the owner of the Hyde Park Korean restaurant 3501 Seoul, has renamed and reimagined the restaurant as a casual fish-focused sushi joint dubbed SushiNati, which also has a location in Anderson Township. Other menu items include Korean-style chicken wings, bibimbap and ramen.
Tablespoon Cooking Co., 1731 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine: Cooking school; includes classes for pasta and gnocchi making, biscuits and scones, and tacos and margaritas.
Taco Fuerte, 5 Orphanage Road, Fort Mitchell: This new food truck, now permanently located at Braxton Brewing Co.'s Barrel House location in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, is now open Thursdays through Sundays offering a variety of tacos, including birria and roasted portabella mushroom versions, as well as chips and salsa and other beer-friendly appetizers.
The Pitch, 1430 Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine: Soccer-themed bar across the street from the new TQL Stadium offers 24 beer taps, wine and liquor, as well as plenty of enormous TVs for fans to watch FC Cincinnati games.
The Upper Deck at the Cove, 4855 Kellogg Ave., East End: Specializes in smoked wings, wraps, salads and tiki drinks. It also offers volleyball courts that will host local leagues and tournaments.
Tiki miki Bang Bang, 65 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills: What started as a special tiki-themed event at Video Archive is now permanent, as the former Quentin Tarantino-themed “grindhouse speakeasy” has been turned into a tiki bar featuring drinks with names like the Blowfish Roulette, Exiled Volcano and Bachelor in Paradise.
Woodburn Brewing,2800 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills: Local brewery March First acquired the Woodburn Brewery, serving craft beers and spirits from Cincinnati Distilling. New kitchen space will offer items such as smoked chicken wings, duck pastrami Reubens and beer cheese flights starting this summer.
Zundo Ramen and Donburi, 6663 Western Row Road, Mason: Owner Han Lin offers the same menu he does at his Over-the-Rhine location, including delicious takoyaki (balls of diced, deep-fried octopus topped with mayo and fish flakes), pork belly buns and, of course, ramen.