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1. Who are you?
My name is Jordan Hamons and I am a food and travel writer, cooking teacher, and classically-trained chef based in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also blog about culinary travel at The Hungry Traveler.
2. What is your site about?
The Hungry Traveler is a culinary travel blog about globally-inspired cooking and food-focused travel.
3. What is one food tip you would give about Cincinnati?
My best advice is to explore and try as much as possible. Our culinary scene ranges from the classic German dishes that are a part of the city’s heritage to new, unique restaurants that have helped Cincinnati become recognized as one of the up-and-coming best food cities in the US.
Cincinnati has two local specialties that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the world. The first, and most widely known, is Cincinnati Chili, a heavily spiced meat sauce served over spaghetti noodles and topped with diced onion and mounds of shredded cheese. The other local speciality is goetta, a mix of ground pork and pin oats that are blended together, fried, and served as a breakfast meat.
While these are our two most famous dishes, Cincinnati’s culinary scene offers way more. Make sure to head to Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine (also known as OTR), Downtown, and even cross the river to Northern Kentucky to get a true taste of Cincinnati. If you have time for a short drive to the suburbs, head to Jungle Jim’s Market in Fairfield for the ultimate foodie experience.
4. What is one travel tip you would give about Cincinnati?
Be sure to check the calendar and see what events are happening. We have great festivals and sporting events that really bring the city to life.
In the spring and summer, you’ll want to head to a Reds game at Great American Ballpark. Go hungry (and thirsty!) — the stadium offers plenty of delicious options and has local beers on tap.
During the fall, you can head to Oktoberfest (the 2nd largest in the world behind Munich) and enjoy German food, beer, and the world’s largest chicken dance. If your timing is right, you may even be able to catch a Bengals game at Paul Brown Stadium (plan a tailgate or eat at Moerlein Lager House before you go).
5. What is the best thing to eat in Cincinnati?
It’s impossible to pick just one. I’m going to bend the rules and give a list of some favorites:
- Local Specialities: Cincinnati Chili (I prefer Skyline), Graeter’s Ice Cream, Goetta (the best is from Eckerlin Meats), Montgomery Inn
- Fine Dining: Orchid’s at the Palm Court, Boca, Nicola’s, or Jeff Ruby’s
- Findlay Market: Pho Lang Thang, Eli’s, Taste of Belgium, Blue Oven Bakery, and French Crust Cafe (new location opening in 2016)
- Over-the-Rhine and Downtown: Mita’s, Salazar, Senate, Pontiac, Abigail Street, The Anchor, A Tavola, Collective Espresso, Revolution Rotisserie, Cheapside Cafe
- Beer: Moerlein, Mt. Carmel, MadTree, Rhinegeist, Taft’s Ale House, and Braxton Brewing Company