The Best Cheap Eats in Cincinnati

The history of cheap eats in Cincinnati traces back to at least 1795. It was then that the area became self-sufficient thanks to the founding of Turner Farm. Since that point, the city’s love for great food evolved to the point that it's now the home of the Midwest Culinary Institute. When asking all these food experts their favorite restaurant hotspots, though, where do they most often enjoy a sit-down? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We’ve gathered data from OpenTable’s most seasoned and expert diners to find the top eateries in Cincinnati that won’t empty guests’ wallets. The city is well-known for its ice cream and chili, and no one should venture through the area without trying the misunderstood goetta. All this is enjoyable at affordable prices for those who know what to look for, and this includes the city’s ever-popular gyros and barbecue. Go ahead and show off that economic genius and book a table today!

The OpenTable Team
Restaurants:BRU Burger Bar - Fort Mitchell, Arnold's Bar and Grill, CWC, the Restaurant
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American
Neighborhoods:Fort Mitchell, Cincinnati, Wyoming
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

BRU Burger Bar - Fort Mitchell

$$$$·American·
Fort Mitchell
260 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Bar Seating

It’s not necessary to leave town for the best cheap eats in Cincinnati, but Bru Burger Bar is just a few minutes away in Kentucky. Guests can’t miss the large blue neon sign out front, and the interio...

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Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Arnold's Bar and Grill

$$$$·American·
Cincinnati
377 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Authentic

Looking for the oldest bar in Cincinnati that’s operated continuously? At Arnold’s Bar and Grill, that’s exactly what guests find along with a vintage aesthetic that holds true to the eatery’s place i...

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Good for Groups in Cincinnati / Dayton

CWC, the Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Wyoming
208 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies

This great eatery is part of the local Cooking with Caitlin brand. Their signature staples of Char Cheddar Burgers and Baby Biscuits certainly live up to the owners’ popularity. Guests will also find ...

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Gaslight Bar & Grill

$$$$·American·
Clifton
245 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups
  • Casual

Not everyone will enjoy sitting in the outdoor area of Gaslight Bar & Grill, but those who do will have access to their very own rooftop bar. Beer, wine and cocktails are served throughout the day. Th...

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The Birch - In Terrace Park

$$$$·American·
Milford
198 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual

The lush foliage, relaxing string lights, quaint entrance and even the lime-green door at The Birch offer a tranquil escape from the big city life. Inside, guests discover a creative and modern style ...

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Healthy in Cincinnati / Dayton

Matt the Miller's Tavern- West Chester

$$$$·Pub·
West Chester
764 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date

There are some offerings at Matt the Miller’s Tavern that wouldn’t typically fall under cheap eats in Cincinnati. Considering all the other available options and the upscale tavern experience, though,...

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Buckhead Mountain Grill

$$$$·American·
Bellevue
563 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

Right across the Ohio River sits Buckhead Mountain Grill, and people across both states know it as one of the best cheap eats in Cincinnati. Guests can enjoy their meal among the lodge-like setting in...

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Tano Bistro - Loveland

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Loveland
1,531 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

The fire that tore through Loveland in 2017 might’ve knocked down Tano Bistro, but this Ohio hotspot came back better than ever. With three floors, gorgeous art, au courant décor and a rooftop terrace...

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Contemporary American in Cincinnati / Dayton

Rusty Bucket - Dayton

$$$$·American·
Dayton
142 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Good for a Date

Located at The Village at Dayton Mall, Rusty Bucket offers a variety of cheap eats in Cincinnati for those exhausted from a day of shopping. These include Baja fish tacos, the Rusty Bucket Burger, sev...

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Sacred Beast Diner

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
884 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Hot Spot

The intriguing portraits of farm animals dressed in royal attire aren’t the only unique aspect of Sacred Beast Diner. The 19th-century buildings in the neighborhood are well-preserved, but the modern ...

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Fit for Foodies in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Bakersfield - OTR

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
326 reviews
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

Tacos. Tequila. Whiskey. That’s the mantra of Bakersfield located in the Over the Rhine neighborhood. Popular menu items include the short rib taquito, Huitlacoche taco, Milanesa tortas and the delici...

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American in Cincinnati / Dayton

Nicholson's Tavern & Pub

$$$$·Gastro Pub·
Central Business District
1,907 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Authentic

Seekers of great food might not expect to find cheap eats in Cincinnati in the downtown area, but Nicholson’s Tavern & Pub fits the bill. The wooden pillars, European lighting, Medieval sitting corner...

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Vibrant Bar Scene in Cincinnati / Dayton

Goose & Elder

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
320 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Fit for Foodies

Jose Salazar’s third restaurant, Goose & Elder, is located in the historic Findlay Market. They offer the traditional dishes Ohioans have come to expect from great restaurants, but there are also deli...

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Great for Brunch in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Krueger's Tavern

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
619 reviews
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

Everything about Krueger’s Tavern in the Over the Rhine neighborhood screams ‘Old World.’ The distressed brick, naturalistic wall décor, simple seating and industrial lighting help pull off this atmos...

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Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Cincinnati
1,063 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Lunch

Those who love jazz or the periodic dinner event – such as the historic Murder on the Menu tour and period meal – shouldn’t miss Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant. Save for the bright red ceilin...

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Best Value in Cincinnati / Dayton

The Eagle - OTR

$$$$·Southern·
Over the Rhine
430 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem

Socially conscious people will love the fact that The Eagle serves all-natural chicken that’s both free roaming and cage free. Guests can buy a whole chicken if they want, but those with smaller appet...

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Best Value in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Zula Bistro & Wine Bar

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Over the Rhine
2,007 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Hot Spot

The Cincinnati Enquirer called Zula Bistro & Wine Bar one of the best bistros in the entire city. Patrons who have tried the charred calamari, deconstructed lamb, Mussel Bar and unique daily Big Plate...

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Notable Wine List in Cincinnati / Dayton

Basil 1791

$$$$·Asian·
Hamilton
320 reviews
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date

When seeking the best cheap eats in Cincinnati, it doesn’t get much more unique than Basil 1791. They shipped in their own 12-foot wok weighing over a ton, for instance, just to create dishes most pla...

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Bite Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Milford
421 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Local Ingredients
  • Fit for Foodies

The lush greenery, chicken coops and overall serene setting of Bite Restaurant’s exterior is a sign of good things. They focus on reducing their carbon footprint and pride themselves on feeding the bo...

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