The Best Cheap Eats in Cincinnati

The OpenTable Team

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!

Restaurants:Bru Burger Bar - Fort Mitchell, Arnold's Bar and Grill, CWC, the Restaurant
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American
Neighborhoods:Fort Mitchell, Cincinnati, Wyoming

Bru Burger Bar - Fort Mitchell

$$$$·American·
Fort Mitchell
190 reviews
  • Casual
  • Bar Seating
  • Great Beer
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 frRead more
92% recommended
Vibrant Bar Scene in Cincinnati / Dayton

Arnold's Bar and Grill

$$$$·American·
Cincinnati
254 reviews
  • Live Music
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
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 Read more
98% recommended
Kid Friendly in Cincinnati / Dayton
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CWC, the Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Wyoming
199 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. GuRead more
94% recommended
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Gaslight Bar & Grill

$$$$·American·
Clifton
175 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • 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 thRead more
89% recommended

The Birch - In Terrace Park

$$$$·American·
Milford
71 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
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 creatiRead more
86% recommended
Great for Brunch in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Matt the Miller's Tavern- West Chester

$$$$·Pub·
West Chester
502 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
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 tavernRead more
84% recommended
Great for Lunch in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Buckhead Mountain Grill - Bellevue

$$$$·American·
Bellevue
543 reviews
  • Waterfront
  • Scenic View
  • 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 lRead more
88% recommended
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Tano Bistro - Loveland

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Loveland
1,267 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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 aRead more
93% recommended
Great for Brunch in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Rusty Bucket - Dayton

$$$$·American·
Dayton
84 reviews
  • Casual
  • Comfort Food
  • 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 RustRead more
97% recommended
Kid Friendly in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Sacred Beast Diner

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
570 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
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-preserRead more
93% recommended
Great for Brunch in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Bakersfield - OTR

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
110 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
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 tRead more
97% recommended
Best Overall in Cincinnati / Dayton

Nicholson's Tavern & Pub

$$$$·Gastro Pub·
Central Business District
1,880 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for a Date
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, MedRead more
93% recommended
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Goose & Elder

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
130 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
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, butRead more
97% recommended
Best Value in Cincinnati / Dayton
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Krueger's Tavern

$$$$·American·
Over the Rhine
619 reviews
  • Casual
  • Bar Seating
  • Fun
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 helpRead more
99% recommended
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Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Cincinnati
905 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
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 tRead more
87% recommended
Late Night Find in Cincinnati / Dayton
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The Eagle - OTR

$$$$·Southern·
Over the Rhine
75 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Great for Lunch
  • Bar Seating
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 thosRead more
91% recommended
Best Value in Cincinnati / Dayton

Zula Bistro & Wine Bar

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Over the Rhine
1,746 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
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 unRead more
97% recommended
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Basil 1791

$$$$·Asian·
Hamilton
315 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 crRead more
96% recommended
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Bite Restaurant

$$$$·American·
Milford
417 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Local Ingredients
  • Casual
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 themselvRead more
97% recommended
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