Food and drink in the Cincy Region

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The Cincy Region has a diverse culinary scene because of the mash-up of cultures in the region, with some local specialities that every visitor should try.

First, Cincinnati has its own take on the traditional chili dish, then there’s Goetta, a breakfast sausage of pork and oats. And, did you know, the Cincy Region is home to America’s largest Oktoberfest?

A group of UK agents and operators recently visited the Cincy Region and told Travel Gossip all about the culinary experiences on offer, which included:

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili and Goetta

The world-famous Cincinnati Chili originated with Greek and Macedonian immigrants. Their original stew became the much-beloved Cincinnati Chili that is served over spaghetti with mounds of fluffy, shredded cheese. With notes of cinnamon, cloves and cumin, this is a local delicacy.

Visitors should head to one of more than 200 local chili parlours for a three-way dish of chili, spaghetti and cheese. A four-way dish will add onions or beans and is a perfect way to eat like a local — especially if you are partnering that with a beer from one of the 60+ local breweries in the region.

Always wrap your Cincinnati Chili meal up with a dish of Graeter’s Ice Cream, another local favourite for their decadent French Pot treats that have been made in Cincy since 1870. Their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip is loved by Oprah Winfrey and Cincy-born locals George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Cincy also pays homage to its German immigrant roots in its beloved Goetta, a sausage of ground meats, pin oats and spices that is cut and fried into a delicious experience, typically served as a breakfast sausage, on sandwiches or enjoyed by itself. There’s an entire festival dedicated to variations of Goetta in late July and early August.

Southern food trends also play big in the Cincy Region as many restaurants boast their fried chicken as some of the best in the South. No one goes away hungry in the Cincy Region.


The B-Line

One of the most popular tours is a self-guided bourbon tour called the B-Line®. With 25 stops, participants can visit seven craft distilleries, nine bars and nine restaurants. To be included in the B-Line list, bars must have at least 100 bourbons and restaurants must have at least 50. Prohibition Bourbon Bar has the largest collection in the world, with 6,700 different bourbons and ryes.

Freedom Destinations Marketing Manager Rowan Wallis, who recently visited the Cincy Region on the fam trip, said: “Following the B-Line would be a great afternoon or evening. For groups of friends, I’d recommend  Revival Vintage Spirits & Bottle Shop, which is a fantastic collection of the old and wonderful and has a great host.

“I loved Smoke Justis, an incredible bourbon bar, with a sliding ladder. It’s just too easy to stay an afternoon here.”

Premier Holidays Travel Expert Kerry Gilfoyle said: “I think clients would be interested in the B- Line as it’s a self-guided bourbon tour and an official gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®.”

Blend your own bourbon

The agents not only got to sample bourbons but were also able to create their own at Wenzel Whiskey.

Rowan described the experience as a ‘really fun, chilled out afternoon’, which he would recommend to clients.

Kerry said: “At Wenzel Whiskey you get to taste different bourbons and then you get to blend your own by choosing your favourites together and it is bottled up for you to take home.”

Kerry also recommended trying out a local steak house.

“We had an amazing meal at Lisse Steakhuis, which is a traditional American steakhouse menu but it sources its beef and produce from a local farm in Williamstown, KY and it tasted beautiful.  They also have a rooftop bar which is perfect for evening drinks,” she said.

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