Travel diary: Cincinnati

Travel diary: Cincinnati

From Asheville to Cleveland is pretty much an 8-9 hour drive, either going east and then north, through West Virginia, or west and north, through Cincinnati. Since we took the West Virginia route on the way to South Carolina, we decided to go through Cincinnati to get home. It’s longer, overall, than if we’d driven straight back from the beach, but since we split it up into multiple days of shorter drives, it was totally fine, and WAY more fun.

I’d never really been to Cincinnati before, except passing through, so I was excited to see it… Plus there’s an Ikea (the only one in Ohio, can you believe it?!), so of course I had to go. Unfortunately we had very little time, basically just enough time for dinner, sleep, breakfast and Ikea the next morning. We were in and out of Ikea in 35 minutes flat with everything we needed. It’s either a record or a miracle! Once we were in Ohio, we kinda wanted to just rush home…. But not before having some of the best food of all time…

(iPhone pictures of our food… it’s what we do.)

Andy’s mom used to live in Cincinnati, so I’ve been hearing about this Italian restaurant called Nicola’s from her and Andy for years. The best bolognese you’ll ever have in your life, they had said. So we decided to treat ourselves to one last nice dinner on vacation and made reservations for Friday night. Right away we knew we were in luck; the bolognese that’s no longer on the menu regularly was that night’s special! To go along with an absolutely amazing appetizer and their famous bread basket, I ordered the crispy gnocchi with four-cheese fondue and truffle shavings, and Andy, of course, ordered the bolognese. We finished with a grasshopper icebox cake. Ok, I don’t want to be dramatic, but that was seriously some of the best food in the world. And I’ve already been to Italy. Nicola’s is a MUST-STOP if you’re ever in Cincinnati.

The following morning we had a little extra time between waking up and Ikea being open, so I did some research and discovered Taste of Belgium, an authentic-style waffle place in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, which wasn’t far from our hotel (and wasn’t far from Nicola’s either). OTR is a really cool urban neighborhood, with gorgeous old architecture, and the kind of place I’d totally want to be if I lived in Cincinnati. Taste of Belgium was pretty amazing, too. The banana and nutella waffle was perfect (and pretty!), and it’s a real fun place. I loved the old tile floor.

I’d love to make another trip to Cincinnati soon, and from Cleveland it’s such an easy drive for a weekend.

Things to do in Cincinnati:

Nicola’s Ristorate Italiano
1420 Sycamore Street

Taste of Belgium corner of 12th and Vine

1133-1135 Vine Street

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