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Fill Your Belly With Cincinnati Comfort Food: An Itinerary

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, and More in the Queen City.

Cincinnati was made for comfort food. Cincinnati is made of comfort food. Cincinnati is the comfort food equivalent of flopping down on the couch after a long, tiring day, putting your feet up on the coffee table, and shoving one hand into the waistband of your stretchy soft pants in front of “The Bachelor.”


Every day of this hateful new regime is a good day for comfort food, especially when you live in — or are visiting — serious swing territory. Hamilton County went blue in November, as did other pockets around Ohio’s major cities, but the state as a whole . . . well . . . did not. And no matter where you are in Queen City Cincy, you are bound to see some bumper stickers that remind you where you are.

Here is a day well-spent in pursuit of Cincinnati comfort food, with a suggested intermission for digestive purposes.

Breakfast: Klunkers from Bonomini Bakery

Cue ball sized and cue ball dense, these fried cake doughnut things will ease you into morning. Best enjoyed dipped in coffee in complete silence.

(Photo: Serious Eats)

(Photo: Serious Eats)

Brunch: Buffet at Orchids at Palm Court in the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

Once you’re ready for real breakfast, or lunch, or both, this buffet keeps the bathrobe-and-slippers vibe steady: eggs poached and omeletted, various morning and afternoon bread products, plus shrimp cocktail, king crab, prime rib, and — star of the plate — fried chicken. Finish up with one of a thousand tiny desserts. And more coffee.

(Photo: breakfastwithnick.com)

(Photo: breakfastwithnick.com)

Sunny Day Walk: Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

Yes, there are dead people, and there are also a lot of alive people jogging around here for their health. Spring Grove hosts walking groups (also weddings) and offers a tranquil place to get some fresh air while contemplating your mortality and walking away from that brunch. For some reason a lot of families take their holiday card photos here.


Rainy Day Play: UnMuseum at the Contemporary Arts Center

Huggable sculptures, a bus stop with a shark sculpture, some trippy TRON-like light and sound installations, and other fun-for-all-ages exhibits rotate in and out of the CAC’s children’s floor. A fantastic place to work up an appetite — play until you’re hungry again!

(Photo: Flickr)

(Photo: Flickr)

Dinner: Skyline Chili

Where else? “There’s one in your neighborhood,” says the website. Specialities include the cheese coney (a cheese-covered hot dog) and the chili itself, which perches on a bed of spaghetti, dressed in cheese, onions, and beans, as you like. These variations are referred to as “ways,” as in “3-way,” “4-way,” and “5-way.” Top with crumbled oyster crackers and go to town.

(Photo: Dayton Daily News)

(Photo: Dayton Daily News)

Dessert: Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Graeter’s

A signature Cincy dinner deserves a signature Cincy dessert. Black raspberry is local family-owned, 145-year-old Graeter’s signature, all-time best selling flavor. Eat it there, or get it to go and enjoy on the couch, hand tucked under your belt, in front of “The Bachelor” for real. AHHHHHHHH.

(Photo: Graeter's)

(Photo: Graeter’s)

The List

Bonomini Bakery
1677 Blue Rock St.

Orchids at Palm Court in the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 W 5th St.

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
4521 Spring Grove Ave.

Contemporary Arts Center
44 E. 6th St.

Skyline Chili
Multiple locations

Multiple locations

Chaia has also written about popsicles and planning a bachelorette party in New York City.

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admin • June 2, 2017

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