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Under $100: Cincinnati, Ohio

by Holly Riddle

Nov 4, 2017

Cincinatti © Rudi1976 | Dreamstime

Under $100 / North America

Start your day off with breakfast in Cincinnati’s central business district at a newer restaurant, Maplewood Kitchen and Bar. Grab a menu on your way in the door and make your way to the casual (but still totally cute) eatery’s counter before waiting for your food. The menu is California-inspired, with lots of local flair and healthy, fresh, organic ingredients. While you could go classic, with the beautiful, supremely Instagram-worthy avocado toast, you could also go for something a little more outside the ordinary. The chicken hash features a mix of hash browns, onions, bell peppers, corn, rotisserie chicken and the kicker — goetta, a local favorite with German roots, a meat-and-grain sausage. It’s all topped with two over-easy eggs. Breakfast options start at $8.

While it may require a bit of a drive to get there, one stop you want on your Cincinnati itinerary is the American Sign Museum. A small attraction, it’s nevertheless worth the visit, and you’ll never look at signage the same way. The chronological exhibits trace the humble origins of the sign from wooden carvings to extravagant neon fixtures. Show up at the right times to get a guided tour or see the on-site neon shop at work, making real signs used by real businesses. Admission is $15.

You’ll be stuffed long after breakfast, so walk it off with a stroll around Over-the-Rhine, a richly historic portion of the city home to the largest collection of 19th-century historic buildings in the country. The once-immigrant-heavy area was huge in the brewing industry, and you can explore it for yourself, and walk right inside the underground tunnels used in the beer-producing process. American Legacy Tours provides access for $30 per person.

Grab pre-dinner drinks at Video Archive, an unassuming video store that — surprise! — is actually a pretty awesome bar with a Quentin Tarantino theme. Head in, grab a movie off the shelf and a secret panel in the wall slides out of place, so you can walk into the dark bar, lit by a bright neon sign and a few televisions on the wall. The drinks are just as cool as the ambience, like the Jackie Brown, featuring Bulliet Bourbon, elderflower liquor, a blackberry-cucumber puree and salted honey. Drinks start at $3 for beers, $9 for cocktails.

Finish off your day with dinner in a prime location for walking around the city at Nada, a regional series of Mexican restaurants that are hardly traditional. The cocktails are fantastic (like the Chili-Mango, with tequila, curacao, habanero and mango), and the tacos are even better. Choose from a variety of surprising selections, like the Sir Winston’s Pot Roast (with braised short ribs, whipped potatoes, crispy onions, horseradish and shishito) or the Señor Mu Shu (with ginger-braised pork, ancho hoisin, cabbage and avocado). Dinner options start around $15.

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