Thanks to a combination of a development boom and a sense of tradition, Cincinnati boasts a vibrant downtown. A newcomer, the 21c Museum Hotel, is a 156 room boutique establishment. Patrons enjoy the hotel's Cocktail Terrace. Suites are awash in white, with retro touches. In its restaurant Metropole, try the Bison Burger, or if vegetarian, the spring "scarfata" with cracked wheat and spring veggies. The city's Contemporary Arts Center, a couple doors down, designed by Zaha Hadid, is the first U.S. museum designed by a woman.
For a waffles lunch, visit Taste of Belgium. Or order the Angry Mac & Cheese and the soft pretzels at Moerlein Lager House, which serves 53 bottled beers and 25 on tap.
The Hilton Netherlands Plaza is where Doris Day had her first gig. The Orchids at Palm Court restaurant hosts the tastiest breakfast buffet in the U.S. Executive Chef Todd Kelly was named the American Culinary Foundation's USA Chef of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Pastry Chef Megan Ketover was on Bravo's "Top Chef Desserts".
Cincinnati now has a downtown casino- Horseshoe- featuring 87 table games, 2,000 slot machines, and an outdoor concert and event venue called The Shoe, where Huey Lewis & The News, Willie Nelson, and Darius Rucker are scheduled to perform. There's a Bobby Flay's Burger Palace, and Jack Binion's, a steak house fit for local boy George Clooney and his "Oceans" buds.
Downtown Cincinnati is a cultural center, with new bars and boutiques waiting to be "discovered".
By AFAR Traveler
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