Go here… not there! Reach out of your restaurant comfort zone this winter

Chain restaurants are taking over Anderson Township and the surrounding areas, and it’s becoming far too easy to forget of all of the locally owned restaurants in the Queen City. By stepping out of comfort zones like Skyline and Chipotle, you are bound to discover that supporting local businesses is a satisfying (and healthy) option.

Instead of LaRosa’s, go to Pizzelli

Though LaRosa’s, founded in Cincinnati, is a hometown favorite, Pizzelii Brick Oven Pizza is a locally owned, fun Friday night alternative. Established in 2012, the restaurant specializes in authentic Neapolitan style pizza made with fresh, all-natural ingredients and hand tossed dough.  In addition, Pizzelii is the only independent restaurant in Ohio to have the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine which features 165 drink options.

Price range: Under $10/person

Distance from McNick: 5.7 miles- 13 minutes

Special note: No delivery.


Instead of Dunkin Donuts, head to Holtman’s Donuts

Rather than stopping at one of the 10,038 Dunkin Donut stores worldwide, drop by one of the three Holtman’s Donut shops in Cincinnati. Holtman’s has been family owned and operated since its beginning and is currently on the third generation owner. The quality is something you won’t find in a chain. Their donuts contain only the finest ingredients, no preservatives, and are handmade every day. Three types of doughnuts and other baked goods are sold daily. There are many variations including one of their most popular: the maple and bacon donut.

Price range: Inexpensive ($1 per donut)

Distance from McNick: 11.1 miles- 19 minutes

Special note: Due to regular sellouts, call ahead is encouraged to ensure you get the donut you desire.


Instead of City Barbeque, go to Eli’s Barbeque

Eli’s Barbeque is another local treasure Cincinnati has to offer. With primarily outdoor seating and often live entertainment during the summer, the atmosphere is one of a kind. Eli’s only has four entrees and six sides, but they focus on the quality of their options rather than the quantity.

Price range: Under $10/person

Distance from McNick: 6.1 miles- 11 minutes

Special note: Eli’s does not take credit cards.


Instead of Buffalo Wild Wings, check out Knockback Knat’s

Since the beginning of football season, finding a fun place to grab some wings and watch the game is a high priority. Even though Buffalo Wild Wings is located conveniently on Beechmont Avenue, with just a short drive downtown you will find one of the Travel Channel’s “101 Amazing Places to Chow Down”at Knockback Nats. Known for their smoked wings, their menu also includes diverse chicken dishes, burgers, and sandwiches. Free unlimited popcorn is also offered as a starter.

Price range: Around $10/person

Distance from McNick: 10.7 miles- 18 minutes


Instead of Panera Bread, go to Jason’s Deli

Subs and sandwiches are a go-to on Saturday afternoons, and big name chains like Panera tend to overshadow the smaller names when looking for a quick lunch. Jason’s Deli offers a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, pastas, paninis, and soups all made with fresh, all-natural ingredients. Jason’s was the first major restaurant in the U.S. to ban artificial trans-fat and eliminate high fructose corn syrup making for a healthy alternative. In addition, they offer soft serve ice cream for a free sweet treat after your meal.

Price range: Under $10/person

Distance from McNick: 6.4 miles- 13 minutes

Special Notes: Jason’s Deli offers both deliver and takeout.


Instead of Skyline, try Blue Ash Chili

Blue Ash Chili has been around since 1969 and has used the same family recipe all along. In 2010, Blue Ash Chili was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-in, & Dives on the Food Network, which highlighted the small town diner feel in the heart of the Queen City. Daring customers are encouraged to check out the “No Freakin’ Way! Challenge.”

Price range: Under $10/person

Distance from McNick: 13.2 mi – 21 minutes


Instead of Chipotle, go to Mazunte

Influenced by Mexican street food, Mazunte opened in 2013 and has stayed true to their theme ever since. To achieve authenticity, founder Josh Wamsley spent a year in Oaxaca, Mexico navigating markets and tasting authentic street food, as well trying the local cooking. After bringing back all of his knowledge and putting it in to action, Mazunte was created. Featuring a fresh salsa bar, homemade chips, and fresh tortillas it’s one of the closest representations of authentic Mexican food in Cincinnati.

Price range: $10-15/person

Distance from McNick: 6.8 miles- 13 minutes


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