Mission Report: Your LUC 2017 Guide to Cincinnati – Downtown

Our selected conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, is located in the heart of the downtown central business district, which means it’s surrounded by good eats and things to do. You actually don’t even need to leave the hotel to get a good meal—the burgers at the Red Roost Tavern inside the Hyatt Regency are fantastic.

downtown cincinnati aerial at night

However, if you want to venture out and explore, you’ll have plenty of opportunities. These first three restaurants are all about a three-minute walk from the Hyatt Regency.

Maplewood
525 Race Street
Just around the corner and up a block from the Hyatt Regency is a breakfast-focused fast casual concept with an emphasis on healthier food using local and seasonal ingredients. I recommend the breakfast sandwich (I sub their housemade sausage patty instead of goetta, but if you’re adventurous try the goetta for a true Cincinnati experience.) Their coffee comes from a local roasterie called La Terza that is fantastic.

Maplewood Bar and Kitchen photo

Above, the bar area at Maplewood

Americana
545 Race Street
Right next to Maplewood, Americana serves up that American classic—burgers—with an international twist. Try “The Argentinian” burger with chimichurri or their version of Canadian poutine for an appetizer. Plus, they have shuffleboard!

Mita’s
501 Race Street
On the other side of Maplewood, acclaimed Chef Jose Salazar has crafted an eclectic, farm-inspired menu that “focuses on both the traditional and modern foods and beverages of Spain and Latin America—with tapas, ceviches, cured hams, cheeses and large plates.” Expect interesting bottles of wine, emphasizing Spain and the Old World.

Fountain Square

Stroll another block down 5th street and you’ll find yourself at Fountain Square, the heart of the downtown business district. There are almost always food trucks here on the weekdays, and downtown workers flock to Fountain Square to eat at the many tables available. More great restaurants like Via Vite, Palomino, and Bru Burger encircle the Square.

Depending on when you fly or drive in for LUC 2017, you could stop at the Tuesday Farmer’s Market on the Square for lunch. Choose from several different food stands or food trucks and be sure to grab a bubble tea while you’re there! Still in town Thursday night? Swing by the Square for free salsa dancing lessons and live music.

salsa dancing on the square downtown

Above, salsa night at Fountain Square

On the other side of Fountain Square, right in a row along 6th street are Nada, Sotto, and Boca. The same local company owns all three restaurants, but each has a different atmosphere and menu.

  • Nada is a fun taco and margarita bar (I’m obsessed with the salmon tacos and Nada fries, and a highly recommended vegetarian option is the mushroom tacos)
  • Sotto features refined Italian matched with a long list of wines
  • Travel + Leisure Magazine named Boca one of the best French restaurants in the United States
Boca restaurant exterior downtown

Above, delicious food awaits you inside Boca

These three are also right by the Aronoff Center for the Arts, and are great options for grabbing dinner or drinks before a show.

Directly across from Nada, you’ll find the Contemporary Arts Center. Admission to the CAC is now FREE, thanks to the Johnson Foundation, The 50 and additional support from Macy’s. All exhibitions on view are temporary and ever-changing, so there’s always something new and interesting to see.

Downtown will be abuzz the week of LUC 2017 with preparations for the annual Flying Pig Marathon. If you’re into running, think about staying for the weekend and participating. You get an awesome two-sided, three-dimensional medal and the Flying Pig is a qualifier race for the Boston Marathon. There’s also a walking division if you just want to experience Cincinnati’s many different neighborhoods on foot and get a t-shirt with a flying pig on it. I won’t judge. You’ll find me on the sidelines cheering on the intrepid marathoners.

Just want to kick back and relax with a beer and some wings? Knockback Nats neighborhood bar (10 W 7th Street) is a favorite among local and out of town Trivantis staff. “Best wings around,” says John Blackmon, Trivantis CTO and Co-founder.

There’s so much more to do in the downtown Cincinnati area that I can’t possibly fit it into one blog. If you’re looking for something in particular, ask a Trivantis Team member and they’ll be happy to give you some recommendations! In the next Mission Report, I’ll share my favorite places to visit in another Cincinnati hotspot, The Banks.

Until then, don’t forget to register now for LUC 2017 at the Early Bird rate. You can also submit a speaker proposal—accepted speakers receive free registration!