This is really hard for me to say (because you know how much I hate Ohio), but Cincinnati really isn't that bad. We've said, if we had to live here again (Lord help us), we would live in Cinci and A would commute... because there really is that much more going on in Cinci compared to the Dayton area. It's a college town for one... also has MLB, a nice river running through dt, and some awesome (local, not chains!) food.
Of course, my number one thing to do in Cincinnati: Eat. Duh.
We've tried some awesome spots, the majority of them being in this trendy part of town called OTR or Over-the Rhine.
Some definite musts include:
Really fun, local, small, young atmosphere. SUCH a different menu - kind of a gourmet pub food - they serve all these gourmet hot dogs (no, not ONLY hot dogs, calm down), truffle fries to die for, duck fat fries also to die for, oysters, and mussels. What more could you want?! No lie, Alex ordered the 'Lindsey Lohan,' (yes, mainly for the jokes), which is a beef hot dog topped with goat cheese, carmelized onions, bacon, arugula, & balsalmic.
Same atmosphere as the Senate. This place has tacos, tequila, and whiskey... and THE BEST GUACAMOLE known to mankind (and I make some good guac). You order single tacos, so they are cheap, and you can try all the different varieties!
Taste of Belgium
Waffles. Must. Eat. Waffles.
(and drink some Belgian Beer!)
There's a cute little wine bar right beside Bakersfield, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. It's a great place to stop before dinner or if you're waiting on a table.
Other restaurants to try include A Tavola, Abigail Street, and Venice on Vine.
Basically, just walk down and around Vine Street and pick a place. However, do not go toooo far North. It goes from awesome to scary in a block.
You can venture outside of OTR and hit some other fun spots, including:
This place gets SLAMMED. And while it is connected to the real Hofbrauhaus, for those of you who have been to Munich, you'll be disappointed. But there is some German food, or versions of it. The most authentic part is the music.. and dancing on tables.
Moerlein Lager House
Better German food than Hofbrauhaus, but not some crazy atmosphere. This place looks like a normal bar/restaurant with some really nice outside seating. It's right next to the baseball stadium, making it convenient for games.
Restaurant and sushi spot right next to the stadium.
Random spot introduced to us by a friend. We went here for New Years and had some awesome food and wine.
And last, but not least, what every Ohio-an says you have to eat....
The pictures alone make me want to vom. Have you seen the enormous amounts of cheese?! We have yet to try it, but it is on the list. I would go to the original one because it's at least cute and looks like a normal restaurant, not like McDonald's. But eek, talk about a heart attack.
Hofbrauhaus - technically over the river in Kentucky
Food @ the Senate - Mussels - Duck Fat Fries - Truffle Fries - Senate Burger - Lindsey Lohan
Besides eating, the only thing I really think you should do or see in Cincinnati is a Reds Game, or a few. Tickets are cheap (free for military!) and you can take in your own food and beverages, make a night out of it. The stadium for us is about an hour away and we still manage to go to a game a week (although I am gladly trading this for a short walk to Camden yards in about 23 days!).
There's also hockey... but only go if you're desperate!