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Hyde Park/Mount Lookout, Cincinnati: Sarah Jane Smith

Mount Lookout

Zip's Cafe

Tostado's Grill

Hyde Park Farmers' Market

Sarah Jane Smith has lived in Cincinnati for 11 years. She majored in Strategic Communications at Miami University. She now works as a recruiter at Insight Global.
Dining & Drinking
There is a famous burger place called Zip's Cafe right in Mount Lookout Square, what Sarah calls a "hole in the wall" unique to Cincinnati that has been around since 1926.
Eli's Barbecue is an under-the-radar barbecue spot that serves "phenomenal" BBQ with a location right outside of Mt. Lookout. There is a small restaurant inside with limited seating, but for the most part diners wait in line for sometimes an hour or more – Sarah promises it's THAT good – then enjoy their delicious BBQ in the huge tented picnic area where they'll also have bands and DJs on the weekends. "It's a long wait but worth it," she says. It's also BYOB.
Dutch's Larder in East Hyde Park is a very small carry-out lunch spot. They get all of their ingredients daily from the farmers market downtown with very high-end gourmet sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie. "They are very high-quality and not many people know about it." It's attached to the Pony Keg next door which has an extensive beer list with a large variety of craft and foreign beers. Diners can enjoy one of their beers with their sandwiches.
For bars, check out the Stand, a great beer bar and cocktail lounge with pool tables and DJs on weekend. Mount Lookout Tavern, also known as MLT's, is a neighborhood favorite. For Mexican food and festive karaoke, head to Tostado's Grill.
Right next to Hyde Park and Mount Lookout is Over-the-Rhine, which has the best bars and restaurants in the area. Sarah recommends Bakersfield for Mexican (but get there early because the wait gets long), Zula for tapas, and Japps for cocktails. She also highly recommends the rooftop bar at the 21c Hotel and Museum.
Annual Events
Every Labor Day there is a huge fireworks display on the river that includes a waterfall of fireworks off of the bridge. In the fall is the annual Oktoberfest right downtown, when they close off Fifth Street for the full day. The Flying Pig Marathon every year is a huge event with a lot of runners on the trails in the Indian Hill area.
The Great Outdoors
Every Sunday Hyde Park Square is closed for the weekly farmers market when all of the sidewalks are full of vendors, from fresh produce to independent artisans selling their wares. Ault Park in Hyde Park a very beautiful area with gardens, trails for hiking and biking, and areas where people also have outdoor parties and barbecues.
Retail Therapy
Khaki's in Hyde Park is a men's and women's store that carries a variety of labels and also offers alterations. A brand-new women's store called Curate Boutique carries the newest and best in clothing and accessories from up-and-coming designers, locally-made jewelry, and vintage items. For art lovers, the Miller Gallery is the oldest gallery in Cincinnati showcasing exhibitions from around the world and considered one of the premiere galleries in the Midwest. 
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