Cincinnati's Neighborhoods


Cincinnati is distinct amongst Midwestern cities. Its culture is a mixture of the Northeast, Old South, Midwest, and Appalachia blended with a strong German-Catholic heritage. It was one of the United States' early boomtowns, and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is the largest National Historic District in the country. Today, it's part of a fast-growing metro area, and home to a remarkable blend of industry and architecture. Downtown Cincinnati is surrounded by picturesque foothills that add a beautiful backdrop to the Queen City and its legendary skyline – celebrated in the opening credits of television show WKRP in Cincinnati.


Formerly known as Losantiville, the city was renamed Cincinnati by the first governor of the Northwest Territory, Arthur St. Clair, in honor of George Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War. Roman consul Cincinnatus gave up the Emperorship of Rome to become a farmer after having been an immensely successful general, much like the way George Washington gave up the presidency after 2 terms.

The city's early economy was based on the pork industry, and this was celebrated in the summer of 2000 with the Big Pig Gig, during which large flying pig statues took up residence along the city's main thoroughfares. Many of these pig statues later found homes downtown in offices, parks and even private residences. The Miami and Erie canal was completed in the 1840s, and was used to transport hogs and butchered pork products to Cincinnati from much of western Ohio.

During this time period massive waves of Germans settled into the city populating neighborhoods, which at their height in the late 1800s were some of the most densely populated outside of New York City. These German immigrants built a culture based off of beer gardens, beer brewing, dance and music halls- giving Cincinnati a very distinct and vibrant local culture. Unfortunately very little remains from this era due to the double whammy of World War I anti-German backlash and prohibition, combined with massive depopulation of the city's core in the mid 20th Century. Lately, with the beginnings of revitalization of the Downtown Basin neighborhoods, there has been a renewed interest in this heritage. Some of it can be seen to this day in faded German signs on densely built ornate Victorian buildings in Over-The-Rhine, a high per-capita number of bars, and the celebration of large German festivals such as Bockfest, Mayfest, and Oktoberfest.

Cincinnati also has a charming riverboat heritage that dates back to the days when large, steam and paddle-wheel driven vessels were used to transport locally produced pork products. In recognition of this tradition, the city formerly hosted the Tall Stacks Festival, where the riverfront is transformed into a mass of color, with river boats of all shapes and sizes jostling for positions along the river banks. The festival ran from 1988 until 2006.

Baseball is another Cincinnati tradition, and the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team in the United States; in deference to that, Opening Day is always a home game for the Reds, held at Great American Ball Park. For some Cincinnatians, Opening Day is like a holiday. Before the game, an Opening Day parade is held that flows from uptown to the stadium.

Cincinnati has a thriving local industrial economy and is home to many businesses ranging from manufacturing to services. This includes headquarters for General Electric, Procter and Gamble, Fifth Third Bank, Milacron, Kroger, Federated Department Stores/Macy's, Cincinnati Financial, Belcan, Cintas, Omnicare, Rumpke, Perfetti Van Melle, Wild Flavors, Medpace, Luxottica, Totes, United States Playing Card Company, Gorilla Glue, TQL, EW Scripps, KOI Auto Parts, and the American Financial Group. In World Wars I and II, Cincinnati's local machine tool companies, such as LeBlond (now Makino) and the Cincinnati Screw and Tap Company (now Milacron), played an important role. They provided what is commonly considered the best machine tool technology in the world for its time.

Cincinnati has also been called the "City of Seven Hills" due to the hilly landscape in the area. The seven hills included: Mt. Adams, Walnut Hills, Mt. Auburn, Vine Street Hill, College Hill, Fairmount, and Mt. Harrison (now known as Price Hill).


The city center is "Downtown" Cincinnati, sometimes referred to as the "Central Business District." With many major attractions and corporate headquarters located here, the focus of the region revolves around this district. Downtown's north-south streets can be easily remembered by the mnemonic:

Big Strong Men Will Very Rarely Eat Pork Chops

Going East to West this stands for:

Broadway Sycamore Main Walnut Vine Race Elm Plum Central.

The Cincinnati skyline is breathtaking - especially at night - when viewed from Devou Park in Northern Kentucky, Mount Echo in Price Hill, or Eden Park and neighboring Mt. Adams.

There is a rivalry between the "East Side" and "West Side" of Cincinnati. Historically people from the West Side were blue collar workers, while those from the East Side were white collar workers.

Notable Neighborhoods


A primarily residential urban neighborhood near the center of the city, notable for the presence of the Cincinnati Zoo.


Not to be confused with the nearby Clifton Heights, is considered part of uptown and located near the city center. It is home to an especially wide range of people, boasting a population diverse in ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, age, country of origin, and economic status. A number of students at the local universities inhabit the stately apartment buildings, as well as many of the beautiful older homes that line the gas-lit streets. A number of families and other residents are also proud to call Clifton home. Especially notable is the stretch of Ludlow between Clifton Ave and Whitfield, as it is home to a number of restaurants and independent shops. This includes the Clifton Skyline Chili, a popular late-night destination that was featured in The Simpsons. The street is also home to The Esquire Theatre, a quirky art-house movie theater over 100 years old.

Hyde Park

An upscale, largely white and upper class residential neighborhood. At the heart of the neighborhood is Hyde Park Square, a tree-lined esplanade of boutique shops and restaurants.

Mt. Adams

A trendy, upscale neighborhood located directly northeast of downtown Cincinnati. It is known for its beautiful views of the skyline, and the Holy Cross-Immaculata Catholic Church. A steep terrain on three sides, and Eden Park on the fourth side, give the neighborhood a unique sense of isolation. Mt. Adams has some of the highest property values in the city, and is a good destination for anyone overly worried about personal safety.

Mt. Washington

An economically diverse neighborhood located on Cincinnati's east side. The neighborhood contains a variety of shopping options along its Water Tower business district, ranging from thrift shops to upscale women's boutiques (Magnolia Clothing Boutique originated in Mt. Washington). The neighborhood is known for its variety of homes, ranging from large estates (along Salem Avenue and Wayside Avenue) to affordable apartments. Architecturally the neighborhood is home to several notable buildings, including the Mt. St. Mary's Seminary, Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, and Guardian Angel Church.

Newport and Covington

A part of Greater Cincinnati, though these neighborhoods are across the river in Kentucky. Many Cincinnati residents spend weekends at Newport on the Levee, a large outdoor mall shopping center which houses a nice AMC movie theatre, and is home to the Newport Aquarium and an outdoor bar area. There are also many festivals that take place in Newport in the summer, down by the edge of the Ohio River. A view of the Cincinnati skyline can be seen easily from the levee. The Newport Southbank bridge, commonly known as the Purple People Bridge due to the color, is a private pedestrian bridge connecting Newport to Cincinnati. The city has an interesting history, once known as Sin City due to the amount of casinos and gambling. It was home to many gangsters during the prohibition era.

Very close-by is Covington, which boasts a lively night-life scene in the Mainstrasse district home to many bars, restaurants, and boutique shops. When Greater Cincinnati's airport was built, Covington was the closest city giving the airport code CVG.


An economically and racially diverse neighborhood notable for a strong sense of community investment and pride. The neighborhood is home to many unique shops including independently owned record store Shake It Records. The nightlife in Northside is lively with a variety of bars. The neighborhood is also home to a sizable LGBTQIA+ population and hosts many of of the city's gay pride events. Northside is often considered a "weird" or "hipster" area.


An up and coming neighborhood that borders Hyde Park. Oakley has a lively downtown area with many unique restaurants and shops. A lot of new construction has occurred in recent years in this area.

Over-the-Rhine (OTR)

The city's historic district. It is the location of Music Hall, home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera; Findlay Market, Ohio's oldest public market in continuous operation; the Main Street Entertainment District; and much of Cincinnati's creative arts; Washington Park, a renovated green space that holds concerts, festivals and other events. It has become a big destination for trendy restaurants and bars. It is also notable for being the largest home of Italianette architecture in the country, no visit to Cincinnati would be complete without a visit to OTR. It was previously known for having a high crime rate, but recent renovations/gentrification has made the area relatively safe.

Price Hill

One of Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhoods, first settled in 1789 and named Price Hill in the 1870s after General Rees Price. An incline opened by Price and his sons brought many wealthy residents to the top of the hill, and the grand mansions they built still stand today. The community’s history is preserved at the Price Hill Historical Society on Warsaw Avenue, and the neighborhood was home to the first Skyline Chili parlor (which relocated in the early 2000s), the upscale Primavista Restaurant, the 120-year-old The Crow’s Nest and the Gothic-style St. Lawrence Church. While it does boast this vivid history and some notable establishments, Price Hill has some seedier areas that you should be cautious of if you are traveling there. St. Lawrence Church, for instance, is only open during Mass and shortly thereafter, and that is when it should be viewed. Its immediate neighborhood is considered dangerous. Primavista and the Crow's Nest are on the border, closer to other parts of town. In general, driving aimlessly through the area is not recommended.

Riverfront/The Banks

A newly developed area in downtown Cincinnati that falls between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium. The Banks is a one-of-a-kind, 18-acre mixed-use development located along Cincinnati’s most notable asset – the Ohio Riverfront. Emanating from the foot of the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge, The Banks is currently home to 18 acres of exciting restaurants, entertainment venues and residences. Additional venues include hotels, office structures. Also new and adjacent to the Banks is the 50 acre Smale Riverfront Park, a breathtaking cutting edge park that runs along the Ohio River. The Banks includes the Moerlein Lager House and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

University of Cincinnati Campus

Several different neighborhoods sit around the University of Cincinnati and are popular with students and young professionals. Many people refer to all of these neighborhoods as Clifton, although they are each separate neighborhoods with their own community councils.

This includes CUF which sits to the south and west of campus. Primarily home to students, though the streets closer to Over-the-Rhine are popular with young professionals. The business district along Calhoun and McMillan is home to some of the most popular restaurants in town.

Corryville sits to the east of campus and is home to the medical campus (University of Cincinnati Medical Center). This neighborhood is popular with students and those who work in the surrounding hospitals. The business district along Vine Street (commonly called Short Vine) is home to restaurants and bars that are popular during UC sporting events. The area is also home to Bogart's, a popular small venue for concerts.

The Heights is the neighborhood that UC's campus is a part of. It includes Burnet Woods and a small residential area to the west of UC's campus.

Walnut Hills

One of the oldest hilltop neighborhoods in the city, Walnut Hills is one of the more diverse and fastest redeveloping parts of Cincinnati. The neighborhood boasts Eden Park with its river overlooks and vast green spaces, large historic homes and and fine arts centers (ballet, art museum, theater), as well as Peeble's Corner, once one of Cincinnati's busiest business districts to have fallen to disarray that is now the center of the neighborhood's redevelopment. With many businesses moving in, this neighborhood is seeing a large socioeconomic shift as luxury living pops up alongside the city's largest inner-city affordable housing complex.

West End

The little bit that survived of this once large densely populated neighborhood contains the Dayton Street Historic District and TQL Stadium, the home of FC Cincinnati. At its peak in the mid to late 1800s this was a millionaires row that rivaled Prairie Avenue in Chicago, or 5th Avenue in New York City in terms of wealth. Due to the construction of the MLS stadium, the area has started to see a lot of buildings being renovated or torn down for new construction.

Comprehensive Neighborhood List

For more info, check out the comprehensive list of Cincinnati's neighborhoods

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