Sunday, April 20, 2008

#12. Zip's Cafe

Zip's Cafe in the Mt. Lookout neighborhood of Cincinnati is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Sure, it's just a hole in the wall burger joint, but these burgers have been known to be the downfall of many a vegetarian. In operation since 1926, Zip's consistently wins awards for the best burgers in the city. I once lived three doors up from Zip's, and it's amazing I didn't gain 87 million pounds. I have many happy memories of walking outside at night, and being greeted by the delicious aroma of onion rings. MMmmm!!

The menu is simple, but that's all part of the charm. On a recent visit to Zip's, I enjoyed a Zip Burger with cheese and pickles, and chili cheese fries. They also have black bean burgers, if you insist on remaining a vegetarian, awesome fish sandwiches, chili and macaroni and cheese. There is always a soup and dessert of the day.

There are several booths lining the walls, and long tables where you can dine in close quarters with Cincinnati's finest. The back room (and by room, I mean closet) has bar seating. Sitting back there guarantees you close access to all the beers on tap, but you won't get to see the train that runs around the ceiling ledge in the main part of the restaurant.

Zip's is packed every night for dinner, usually with a line out the door. It's worth the short wait to get a seat, and the staff is always friendly. Just make sure you watch out for your kids. According to a sign inside, "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy".

INFO: 1036 Delta Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-871-9876.

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