7.9 out of 10

Over-The-Rhine

Ranked 2nd best neighborhood in Cincinnati
39.1121563420542 -84.5161233640266
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
  •  
  •  
  •  
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Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jan 27, 2016

"Historic Neighborhood Once Ridden with Crime, Turned Into A Hip, Trendy Hot Spot"

Imagine a hipper-than-thou, twenty something year old foodie. This is where those individuals call home, OTR to those local to Cincinnati. If you ask former residents of Cincinnati, they will shriek if you dare deem OTR a "hip spot." It was once ridden with crime, but thanks to a handful (and increasing number of) developers the preservation process has brought back the beauty of OTR. So much so eateries have been featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," been plastered in New York Times, and celebs can be found frequently in coffee shops (when "Carol" was filmed in the Queen City, there were quite a few sightings in OTR). But with all of the positives, there comes a few negatives. There is some crime still in areas, in fact occasionally there are shootings in recently developed areas that are usually considered "safe zones." You must keep your eyes up from your cell phone and have a companion or two in most areas.
Pros
  • Rich in history
  • Very trendy
  • Constantly improving
  • Parks
Cons
  • Hard to find parking
  • Dangerous
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"OTR: Home to the Hip and Trendy"

Over-the-Rhine is by far my favorite neighborhood in Cincinnati. I'm a young guy, so the overall atmosphere of youth and energy really appeals to me. I love going for walks down one Vine & Main St. These streets have actually become historic landmarks, and for good reason: they're beautiful. I consistently am blown away by the significant works of art that are either permanent, temporary and ephemeral, and span murals, sculpture, bike racks all around OTR. It is certainly one of the more picturesque areas in the city.

I should also mention that a walk is also nice because of the safety of the neighborhood. I never feel nervous going for a walk.

The neighborhood consistently boasts some of the hottest restaurants in town, with seemingly a new restaurant or bar opening every week. People tend to flock here for the food & the nightlife, and while crowded, its not overwhelming or disturbing.

Places aren't too bad in terms of price/rent, and there are a lot of younger professionals in the area, so you can trust that you'll enjoy living here. I'd loved every minute of it since I've moved here. Highly recommended.
Pros
  • Rich in history
  • Very trendy
  • Findlay Market
  • Constantly improving
  • Parks
Cons
  • Hard to find parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Fastest growing, trendiest neighborhood in Cincinnati"

My boyfriend and I were on a waiting list, we finally got a call and moved into our fabulous loft! We love Over the Rhine. Close enough to downtown to walk to work, but also more of a "neighborhood." Very cool old Italian Architecture. Very unique buildings. Great investment opportunities if you have the cash to buy a condo. Even from a few years ago people are marking them up 50% and SELLING them for CASH offers. There are also a lot of rentals, we are living in a 1125 square foot loft and paying $1,125 a month. Not terrible at all considering we both live less than 1 mile from work. I am home every day by 5:00pm. No traffic.

The bars and restaurants, holy crap, AMAZING. 3 hour waits for the best ones. Fantastic urban vibe. Bakersfield and the Eagle are my favorites. Vine Street has the best restaurants, a few blocks away Main Street has some awesome bars, Neons, MOTR, and others. There are lots of cute little shops on Vine, more on Main, I hope more come. Lots of social activity. OTR is the place to be on Friday or Saturday night. That being said, if I want to stay in, that's completely fine too.

Washington Park is beautiful and only a few blocks away. There's always stuff happening here in the summer and an awesome dog park where we take our Min Pin Charlie. There's also the Know Theater which always has really cool edgy independent shows, they have a Fringe Festival every summer which has several traveling acts and is a lot of fun. They are almost finished with the StreetCar which will be another cool thing about OTR.

There are always a lot of people walking around, the city feels so alive. There's just so much energy. They are constantly building more apartments and condos and the waiting lists continue.

If you like peace & quiet, enjoy eating at chain restaurants, and fear change I'm not sure if this is the neighborhood for you.
Pros
  • Great Restaurants
  • Rich in history
  • Very trendy
  • Constantly improving
  • Parks
Cons
  • Some Sketchy People
  • Hard To Find an Apartment
  • Congested traffic
  • Hard to find parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
chrism40
chrism40 Mostly German architecture, hence "Over the Rhine."
Jul 11, 2017
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"OTR: 'It's Getting Better All the Time!'"

Over-the-Rhine (OTR) has become one of my favorite areas in Cincinnati. Like many Cincinnati neighborhoods, it’s currently experiencing a considerable makeover. In my opinion, today’s OTR is hardly recognizable compared to the OTR of twenty, ten, or even five years ago. Though vacant buildings continue to take up quite a bit of space, more and more people move into newly-renovated condos and apartments each year.

The past few decades have not been kind to OTR, as crime rates have soared and the neighborhood’s reputation has sunk. On one website, OTR was even rated “most dangerous neighborhood in the country” (though this has been disputed by many who say that somewhat inaccurate information was used). Either way, OTR has had a bad reputation for many years. Local police and task forces, however, have been extremely helpful in cutting crime. In fact, the neighborhood is very much walkable these days and has become a very trendy area to get dinner, have a few drinks, see a performance at Music Hall, and, as I said before, even reside.

Essentially, OTR is returning to its former glory...and I use “former” in every sense of the word. In the 1800s, OTR was a very busy place, full of Germans and beer breweries. It was where you’d go to have a good time. These days, people are once again starting to appreciate OTR for what it originally was. New restaurants and bars are popping up every month, and the streets are now full of Cincinnatians heading to the yoga studios, boutiques, and eateries that line the streets.

That being said, OTR hasn’t yet become a neighborhood known for its quality of living. First off, though the School for Creative & Performing Arts (SCPA) is in OTR, there aren’t many other well-known schools in the area. Secondly, as I said, the crime rates are still high compared to other Cincinnati neighborhoods. Third, OTR has a major income divide. There is a strong and noticeable gap between the chic boutiques/high-end eateries and the low-income residents. This sort of environment makes some people uncomfortable, but others see no problem with it whatsoever. Finally, OTR still has a stigma of being a dangerous neighborhood that’s only fun to visit with a group of friends on a Saturday night. That reputation might take a few years to alter or erase, but when it does I believe OTR will become a highly desirable place to live.

All in all, while families with children might be disappointed in the relatively high crime rates and lack of nearby schooling, I personally recommend OTR to singles and couples looking for an upbeat, trendy, and urban place to live that’s currently on the upswing.
Pros
  • Rich in history
  • Constantly improving
  • Very trendy
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Hard to find parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"OTR: A neighborhood with an identity crisis"

Over the Rhine has professional people and the spacious apartments and lofts, trendy shops, bars and art they want. It's got poor people and the ministries, soup kitchens and jobs programs they need. It's got Music Hall, a grand venue for the opera, ballet and the occasional formal ball. It's got homeless women and men and even veterans, hanging out on the street looking for their next meal. They all get together on Saturdays at Historic Findlay Market to smile, eat, celebrate and buy fresh produce.

Over the Rhine has some of the grandest historic architecture in the country, including several beautiful old Catholic Churches. Movie production companies have set up their cameras in OTR because it still has the look and feel of New York in the early 1900s. OTR is known for its high crime, but as the neighborhood changed, it became kinder, gentler and less of a threat. The distinction of crime locale number 1 has settled into the west side of town.

Shopping and Entertainment
For 10 years I worked for a ministry in Over the Rhine and watched in awe as the neighborhood changed. I saw blocks of empty, worn out store fronts along Vine reclaimed and renewed. Businesses crossed Central Parkway and formed a charming shopping area with restaurants, a furniture gallery and even a Segway Dealer.

Main St. has seen its changes as well. A few years ago, it was full of galleries. There are still few artsy places left and also entertainment spots like Motr Pub, Mr. Pitifuls and Mixx Ultra Lounge. Second Sundays on Main is the street's monthly urban summer festival, with art booths, music and themed entertainment. There's also an annual Bock Fest on Main. Park+Vine on Main is Cincinnati's Green General Store. If you're looking for recycled, upcycled, non-toxic, local or natural, they've got it.

Pendleton Art Center is a few blocks away from Main, although these days I think they call the area Pendleton. If you're into edgy theater productions, check out a Know Theatre Tribe production on Jackson St. near Music Hall. (knowtheatre.com)

Recreation
Renovation on Washington Park across from Music Hall is just about finished.
The Lords Gym on12th St. is an urban gym for weight lifting, exercise and Christian Fellowship
YMCA at Central Parkway and Elm offers fitness programs.

Medical Facilities
Crossroads Health Center at Liberty and Vine bills for medical and dental care based on income. For emergency care, it's a 10 minute trip up Vine St. to University, Veterans, Children's or Christ Hospital in Mt. Auburn.

Cincinnati Public School
School for Creative and Performing Arts, k-12, 108 W. Central Parkway (scpak12.org)
Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, 2120 Vine St. (rothenberg.cps-k12.org)

Private Schools
St Francis Elementary, a Catholic K-8, 14 E. Liberty at Vine (stfrancisseraphschool.org)
The Art Academy on Jackson St. (artacademy.edu)
Pros
  • Park+Vine on Main for green products
  • Second Sundays on Main Urban Festival
  • Findlay Market
  • Rich in history
  • Very trendy
Cons
  • I will walk the streets of OTR by day but not by night
  • Congested traffic
  • Parking can be diffiicult
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Over-The Rhine sees resurgence"

Over-The-Rhine was a bustling neighborhood full of German immigrants in the 19th century. Today it is, again, a bustling neighborhood full of young professionals and those craving an urban experience like no other in Cincinnati. Over-The-Rhine is the place to go in Cincinnati for excellent dining, nightlife, and unique shopping. The last few years have seen an explosion of new housing and renovated buildings promoting an influx of new businesses into the area. One of the great things about Over-The-Rhine (OTR) is that it retains its historic charm. The OTR district has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. The community still has its faults, but is a far cry of the "most dangerous neighborhood in America," as it was once dubbed.

OTR, as many up-and-coming or rebounding neighborhoods often are, is an eclectic mix of people. One of the best places to experience this diversity is at Findlay Market, the oldest, continuously operated public market in Ohio. Findlay Market provides a unique shopping experience from its open air farmer's market to its indoor pavilion filled with various vendors selling everything from gelato to pasta to fresh fish and meat.

Over-The-Rhine offers a variety of entertainment options from the arts to bars. You can attend a concert at historic Music Hall, see a play at Ensemble Theatre or Know Theatre, or enjoy such local hangouts as Neon's Unplugged, Mr. Pitiful's, or The Lackman. If you're hungry, there is plenty to choose from. You can enjoy a wood fired, gourmet pizza at A Tavola Trattoria, fabulous Italian fare at Nicola's, or classic greasy spoon fare at Tucker's.

Also a destination for students of the arts, Over-The-Rhine is home to Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts and The Art Academy of Cincinnati, a private art and design college. Local arts organizations ArtsWave and ArtWorks both reside in OTR.

The Over-The-Rhine of today is definitely not the Over-The-Rhine of yesterday. And, when the City of Cincinnati finishes construction of the streetcar project, OTR will definitely be the place of tomorrow.
Pros
  • Nightlife and Entertainment
  • Unique Shopping
  • Fabulous Restaurants
  • Findlay Market
  • Rich in history
  • Very trendy
Cons
  • Parking can be diffiicult
  • Congested traffic
  • High crime rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"An edgy, but improving community"

Over-the-Rhine has always been the town with a stigma in Cincinnati, as it is said to be the neighborhood with the highest crime rate. That is not completely accurate as there are other neighborhoods in Cincinnati that rival Over-The-Rhine with crime frequency and severity. In my experience I have found it to be a decent place, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone to spend time there at night. Although, I expect this to change in the coming years as the area and its surroundings are changing rapidly.

Right now, on the eastern edge of Over-The-Rhine, a Casino is being built which is to be completed in 2013. As this will be Cincinnati's latest and greatest attraction I expect to see land developers sweep in and build more businesses and improved living spaces to meet customers demands. I am already seeing more and more start up business set up shop in Over-The-Rhine close to downtown. it may be because of the better property rates but I think some do it because they recognize that the area is going to improve with their help. I expect the movement to continue simply because the Ohio river prevents any development to be done on the other side on Cincinnati and Cincinnati will not stop growing.

Despite the negatives of Over-The-Rhine, there are some great attractions to do in the daytime hours which redeems this section of town in many ways. There is a nice YMCA, some great coffee shops and some nice parks and public pools within the area.

On the west edge of Over-the Rhine there is the Cincinnati Music Hall (http://cincinnatiarts.org/musichall ). It is one of the most beautiful buildings inside and out in Cincinnati. It frequently hosts Orchestra Concerts, balls, and other events that usher many Cincinnatians and outsiders through its doors. Directly across the street is Washington Park which is also undergoing a construction facelift, which I expect to be beautiful when it is completed.

Another distinct attraction to Over-The-Rhine is the Findlay Market ( http://www.findlaymarket.org/ ), which is Cincinnati's oldest continuously used produce and grocery market. Within the Market people can shop for locally produced goods from vendors and this creates a culturally diverse and exciting shopping experience. It is certainly much better than the small Kroger that is a few blocks away.

The actual residents of Over-The-Rhine are of lower income status the higher north they live, as you can obviously see this from their housing upkeep, which is dismal to say the least. But Over-The-Rhine gets prettier the closer one gets to Central Parkway as there are a good percentage of young professionals who want to live close to downtown.

There are a lot of outreach programs and mission work going on in this area that the "northern residents" can and do use for childcare and recreation. Such as the Boys and Girls Club, The LORDS Gym, The Freestore Foodbank, the Cincinnati Recreation Center and lots of churches who are stationed there.

The most annoying thing about driving through Over-The-Rhine is how the majority of the pedestrians cross the street without looking or caring about how the traffic is flowing. As the driver you must pay close attention and go under the speed limit, because children are frequently out without adult supervision and the adults themselves could easily step out in front of you and cause an accident.
Vine street and McMicken also hosts the worst traffic light in CIncinnati, one can expect to wait 5 minutes if they catch the red.

I would tell people looking to move close to this area just to be aware of what they are doing and target the south side close to downtown. Look into every detail of the move; Find out about the neighbors; make sure there is off-street and secure parking. The area can be a decent place to live if everything falls into place and like I said, I expect things to only go up from there.
Pros
  • Findlay Market
  • Parks
Cons
  • The worst traffic light ever is on the Vine and McMicken
Recommended for
  • Singles

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