Sweet Home, Cincy
We bring you a heaping of Cincinnati’s sweetest traditions
Satisfying even the most demanding sweet tooth is child’s play in Cincinnati, home to some of the most enduring ice cream parlors, bakeries and gelato makers in the country, with new ones coming on board fast. We bring you a heaping of the city’s sweetest traditions.
Life of pie.
A fairly recent addition to the Cincy sweet canon, the cleverly named O Pie O in historic East Walnut Hills has been getting its slice of the market since 2014. Locals relish handcrafted, sweet and savory pies featuring seasonal ingredients, such as salted cashew cream and their wildly popular signature offering, honey vinegar pie.
An authentic farm to plate saga.
The best back story belongs to Matt Madison, the Adam’s County mushroom farmer and inveterate foodie who famously opened the eponymous Madisono’s, Cincinnati’s first gelato and sorbetto shop. Stop in for bananas Foster or a dark chocolate orange gelato, and sorbets in imaginative flavors like bango (bananas and mangoes) and lemon basil.
At the BonBonerie in the city’s O’Byronville neighborhood, 30 years’ worth of tradition is baked into the café and tea room’s gigantic cookies, fruit-laced scones and famed opera cream cake. A unique take on the classic French version, it’s made with a thick, dark chocolate cake generously laced with chocolate chips, and a super-rich mix of white chocolate, coffee, brandy and coffee liqueur.
Decadence by the dozen.
Frying up Cincy’s favorite crullers since the 1960s, Holtman’s Donuts are still made from scratch daily in its open-format bakery. Drop by for a freshly made maple bacon donut, apple fritter or custard puff.
Earning the churn.
Aglamesis Brothers has been serving up premium ice cream and fine chocolates to Cincinnati east-siders since the early 1900s. Take a seat in the Oakley Ice Cream and Candy parlor, virtually unchanged from its earliest days, and revel in some sweet memories.
Still the Scoop du Jour: Graeter’s Second Century of Greatness
The name Graeter’s sparks enormous local pride for good reason. When ice cream became commercialized in the 1920s and neighborhood ice cream parlors were being run out of business, Regina Graeter did something amazing. She stubbornly refused to change the quality of her ice cream in any way, and insisted on using the artisanal, small-batch (two-gallon) French Pot process, an old-fashioned method of freezing ice cream that produces a uniquely smooth and densely finished product. Every succeeding generation of the Graeter family made the same decision when given the opportunity to modernize. The strategy has paid off handsomely as Graeter’s has wooed ice cream lovers for more than a century. In an era that reveres authenticity, fourth generation owner Richard Graeter is proud to claim they are the only ice cream producer in the world to still use the French Pot freezer method.
Today, Graeter's Ice Cream makes more than one million gallons annually, with 32 French pot freezers running day and night to keep up with demand. Frozen faves from their bottomless freezer are black raspberry chocolate chip and Graeter’s executive team pick, Madagascar vanilla bean.
“We are passionate about making the highest quality and most indulgent frozen dessert…an ice cream experience for all generations to enjoy,” says Graeter.