Uniquely Kentucky

NKY and Cincinnati residents are loyal to their favorite foods, restaurants, and stores. If you’re moving to the area, here are the food and places you don’t want to miss.

Rabbit Hash
10021 Lower River Rd. (Rabbit Hash)
In a world that seems to be changing constantly, the tiny town of Rabbit Hash is a heaping slice of Americana untouched by time. A working general store since 1831, the Rabbit Hash General Store is the heart of historic Rabbit Hash, a quaint little Northern Kentucky river town whose name is said to have originated during the flood of 1847, when the abundant local rabbit population was driven to higher ground and became a food staple in a special stew called "hash." Little documented history of Rabbit Hash actually survives, primarily because devastating Ohio River floods in 1884, 1913 and 1937 deluged the little town and ruined many records.

The Rabbit Hash General Store was completely submerged during the 1937 flood that crested at an unheard of 79.9 feet. There is still mud in the store's attic crawlspace from that historic 1937 flood; the sole reason it survived is thanks to its series of iron rods, which run through the entire structure, anchoring it to solid ground. The Rabbit Hash General Store is a major tourist attraction, featuring antiques and collectibles. The surrounding town also features the Rabbit Hash Museum, historic homes, and shops such as the Kentucky Huckster, which offers a variety of Appalachian crafts and quilts.

Ale-8-One is Kentucky’s official soft drink, and the only one invented in Kentucky that is still in existence. It’s been manufactured and bottled in Winchester, KY since 1926 when G. L. Wainscott developed the original secret formula for the ginger-flavored drink after battling competitive cola drink makers. 

The name “Ale-8-One” resulted from a contest held at the Clark County Fair to name the drink. The phrase “A Late One” was the winner, at the time meaning the drink was the latest thing in soft drinks. For 30 years beginning in 1935, the soft drink was bottled in downtown Winchester. In 1965, the company moved its bottling operation to its present location on the outskirts of town.

Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili is a Mediterranean meat sauce used as a topping for spaghetti developed by immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s. The pasta is topped with cheese, onions, and beans. Chain restaurants include Skyline Chili, Goldstar Chili, Dixie Chili. Ultimately, where to get the best chili depends on who you ask! Try a few places and get involved in the endless chili debate; every local in Cincinnati is sure to have an opinion that they'll be eager to share with you.

Glier’s Goetta
Pronounced “get-uh,” Goetta is a German breakfast sausage that blends the textures and flavors of pork, beef, whole grain steel-cut oats, fresh onions, and spices. Producing over one million pounds of goetta each year, Glier’s Goetta is the best-selling Goetta in the world produced right here in the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky region. You can find it in every major food retailer.

Gap Factory
2050 Global Way (Hebron)
The Gap Factory is the place where all your mega discount dreams can come true. The items are returned, damaged, overstocks or clearance items. The store carries clothes from Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Athletica, Ralph Lauren, shoes from Piperlime and other high-end brands. It takes extra time to sift through long racks of clothes, but you are sure to find great steals for your closet.

Graeter’s Ice Cream
Graeter’s was founded in 1870 after the founders had success selling their French Pot churned ice cream in Cincinnati’s street markets. Today, Graeter’s ships more than 300,000 pints annually for online mail-order sales and is carried by 6,000 grocery stores in 46 states. Its most popular ice cream, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, has received national acclaim after the flavor was named by Food Network as America’s fifth-best ice cream.

LaRosa’s Family Pizzeria
65 locations in the region
For over 60 years, LaRosa's has served up real Italian family recipes and is the number-one family pizzeria in the region. In 1954 Buddy LaRosa opened his first family pizzeria on Cincinnati's West Side. His Sicilian-born father told him he was crazy. "You gonna sell pizza? ‘Med-i-gans' never gonna buy pizza from you," he said. Who could argue with him? After all, back then many Americans hadn't even heard of pizza. Buddy went ahead with his plan anyway. So began the story of LaRosa's Family Pizzerias. And it's a bona fide, star-spangled success story. One phone number can be used for all delivery and carry-out orders.