There are more places to eat than just the average fast food and coffee places.

Mount St. Joseph University Administration building

You have to be willing to go on an adventure to find and support local restaurants in Ohio. Students who aren’t not from Ohio may not know where to eat locally so I hope I can be of some help.

Tortilleria Garcia, with locations in College Hill, Mason, and Springdale, is a place to go when you are craving Mexican food. It is “always fresh, authentic, and handmade.” Your meal is made quickly in front of you. They have Horchata and Tres Leches Cake, which are my personal favorites. Tortilleria Garcia offers Taco Tuesday, when tacos are $1 each. They also have bowls. Maybe the next time you are craving Chipotle, go to Tortilleria Garcia instead, and try them out!

I can’t forget my vegetarian and vegan friends out there! I have suggestions for you, as well. Melt Revival. I saw this place get built from the bottom up, and I was dying to try it. When they finally opened, they did not disappoint. The ambiance of the restaurant is warm and welcoming. My personal favorite is the vegetarian chili mac. They also have a vegetarian 3-way, which, in my opinion, is better than the vegetarian 3-way from the Skyline. They also serve gluten-free options. 4100 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati 45233.

Tickle Pickle in Northside is one of my favorites. When I was in high school, I would go there some days after school with my mom--the best way to end the school day. They are a burger spot with vegan options, as well. My favorite is their classic burger, the Breadzepplin, along with their milkshake. It is not like going to McDonald's, where their burgers are thin, you get one slice of pickle, tomato, and lettuce and have to struggle with the ice cream machine. 4176 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati 45223.

Don’t worry, coffee and tea lovers. I didn’t forget about you. College Hill Coffee Co. is an adorable gift and coffee shop. It is a great place to get breakfast or brunch. They have coffees, teas, salads, soups, chilis, sandwiches, and desserts. They are known for their College Hill Blend. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. When I go, I always get a tea and cinnamon roll. Because of Covid, they stopped live music, and food and drink are take-out only, but there is a patio to eat outside once the weather gets warmer. 6128 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati 45224.

Mad Llama Coffee in Madisonville is a cheap but good coffee shop, where the atmosphere is Llamas. My friend Ekra Khalid, studying neuropsychology at the University of Cincinnati, found this adorable coffee shop on her way home from work. She recommends the White Alpaca Latte or Llama Latte. She also added that this is not a great place for studying because of the atmosphere and minimal seating. 5001 Kenwood Rd, Cincinnati 45227.

Khalid also recommended Mikey’s Late Night Slice in Mount Auburn, a pizza joint that opens at 4 p.m. and closes at 2:30 a.m., though hours may vary at times because of Covid.  2014 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202.