Rookwood Commons & Pavilion: Uncommon Shopping in Hyde Park
Yuppietown shopping in a large shopping complex with a wide range of upscale & not-so-upscale shops & salons such Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Birkenstock, Claire's Boutique (fun for tweens & teens), Coldwater Creek (one of my long-time faves), Eddie Bauer, Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa, New York & Co, Pump Salon (fabulous but expensive hair styling), Sur la Table (a great cooking specialty shop), and many others.
You'll also find a wide variety of restaurants like P.F. Chang's (my favorite), J. Alexander's (nice steak place), First Watch (breakfast) & even a great ice cream shop, Maggie Moo's!
For healthy grocery shopping try Wild Oats a health food & organic store. All kinds of diets will be satisfied here from vegetarian to vegan to macrobiotic to organic (they even sell organic meats)!
What to buy: Anything & everything you desire just about!
What to pay: Wide range of prices.
- Business Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Family Travel
Hyde Park Square: Gentrified Shopping in a Genteel Neighborhood
Yuppietown but nice area with great restaurants. Hyde Park Square is located in one of the prettiest, most genteel, gentrified neighborhoods of Cincinnati.
There are so many choices for upscale shopping in this area, lots of arts & craft stores, art galleries, folk art shops, and a do-it-yourself pottery place. Le Cézanne sells French pastries made by a woman from France (alas, she does not make a Mont Blanc).
What to buy: This area is especially noted for its art galleries which makes it a destination for the Final Friday gallery evenings.
Malton Art Gallery - Contemporary Art
Graeter's Ice Cream - Considered by many to be the best ice cream in Cincinnati and is the longest-running manufacturer of ice cream .
Vineyard Café - Fab Mediterranean food on terrace
Le Cézanne - Provençale items, pastries, desserts
What to pay: Wide range of prices for a wide range of selections - from $10-$10,000 dependent on what you wish to buy & where!
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Scentiments Rock City: Where do Punks Shop?
Where punks come to shop!
Scentiments was once across the street from Bogart's (a great cool small rock venue) on Old Vine St in Corryville but they've since moved to the newest cool area of Cincinnati - Northside!
Cool punk accessories can be found here complete with Clarks boots (they no longer stock Doc Maartens because the proprietor feels they no longer craft a fine product), music tees (some of my favorite Cure t-shirts have been bought here), rock posters & bumper stickers (ah me! my fave Pixies sticker was bought here as well. along with Jane's Addiction, the Dead Kennedys, The Smiths, etc, etc.)
And where else would you go to buy your orange Manic Panic hair dye?
What to buy: Vintage clothing
Rock bumper stickers
Funky high heels
What to pay: Wide range o' prices
- Theater Travel
Jungle Jim's International Farmers Market.: Jungle Jim's International Farmers Market.
This is a grocery store that is unique anywhere in the world! I have never seen so much in one place at one time. If you are looking for junk food from any part of the world, this is where you get it! I live for Korean food. There are things I can't get at the local Korean Grocery store which I can get here. It is incredible!
It is so big they are putting in a monorail! I kid you not, a monorail. It used to run around Kings Island, now it goes around a grocery store. They also have a cooking school, and soon a convention center.
This should not be missed by anyone with a few hours to kill and desire to try anything from Bison Hot Dogs to Stink-fruit.
What to buy: I love the Asian food area, it is where I like to buy tea and Red Soy Bean flavoed Ice Cream. But if there was any one thing I wouldn't miss while I was there, it would have to be the Hot Sauce aisle. Even if you don't like hot sauce, just to see how many brands are out there and what some of them are packaged as is pretty funny.
What to pay: Average grocery store prices for most things, the more foreign the item the higher the price though.
- Beer Tasting
- Family Travel
The Pink Box: The Pink Box
Located next door to Freida's Bakery is the cutest little store selling really cute girly stuff called The Pink Box! What caught our eye was the pink theme (Meagan is a huge fan of the color) and the raw silk ruched tank top fluttering in the wind outside as an enticement to passersby (worked on us!).
They specialize in local artisan work and the owner makes things herself. Beautiful stuff. Reminds me of my favorite little shop in Paris, Passion d'Avril. AND last year they were voted as having Best Earrings in Cincinnati Magazine!!
Great place to buy gifts. Oh, and they gift wrap just like in Paris in these pretty signature pink bags & boxes.
What to buy: Bought Megs a large fuschia leather handbag with a big rosette on the front and a rosette necklace thingy, bought myself a pashmina, some velvet headbands and a silver Celtic bracelet.
What to pay: Prices range from $14-$200+
- Women's Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Jungle Jims International Market
An Excellent Grocery store with foods and ingredients from ALL Over the world!
You can also find some interesting recipes at their website.
What to buy: I stocked up on ingredients for my Japanese/Thai/Indian recipes here, and got some good German beers!
Everybody's Records: Coolest Record Shop in Cincy
Met Adrian Belew, King Crimson guitarist - considered to be one of the best guitarists alive, here a few Christmases ago! Y'know, Adrian Belew who produced a bunch of David Bowie and Talking Heads records!! He & his band, The Bears, were there to promote their newest CD, Car Caught Fire. I have that CD autographed by all the band members (including Cincinnati local, Rob Fetters, of Psychodots) & I refuse to let anyone touch it! I guess you could call me a fan(atic) of music??
I'm not into corporate music structures which is why I love Everybody's Records, they're small, independent & locally owned. Besides, they have the best selection around (best sellers, eclectic pieces of music, rarities) PLUS you get to occasionally see live music or you can join in one of their auctions for charity (which is what happened that few Christmases ago).
If you're lucky, maybe one day you'll run into the FUNKMASTER (Bootsy Collins, baby, that's right! ~ KEEP THE FUNK ALIVE!!) who lives in this immediate area! Awesome!
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday 11:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm to 6:00pm
What to buy: Buy whatever catches your fancy - they have every type of music imaginable:
jazz, funk, blues, rock, alternative, classical, bluegrass, country, world music, rap, hip hop, house/techno!
What to pay: However much you're willing to spend on music but at least $10.
- Budget Travel
Jungle Jim's: International Food
This is a huge grocery store featuring international food! This has got to be one of my favorite places in my new neighborhood. A short drive and I can relive my trips with a little Pad Thai or stroopwaffles or Belgium chocolates.
What to buy: Your favorite food from your last trip!
Carew Tower -Tower Place Mall: Carew Tower -Tower Place Mall
This is a mall in the downtown area of Cincinnati. If you are downtown this is a good place to check out. But I think it just as good as the malls outside downtown.
The shops are similar, and there is even a food court. But, there are a few places like Sachs Fifth which aren't in the mega malls.
What to buy: Definately check out the magic store! Not only is it a good place to pick up a new skill, they will often do tricks for people who drop by to look! I bought some trick cards and a magic guillotine there! How cool is that! My next trip, I am getting a fake hand, this I swear!!!
Trader Joe's: Good Lord, Cincinnati now has a Trader Joe's!
At long last, Cincinnati has a Trader Joe's! I'd heard great things about this national chain from friends living in or around Boston and I was very eager to shop there (in fact I was quite jealous!). Now it is one of my favorite places to shop for food & drink items because they have many French things there: baguettes, pains au chocolat, French lemonade, Orangina, haricots vert plus wonderfully fresh produce. Also, certain items are very inexpensive here and the quality of the food is amazing. Below is my shopping list of things I buy pretty much every time I visit.
I always shop with my friend, Sandye. We decide it's time for a Trader Joe's run, make our lists and go. It's always an adventure.
One of my best buys was a pretty tin of chocolate truffles they sell during the Christmas holiday. I believe the price was around $6 for 56 pieces - an incredible steal!
Probably the item they're MOST famous for is their "Two Buck Chuck", a series of wines from the Californian vineyard, Charles Shaw. The reason for it's moniker is because in most other states one may purchase their Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc & Chabli for a mere $2. However, due to the weird alcohol laws in Cincinnati one pays a bit more - $3.39, which is still an excellent value.
Hours of Operation: 9am-9pm daily
What to buy: Charles Shaw wines (2-buck chuck) - $3.39
Pains au Chocolat - $2.99
French baguette - $1.89
Sea Salt - $1.29
Water Crackers - $1.19
Haricots Vert - $1.99
crabcakes - $2.99
Lemon dill sauce (for the crabcakes)
Frozen raspberries - $1.89
Fresh raspberries (HUGE!) - $2.99
Frozen asparagus spears - $1.99
Niçoise olives - $2.99
Capers - $2.49
Orangina - $1.79/1-ltr.
Tortilla chips - $1.69
Black bean & corn salsa (Mr. Connolly's favorite!) - $1.99
Fire-Roasted Chili salsa - $1.99
Chicken enchiladas w/green chile sauce (frozen) - $4.29
Artichoke & Cheese Ravioli (frozen) - $2.99
Artichoke Marinara - $2.99
Belgian Truffle Brownies mix (new fave) - $2.39
Roasted red pepper soup
Basmati rice (brown or white) - $1.99
Red potatoes (petite) - $$1.89
Jasmine Green Tea - $1.99
Bay Blend Coffee - $4.49
Waffles (multigrain or blueberry) - $1.89/box
Mac & Cheese (microwavable - for kidlets) - $2.29
French milled soaps
Photos: Spring 2005
What to pay: Some items can be very expensive but the items listed above are very inexpensive which is why I buy them here.
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Women's Travel
Saks, Lazarus, etc.: Downtown stores close early
If you are staying downtown, you'll notice several urban shopping malls, with a variety of clothing, shoes, etc. These include department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Lazarus (owned by Macy's). The odd thing is that these stores close EARLY. As early as 6 PM some days. So, if you need to shop, be sure and check the store hours.
Lush Bath & Body Products: Lush at Macy's!
At loooong last, Cincinnati has a Lush store! Previously, I had to fill my Lush jones with prods from Chicago or Paris or have a friend pick me up some from London (where they originate). If you've never heard of them they specialize in "fresh, handmade cosmetics" which are eco-friendly and all products have been tested on humans instead of animals (cruelty-free bath & beauty products, baby!).
You could say they're much like the Body Shop (also London), with their products such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, facial/skincare products & shower gel but I love the scents of Lush much, MUCH more! I believe they also pioneered the bath bombs (those are quite literrally "da bomb!" - you drop them into the water, they fizz and release a wonderful scent while you bathe).
One of my absolute favorites is their solid shampoo called Godiva, which possesses the most intoxicating jasmine/hibiscus/ylang ylang/gardenia scent - ahhh. The look is a round, yellow bar of soap but works up a lovely lather in one's hair!
What to buy: Godiva solid shampoo (1st photo - bottom left)
Buttercream Bath Bar:
Lemslip - has a fabulous lemon scent that both my kids adore (1st photo - middle left)
The Joy of Jelly - a purple/pink swirly concoction, has the scent of Sex Bomb (jasmine, ylang ylang, tiger lily & rose petal) but perfectly mirrors my fave new perfume Tender Touch by Burberry (green tangerine, violet leaves, rose oil, lychee, peach, musk, iris, sandalwood, and ambrette seed)(1st photo - middle right)
Bathos - hold it under the water for the amount of bubbles you want; save the rest for later; jasmine & violet (1st photo - bottom right)
Butterfly Ball - smells like Sex Bomb to me with its wild jasmine & larkspur scent; also perfect with Tender Touch by Burberry! (1st photo - middle)
Waving not Drowning - lavendar & fennel, very relaxing
Tisty Tosty - heart-shaped with rosebuds & rose scent
Sex Bomb - jasmine, ylang ylang & clary sage - mmm
Golden Slumbers - lavendar & neroli - perfect for lulling one to sleep
Please see my Paris Lush tip for photos of the others listed here.
What to pay: $4.85-7.15 for bath bombs, $8.95-9.25 for solid shampoo (cheaper than in Paris!), $15-15.90 for 7 oz of buttercream bars, $11.60-13.00 for 7 oz of shower jellies, %5.65-10.95 for bubble bars.
- Women's Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cincinnati Mills Mall: Not Your Typical Mall
At first glance Cincinnati Mills looks a lot like the other half dozen or so malls around Cincinnati. However, upon a closer look one notices that this one has a different twist. Like the others, Cincinnati Mills is big and bright, with sparkling fountains and scores of shops. Unlike the others, it is not anchored on each end with a major department store.
The primary Anchors for Cincinnati Mills just happen to be two of my favorite stores. On the west end is Outdoor World, by Bass Pro Shop. They major in fishing and hunting supplies and I don't hunt and seldom fish. However Outdoor World also has a very good camping department, and being an avid camper I have shopped there often. Also, they carry a good line of sturdy, durable casual clothing and much of my travel wardrobe comes from there.
On the east end of Cincinnati Mills is Biggs - a BIG discount and grocery store on the order of a Super Wal-Mart. You can get most anything there, and at a better price than most other places.
In between are dozens and dozens of smaller shops. There are a few of the trendy name-brand outlets you might see in other malls, however this mall also has more independent one-of-a-kind shops than you'll normally find in a mall. Maybe the rent is cheaper here.
Cincinnati Mills also has a children's amusement area, complete with roller coaster and other rides. You can also play indoor miniature golf, take ballroom dancing lessons, watch a movie, or do other interesting things here.
Sometimes when the weather is too cold, too hot, or too wet, I do my daily walking indoors, and for that this is the best mall in Cincinnati. It is huge, on two levels, and usually not crowded.
- Business Travel
Batsakes: A Cincinnati Institution Selling Only Hats
This 100 year old hat store make custom hats as well as selling a wide variety of hats for men and women. Anyone who walks by this shop will want stop in and see what's going on. This store is named after the original owner who founded it but a guy named Gus makes the custom hats now, and has done so for over 50 years. A lot of celebrities have visited this place.
Crestview Hills Town Center: Best "Lifestyle Center" in Northern Kentucky
If you're in Northern Kentucky and don't want to cross the river, Crestview Hills offers the best mall-style shopping in the area. Anchored by Dillard’s department store, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Borders Books, this "lifestyle center" includes more than 60 popular shops and restaurants.