Whether it be West Side creamy whips, Thai restaurants in Oakley, or boutique dining in Over The Rhine, Cincinnati neighborhoods take pride in branding themselves with food. A recent interest in gourmet tacos led to an outpost of Mexican dining establishments appearing in Northside. Within the past year, three restaurants have opened within a one-block radius along the bustling Hamilton Avenue, the town's main street.
This area is now deemed the Northside Taco District.
First came Django Western Taco, a fun, upbeat restaurant with a Mojave flare, this spacious venue puts on its spur boots and welcomes guests with southwestern hospitality. With seating for large groups, a separate bar and dining area, plus the addition of live folk music, Django kicked things off to a great start. Their signature Jalepeno Margarita and bountiful fish tacos are still some of their best menu items.
Next was the much-anticipated Tacocracy, located inside the Northside International Airport. (You know the Taco District is gaining popularity when an airport moves in...) Converted from the former Jacob's nightclub, the front bar area has been renovated into an open kitchen with cheerfully colored walls and pop art. This was a drastic and much-welcomed change from the dark venue which previously catered to 80s nights and the goth crowd. Making its springtime debut as a foodstand, Tacocracy opened its brick-and-mortar store in mid-2012. Not your traditional rice-and-beans, Tacocracy serves up fusion style tacos, such as Korean Beef, Duck, or Loaded Potato. They also have a taco and salsa of the moment; a must order for the adventurous foodie.
Newest to the scene is Barrio Tequileria, created by food truck founders Taco Azul. Taking over the former Painted Fish sushi restaurant on Spring Grove Avenue, this space transformed from Asian sensation to a firey fiesta. With a red and black Dia de los Muertos-themed interior, a vast outdoor patio, plus an indoor and outdoor bar, they're kicking things up a notch in the Taco District. Reading their name, it's no surprise that Barrio Tequileria carries an assortment of over 70 tequilas. They also have a vast selection of craft beer and uniquely flavored margaritas; think pomegranate rather than lime or strawberry. Tacos and burritos are offered up on the menu with Al Pastor, Carne Asada, and Pescado topping the tasty list.
Move over, Bakersfield OTR! The Northside Taco District is muy caliente!