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“A Cincinnati Landmark for burger lovers”
Review of Zip's Cafe

Zip's Cafe
Ranked #99 of 2,020 Restaurants in Cincinnati
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$1 - US$20
Cuisines: Diner, Delicatessen
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Bar Scene, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Reviewed 22 February 2011

This was my first trip back to Zip's in almost ten years. Nothing had changed. The same menu, crowds waiting outside the door, the toy train circling atop the wall. It was all still there.

If you want to get a feel for a restaurant started in 1926 and still in continuous operation on the same standards it began, visit Zip's. The menu is small, basically burgers, chili and the only place I've visited that puts a bratwurst on a hamburger. There is another concoction called The Trainwreck, which you really need to read the menu to appreciate.

For locals, the atmosphere is expected, fast service that is short on conversation, cramped booths and crowds standing in line glaring at you to finish that last french fry.

There is a full bar separate from the dining area.

If you plan to visit Cincinnati, put Zip's on your list, The adjoining Mount Lookout Square and nearby Hyde Park Square offers a quaint setting with shopping theaters and atmosphere.

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Thank RobS3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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135 - 139 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2010

As a transplanted local, I can agree with many of the previous complaints and praises. I've been to Zip's a dozen times or so since I've been down here and have had a range of experiences. Like with many places of that size, a full house waters down both the service and atmosphere...there's nothing like having to wait a half hour to be served while sharing a table with two other couples you don't know. It was rather weird at first, but towards the end it was almost like a family-style dinner (sans sharing of food). I know that's not for everyone but that was only one time and I've yet to meet anyone with a similar experience there. Most of the times we've visited Zip's we could sit down right away (we do try to avoid the prototypical packed times) and are served promptly. I've had a "meh" burger a time or two, but on the whole the food quality is excellent. Compared to other "neighborhood" burger joints on the east side, Zip's is easily the most affordable and likewise (in my opinion) the best quality-for-dollar. I noticed a handful of reviews that said only locals would find this place appealing and I can see that. If I were passing through and experienced the table-sharing incident or mediocre food I wouldn't much care for the place either. Over a number of visits, Zip's does boast a high quality burger, tap selection (good representation of regional/local beer), and atmosphere (when not packed to the gills).

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Thank YCard14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2009

The burgers here are very good. The service on the other hand can flat out stink sometimes.

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Thank XTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2009

We came in from out of town and checked TripAdvisor before we left for a few good restaurants since we didn't know the area. I thought this place was a shoe in since it got rave reviews. We got the basics, cheeseburger and fries...neither of which had any flavor whatsoever. The hamburger looked good but it just wasn't. The fries, while not greasy, tasted like the oil they were fried in since there was no seasoning. I don't even like fries with seasoning or lots of salt but these were just tasteless. We understand this place has been around since 1926 or something like that so it's probably a local institution but its not a place we'd visit again. Oh yeah and good luck finding a parking spot. The location is in a quaint yet cramped neighborhood with about 5 actual parking spaces at the restaurant and the rest is all off street pay parking so come prepared with a few quarters and be prepared to walk a bit if they're busy.

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1  Thank SistaAng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2009

Zip's makes an incredible burger. After I finish one, I'm frequently tempted to order a second one because my stomach has created room for me. The fries go perfect with it. The menu is a bit limited, but for good reason. No doubt about it, the place was made to make burgers.

It can get busy, so you may need to wait at the front door or outside to get in during busy hours. Usually, the wait isn't too terrible though. We just plan to go at an off hour so that there's no issue.

Thank gaarap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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