Located on the east side of the city, Mt. Lookout is one of Cincinnati’s most affluent and charming neighborhoods and is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and parks.
The hilly neighborhood is conveniently located next to some of the trendiest areas in the city including Oakley, Hyde Park, and Columbia-Tusculum. It’s also just a 10-15 minute drive from Downtown, Mt. Adams, and Over-The-Rhine, which makes it a desirable place to live if you always want to be close to the action.
Along with its convenient location, Mt. Lookout is also one of the safest neighborhoods in Cincinnati, according to FBI crime data. And because of all these wonderful qualities, it’s easy to see why the median home price in the neighborhood tends to be around $350k – $400k.
In this post, we share a brief history of Mt. Lookout along with a list of the best restaurants, bars, shops, and parks to check out in the neighborhood.
A Brief History of Mt. Lookout
Mt. Lookout was annexed to the city of Cincinnati in 1870 and originally was referred to as “Delta.” The name was then switched to Mt. Lookout in reference to the “lookout” at the Cincinnati Observatory, which was moved from Mt. Adams to Mt. Lookout.
Today the observatory is designated as a National Historic Landmark and boasts the oldest working telescope in the entire United States.
Much of the area that is Mt. Lookout today was initially put to use as vineyards and was a popular site for wine aficionados to explore.
This began to change in 1901 when a Frenchman named Frank Boesch bought four acres of land in the neighborhood and used it to develop a town square area. One of the early buildings, The Redmoor, still stands in the heart of the square today and is known as a historic landmark in the neighborhood.
Today the town square is one of the most unique and recognizable squares in all of Cincinnati, with businesses, shops, and restaurants lining each side of the square.
One particularly important contribution to the neighborhood was Ault Park, named after Ida May Ault and her husband Levi Addison Ault, a former Park Commissioner.
The couple donated the initial tract of land in 1911, which included around 30 acres of land that was formerly a vineyard. Today the park is one of the most scenic and well-known in all of Cincinnati, with plenty of hiking trails, a gorgeous botanical garden, and a pavilion.
Another park on the other side of Mt. Lookout – Alms Park – was donated by the widow of Frederick H. Alms in 1916 as a memorial to her late husband
Although Alms Park is technically located in Columbia-Tusculum, it sits just on the edge of Mt. Lookout and is just a short drive from the town square. Today Alms Park is known for offering one of the most scenic overlooks in the whole city, with sweeping views of the Ohio River, the hills of Northern Kentucky, and the Lunken Airport.
The Best Restaurants, Bars, Shops, & Parks
Mt. Lookout is filled with an excellent selection of restaurants, bars, shops, and parks. Here are some of our favorites:
Lookout Joe: The local neighborhood coffee shop that offers both indoor and outdoor seating, along with a menu full of caffeinated drinks and baked goods including donuts and muffins.
Zip’s Cafe: One of the best places to get a burger in all of Cincinnati.
Cloud 9 Sushi: An excellent place to get sushi. Their menu includes wasabi shrimp, fried calamari, gyoza, chicken skewers, and over 15 different specialty sushi rolls.
Ichiban Sushi: Another excellent sushi spot known for their shrimp tempura, beef teriyaki, and wide selection of specialty rolls.
Ramundo’s Pizzeria: One of the best pizza places in all of Cincinnati, known for being mostly a carryout spot.
Mt. Lookout Tavern: The most popular tavern in the neighborhood, known for their wide variety of craft beers and other drinks.
The Redmoor: A historic event center that hosts a variety of unique events throughout the year.
Ault Park: One of the most scenic parks in all of Cincinnati that is home to hiking trails, a botanical garden, a pavilion, and plenty of open green space.
Alms Park: A park with some hiking trails, a large playground area, and several scenic overlook spots. Read our complete guide to Alms Park here.
Visit Mt. Lookout
Mt. Lookout is one of Cincinnati’s most charming neighborhoods. From its convenient location to the trendiest spots in the city to its lively town square to its scenic parks, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Mt. Lookout.
Looking for more neighborhood guides? Check out our massive guide on How to Spend a Day in 25 Different Cincinnati Neighborhoods.