Cincinnati Holiday Food Favorites

There are a few things around town that you can only get during the holidays– and you just have to try. They’re familiar favorites and new treats– and I promise you’ll love ’em (just get them while they’re available).

Arnold’s, (8th street, Downtown) Ronda’s Egg Nog: Rhonda’s egg nog is everything it’s supposed to be: creamy, rich, filled with nutmeg and cinnamon, with a spectacular kick of brandy. It’s great to sip while listening to live music in their courtyard.

Graeter’s, UDF and Aglamesis (Various Locations): Peppermint Stick ice cream.  All three Cincinnati ice cream traditions have it– and of course, only for a limited time.  Graeter’s used to be available all year round, and it was my favorite choice when I went (topped, of course, with bittersweet chocolate).  At UDF, try theirs (notably less rich and creamy than Graeter’s or Aglamesis, but still good).

Dojo Gelato (Findlay Market), Rosie’s Egg Nog: I picked this up yesterday during a trip to Findlay Market.  This is egg nog spiked with bourbon– delish (and not quite as rich as ice cream).

Mayberry (Vine Street, Downtown), Gingerbread Cookies with Egg Nog Mousse: I can’t guarantee that these will be available, but these are easily my “find” of the season.  Light sugar cookies with a hint of gingerbread spice, sitting in a cloud of egg nog mousse.  Heavenly. (Ed. note: A full review of Mayberry will post sometime this week.)

Coffee Emporium (Hyde Park or Over-the-Rhine), Winter’s Blend coffee: I believe they roast this year-round, but this flavored coffee tastes like Christmas to me.  Cinnamon and cardamom blend for a hearty tasting coffee.

Yagoot (Hyde Park, Kenwood and Downtown), Pomegranate:  Pomegranates are a traditional, tangy part of the holiday season.  This limited-edition flavor is a lot lighter than my other choices, light, and good for you!  I guess it’s not so good for you once you put Yagoot’s Alligator Crunch on top, but it’s still quite tasty.

The Cincinnatian: Summer Genetti’s going super traditional this season– she’s doing figgy pudding and sugar plums, along with some twists on holiday favorites: egg nog creme brulee and gingerbread upside-down cake.

What are YOUR local holiday favorites?