Updated August 2023

Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best up and coming neighborhoods in Cincinnati for you. This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Cincinnati movers and beyond).

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The Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Cincinnati (2022) Bellhop Blog

A Little About Cincinnati and its Neighborhoods

Cincinnati is pinched into the very southwest corner of the state and splashed up on the shores of the Ohio River, which draws the winding line between Ohio and Kentucky. The city has grown to 309,000 as part of the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The metropolis includes counties in Kentucky and Indiana, and has a population of about 2.26 million.

With the riverbank to one side and a hilly, scenic landscape to the other, Cincinnati has been noted for its picturesque geography. The area’s continental climate gives the city a wide spread of temperatures and weather throughout the year. With January’s low temperature average of 23 degrees and August’s high of 81 residents get a taste of all the seasons.Cincinnati offers a diverse blend of neighborhoods, from elite and established areas to up-and-coming millennial hubs. Currently, there are fifty-two neighborhoods, many of which were once villages that have been occupied by the city over time. To give you some clarity, we’ve highlighted some of the best up and coming neighborhoods Cincinnati has to offer.

Downtown

Of course, downtown has always been a popular spot. But with new bars, restaurants, shops, and housing popping up, living downtown has become even more popular and practical for young professionals and millennials in the city. The city leaders are committed to revitalizing downtown, encouraging conversion of high-rise offices mixed residential and retail. Already in 2023 nearly 2,000 additional housing units are being planned. With over $1.7 billion dedicated to new developments in the downtown area, Cincinnati’s center seems to be on the up and up.

What’s Happening in Downtown

From sports to food to theater shows to art museums, Downtown has a wealth of entertainment options. One of our favorite spots is the Brewing Heritage Trail Tours. You’ll journey through one of the largest collections of pre-Prohibition brewery architecture, step back in history and into the stone-lined underground beer cellars.

The Cincinnati Art Museum offers a huge collection of over 67,000 pieces and is one of the oldest art museums in the country, founded in 1881. For shopping, you’ll soon learn about Fountain Square. This historical city square features shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, an ice-skating rink, and many historical gems dating back to the late 1800s. The area also hosts awesome activities and events that regularly pack out this city block.

For top eats and drinks, try to schedule in a few meals at these choice local hubs: fancy Boca featuring flavors from Italy and France, Crown Republic gastropub, the hip Igby’s multifloor lounge  serving craft cocktails and small plates, Maplewood’s West Coast-style cuisine, and Mita’s for tapas, Latin entrees, and cocktails

Schools in Downtown

Schools serving Cincinnati’s downtown include Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, Walnut Hills High School, and James N. Gamble Montessori School.

Homes in Downtown

Housing in this center-city is quite diverse, with a healthy offering of apartments, newly converted condos and just a few historical homes. Condo prices average $365,000. Rentals are reasonably priced: studios average $1,150, 2 bedrooms $1,950, according to RentCafe.

The Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Cincinnati (2022) Bellhop Blog

Walnut Hills

This pleasant residential neighborhood is one of the oldest hilltop neighborhoods in the city. Downtown and the University of Cincinnati is a 5 to 10 minute drive away. Despite its rich history and great location, for a time, Walnut Hills looked like it was fizzling out.

From 1960 to 2010, this neighborhood lost more than two-thirds of its population. But today, the resident leaders are working steadily to resurrect the neighborhood and have already made massive progress at transforming this once sleepy spot.

Unlike other urban gentrification projects that sweep away housing, culture and character, the leaders of Walnut Hills worked to preserve their community. They have succeeded with a thoughtful and deliberate rehab many will find appealing.

What’s Happening in Walnut Hills

Walnut Hills is extremely walkable and is home to the city’s best green space, Eden Park, which features some of the most beautiful views of the city. The neighborhood offers a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars, like Le Bar au Boeuf featuring customizable burgers and a riverfront view patio, Gomez Salsa serving Mexican-family style cooking, and The Brew House offering burgers and meatloaf, craft brews and cocktails. 

Nearby the historical DeSales Corner district offers a mix of new and old shops with great local eateries like Solstice, featuring tacos and shareables inspired by dishes from tropical regions around the globe, Cafe Mochiko for simple Japanese nibbles, and Rusk Kitchen and Bar for casual American food on their 2nd floor patio under the stars.

Schools in Walnut Hills

Schools in this neighborhood include Walnut Hills High School and Frederick Douglass Elementary School among others.

Homes in East Walnut Hills

Walnut Hills offers a spread of housing options, from condos to row-houses to single-family homes to pricey mansions. Homes average $231,000, condos $248,000. Rentals are reasonably priced: ranging between $1,150 and $2,250.

Mount Adams

From its steep hills, the elegant Mount Adams overlooks downtown and the river. Amidst its winding streets and old-world charm, this neighborhood is home to a diverse crowd – from young professionals to longtime dwellers. The neighborhood offers a unique collection of local businesses, restaurants, and bars with beautiful Ohio River views.

What’s Happening in Mount Adams

Mount Adams draws frequent visitors with one of the city’s best views along the Celestial Street Overlook. Here, you can cross the historic Ida Street Viaduct to one of the city’s best parks, Eden Park. Throughout this green space, locals enjoy the scenic walking and running paths around Mirror Lake. For a sample of local history and art, visit the world-class Cincinnati Art Museum or the Krohn Conservatory floral gardens.

With its many restaurants and pubs along romantic, historic streets, Mount Adams offers a ton of spots that are perfect for a date night or evening with friends. For a taste of this fancy neighborhood’s high-end, visit Boca for outstanding French and Italian cuisine.

For drinks, check out Mt Adams Bar and Grill. This local landmark building was the first drinking establishment in Ohio to obtain a liquor license upon the repeal of Prohibition. Next door, the Blind Lemon is another wonderful spot to enjoy some fresh sippers in a garden patio or at the edge of a crackling bonfire.

Besides dinner and drinks, there’s still plenty of entertainment and stops during a night out in Mount Adams. Our top pick? The two-time Tony Award-winning theater, Playhouse in the Park, which regularly brings touring shows and actors from Broadway.

Schools in Mount Adams

Schools near this neighborhood include Walnut Hills High School, Hughes STEM High School, and WIlliam Howard Taft Elementary School among others.

Homes in Mount Adams

You’ll find a range of prices and styles in Mount Adams housing options. Living here is not cheap. Due in part to scarcity in this historical district, the few homes available average $651,000 in mid-2023. Condos offer a better priced alternative at $332,000.

The Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Cincinnati (2022) Bellhop Blog

Oakley

This urban-style suburb has gained a lot of attention because there are so many things to do in the area. But frankly, there just isn’t enough room for everyone who’d like to live here, and listed homes sell within hours. Its great location close to downtown and with easy access to major highways quick travel is just one of the perks of living in Oakley. But many of its perks lie within Oakley’s busy borders.

What’s Happening in Oakley

The area’s recent revamp is their aquatic park, complete with a diving board, splash pad, and waterslide. Another new revamp to the neighborhood is the popular Oakley Wines – a beer, cocktail, and wine bar that packs in hundreds of patrons each weekend. And Ault Park is just a quick jaunt away.

Sample Streetpops popsicles (avocado, or lemon lavender), a cappuccino from Deeper Roots Coffee, or  plant-based foods and cold-pressed juices, from Rooted Juicery + Kitchen. Red Feather is another hot-spot, creating upscale dishes like their blackened lamb rack with mint chimichurri. The neighborhood also hosts frequent community events like their Oakley After Hours and the Oakley Fancy Flea Market.

Schools in Oakley

Schools near Oakley include Hyde Park School, Kilgour School, and Norwood High School among others.

Homes in Oakley

Homes in Oakley tend to cost a bit more than the average house price throughout the city, but not by much. Homes are valued at $367,000 and condos higher, reflecting the newer builds $462,000.

There you have it: the best up and coming neighborhoods in Cincinnati

We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Cincinnati, as well as other nearby cities such as Cleveland and Columbus. We also have long-distance moving services in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus, as well. 

Need to move quickly? We also provide last minute moving services in Cincinnati!

Harrison Stevens