On the eastern banks of the Licking River you'll find Newport, a former "sin city" with a history of gambling, speakeasies and a giant flood. Fast forward to 2018 and you'll see a city bubbling with good food, plenty of entertainment and some of the best coffee in town. Thankfully, it's still got the charm of its rugged past all while reinventing itself at the same time.
Here are our 9 top picks for things to do in Newport, Kentucky.
Enjoy the gravy at Pompilio's
Pompilio’s is a straight-up cornerstone of Newport. They’ve been dishing out homemade Italian food for more than 80 years, with locals always coming back for the ravioli, lasagna and of course, that famous sauce (or gravy depending on how you grew up). When you’ve got good food, good company and at least one conversation about that famous movie scene that was filmed here, dining at Pompilio’s feels like being part of neighborhood history.
Pompilio’s, 600 Washington Ave., Newport, KY.
See a show at the Southgate House Revival
When it comes to listing the best Tri-State music venues, it’d be a crime to omit the Southgate House Revival. A unique place where you can walk in on any given day and find 2 or 3 great shows from any genre happening at the same time, this spot should always be at the top of your list when you’re looking for live music.
The Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, Newport, KY.
Get your caffeine fix at Carabello Coffee
If you’re an avid reader of these lists, you know that a good cup of coffee is always on our collective minds. If you’re in Newport you’ve gotta check out Carabello Coffee. You’ll find ethically sourced coffee that’s a.) delicious and b.) helping fund compassionate projects in third world countries. That’s right, you can feel good about where your money is going and enjoy a great drink at the same time. On top of all that, they’re taking coffee to the next level with their Analog Slow Bar next door where baristas get the chance to create unique and innovative drinks in a chill atmosphere. Go and see what the hype is about.
Carabello Coffee, 107 E 9th Street, Newport, KY.
Explore the Newport Aquarium
Odds are you’ve spent a day in total amazement at the Newport Aquarium. If you haven’t, well, what are you waiting for? See countless, beautiful creatures of the sea and definitely make a point to stop by the Shark Bridge. Perfect for the family, dates or anyone who wants to see one of the best aquariums in the country.
Newport Aquarium, 1 Dave Cowens Dr, Newport, KY.
Get cozy at York Street Cafe
A night spent at York Street Cafe is a night you’ll wanna repeat over and over again. With sandwiches, wraps and more than a few “conversation boards” meant for sharing, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied and asking for more when you dine here. It’s small, romantic and often featuring live music in the lounge upstairs making it a perfect date-night spot.
York Street Cafe, 738 York St, Newport, KY.
Throw down at Dixie Chili
Once again, the seemingly never ending Tri-State chili debate has made its way to this list. If you know us, you know that we don’t take sides, mostly because we love literally every chili parlor in this city. So if we’re talking about Newport, what better place to satisfy your coney fix than at the neighborhood’s first parlor? Dixie Chili is beloved by countless NKY’ers and it’s the perfect place to throw down when you’re on the south side of the Ohio.
Dixie Chili, 733 Monmouth St, Newport, KY.
Get a panini at Press on Monmouth
File under “seriously good lunch options.” Press on Monmouth is where you should go if you’re looking for a good panini paired perfectly with soup and maybe even a beer (if it’s that kind of lunch break). They’ve also got plenty of breakfast options including some pretty popular waffles.
Press on Monmouth, 421 Monmouth St, Newport, KY.
Eat the chips at La Mexicana forever...
…and ever, and ever. Yeah, the tortilla chips at La Mexicana are absolutely amazing, but so are their tacos and pretty much everything else on the menu. This is where you go if you want authentic and totally satisfying Mexican comfort food. Get a margarita and make sure you stop by the market too.
La Mexicana, 642 Monmouth St., Newport, KY.
Stand up and sing at Hofbrauhaus
When you’re singing with friends, stein in-hand, at Hofbrauhaus you’re living your best Cincinnati life. This is where you go to have a couple giant beers with friends in the tradition of Cincy generations before you. Get some pretzels, hang out in the main room or the bier garden and have yourself a lighthearted time. Prost!
Hofbrauhaus, 200 3rd St, Newport, KY.