We're back on the east side for this neighborhood guide, breaking down all the best spots in Madisonville. Sandwiched between Oakley and Indian Hill, you'll find plenty of good food, plenty of good coffee and plenty of good people.
While you're in Madisonville, you should...
Spend a night at Madison Bowl
If the walls of Madison Bowl could talk, we’d be there listening for hours. This spot lives up to everything a bowling alley should be: slightly vintage, plenty of lanes and a solid bar with cheap and classic drinks. Not to mention the Madison Diner nestled in the corner where you can stop by late at night and enjoy a burger so simple and well made that it probably rivals the big name fancy restaurant you’ve been told to check out. Spend a night here, make some new friends and think about when you’re gonna come back again.
Discover the delicious beauty of Mazunte
Honestly, it’s in a spot where you question if it’s still even Madisonville. But none of that matters when you walk into Mazunte, a rare place where it seems like literally everything on the menu is good. Fresh, delicious tacos made right in front of you with your choice of fish, chicken, steak, pork or any combination of the three. And the sides, well, where do we begin? Grilled corn with queso (when in season), simple and well made guac and an array of salsas sure to impress anyone. It’s all served with perfectly salted tortilla chips you get the honor of breaking yourself. This slightly hidden but very well regarded gem is just one of several fantastic restaurants the neighborhood is lucky to have.
If the words don’t do it justice, watch our feature video on Mazunte.
Get a taste of the finer things at French Rendez-vous
This is absolutely one of the coolest places around. Whether you’ve traveled to France yourself, or just dreamt about visiting Paris someday, a trip to French Rendez-vous will take you there spiritually. They specialize in authentic French items for your home including linens, soaps, tablecloths and a lot more. You can also get some delicious French pastries and baguettes, so this is a perfect place to stop by if you’re making a nice meal at home.
Start your morning at Mad Llama Coffee
You might not know it, but there’s a lot of really good coffee in Madisonville. Living up to the hype of the previous sentence is Mad Llama Coffee right on the corner of Madison and Kenwood. Not only will you find your new favorite latte and amazing baked goods, but the Java Whips (cold brew coffee blended with soft serve ice cream and other toppings) will for sure be the drink of the Summer.
Gorge at Ron's BBQ
This is one of those places that you may have driven by like 1,000 times, always telling yourself a moment afterwards “I really gotta stop by there some time.” We’re telling you right now, you absolutely need to stop there some time. Ron D is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet, with some of the best BBQ you’ll find in the 513/859. From perfectly tender smoked chicken to classic, juicy ribs with a picturesque smoke ring, once you try it you’ll be craving it all Summer long.
Stop by his truck some time on Madison road. You’ll find him parked next to Hi Tech Graphics between Mathis Street and Glenshade Avenue.
You’ll also find him tailgating by Paul Brown Stadium during Bengals home games. Yes, this guy is everywhere!
Get your soul food fix at Millie's Place
Grab a table with some friends at this casual spot on Madison road and you’ll immediately feel that southern hospitality. Folks around Madisonville rave about the food here and you can’t argue with good fried chicken, pork chops and rib tips, but the sides here might steal the show. Collard greens, candied yams, mashed potatoes with gravy. This is just a small example of the fantastic offerings here.
Swing by CooKoo's Coffee Shoppe
CooKoo’s is another great coffee spot with one of the most adorable atmospheres in the whole neighborhood. This is the perfect place to slow down and hang out for a while while you grab some food. Coffee, sandwiches and plenty of delicious, homemade baked items (seeing a trend here?) including scones that we can’t stop thinking about.
Explore your artistic side at the Manifest Drawing Center
Looking to try something new? This is pretty much the perfect place. Affiliated with the great non-profit gallery in East Walnut Hills, the Manifest Drawing Center offers weekly walk-in sessions where you can learn open figure drawing. Maybe you wanna try some old school photography? They’ve also got a darkroom open three days a week where you can develop your own film. Life is all about learning right? Express yourself!
Keep an eye out for our next neighborhood guide coming soon!