Donuts, beer, bbq, and more make Butler County a surprisingly perfect little weekend destination…
Ask Cincinnati urbanites what’s north of the city, and they’ll say “uh, suburbs,” and for many years, we too assumed that was the gist of Butler County, the area just north of Cincinnati. Then we made a little weekend getaway and found a Butler County we could never have imagined.
From their one-of-a-kind “Donut Trail,” to mouth-watering restaurants to chic shipping to award-winning breweries, Butler County, Ohio is an unexpected plethora of goodness.
The Donut Trail
One of the main reasons we ventured up to Butler County was for their now-famous “Donut Trail.” If a series of 12 donut shops all strung together on a little road trip can’t motivate you to visit somewhere, we question if you’re human. The trail didn’t disappoint as we knocked down all 12 in a single morning.
For more on our Donut Trail adventure and plenty of pictures to make your mouth water, read our full write-up here.
Of course, there’s more to do than just sample donuts…
The options for grabbing a great meal in Butler County are vast. If you’re rambling around Hamilton, OH in the morning or around lunchtime, High Street Cafe should be on your list. Their funky decor will keep your eyes popping around the place while you enjoy a hearty breakfast or a huge burger.
If BBQ is your thing, we HIGHLY recommend Comb’s BBQ in Middletown, OH. We’ve featured them in other articles, and for good reason. In our humble opinion, it’s some of the very best BBQ in the entire state of Ohio.
Not only is the BBQ great, but the atmosphere is unparalleled with cool signs, trinkets, and knick-knacks.
We’ve been going to Comb’s for a while now, and often re-route our trips to-and-from Cincinnati in order to stop by and see our good friends at Comb’s. We beg you to do the same.
For a hip dining experience, Gracie’s in downtown Middletown can’t be beat. With a vibe and menu on-par with big-city eateries, Gracie’s is a prime spot. We enjoy their pork chops, but, hey, it’s all top-notch.
The number of delicious, local places to grab a bite in Butler County shocked us immensely. For more options, check out the Butler County’s Visitor Bureau.
Drink (and eat a little more)
Do you like craft beer? Good. Butler County is the place for you. We were amazed by not only the number of excellent craft breweries spread between West Chester, Hamilton, and Middletown, but by their quality as well.
In Hamilton, you’ll find Municipal Brew Works, the unofficial hub of all things Hamilton these days. With its awesome patio, inspiring backstory, and commitment to the city, it’s an easy place to cheer for. (More on our visit to Municipal here.)
Nearby Middletown isn’t a slouch in the beer department either. Here you’ll find FigLeaf Brewing and Rolling Mill Brewing, two darn-fine breweries. FigLeaf’s award-winning beers and community-focused approach make it a fine spot to spend the afternoon. In fact, we enjoyed FigLeaf so much while we were there, we missed our next appointment for that day.
Rolling Mill, like FigLeaf, is an obvious place for community, but their beer comes with a twist… It’s all gluten-free. And it’s delicious. (More on Rolling Mill here)
For not only great beer but great cocktails, tasty food, and plenty of vintage arcade machines, Rivertown Brewery in Monroe can’t be beat. Once crammed into a warehouse in Cincinnati, Rivertown made a move to the country, spread out, and made itself a destination for any lover of food, beer, and fun. (More from our visit to Rivertown here)
Finally, there’s Dogberry Brewing in West Chester. This little hidden gem is a perfect escape from the norm. Their comfy taproom is an ideal place to enjoy a beer with friends or catch the big game. (More on our trip to Dogberry here)
Shop, play, and explore
Butler County offers the hardcore shopper plenty of options too. From world-famous Jungle Jims to the less-famous local shops, there’s something for everyone. For us, the most impressive has to be Sara’s House. Located right on the corner in the heart of downtown Hamilton, this store rivals anything you’d find in the home decor shops of much larger cities.
If history is your thing, the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting should be snuck into your schedule. This continually expanding museum tells the story of how radio broadcasting spread throughout the nation, largely in part to the efforts of the Crosley brothers.
To say we were impressed with Butler County would be putting it lightly. We had no idea there was this much to see, eat, drink, and do just up the road from our home in Cincinnati.
Whether you’re a Cincinnati native or just passing up and down I-75, make it a point to check out Butler County. You won’t regret it.
For help planning your Butler County getaway, visit the Official Butler County Tourism Website.
More from our Butler County adventures: