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“Unbelievable!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Eli's BBQ

Eli's BBQ
3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1012
513-533-1957
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Ranked #2 of 1,729 Restaurants in Cincinnati
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Unbelievable!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Thought you had seen it all. Been to the best barbecue places. Ate that quintessential pulled pork sandwich and couldn't imagine eating anything better. Think again. Go to Eli's.

This small, unpretentious restaurant, with a huge smoker in the back, located on an out of the way street in Cincinnati, serves awesome food. The menu is limited, but everything on it is outstanding. The pulled pork and smoked turkey sandwiches, served with barbecue sauce and topped with coleslaw, are the best I have eaten, moist and flavorful and with just enough spice. They also serve pork ribs and hot dogs. The hot dogs are interesting: first smoked, then deep fried and then fried on a griddle. They are served on a toasted bun with barbecue sauce, cole slaw and pork crispies. To die for.

Order a platter and you have the choice 2 sides: mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw or jalapeno corn bread.

The atmosphere is antique store 1960's, with a turntable playing classic 1960's vinyl records. A nice touch.

Great barbecue, great atmosphere. Go there.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

96% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Food and A Really Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

All of the food is excellent. Everyone I was with enjoyed their meals a whole lot. Don't get me wrong, the line was out the door and we waited a bit, but it's that good. The Ribs were fantastic and the sides were equally amazing. How often can you rave about bbq beans, coleslaw, and jalapeno grits? My only regret is that I didn't order more of the Ribs. It's also a BYOB place, so if you want some beer bring your own.

You can sit inside, that's great and all. But if you go during the summer, on the weekends, you might just be in for an extra special treat. Behind Eli's is a "park" that has been taken over by the neighborhood. When we were there a whole bunch of people were sitting out in the park and a rock-a-billy band was playing. Some of the neighbors had setup an inflatable movie screen and they were going to play "Godzilla vs. Mothra" when the band was done. That kind of atmosphere on a Friday night is what makes little city venues like this so special.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A Must-Try in Cincinnati”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

My boyfriend is from the South and I am from the Detroit area -- two places that make some killer BBQ -- and Eli's can definitely compete with anything we've ever had elsewhere. We typically get their sandwich special that comes with two sides. The pulled pork sandwich is delicious and, since I am a huge mac and cheese fan, I can never go without a side of Mac. Two words of advice. You MUST have cash and be careful when hitting this place at prime eating times. There are only about 10 indoor tables and, while there is plenty of outdoor seating, you obviously cannot do so when it's raining, cold, or hot as heck out. Prefer a different venue? Eli's also serves at Findlay Market.

NOTE: Look for the place with the PIG logo because it doesn't actually say "Eli's" out front.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Best BBQ, Cool place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

We went early because we have heard it get crowded but any good restaurant will be busy. The pulled pork and BBQ turkery sandwiches were delicious. The jalapeno cheese grits were very good with just a touch of heat, nothing too spicy. The mashed potatoes are the best I have ever had. I want to go back just for the mashed potatoes! It is very low key place, you place your order than go find a table. If you are expecting to waited on this may not be the place for you. It is BYOB, with picnic tables out back if you chose not to eat inside. We are headed back for ribs and we will go early. The amount of food you get for the dollar is a great value. If you like BBQ you will like Eli's.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Best BBQ in Cincinnati”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

Even better than Montgomery Inn and more fun too! We had heard about Eli's and told where it was, but with only a picture of a pig on the building, we weren't really sure we were in the right spot. However the large smoker outside was pretty much a give-away. They basically serve ribs, pulled pork (that is delicious), and some of the best hot dogs I've ever had that come loaded with cole slaw and topped with bacon. They have limited sides and a few selections of soft drinks including Coke in bottles. There are a few tables inside and a couple tables outside, but you can also sit on their lawn if you bring a blanket! They have a vinyl record collection and you are welcome to chose and play whatever you like. The prices are excellent. We had a pulled pork sandwich, two hotdogs, baked beans, and two sodas for $14. You can't eat that cheaply at a fast food restaurant and yet you still get quality food!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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