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“Patience required” 4 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 #3 of 1,721 restaurants in Cincinnati
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Patience required”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We had recently put our boat in the water which is docked just down the road from Eli's. After spending the afternoon cleaning it up from the winters storage, we decided to walk up the road to grab a bite to eat and see what all of the popularity of this restaurant was all about. It was like a Sunday afternoon picnic . . .a lot of people at picnic tables eating or drinking, waiting for their name to be called to pick up their food. Most of the seating is outdoors at picnic tables in a park like setting. After waiting in line for around 10 minutes we were informed that it would be about an hour until our food would be served. Not a problem, we walked back to the boat uncorked a bottle of wine, added two glasses to a basket and returned to await our dinner. The food was very good . . .the cornbread was spicy (jalapeno), slaw was interesting and the smoked ribs were outstanding. I am told the mac and cheese is creamy and cheesy. Not a place to go if you are in a hurry, but fun and interesting!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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129 reviews from our community

95% Recommend
    93
    30
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Greater Cleveland
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 116 cities Reviews in 116 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“Cool establishment - BYOB, great to sit outside”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

This was a fun place to visit. The prices are good. A sandwich and two sides for $8 is a good price for legitimate BBQ. I got rib tips and two sides for $11 and my wife got a sandwich. The tips were great. There is one BBQ sauce and it has a good balance of flavor and heat. The pulled pork was good. I wasn't crazy about the mac and cheese but my wife liked it. I like some herbs and it had a Velveeta type taste to me (although I don't think they are using it.) The beans were great. The cornbread was average and fell apart a little too easily. We walked in and ordered inside. There are a bunch of tables outside. It felt like being at a backyard BBQ. You can bring your own beer. I didn't know that but luckily I had some bourbon in my trunk so I enjoyed that. They said the food would take 30 minutes but it arrived in about 20. When you're enjoying yourself outside drinking your own beer though, who cares? Bring a few and enjoy yourself with friends. It's a great place to chill. There was also a gelato truck parked there serving dessert. I'll be eating here everytime I am in Cincinnati, especially during nice weather. It might eclipse Terry's Turf Club as my always go-to spot in Cincinnati, but I'll still do both if I can!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great BBQ, poor side dishes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We went on a sunday mid afternoon. I got the pulled pork sandwich and my husband got the turkey. both sandwiches were the best we ever had as far as bbq. On the down side the side dishes were average and nothing to rave about. The soda we had was not cold and room temperature. There is no ice machine so glasses of ices are not available. this is a small place with dinning outside in the summer months. worth the trip for BBQ.

They only take cash or check so make sure you have cash. Two sandwiches, four sides and two sodas cost 20.00 even. a little steep for a late lunch but worth the money for the sandwich. It is self service. When you walk in go straight to the back registers and order your meal. If you are dinning inside they will bring it to your table. You clean up after yourself. The people working there are friendly enough but it is self service.

They put coleslaw on the sandwich. I think that makes the taste of the sandwich but some people dont like slaw and it might change the taste a bit for them. Either way we enjoyed our meal but was disappointed in the sides and drinks.

Try it out yourself.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Cincinnati
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Unbelievable BBQ!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

From the delicious pork sanwiches, ribs, jalepeno corn bread to the funky picnic-style BYOB eating area...this place rocks! We saw tons of families and enjoyed an eclectic crowd there too.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Fantastic BBQ - a Hidden Treasure in Cincinnati”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

"Wow!" is about as good as I can say. I'm not a huge BBQ fan, but this stuff is fantastic. Small menu, which is good. The wood smoker left an awesome taste on the pulled pork. Cole slaw is great, and the mashed potatoes are served in a paper dish, with just a hint of a crust on top of them. Yum !! BYOB unless you like Mexican Coke. The y do have a few assorted beverages, but if your looking for a beer to go with the meal, best to bring your own. Crowd is an eclectic mix of college, families, even dressed to the 9's professionals on this night. Outside seating at picnic tables was the norm. Small 2 man band entertained outside while you enjoyed the food. They do have a small amount of inside seating. You would describe the place as a real hole in the wall. But my experience has always been that these are the absolute best restaurants and the hidden gems that few people know about. They have been voted Best of Cincy a couple of years for their BBQ, and I can see why. Expect a wait if you get there at dinner time. They do have call ahead. They also have carry out, and can prepare a large amount of BBQ if you're planning a family or company picnic. I can't say enough about this place. It was an enjoyable evening. I highly recommend it and I will be back for sure. Take the family or a small group for even more enjoyment.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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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