Pearls are often prized for their exquisite appearance and oystery aroma, but Boba Cha values a different sort of pearl?bubble tea's chewy spheres of tapioca. This cozy shop in downtown Cincinnati specializes in creamy concoctions that combine sweet flavors with the tapioca pearls' satisfying chewiness. Aside from the signature bubble teas?which can be prepared hot or cold and with or without milk?the shop whips up frozen snow treats flavored with fruit and yogurt.
Founders of Huntergreengrass Edward and Barb ousted meat from their diets more than three decades ago. Their conversion to vegetarianism launched them on a journey to wellness with many pit stops: they opened a health-food store and helmed a vegan catering company, and Edward penned a vegetarian cookbook. But the defining moment of their foray into health and understanding of compound words was when Barb began training under Dr. Ann Wigmore, a pioneer in the wheatgrass movement. As Barb learned about healthy living and the wheatgrass diet and began to adhere to it, she and Edward had their freshest idea yet: Huntergreengrass. Recently named Best Wheatgrass Fix by Cincinnati CityBeat, Huntergreengrass brings to Findlay Market a menu of juices, smoothies, soups, and vegetarian fare more health-focused than a multivitamin wrapped in kale and stuffed in a carrot. The flavorful beverages and noshes hail from Edward and Barb's organic, nutrient-fortified soil, where wheat berries flourish until they ripen to the peak of nutrition and sweetness at 6–10 inches. Then the couple snips all the stalks from one tray and stows them in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. The healthful shots brim with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and digestion-aiding enzymes. Shots can be swirled into sweet juices of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies such as carrots, apples, beets, and oranges.
The aromas of fresh-baked pita in clay ovens, char-grilled kebabs, and homemade baklava mingle and waft through Istanbul Cafe's bright turquoise dining room replete with Turkish wall hangings. To ensure authentic Mediterranean and Turkish flavors, the chefs do as much food preparation in house as possible, from spearing fresh kebabs daily to hand making desserts from scratch to carving gyros meat right off a spinning gyroscope. The baked eggplant comes stuffed with lamb, tomatoes, peppers, and and herbs served with sauteed seasonal vegetables and basmati rice. Seated around tables, patrons may sip steaming mugs of turkish coffee and tea or uncork their own bottles of wine toted from home.
The folks at the 'wich on Sycamore wanted to create more than just a fast, easy option for their diners. They wanted to do it better?with fresher ingredients, house-roasted meats, and options that were always made-to-order. The result was a lunch and breakfast menu that features a long list of options for customizable sandwiches or hand-crafted signature creations such as roasted eggplant on ciabatta, or pecan chicken salad sandwiches on buttered and toasted honey-wheat bread. Lunch isn't the only focus, though; fresh ingredients are used to create breakfast food such as ham, bacon, and green onion cream cheese on a raisin bagel or goat cheese, basil pesto, portabella mushrooms, and roasted red peppers on toasted honey wheat.
Cuisine Type: Gourmet baked goods made from scratch
Most popular offering: Carrot cake, Vegan Berry Bliss
Gail Yisrael, owner of A Mother's Touch Cakes, extends her motherly affection to the whole world. She bakes with natural and local ingredients, creating 42 flavors of cakes for special occasions. She caters to every special dietary need, as well, whipping up sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan confections alongside her more traditional treats and pairing them with custom-blended organic coffees and teas. She even crafts cupcakes?in flavors such as root beer float?that are designed to transport customers to their childhoods more effectively than a DeLorean outfitted with a rocket propeller.
And like any motherly person, Gail cares about others. She uses 10% of every purchase to fund her very own charity, Project Mother's Touch. Through this charity, she brings food to hungry people in the local community, including freshly baked muffins, juice, and whole foods such as fruit and vegetables.