Culinary Schools in Cincinnati, OH: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Cincinnati

The best thing about Cincinnati's food scene, aside from its sheer unpretentious quality, is its distinct sense of self and the way that fits perfectly with the surrounding culture. If you don't know Cincinnati for its food, just look to its famous sporting traditions: the city is home to seven major sports venues, two major league teams (the Reds and the Bengals), six minor league teams, and five college institutions that are big into sports. Cincinnati also welcomed the Midwest's first wave of German and Irish immigrants, and to this day both of those communities heavily influence the Cincinnati's many festive traditions.

Must-visit restaurants in Cincinnati

Culinary students in Cincinnati will learn it's a city that loves filling food with big flavors: meat, pasta and beer. All are staples in American kitchens, but Cincinnati has resisted the takeover of watered-down chain restaurant iterations of its beloved foods. Even Cincinnati's unique regional creations -- Goetta, a meat-and-grain breakfast sausage, and Cincinnati chili, a spiced tomato meat sauce poured over spaghetti and/or hot dogs and loaded with cheese -- fits right in with broader American tastes while retaining a unique regional identity.

When a city's culinary scene knows itself this well and demonstrates so much pride in its offerings, quality is a natural byproduct. Students who attend culinary schools in Cincinnati should definitely check out some of the following locales:

  • Eli's BBQ - Eli's BBQ is pure Cincinnati. If the outdoor picnic tables, BYOB policy and meat-centric fare weren't enough to convince you, the 703 reviews and 4.5-star rating on Yelp should do the trick. Like so many great Cincy eateries, Eli's BBQ does just a few things, but does them extremely well and always with the goal of amplifying good times. There's no bad move at Eli's, but perhaps the most popular order is the hickory-smoked pulled pork sandwich with a side of cole slaw and jalapeño-cheddar grits.
  • Boca - Boca restaurant hasn't forgotten the fine dining heyday of Cincinnati. In face, despite the eventual shuttering of the Tri-State's three five-star restaurants, Boca's hardworking staff would likely insist that haute cuisine never really left, but just hibernated for a while. Boca features plates like the Amish chicken risotto with wild mushrooms, heirloom carrots and black truffle, or the short rib tartare with crispy parsnip chips and pickled egg yolk. Handcrafted cocktails keep the vibe right while diners walk the line between new and familiar.
  • Mazunte - The taco is a simple thing, which means the quality of its ingredients is everything. Cincinnati native Josh Wamsley yearned for straightforward, artisanal Mexican food; after eating one too many bland chicken tacos with stale tortillas and waxy mystery cheese, he decided to strike out on his own and, following an unofficial apprenticeship in Mexico, where he studied in the kitchen of his Oaxacan landlord, Josh returned to Cincinnati and created Mazunte restaurant. The menu is small and tightly focused, so everything is good, from the beer-battered fish tacos with Mexican slaw, guacamole and mango-habenero salsa to the blue corn quesadilla with roasted poblano chiles.

Cincinnati culinary salary and job growth

It's a great time for food in America. As people become more adventurous in their tastes and more concerned with the provenance of their food, the bar for culinary quality has been raised to unprecedented heights. Of course, this makes the job market significantly more competitive for chefs, bakers and other artisans vying for a piece of the fame.

Cincinnati cooking schools train students to face this challenge head-on by arming them with invaluable experience, skill acquisition and mentorship, all within an environment where local traditions and newer trends can happily cohabitate. Here is what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported for the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN metro area:

OccupationTotal Employment in Cincinnati (2014)Average Salary in Cincinnati (2014)Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks800$45,4805%
Restaurant Cooks9,050$22,84010%

Culinary students will find additional opportunities across the state of Ohio. The BLS reports a high number of restaurant and chef-related jobs in the Cleveland and Columbus metro areas. It's also reported that those who hold a culinary degree may have a leg up on the competition in these highly populated metros. Browse the schools below to learn more.


  • Bakers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014,
  • Boca, 2015,
  • Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN - May 2014 OES Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014,
  • Cooks, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014,
  • Eli's BBQ, 2015,
  • Mazunte, 2015,
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This list also contains online schools that accept students from Cincinnati