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                    'SHOPPING LOCAL' DIRECTORY  

                    & CONSUMER GIFT GUIDE    


              WELCOME TO ALTRO'S HOLIDAY GUIDE - 2017-18  



                    Christmas, New Years...


We all have to think about giving gifts through the year, so you're not alone. There are no worries - we've got you fully covered with all kinds of cool gift ideas here at Altro magazine's gift-giving shopping guide - for all year-round at your service!

For whatever seasonal celebration you're into this year - be it Valentine's Day, Mother's or Father's Day, Independence Day, Christmas, New Year's, (even birthdays!), Happy celebrating and Happy holidays to all! - Kaitlyn Karol, (Altro Editor) & the Altro magazine team


  celebrate good times, come on!  incredible_endings_beer_bengals_cake_2.jpg - 8.94 Kb                                                                  

In this online guide, you will find many great local shopping opportunities in all kinds of locally owned and sometimes family-operated businesses that want to share their unique products and services. You will discover great offers, discounted deals, gift card specials and some of the most diverse, multi-cultural and popular little 'best-kept secrets' this side of the Greater Cincy and Northern Ky area!

In our larger metropolitan's DESTINATION HOT SPOTS, you may discover or even rediscover what makes this part of the Midwest so awesome - our rich and eclectic history along with our independence is what makes us stand out and shine in the spotlight of our own special and very celebrated identity. We have the best recreation as well as the best shops and food here!

THE 'ALTRO STANDARD': It's great to be part of a community, but within that neighborhood, you can also better appreciate your neighbors for having their own unique, trademarked or signature flair that is truly all theirs, instead of something mass-produced or unoriginal. Within this guide, you will find handmade items, unique styles or foods - basically, products that are worthy of being labeled as 'special' or one-of-a-kind. Here at Altro, you will NOT find the huge retail stores or corporate chains where everything is copy-catted and cloned to death!



(*MAKE NOTE on how to have a BETTER SHOPPING EXPERIENCE IN OUR DIRECTORY & GUIDE: Some of the companies/vendors are listed here in our directory - above - w/ drop-down menu and those are listed by categories, such as restaurants, specialty shops, etc., and alphabetized in each category for your convenience. See some of them in our new database above by clicking on the menu arrow tab at right of the category search box.

Some of our vendors may NOT be listed in the above categories/directory menu and are listed below here, only in the HOLIDAY GUIDE instead, while others are listed in both areas, depending upon what sponsorship packages they preferred and the way they chose to have their businesses displayed. ) 

*(photo above of beer cupcake, courtesy of small business Incredible Endings Bakery)


JUNGLE JIM'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET - Cincinnati gourmet store/ Fairfield Oh specialty grocery store

The first place on our list is a tried and true favorite of many locals who never get bored shopping here! Rows and rows of endless gourmet and high-end specialty foods are found here but their produce is fresh and they also offer lots of organic and non-GMO foods. Take yourself on a trip soon if you have not - esp. if you are planning any holiday parties for friends of diverse tastes! You will find this popular store in our categories database above or also here at 


KEEP ME SAFE ORGANICS - RITA KEESEY is your rep for beautiful skin this year!/ Florecen Ky organics cosmetics


This is one of the best skin care lines in the beauty industry currently and anyone with problematic skin (eczema, acne, psoriasis, roseaca, etc) can benefit from this all-organic skin care line! Choose from any of their luxurious creamy and whipped mositeriers, cleansers made with coconut oil and aloe vera as well as bergamot (healing essential oil) and their toners are great too!

Also ladies - don't forget to shop their gorgeous eyeshadows, mineral face powders and creamy foundations. They do not go on oily or sticky like some products' lines do. These are organic, made with all natural ingredients and enhance your natural beauty and skin tone. 


Visit their website at:


to make any orders - just in time for those stocking stuffer ideas!


QUAIL HOLLOW CANDLE FACTORY & GIFT SHOP - Shop online to buy unique candles this year! Handmade products that hold up to today's 'super market' variety...

This candle company in Amish country sells unique and interesting candles for all your holiday and other needs. Whether it's a romantic dinner occasion, a family holiday dinner to create atmosphere, or if you just like the scented ones to fill your home year-round - esp. in the kitchen if you're cooking smelly foods like fish - this store is 'candle headquarters'! Choose from homemade hand-carved wax candles to scented ones to even special wedding type. But they don't just sell candles - they also offer primitive goods and homemade Amish products which make great holiday gifts this time of year.


For ordering and more info on their unique candle-carving history, see their full page with their web links by menuing down the category list at the top of our directory under Specialty Shops. You may also find them on FB:  Don't forget their main site for more details:


LASZLO'S IRON SKILLET –  New American cuisine in Cincinnati. Unique. Fresh. Authentic.

Classy and casual, this growing restaurant is catching on with lots of local foodie fans. It's the kind of place you can bring a date or dine in with your family. There's delicious American fare and then dishes they are famous for such as their schnitzel which is a big hit with regulars and newcomers alike. Coming soon to the menu is their delicious wurst sampler, which consists of 3 different sausages, sauerkraut, and German potato salad.  (See photo below). 

There is the holiday tradition loved by many this time of year and that is chicken with dressing or stuffing. Here at Laszlo's, this fall/holiday treat comes in the form of their Roast Chicken dinner. This dish is served every Wednesday night and gets big requests, which is a plate of roast chicken with stuffing, plus two sides. Even more appetizing is the low price – a full entree for only $10!


Don't forget Ladies Night on Tuesdays and live music through 8th-29th of October. Happy hour is Tues-Fri from 3-7 pm. The menu is due to change soon – so look for some new upcoming yummy changes!  Hours: Closed Mondays/ Tues-Thur 3-9 pm., Fri & Sat: 3-10 pm., Sun 3-9 pm. For more info, visit them at 1020 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati, Oh 45245 or you may see their website at


HOUSE OF GRILL - Covington, Ky Persian cuisine at its finest

This new cozy restaurant welcomes you to a taste of Persian paradise! The chefs here do their utmost to give you a traditional Persian experience. Their meats and vegetarian portion of the menu are cooked to perfection. The meats are also kosher, so for health enthusiasts, this high standard is most appreciated!

Says the owner, Jonathan, “To us, your satisfaction is the reason we started to go on this journey. To achieve this, we devote all our attention to the quality of your meals and service. All the meals are made from fresh ingredients. We pride ourselves to only serve the highest quality of foods.”


Fun cultural fact: The old Persian standard hailing to us from Iran, is the citrus flavor of the lime. Here in America, we are famous for our love of lemons but know that Mexico is not the only place showcasing the lime. So, if you need a twist of citrus to add to a meal or beverage, this little green tangy tartness will come your way! And – the tea is especially delightful here too...

Fun cultural tip: If you are trying to cut down on sweeteners – esp. of the less healthy artificial variety, Jonathan says he'll bring you some dried cranberries: “The thing we do in Iran is, after sipping some of the tea, we then bite into a few cranberries to follow behind the tea. If you're looking for sweetness, it's a healthier and more flavorful way to go.”

14 E 5th St, Covington KY 41011/ 859-206-6324

Peruse the great menu here: You may also e-mail in your to-go orders:


UNIQUELY SENISE - Florence Ky hair salons that offer chic and stylish hair!

Top-notch professional beauty salon for those who want to enhance their beauty, Uniquely Senise is your go-to place for a spa day or just to drop in a buy a beauty product. Unlike many other salons, Uniquely Senise lives up to their name – unique as in top quality service but in their products as well – available for sale are such items as fancy, chic hair bands, purses, handbags, jewelry and even watches!  Check out their website below for more info and details.


OFFER:  New clients will receive 20%  off any service for  their 1st visit with select stylists.

See more info in their site here:


BREW RIVER GASTRO PUB - On the East side of Cincy – where Louisiana-type cooking meets local flavor mixed in with some good 'ole blues music to complement the vibes of the bayou!

Welcome to Cincinnati's only New Orleans Creole and Cajun-influenced gastro pub that strives every day to stay true to those roots. The menu reflects the tastes and culture of the Crescent City, while at the same time, embracing the gastro pub philosophy by cooking with one of 23 craft beers on draft. Most of the menu has local Cincinnati craft beer in the recipes – so you're right at home, but you're also further down South!


This historic late 19th century riverside building beckons their guests to come in for one of 23 all-craft beers on draft, a housemade craft cocktail or one of their lovely small production wines. However, the food is the star at BrewRiver. Chef Michael Shields, who worked with Emeril Lagasse for six years in New Orleans and Atlanta, has created a menu of made-from-scratch ingredients, with classic creole dishes, such as  Oyster Po Boys, New Orleans Barbecue  Shrimp, Muffulettas, and Gumbo and Eggs Sardou! Famous for their burgers, they've won several local awards. The meat of the burger is a proprietary blend from Neil Luken at Findlay Market and that burger deserves the best bun in town - the one and only Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakers' burger bun!

The live music here also takes you back to the old New Orleans, Louisiana blues but with our local musicians, there's nothing quite like this unique blend of the best of both worlds! Enjoy a regular roster of genres like the blues, jazz, roots jazz as well as Louisiana Gypsy jazz.

Don't forget the Theater Room – available for private parties up to 24 guests. They also provide a catering service. This is the place for Louisiana-type food, and BrewRiver will not disappoint as they source their menu items from local farmers and brewers. 

SPECIAL OFFERS: Every Dollar Spent: For every dollar spent you will be awarded a loyalty point. For every  200 loyalty points earned, BrewRiver will load $10 on your loyalty card. Double Point Lunch: Every Thursday and Friday during lunch our “Love us Bock” patrons will receive double points!

2062 Riverside Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202/  Phone. 513-861 2484

*Excited new fans: “Thanks Altro magazine so much for this Holiday Guide – we didn't know about this restaurant and my husband's family is from New Orleans so when we read this on here, we went to celebrate our son's graduation and we all loved it. The food AND the beer is SO good! We will go back on regular basis!” - Carla and Daniel Wood, Ft Thomas Ky

I am so happy to see this info when I was reading your magazine recently. What a great new find – best food I've had in a long time! The server we had was so nice too. My sister and I checked it out after seeing this on your site and after vacationing in New Orleans a couple years ago; we compared the food there to here and this restaurant is just as good if not better. The beer and wine are both perfect. The Oyster Po Boys is to die for!” - Shelly Peters, Cincinnati



Tourists love this place and we can see why! So much to do in Amish country Ohio but this bakery will make you want to stay longer when you visit the gorgeous countryside of Millersburg Ohio.

Enjoy all the pies, cookies, pastries, breads, and scones you can think of in this incredible bakery – order a gift basket for loved ones this holiday season and you will be thanked much!


See this link for all the wide variety of goodies and treats – in the gallery below to show you ideas for gift baskets...

It's a destination hot spot restaurant too for their cafe – famous for their homemade sandwiches and all of their Amish fresh breads – you can't make any wrong turns here!

*Their full info is in their site and also in our directory guide above under Restuarants.


CANAL TAVERN OF ZOAR - Come check out this unique German restaurant in Bolivar Oh, with great atmosphere & fine casual dining in an 1829 tavern… 

Located on the Ohio and Erie Scenic Byway and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the Canal Tavern again serves 'travelers' on the Canal and visitors to Historic Zoar Village with fine food and our famous Zoar hospitality.


Whether you’re a local who is a ‘regular’ of this great tavern, or a tourist on vacation looking for the interesting history around the USA, the menu delights foodies near and far... 

Try a lunch or dinner meal at this casual, yet refined restaurant and you won’t regret that you gave it a chance. From fresh fish and chicken to pork and rack of lamb, the food will make your palate dance! Take a peek into a few of some of folks’ favorite dishes here, from house salads to entrées and a most unique dessert:

Tavern House Salad - seasonal greens served with pickled red onions, tomato, tavern made croutons wedges, bleu cheese crumbles and house dressing

Erbsensuppe - traditional German-style pea soup with 4-hour bacon and croutons

Pan Seared Salmon Filet- fresh salmon pan seared to medium and served with dill butter

6 oz Angus Beef Filet- served with herb butter

Beignets and Ice Creamtwo beignets served with a smoked coffee and Towpath Honey tavern made ice cream

There is also a Sunday brunch menu and a Sunday Grill menu. See the website for more info and for pricing on all the dishes above as well as other info:


CHINA STAR - Edgewood Ky chinese cuisine at its best!


The finest casual Chinese restaurant in Edgewood Ky (Edgewood Ky Chinese cuisine and Northern Ky Chinese restaurants) is conveniently located in the center of Edgewood right in the Edgewood Square across from Thomas More College.

Everyone who frequents this place knows how excellent the food is but the atmosphere is just as pleasant and appetizing - roomy four-tops align the walls with discreet lighting for late afternoon business lunches or romantic evenings.  The best foods from the kitchen arrive on time and warm!  Plenty of carry-out fans stop in for the convenience on the way back to the busy office.

The menu boasts a lot of special foods from their usual meals like Chop Suey and Chow Mein, to their signature meals such as Hong Kong Chicken and seafood wonders like Governor's shrimp.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Buy one dinner, get half off from now through Feb 14, 2018 (Valentine's Day). This offer is good for one party per day. Not open major holidays. Call first to ensure hours.

More updated menu items can be found online as you can also order from your phone at


KING WOK - Clifton Oh's premiere chinese restaurant - UC students love it here at lunch time!


King Wok - Clifton, Oh/ Cincinnati Asian cuisine - another great Chinese diner owned by Annie Choo - comes to you with daily live seafood from an aquarium right in the back of the restuarant!

One of the best restaurants you could ever find in Greater Cincinnati area to dine for high-end Asian foods!  And only blocks from UC, King Wok is an upscale, yet casual Chinese eatery that satisfies those who love Asian cuisine! 

They serve live, fresh seafood through the week directly from the tanks (see photos below) and the tanks can be seen right in the back of the diner – so appetizing – especially for huge seafood lovers!  They carry a wide assortment of fresh menu options like shrimp and lobster but also, the other menu options are just as delicious if not more.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Buy one dinner, get half off from now through Feb 14, 2018 (Valentine's Day). This offer is good for one party per day. Not open major holidays. Call first to ensure hours.

203 W McMillan St.
Cincinnati Oh 45219


MOONRISE DOUGHNUTS - Latonia Ky - Fresh delicious nightly doughnuts!


If you ever wanted a doughnut that was fresh and had a unique homemade
taste, then head out to Moonrise Doughnuts - one of the best new
bakery shops in Latonia area of Covington Ky - which is open at night
only. Many may ask, 'what?', as in  'what about the morning doughnut
and coffee?' Well, there is a bit of an interesting backstory here
that fits in nicely to the current story...

Some folks of an older generation from the 60' and 70' will recall the
nighttime feasting on sweet treats - aka, - donoughts at the old Latonia
Bakery (at Ritte's Corner).  It was a tradition back then, "and it is
again,"  says owner of Moonrise Donuts, Keith Bales.

"Moonrise aims to re-create what the old Latonia Bakery did," Bales
said. "We'll be open in the evenings after 5 pm. This is great history
in the making again for our community."

Bales, is a Latonia native and a graduate of Holmes High School. He
remembers the old days when young and old alike would wait in lines
down the block, awaiting a super sweet hot doughnut from the old Latonia

"When I was growing up, my friends and I would camp out and around
midnight, we would make that walk down to the bakery and the line
would go to the parking lot," he remembered. "It was just something
all us kids used to do at that time. And it's nice to be a part of
bringing back a bit of that memory."

Delicious, unique flavored, super good, nice sticky, glorious-glazed
and other great flavors are offered here  - your taste buds will thank
you later and your family and friends will love you for referring them
as well!

Doughnut aficionados are happy to be able to choose from a wide
variety of amazing treats here: chocolate ones, glazed, ("better than
any commercial doughnut I've ever had", offers editor of Altro),
cream-filled, and custard-filled,

Come on over and see what all the commotion is about - creative and
authentic doughnuts made from scratch, made by hand - not a mainstream
thing from a box in a store - but the REAL DEAL DOUGHNUT! Made fresh
on site. Served to go or enjoy inside where there are a few tables to
occupy if you need to sit and chill for a while. Nostalgia for the
older crowd - new fun treat for the kids! Very 'altro'!





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