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9 Must-Try Restaurants in Northern Kentucky

Here, you can savor your way around the world without leaving the region (and even score a discount, too!)

By Patsy B. Weiler on February 16, 2022

Nomad in Bellevue, KY
Jeff Adkins

Foodies, Northern Kentucky is your oasis. Not only can you save a few dollars on a meal out, thanks to MeetNKY’s mobile restaurant pass that offers discounts at eateries in Newport and Covington, but the area is home to a collection of restaurants that are serving up delectable dishes with roots from all over the world. Get ready to explore nine great restaurants in Northern Kentucky.

1. Nomad

At Nomad, you are in for a treat – a boozy treat, that is. This unique bar in Bellevue, equipped with a patio that one might call a “dreamy oasis,” serves up craft cocktails and boozy milkshakes. And to pair with your beverages, customers can chow down on a selection of mouthwatering tacos (literally, some have a kick of heat) and tater tot nachos. 

2. Riverside Korean Restaurant & Bar 

A giant tiger marks the entrance to this award-winning Korean dining experience in Covington. Sparkling clean, with traditional floor tables, Western seating and stunning décor, this chef-owned and -operated restaurant offers everything from stir fry and noodles to soups and stews. Check out their to-go lunch boxes, too. 

3. Mai Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar 

A local favorite in Florence with a great atmosphere, this is the restaurant you’ll want to go to time and time again, especially whenever you are craving fresh sushi and a cold beer. You can also find a strong selection of curries here, along with Asian and Thai favorites, such as lo mein, pad thai and tom yum soup. Make sure to check out the vegetarian choices and bubble teas on the menu. 

4. Horn of Africa Cafe & Restaurant

Experience the flavors of home cooking straight from Somalia in eastern Africa. This Florence restaurant serves up generous portions of tasty beef, goat and chicken, accompanied by pasta or rice. You’ll need to come here a few times to eat, because we suggest you try the luscious milk tea and cappuccino as well as the restaurant’s delectable dishes. 

5. La Mexicana Restaurant

Massive margaritas are all the rage at this restaurant in Newport, not to mention the special on Tuesday – $2 dine-in tacos and homemade chips. Need we say more? Sit yourself down at this relaxing, local favorite and choose from burritos, chile rellenos, enchiladas, tacos and more. Plus, the restaurant serves up hard-to-find offerings like sopas, menudo stew and homemade mole sauce. And don’t leave without checking out the restaurant’s small store. You’re in for a treat! 

Kung Food AmerAsia in downtown Covington, KY
iStock.com/Z10E

6. Kung Food AmerAsia 

American and Asian cuisine come together in the most delicious way at this local favorite in Covington. Kung Food offers a relaxing atmosphere, where customers can come and enjoy a variety of dishes, from crab rangoons and sweet and sour soup to orange chicken and pad thai. We guarantee you’ll find a favorite dish you’ll have to come back for here – if not two or three. 

7. Kampuchea Kitchen 

Owner and executive chef T.C. Long is serving up authentic Cambodian flavors (which he grew up eating) from his newly opened restaurant in Fort Thomas. Hearty noodle bowls, crispy pork belly, satays and summer rolls are just a few of the cultural creations found here. Make sure to leave room for the mango coconut sticky rice. It’s quite the crowd-pleaser. 

8. Cancun Mexican Bar & Grill 

At this Newport restaurant, customers are met with classic Mexican dishes and fast, friendly service – not to mention refreshing Mexican bottled sodas, a full-service bar with seating, and a spacious dining room. There are so many great food options, but we suggest you try the chimichangas, enchiladas or carnitas. 

9. La Torta Loca 

Tucked inside the Torta Loca grocery, this gem in Florence serves authentic Venezuelan-and Mexican-style street food. Tortas (sandwiches), empanadas (crispy, fried turnovers), tacos (corn or flour) and arepas (flat, round corn cakes stuffed with fabulous fillings like cheese, chicken, pork, beef, veggies, chorizo and beans) are just a few mouthwatering menu items that you are sure to love. 

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