Looking for a new restaurant that everyone in the family can enjoy? Three restaurants in Northside bring fun and fresh ingredients to the family meal.

Ruth’s Parkside Café

Celebrating its third anniversary this year, Ruth’s Parkside Cafe is an eclectic train unloading dock-turned-restaurant that appeals to people from all age groups and parts of town. The restaurant is located in the former American Can Factory, which sat empty for 20 years.

“Our current ad says we’re the perfect place for the steak-eating dad to bring his vegan daughter,” says co-owner David Tape. “We have great salads and soups, many vegetarian options, but we also have steaks and hamburgers.”

There is a wide range of food from honey mustard salmon to red beans and rice to orange Szechuan stir-fry. The menu changes seasonally, so a new fall menu has been introduced with slightly heartier options.

As far as popular items go, co-owner Mary Kroner says, “We have a creole catfish served on a risotto cake and people love that. We sell lots and lots of catfish. We sell a lot of spinach sautés.”

The restaurant is large but has a cozy, intimate feel, and the aesthetic changes every two months as the owners feature different artists’ works on the walls. Customers can purchase the artwork they see or just enjoy it as they eat their meals.

Tickle Pickle

If you’re looking for a delicious, good old-fashioned burger and shake, Tickle Pickle is the place to be. It now also serves alcohol, to spice things up.

“We are a rock ‘n’ roll-themed burger joint, with sandwiches like the Bread Zeppelin or the Buns N’ Roses,” says Manager Lea Dickman. “We currently have a special on the Taylor Swiss.”

The Taylor Swiss features an inside-out pretzel bun, mayo, beef burger, Swiss, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and sauerkraut. The most popular burger is the Bread Zeppelin, which is a classic beef burger with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

“We also have vegan and gluten-free options, salads and shakes,” says Dickman. “Our most popular shake is the Oreo Speedwagon.”

When asked what separates Tickle Pickle from other burger joints, Dickman says it’s the best burger she’s ever had.

“It’s quality meat, vegetables and everything is as local as possible,” she says.

Blue Jay Café

Blue Jay Café is as classic as classic diners get with old-fashioned service, booths with vinyl seats and great specials. You can get a breakfast special that includes eggs, home-fried potatoes, toast biscuit or hotcake, and ham, bacon, sausage or goetta, all for under $6.

“It’s an all-American diner,” says owner Souli Brunson, whose dad opened the restaurant 50 years ago. “We have some pretty amazing omelets. We’ve been running the same since 50 years ago.”

The restaurant is any breakfast lover’s dream, as it serves breakfast all day. Most of the food is traditional diner fare, but Blue Jay knows to appeal to its hometown with the ever-so-famous chili as a menu item.

“My dad has been making the Cincinnati-style chili here for 49 years,” says Brunson.

Blue Jay Café is a small family-run business. Most of the staff has been there for 15-16 years plus.

“Everything is made to order,” says Brunson. “We make our own soups and our own everything.”

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