Introducing the Ghost Kitchen – Providing Great Food for Cincinnati

The way we dine out is changing. More and more often, people are often choosing delivery or takeout over in-person dining or cooking at home. And restaurants are adapting. Enter the Ghost Kitchen.

a commercial kitchen with lots of tools and appliances

What is a Ghost Kitchen?

A ghost kitchen is a professional kitchen that specifically exists to fulfill delivery orders.

There is no physical dine-in space for a ghost kitchen and there’s no place for customers to visit. The concept is optimized for food prep and cooking with the end product (your meal) being sent out via delivery drivers.

Ghost kitchens do not have a storefront and you’re not likely to see any branding on the outside of the kitchen.

vegetables that have been washed and are ready for cooking in the kitchen

Ghost kitchens and virtual kitchens (more on that below) are rising in popularity all around the country as delivery services (such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats) have become mainstream.

According to recent surveys, 51% of Americans use delivery services to purchase meals from casual dining restaurant and 26% order takeout or delivery at least once a week. These behaviors show little sign of slowing: digital ordering and delivery have been growing 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014. (source)

Ghost Kitchen / Virtual Kitchen, what’s the difference?

Many people refer to these “delivery-only concepts” as virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens, or smart kitchens.

Technically, virtual kitchens do differ from ghost kitchens in that the term “virtual kitchen” often refers to restaurant facilities that are used to cook meals for both a brick and mortar restaurant AND the business that was created with a ghost kitchen concept in mind – a shared kitchen of sorts. The brick and mortar restaurant and the virtual restaurants are two separate brands that share one kitchen space.

Support our local Ghost Restaurants and Virtual Kitchens in Cincinnati

We are just starting to see some great ghost kitchen options from some of our favorite brick and mortar restaurants in Cincinnati.

Many of the virtual kitchens in our area have been started by restaurant brands we all know and love (see the list below).

fish and chips in a carryout container from The Pub's ghost kitchen
The Pub Fish and Chips, photo provided by Tavern Restaurant Group

The Pub Fish and Chips, a dedicated fish and chips shop (known as a “Chippy” in England), is a virtual kitchen concept from The Tavern Restaurant Group (owners of local favorites Nicholson’s, deSha’s, and The Pub). The food is made in deSha’s kitchen. The menu includes The Pub’s “Best Fish and Chips in the US” dish and other favorites you’d expect to find at a Chippy. There is no physical dining space; you must order online for delivery only.
Start your order here.

a plate from Nick's Southern Kitchen with fried chicken and sides plus cornbread in the background
Meat & Three from Nick’s Southern Kitchen; photo provided by Tavern Restaurant Group

Nick’s Southern Kitchen, serving “Real Southern Flavor. Delivered”, is a virtual kitchen concept from The Tavern Restaurant Group (owners of local favorites Nicholson’s, deSha’s, and The Pub). Nick’s Southern Kitchen is inspired by Nick’s family’s southern roots and his love of the “meat and three” restaurants found across kitchens in the south; serving up the kind of home-cooked meals grandma used to make.  The food is “all scratch-made” in deSha’s kitchen. Choose from homey offering such as roast chicken, beef pot roast, country fried ribs, cornmeal fried catfish, and MUCH more. There is no physical dining space; you must order online for delivery only.
Start your order here.

a selection from virtual kitchen Danny Boy Burger, four burgers and fries in take out packaging
burgers and fries from Danny Boy Burger; source

Danny Boy Burger is a retro-style burger joint specializing in hamburgers, shakes, and fries. This virtual kitchen concept comes to us from 4EG/Four Entertainment Group (owners of Keystone Bar and Grill, Rosedale OTR, Igby’s, and more). Danny Boy Burger is available for delivery via DoorDash and pickup at Keystone Bar and Grill in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. There is no physical dining space; you must order online for carryout or delivery only.
Start your order here.

Salads and soup from Leaf and Ladle
salads and soup from Leaf and Ladle; source

Leaf and Ladle offers healthy salads and gourmet soups that are made from scratch and created with locally sourced ingredients. This virtual kitchen concept comes to us from 4EG/Four Entertainment Group (owners of Keystone Bar and Grill, Rosedale OTR, Igby’s, and more). Leaf and Ladle is available for delivery via DoorDash or pickup at Keystone Bar and Grill in Cincinnati (Calhoun St. and Erie Ave.). There is no physical dining space; you must order online for carryout or delivery only.
Start your order here.

You might also like: 25+ Cincinnati Area Restaurants That Offer Family Sized Take Out Meals

Newest on the scene is Flavortown, a concept from Food Network’s Guy Fieri. This delivery only concept is popping up all over the country with Newport, Mason, and West Chester on the list! Get your fill of “Mac Daddy Mac N Cheese”, Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, Chicken Parm-eroni, burgers, salads, and much more. Keep in mind – there is no physical dining space; you must order online for delivery only.
Start your order here.

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