We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, these are the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is located 12 miles southwest of downtown Cincinnati, just over the Kentucky/Ohio border. From downtown Cincinnati, it’s a 15- to 30-minute taxi or rideshare, and approximately $30-$35. With a little extra time, it’s just $2 on the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) Airporter from downtown Cincinnati. Otherwise, CVG has an off-site car rental facility, with complimentary shuttles arriving every 5-10 minutes outside Baggage Claim.
CVG has one main terminal for ticketing and check-in, and two concourses. After clearing security in the main terminal, travelers take a people mover to either Concourse A or Concourse B to their gate. Concourse A is served by most of the airport’s airlines, while Concourse B is served by American and Delta, and handles international arrivals. While CVG was a major hub for Delta for years, it’s now a focus city for Delta, as well as Allegiant and Frontier.
Many of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport’s food options are familiar fast food franchises, like Chick-fil-A (Concourse B), McDonald's (Concourse B), Panda Express (Concourse A), Subway (Concourse A), and Starbucks (located in both terminals). Other notable food options include Blaze Pizza (Concourse A), Smashburger (Concourse A), Outback Steakhouse (Concourse B), and Vino Volo, a wine bar with locations in both concourses.
CVG has a number of local and regional food options, such as Christian Moerlein Taproom (Concourse A), Max & Erma’s (Concourse B), and Gold Star Chili (Concourse B), which is a longtime Cincinnati restaurant chain famous for serving Cincinnati-style chili. Graeter's is another longtime, local restaurant chain, which has been doling out handcrafted ice cream since 1870.
Where to drink at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport starts at Vino Volo, a wine bar with locations at airports around North America. For beer lovers, there’s the Stella Artois Bar at Urban Market, and Samuel Adams Pub in Concourse A. Other bars of note include The Local (Concourse A), Ida's Seat Tavern (Concourse B), and Christian Moerlein Taproom, which has been affiliated with brewing in Cincinnati for more than 150 years. Finally, for the whiskey lover, there's Hop & Cask, in Concourse B, which is influenced by the region's bourbon heritage. Belly up to the bar for a wide-selection of bourbon, as well as local and domestic beers, to pair with brewpub snacks at Hop & Cask.
CVG has a small selection of shops that are common at many international airports, such as Sunglass Hut, InMotion Entertainment, and Brooks Brothers. However, unique to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is Cork N’ Bottle (Concourse A), which specializes in bottles of bourbon, as well as other spirits and wine. It even has a tasting station to try before you buy. This is bourbon country, after all.
Travelers on Delta with status, and certain cardholders, can enjoy the Delta Sky Club in Concourse B for complimentary drinks and snacks, comfortable seating, and other amenities. For all other travelers, there are two additional lounges, The Club in Concourse A, and Escape Lounge, in Concourse B. Travelers can book day passes online or at the door to enjoy comfortable seating, food, and drinks, while access is available complimentary for certain cardholders.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps in the app to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he's not traveling, he's perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.