LINK streetscapes: Washington Street and North Jefferson Street in Historic Burlington

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This particular segment of Streetscapes transported me to a different era.

I’ve been to Burlington before, but never made it past the McDonald’s and gas stations. The further I drove, the further away from modern reality I got, and I mean that in the best way possible.

When I drove past Burlington Commons, I actually said aloud to myself, “OK Burlington, I see you.”

There was a shift from the staple mundane places we pass each day, to a beautiful simplicity that showcased the best aspects of Kentucky. Historic Burlington was well worth the trip.

Tousey House Tavern. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky contributor

Washington Square Café: 5981 N Jefferson St., Burlington

I went to Washington Square Café right after it opened, which allowed me to park outside and walk right in. They have a gorgeous, spacious patio, and with the weather changing it’s the most relaxing atmosphere you could imagine on a weekday morning. 

Breakfast platters are the perfect way to get a little of everything at Washington Square. Breakfast should be salty, sweet and filling, and they’ve got a variety of platters to choose from to make sure you get a sample of everything.

Anytime I have breakfast locally, goetta is an automatic order for me. I don’t eat meat very often, but goetta I cannot say no to. They’ve got a variety of breakfast sandwiches, including a goetta sandwich on a pretzel bun that should be the staple to starting every morning.

Regardless of what you order here, you’ll leave feeling super full and, unlike most breakfast cafés, you won’t feel greasy and bloated after.

They also offer lunch and dinner, and they offer a large cocktail, bourbon, beer, and wine menu.

Washington Square Cafe. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky contributor

Tousey House Tavern: 5963 N Jefferson St., Burlington

If you’re looking for something more upscale and formal, Tousey House Tavern is the perfect spot. Tousey House exemplifies everything that I love about Burlington’s southern hospitality atmosphere.

The food here is amazing. Homestyle southern food is truly top tier, and there’s a reason its called southern comfort food. Along with their rustic décor, this place is a must see. If you’re looking for some of the best food, service and atmosphere you’ll experience, this is it.

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I would never dare tell someone what to order, but when fried green tomatoes are on the menu, they are a must order. I don’t want to hear any “I don’t like tomatoes” talk: These are a must and if you order them, you’ll see why.

Instead of driving into downtown Cincinnati, going through the hassle of paying for parking and waiting hours for a mediocre overpriced steak, give Tousey House a try instead. I’ve mentioned that meat isn’t usually my first pick when it comes to ordering, so I am usually fearful going into restaurants known for that. I was surprised at the variety and really happy to see some delicious options.

Reservations are always a good idea to guarantee that you can experience the cuisine and culture here worry free.

Tousey House is also a part of The B-Line, a Northern Kentucky bourbon tour. So, if you’ve got a history or bourbon buff in your family, this is the perfect spot to take them.

Tousey House Tavern. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky

Motley Home: 5975 N Jefferson St., Burlington

Shopping has always been a favorite pastime of mine, and — as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now — knickknacks are what always draw me in. I could have spent countless hours in Motley Home. There are so many unique and eclectic pieces, from furniture to clothes to trinkets. All are one-of-a-kind items that make vintage and antique shopping so fun.

They host various events, such sip and shop, where you can shop while enjoying your beverage of choice. I’ve done events like that at boutiques before, and they make for a really fun night. It’s something different to do and is a great event to attend before or after dinner with girlfriends.

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Their Instagram gives the most up-to-date information on both events and hours. It’s a very cool shop to stop into while you’re in the area. If you’re anything like me, you may find a trinket or two that you just have to add to your home.

Motley Home. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky

Dreamy Whip: 3020 Washington St., Burlington

I would go almost anywhere in the name of ice cream and coffee. Dreamy whip has both and was what caught my attention, sparking the visit to Burlington in the first place. Originally a food truck, Dreamy Whip quickly became a hit and they opened their Burlington location in 2020.

The name of this place is spot on: It’s such a creamy decadent ice cream that creamy wasn’t a good enough adjective. Dreamy is spot on.

Upon walking up, you’re greeted by a cow having an ice cream cone, and if that’s not the best advertising I’ve ever seen, then show me what is. I would stop any time of day, at any location to have an ice cream with that cow. Fun fact about me is that cows are my favorite animal, so I was pretty excited about this place, and hadn’t even ordered yet.

As basic and boring as it may sound, vanilla is always my staple flavor, and if it’s soft serve I’m sold. I don’t need to see anything else. However if you like something unique, they have rotating weekly flavors of their soft serve. If you are looking for something outside of norm, follow their social media accounts for the updated weekly flavors.

They also offer a pretty wide variety of coffee, and as someone who consumes more coffee than normal humans, I was genuinely impressed with the offerings. I opted for a frosted coffee, because what’s better than coffee and soft serve ice cream? Coffee and soft serve ice cream together, of course.

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If for some reason you can’t venture to their store front, their food truck is able to be rented and brought to you! Although, regardless of where you live, this ice cream is worth the trip. I’ve had a lot of ice cream over the course of this series, and I genuinely cannot stop thinking about how good this one was.

Dreamy Whip. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky

My parents would take my siblings and I to a lot of historic homes when we would vacation as kids. It was almost as if each vacation was designed around touring the nearest battlefield site.  

There was no civil war general’s home that I did not tour, no battlefield where we didn’t walk for miles with a tour guide dressed as Abraham Lincoln. The architecture and atmosphere of historic Burlington reminded me of those homes. They have been so well preserved, and it takes you back in time.

What I loved most about historic Burlington is that the homes and other buildings are still being used, without compromising the original work. It’s the perfect way to see and experience history without having it lay dormant for years and for random history loving families to tour.

I find it heartwarming that these homes were preserved and taken care of for the beauty of the homes and the history of everyday people.

Tousey House Historic Building Marker. Photo by Maria Hehman | LINK nky

Have a city, street, or business you want me to check out next? Email me at [email protected] and it could be featured on the next edition of LINK streetscapes.

Link NKY Streetscapes series is powered by Duke Energy, proud employer of 2,300 people in southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky who live, work, and play in the vibrant communities and neighborhoods highlighted through these stories.

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