Cincinnati’s Best Places for Brunch
If you’re in the midwest, Cincinnati, Ohio, is a great place to live, work, and have fun! In fact, many sources consider it to be the best place to live in Ohio, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re looking to raise a family there, the public school system is excellent, and the cost of living is affordable compared to other similar metro areas. If you’re single, you’ll find a booming job market, great nightlife, and a thriving arts scene. In addition, residents and visitors will find no shortage of fun attractions, a variety of outdoor activities, popular sports teams, and over 40 German breweries.
There’s also an impressive selection of restaurants that extend well beyond the famous Skyline Chili. So many, in fact, it can be hard to pick just one to dine at on any given night. It’s not just dinner spots, though. Over the past few years, the brunch scene of this city has expanded to include more delicious options than ever! Keep reading if you’re in Cincinnati and looking for a great place to brunch. Here are 15 of our favorite spots in the “Queen City” to grab a great stack of pancakes or a Mimosa.
Northside Yacht Club
4231 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223
Although this spot only serves brunch one day a week on Sundays, it is worth visiting for its classic nautical theme and unique cocktails. Make sure you try their famous secret-recipe Bloody Mary, which almost makes a meal on its own. It comes topped with bacon, a pork slider, a smoked jumbo wing, and the traditional Bloody Mary fixings. They also have a fun adult variation of the Capri Sun pouch drinks, a mixture of lavender lemonade and vodka. Since you’ll undoubtedly need some food to go with all those drinks, try the breakfast poutine or “wake n bake” waffles. Although the interior treats you to fun nautical vibes, try to snag a spot outside on the patio if the weather is nice.
The Sleepy Bee Cafe
3098 Madison Road| 8 East 4th Street| 9514 Kenwood Rd
This hot spot has three locations in Cincinnati—Oakley (3098 Madison Road), Downtown (8 East 4th), and Blueash (9514 Kenwood Rd). All three locations reside inside historically restored buildings, with the original Oakley location housed inside a 100-year-old brick building. You’ll definitely feel good about the food you’ll eat here as it is all locally sourced, pesticide-free, and non-GMO. The menu changes seasonally and consists of delicious choices such as avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, quinoa bowls, and classic and specialty pancakes. They also have options to cater to various dietary restrictions and offer a good selection of Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Soy Free options. There’s also a kid’s menu, making it an excellent spot for the whole family to enjoy.
Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey
1201 Broadway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Although you might have to wait for a seat on the weekend, the food here is worth it. Of course, you will absolutely want to try the biscuits. As the name suggests, they are one of the things they are famous for. You’ll find several different “Biscuit and Gravy” selections, or if undecided can choose a “biscuit flight,” which comes with three gravy options. There’s a good mix of breakfast and lunch-type foods and some great cocktails to go along with the options. You can’t go wrong with the Yukon Sandwich, consisting of fried chicken, gravy, bacon, and egg. Try a bloody mary with tequila or vodka to wash it all down, or choose from their extensive list of whiskey.
Original Pancake House
8355 Beechmont Ave Cincinnati, OH 45255
This family-friendly option is simple on decor but has satisfying options for those looking for a classic, no-frills breakfast. Here, you’ll find traditional benedicts and other egg breakfasts and a great selection of pancakes, crepes, and waffles. Consider trying the “dutch baby,” which is a nod to the area’s German heritage. Order it topped with a scoop of Graeter’s ice cream for an extra treat. Many of the pancakes can be made Gluten-Free, and they also offer several options for those looking for something on the lighter side.
Sugar n’ Spice Diner
4381 Reading Road| 1203 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Nothing says brunch like a retro diner setting, and Sugar n’ Spice Diner most definitely delivers on that. With its neon colors and classic diner seating options, this spot has been around since 1941 and has two locations —Reading Road and Downtown. The downtown location accepts reservations, but the Reading one is walk-in only. Here you’ll find classic diner breakfast food like fluffy omelets and the original secret recipe “wispy thin” pancakes. In fact, the menu has not changed much at all in the 75 years that the restaurant has existed. Diners here will also find a variety of lunch items, like soups, salads, and sandwiches for those who prefer a non-breakfast option. Don’t leave without taking home a yellow rubber duck souvenir to remind you of the fun experience.
The View at Shire’s Garden
309 Vine Street, 10th Floor Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
You’ll find many people delighting in brunch here high above the city on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re lucky to grab a spot on the 2000-square-foot patio of this 10th-floor restaurant, you’ll experience the panoramic views of the city’s stadiums and riverfronts. Even walking through the lobby of the apartment building that houses it is a beautiful sight for your eyes. Start your meal with the chef-selected charcuterie board for the table, and then treat yourself to delectable options like Crab Cake Benedict and Shrimp & Grits. There’s also a custard soaked French Toast with seasonal toppings like fresh strawberries. You’ll find some good upscale drink options to match your food and several “non-alcoholic” delights.
521 Main St., Covington, KY 41011
This popular brunch spot has Bloody Marys to delight even those most critical of the signature mid-morning drink. Located just over the river from Cincinnati, in Covington’s historic district, this small but busy spot will please your palate. If you’re worried about a wait, make reservations in advance to secure a seat. Try the Otto’s Benedict, which swaps out the traditional English Muffin base for a Cherry Bacon Grit Cake. There’s also the BLFGT, which uses a fried egg with a fried green tomato for a tasty and more filling variation of this classic. If the weather is nice, try to snag one of the sidewalk tables for a fun way to watch people stroll by as you enjoy your meal.
231 Main Street Milford, Ohio 45150
You’ll find this modern take on a diner and bar just east of Cincinnati in Milford’s historic Main Street area. They serve their breakfast options all day long, which is good because you might have to wait for a bit to get your seat on a busy day. Here you’ll find updated takes on some traditional diner dishes such as Omelets, Hash, Patty Melts, and Hand Pies. The cocktail menu is pleasing, and there are several different beer and wine selections as well. In typical diner fashion, the desserts change daily, so you will have to ask your server about the specialty sweets of the day. There’s no skimping on the servings either. Plates come out piling over, and you are sure not to leave hungry. Before ordering the rest of your meal, try the Deviled Egg Potato skins, which are a unique take on the typical Deviled Egg, and a “must try” for the restaurant.
The Baker’s Table Bakery
1001 Monmouth Street Newport, KY 41071
This well-known pizza place/bakery serves up a delicious brunch every weekend. The bakers here make all of the bread products here with whole grain, stoneground, and organically produced flour that they source from a local mill, and the fruits, vegetables, and meats are locally-sourced as well. You can check out the complete list of farms they utilize on their website. There’s not a vast menu, but you don’t need one. The bakery section offers a variety of danishes, biscuits, and scones, and if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, try the Bacon and Tomatillo Sammy or Pulled Pork on Brioche. They don’t serve alcohol but have a full selection of coffee bar drinks and delicious teas to accompany your food.
118 w 15th Street (corner of Pleasant & 15th) OTR, Cincinnati, OH 45202
This option is another one on the list that only offers brunch on Sundays, but it is worth making a reservation to go there. The menu changes seasonally, and you’ll find locally-sourced farm-to-table options in a cozy and laid-back atmosphere. Most of the menu is a “twist” on traditional brunch options, but don’t let that intimidate you. They are delicious and well-prepared. Make sure that you try the fingerling potatoes; it’s by far everyone’s favorite dish. Enjoy it along with a selection from their “liquid brunch” menu or a cup of freshly brewed coffee. There is also an uncovered patio that you can enjoy on a nice day, but beware that if you specifically request it when making a reservation, it might cause you to have to wait for a table if it rains.
525 Race St Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
This restaurant gives its customers a “west-coast” type vibe in the middle of the mid-west. It’s a counter-service style setup and does not take reservations, so be aware that you may encounter lines during the busiest times. However, once inside, you’ll be delighted by their locally roasted coffee, organic eggs, and grass-fed butter. Everything tastes fresh and high-quality. They also offer plenty of vegan options and many gluten-free choices. In addition, they offer a few standard brunch-type cocktails—Mimosa, Bloody Mary, and Aperol Spritz, along with an extensive cold-pressed juice list and numerous specialty coffees. The Brussel Sprouts Benedict is a healthier alternative to the traditional dish made with an English Muffin. If you’re looking for something else a bit different, try the Chicken Tinga with black bean puree and over-easy eggs.
Hang Over Easy
13 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
This spot (also known as HOE) is fun, not only because of its name but also because of the fun and creative food and good selection of drinks to “cure” your hangover. You’ll find three different variations of the Bloody Mary, several Mimosas, and various other cheeky cocktails with names that will make you crack a laugh. There are even some creative shots if that’s your craving in the morning. Once you get past the drinks, it’s time to move on to the food. Most of it is pretty standard brunch fare, but with funny names like “Sloppy Seconds,” “Frog Eyes,” and “The Dirty,” you’ll have fun picking out what you’re in the mood for that day. This place caters more to the college or “after bar” crowd than families with kids, but if you get the chance to visit, it makes a fun experience.
Taste of Belgium
Various Locations- Check Website
You’ll find seven different locations of this restaurant around the city—Rockwood, The Banks, Over-the-Rine, Crestview Hills, Kenwood, Mason, and Findlay Market. They are known for their Belgian-Inspired takes on American classics and, of course, their Belgian Waffles. They also have a great variety of buckwheat crepes that they infuse with Belgian beer. This place is kid-friendly and offers a separate menu for the little ones. Grown-ups will find an extensive cocktail list and a wide selection of Belgian beers that vary by location. If you’re not in the mood for brunch, you’ll find a number of sandwiches, burgers, and Mussels made in several different ways.
4100 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223
This quirky vegetarian-friendly restaurant offers a breakfast menu on Saturdays and a full brunch menu on Sundays. A whole-food/vegan chef with over 20 years of experience who moved to Cincinnati from San Francisco started the restaurant, bringing the west coast vibe along with her. Many of the breakfast items served are vegan, although there are several that are not. On Sundays, the expanded breakfast options include a few additional “lunch-like” options. Everything you eat here feels fresh and healthy. There are cocktails, coffee, Kombucha, and smoothies, and on Sunday, you will also find wine and beer. It’s kid-friendly as well, with some well-suited options for the tiniest eaters in your group. The patio is a great place to sit and enjoy your meal when the weather is nice.
3510 Edwards Rd Cincinnati, OH 45208
This place serves breakfast/brunch options all week long and has been around in some form since the 1940s when it started as a small sandwich shop. They are known for having a large group of regulars that visit the eatery and span all ages and demographics. The menu is extensive and breakfast/brunch heavy, giving good options to meet anyone’s tastes. Try one of the “Hangover Helpers” if you need something substantial in your stomach or choose to make your own omelet. There are also weekly and seasonal specials, like Pumpkin Pancakes in the fall. Recently, they’ve acquired a liquor license, so you can enjoy an Irish coffee or Mimosa (they serve them by the pitcher) while you eat. Costumers say that both the food and the service are great, and that’s what keeps them returning for more.
We hope you’ve found something on our list to try out the next time you’re in Cincinnati and have a craving for a good brunch! The city really does have so many options for everyone; it can be hard to try them all. Whatever the case, you’re sure to find something to tempt your palate at these tried-and-true local favorites. Do you have a brunch spot that you love in Cinncinnati that we didn’t mention here? We’d love to hear about it. Drop us a comment below and let us know what you think!