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Best Breakfast/Brunch in Cincinnati

I've been searching for over a year and still haven't found a place worthy of the being called the best breakfast/brunch in Cincinnati. A recent brunch at Honey in Northside was pretty good, but their biscuits 'n' gravy stink. I'm looking for someplace that is not only making great versions of old standbys, but is also adding new twists. Additionally, it should be someplace that I can't visit outside of the area (like First Watch or Original Pancake House).

The standard recommendations (listed below) tend to fall flat:

Echo in Hyde Park
Daybreak in Hyde Park
Kellogg Country Kitchen by Lunkin Airport
First Watch (everywhere)
Mokka in Newport
Anchor Grill in Covington
The Coffee Cap in Cheviot
Original Pancake House (everywhere)
Sugar 'n' Spice in Norwood
The Forum in Corryville
Clearview Tavern in Delhi

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  1. Our regular stop for breakfast is First Watch. However on Easter we've been to an incredible buffet at The Omni downtown. I think they offer an abbreviated version on non-holidays. Not a lot of new twists on things but really good food nonetheless.

    Have you been to Grand Finale? Their brunch buffet is pretty good - I love the bread pudding, mini quiche and mini crepes. DeSha's has a good brunch but it is pretty standard. Mimi's Cafe is a chain but new to the area. Last time I went I was disappointed they had taken my favorite off the menu - it was this fabulous sourdough french toast covered with blueberries, strawberries and raspberry sauce. They have some different takes on eggs benedict (w/crabcake, etc).

    1. The Grand Finale regularly wins "best brunch" competitions, but is pricey and you will wait in line outside even when it rains or is below freezing...that's how badly people want to do the brunch there.

      One I like not mentioned here is the Village Diner in Mariemont. Their plump sausage links are extremely good, not like any I have had elsewhere. Very casual and inexpensive. However, it is no better than some other places on your self-styled "not the best" list.

      1. The National Exemplar in Mariemont is also pretty good

        1 Reply
        1. re: TJ Jackson

          FYI, the National Exemplar is essentially serving the First Watch breakfast.

        2. Agreed -- I've yet to find an outstanding breakfast place in Cincinnati, which is odd.

          Tucker's in Over-the-Rhine, on weekends, has made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy, made by the owner's 80-year-old mother.

          And I'm a big fan of Camp Washington Chili's breakfasts -- nothing fancy, just staight-up eggs and goetta.

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnbycz

            I've been to Tucker's and the biscuits and gravy are better than most in town, still not the greatest. I DID enjoy the atmosphere and the friendly service, though. If you are unfamiliar with Over-the-Rhine don't be discouraged by the neighborhood.

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