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Breakfast in Cinci

We will be downtown Cincinatti in August for the Western and Southern tennis tournament in Mason. We will be attending the tournament during the day and will be in Cinci at night for dinner.

Looking for places for breakfast before the tournament in Cinci or on the drive to Mason. Diners are great. Nothing too fancy, but tasty and a good value.

Dinners are easier to plan, (thanks to this board). So far I'm thinking of Jean Robert's Table, Nada and Moerlein Lager House for dinner. All are within walking distance of the hotel. For brunch on the day we leave, Taste of Belgium for brunch.


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    1. The classic breakfast downtown is at Hathaways. It's been there for ages and ages in the Carew Tower, which is just southwest of Fountain Square. It's a greasy spoon, essentially. Make sure you get the goetta, a Cincinnati-only classic breakfast item distantly related to scrapple (but much better tasting)

      The better breakfast in my opinion is at First Watch (which is a chain, sorry) on 7th between Walnut and Main. The address on Urbanspoon says it is on Walnut, but I don't believe that's correct

      If you just would like some fine french pastries and a french coffee, head to French Crust Cafe. It is just two blocks north of JR's Table, which it appears you already know about, and JR is a partner in French Crust Cafe. Really good quiche and croissants

      One of those should take care of your breakfast needs

      1. Tuckers in Over the Rhine, 1637 Vine St. Greasy spoon, fabulous breakfast. Recommend the h'ouveos ranchero or shrimp & grits. Yum!

        1. > First Watch ... The address on Urbanspoon says it is on
          > Walnut, but I don't believe that's correct.

          The First Watch website says, "700 Walnut." Ditto, Google Maps.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rainsux

            understood -- the problem is that a certain other very prominent restaurant is actually at that address


            1. re: TJ Jackson

              Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse and First Watch are located in the same building. Given that they're in the same building, it's quite possible for them to have the same mailing address. Both have entrances on 7th Street just east of Walnut. The entrance to Jeff Ruby's is closer to Walnut; the entrance to First Watch is just east of there.

          2. just a reminder, but besides goetta for breakfast dont forget to get some cinci chili or a triple decker for lunch, say at camp washington or elsewhere. these are the trilogy of local specialties. check out the findlay market too in otr if you have time.

            btw i agree first watch is an excellent breakfast chain, we always go to one in dayton with my inlaws and i enjoy it because they have healthy options and everything is uniformly very good.

            1. Grande Finale in Springdale has a good brunch and fantastic desserts. As chain restaurants go First Watch is okay but I much prefer Original Pancake House in Montgomery (bacon is a must there).

              1. Just wanted to report where we ended up.
                --Tuckers. A little beyond OTR, but a great neighborhood restaurant. We are from Detroit, so the area did not bother us. But if not used to a city neighborhoods, some might feel a little nervous about the area. There was a rush before we got there so our breakfast too *forever.* But it was our best breakfast of the trip. Everything was fresh and made right before our eyes. I think it was the owner cooking. He kept up a steady chatter. There were neighboorhood regulars in and out the whole time. The owner hugged us when we left. Great character.
                --Echo in Hyde Park. A very busy diner. Great service. Food was good, not great.
                --Brunch at Palm Court in the Netherland hotel. I love buffet brunches and was not disappointed. Tons of stuff to choose from. Omelet and waffle made to order. Meat carving station. Chilled shrimp and crab. Lots of pastries. Lots of desserts. The hotel is absolutely stunning and I'm glad we went just for that.

                I was really impressed with Cinci. We stayed at The Cincinnatian and enjoyed being able to park the car and walk everwhere for dinner and cocktails. The downtown was fun, safe and exciting. We spent one evening at OTR and two downtown at NADA and JR. Look forward to returning.

                4 Replies
                1. re: SaraPA

                  sounds like you missed out on the local breakfast specialty, goetta

                  1. re: SaraPA

                    Let us know when you return. We'll set you up for Round 2. You need to try the Bloody Mary at The Eagle (and the fried chicken), and get some tacos at Bakersfield.

                    1. re: SaraPA

                      and some goetta, Jack....gotta get a goetta

                      1. re: TJ Jackson

                        Alas, I'm on a low-carb diet so no goetta for me. Maybe next time! (It looked delicious).

                    2. Just to add a note here... The initial request from the OP was for breakfast in DOWNTOWN Cincinnati. Others coming to the Queen City and who have the ability to travel elsewhere around town should be aware that Cinci has additional breakfast-specialty restaurants away from downtown, that probably have not been mentioned here because of the OP's specific request. These include Half Day Café (closed Sundays), Annabel's, and across the river, Mokka.

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