From where does this wondrous loophole originate? It could have roots from England’s hunt breakfasts, the Catholic tradition of fasting before mass, or simply is a product of the smorgasbord of options available to us. The first printed record of the word “brunch” was published in 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article by Guy Beringer. Fortunately, there is an abundance of brunch places in Cincinnati waiting to “sweep away the worries and cobwebs of the week” (Beringer).
Make brunch whatever you want it to be. Sweet or savory? Sleepy Bee Cafe in Downtown Cincinnati has fluffy pancakes, and Otto’s in Covington is plating a comforting steak and egg burrito. You can swap out your morning americano for a midday peach Bellini or a Vietnamese-style iced coffee. Whatever your cravings are telling you between around 10am and 1:30pm, brunch is your personalized buffet.
1. Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
Breakfast is served all day at Maplewood Kitchen and Bar. Its “fine casual” dining experience makes it the perfect place for a no muss, no fuss brunch with all of the frills. Owned by Thunderdome Group, the popular eatery is named after the street where two of the three owners grew up. From avocado toast to the Maplewood burger to super green salads, there is plenty of variety on the menu.
📍525 Race St, Cincinnati
2. Sleepy Bee Cafe
This is an absolute must-try for a unique brunch in Cincinnati. The team regularly creates surprising pancake specials such as their matcha pancakes topped with matcha cream, almonds, and honey. Look forward to The Queen City Bee breakfast sandwich served on a milk bun or the Broakley sandwich with thick-cut ham, white cheddar, onion, broken egg yolk, and lettuce. With three locations across Cincinnati, Sleepy Bee Cafe adopts the hard-working, community-focused ethics of bees for its business.
📍College Hill, 5920 Hamilton Av, 📍Downtown, 8 East 4th, 📍Blue Ash, 9514 Kenwood Rd
3. Crown Republic Gastropub
Crown Republic Gastropub can be found in the heart of Downtown Cincinnati. After working in Chicago and New York, Chef and owner Anthony Sitek brought all of his knowledge to Cincinnati and established this rustic, homey restaurant. The extensive brunch menu features a host of ingredients and dishes inspired by global culinary practices. Biscuits and gravy, duck fat hummus, banana bread, and an English muffin sandwich are some of the tasty bites you can try at Crown Republic Gastropub.
📍720 Sycamore St, Cincinnati
4. First Watch
First Watch is a cafe chain promoting wholesome eating, and City Beat deemed it the “best Sunday brunch”. Expect to be delighted by morning juices and brunch cocktails. First Watch is dishing out healthy power wraps, elevated egg sanwiches, and breakfast tacos. Whether you visit them in Hyde Park, Kenwood or Downtown Cincinnati, First Watch’s variety of fresh ingredients and traditional favorites are always winners.
📍10 locations across Cincinnati
Salazar is not only one of the best brunch places in Cincinnati, but it is also an elegant space with a contemporary-style interior. Located in the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood, Salazar is also a great spot to meet friends for a quick drink or dinner in the evening. Returning to brunch items, Cincinnatians can enjoy falafel, fried oyster sandwiches, roasted pork shoulder, and grilled flatbread while sitting in a relaxed setting. Explore Salazar’s cocktail menu for an added treat to your brunching bliss.
📍1401 Republic St, Cincinnati
Otto’s is a local favorite for Sunday brunch. Its warm interior and cozy feel creates the perfect ambience for a relaxed meal. The restaurant’s brunch menu includes poached Eggs Benedict, buttermilk pancakes, casserole, and a bagel served with lox and all of the classic toppings. Treat yourself to one of their popular twists on a mimosa such as cranberry limoncello, pomegranate, or grapefruit. Otto’s is also worth a visit for its lunch and dinner menus.
📍521 Main St, Covington, KY
You will certainly feel at home in Alcove—a unique building with an extraordinary history. Located in the Over-The-Rhine district, the building dates back to 1873 and was originally one of Cincinnati’s largest beer gardens. In the “Beer Capital of the World”, this was no small feat. Today, Alcove at 1410 Vine Street is an airy space adorned with greenery and an atmospheric charm. Try the loaded potato hash and stuffed French toast at one of the most loved brunch places in Cincinnati.
📍1410 Vine St, Cincinnati
HangOverEasy, also fondly referred to as HOE, is as quirky as the name suggests. If you’re looking for good food with a bit of humor on the side, this elevated diner is the place to be. From the “Walk of Shame”, a bacon, sausage, and fried egg sandwich with American grilled cheese, to the crispy chicken and waffles, HangOverEasy is the definition of comfort food. Order some “struggling to get up” pancakes with an OG mimosa for the perfect brunch quick fix.
📍13 W Charlton St, Cincinnati