Best Of 2019

Best OTR Diner with Grit: Tucker’s Restaurant

Originally opened in 1957, Tucker’s Restaurant has been an Over-the-Rhine mainstay for decades. Operated by Joe Tucker and his wife Carla (Joe’s parents opened the diner), the restaurant took about a 14-month hiatus to rebuild after a devastating kitchen fire in 2015, but they are back and better than ever, serving breakfast, brunch and lunch to locals and suburbanites who love not only the anything-goes urban hospitality but also the basic comfort food and all-day breakfast standards. It’s a true gem; the staff greets you like an old friend, the jukebox is free and the food is consistently delicious. Though it may look like a decades-old diner from the outside (and inside), one of the many things that has always separated Tucker’s from a typical greasy spoon is their use of local ingredients from places like Findlay Market, as well as their vast vegetarian options. A BLT comes with veggie bacon, and a couple of years ago Carla added a superfood salad. That being said, most everything gets slapped on the flat top and grilled — the eggs, the hash browns, the flapjacks with no definite shape, but serious fluff — and we definitely aren’t mad about it. Go on a weekend for huevos rancheros and shrimp and grits and remember to order a side of bacon jam to smear on everything. You can thank us later. Tucker’s Restaurant, 1637 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine,