January 18, 2019

38 Cincinnati Brunch Spots You Should Try ASAP

These days, the phrase “Let’s get brunch” is basically a euphemism for “Let’s get drunk before noon.” People be lovin' brunch, amiright? It’s a Bacchanalian breakfast celebration that doubles as an excuse to mainline mimosas and stuff bacon into foods where it does not belong. The brunch zeitgeist of the new millennium is real. There are mood boards dedicated to what to wear to brunch, restaurants with strictly brunch menus, brunch-only Instagram feeds (@bitcheswhobrunch, @brunchboys) and we have an entire event devoted to it (Brunched: June 22 @ The Phoenix). Why do Americans love a meal that doubles as breakfast and lunch and oftentimes basically turns into an ongoing commitment to day drinking? Is it part of the self-care indulgence movement? A genius marketing campaign by egg companies or the avocado illuminati? Whatever the reason, our country is literally obsessed with brunch, so we present you with this list of brunchin' options from across the Queen City. Whether you want to get sloppy drunk in your atheleisurewear, have a fancy family outing, or you're a foodie just looking for something new, we’ve got you covered.
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Nada
600 Walnut St., Downtown
While a taco joint might appear to be a wild-card option for traditional brunchgoers, it is definitely a perfect pre-siesta pit stop. While all the Nada classics are on the menu — the chips and salsa trio, the O.G. guacamole — there are also Mexican brunch offerings: poutine with barbacoa, fried egg and charred tomato salsa, and huevos rancheros with frijoles charros, ancho salsa and diablo sauce. Or, if you head in thinking when in Nada, get a taco, but try one like the fried avocado with chipotle bean purée, or the always-tasty al pastor with pickled pineapple. And then, because everyone loves a boozy brunch, there are sparkling blood orange mimosas, made with rosé cava, and drunken coffees with both Kahlua and tequila. Ay dios mio! 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Nada

600 Walnut St., Downtown
While a taco joint might appear to be a wild-card option for traditional brunchgoers, it is definitely a perfect pre-siesta pit stop. While all the Nada classics are on the menu — the chips and salsa trio, the O.G. guacamole — there are also Mexican brunch offerings: poutine with barbacoa, fried egg and charred tomato salsa, and huevos rancheros with frijoles charros, ancho salsa and diablo sauce. Or, if you head in thinking when in Nada, get a taco, but try one like the fried avocado with chipotle bean purée, or the always-tasty al pastor with pickled pineapple. And then, because everyone loves a boozy brunch, there are sparkling blood orange mimosas, made with rosé cava, and drunken coffees with both Kahlua and tequila. Ay dios mio!
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Branch
1535 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills
The team behind The Littlefield has opened a new concept in East Walnut Hills in the former Art Deco Central Trust Bank Building at the corner of Woodburn and Madison avenues. The menu at Branch is overseen by executive chef Shoshannah Anderson and offers a self-proclaimed mix of “classic and contemporary American with ethnic influences.” On the weekends, Branch serves up a variety of brunch dishes including their buttermilk brined fried chicken with quinoa waffle, apple slaw and sesame fennel as well as boozy brunch beverages. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Branch

1535 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills
The team behind The Littlefield has opened a new concept in East Walnut Hills in the former Art Deco Central Trust Bank Building at the corner of Woodburn and Madison avenues. The menu at Branch is overseen by executive chef Shoshannah Anderson and offers a self-proclaimed mix of “classic and contemporary American with ethnic influences.” On the weekends, Branch serves up a variety of brunch dishes including their buttermilk brined fried chicken with quinoa waffle, apple slaw and sesame fennel as well as boozy brunch beverages.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Crown Republic Gastropub
720 Sycamore St., Downtown
Brunch is served on Saturdays only but breakfast and lunch are served the remainder of the week (Monday-Friday). CRG leans into a Mediterranean/Italian style in some dishes but classic American dishes like Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes and a few exciting vegan options shows that this brunch spot has something for everyone.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Crown Republic Gastropub

720 Sycamore St., Downtown
Brunch is served on Saturdays only but breakfast and lunch are served the remainder of the week (Monday-Friday). CRG leans into a Mediterranean/Italian style in some dishes but classic American dishes like Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes and a few exciting vegan options shows that this brunch spot has something for everyone.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Lucius Q
1131 Broadway St., Pendleton
This Pendleton barbecue spot serves up brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Guests can choose from a handful of brunch options, including the BBQ Scotch egg breaded in Lucius Q's ground smoked sausage, deep-fried and served on a bed of cheesy grits with BBQ sauce drizzle.  
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Lucius Q

1131 Broadway St., Pendleton
This Pendleton barbecue spot serves up brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Guests can choose from a handful of brunch options, including the BBQ Scotch egg breaded in Lucius Q's ground smoked sausage, deep-fried and served on a bed of cheesy grits with BBQ sauce drizzle.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Taste of Belgium
Multiple Locations
Taste of Belgium has been expanding its operations since its first waffle was pulled from a cast iron waffle-press at Findlay Market in 2007, opening four brick-and-mortar bistros and an additional market location. Along with its locally famous sweet, sturdy and caramelized Belgian waffles, the brunch offerings have piloted the restaurant’s rapid ascent. Under the “Brunch Like a Belgian” menu category, there is a fresh berry parfait with chia seeds; a McWaffle with egg, bacon, gruyere and maple syrup; and a messy goetta hash, with Eckerlin Meats’ goetta and two eggs. This is in addition to staples like a strawberries-and-cream-topped waffle or a savory buckwheat galette. Try the crepe-like galette filled with turkey, bacon and housemade ranch dressing or Speculoos biscuits and cookie butter. 
Photo: Brittany Thornton

Taste of Belgium

Multiple Locations
Taste of Belgium has been expanding its operations since its first waffle was pulled from a cast iron waffle-press at Findlay Market in 2007, opening four brick-and-mortar bistros and an additional market location. Along with its locally famous sweet, sturdy and caramelized Belgian waffles, the brunch offerings have piloted the restaurant’s rapid ascent. Under the “Brunch Like a Belgian” menu category, there is a fresh berry parfait with chia seeds; a McWaffle with egg, bacon, gruyere and maple syrup; and a messy goetta hash, with Eckerlin Meats’ goetta and two eggs. This is in addition to staples like a strawberries-and-cream-topped waffle or a savory buckwheat galette. Try the crepe-like galette filled with turkey, bacon and housemade ranch dressing or Speculoos biscuits and cookie butter.
Photo: Brittany Thornton
Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey
1201 Broadway St., Pendleton
It’s biscuit time any time at this frontier-themed eatery. The star of the show — and menu — are baked golden nuggets of goodness. These buttery, soft discs with a close crumb and a browned, lightly bubbled top are present in everything from sandwiches and bowls to sweets. The Yukon sandwich comes squished with fried chicken, sawmill gravy, smoked cheddar and bacon (add an egg for $2); the Gold Shoes has two biscuits with a flight of gravies; and the Fool’s Gold combines two biscuits, local ham, bacon and sawmill gravy with an up-charged egg. Basically, anything you can top with an egg for an additional $2, do it.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey

1201 Broadway St., Pendleton
It’s biscuit time any time at this frontier-themed eatery. The star of the show — and menu — are baked golden nuggets of goodness. These buttery, soft discs with a close crumb and a browned, lightly bubbled top are present in everything from sandwiches and bowls to sweets. The Yukon sandwich comes squished with fried chicken, sawmill gravy, smoked cheddar and bacon (add an egg for $2); the Gold Shoes has two biscuits with a flight of gravies; and the Fool’s Gold combines two biscuits, local ham, bacon and sawmill gravy with an up-charged egg. Basically, anything you can top with an egg for an additional $2, do it.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Colonel’s Kitchen
22 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas
Colonel’s Kitchen offers breakfast and lunch six days a week, with brunch specials on Sunday. While it’s not any kind of fancy, both the layout and décor make it feel homey and welcoming. Chalkboards tell you what’s to eat and the cooking is done behind a long counter, supplemented by ovens and prep space in a back room.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Colonel’s Kitchen

22 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas
Colonel’s Kitchen offers breakfast and lunch six days a week, with brunch specials on Sunday. While it’s not any kind of fancy, both the layout and décor make it feel homey and welcoming. Chalkboards tell you what’s to eat and the cooking is done behind a long counter, supplemented by ovens and prep space in a back room.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The Anchor OTR
1401 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Saturday is the only day for brunch at The Anchor-OTR and that’s just fine with us, because after a Friday night of tying one on, the Anchor’s bloody mary is the “hair of the dog” we would welcome any day of the week. Yes, we here at CityBeat did name it 2015’s “Best Multi-Tasking Cocktail,” and with good reason. Where else will they stuff a glass full of vodka, bloody mix, housemade pickles, a giant lobster claw, an oyster and shrimp? It’s a meal and an adult beverage all in one drink. But the food at The Anchor is also perfect for that day-after kind of eating — with a bonus view of Washington Park. Tuck into creamy Weisenberger grits with shrimp and a sunny side egg or a smoked salmon omelet if you’re feeling breakfast-ey. Or go straight for the lunch with a cheeseburger and fries or a trout BLT.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Anchor OTR

1401 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Saturday is the only day for brunch at The Anchor-OTR and that’s just fine with us, because after a Friday night of tying one on, the Anchor’s bloody mary is the “hair of the dog” we would welcome any day of the week. Yes, we here at CityBeat did name it 2015’s “Best Multi-Tasking Cocktail,” and with good reason. Where else will they stuff a glass full of vodka, bloody mix, housemade pickles, a giant lobster claw, an oyster and shrimp? It’s a meal and an adult beverage all in one drink. But the food at The Anchor is also perfect for that day-after kind of eating — with a bonus view of Washington Park. Tuck into creamy Weisenberger grits with shrimp and a sunny side egg or a smoked salmon omelet if you’re feeling breakfast-ey. Or go straight for the lunch with a cheeseburger and fries or a trout BLT.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Sleepy Bee Café
Multiple locations including 3098 Madison Road, Oakley
If you’re trying to schedule a group brunch with your vegan cousin, your neatnik aunt and your meat-and-potatoes husband, casually suggest Sleepy Bee in Oakley and become the family favorite overnight. With a focus on local non-GMO foods and bee-friendly practices, this bright, cozy space has all the classics, like omelets, pancakes and bacon (seriously, try their bacon), and it also has some dressed-up options if you want to step outside the box: a tofu scramble, vegan sausages and the most social-media-friendly ROYGBIV fruit plate in the city. Don’t forget that Sleepy Bee is on the Nowait app, so you can put your name in ahead of time, skip the wait list and get right to the coffee. With additional locations in Blue Ash and downtown, you’re bound to find seating at one of them. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sleepy Bee Café

Multiple locations including 3098 Madison Road, Oakley
If you’re trying to schedule a group brunch with your vegan cousin, your neatnik aunt and your meat-and-potatoes husband, casually suggest Sleepy Bee in Oakley and become the family favorite overnight. With a focus on local non-GMO foods and bee-friendly practices, this bright, cozy space has all the classics, like omelets, pancakes and bacon (seriously, try their bacon), and it also has some dressed-up options if you want to step outside the box: a tofu scramble, vegan sausages and the most social-media-friendly ROYGBIV fruit plate in the city. Don’t forget that Sleepy Bee is on the Nowait app, so you can put your name in ahead of time, skip the wait list and get right to the coffee. With additional locations in Blue Ash and downtown, you’re bound to find seating at one of them.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Wunderbar
1132 Lee St., Covington
This Bavarian bar provides a dimly lit haven for Sunday morning hangover-sufferers — and some live music. The small brunch menu, written on a chalkboard, changes often but offers options like corned beef hash and eggs, biscuits and gravy or hard-shell breakfast tacos. Order at the bar and tack on a $3 mimosa or $4 bloody mary. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Wunderbar

1132 Lee St., Covington
This Bavarian bar provides a dimly lit haven for Sunday morning hangover-sufferers — and some live music. The small brunch menu, written on a chalkboard, changes often but offers options like corned beef hash and eggs, biscuits and gravy or hard-shell breakfast tacos. Order at the bar and tack on a $3 mimosa or $4 bloody mary.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger