Looking to start your day off right in the Queen City?
We’re back in the Cincinnati area to find the best breakfast spot for the most important meal of the day.
What’s the best breakfast Cincinnati has to offer? Maplewood Kitchen and Bar, Holtman’s Donuts, Taste of Belgium, Sleepy Bee Cafe, First Watch, and more hotspots are listed below.
Whether you’re a new visitor or a longtime local, let’s find your new go-to spots for fluffy pancakes, crispy hashbrowns, and hot coffee.
Related Reading: Top 20 Donut Shops In Cincinnati
The Best Breakfast Cincinnati Has
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
Tucked away in the heart of downtown Cincinnati is Maplewood Kitchen and Bar, one of the most lively breakfast and brunch spots known for its wholesome dishes and West Coast-inspired flair.
Find it at 525 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202, where it’s open daily from 8 am – 9 pm.
- Known for:
- Avocado Benedict – poached eggs and fresh avocado on an English muffin
- Lemon ricotta pancakes – fluffy pancakes with a tangy lemon ricotta filling
- Hash browns – crispy shredded potatoes, a customer favorite!
- Great for: Couples, friend meetups, and solo diners. The cozy but vibrant atmosphere is perfect for casually connecting over great food.
What makes Maplewood Kitchen stand out is its commitment to locally sourced, organic ingredients. You can taste the freshness in every bite! The cafe is part of the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, bringing a stylish and inviting west coast vibe to Cincinnati.
With healthy bowls, sandwiches featuring house-made veggie patties, and cold-pressed juice, Maplewood puts a creative spin on classic breakfast dishes. And of course, they serve up locally roasted coffee to fuel your day.
Stop by for avocado Benedict and hash browns, and stay for the chill but lively surroundings. It’s no wonder Maplewood is a go-to for quality breakfast in downtown Cincinnati!
No donut tour of Cincinnati is complete without a stop at Holtman’s Donuts, widely considered the #1 bakery in town. Conveniently located downtown at 1332 Vine St, Holtman’s bakes up fresh, creative donuts daily.
- Known for:
- Blueberry cheese cone – a signature donut with blueberry jam and cream cheese icing
- Maple bacon glazed – smoky and sweet, a customer favorite!
- Chocolate and maple cream sticks – rich chocolate icing swirled with maple cream
- Great for: Donut lovers looking for unique flavors! Holtman’s is full of delightful surprises.
Family-owned since 1960, Holtman’s handcrafts each donut with expertise and care. The results are truly mouthwatering. Customers rave about the quality and unique flavors like cronuts, apple fritters, and glazed donut holes.
While some find the prices slightly high, most agree Holtman’s is worth it for the delicious flavors and creativity. There’s a reason it’s ranked the #1 bakery and #6 restaurant in Cincinnati.
Next time you’re downtown craving an amazing donut, stop by Holtman’s Donuts. Try the signature blueberry cheese cone or maple bacon glazed and taste why this beloved shop has earned its sterling reputation.
Taste of Belgium – OTR
For an authentic taste of Belgium right in the heart of Cincinnati, head to Taste of Belgium – OTR. Centrally located at 1135 Vine St in Over The Rhine district, this popular spot offers delicious Belgian fare in a lively atmosphere.
- Known for:
- Chicken and waffles – crisp Belgian waffles topped with fried chicken
- Goetta hash – a Cincinnati specialty! Goetta with eggs, potatoes, and cheese
- Bacon, egg, and cheese crepe – a savory take on the classic crepe
- Great for: Belgian food fans, friends meetups, weekend brunch
Taste of Belgium is a great place that stands out for its focus on Belgian classics like waffles, crepes, mussels, and fries paired with local beers. The chicken and waffles, goetta hash, and bier cheese fondue are customer favorites.
Most reviews highlight the delicious food, reasonable prices, and inviting ambiance that makes you feel like you’re dining in Belgium.
Sip a Belgian ale while you savor a goat cheese crepe or their signature chicken and waffles. For authentic Belgian fare done right, this is an ideal place for a good Cincinnati breakfast.
Sleepy Bee Café – Oakley
In the lively Oakley neighborhood lies the original Sleepy Bee Cafe location. Tucked away at 3098 Madison Rd, Sleepy Bee Oakley dishes up wholesome morning meals in a charming 100-year-old brick building.
- Known for:
- Broakley breakfast sandwich – fried egg, cheese, and protein on a fresh biscuit
- Cinnamon roll pancakes – fluffy pancakes swirled with cinnamon and icing
- Biscuits and gravy – a hearty Southern classic done right
- Great for: Couples, friend meetups, and solo diners. The laid-back vibe is perfect for lingering over brunch.
Founded in 2013, Sleepy Bee Cafe prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can taste the quality in the hearty breakfast plates, gluten-free pancakes, and freshly baked pastries.
The cool, artsy ambiance also stands out. Kiln-formed glass art, a flower chandelier, and patron paintings adorn the walls. Free WiFi makes it easy to get work done while you nibble.
While weekends can get busy, reviews rave about the delicious food and attentive service.
For a hearty yet healthy breakfast in downtown Cincinnati, head to First Watch at 104 E 7th St. Open daily from 7 am – 2:30 pm, First Watch dishes up wholesome morning fare with organic, gluten-free, and vegetarian options galore.
- Known for:
- Lemon ricotta pancakes – fluffy pancakes filled with tangy lemon ricotta
- Trifecta – eggs, bacon, and pancakes, a classic combo
- A.M. Superfoods Bowl – loaded with fresh avocado, berries, and more
- Great for: Health-conscious diners, vegetarians/vegans, and grab-and-go crowds. First Watch caters to specialty diets.
First Watch stands out for its focus on locally sourced, high-quality ingredients. You can taste the freshness in menu items like avocado toast, mixed veggie omelets, and organic greens bowls.
The vibrant yet comfy atmosphere also gets rave reviews. The outdoor patio seating and no-contact delivery options make First Watch an ideal spot for breakfast in downtown Cincy.
While service speed opinions vary, most agree the friendly staff and delicious food make First Watch a go-to.
Sugar n’ Spice Diner
We recommend visiting Sugar n’ Spice Diner in the heart of Over-The-Rhine for a blast from the past while fueling up for your day. This charming retro diner at 1203 Sycamore St dishes up hearty comfort food classics in a restored 1955 railroad car.
- Known for:
- Slaughterhouse Five – sausage, bacon, ham, eggs, and cheese on brioche
- Big Ol’ Breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, and toast
- Giant Cinnamon Roll – a sweet treat as big as your head!
- Great for: Nostalgia seekers, big appetites, Cincinnati history buffs. The vintage vibe takes you back in time.
Sugar n’ Spice is a great spot that stands out for its dedication to restoring and preserving a piece of Cincinnati’s history. Beyond the throwback decor, you can taste the diner’s roots in Southern-inspired specialties like chicken and waffles and blueberry pancakes.
Most Cincinnati folks agree the charming environment and satisfying portions make Sugar n’ Spice a reliable spot for breakfast or lunch in OTR.
Be sure to check out their rewards program for tasty deals!
Head to The Echo in the charming Hyde Park neighborhood for a hearty dose of Cincinnati nostalgia. This retro luncheonette at 3510 Edwards Rd dishes up generous portions of classic diner fare in a cozy, laid-back setting.
- Known for:
- Aztec omelet – filled with avocado, salsa, and pepper jack cheese
- Goetta breakfast sandwich – a Cincinnati specialty! Goetta with egg and cheese
- Steph’s Special – an Echo original with sausage, bacon, ham, potatoes, and more
- Great for: Big appetites, Cincinnati natives, nostalgia seekers. Get a taste of Cincy’s history here!
Family-owned and operated since 1969, The Echo is a Cincy original. Beyond the throwback counter seating and jukebox tunes, you can taste the local spirit in dishes like goetta sandwiches and five-way chili.
While the small space fills up fast, the friendly waitstaff serves up piping hot meals as quickly as they can. Regulars and college students alike agree the Echo is the place to go for a hearty, homestyle breakfast or lunch.
Red Roost Tavern
Farm-to-table fare with a bourbon twist anyone? How about the Red Roost Tavern in downtown Cincinnati? Tucked inside the Hyatt Regency at 151 W 5th St, this contemporary American spot puts a focus on locally sourced ingredients and spirits.
- Known for:
- Bourbon flights – sample different bourbons side-by-side
- St. Bourbontine’s tasting menu – a 5-course meal with cocktail pairings
- Brussels sprouts – crispy Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze
- Great for: Bourbon aficionados, farm-to-table fans, and downtown tourists. Enjoy urban flair with local spirit.
Red Roost Tavern stands out for its impressive bourbon list and experiences like the St. Bourbontine’s tasting menu, which pairs a 5-course meal with custom cocktails.
Beyond bourbon, the menu showcases regional ingredients in dishes like the Kentucky Hot Brown and Ohio sweet corn chowder. The vibe is upscale yet welcoming, equally suited for a business lunch or weekend date night.
Most reviews praise the knowledge and friendliness of staff.
Hang Over Easy
Searching for a funky spot to shake off the morning fog? Head to Hang Over Easy in downtown Cincinnati. This eclectic breakfast and brunch joint at 13 W Charlton St dishes up hearty plates and morning booze in a laid-back, college-town atmosphere.
- Known for:
- Hoe Benny – eggs, ham, hollandaise sauce on an English muffin
- Chicken and waffles – Belgian waffles topped with fried chicken
- Home fries – crispy cubed potatoes, a brunch favorite
- Great for: College crowds, no-fuss diners, and weekend brunchers. The vibe here is casual and lively.
With locations across Ohio, Hang Over Easy has become a local favorite for quality morning grub since 2019. Beyond classics like fluffy pancakes and corned beef hash, you can also cure your hangover with a mimosa or bloody mary.
The funky, eclectic decor features upcycled items like old skis and license plates, adding to the chill vibe. Even if service can be slow when crowded, reviewers love the extensive menu and accommodating staff.
For an elevated and eclectic breakfast experience in Cincinnati, head to Wild Eggs in downtown’s Central Business District. This vibrant eatery at 301 E 4th St dishes up creative morning fare guaranteed to delight your palate.
- Known for:
- Stuffed French toast – cinnamon swirl French toast filled with cream cheese
- Wild Benny – smoked salmon, poached eggs, hollandaise on an English muffin
- Bloody Mary – over 50 variations of the classic brunch cocktail
- Great for: Adventurous foodies, weekend brunchers, and downtown visitors. Open your tastebuds to something new!
Wild Eggs stands out for its unique twists on breakfast classics and dedication to unforgettable hospitality. Beyond favorites like eggs benedict, you can also try unexpected delights like the drunken donut french toast.
The cheery atmosphere and stellar service make every visit feel special. Longtime staffers go the extra mile to make sure you leave happy.
Head to Wild Eggs for an elevated take on brunch classics!
Sacred Beast Diner
Nestled in the vibrant Over-The-Rhine neighborhood is Sacred Beast Diner, an eclectic eatery serving up elevated comfort food with a devilish twist. This self-proclaimed “OTR Bar & Diner” at 1437 Vine St serves up classic dishes alongside craft cocktails and local beers.
- Known for:
- Fried truffle risotto balls – crispy risotto balls stuffed with truffle cheese
- Ploughman’s Lunch – cured meats, cheeses, pickles, and bread
- Spiked milkshakes – boozy twists on classic milkshakes
- Great for: Adventurous diners, cocktail lovers, and OTR regulars. Enjoy elevated comfort food and craft beverages.
Sacred Beast stands out for putting a contemporary spin on diner staples. Beyond greasy spoon fare, you can indulge in upscale small plates like fried truffle risotto balls, pork rinds with shishito peppers, and lobster bisque fries.
The lively atmosphere is both upscale and laidback. Gather at the horseshoe-shaped bar for a tasty Ploughman’s Lunch washed down with a Halloween-themed cocktail, or slide into a vinyl booth for Bacon Eggs & Kegs.
Most reviews agree Sacred Beast’s diverse menu and signature creations like the spiked milkshake make this diner a heavenly spot for modern comfort food.
Cincinnati is home to an amazing array of brunch and breakfast restaurants to kickstart your morning.
In addition to delicious breakfast spots, Cincinnati also has a great selection of donuts if you’re more interested in a sweet start to the day.
Whether you’re craving signature omelets, breakfast sandwiches, or a boozy brunch cocktail, the Queen City’s vibrant downtown and surrounding neighborhoods have the best breakfast places in the region.
So, bon appetite!
For more Ohio travel guides, you can also check out:
- Top Donut Shops In Cincinnati Ohio
- Best Things To Do In Medina Ohio
- The Demise Of Chippewa Lake Park
- The History Of Chippewa Lake Park
Thanks for reading!