Holtman's Donut Shop
Holtman's Donut Shop

There's nothing I love more than getting up early on a Saturday morning and heading out on a drive with my husband. But before we go too far - we HAVE to have a good breakfast! You can't start a big day out without a belly full of biscuits and gravy (or other delectables). Here's my run down of the best breakfasts in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky! 

Biscuits & Gravy

Bluebird Restaurant (photo: Heather Johnson)
Bluebird Restaurant (photo: Heather Johnson)

I consider myself a connoisseur of biscuits and gravy. If it's on the menu, I try it. I like a thick and creamy milk-based gravy with lots of sausage.

Winner: Bluebird Restaurant in Norwood
These biscuits and gravy are hands-down the best in the city. The gravy is creamy (lots of milk) but peppery and has lots of sausage. The biscuits are heavy enough to stick with you but fluffy enough to not weigh you down. The servers are awesome, too. Just go. You'll love it.

Runner Up: P&S Restaurant in Colerain
The menu features something called The Kitchen Sink. Biscuits topped with home fries topped with sausage gravy topped with two eggs and then - oh yeah - let's cover it in shredded cheese. I didn't really like the biscuit, but the gravy and the rest of the heart attack made up for it.


Holtman's Donut Shop (photo: Wendy Pramik)
Holtman's Donut Shop (photo: Wendy Pramik)
There's nothing better than a good doughnut. Whether it's cake or yeast, fancy or plan, filled or coated – I love a dougnut (or two or three).
Winner: Silverton Donut Shop in Silverton
This is a bit of an upset as my runner-up is enormously popular, but I like it old school. Silverton Donut Shop has had the same employees and has been doing it the same way for years. The apple fritter is not to be missed. It's crispy and soft at the same time. It is hands-down my favorite doughnut in the city.
Runner Up: Holtman's in Over-the-Rhine, LovelandWest Chester and Williamsburg
While the folks in OTR are just discovering the goodness that is Holtman's – the folks in Loveland know it well. They've been around for over 50 years! While Silverton is the king of standard, Holtman's is the king of unique. My favorite is the Maple Bacon. You can get it in cake or glazed, and both are amazing. I loved that the bacon was REAL – it was fatty and crispy all at the same time and the maple wasn't overwhelming.

50's Diner

Hathaway's Diner (photo: Wendy Pramik)
Hathaway's Diner (photo: Wendy Pramik)

Winner: The Echo Restaurant in Hyde Park
The Echo is a staple – it was one of the first places I went to when I moved here. It's packed out the door, down the street on weekends, so get up early and grab a spot at the diner counter. You won't be sorry.

Runner Up: Hathaway's in Downtown
I love Hathaway's. They have all these photos of downtown when it was full of hustle and bustle, back in the day when everyone wore suits and nobody drank Mt. Dew in a meeting. (I would have had a hard time.) And when you're there, be sure to get a chocolate shake - yum!

Special Occasion/Unique

Blueberry pancakes at Weller Haus Bed & Breakfast (photo: Heather Johnson)
Blueberry pancakes at Weller Haus Bed & Breakfast (photo: Heather Johnson)

There are times when you want something special and unique. Luckily, I'm a little special and unique, so I've got just the right spots for you.

Winner: Weller Haus Bed & Breakfast in Bellevue, KY 
My husband and I stayed at Weller Haus for our wedding night and loved it. We wanted something close since we still had family in town, but that wouldn't feel like we were in town. Weller Haus fit the bill. It's on a residential space in Bellevue, Ky., but you feel like you're a million miles away. So the bed was great, but what about the breakfast? Amazing! I still think about those blueberry pancakes! And they accommodated my husband's egg allergy nicely.

Runner Up: Buona Terra in Mt. Lookout
I was invited to check out Buona Terra when they first opened and wow, was I impressed. They have gelato and crepes, so while you might want gelato for breakfast, I'm thinking more along the lines of the crepes. The one I still remember was the French Summer with lemon curd, lavender sugar and whipped cream – for just $6. It was so peaceful and calming and, of course, delicious.

There are so many wonderful places for breakfast in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky that you really can't go wrong. Hopefully I've given you a few new ideas to check out while you're in town!