When you cover the city’s newsworthy restaurant scene as extensively as Cincinnati Magazine does, it’s easy to focus on the first syllable of that adjective: “news.” As in new places opening up, new menu offerings at favorite haunts, and new chefs challenging old conventions. Or news updates of ongoing industry disruptions in staffing, supply chains, real estate, and customer preferences. Or the convergence of both “new” and “news,” as when Royce and PearlStar—widely praised new spots from a Nashville restaurant group—closed suddenly in late February.
If you saw our March issue, you might recall that Royce was included in our Best Restaurants rankings and PearlStar was among five restaurants that just missed the top 10. Both spots shut down after the printer had shipped our issue. The episode is yet another reminder that Cincinnati’s restaurant owners—even those who run consistently excellent fine dining icons—are still feeling their way through pandemic recovery and need all the support we can muster. It’s a tough business, including for those who make it look easy.
This month, we turn to another segment of the local dining scene that makes it look easy: breakfast spots (“Breakfast of Champions”). I mean, how hard can it be? Grill some eggs and goetta, toast some bread, and serve it with a cup of coffee or a glass of orange juice. Order up for table 11!
My go-to breakfast is Pop-Tarts and a cup of tea, so lucky for you Senior Editor Aiesha Little didn’t recruit me into the team that reported on dozens of fun and filling breakfast restaurants around the area. The experts highlight old school spots, new classics (including food trucks), and brunch favorites, as well as bread options, morning drink surprises, and vegan twists on breakfast staples.
If you consider yourself a breakfast expert, vote in our online Breakfast Battle and support your favorite local restaurants. A total of 32 breakfast spots are competing in March Madness–style brackets, with a winner crowned on May 31. That’s easy enough, right?