First thing’s first: “Waggle” refers to honeybees. The waggle dance, a kind of funny little figure-eight shuffle that honeybees do to show others from their hive where to find food, is a reasonable name coming from the folks at Sleepy Bee Café. Honeybees are part of Sleepy Bee’s DNA. And now, they’re part of Waggle’s, too.
The spinoff is located in Avondale near Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, directly across from the Ronald McDonald House. Where Sleepy Bee (with three locations, in Oakley, Blue Ash, and downtown) is a table-service restaurant known for sandwiches, omelettes, and à la carte sides like goetta and Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, Waggle has a fast-casual counter setup and a grab-and-go vibe befitting its location in Cincinnati’s bustling hospital district.
True to its pedigree, Waggle’s menu focuses on breakfast items: stacks of specialty pancakes like Blue Cakes with blueberry sauce, greek yogurt, and tahini or Chocolate Cakes with chocolate ganache and housemade granola Killer Bee Crunch. And, of course, you can find Sleepy Bee’s classic buttermilk pancakes or signature Bee Cakes, made with gluten-free batter.
Totally new for Waggle is a menu of breakfast bowls. Choose from among the chef-designed bowls or walk the line to get one made-to-order. The Saucy Mess is a customer favorite, a kind of open-faced breakfast burrito combining scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and chipotle crema with onions, tomatoes, avocado, and salsa. Build your own bowl and choose from dozens of egg preparations, proteins, veggies, cheeses, sauces, and toppings (we’re especially intrigued by the hot honey vinaigrette and the walnut dukkah).
If you wander into Waggle around lunchtime, you’ll find warm grain bowls with fresh savory ingredients like quinoa, kimchi, and fried eggs. The Queen Bee Bowl pairs veggies like mushrooms and pickled onions with quinoa, rice, and goetta, and the Sol Bowl features chorizo, black beans, potatoes, and chimichurri.
Above all, expect the same attention to dietary detail in this new concept: Everything from soy to gluten is labeled and there are lots of vegan options, and many items are locally sourced and/or housemade.
Waggle, 3440 Burnet Ave., Avondale, (513) 221-1307