And the winner is…
4035 Hamilton Ave.Cincinnati, OH 45223
The bakery-caf, or maybe caf-bakery, that is Take the Cake may specialize in innovative cake and pastry creations, but they can also whip up some pretty amazing breakfast, lunch (and on Sundays) brunch options. Communal seating adds to the neighborhood feel of the place, and there isn’t a set menu. Depending on the season—and the staff’s mood—you might run into frittatas, French toast, eggplant parmesan or quiches. The options change frequently, and when they are out of something, they’re out. The place can get crowded, especially on a weekend. But it’s hard to complain too much, especially with so many delicious pastry options available to tide you over while you wait.
500 Monmouth St.Newport, KY 41071
One building, two menus. Think of Mokka and the Sunset Bar and Grill in those terms. The former is a champion of brunch and breakfast, still served daily from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The latter caters to the crowd looking for more exquisite bar food from 3-10 p.m. except Sunday. Mokka's breakfast and brunch menu brings in the crowds with eggs and omlettes to sandwiches and frittatas. For breakfast, try the Mokka toast. It's an unexpected compilation of Texas toast, creme brulee, and sweet corn flakes. Looking for an unusual lunch sandwich? Mokka serves the Islander, sliced ham topped with Swiss cheese, grilled pineapples and Caribbean jerk mayonaise. Craving sweets? Mokka serves Chocolate Lava and homemade bread pudding.
308 Greenup StreetCovington, KY 41011
This quaint spot in a classic Covington brownstone exudes a French bohemian flavor with light, bright, cozy rooms. John Kimzey, the restaurant's new executive chef, has put together a menu that ranges from the "Big Easy" muffuletta breakfast sandwich with cappicola, salami, mortadella, provolone and olive to a fried fish cod sandwich and a meatloaf hoagie.
1004 Delta Ave.Cincinnati, OH 45208
Neighborhood: Mount Lookout
Annabel's is a new, trendy spot in Mount Lookout, serving breakfast, brunch and lunch items with fresh, quality ingredients. They offer items such as salad with salmon, a Mexican sandwich with avocado and breakfast entrees.
616 Main St.Covington, KY 41011
Owners of Angelina's in Findlay Market opened Europa in Covington's MainStrasse Village. It showcases the flavors of Europe, with tea, crepes and lunch in a tea room at the back of the store and a small deli in the front. Right by the front door, there's a case with the 24 gelatos that rotate as Europa develops its full lineup. Flavors range from classic chocolate and hazelnut to more American-inspired flavors such as cookies and cream and apple pie. The frutti di bosco is full of authentic blackberry seeds. Europa features live music and monthly art exhibits.