Main Street Diner

900 Main St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513.421.0835
location

It’s a longstanding and old-fashioned mainstay of downtown Cincinnati, and as you’ve seen this city’s core revitalized with hundreds of new businesses, Main Street Diner has been the old reliable breakfast spot. It’s got that hole-in-the-wall charm, sort of a quiet local place where they still use old cash registers, where old men sit around and chat on a Sunday morning, and where you can get just about anything for breakfast that you could imagine. It’s nice to find a place like this in downtown Cincinnati.

The menu is dominated by all of the classic favorites of breakfastime cuisine. What’s better is that it’s all just so inexpensive. The house special is eggs, potatoes, toast and a choice of meat for about $5. You really cant top that price for such a filling meal, and the food is well done and very familiar. It’s cooked well, and what it lacks in sophistication it makes up for in familiarity. It’s simple comfort food. The variety of pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast things mean you can definitely find some breakfast food you enjoy, and most of it is a la carte, meaning less expensive. The coffee is good.

There are also a few other lunch items on the menu, about all the diner lunch items you can imagine; burgers off the grill, sandwiches and so forth. Really, it’s about as “diner” a menu as it gets. This place is sort of an American classic; the kind of place that isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. In that regard, I really do think Main Street Diner succeeds in its mission: provide old-fashioned favorites.

The atmosphere here is definitely, for better or for worse, unremarkable. There are so many refined restaurants opening around downtown these days, and you’ll find a lot of fancy places and ritzy concepts. This is not one of them. They still use one of those 1950s cash registers with a “Sale!” popup. They have no online presence. This is the epitome of a hole in the wall, a corner dive lost in time where you go for a quick meal and hang out with the old timers. Some people absolutely love those places, and some detest them. Honestly there are times I like either kind of place.

Main Street Diner is the kind of place that reminds you of good, old-fashioned diners and eateries that used to be. I don’t think it is the kind of place you will want to drive across town to try. But at the same time, I think you’ll find it has more than a little charm.

Recommendations

  • Definitely come here if you’re looking for an old fashioned diner. That;s probably the main appeal.
  • Food here is very inexpensive. But then again, it’s not the kind of place that’s worth a detour. Best for convenience.
  • The breakfast special offers about all of the foods you could ever want for cheap so try that one first.

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