4381 Reading Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45229
If you travel down Reading Road in Cincinnati’s East Side neighborhood, you would find it impossible to miss the sassy pink building that is Sugar n’ Spice restaurant. This little breakfast diner is every bit as exciting inside as it is on the outside, with a cramped little interior that is filled to the brim with, of all things, rubber ducks. While this diner is bursting at the seams with personality, the food really does deliver. This is a spot that is well worth a special kind of trip.
The restaurant does breakfast food and that’s when you’ll find it’s absolutely full. You absolutely will not want to miss out on the famous “wispy thin” pancakes, made with a very runny batter that keeps them wrinkly and thin, but a stack of these is absolutely amazing. They’re topped with ample butter, and for 50 cents extra, you can also put blueberries or chocolate chips in them. Fantastic! It’s a simple pancake, but what makes it so tasty is how deliciously sweet the pancakes are. You can taste the cream. It’s just fantastic.
The restaurant has a lot of great breakfast dishes, ranging from the simple eggs and bacon to the Cincinnati favorite: goetta. dishes that range from steak and eggs, waffles and wings, omelettes, and then lunch sandwiches like the burger or the reuben. It’s the classic greasy spoon. Few of these kinds of spots survive to today.
Sugar n’ Spice is a pretty cramped spot, and as a result I highly suggest coming with a small group. There isn’t a lot of space inside to wait, and you have to have your whole group with you to be seated. The counter has room and there are tables, too, but you can’t ignore the demand. People in the neighborhood absolutely love the place. These conditions can be a problem to people, but I think the demand speaks for itself.
Neighborhood establishments like this one can be an enigma to outsiders; often you feel cramped and rushed when you get there. Sometimes if you don’t get the culture of the local city, the service can seem rude. But make no mistake, there is a whole lot to love at Sugar n’ Spice. It’s a breakfast destination that makes one of Cincinnati’s best early meals.
- The spot gets absolutely packed on weekends, especially at breakfast. Even early in the morning, know that you’ll have to wait in the crowded diner.
- The restaurant requires you to have a whole group present to be seated.
- A quirk: first time visitors get a free rubber duck! No really, the hundreds of miniature rubber ducks that line the walls? You get to take one home with you.