116 E 13th St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood has undergone such a dramatic shift in the past decade, where there used to be run-down buildings and issues with blight, now throngs of shoppers, diners and revelers crowd these streets late into the night. Tours of people even filter through on nice days. It goes without saying, but in a place like this, new and experimental restaurants pop up all of the time. One of these is certainly the Brown Bear Bakery, a little local shop emphasizing modern takes on baked treats. Casual and sleek, but still suave and comfortable.
The menu is a wide variety of classic baked goods and some things more experimental. Here’s what I liked:
- Cinnamon roll: Probably the best known thing on the menu at this bar, the cinnamon roll has a huge, thick and creamy smear of icing with dough that’s just a tad flaky but mostly so gooey. For good measure, a little orange citrus zest on top.
- Savory brioche: Probably the one most prominent savory dish on the menu here, this one is a definite crowd favorite judging by the number of people raving about it online. Topped with goat cheese, thyme, salty Parmesan, garlic, pepitas, and cracked pepper. It’s gone through a few evolutions but make no mistake, this one is going to be one of the best you try. Come hungry specifically to try this one.
- Lemon Lavender Bars: Thick lemon custard topping a wonderful graham cracker-like crust. Not too sweet! To keep it from looking too pedestrian, topped with some flower petals for look.
So the little bakery is definitely higher-end as price points go, but it’s also kind of a unique bakery and many of the things you try here will be unique. As I say, there are some definite things you will want to try, and so you might want to think of this place as good to go for a big snack, because a lot of things here are sweet and there are only a few savory dishes. Never mind, there are plenty of great restaurants nearby for a main course!
Cute and experimental, the bakery has built a substantial Instagram following because people love to wake up to the virtual sight of baked goodies being prepared for them. It’s unique and it’s certainly very memorable. I like it.
- This is mostly a sweet spot but you can grab a few popular other items on the savory end. Maybe
- Price points are higher. I recommend it as a place for a breakfast or a dessert.
- Best things to try? The cinnamon roll and the savory brioche.