3414 Harrison Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Like much of Cincinnati’s west side, Cheviot Feels a little bit insular. There are a lot of little local restaurants and a lot of mom and pop businesses, but for the most part they don’t draw the same attention and traffic as things downtown and to the east. West-siders prefer it that way, with their little local dives enjoying great fanfare within the community but not succumbing to hype that makes them a headache. And that’s how it is with this little greasy spoon, which is all substance over form, much more focused on good food and a welcoming atmosphere than anything else.
This is your typical greasy spoon. That is to say, a breakfast-focused spot with a special love of chili and a few other classics. Some things to try:
- Blueberry pancakes: Thick buttermilk pancakes, absolutely loaded with blueberries and served with a hearty mix of butter and syrup if you like. Charming and familiar.
- Breakfast special: Eggs any way you want them, and a salty meat to go with it, or else goetta, the city’s favorite side dish, which I definitely prefer. Simple, and very greasy spoon-eque. The thing is, it will only set you back a few bucks! So get it with some other things.
The food is flat cheap. In fact, it’s kind of crazy how inexpensive things are, then again that’s kind of the charm. Sure, maybe you can make a few of these things at home, but folks crowd in here nonetheless because it’s not just about the value. It’s about having a friendly little shop like this to support.
I like it, not just for the old-fashioned charm, but for the friendliness of all of the staff, including the managing family popping around to make sure things that run smoothly, and a nice wait staff with that diner hustle who are always around to refill coffee and make your experience quick if you need it to be. But most of the people I spotted here lingered nonetheless, to catch up with friends, run into neighbors, and generally experience the community around them. Nah, it’s not a sleek or new-looking place, but that’s the whole point. Substance over form, that’s the spirit of the west side.
- This place is listed a lot online as a “Greek restaurant” but that’s kind of misleading. It’s one of the local spots that serves Cincinnati chili, which is itself inspired by Mediterranean (and specifically Greek) spices. So like a lot of other chili parlors in town, this one is technically thought of as serving “Greek” food but don’t expect shawarma or kebabs or things like that. It’s a local quirk, I think.
- The restaurant does, in fact, have some chili options if you like it. It’s typically a lunch item and that’s so much better that you can get it in the morning if you like.
- Everything here is just so cheap. One of the best deals in dining I’ve spotted in Cincinnati.