221 Court St. (map it!)
Hamilton, OH 45011
Open Mon-Fri, 5:30a-4p; Sat, 6a-2p
Visited: Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 10 a.m.
During our recent trip to Butler County (read about part one here!) we had to fuel up between Donut Trail stops with a solid breakfast. We were planning some explorations around Hamilton, the county seat, and found a listing for an old school spot called Kostas.
I delight in these old school places, the ones that have been around for decades. Even though each one has its own character, there’s a common look and feel to them. Kostas has basically no online presence, aside from a couple review pages created for them, which adds to the charm. They don’t have need for a Facebook page or fancy website – they just keep doing what they’re doing and people will find them.
Although there was the usual clatter from the kitchen, and even though the restaurant was initially half full, there was no background music playing, so the place felt quiet. We were quickly ushered to a booth and given laminated menus.
We only saw three people working that morning – one person in the back and two at the grill and handling service.
Like most old school diners, breakfast is inexpensive.
Will ordered a breakfast sandwich: white toast, fried egg, bacon, and cheese. Came with a side of pickles.
I ordered over easy eggs, potatoes, sausage, and toast.
Beth had a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a croissant. All very simple, but all filling and easy to love.
By the time we left, the place was nearly full, although it still felt so quiet you wouldn’t know it.
The layout and the old equipment made me think of Jack’s Diner in Columbus. There’s some simple artwork on the walls and giant plants crawling up the windows.
Inside there are also posters and news clippings about the movie Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Kostas has such an authentic old school look, apparently, that they filmed scenes from the movie – set in the 1950s – in and around the restaurant.
I’m always glad to discover places like Kostas. I think it’s important that these institutions stick around, as they’re gathering points for multiple generations of a community. If you’re Donut Trailing around Hamilton, consider stopping by!