Visited: Friday, December 31, 2021 at 10 a.m.
I’m an avid reader of David Landsel, a senior editor and writer at Food & Wine, especially his coffee-centric trips. So when he published his 2019 list of The Best Coffee Shops in America, I read it with great interest, especially noting a Cincinnati coffee shop with the memorable name Mom ‘n ’em Coffee & Wine landing at #5 on the list. I got to obsessing about visiting it during our next Cincinnati excursion, and on our end-of-the-year trip to the Queen City, I directed to GPS to Camp Washington to swing by Mom ‘n ’em on the way out of town.
Our trip there was brief, really just a quick stop for a cortado, but I was fascinated and impressed by the space all the same. Mom ‘n ’em makes its home in a beautifully renovated Victorian house that sits on a hill in Camp Washington, an industrial and working class neighborhood on the northwest side. (Just down the street is the long-running Cincinnati staple Camp Washington Chili.)
Mom ‘n ’em inhabits the entire building and a spacious patio. Room after room is filled with colorful and eclectic seating, art, plants, with plenty of natural light.
The coffee operations are front-and-center, but they dish up breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, yogurt, granola as well. The shop also doubles as a wine bar, and sells wines, tea, tinned fish, breads, coffee brewing equipment.
Perhaps we didn’t do it justice, stopping in for just coffee, but the coffee we ordered – labeled a “gibraltar” on the menu for the traditional cortdado glass – was as good as I’ve ever had.
Our stop coincided with a chilly December morning, but seeing the huge patio with a firepit and strung with lights, I can only imagine this as a happening spot in warmer weather.
I’m not qualified enough to judge whether Mom ‘n ’em earns its ranking as #5 in the country, but the coffee was top-notch, the building simply stunning, and the whole operation welcoming and running like a well-oiled machine – so I’d certainly recommend it as a stop for coffee fans.
Final note: Mom ‘n ’em Coffee & Wine is a operation from the Ferrari Bros, a pair of local entrepreneurs who dedicated the coffee shop to their mother. It’s her on the logo, and I’m told that if you’re lucky, you’ll spot her in the cafe.
Ferrari Bros also own Fausto in the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. We remember when that was a location of Collective Espresso, and the art center (which is beautiful and definitely worth a visit) offers a cozy but modern space that’s perfect for coffee and snacks.