Having toured a coffee plantation in Costa Rica, I can’t help but consider myself a bit of a morning brew aficionado. Therefore, you can imagine my delight when I had a chance to swing by Royce Café and Coffeehouse, a charming little spot nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Lebanon, Ohio.
What I originally hoped to find at Royce was a really good cup of coffee and a nice sandwich. What I ultimately found was that really good cup of coffee, plus a great lunch at a terrific bargain.
When Royce’s husband-wife owners relocated to Warren County from Florida, they brought with them their own brand of “new South” cuisine. Buying ingredients locally, they serve up a unique array of bistro sandwiches, fresh salads, and tasty low carb, gluten free offerings. Although I visited over lunch, their breakfast items looked fantastic as well, ranging from wholesome and healthy to sugary sweet.
As I scanned their lunch menu, I couldn’t decide whether to go with a salad or something a bit heavier that would stick with me throughout the day. As luck would have it, I got the best of both worlds, ordering up their bunless all-beef Angus Stack. A beautifully cooked burger on a bed of lettuce with avocado spread and an apricot honey drizzle, it was cooked to perfection and served with a side of bean salad. I was completely satiated.
Other lunch menu highlights included their popular Rhonda’s Southern Chicken Salad, Open Face Greek, and aptly named Strawberry Sammi (melted ham and Swiss with a homemade strawberry mustard). A wide array of unique side dishes were also offered, including their best-selling (and award-nominated) cornbread salad.
Though I was too full to indulge in dessert, colleagues of mine sampled the chocolate iced brownie, peanut butter chocolate crispy treat, and caramel pecan cinnamon muffin. All reported pure deliciousness!
Of course, Royce also offered an impressive array of beverages, including freshly prepared espressos, lattes, teas, frappes, macchiatos and smoothies.
While I have yet to find a meal I didn’t enjoy in Warren County, Royce stood out for its quaint atmosphere and personal touch. Should your travels bring you to Lebanon, do yourself a favor and stop in. And don’t miss Breakfast Club (Lebanon), Nook Express (Lebanon), Kidd Coffee (Mason), or Stonetown Coffee (Waynesville) either, as they were also nominated by locals as some of the County’s best bets for coffee.
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