Wondering where to eat in Columbus during a weekend getaway? The booming city has an exciting food scene with lots of great restaurants and bakeries. Check out my suggestions for a weekend of eating in Columbus.
We’ve traveled a lot this year – 60 cities so far and counting. Our travels have taken us across the United States with stops in food focused cities like Charleston, Austin, San Francisco and Portland. We’ve lived like locals in Lyon, and we’ve eaten our way through European capitals including Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin. With all this travel, Columbus wasn’t on our radar as a food destination. Really, how good can the food scene be in a city famous for Ohio State University and buckeye candy?
Let me cut to the chase: the emerging food scene in Columbus is vibrant and exiting. During my recent visit, I loved almost everything that I put in my mouth. I had no challenge in finding great food; instead, my problem was narrowing my choices based on time and stomach space.
My positive impression of Columbus started when I stepped out of the airport and walked into the friendly hands of my awesome Airbnb host. Without a second thought, John invited me to join his friends for an outdoor happy hour in the happening German Village neighborhood. Happy hour turned into appetizers and appetizers into dinner. Columbus may be the 15th largest city in the United States, but it also lives up to its friendly reputation of being the biggest small town in America.
Where to Eat in Columbus – 2foodtrippers Weekend Guide
Columbus takes its food seriously, and breakfast is no exception. Start your weekend days early to crowds at the city’s popular breakfast spots.
Skillet is a small but popular spot for farm-to-table breakfast in the German Village neighborhood. The restaurant has a hip but chill vibe, and the food is top-notch. Serving sizes are huge, but don’t skip extras like scones from Lucky Cat Bakery and the big, juicy slabs of bacon. For my breakfast, I indulged in the Stuffed French Toast, a decadent dish where griddled, buttermilk custard bathed slices of multi grain French bread are stuffed with honey whipped Laurel Valley Cloverton cream and served with locally grown strawberries and Ohio maple.
Skillet is located at 410 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206, United States.
Also located in the German Village neighborhood, Pistacia Vera is famous for their honey lavender macarons (see photo at the top of the article), but the restaurant also serves a small menu of French inspired breakfast options like smoked salmon tartare, croque monsieur and quiche. Eating food this good is well worth the inevitable wait.
Pistacia Vera is located at 541 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215, United States.
Another option is Katalina’s. Located in a repurposed gas station, this funky eatery is famous for their Nutella Pancake Balls.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit down meal, Columbus offers numerous lunch options at every price point.
It’s easy to graze through the centrally located North Market, an awesome public emporium where 35 lunch stalls serve up amazing local food. You can easily assemble a full course meal where you can eat Vietnamese, Polish and Japanese all at the same time. Save room for dessert. The original Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams shop opened at the North Market in 2002 and is still going strong today.
North Market is located at 59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215, United States.
Hot Chicken Takeover
Located on the second floor of the North Market, Hot Chicken Takeover (HCT) serves Nashville style hot chicken to long lines of hungry eaters. Word on the street is that the restaurant sells out most days, so arrive at HCT early for a full selection of the double deep-fried chicken and sweet yet savory banana pudding. The dining experience is friendly with long, communal tables and free sweet iced tea. More importantly, the food is finger licking good from the flavorful drum sticks (featuring two heat levels for the daring – hot and holy) to the creamy banana pudding, They also make some of the best mac ‘n cheese I’ve ever tasted.
Hot Chicken Takeover is located at 2, 59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215, United States.
Fully embracing the locavore movement, Brassica is a stylish, fast casual restaurant in bustling Short North featuring healthy pita sandwiches served in metal ring molds. Colorful vegetables like green kale and purple beets star on this menu along with a wide variety of meat fillings. Once you pick your toppings and order a craft beer, you’re all set.
Brassica is located at 680 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, United States.
Another option is Katzinger’s Delicatessen. This Jewish deli is serves huge sandwiches and “garlicky” pickles.
Columbus offers a variety of dinner options from outdoor cafés to more formal restaurants.
The Guild House
Local restaurateur Cameron Mitchell’s hip and trendy Guild House serves farm-to-table cuisine in the equally trendy Joseph Hotel. The Short North restaurant has a cool vibe that begins with its shabby chic decor (think funky green chandeliers and mismatched china) and ends with its upscale clientele. The eclectic menu features popular small plates like the prime rib caps served with sweet onion relish and Point Reyes blue cheese as well as the jarred smoked trout with avocado and caper vinaigrette.
The Guild House is located at 624 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, United States.
Still relevant after a quarter century in the German Village neighborhood, Lindey’s charming outdoor patio comes alive in the spring. Their popular happy hour features half price cocktails along with excellent appetizer selections like ahi tuna tartare topped with pungent wasabi and a generous, sharable ‘farm board’ of artisan cheeses and charcuterie.
Lindey’s is located at 169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206, United States.
Another option is Harvest Pizzeria. This popular German Village pizzeria prepares creative pizzas like the spicy yuma pizza.
For a city of its size, Columbus has a surprising number of bakeries sprinkled throughout the city. Plan ahead if you want dessert after dinner, as most Columbus bakeries are closed at night.
Originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign, successful Laughlin’s Bakery serves a wide selection of pastries and breads that look as good as they taste. This adorable Short North bakery offers minimal seating, but who cares when the cakes and cookies taste this good. Overwhelmed by the choices? Order a couple oversized madeleines to enjoy now plus a pretty-in-pink lemon pomegranate haley cake to enjoy later.
Laughlin’s Bakery is located at 15 E 2nd Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, United States.
Proving that bigger isn’t always better, Kittie’s Cakes pack a punch of flavor. The German Village bakery sells a dazzling array of miniature cupcakes, scones, biscuits and cookies. They also serve Stumptown coffee along with a splash of pleasant conversation.
Kittie’s Cakes is located at 495 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH, United States.
Another option is Pattycake Bakery. This bakery is makes vegan treats like sticky buns.
As impressive as the food scene is in Columbus, the beverage scene is just as exciting for both beer and coffee lovers. Tune in soon for part two of our Columbus series to find out where to drink in the city.
Are you excited by the food in Columbus too? Enter to win a $100 Dine Originals Gift Card which you can use at 30+ independent restaurants in the city. One lucky winner will eat well thanks to the generosity of Experience Columbus. You can follow Experience Columbus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for more cutting edge information about Columbus.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Experience Columbus. The opinions and text are all mine.