Image source: Flickr - Mike Fabio
Columbus, the capital and largest city in Ohio is a beautiful multicultural hub that offers one of the best food scenes in the Midwest. It is a hodge-podge of mouthwatering culinary delights. From creamy ice cream to aged steaks, Columbus focuses on originality and awakens your taste buds to new experiences. Whether you choose savory street food from a popular food truck or dine in a five-star restaurant, Columbus will not disappoint. Here's a list of some of my favorite places to go to experience the ultimate "Yum" factor:
Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill
It is well known that Columbus is home to the Ohio State Buckeye football team, and it's impossible to write a food guide for the city without showing college football some love. The Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill is where fans come to combine their love of football with their love of great food.
This restaurant attracts sports fans from all around the country with rare photographs of famous Ohio sporting events and the themed seating at the "Block 0" fire pit. Unlike other sports restaurants, Ohio State University officially licenses this restaurant and serves an outstanding array of dishes that uses only the freshest and finest ingredients. A couple of mouth-watering meals are the tender, juicy roasted chicken and roasted prime rib.
Der Dutchman Restaurant and Bakery
Ohio is known for many things including its wonderful farmland and its large Amish community. If you want to experience some good old fashion country cookin', Der Dutchman tops the list.
Perhaps you are in the mood for a country breakfast of fresh eggs, cheesy hash browns, fresh fruits, home-made biscuits, and fluffy pancakes. If not breakfast, maybe a dinner of country fried steak, real mashed potatoes, buttery corn on the cob and warm bread fresh out of the oven is more your speed.
Either way, Der Dutchman will undoubtedly fit the bill. Before you leave, don't forget to stop at the bakery to take home some of their finest pastries, pies, giant cinnamon rolls and a wide selection of fresh bread to enjoy later.
Whenever people start talking about great restaurants in Columbus, you can be sure Spagio will be mentioned. This upscale, white tablecloth restaurant has a friendly and urban ambience that caters to any occasion. From joining friends for lunch to that special dinner celebrating a milestone, Spagio is the place. It is fun, consistent, and outstanding. The chef, staff, decor, food; everything is the best. Dishes include crab-macaroni and cheese, rack of lamb, dry aged prime rib and one of my personal favorites, lobster filled ravioli.
Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus
One of the oldest, historical restaurants in Columbus, the Elevator, famous for its draughts, have slaked parched throats for well over a century. Since beginning operation in 1897, it has catered to millions of people including some celebrities, politicians and even gangsters. Today, the restaurant, located in the heart of the city, offers excellent cuisine including unique house cut steaks grilled to perfection and the best calamari in town.
Stopping in to sit at the 100 year old bar to listen to the bartender share some of stories while sipping on a pint is well worth the trip.
Figlio Wood Fired Pizza
Ahhhh, Figlio's. Figlio's serves some of the best wood fired pizza in Ohio. There is nothing better at the end of a hard week than sitting down to enjoy a glass of red with one of their hot, stringy cheese pizzas. You immediately feel happy, satisfied and relaxed. However, it doesn't stop there; their happy hour is one of the best in town. Plus, they also serve some incredible dishes that include the finest ingredients available including shrimp pomodoro and ahi tuna. The atmosphere is casual and cozy, as the bistro is somewhat small, but the meals are capital!
This is one deli that you will write home about. Known for outstanding pizza, sandwiches and subs, you will have to drive a long, long distance to find anything better. It's fresh, it's hip, and it's awesome. The only downside is waiting (there is always a line); but on the upside, you will be glad you did. Be sure to order a few of the raspberry liqueur cheesecake bites. Hmmm....and maybe a few more to take home.
If the evening is really special, check out M. Although all of Cameron Mitchell's restaurants are great, M is in a class all its own. The ambience is cosmopolitan: hip, sexy and exquisite and entrees are created to match.
Located on the southeast side of the Olentangy River, patio diners have a wonderful view of the city's skyline. Although a bit pricey, lunch is very affordable, but don't get too thrifty, the creme brulee is to die for.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is well, ummmm.....Splendid! Made from the finest and freshest ingredients, Jeni's ice cream is the cream of the crop.
With flavors that are surprisingly unique and somewhat provocative, true ice cream connoisseurs will want to try them all. Jeni's is so well loved and in demand, that they ship the flavor you are craving to anywhere in the United States. Personally, my favorite is pralines and cream with cayenne pepper. Yum!
Columbus is a dining Mecca and these are a just few of my all time favorites. Even as I write this, others come to mind that make my mouth water: Marcella's, Mozart's, Schmidt's, Vino Vino, Martini's, Ocean Club, Lindey's, Easy Street, Wholly Joe's, and a hidden gem, Basi Italia.
In Columbus, wonderful ambience, great service, and award winning dishes are expected and delivered. With so many outstanding choices, the only problem is choosing which establishment to visit tonight.
Which of these restaurants would you try first?