Columbus: The New Foodie Mecca

Columbus: The New Foodie Mecca

Photo of Le Meridien Columbus
A Food & Drink map by

Known more for its businesses than its food, Columbus is quickly transforming that reputation, particularly in the Short North Arts District near downtown. Explore this delectable destination with our foodie guide.

18 Places
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    The sandwiches at Brown Bag Deli are nothing like what you’d find in your lunch sack as a kid. Far from it. Create your own sandwich with high-quality meats and cheeses or choose from the chalkboard. With smoked turkey, Havarti cheese + cranberry mayonnaise, the Village Addiction is a foolproof selection that you’ll certainly be giving thanks for.
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    Another entry to remind you that Columbus is, in fact, a Midwestern city through and through. Quarter pounder? No. Half pounder?! Not even close. The Thurmanator features over a pound and a half of meat. Bring your game face, accept the challenge, game on.
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    Pearl Alley, what a foodie gem you are. Go during the summer for the Pearl Alley Farmers’ Market or any time during the year for arepas at El Arepazo. Hearty corn cakes are filled with the protein of your choosing, topped with lettuce, and served with a side of chimichurri. The colorful graffiti art on the patio will have you feeling like you’ve hit the streets of Venezuela without ever leaving Ohio.
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    Hit up Figlio for a stylish Italian meal, especially if wood-fired pizzas are your forte. Watch from your seat as the pies are slid into the ultra-hot oven and heat things even more by ordering the Chicken Diablo. Grilled chicken breast with penne pasta and a spicy herb cream sauce. Head over to neighboring Vino Vino with your date afterwards to cool things off with a flight of expertly chosen wines.
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    If you’re in need of directions to a tasty place for dinner, follow Northstar. Not only is the menu delicious and vegetarian friendly, but all of the dishes are prepared with the freshest, organic, and, when possible, local ingredients. With multiple locations around the city, you’re never far from a great meal. The Northstar Burger is made with black beans, rice, and beets, but herbivores and omnivores love this one equally. Great taste + no guilt.
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    Bodega is in the Short North closer to Ohio State’s campus, serving as the perfect linkage between artsy and affordable. Go for the dollar grilled cheese on Monday night. SERIOUSLY. Grilled cheese on chewy, farmhouse bread for just a dollar. Better yet, go during happy hour and select any of their extensive selection of craft brews on tap for half price. You won’t believe how small your bill is.
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    To go with your coffee. Always.
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    Stauf’s is the epitome of cool. The aroma of coffee fills both the retail and café spaces of this Grandview favorite. The staff is super knowledgeable and knows more about coffee than you do, but isn’t pretentious about it. Ask them about the many varieties they’re roasting that month, then pick your favorite and watch as they demonstrate the proper pour-over method.
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    You can’t go wrong with Marcella’s menu, full of small Italian plates made for sharing, but what brings us back every time is the melted pecorino. Although there’s some assembly required, this dish will bring before you a bubbling dish of melted cheese with a plate of crostinis, thinly sliced green apples, and honey. The combination of tart apple with sweet honey and hot melted cheese will satisfy every one of your taste buds.
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    Taste of Belgium offers up the perfect compliment to those of you who prefer waffles to pancake balls. The waffles are as good as those you’ll find in Bruges. Golden brown with crunchy caramelized sugar. Go for any topping you’d like or have it plain, but Nutella’s an option, so I think we both know how this will go.
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    Nutella Pancake Balls. NUTELLA. Stuffed inside pancake balls. There is nothing else to say.
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    At the end of the day, Columbus is still in the Midwest, so there had to be something deep fried on this list. Nida’s will treat you to the finest Asian cuisine in the city, from fried rice and sashimi to pad thai, but go for the Heart Attack. It has cream cheese and it’s deep fried so that’s all you need to know.
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