Being the 14th largest city in the US and home to the 3rd largest university in the nation (Ohio State), Columbus has developed quite the culinary scene! And while there are plenty of fine dining options in the city, for the purposes of this blog, we’re not concerning ourselves with those. So, if you’re looking for the best place to celebrate your next anniversary, you should probably move along. Instead, we’re going to be covering the top 10 foodie spots in Columbus! The places where you can get a steak sandwich as big as your face, a hot dog rolled up in a slice of pizza, or a grilled cheese sandwich that has an entire chicken and waffle dinner on it! Are you hungry yet? ‘Cause I am! Let’s dive in...
Check out our video experience below!
*This list is in no particular order
1. Hot Chicken Takeover
Being from Nashville, I tend to be a little skeptical when I see a restaurant selling hot chicken, banana pudding, and sweet tea… especially when it’s not in the south! And most times, my skepticism is founded! But let me tell you… Hot Chicken Takeover is the real deal! And with 4 (going on 5) locations, they’re not going anywhere! The thing that makes them so good is that they’re not trying to be Hattie B’s or Prince’s. Yes, they took inspiration from these iconic restaurants, but they took the idea and made it their own! As one of their employees quickly reminded me when I called it “Nashville Hot Chicken”, “It’s Ohio Hot Chicken!”. And I can respect that… especially when it’s done right! And they are doing it right! The chicken is cooked perfectly with just the right amount of spice (we got warm, but you can order Cold, Warm, Hot, or Holy), the pickles are so fresh and delicious, the mac and cheese makes you feel like your grandmother helped cook the meal, and the banana pudding is like no other. And did we mention that they have sweet tea?! I could go on, but really all you need to know is that it is amazing and you need to head there now! So good!
2. The Thurman Cafe
Thurman Cafe is one of those places that’s just a part of the culture. It’s been a family owned staple in the German Village neighborhood since 1942, and has been serving up some of the best burgers in the country ever since! You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but if you think you’re up for the challenge, you can try and tackle the Thurmanator. The Thurmanator consists of a bun, lettuce, tomato, mayo, American cheese, provolone cheese, ham, sautéed onions, mushrooms, a 12-ounce burger, bacon, cheddar cheese, hot peppers, and another 12 ounce burger. It also comes with house-made kettle chips and a pickle spear. That sounds like a death wish to me… a delicious death wish.
3. Wario’s Beef & Pork
Hailing as one of Columbus’ newest establishments, Wario’s has wasted no time picking up an underground following through murmurs of their delicious sandwiches on social media. It's so new, in fact, that they still sport the previous tenants branded red awning over their walk-up, carry-out window! They opened in the October of 2020 with chef Stephan Madias at the helm and never looked back. The menu is simple, offering 5 sandwiches (The Steak, The Cold Cut, Chicken Cutlet, Roasted Pork, and Falafel) and 2(ish) sides (House Spuds and Wario Spuds). I’ve personally had The Steak, The Cold Cut, Chicken Cutlet, and House Spuds, and I can tell you that these sandwiches are worth the $11-17 price tag. Yes, you heard me right… $11-17 for a sandwich, but these sandwiches can EASILY serve two, if not three people! On top of the massive serving size, these sandwiches are made with the freshest ingredients and served on a local made seeded roll from Matija Breads. The Steak sandwich rivals, or dare I say, beats any Philly Cheesesteak I've ever had in Philadelphia, the Chicken Cutlet is what the creators of the chicken parmesan wished they had created, and The Cold Cut is the Italian sub that we’ve all dreamed of! And the unsung here are the spuds… smashed mini potatoes cooked to crispy perfection! And then when you dip them in the Wario sauce… game over!
4. Mikey’s Late Night Slice
Serving up a half dozen or more classic slices, plus another handful of greasy perfection appetizers, and the ever popular “Sacraments” as they call it, there’s no other way to put it… Mikey’s Late Night Slice is a stoner’s paradise! One of my favorites is The Pizza Dawg… A hot dog stuffed with pepperoni and cheese, served in a slice of pizza as the bun! It doesn’t get much munchie-er than that! As they say, “A healthy alternative to a cup of melted butter!”.