First time visitor to Columbus dining recommendations
August 2, 2015 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #1087607
I will be visiting Columbus for 5 days the second week in September. I will be staying at the Lofts on Nationwide Blvd. Looking for a few interesting places for breakfast, a good Japanese restaurant with awesome sushi, an upscale Italian restaurant, and a few cool bars that are fun to hang out in. Any recommendations would be a big help.
Thanks CarlaAugust 2, 2015 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #1087609
If you’re willing to hop into a car, Kihachi’s is Bourdain approved, Akai Hana has excellent sushi, Giuseppe’s has excellent Italian.
If you’re looking for nearby, Rishi’s is solid. Kooma has some good sushi. Rigsby’s is less traditional italian but excellent upscale food. Basi’s is solid but vs. other cities, maybe won’t necessarily wow you.
As for everything else, depends on your tastes and lifestyle. I’d say be sure to check out Columbus’ excellent beer scene. You’re right around the corner from Wolf’s Ridge which has excellent food and good craft beer. But in the spirit of “kill 2 birds with one stone”, Curio + Harvest Pizza and Sidebar (booze + excellent food) are places to get really good food and excellent fancy drinks.August 2, 2015 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1087618
For Italian, I’d also add Basi Italia and probably Trattoria Roma.August 2, 2015 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #1087622
You can hop on the CBus and head to Haiku for Sushi and other Asian eats. Tasi for breakfast is always a good choice and if you’re here for Sunday Brunch, I recommend Union. I’ve heard good things about Fox in the Snow for breakfast but not been personally. Also, be sure to check out the North Market for a number of different cuisines.August 2, 2015 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #1087627
Thank you for so many recommedations. Giuseppe’s and Trattoria Roma look perfect. I had Curio on my list from my on-line research. Nice to know there is food too. The pizza looks amazing. Wolf’s Ridge will be a great place to take my beer loving friend from Boston who will be meeting me in Columbus.
Kihachi looks a bit overwhelming, but Akai Hana and Rishi look promising.
I want one of everything from Fox and Snow. Lol North Market will be a Saturday afternoon outing.August 3, 2015 12:26 am at 12:26 am #1087635
All the Japanese immigrants where I work go to Akai Hana. There’s also a Japanese bakery in that same strip center that’s popular. Across the street from Akai Hana is a good Indian place called Dosa Corner. The best lunches I had here in Columbus were at Hudson 29 on Lane Avenue, but it’s very expensive, and Da Levee in the Short North. Skillet is pretty good for breakfast. It’s in the Short North. As someone else mentioned, Wolf’s Ridge has good food and beer. I like the food and atmosphere at Ted’s Montana Grill in the Arena District. Rigsby’s, Basi Italia, Il Forna and Marcella’s are all good. For beer, the Scottish Ale at Barley’s (very short Short North), the Pearl Oyster Stout at The Pearl (Short North) and the coffee stout at Gordon Biersch (Arena District) are my local favorites. My two favorite local pizzas are Tommy’s on Lane Avenue and Rotolo’s. Marcella’s has good pizza in the Short North.August 3, 2015 8:23 am at 8:23 am #1087638
Kihachi is incredible, however I wouldn’t take a Columbus visitor 25 minutes away to a generic strip mall with zero character to eat.August 3, 2015 8:57 am at 8:57 am #1087641
beer loving friend from Boston
If the weather is nice and you have a beer loving friend, the patio at Seventh son is hard to beat. And they most likely will have some sort of food truck.August 3, 2015 9:28 am at 9:28 am #1087646
I’ll second the recommendations for Akai Hana if you want great, authentic sushi and tempura, Kihachi if you’re looking for a unique, special occasion, once-in-a-blue-moon dining experience. Basi is fantastic modern Italian with a big city feel. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a very old-school, traditional American Italian restaurant, TAT is a sentimental favorite of mine –great food in the real old style, lots of cream in the white sauces, etc. They have a early bird special that is impossible to beat in terms of quality versus price.
If you’re interested at all in dining experiences that are unique to Columbus, I’d go African all the way. We have a big African population in Columbus, and accordingly a number of fantastic African restaurants. My favorites have long been a pair of Somali restaurants, Darbo and Solay Bistro (now renamed Hoyo’s Kitchen) but both have changed ownership since I was last there, so I can’t completely vouch for their current iterations. Drelyse restaurant has fantastic West African food –if you go there, I highly recommend ordering the fish special, which must be ordered in advance (it takes about 1 hour to prepare). The surrounding neighborhood can be a little rough, so be warned.
For other great ethnic and off-the-beaten-path restaurants, http://alteatscolumbus.com is THE go-to website.August 3, 2015 9:32 am at 9:32 am #1087648
+1 to Akai Hana. I used to work in Japan a couple weeks a year. Akai Hana is the closest thing to eating sushi in Japan that I’ve ever eaten in the States. It’s terrific.
Wolf’s Ridge is a couple blocks from The Lofts, and is the type of place I take guests when they visit the City. Top notch food and drinks alike.
If you want something out of the norm one morning for breakfast, hit Kolache Republic on High Street in the Brewery District. Kolaches are Czech/Slovak/Polish pastries that can be prepared both as sweet and as savory pastries. They can be tough to find outside of small pan-Slavic immigrant pockets in hidden corners of the U.S., and Kolache Republic makes them incredibly well. (And should go without saying, they are completely delicious.)August 3, 2015 9:33 am at 9:33 am #1087649
<div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>lithosdesigns wrote:</div>
beer loving friend from Boston
If the weather is nice and you have a beer loving friend, the patio at Seventh son is hard to beat. And they most likely will have some sort of food truck.
Speaking of food trucks, if here before November, you should also check out Thursday lunches at Columbus Commons. They have 15 or so food trucks and Jeni’s ice cream.August 3, 2015 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #1087817
Looks like Akia Hana is the winner.
You guys are all awesome! So many great ideas.
I enjoy Ethiopian food so the African restaurants sound very intriguing. I think I can handle a rough neighborhood I’m coming from Los Angeles and I grew up in Brooklyn so I know rough. Thanks for the link.
Kolches sound interesting.
I love Indian food so will have to make room to visit one of those places. I think I need a few more days for this visit. Lol.August 4, 2015 9:18 am at 9:18 am #1087825
Somali food is interesting –it’s like a cross between Ethiopian and Jamaican food, with strong Indian and Italian influences. It’s one of the few cuisines that might be easier to find here than back at home –we have the second largest Somali population in the United States.
For breakfast, I highly recommend Skillet, but it is tiny and popular. For a classic old-fashioned diner experience, Tommy’s is great. Other than that, Nick Dekker is the local expert on breakfast: http://www.breakfastwithnick.com/ If you end up doing a lunch out, you might want to check out the newest local obsession, Nashville-style hot chicken at Hot Chicken Takeover (North Market, lunch only, Thurs – Sun).
Please let us know where you end up eating, and what you think about it!August 4, 2015 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1087838
Also give a nod to Akai Hana for sushi. Do not go to Haiku. Their patio is much better than their food. You’ll be mega disappointed.
I’d also second Rigsbys and Basi for Italian.
Wolf’s Ridge and Skillet in German Village are Brunch MUSTS. Tasi is close to you for everyday breakfast-y stuff and is great.
For amazing ethnic food recs mostly outside of downtown, check out the Alt Eats Columbus website.
My favorite bars are mostly located out of the middle of the Short North. The 4th Street corridor is my fave…Seventh Son is awesome, St James Tavern, Little Rock Bar, and Brothers Drake Meadery. Union is in the short north and is a blast. Bodega and Oddfellows are good too. Head over to Franklinton and check out Strongwater and Land Grant Brewing for sure too. Yellow Brick Pizza and Olde Towne East Tavern are great if you want to venture out for pizza and drinks. Harvest/Curio in German village is a great pizza/cocktail bet too.
And definitely check out the North Market. And now I’m hungry.August 4, 2015 11:07 am at 11:07 am #1087847
I would reaffirm the recommendation for Rigsby’s, Giuseppe’s, and Basi Italia (in that order) for Italian.
Each of these restaurants happen to have talented bartenders, so you’ll have good spirits to go with your meal.
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