The Columbus food and drink scene is thriving, and there’s no short supply of evidence that gastronomy will continue to grow and get more interesting in the near future in Flytown.
Look no further than these five relatively young tastemaking hotbeds that are all setting up new spots in 2014. They appeal to a wide array of appetites in various corners of the city, but each one has carved out a niche and a fan base. Whoever said there could be too much of a good thing?
This German Village favorite that shares a wall with its boozy brother, the high-end cocktail bar Curio, expanded its artisanal, Ohio-proud brand of pizza goodness into Clintonville with a second loation earlier this year. The new digs come with an expanded menu that includes upscale sandwiches and burgers, but as with the original, it’s still all about the pie – the local ingredients, the melty fresh cheese, and the handmade crust. The specialty pizzas go beyond traditional combinations (check out the clams on the Geary Street ’za), and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see additional growth as more Columbusonians fall for Harvest’s delectable version of an American classic. Get an egg on top. Trust us.
For diners in the mood for south-of-the-border flavor, El Arepazo plans to unveil its newest restaurant, Arepazo Kitchen, sometime near the end of July. The two current locations – El Arepazo Latin Grill downtown and Arepazo Tapas & Wine in Gahanna – have won over locals with the fusion of Latin fare, particularly the arepas (corn pancakes from Colombia and Venezuela). The new eatery will set up shop in the Brewery District and focus on tapas dishes like mofongo, ceviche, and empanadas. No matter what’s on the plate, be sure to sample the Famous Cilantro Sauce.
Though Aab is owned by restaurateurs from Cincinnati, the Grandview establishment has become a local beacon for lovers of Indian cuisine over the past few years, so much so that a brand new one has popped up in Dublin on Sawmill Road. The original Aab emphasizes the regional flavors of Northern India, known for its tandoori oven dishes like chicken tikka and seekh kabab, and the new location also features Southern Indian cuisine among its abundance of other lamb, fish, and vegetarian options. As always, there is plenty of delicious, delicious curry.
Melt Bar & Grilled
Less than one year after opening the first Columbus store from the Cleveland-based ode to over-the-top cheesy sandwiches, Melt recently announced a new place will be going in at Easton this coming fall. The Short North restaurant opened with a ton of hype and immediately gained a legion of devoted followers thanks to sandwiches like the Parmageddon, Wet Hot Buffalo Chicken, and My Big Fat Gyro Meatloaf. The most daring of eaters can attempt The Melt Challenge – a hulking sandwich with 13 cheeses totaling more than three pounds – just don’t plan on going to a second location of any kind afterwards.
The Daily Growler
What better way to wash down all those great Columbus eats than with a big ol’ glass jug of fantastic beer? Luckily for the city’s brew aficionados, The Daily Growler will be doubling in size near the beginning of July, adding to its current Upper Arlington location with a new shop in Powell. From 60 draught options, the taproom highlights local and regional microbreweries like Wolf’s Ridge, Thirsty Dog, and New Holland. The Daily Growler also offers onsite imbibing of pints and five-ounce tasters, and you can bring food of your choosing to eat while you sip. The best part – bringing home a hefty growler of your favorite beer feels so much more significant than a six-pack.