Cheap: Bono Pizza. Gourmet wood-fired pizzas with a veritable array of flavors, with combinations as inventive as Tesla. Full disclosure: it is right next to my apartment.
Rich: Aab India. While not super expensive, this indian restaurant is responsible for the smoking hole that used to be my checking account. It’s literally the best thing you can put in your mouth. I’ll fight anyone who says differently.
Sweet: Mighty Macs. An independent baker who specializes in French macarons. She pops up in independent markets from time to time and has creative flavors. The highest compliment I can pay her is that I hate cookies but go out of my way to eat Mighty Macs. I’ve had other macarons in town, and Mighty Macs is tops.
Holden + Ellis Marketing
Cheap: More often than not, I find myself drinking $10 dollars as opposed to eating its monetary equivalent. After a long day, I generally extend its length with a spirited cocktail from The Pearl. Not only is the whiskey selection one of the absolute finest in town, but also mad scientist mixologist, Derek Reno, brings some mathematical swagger to Columbus’s happy hour game.
Rich: I have to assume I am not the first to list this delectably fine choice—and if I am, then high-fives for me—but for a quiet, upscale experience there is no better choice than Basi Italia. Its small, intimate, posh, Manhattan-style setting makes it a place where food and company truly matter—as opposed to a place that’s all about being seen. Sneaky insider’s tip: if it’s a party of two, make reservations for three (it’s technically a lie, I know). It will save you from sitting claustrophobically three inches away from the other two-seater tabletops. You and your date can thank me later.
Sweet: My sweet tooth is a bit unrefined. When it comes to indulging on a diabetes-inducing sugary treat, I go slumming and make my way to the battle-tested local Dairy Queen (DQ if you’re hip or desperately trying to be). You can never go awry with a Peanut Butter Oreo Blizzard or a Peanut Butter Bash—there’s a theme emerging. It will
satisfy your craving and leave you with a little extra scratch to try out The Pearl or Basi.
Wanderlust Tours/Fête en Blanc
Cheap: I’d happily drop my last $10 at Acre, the new farm-to-table-to-go restaurant in Clintonville. I appreciate how Ohio’s bounty is showcased in healthful, affordable, delicious options. This is real food.
Rich: Spare Benjamin? G. Michael’s is a no-brainer. Chef Tetzloff’s high-end, Low-Country comfort food is an innovative, local, sublime interpretation of southern cuisine. And I’d probably stretch $100 at happy hour.
Sweet: My sweet tooth tends to rear its head at night, so I usually have a stash of sweets on hand by Julia Boyd Newman, the remarkably inspired and tastebud-provoking pastry chef for Alana’s Food & Wine.
Open Streets Columbus
Cheap: The Beck Tavern, aka the “Low Beck.” It’s in my “top three’ list.” Everyone should have a “shoes stick to the floor” bar in their top three.
Rich: I’d buy $80 worth of delicious Cray Sliders to go and have my friends meet me on my front stoop. I’d use the rest for a Folly case of New Belgium Brewing.
Sweet: The Table has one of the most indulgent chocolate ganache cakes in town. Pair it with a glass of Chevalier du Grand Loc and it contends with really good foreplay.
Prosecutor, Columbus City Attorney’s Office
Cheap: Aside from the perfectly sized portions, the inexpensive menu is my favorite part of El Camino. My tastebuds rejoice for their fresh ingredients and authentic drink selection.
Rich: G. Michaels has never failed to deliver anything but eclectic and uniquely palatable gourmet cuisine. When it comes to getting the miles out of your Benjamin, G. Michael’s consistently reigns supreme.
Sweet: Willy Wonka’s factory can’t compete with Le Chocoholique. If Oompa Loompas went to CCAD, then they may have what it takes to create some of the most artistic and creative confections found only at this gem on High. If you see Slugworth milling around, you’ll know why.