Cheap: My favorite go-to “cheap” place for a quick bite is Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar on North Third Street. They have a sushi happy hour on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the shrimp tempura is definitely worth trying. Plus, the service is always really friendly, and the patio in the summer has a great view of downtown.
Rich: If I had $100 to spend on food, I’m taking two or three of my friends to the Pint Room in Dublin and forcing them to eat the P-B-B&J Burger (sea-salted peanut butter, bacon, strawberry jam, and monterey jack cheese). Then we’re going to Little Palace to get several orders of their cheese curds.
Sweet: The Sycamore’s dessert menu is a guaranteed safe bet, especially the bread pudding.
Dark Horse Brewing
Cheap: Village Coney! Not only do they have my favorite coney in the city, everything on their menu is delicious and made to order. A few of my guilty pleasures are their BLT, fried bologna sandwich, and homemade ham and bean soup. The best part: they give you a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie with every order!
Rich: If you were a huge Sage American Bistro fan like I was, then you should know that former owner Chef Bill Glover is the executive chef at Gallerie Bar and Bistro in the Hilton Downtown. Menu items have the same familiar Sage feel and the space is open and beautiful. Did I mention they also do a brunch buffet? If you don’t know, now ya know.
Sweet: DK Diner. DK Diner. DK Diner. If you haven’t had one of their homemade donuts, then you have not lived. I’ll go on record and say that their Long John is the best donut I’ve ever had. Not only do they have great donuts, they have great breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Need one more reason to drive to Grandview? They garnish their Bloody Marys with warm bacon wrapped tots. BEP!
Cheap: Condado’s taco happy hour. They have so many margarita options and you can build your own tacos. So a skinny margarita and a hefty portabello taco bowl for me, please!
Rich: I love variety, so I’d order a huge spread of tapas at Sidebar 122 (and a handcrafted cocktail or two!). They have my favorite mussels in town.
Sweet: Dairy Queen. Can I say Dairy Queen? I’m the girl driving around while shoving chocolate dipped cones in my face when the mood strikes.
Short North Stage
Cheap: Arch City Tavern. Great light bites or burgers. Open late. Ideal for after the theater closes.
Rich: L’Antibes can’t be beat for elegant occasional splurges. Intimate and friendly.
Sweet: Laughlin’s Bakery is my new favorite for tempting sweets. Informal and hard to resist ordering more than one item.
Cheap: I feel like I might be revealing a best-kept secret (or maybe not!), but The Sycamore’s happy hour menu is fantastic and inexpensive. Pair a beverage with their tacos or a burger and call it a meal. Can’t beat it!
Rich: Hands down, I’d go to Alana’s. It’s such a unique experience…from the venue and atmosphere to the food and wine…it’s one of a kind. Plus, I love that the menu is ever-changing to incorporate what’s seasonal and local.
Sweet: Fox in the Snow. I’m a sucker for beautiful spaces and coffee, and this hits on both. If you haven’t tried the blueberry hand pie yet, you’re missing out. It’s so good.