So, everyone does a bacon cheeseburger, yeah? I mean, getting one from a drive-thru takes five minutes. But the Crafty Pint’s bacon cheeseburger ups the ante on this between-the-bun favorite. Using cherrywood-smoked bacon (a smidge sweeter than the more common applewood) and a house-made, creamy ale-cheese sauce, the Crafty Pint also gets points for serving its burger alongside fried pickles instead of ho-hum French fries.
89 Fish & Grill 89 E Nationwide Blvd. • Made from Wagyu beef, the intensely marbleized Japanese breed, this burger option is concentrated in flavor and smokiness. This king of beef wears a crown of Guinness-stewed onions and local smoked gouda, and it’s dressed in applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato. The Irish-tinged burger works well with the classy, yet understated restaurant; nestled into the bustling Arena District, 89 Fish & Grill is sophisticated enough to make you feel special, yet not so sophisticated that you feel not special enough.
Gallerie Bar & Bistro 401 N High St. • Hanging out at the bar in the Hilton’s Gallerie Bistro makes you feel as if you’re waiting for a secret lover. Not too brightly lit, smoky sexy with its dark tones and deep leather chairs, the lounge area serves a pretty racy burger to fit its environs. A cheeseburger of a higher order, the Angus patty gets bite from salty bacon, sass from the Gallerie sauce, spice from arugula, and a layer of lush melted cheddar cheese. Sexy burger for two, please, as splitting a meal is the best foreplay.
Lindey’s 169 E Beck St. • Lindey’s might be famous for its crab cakes, but when you’re having turf instead of surf, the house burger holds its own. Using Kobe beef – another marbled wonder sourced from Japan – the item inherits some smoke from the grilled red onion and some nostalgia from the use of bread-and-butter pickles. And you know you’re in for a treat when it’s listed in the “steak” section of the menu.
Rigsby’s Kitchen 698 N High St. • Ordering a burger at one of the city’s premier restaurants can seem like buying a print instead of the actual artwork, however, in the case of Rigsby’s bar burger, it’s an exercise in a few perfect ingredients coming together in tasty symphony. Starting with Pat LaFrieda beef – the gold standard of beef, coming to us from New York City, where there’s a street named after the famous purveyors – and reaching north to Canada for sharp cheddar, the burger plays with the Midwestern mayo fixation by using a handmade aioli instead.
Rishi 114 N Third St. • Rishi, that skinny little sushi-and-more spot in downtown Columbus, bursts with burger options. The slice of a space packs enough flavor options to fill a dining room twice the size. The all-beef burgers are formed from 21-day-aged meat, but the protein celebration doesn’t end there – diners can choose from an organic Amish chicken patty, a veggie version, and a house-made salmon burger. The standouts are Asian flavors reborn between the bun, such as the Bibimbap burger with spinach, bean sprouts, julienne carrots, pickled daikon shavings, lettuce, a sunny-side-up organic egg, mozzarella, and bibimbap sauce.
The Rossi 895 N High St. • The Rossi burger is a minimalist gem. It riffs off the original Club 185 burger, but is still, at heart, a diner burger – albeit a diner burger wrapped in a swanky, stylin’ restaurant. It’s beefy, and roll-down-your-chin juicy, yet it’s also charred and a bit crispy around the edges. At Rossi, licking the burger juice from your chin counts as flirting, so get on it.
The Sycamore • 262 E Sycamore St. • German Village’s The Sycamore burger matches the hip corner spot perfectly. Like its taste-forward crowd, it forgoes beef and delves into bison territory. Leaner and richer than cow, bison has a slightly gamier flavor that’s complimented by the sweet and tart contrast of the toppings, especially the maple-bourbon pickles and charred tomato ketchup. Finished off with Laurel Valley cheddar and high-quality lettuce, tomato, and onion, the Sycamore bison burger is as cool as its customers.
Crafty Pint is located at 2234 W Dublin Granville Rd.