Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard

Fresh Tastes

 1   Denmark on High + Secret Cellar

463 N High St.

Nestled in the bustling Downtown entertainment district, this unique combo business (along with California transplant Bareburger) finally put some life back in the long-abandoned Yankee Trader building. The upstairs bar, with its team of talented, envelope-pushing cocktail masters and floor-to-ceiling windows – offers an extensive taste of new and classic cocktails and dynamic views of Downtown. From balsamic-drenched blueberries to a pecan-infused bourbon concoction, cocktails will do nothing short of cleansing your simple-minded tongue. And the food they whip up without a kitchen is nothing short of impressive.

 2   Rambling House

310 E Hudson St.

Music, camaraderie, and soda? Paying homage to an Irish tradition of company, melody, and alcohol, Rambling House features homebrewed sodas (accompanied with alcohol) in addition to its selection of Ohio brews in a comfortable space in the University District. With its consistent lineup of bluegrass and Appalachian music, it’s more relaxing than rambling; a trip to the Hudson Street joint has all the comfort and coziness of a house party – just one you don’t have to clean up after the next day.

 3   Zauber Brewing

909 W Fifth Ave.

Prost! One of Columbus’s first local microbrews opened its first fully operational brewery and taproom, outfitted with a dozen or so house beers and other local brews. With picnic tables, TVs, and an open-air patio in tow, as well as rotating food truck vendors, here’s cheers to never leaving.

 4   Oddfellows Liquor Bar

1038 N High St.

This “ultra-dive” bar prides itself in what it is – and what it will never be. Oddfellows, an ode to old-time drunkards down on their current predicament, describes what Short North’s “shittiest” bar is going for: humility, wistful thinking, and cheap drinks.

 5   Red Brick Tap & Grill

292 E Gates St.

The recently renovated Red Brick has graced Merion Village for years, but veered in a new direction from its dive bar roots. With 30 beers on tap (and another 70 available by the bottle), the wide-array of brews accompanies the chapters of food available, which ranges from smoked-meat sandwiches to crispy, Brooklyn-style pizza. 

 6   Angry Bear Kitchen

2563 N High St.

Expanding the on farm-to-table movement, nose-to-tail cuisine is making the run at Columbus with the rustic, locally driven eatery at the heart of High and Hudson. From beef tongue, sweetbreads (the thymus and pancreas glands of a calf), and chicken skin salads, nothing goes to waste – especially your appetite.

 7   The Table

21 E Fifth Ave. Suite 101

The dining room table just got a little longer. In-house charcuterie, cured meats, squash ravioli, delectable sweets – they all drive the personality and flavor of The Table, where a commitment to creative food and communal dining has turned it into one of the new treasures in the city. With mismatched tables, chairs, and place settings, it’s easy to see that the focus here remains squarely on the important stuff – food, delicious food.

 8   Hudson 29

1600 W Lane Ave.

As if you thought a Cameron Mitchell restaurant was going to be a bust. Bringing “New American” to the dinner table by binding the Hudson Valley of New York to the Napa Valley in California, Mitchell brings his upbringing back to his hometown in Upper Arlington.

 9   Kraft House No. 5

5 S Liberty St.

On Powell’s busiest intersection sits the combined power of craft drafts and creative eats, propelled by hometown celebrity chef Marcus Meacham. With saloon-style seating and elemental cooking by the in-house chef, you may wonder why Kraft House No. 5 is spelled with a “K” – but then again, you probably won’t care after food and drinks.

 10   Strongwater Food & Spirits

401 W Town St.

You could say they started from The Bottoms, and ended up at the top of the Columbus culinary scene. The converted office space at the former factory-turned-art warehouse 400 West Rich gave Strongwater a headstart on aesthetic. Upon opening they backed up the buzz with unique, often vegan-friendly food and potent, punchy cocktails.