Cheap: O’Reilly’s Pub. Easily the best burger in the city (please believe the hype). If you order chili fries, they’re served on a platter roughly the size of a car door.
Rich: I always thought it’d be really funny to go to The ‘Dube (Blue Danube) and get the grilled cheese dinner for two with the Dom Perignon…and just eat it alone in a corner booth.
Sweet: Everyone will say Jeni’s or Graeter’s…I’ll say Clown Cone in Northern Lights (don’t be scurred). They got crazy ice cream flavors, penny candies by the pound, it’s cheap, and the walls are lined with sketchy pieces of clown décor. Great for a first date!
Cheap: Barrel 44’s $5.99 burger special. A flaky buttered bun with a thick burger topped with cheese (I live crazy and order mozzarella), tomato, onion, and lettuce coupled with a heaping mound of crispy, salty French fries. Paired with a Scrimshaw, it’s the ultimate hangover cure. Jenna is the best server and is super sympathetic to my struggles with whiskey day-drinking. Also, their fries will change your life. They changed mine.
Rich: To me, there is nothing better than the Rossi: impeccable cocktails coupled with unique seasonal specials. Their market salad is always on-point, and for 100 bucks, I guarantee you can order a couple rounds of shoestring fries with their house made aioli for the table to share. And save room for dessert…I always order anything with chocolate in the name. If I’m on a solo date, I’ll order one of their deliciously thin pizzas to go and enjoy a libation while I wait… but really, the Rossi is worth the cash. Le sigh.
Sweet: Pistacia Vera holds a special place in my heart – a deliciously crusty, flaky place. I enjoy grabbing what I call “secret croissants” from PV more than I care to admit. I will indulge in an almond croissant and fresh cup of coffee in my car and no one will be the wiser… no one but my jeans, that is (which have been feeling a little tight lately). Don’t like eating your desserts in shameful solitude? Then pick up a batch of macaroons the next time you head to a friend’s house. They won’t regret it and neither will you.
Cheap: You can’t find a much cheaper and delicious way to spend a Monday evening in Columbus than free pizza night at High Beck. Your $10 would be much better spent on booze. A seemingly endless buffet of random specialty pizzas are served up while you enjoy a few pitchers of beer, ping pong, darts, and foosball. The longer you stay, the more creative the chefs get with the toppings. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Rich: Another German Village gem, Barcelona, is the proper destination when a costly celebration is in order. A mouth-watering selection of authentic Spanish inspired tapas, entrees and house made desserts keeps me coming back for any special occasion. The signature Paella Barcelona is always my go-to dish, and the Paella Especial Para Cuatro is a terrific double date option. The $95 price tag is well worth it.
Sweet: I’m not much of a sweet tooth, but my girlfriend is somewhat of an expert on the subject. We have recently become big fans of Le Chocoholique in the Short North. It’s a great place for me to enjoy a seasonal beer while she scarfs down a few of their magical handcrafted truffle creations and a chocolate-infused cocktail. Macaroons, tiramisu, lattes, buckeyes, and much, much more make Le Chocoholique the one-stop shop for any binding sugar craving.
Cheap: You can’t go wrong with a beer from Seventh Son alongside one of the food trucks that frequent their parking lot. A Dos Hermanos quesadilla and a Strong Ale are the perfect combo for a solid Saturday afternoon.
Rich: For something on the finer side, Third and Hollywood is the place. It’s a great space and menu without being overly fancy or pretentious. The bacon wrapped dates are unreal.
Sweet: Kittie’s Cakes in German Village is my go-to place for sweets and coffee. Their scones and breakfast biscuits with jam never fail. The cupcakes are both delicious and adorable, and there is a rotation of some really unique flavors. To top it off, the owners are always there and are so sweet.
Grandview Craft Beer Alliance
Cheap: I’m nearly constantly craving the pajeon and the bulgogi cheezesteak from Ajumama. Ajumama’s menu offers a fantastic combination of savory treats with oozey cheese for great prices and can normally be found at a brewery. All winners in my book.
Rich: Absolutely The Top. Nothing’s changed since the ’50s – other than the servers – and the entire menu, both food and drink, is top-notch. Dim candles light the space, Sinatra charms the room and baked potato butter comes in a gravy boat. Juicy steak and booze from a simpler time.
Sweet: The cinnamon rolls from Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza have quickly become my go-to sweet. Their warm, gooey rolls feature just the right amount of cream cheese icing and pair perfectly with Sunday morning.