A multitude of new bars, breweries,
and restaurants opened up in the last year, signifying a legitimate boom for the Columbus food and drink industry. These are just a few of the standouts:
Farm-fresh locally-driven foods meet the convenience of the drive-thru. Owner Todd Mills sources as much as he can from the region, while adding international flavors. And with every entrée under $9, making a healthy decision on the go just got a little easier.
It’s as raw as it gets. The minds behind The Crest and The Market take a stab at all-natural, cold-pressed juices and smoothies at Alchemy. Acai bowls, hemp pesto, edible weeds, salads, and sandwiches round out the menu, all featuring as much local produce as possible. And with a rooftop garden, sourcing may be as close as taking the stairs.
Dan Risenberger, aka Dan the Baker, has brought arguably the best specialty breads into his obscure space in Grandview. The bread scientist has nurtured an interest into a business, using all organic grains along with fresh toppings and preserves for his final product. And yes, there’s even a “flight” of toasts you can try.
The freestanding space in the heart of Italian Village isn’t your Wi-Fi, sit-in-the-corner-typing-away kind of coffee shop. Instead, the bright white interior and garage door window open illuminate the bakery and coffee shop in the area’s new social gathering place. Grab your cup of coffee and a dose of culture at the same time.
All lights point toward the stage at Space Bar, Columbus’ new bar and concert venue. Drawing on the appeal of its dingy roots, the dimly lit, intimate space brings rock n’ roll and craft beer together in perfect harmony. The bar has a wide range of tapped beers, cocktails, and live performances each week, which may even take you out of this world.
Over four centuries old, Hofbräuhaus has been keeping a Bavarian tradition alive and well in the times of multi-faceted beer recipes. Sticking to malt, hops, water, and yeast, all its beer is no more than a couple weeks old. You won’t have to travel all the way to Munich to get your own sip of bier heaven.
This rustic barn in Gahanna got a makeover with Cameron Mitchell’s new concept, which brings together dining with an on-premise smokehouse, butchery, and bakery. And if you’re poured one of the 50 or so bourbons along with your farm-favorite dishes, you may never leave this suburban gem.
There’s another smell coming from the Wonder Bread factory these days. Cray offers new takes on old favorites (beef sliders meet Jägermeister barbeque sauce), 20 types of infused vodka, along with beloved bar food and classic specialty cocktails and martinis. Don’t forget to pose for your mug shot on the way out…
Leave your ballpark frankfurter where it belongs. Daredevil is taking risks with its gourmet hot dogs, adding things like Brussels sprouts, apples, aiolis, and Gruyere to their specialty dogs. You’re a conservative hot dog consumer? Make your own using hundreds of combinations.
Tacos the way they were supposed to be eaten: with tons and tons of booze options. Build your own taco (or leave it to the professional’s suggestions) and choose from dozens of tequila, cerveza, and whiskey choices, or stick to the house-made margaritas. Go for happy hour for discounted tacos and margs—stay till the 2 a.m. last call.
Black Point joins Hyde Park and Eleven on High Street as Hyde Park Restaurant Group’s casual seafood and sushi restaurant. Surf and turf tacos with Ahi tuna and pork belly play to the balance between what Hyde Park knows best (steak) and their newest approach to seafood dishes like rainbow trout almondine and specialty sushi rolls.
The third addition to the El Arepazo lineup found its home in the Brewery District, an airy space that offers Columbian and Venezuelan dishes. Tapas and cocktails pair perfectly for the early hours of the night—and, really, for the rest of the evening as well. Don’t forget to end with the Trés Leches cake.
Formerly Oval Brewing, the much-anticipated Land-Grant Brewing opened its doors in Franklinton in the early fall. Along with their four trademark beers, including two IPAs, a brown and a Kölsch ale, the 12,000-square-foot taproom offers beers, wines, and spirits from around the area—and some exclusive experimental beers straight from the brewery if you’re lucky.
Photos by Megan Leigh Barnard and Chris Casella