Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard

Fresh Tastes

More than 100 new bars, breweries, or restaurants opened up in the last year, signifying a legitimate boom for the Columbus food & drink industry. These are just a few of the standouts:

Izzy and Mo

249 King Ave. |

The long-whispered rumors have now turned into a roar. Izzy and Mo, the new venture from culinary power couple Magdiale Wolmark and Cristen Austin is now open. The off-shoot of Till Dynamic Fare is a small sliver of bright space offering a large burst of flavor. From the Izzy bagel with house-cured gravlax, caviar cream cheese, fresh dill, hot sauce, and pickled onions to a number of sandwiches with superior farm-raised, house-smoked, grass-fed meats, you’ll find something worth trying. Order to-go or sit outside and enjoy the breeze, the morning rush hour traffic creating a soundtrack that complements the remix Izzy and Mo spin on their menu.

Lineage Brewing

2971 N High St. |

Lineage Brewmaster Mike Byrne is all about excellence, and his commitment to good beer already has Columbus’s newest brewery drawing notice. With a balance of simple (his Spaceship #6 pulls off everything you want an IPA to be) and inventive (Shoot-the-Chutes cream ale, Aunt Bernice Berliner Weisse), Clintonville’s first brewing company is making an early mark. We’ve seen more than a few brewers open in Columbus recently, but nobody has swaggered in quite like this. It certainly helps that the beer is good, but even if it wasn’t, Lineage’s inviting open-air setup is so pleasing you might just sit and read a good book in the corner. Probably about beer.

Red Velvet Café

246 S Fourth St. |

The city’s newest addition to the growing Fourth Street corridor
(El Camino, Little Palace, Dirty Frank’s, 16-Bit) is full of tiny, tingly thrills. The microscopic paintings, mini tchotchkes, and small, spidery, handwritten poetry on the walls pair with adorable cupcakes, sweets, and lovingly crafted paninis that posit Red Velvet as a quainter, calmer experience than strip’s existing high-energy spots. With two locations (the other in Pickerington), this culinary curio offers the sweetest treats, culture-bridging foods, and authentic, house-made beverages inspired by different parts of Asia. Oh yeah, and a single pink flower winks from each table tp tickle your fancy.

Pigskin Brewing Company

81 Mill St. |

Quarterbacking Gahanna’s presence in the Craft Beer League, and perhaps leading Creekside to the promised land, is Pigskin Brewing Company. One thing to get excited about is the fact that Pigskin has a gose, which opens the door to so many bad puns, but it’s a style of beer that is gaining some traction in the U.S. The owners are hands-on operators, so you can bet your beer is crafted with passion. As they focus on one play at a time, their strategy has definitely kicked off excitement for this football-inspired brewery.