Ohio State University, located in Columbus, Ohio is home to not only passionate football fans and hardworking students, but to AMAZING restaurants. Columbus is one of the most popular cities for food startups and new restaurants. It is a hustle and bustle city with so many trendy restaurants, shopping malls, and boutiques located super close to campus—such as the Short North, which has restaurants that attract not only locals and travelers, but OSU students! So without further ado… Here are 20 of the most delicious things you need to eat in Columbus before you graduate OSU.
These are in no particular order; I love ice cream just as much as I love smoothie bowls.
Located just off high street on Pennsylvania Avenue this little breakfast and lunch spot is the best place for a basic Instagram brunch. You’re guaranteed to wait in a long but its so worth it, because their pancake balls are worth the rage. You can get them filled with your choice of filling, which include Nutella, dulce de leche, strawberry and more depending on the season. If this doesn’t sell you, check out the pictures below…
Peace, love, pancake balls.
Check out Katalina’s website: http://www.katalinascafe.com
2. Fox in the Snow Café
Located in Italian Village, this is a bakery so good it’s Instagram worthy. Most of what they sell are pastries but this is definitely a place to go if you’re feeling hipster and want to feel ~sophisticated~. Check out their Instagram @foxinthesnowcafe. In the meantime, here are some pics to prove their coffee designs and pastries are most likely prettier than you.
3. Northstar Cafe
If you want to splurge on an organic & delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, Northstar Cafe is the place to go. Their menu ranges from the best egg sandwich and Cloud nine pancakes ever, to delicious salads, sandwiches and flat-breads. Oh, and if you’re a vegetarian, there are so many options. Personally, I love meat but still think the veggie burger is bomb.
4. Buckeye Donuts
This one is a classic. Buckeye donuts has been around forever and serves up the most popular and fresh donuts on campus. Open 24/7 and located in the heart of campus on High Street, it is many OSU students go to drunk food. They also have other items on their menu such as gyros, chicken fingers, mozz sticks, cheese fries– honestly if you want anything fried, they have it. The buckeye donut is a classic but try the cronut, believe me it’ll change your life.
5. Alchemy juice bar + café
The best place to try to rid yourself of toxins after a long weekend of drinking—Alchemy. If you follow any sorority girl at OSU (or honestly anywhere) you’ve 100% seen acai bowls grace your social media timeline. They are just as tasty as they are aesthetically pleasing in photos. Alchemy has not only juice, smoothies, and bowls but offers various toast, salads, and sandwiches. If you aren’t an acai bowl fanatic, I recommend trying the pesto avocado toast.
Check out their website: http://alchemyjuicecafe.com
6. Zest Juice
Similar to Alchemy but more on the go is Zest Juice. Since smoothie bowls are all the rage now and if you want to (and you should) join in on this craze, stop in and try them out!!! They do taste as pretty as they look! There are locations in the Short North, Grandview, and Easton. Check out their Instagram for prettier pictures than I could take on their Instagram here.
7. Ethyl and Tank
This one is an OSU classic. They serve up awesome brunch but turn into a bar at night. Definitely not your trendy short north restaurant, this is where OSU students roll out of bed and to get some hangover curing grub. Also, they serve buffalo chicken dip. Everyone knows buffalo chicken dip is the shit. Check out the pic below.
8. Standard Hall
The most outrageous drinks. If you wake up and decide you want to cure your hangover by drinking again, this is the place to do it. The bloody Mary pictures speak for themselves, but if you’re intrigued and want more check out their website here.
Brunch, lunch, and dinner Forno serves it all. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but they’re known for their fancy pizzas. My suggestion for breakfast is the breakfast pizza and bottomless mimosa. If you go for dinner with a bunch of girlfriends you must splurge on the punch bowl, or some of their other specialty cocktails. Click here to see their drink menu. If you’re a die-hard OSU fan, make sure to save room for the buckeye cheesecake as dessert.
Infamous champagne punch bowl
Free food hack: if you’re celebrating someone’s birthday and you’re all 21, they’ll bring free strawberry Jell-O shots for the table!!
Arancini, aka fried risotto balls. I could eat these as my main meal. No shame.
This place is like a Chipotle for sushi. You chose all your toppings then watch them roll it up and serve it to you. I could eat their spicy mayo with a spoon no shame. If you’re not a fan of sushi, try the soy wrap instead of the seaweed. Or if you’re a craving a classic PB&J sandwich, try the PBJ roll.
Another take on Chipotle: this time, a Mediterranean take. It I ever start a restaurant its going to be some sort of Chipotle assembly line style because these seem to kill the restaurant and taste bud game. Here you can get a sandwich or salad with all kinds of amazing toppings. At first I was like I have no idea what any of that is but put it on my salad, sure. And it was amazing. So even if you feel like this style of food looks out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend going and trying it out, you will not be let down.
Okay I promise this is the last chipotle style restaurant on this list. It’s a take on the traditional Korean dish “bibimbap” and all about being healthy. If you don’t get yum yum sauce on your bowl then you’re doing it all wrong. Head into a Bibibop next time you’re on campus or in C-Bus!!! Sneak peak of a bowl→ → →
**Only have one picture because I usually eat the bowl too fast before I remember to document its beauty.
13. North Market
Not necessarily a restaurant but this a public market filled with merchants with cuisine all over the world. My writing definitely cannot do this place justice so check out their website here and enjoy these pictures taken of the market itself and the food!
I crave their queso daily. And like fusian spicy mayo I would eat their queso with a spoon, actually I’m pretty sure I have before. If you want a twist on queso, try the queso with chorizo in it for a hot twist. This place is awesome whether it’s the food, drinks, or the atmosphere. You build your own tacos and can choose between so many different types of shells, meats, toppings, etc. this place is killing the taco game. And that’s coming a lot from a Mexican food fanatic like me.
Another Mexican place—surprise, surprise. With a trendy and fun atmosphere, they serve up great Mexican street food and have over 100 tequilas and whiskeys. They serve drinks in cute mason and boot jars as well as super good guac and queso. You can’t go wrong with any of the tacos.
Delish Italian food—pasta, pizza, wine, all that. They have a fun Italian café feel, but its still fancy enough to throw on some heels and go for a night out on the town. I highly recommend the chicken parmesan or fettucine and meatball.
Yep, you guessed it, another Mexican restaurant. Located right by Nationwide Arena, this electric restaurant fulfills all your taco, queso, and alcohol needs. I highly recommend the pork belly tacos, they’re honestly like a huge piece of fried bacon on a taco. You can ask for an egg on one, or all of your tacos and trust me, it makes them taste even better (if thats even possible).
**Even though there are so many Mexican restaurants on this list, they are all unique and different in their own ways, definitely check them all out!
18. Tommy’s Pizza
This is a hidden gem. I literally don’t understand why OSU students never talk about this pizza place. It’s been around since 1952 and everyone I know that grew up in Columbus or went to OSU and doesn’t live in Ohio anymore needs to make a stop at Tommy’s every time they’re in town. I usually get it to go, but when you step into this restaurant it’s like you’re transported to the 1980’s. Every restaurant is getting so trendy now a days, its nice to go to a comfort place like this every once in awhile. Pro tip: order their ranch and dip your pizza in it. This place so underrated.
A less traditional take on ice cream. Jeni’s is known for their interesting yet delicious flavor combos. From obscure flavors like Salty Caramel, Cocoa Curry Coco, Genmaicha & Marshello to the classic vanilla bean, they no doubt have unique and traditional flavors. I recommend Brambleberry Crisp.
20. Graeter’s Ice Cream
Graeter’s is home to the best handcrafted ice cream, was founded right here in Ohio, and has been around since 1870. It’s famous around the country and chances are if you don’t live in Ohio, you’ll still be able to find it at your local grocery store! Their most popular flavor is Black Raspberry Chip (definitely a personal fav) but I also recommend buckeye which is chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough pieces and huge dark chocolate chunks.
Black Raspberry Chip Wheelie, yes please.