A quick-hit guide to some of the dishes and drinks the city does best
With the NCAA Women's Final Four coming to Columbus, our city is welcoming a big influx of visitors. If you're here for the weekend, or you're a new transplant still discovering our fair city, seek out these five signature tastes.
We do ice cream really, really well. Some people consider it our chief export, given high-profile ice cream makers like Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. You'll find every style covered in the city, from Jeni's creative concoctions, such as Pistachio Honey or Salty Caramel, to the classics like Buckeye Blitz and Black Raspberry Chip at Graeter's. You'll also find shops picking up on the trend of rolled ice creams, where the treat is poured out on a chilling plate, mixed with toppings and then scraped into rolls before serving.
Where to find it: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Graeter's, Simply Rolled inside Oats & Barley Market
Every culture features some form of dumplings, whether it's Eastern European pierogi, traditional American chicken and dumplings, Nepali variations or more — and every type is represented in Columbus. The relatively new Momo Ghar, for instance, just enjoyed exposure on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” for its handmade Nepali and Tibetan momos. A number of Chinese eateries have earned followings for their dumplings as well.
Where to find them: Momo Ghar in North Market, Chinese Beef Noodle Soup, Ying's Tea House & Yum-Yum, Pierogi Mountain
Given our variety of long-running, old-school doughnut joints — as well as the newcomers who get creative with the classics — Columbus would be a serious contender for the title of Doughnut City, USA (if there were such a title). Every neighborhood features a bakery that's served the fried delicacies to generations of customers, such as Resch's on the East Side, the Goodie Shop in Upper Arlington, Buckeye Donuts on campus or Schneider's in Westerville. Balance those with the creative takes on doughnuts from Destination Donuts or Tupelo Doughnuts, and you've got your work cut out for you.
Where to find them: Buckeye Donuts, DK Diner, Destination Donuts
Much of the country is on a fried chicken kick right now, and Columbus has made it a community rallying point. Our current fried chicken darling is Hot Chicken Takeover, which features the zesty, Nashville-style birds and has pioneered HR practices that help formerly incarcerated employees build positive work records. But you'll find fried chicken all over town served up in many different ways, from classic Southern style at The Eagle to the chicken and biscuits at G. Michael's to a stellar fried chicken sandwich at Preston's burger shack inside Three Sheets bar in the Brewery District.
Where to find it: Hot Chicken Takeover, The Eagle, Preston's Burgers
Central Ohio is set to top 40 breweries this year. Our scene includes everything from BrewDog's massive production facility in Canal Winchester to off-the-beaten-path taprooms from smaller guys such as Actual Brewing and Sideswipe Brewing. There's a beer to please every palate out there, from Rockmill's Belgian farmhouse ales to Kindred's sours to Zaftig's barrel-aged monsters.
Where to find it: every neighborhood, but start with Rockmill Tavern, Seventh Son Brewing, Wolf's Ridge Brewing, Barley's Brewing