More than a state capital or a sprawling college campus, Columbus is increasingly defining itself as a food destination--and rightfully so. A wave of new openings make this Midwestern city worth a second look.
Till: Chef Magdiale Wolmark established himself by converting the meat-and-potatoes crowd to vegan food at Dragonfly. His latest endeavor also offers simply prepared, locally sourced food, but this menu includes carnivorous options. Highlights include the BD Burger, a biodynamic beef patty with anchovy mayonnaise, and an appetizer of fried chicken and doughnuts.
Freshstreet: Husband-and-wife team Kenny Kim and Misako Ohba are like the hero and heroine of an anime cartoon: He's a Korean clad in hoodie and skull cap; she's a petite pastry chef from Tokyo. Together, they're cooking haute stoner food at a pop-up in the back of Double Happiness, a kitschy Asian-themed haunt. Order okonomiyaki fries, pork cheek and kimchi rice bowl and bulgogi cheesesteak crepes.
Curio: An extension of Harvest Pizzeria (where we fell hard for the truffled mushroom and Gouda pie), this is a destination for Arch City tipplers. Travis Owens, who has nearly a decade of experience behind the bar, has an affinity for bitters and his pisco sour-like gin fizz, made with Watershed Distillery's Four Peel Gin, clove-infused honey and an egg white, is a must-order.
Ajumama: Columbus isn't short on food trucks: Ray Ray's for brisket and collards and Los Guachos for tacos are standbys. But our favorite addition is this mobile kitchen, which serves Korean street food like pajeon, a savory, eggy pancake filled with marinated meats, garlic and chives, and hodduk, a brown sugar, cinnamon and walnut-stuffed grilled cake.