If you’re like me there’s only so much craft made, gluten free, organic anything that you can take.
Look, I love hip, trendy restaurants as much as the next guy. With their catchy but ironic names and their salads inefficiently served in mason jars (What is that even? How am I supposed to eat that?). But sometimes I’ve just had it up to my ironic trucker hat with beatnik breakfast shops and deconstructed taco stands. That’s why it’s time to take a break from the bougie and dive back into the good old fashioned gastro standbys. Here’s a list of all the places in Columbus we love to let our hair down at and chow on comfort food in peace.
I’m talking, pound for pound, one of the best burger shops in the city here. This place has some pretty old roots in Columbus and it rocks a cool boxing theme with awesome fight paraphernalia on the wall. Definitely the place to hit up when you want to pig out on a delicious burger but you don’t want to be judged by some techno-organic health nut. Leave your diet at home, it’ll be there for you in the morning, trust me.
Where: 19 N Pearl St, Columbus, OH 43215
Tip Top serves great American staples that don’t pretend to be more than what it is. Real salt of the earth stuff that will stick to your ribs and leave you feeling satisfied long after the last bite. I’m talking middle-class food on a working-class budget while you toss back drinks with lower-class friends. Eat and be one with the proletariat comrade. Na Zdorovie.
Where: 73 E Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
I’ve definitely put this one on blast a lot lately, but that’s only because it’s some of the best creole food you’ll have a chance to eat this far east of the Mississippi. With Gumbo, Crawfish Etoufee, and Red Beans & Rice served up with a moist chunk of golden cornbread goodness, you’re going to think you died and went to Louisiana. Which, honestly, sounds like a terrifying concept except for all the super dope food.
Where: 1117 Oak St, Columbus, OH 43205
Johnnie’s is another awesome burger joint. This little-known gem in the city is “the home of the super burger”. You can get it dressed with your own choice of cheeses and toppings and paired with your choice of deep fried sides (you do purchase them separately, but no one can eat a burger without fries). So what if you get a little ketchup on your lap? There are no judgments here friend.
Where: 3503 Trabue Rd, Columbus, OH 43204
So yeah, Chinese and deli food is a pretty odd combination to expect on any menu, but Cornerstone pulls it off without even trying. It’s the perfect place to go when you need to appease that one friend who finds it impossible to ever make up a decision on what they want to eat. Me, I’m saying it’s perfect for me. Hey, sometimes I’m in the mood for a good Monte Cristo, sometimes I want sesame chicken, and sometimes I want a- (GASP!) …Oh my god, a sesame chicken Monte Cristo… That. I want that.
Where: 3296 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
A while back I said this place had the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever had and I continue to stand by it. Not only that but the service is super nice and helpful if you need assistance deciding what to pick. (Sigh) We just went over this, I’m awful at deciding stuff and I’m sorry. But there you are Columbus, sitting there, judging a guy just trying to enjoy his own freedom of choice. You know who’s not so judgey? Super-Awesome-Super-Torta-Cashier-Guy. He gets me. Unlike you, Columbus.
Where: 721 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, OH 43228
So you want to eat simple but you’re still kinda feeling yourself in a bougie way? Sweet Carrot is that middle of the road compromise friends. They’ve got all your favorite BBQ comfort goodness but you can wash it all down with a craft drink or two. It’s the basic American food you want with the old distressed barn look your little adorable hipster heart craves.
Where: 1417 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
How can we possibly forget about the Blue Danube on a list like this? The ‘Dube has been nurturing hangovers and comforting college kids practically since it opened its doors. No one here is putting on airs for anyone. It’s a cozy restaurant with cozy food for cozy people. Sure, you can hit up that new oxygenated craft pickled-food restaurant, or that cryogenic neo-soul food pop up, but at the end of the day, you’re always gonna come back to the Blue Danube. And the old ‘Dube, she’s always gonna have a booth open for you.
Where: Where the heart is.
But seriously: 2439 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202