These foods aren’t just important to us, they’re a part of our city-wide identity.
It’s not too much of a stretch to label Columbus as a pretty food-centric city. There are two things we do remarkably well: hate other sports franchises and pack as many calories as humanly possible into one food dish.
But there are some foods that pretty much define who we are. More than just well-known dishes, Columbus couldn’t be the city it is without them. We put together the nine foods dearest to all of our tiny little beating buckeye hearts. Foods of Columbus — we salute you.
Columbus Style Pizza
There are a lot of fabulous places around this city to treat yourself to some Columbus-style pizza, so we’ll just hit the highlights. But just in case you’ve somehow missed out on what exactly Columbus-style pizza is, let me fill you in. If it’s a pie with a thinner crust with toppings from edge to edge and cut into squares, there’s a decent chance it’s Columbus-style pizza. This style can also include a bottom dusting of cornmeal.
Perhaps the biggest celebrity in the Columbus food scene is this gargantuan heart attack waiting to happen. Should you eat it? Probably not. Will you though? That’s going to be a resounding ‘umm, yeah??’ You’ll find this insanely huge burger at The Thurman Cafe, located at 183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206.
Sure, we didn’t invent the peanut butter and chocolate combo here in Ohio, but we certainly did give it new life in the form of the buckeye. These sweet treats are staples at any family gathering (especially in the fall) and they are great whether you make them from scratch or buy them locally.
You can find buckeye candies at sweet shops and bakeries all around Columbus, but our favorites come from Anthony-Thomas Chocolates, Winans Chocolates and Coffee, Chocolate Cafe, and The Original Goodie Shop.
Columbus loves a good hot dog, especially one with spicy corn relish, sweet corn, pickle relish, jalapeno, and celery salt. All those flavors practically scream Central Ohio. The only way it could be more any Columbus is if we topped it with a gob of peanut butter and smeared it with chocolate. Which we, you know, would totally not do. Heh… heh. You can find this dog at Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace.
The Buckeye Donut
It’s a gob of peanut butter plopped in the middle of a chocolate frosted donut. Where exactly are we losing you on this? While the most iconic version of this donut comes from Buckeye Donuts, other donut joints know that it’s a favorite, so it’s easy to find a variation. ofit on the menu. Here’s where you can find the best donuts around town.
While the popularity of Johnny Marzetti has expanded to the midwest in general, the dish originated here in Columbus. Marzetti’s was an Italian restaurant established on campus way back in 1896. The dish is a baked casserole of ground beef, cheese, and tomato sauce and it gained popularity thanks to OSU students spreading the word.
Although it’s harder to find Johnny Marzetti on restaurant menus these days, you do still see it pop up from time to time at old-school restaurants like German Village Coffee Shop and Tommy’s Diner. But the fastest and easiest way to get your hands on this dish is to make it yourself.
The Creamiest of Cream Puffs
Schmidt’s Sausage Haus has been a part of the Columbus food scene for just about 80 or so years and the cream puff is the star of the show. All that fluffy, creamy goodness is the perfect way to end your meal at Schmidt’s or the reason to stop by in the first place. Either way, you win.
Wor Su Gai
According to restaurant owners Kenny Yee of Wing’s Restaurant and Steve Yee of Ding Ho Restaurant, Wor Su Gai was born here in Columbus in the 1920s. The dish is simple: almond boneless chicken topped with gravy and served with rice. Here in Columbus, there are a lot of places to get wor su gai, but the aforementioned Wing’s Restaurant and Ding Ho really do this unique dish justice.