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9 Restaurants To Take Your Family To In Columbus That Aren’t Chain Restaurants

Sometimes, having family in town can get a little frustrating.

Columbus is such a food city. We’ve got so many amazing places to eat out, and yet, every time I go out to eat with my Grandparents, there’s only one suggestion made: O’Charleys. Every. Single. Time.

Sometimes, when you have guests in town, you just want to show off all of the interesting culinary things happening here. But taking people who are content with chain restaurants out can be a challenge. That’s not to disparage chain restaurants. I may be a millennial, but I’d never turn down an invitation to Texas Roadhouse. I appreciate a good chain as much as the next girl. But sometimes, the occasion can call for something a little more unique.

Here’s a list of places that you can take even the pickiest, most set-in-stone eaters in your family and not face a revolt.

Emmett’s Cafe

Location: 744 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
Menu item to suggest: If you’re headed out for breakfast with your crew, swing into Emmett’s Cafe. Classic breakfast lovers can grab a One-Handed breakfast sandwich and the more adventurous eaters can explore the menu. Pair it all with an Aussie Cap and revel in the success of a family breakfast outing.

Joya’s Cafe

Location: 657 High St, Worthington, OH 43085
Menu item to suggest: Joya’s Cafe is one of the best new restaurants of 2022, which means you can choose literally anything off the menu and leave feeling satisfied. But I highly suggest you give the fried rice a shot. It’s full of surprising flavors and it’s one of the best dishes I’ve ever had.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

via Facebook

Location: 215 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Menu item to suggest: Do you have a big family who enjoys a beer but also kids who will only eat mac and cheese? Cancel that dinner at Applebees because you’ve got plans at Wolf’s Ridge. There’s a kids menu for the littles, plus crazy good craft beer and the most delightful menu item, an Angus Reserve beef ribeye that will totally shut your dad up.

The East Market

Location: 212 Kelton Ave, Columbus, OH 43205
Menu item to suggest: Okay so technically, this isn’t just one restaurant. The East Market is made up of several yummy vendors, which means that no matter what your family is craving, everyone can find something delicious to eat. I couldn’t possibly choose just one menu item because there’s everything from burgers and pizza to authentic Moroccan tagine and flavorful New Orleans-style gumbo.

The Walrus

via Facebook

Location: 143 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43215
Menu item to suggest: The Walrus menu is chock full of iconic American dishes. If you have picky eaters, stick to the menu, where you’ll find plenty of familiar favorites. But if your cool Uncle is there, let’s call him Dale, you’ll want to suggest whatever the special is that day. The Walrus specials live up to their name.

Press Grill

via Facebook

Location: 741 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Menu item to suggest: Craving burgers? Please hit up Press Grill. You can thank me later, just get there and order. Oh, don’t forget to add cheese and an egg. Pure perfection.

Pat and Gracie’s

via Facebook

Location: 138 Graceland Blvd, Columbus, OH 43214
Menu item to suggest: Pat and Gracie’s is the definition of comfort food, which makes entertaining family so much more… comfortable. I’m sorry, I had to do it. They’re specialty may be burgers, but they make the best mac and cheese in the city. Yeah, I said it. Don’t @ me.

Kitchen Social

via Facebook

Location: 8954 Lyra Dr. Columbus, Ohio 43240 and 6791 Longshore St Suite 110, Dublin, Ohio 43017
Menu item to suggest: If your fam enjoys Asian fusion, Kitchen Social is absolutely the place to go. I’m still having dreams about the Honey Miso Cod. There’s a separate kid’s menu for the littles and plenty of yummy options for even the pickiest of eaters.

El Segundo

Location: 698 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Menu item to suggest: I fell in love with El Segundo from the first bite of their fish tacos. If you don’t like fish, you can’t go wrong with one of their flatbreads. The best part about El Segundo is that they have over 100 tequilas available, which, to quote Ted Lasso, “will either help a little or hurt a whole lot.”

Happy eating, Columbus!