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.

Ambrose & Eve

Location: 716 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
Menu item to suggest: Chicken Dinner for 2 or 4 people. If this made from scratch meal doesn’t wow your picky Aunt Sue, I don’t know what would.

Brown Bag Deli

via Facebook

Location: 898 Mohawk St, Columbus, OH 43206
Menu item to suggest: Brown Bag Deli is an epic lunch stop. Honestly, all of the sandwiches are delicious, but you’d be really upset with yourself if you leave without trying two things: their deviled eggs and their green beans almondine. The eggs might be better than your mom’s. (They totally are, but I don’t want to make her feel bad.)

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.

Sweet Carrot

via Facebook

Location: 1417 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Menu item to suggest: I don’t even have to think about this one. Get the corncake for you and everyone you’ve ever claimed to love. If you don’t have them eat it, I’m not sure that you love them. I know it sounds hyperbolic, but it’s so dang good.

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

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.

South Village Grille

via Facebook

Location: 197 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
Menu item to suggest: If the fam enjoys some tasty fish, hit up South Village Grille. They’ve got the oysters, scallops, salmon, and more. If those options sound a little out of the box for your fam, they can also enjoy a Rainbow Trout that would have my fried-fish-loving Grandmother jumping for joy.

Legacy Smokehouse

Location: 340 Greenlawn Ave, Columbus, OH 43223
Menu item to suggest: I’ve honestly never had a bad meal at Legacy Smokehouse, so it’s sort of hard to choose just one thing you should try. But currently, I’m living for their Brisket sandwich. It’s made perfectly and once you add in a side of collard greens, you’re pretty much set.

Happy eating, Columbus!


Originally published 12/10/18. Updated 11/19/19.

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