Because sometimes the only way to feel good about yourself is self-flagellation by calories.
Some days you’ll wake up feeling like turning over a new leaf. Like you want to work out more, eat healthier, more organic. After all, your body is a temple and you’re the only one that has to deal with the inevitable graceless aging of that wilting meat-suit. But then there are the days when you know you need to punish your arteries and throw a rave in your gastrointestinal tract and not clean up afterward. Let’s face it, it’s just more fun to eat like a human garbage person. So embrace that fatalistic nihilism, we’re going on a tour of the cities dopest grease-spoons and dive diners. You bring the Tums, I’ll bring the depressing yet charming food-angst.
India Oak is a 40-year-old staple in the Clintonville area. The location was originally an automated carwash (because of course it was). It’s the perfect place to shovel food in your face like no one is watching (because no one is), silverware be damned. Who needs self-esteem when you have a double meat sub? Amirite? …right? *sobs while eating*
Where: 590 Oakland Park Ave, Columbus, OH 43214
If you don’t know The Blue Danube then you’re obviously some sort of Ann Arbor double agent, sent to collect the secrets of our city’s dive restaurants and preternatural highway construction. If you stop in, order the moussaka and tell ’em Zoey sent you. They’ll, of course, look at you weird because I’m fairly certain they don’t serve moussaka and they definitely have no idea who I am. Still, it would be hilarious. But seriously, try the Dube Deg and leave me out of it.
Where: 2439 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Fitzy’s is the grease-spoon of grease-spoons. So much so, they practically give you a second helping of grease with every meal. So yeah, it’s very much so not healthy for you, but if you’ve ever woken up hungover the day after Halloween, still dressed as Bender from Futurama and you want the pain to go away, Fitzy’s got your back. Take a seat in the back booth and eat your food in silence like the shame-bot that you are.
Where: 1487 Schrock Rd, Columbus, OH 43229
If you’ve ever wanted a burger that perfectly captures the beauty of a warm summer day and the despair of a trip to the DMV, look no further. Don’t get me wrong, these burgers are bomb. I just, you know, recommend a light, 3-hour, coma/nap afterward followed quickly (hah, you’re not doing anything ‘quickly’) by 4 hours of a Hulu binge of season 5 of Buffy and maybe some self-reflection. That’s all.
Where: 2822 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Here’ the thing about Tip Top, the place is definitely a dive. Darkly lit and in the center of downtown, you definitely get that shady bar feel. But they have a seriously good menu with a lot of food options. I mean, I wouldn’t take a first date there or anything. It’s more of a “we’ve been dating for a year and a half and we’ve accepted each other’s mutual sadness and all, but if your mother calls me Debbie one more time I swear to God I’ll end her” sort of date. You know the one.
Where: 73 E Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
Little Palace is a hip little joint off 4th street and one of few places south of the Canadian border that serves poutine as a regular menu item. Check this place out if you want to look chic while cramming down fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Oh yeah, and they also have smores. How dope is that??
Where: 240 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
A tiny little bar and counter diner in Bexley, you know the place is good because it’s right next to a Panera Bread and is doing completely fine. They’re all like, “oh cool, soup bread bowls, that’s cute. How about this French toast son?! How about these city-wide famous hashbrowns?? I know one thing Panera, you can catch these hands son!!” Yeah. Something like that. Anyway, good food.
Where: 2932 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43209
You gotta respect any diner honest enough to name something “The Hangover Sandwich”. That sandwich knows exactly what it is and it’s not trying to be anything more than that. It’s the sandwich from the other side of the tracks, the kind of grub your mom doesn’t want to see you hanging out with after school. But of course you do, after all, you can save it. Nothing wrong with a little fixer upper. (Sigh), You did always like the bad ones, didn’t you?
Where: 2090 Tremont Center, Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Turn around now. I’m telling you right now, you’re not brave enough for this place. Sure, you’ve dabbled in a few double patty burgers here and there, maybe you’ve downed a hot-wing challenge or two, but nothing prepares you for the meat-Gundam that is the Thurmanator. Sure, it’s a truly awe-inspiring sandwich, but no one wants to see you replaying the scene in Top Gun when Goose dies. Don’t be the Icarus that flew too close to the sun. Thurman’s isn’t food. It’s a self-inflicted medical emergency and it’s oh so great.
Where: 183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
The fact that it took society this long to stuff jambalaya in a burrito and call it a po’rrito is proof enough of mankind’s adamant and inevitable demise. We can’t even put crawfish etouffee in a tortilla and you think we’re going to solve this whole global warming “thing”? No you guys, I say we hit up Da Levee, have ourselves some gumbo and a pint, and wait for his whole “humanity” thing to blow over.
Where: 765 N High St C, Columbus, OH 43215
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