Sabah Drabu

8 mins read

Jul 11, 2024


Food Lover’s Guide to Columbus Ohio

Columbus is a city that has emerged as a vibrant and thriving hub for food lovers. With its diverse culinary landscape, innovative chefs, and a deep appreciation for culinary arts, Columbus has become a destination for those seeking unforgettable gastronomic experiences.  

Whether you are a dedicated foodie on a quest for the next mouthwatering dish or simply someone who appreciates tasty food, Columbus will have a plate to satisfy your cravings.  

This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what Columbus offers to every foodie. Let’s explore the Columbus food tour that awaits you in this thriving Midwestern city.  

How to do a Columbus food tour?  

Food tours have become increasingly popular among food lovers and travelers. They offer a unique and immersive way to explore the culinary landscape of a city.  

By embarking on a food tour in Columbus, you can indulge in various flavors, discover hidden gems, and taste the city’s vibrant culinary culture.  

Here are some expert tips for planning a food tour in Columbus.

1. Researching local food establishments  

First, you should research to identify the must-visit food eateries in Columbus. Let us look at some recommended places known to tantalize taste buds.

Best Places to Eat on a Columbus Food Tour   

Visit these places to indulge in various flavors, discover hidden gems, and taste the city’s vibrant culinary culture.  

Short North Arts District: The Short North Arts District is a must-visit neighborhood for food enthusiasts. You will find an eclectic mix of restaurants, trendy bars, and charming cafes, from artisanal pizzas to international cuisines.  

German Village: Immerse yourself in Columbus’ rich history and enjoy hearty German-inspired dishes in the charming streets of German Village. With its charming cobblestone streets and quaint eateries, this neighborhood offers a unique culinary experience.  

Downtown Columbus: The city’s heart boasts a diverse culinary scene, ranging from upscale dining establishments to food trucks. Explore the bustling streets and try out a variety of cuisines, including farm-to-table creations and fusion dishes.  

2. Creating an itinerary  

To make the most of your food tour, create a well-thought-out itinerary. Start by selecting a few neighborhoods or areas you want to explore. Consider factors such as the type of cuisine, ambiance, and unique dishes offered. While on it, include a mix of casual eateries, fine-dining restaurants, and local favorites.  

In case you need some inspiration crafting your itinerary, here is a sample to guide you along the way.  

Day 1:

Morning: Start your day in the Short North Arts District. Enjoy a hearty brunch at a trendy cafe, such as Northstar Cafe, known for its fresh, organic ingredients.

Afternoon: Explore the North Market, a bustling indoor market where you can sample diverse cuisines from local vendors. Do not miss the famous Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for a sweet treat. 

Evening: Head to German Village for dinner at Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus, a local institution known for its delicious sausages and German specialties

Day 2:

Morning: Begin your day in downtown Columbus with a visit to the historic North Market. Grab a cup of coffee from Stauf’s Coffee Roasters and indulge in pastries from Omega Artisan Baking.

Afternoon: Experience the vibrant flavors of Columbus’s food truck scene. Check out the popular food truck rallies happening throughout the city, such as Dinin’ Hall and Food Truck Food Court.

Evening: Enjoy a fine dining experience in downtown Columbus at a renowned restaurant like The Refectory, known for its elegant ambiance and exquisite French cuisine. 

3. Considering Transportation   

As you plan your food tour, consider the best transportation options for navigating the city. This will help you to save time and energy. Columbus offers various transportation choices, including public buses, ride-sharing services, and rental bikes.  

By following these tips and planning, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable food tour experience in Columbus, Ohio.  

Exploring the Activities and Attractions for Foodies in Columbus 

Tasting a bite from recommended eateries is only part of a Columbus Food Tour. When you start walking in Columbus, you embark on a delightful journey and immerse yourself in a culinary adventure. Let us look at must-do activities while you are in Columbus.

Unforgettable Date Night Ideas in Columbus   

When planning a memorable and romantic date night, Columbus, Ohio, offers many options that are sure to impress. Let us explore where you can fall in love more with the one who stole your heart.

Upscale Restaurants with Romantic Ambiences   

With their dim lighting, soft music, and impeccable service, these restaurants will create an unforgettable backdrop for a memorable date night  

  • The Refectory: Located in a historic church building, The Refectory is renowned for its elegant ambiance and refined cuisine.
    Location: 1092 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220
    Cuisine: French, extensive wine list
  • Lindey’s: Lindey’s is known for its stylish and vibrant atmosphere, combining a classic and contemporary vibe.
    Location: 169 E Beck Street, Columbus, OH 43206
    Cuisine: American
  • The Top Steakhouse: The restaurant boasts a retro atmosphere with dark wood paneling and leather banquettes, evoking a sense of timeless elegance.
    Location: 2891 E Main Street, Columbus, OH 43209
    Cuisine: Steakhouse  

Unique Dining Experiences for a Memorable Date Night  

Fine dining in Columbus means visiting restaurants that take culinary artistry to new heights. While with your special someone, do not miss on the romantic bliss Columbus has to offer.

  • Dinner cruises on the Scioto River
    Location: The Scioto River flows through Columbus, Ohio, providing a picturesque setting for dinner cruises.
    These cruises offer a perfect combination of delicious cuisine, breathtaking views, and a leisurely cruise along the river.
  • Rooftop dining with panoramic city views
    Location: Various locations throughout Columbus, Ohio.
    These rooftop venues offer a unique and elevated dining experience, allowing you to enjoy your meal while soaking in the breathtaking views of Columbus’ skyline
  • Wine and food pairing events
    Location: Various locations throughout Columbus, Ohio.Y
    These events bring together the best of local and international wines, expertly paired with delectable dishes. 

Nourishing your Well-Being by Eating Healthy in Columbus

While going out to eat, one of the primary concerns that strike our head is, “Is the food healthy?” Worry no more! Keep reading further to discover some of the thriving health-conscious food places that cater to various dietary preferences.

Looking to treat your taste buds to Columbus’ best food while still maintaining your health goals? Stick around as we explore unique and nutritious dining options in the city.

Restaurants with Healthy and Nutritious Menus  

Columbus is home to several restaurants prioritizing health and nutrition without compromising flavor. You can visit some highlighted eateries for a range of nutritious options, including salads packed with fresh vegetables, lean protein dishes, and whole grains.  

  •  Northstar Café 
  • Brassica 
  • Alchemy Juice Bar + Café 
  • Portia’s Café  

Vegan and Vegetarian Dining Choices  

Columbus has a wealth of dining options for those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. There are some recommended restaurants like that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.  

  • Eden Burger, 
  • Yellowbird Foodshed 
  • Banana Leaf 

Shop from Local Farmer’s Market for Cooking Healthy at Home   

Cooking at home is often considered the healthiest choice you can make when it comes to your diet. Not only do you enhance the flavors of food but also preserve your health.  

To eat healthily in Columbus, you must not miss cooking at home with ingredients sourced from the Local Farmer’s Market. These markets offer a wide selection of fresh produce, organic meats, dairy products, and artisanal goods.  

You can visit the North Market or the Clintonville Farmers Market to connect directly with local farmers and fill your shopping bag with nutritious ingredients.  

Women’s Special: Things to Do for a Girl’s Day Out in Columbus   

Planning a girl’s day out in Columbus, Ohio? Prepare for a day filled with fun, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Here are some fun activities you can look forward to with your girl gang:   

Food and Wine Pairing Events: Attend food and wine pairing events in various locations throughout Columbus. These events offer opportunities to taste and learn about different wines, their flavor profiles, and how they complement multiple dishes. 

Specialty Food Stores:  From artisanal cheeses and charcuterie to international ingredients and rare spices, these stores provide a haven for women foodies to discover new flavors and ingredients.  

Food Festivals and Events: Attend events like the Columbus Food Truck Festival, Taste of Columbus, or Columbus Food and Wine Affair to indulge in various culinary delights.

Are you and your friends looking for exciting things to do in Columbus for your next girls’ day out? Keep reading as we dive into some thrilling and fun-filled activities around the city.

Columbus Local’s Food Guide  

Columbus is a playground for those who appreciate the art of food. If you are a local foodie in Columbus looking for a food expedition, your search ends here. Get ready to know what all you can do with food in Columbus!

Your Scout to Best Ethnic Food Options in Columbus

The city boasts a rich tapestry of cultures, making it a haven for food enthusiasts seeking authentic and mouthwatering international cuisines. Columbus provides an immersive and gratifying experience for anyone looking to embark on a culinary adventure. 

Mexican Delights: Savoring the Vibrant Mexican Flavors in Taquerias 

  • El Camino Inn 
  • Los Guachos Taqueria 

Taste of India: Indulging in authentic Indian cuisine  

  • Aab India Restaurant 
  • Amul India Restaurant 
  • Dosa Corner 

Asian Fusion Delicacies: Succulent an-Asian flavors 

  • Akai Hana 
  •  Helen Asian Kitchen 
  • Min-Ga Korean Restaurant   

Mediterranean Gourmet Treats: An exquisite culinary journey 

  • Lavash Cafe 
  • The Olive Tree Mediterranean Café 
  • Aladdin’s Eatery

Interested in exploring the diverse food Columbus, Ohio, has to offer? Stay with us as we take you on a tasty tour of the city’s best ethnic food spots.

Elevate your Events by Finding a Caterer in Columbus 

The perfect vision for any event is complete with a caterer. From carefully curated appetizers to decadent desserts, their culinary artistry transforms your event into a food lover’s paradise. Here is a brief guide for locals to find the best caterer in Columbus. 

  • Define Your Needs and Budget: Consider factors such as the type of event, the number of guests, dietary preferences or restrictions, and any specific themes or cuisines you are interested in. Additionally, establish a budget to guide your decision-making process.
  • Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family, colleagues, and local food enthusiasts for recommendations. Online review platforms and local food blogs can also be great resources for discovering reputable caterers in Columbus. 
  • Research and Review Menus: Once you have a list of potential caterers, visit their websites or social media pages to review their menus. Pay attention to whether they can accommodate dietary restrictions or specific cuisines you are interested in. 
  • Schedule Tastings and Consultations: Reach out to your shortlisted caterers to schedule appointments where you can sample their dishes, discuss menu options, and ask any questions.
  • Consider Experience and Expertise: Evaluate the caterer’s experience and expertise in handling events like yours. A seasoned caterer with a strong track record is more likely to deliver a successful dining experience.
  • Request References: Don’t hesitate to ask caterers for references from previous clients. Inquire about the quality of the food, professionalism of the staff, adherence to timelines, and overall satisfaction with the service provided.
  • Review Contracts and Policies: Before finalizing your decision, carefully review the caterer’s contract, including pricing, payment terms, cancellation policies, and additional charges.

Thinking about bringing your corporate event to life with some of the top catering companies in Columbus, Ohio? Stay tuned, we have insightful tips to guide you through the process of choosing the perfect culinary partner for your event.

Find Cooking Classes in Columbus to Unleash the Chef Within you

Enhance your culinary skills and knowledge by enrolling in cooking classes offered in Columbus. Let us look at how you can find the best cooking classes in Columbus

  • Determine your cooking interest: Identifying your cooking interest will help narrow down your search for the right cooking classes in Columbus.
  • Research for the best options available: Look for culinary schools, cooking studios, community centers, or even local chefs who offer classes.
  • Read reviews and testimonials: Read reviews from previous participants to get an idea of the instructor’s teaching style, the class atmosphere, and the practical skills gained. 
  • Check the class details: Once you have shortlisted potential cooking classes, delve into the class details. 
  • Compare prices and class schedule: Compare prices among different providers and evaluate the value they offer in terms of class content, instructor expertise, and hands-on experience.
  • Plan and reserve your spot: Follow the instructions provided by the class provider for registration or enrollment and make any necessary payments to confirm your participation. 


The blog post offers a delightful exploration of the city’s culinary scene and provides a roadmap for local and tourist food enthusiasts to embark on memorable gastronomic adventures.  

Whether planning a food tour, seeking healthier options, looking for a romantic date night, or organizing a girl’s day out, Columbus has something to offer every food lover. So, grab your appetite, embrace the culinary adventures that await, and savor the flavors of Columbus.  

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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