Vegan barbecue. Clearly, this isn’t barbecue, Southern style. Nope. This is local, seasonal, farm-to-table, Central Ohio-style ’cue. Word on the street says it’s so much like the real thing that even meat eaters love it. See for yourself.
HOW IT’S MADE: Young jackfruit simmered in house-made BBQ sauce, pulled, shredded and served up with slaw, pickles, and jalapenos
WHERE TO GET IT: Graze, 1 Capitol Square
Traditional tapas is a bite-sized, hot or cold Spanish appetizer or snack. American tapas is all that – and more. Here in Downtown Columbus, it’s delectable plate of food with beautiful undertones of the Midwest, portioned just right for sharing (or not!).
WHAT TO GET: Shaved Ribeye éclair sammie featuring, peppers, onions, and whiz, with a side of popper mac made from rotini, jalapeno, and cream cheese
WHERE TO GET IT: Nosh on High, 149 S High St
Only in America and only in Columbus can you get a 7-inch, oven-baked, stuffed puffed pastry for under $5. Crazy awesome. Even awesome-r? Everything this family-owned place serves is made with a Latin flair and a personal touch.
HOW IT’S MADE: Savory puff pastry filled with caramelized onions, seasoned ground beef, raisins, and a slice of hard-boiled egg, topped with powdered sugar, a side of lime, and homemade hot sauce
WHERE TO GET IT: Si Senor, 72 E Lynn St
Soup – the scratch-made kind – is both mysterious and miraculous. Seriously. How does water or cream and vegetables and meats transform into rich, broth-y wonders or thick, creamy lusciousness? Clearly, there’s an art to soup making. Fortunately, that art has been perfected right here in Downtown Columbus.
WHAT TO ORDER: Soup of the day, of course, especially if it’s tomato goat cheese bisque, Mexi-cali chickpea, or ghost pepper chorizo chili
WHERE TO GET IT: Market 65, 65 E State St
Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. Then again, what would you expect from Greek street eats made from 100% genuine whole muscle meats, extra virgin olive oil, and local, natural ingredients?
HOW IT’S MADE: Rice, spicy feta, roasted red pepper hummus, lamb meatballs, tomatoes, cukes, pickled onions, peppers, olives, (more!) feta cheese, and spicy Greek yogurt dressing
WHERE TO GET IT: Eila Athenian Grill, 20 N High St
Made from fresh ingredients, exotic herbs, and choice spices, New York and San Francisco got nothing on these Asian-inspired bistro noodles. That’s because everything here is handmade with love – and no shortcuts.
WHAT TO ORDER: DanDan Mazemen Turkey Noodles made with thick ramen, dandan minced turkey, sunny side-up egg, special house-made tahini sauce, chili oil, nori, and Szechuan peppercorn
WHERE TO GET IT: Tiger + Lily, 19 E Gay St
Poutine is a fancy French word for a classic Canadian dish of fries, cheese, and gravy. In Columbus, though, poutine gets a hearty topping of dry-rubbed, kissed-with-smoke barbecued pig or beef.
HOW IT’S MADE: waffle fries with gravy, cheddar cheese, green onions, a fried egg, and your choice of pulled pork or brisket
WHERE TO GET IT: Pecan Penny’s, 113 E Main St
Sweet or salty, yellow or green, sauce or not. Whatever your preference, Andes Bar and Grill dishes out the best fried plantains to be found Downtown. Swap your usual side of fries for Tostones (fried green plantains) making a perfect addition to any of their South American dishes. Or top off your meal with Maduros (deep fried yellow plantains), a sweet treat for your taste buds.
HOW IT’S MADE: Yellow or green plantains, a banana-like fruit, are fried up and seasoned accordingly – sweet or savory.
WHERE TO GET IT: Andes Bar & Grill, 76 S 4th Street
When you’re craving comfort food with an across-the-pond twist, dig into a Gaelic delicacy that’s anything but delicate. This corned-beefy sandwich is sure to satisfy even the most intense cravings and it’s served with a side of chips, or fries as they’re called this side of the Atlantic.
HOW IT’S MADE: House-made corned beef piled high on marble rye bread and topped with Swiss cheese, braised cabbage and 1,000 island dressing.
WHERE TO GET IT: Pub Mahone, 31 E Gay Street