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A towering dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
A towering dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants/Facebook

The 12 Hottest New Restaurants in Columbus, Ohio

With menus touting sky-high deli sandwiches, homemade “Funyuns,” and vegan bolognese, these are the buzziest new places to eat in Ohio’s Arch City

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A towering dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
| Cameron Mitchell Restaurants/Facebook

Today, Eater returns to Columbus, Ohio, to focus on 12 buzz-worthy restaurants and bars that have opened in the past year. Once again, longtime Columbus food writer and executive editor of Sixonefork.com Beth Stallings serves up her picks for the hottest dining the city currently has on offer.

“The Columbus food scene is hitting a fun stride with what I’d say are more quality and noteworthy restaurants opening than I’ve seen in years,” says Stallings. “Chefs long considered up-and-comers — food truck owners or sous chefs at notable restaurants — now have kitchens of their own, and they are rapidly changing the way we eat here, for the better.”

Among her picks: hearth-baked bagels (the Lox Bagel Shop), artful plant-based cuisine (Comune), and burgers with house-made “Funyuns” (Preston’s). To drink, Columbusites are flocking to a crowded former bank lobby (the Citizens Trust), an arcade-meets-distillery (High Bank Distillery Co.), and a Franklinton brewery with rooftop bar and views for days (BrewDog Franklinton).

Here now, embracing the hype, is the Eater Heatmap to Columbus.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

A Spanish-influenced restaurant from chef Rick Lopez (La Tavola), Lupo brings smart tapas to the sleepy suburb of Upper Arlington. Lopez’s protege, Todd Elder, curates the rotating menu, which celebrates seafood and roasted meats with a spirits list heavy on sherry, vermouth, and amari you won’t find anywhere else. The maroon-walled former bank space can be loud at times, but that just adds to its buzzy charm. Don’t forget an order of house-made bread to soak up all the sauces.

Sweet potato banana waffles at Lupo
Lupo on Arlington/Facebook

Preston's: A Burger Joint

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The wait for chefs Matthew Heaggans and Catie Randazzo to open Ambrose and Eve would have seemed like an eternity if not for the old school smashburger pop-up they created in the interim. (And, thankfully, continue to operate.) At Preston’s various locales — which include a food truck and the order-at-the-window kitchens inside both Woodlands bars — the duo sling the most raved-about burgers around, along with other classed-up fast food favorites (hot chicken and fried fish sandwiches, house-made “Funyuns”).

A drippy burger at Preston’s
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High Bank Distillery Co

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Arcade meets bar meets distillery at High Bank in Grandview. It’s a sprawling and lofty space that includes an 8,000-square-foot restaurant, plus an arcade and patio, with 14-foot windows that give a glimpse of the stills where organic gin, vodka, and rye are made. Its sheer size and approachable American menu have made it a hotspot for groups and 20-somethings.

Nachos and a drink at High Bank Distillery
High Bank Distillery/Facebook

Brewdog Franklinton

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In an ever-growing beer scene, locals have embraced the Scottish brewery as their own, welcoming three outposts to Columbus. The Franklinton location — with its proximity to Downtown, bevy of patio seating, and rooftop bar with fantastic views of the city skyline — is what’s hot and new. Sure there’s solid pub food here, but locals come thirsty for a 24-tap beer list heavy on Brewdog IPAs and guest taps, including some notable craft pours from around the United States.

BBQ burger, fries, and a beer at Brewdog Franklinton
Brewdog Franklinton/Facebook

Service Bar

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As Service Bar hits its first birthday, the chatter about Middle West Spirits’ restaurant arm has yet to die down. With a sense of humor and serious know-how, chef Avishar Barua easily cooks up some of the most creative and well-executed food in the city giving ingredient upgrades to takeout lowbrow dishes, like his spin on a Big Mac with bone marrow and a smoked bacon-enriched patty, or the cheesy brisket crunch with oak-smoked beef and fried roti. Don’t miss the cocktails too, mixed up from the stunning, huge, salvaged 19th-century back bar.

Service Bar by Middle West Spirits
Official

The Lox Bagel Shop

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If you want to know what locals are lining up for right now, it’s the bagels at the Lox Bagel Shop. Run by industry veteran Kevin Crowley (Northstar Cafe, Third & Hollywood) with some help from chef Silas Caeton (Cosecha Cocina, Veritas), the cozy blue-tiled and oak-accented cafe serves live-fire baked bagels. Fittingly, you can’t go wrong with the house-smoked lox with perfectly biting pickles. But the tender pork sandwich with salsa verde crushed into the cream cheese is no slouch either.

Harvey & Eds

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Harvey & Ed’s is Cameron Mitchell’s latest Short North restaurant (bringing his total to five within a few blocks’ radius). This one is an ode to the classic Jewish delicatessen with a clean bistro setting and, thankfully, not an ounce of kitsch. As at all Mitchell’s restaurants, diners can expect spot-on execution and gracious service. Skip the pastrami and opt instead for the brisket or house-cured salmon with a Block’s bagel and whipped cream cheese.

A towering dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
A dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants/Facebook

Veritas

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Chef Josh Dalton promised to move his five-table suburban restaurant — long considered one of the best in the city — to downtown Columbus for years. He’s finally made good on his word, opening Veritas on a quiet section of Gay Street. The new Veritas is larger and sleeker, but every bit as delicious, serving creative six- and nine-course tasting menus with thoughtfully sourced ingredients and modernist touches.

The Citizens Trust

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Veritas may get all the attention, but its sister bar on the lobby level of the Citizens building is worth its own spotlight. A horseshoe-shaped bar and oversized furniture do their best to fill the cavernous former bank lobby with stone and vaulted ceilings. The crowds who pack in on a nightly basis for clever cocktails made with scientific precision fill in the gaps.

Antiques on High

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Located in a renovated antique store (from which the brewery takes its name), Antiques on High is the sour-beer outpost of Seventh Son Brewing. Beer drinkers come for the seven sours on tap, while cocktail lovers flock for a menu curated by the lauded Travis Owens (formerly of Curio). With midcentury modern basement vibes, a splash of beer nostalgia, and quirky yellow lighting, you’ll want to pull up a seat and stay awhile. There’s always a food truck on the back patio should you need something savory to pair with your Wax Poetic, a recommended sour blonde ale.

Antiques On High
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Ambrose & Eve

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Walking into Ambrose and Eve is like stepping into a hip grandmother’s dining room — relaxed and full of warmth, with flowery wallpaper and a gallery wall of childhood pictures. Family roots clearly run deep at this Brewery District hotspot. Here, co-owners and chefs Catie Randazzo and Matthew Heaggans — two of the city’s most respected food truck owners — serve dishes inspired by their childhoods, like liver and onions starring chicken liver mousse with onion jam, nuggets made with veal sweetbreads, and chicken and dumplings with ricotta gnudi.

Carrots at Ambrose & Eve
Ambrose & Eve/Facebook

With a stark white interior that’s cool without being cold, the plant-based Comune has been humming since the day it opened. It’s a place where omnivores and vegans dine in harmony with smart, artfully plated vegetarian dishes designed to share and then wash it all down with organic wines. Chef Ben Kanavel (the Worthington Inn, Alana’s Food and Wine) prepares memorable dishes like semolina pappardelle with a savory walnut-maitake bolognese, roasted acorn squash with lentil dal bathed in an herb jus, and crispy fried kimchi rice topped with a soft-boiled egg.

A vegetarian spread at Comune
Comune/Facebook

Lupo

Sweet potato banana waffles at Lupo
Lupo on Arlington/Facebook

A Spanish-influenced restaurant from chef Rick Lopez (La Tavola), Lupo brings smart tapas to the sleepy suburb of Upper Arlington. Lopez’s protege, Todd Elder, curates the rotating menu, which celebrates seafood and roasted meats with a spirits list heavy on sherry, vermouth, and amari you won’t find anywhere else. The maroon-walled former bank space can be loud at times, but that just adds to its buzzy charm. Don’t forget an order of house-made bread to soak up all the sauces.

Sweet potato banana waffles at Lupo
Lupo on Arlington/Facebook

Preston's: A Burger Joint

A drippy burger at Preston’s
Official

The wait for chefs Matthew Heaggans and Catie Randazzo to open Ambrose and Eve would have seemed like an eternity if not for the old school smashburger pop-up they created in the interim. (And, thankfully, continue to operate.) At Preston’s various locales — which include a food truck and the order-at-the-window kitchens inside both Woodlands bars — the duo sling the most raved-about burgers around, along with other classed-up fast food favorites (hot chicken and fried fish sandwiches, house-made “Funyuns”).

A drippy burger at Preston’s
Official

High Bank Distillery Co

Nachos and a drink at High Bank Distillery
High Bank Distillery/Facebook

Arcade meets bar meets distillery at High Bank in Grandview. It’s a sprawling and lofty space that includes an 8,000-square-foot restaurant, plus an arcade and patio, with 14-foot windows that give a glimpse of the stills where organic gin, vodka, and rye are made. Its sheer size and approachable American menu have made it a hotspot for groups and 20-somethings.

Nachos and a drink at High Bank Distillery
High Bank Distillery/Facebook

Brewdog Franklinton

BBQ burger, fries, and a beer at Brewdog Franklinton
Brewdog Franklinton/Facebook

In an ever-growing beer scene, locals have embraced the Scottish brewery as their own, welcoming three outposts to Columbus. The Franklinton location — with its proximity to Downtown, bevy of patio seating, and rooftop bar with fantastic views of the city skyline — is what’s hot and new. Sure there’s solid pub food here, but locals come thirsty for a 24-tap beer list heavy on Brewdog IPAs and guest taps, including some notable craft pours from around the United States.

BBQ burger, fries, and a beer at Brewdog Franklinton
Brewdog Franklinton/Facebook

Service Bar

Service Bar by Middle West Spirits
Official

As Service Bar hits its first birthday, the chatter about Middle West Spirits’ restaurant arm has yet to die down. With a sense of humor and serious know-how, chef Avishar Barua easily cooks up some of the most creative and well-executed food in the city giving ingredient upgrades to takeout lowbrow dishes, like his spin on a Big Mac with bone marrow and a smoked bacon-enriched patty, or the cheesy brisket crunch with oak-smoked beef and fried roti. Don’t miss the cocktails too, mixed up from the stunning, huge, salvaged 19th-century back bar.

Service Bar by Middle West Spirits
Official

The Lox Bagel Shop

If you want to know what locals are lining up for right now, it’s the bagels at the Lox Bagel Shop. Run by industry veteran Kevin Crowley (Northstar Cafe, Third & Hollywood) with some help from chef Silas Caeton (Cosecha Cocina, Veritas), the cozy blue-tiled and oak-accented cafe serves live-fire baked bagels. Fittingly, you can’t go wrong with the house-smoked lox with perfectly biting pickles. But the tender pork sandwich with salsa verde crushed into the cream cheese is no slouch either.

Harvey & Eds

A towering dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
A dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants/Facebook

Harvey & Ed’s is Cameron Mitchell’s latest Short North restaurant (bringing his total to five within a few blocks’ radius). This one is an ode to the classic Jewish delicatessen with a clean bistro setting and, thankfully, not an ounce of kitsch. As at all Mitchell’s restaurants, diners can expect spot-on execution and gracious service. Skip the pastrami and opt instead for the brisket or house-cured salmon with a Block’s bagel and whipped cream cheese.

A towering dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
A dagwood at Harvey & Ed’s
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants/Facebook

Veritas

Chef Josh Dalton promised to move his five-table suburban restaurant — long considered one of the best in the city — to downtown Columbus for years. He’s finally made good on his word, opening Veritas on a quiet section of Gay Street. The new Veritas is larger and sleeker, but every bit as delicious, serving creative six- and nine-course tasting menus with thoughtfully sourced ingredients and modernist touches.

The Citizens Trust

Veritas may get all the attention, but its sister bar on the lobby level of the Citizens building is worth its own spotlight. A horseshoe-shaped bar and oversized furniture do their best to fill the cavernous former bank lobby with stone and vaulted ceilings. The crowds who pack in on a nightly basis for clever cocktails made with scientific precision fill in the gaps.

Antiques on High

Antiques On High
Official

Located in a renovated antique store (from which the brewery takes its name), Antiques on High is the sour-beer outpost of Seventh Son Brewing. Beer drinkers come for the seven sours on tap, while cocktail lovers flock for a menu curated by the lauded Travis Owens (formerly of Curio). With midcentury modern basement vibes, a splash of beer nostalgia, and quirky yellow lighting, you’ll want to pull up a seat and stay awhile. There’s always a food truck on the back patio should you need something savory to pair with your Wax Poetic, a recommended sour blonde ale.

Antiques On High
Official

Ambrose & Eve

Carrots at Ambrose & Eve
Ambrose & Eve/Facebook

Walking into Ambrose and Eve is like stepping into a hip grandmother’s dining room — relaxed and full of warmth, with flowery wallpaper and a gallery wall of childhood pictures. Family roots clearly run deep at this Brewery District hotspot. Here, co-owners and chefs Catie Randazzo and Matthew Heaggans — two of the city’s most respected food truck owners — serve dishes inspired by their childhoods, like liver and onions starring chicken liver mousse with onion jam, nuggets made with veal sweetbreads, and chicken and dumplings with ricotta gnudi.

Carrots at Ambrose & Eve
Ambrose & Eve/Facebook

Comune

A vegetarian spread at Comune
Comune/Facebook

With a stark white interior that’s cool without being cold, the plant-based Comune has been humming since the day it opened. It’s a place where omnivores and vegans dine in harmony with smart, artfully plated vegetarian dishes designed to share and then wash it all down with organic wines. Chef Ben Kanavel (the Worthington Inn, Alana’s Food and Wine) prepares memorable dishes like semolina pappardelle with a savory walnut-maitake bolognese, roasted acorn squash with lentil dal bathed in an herb jus, and crispy fried kimchi rice topped with a soft-boiled egg.

A vegetarian spread at Comune
Comune/Facebook

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