2015 where we passed the year of the cronut, but everyone still loved it, they just weren’t as insane about it. But everyone really started loving ramen, because it is fucking delicious, I mean how can you not love it? You can put anything you want in it. What else happened this year? Check out our list of what we dug this year from around the ‘bus.
Favorite Coffee Spot
Fox in the Snow Cafe
We come to Fox in the Snow so much, we may just tent out in the field next to it. Its delicious range of artisan coffee and fresh baked bakeries keeps us coming back. As reigning champ of most instagrammed spot in Cbus, you’d be silly to miss this place (and not take a photo).
Must try item: Their artistic mochas, egg sandwich & bomb ass cinnamon rolls
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing
Wolf’s Ridge had been on our list for a long time to check out, and we finally went this year and became addicts. Their brunch is amazing, toad in holes, breakfast frittatas with oysters, brioche bread french toast with bacon ice cream, I mean I’m just sitting here drooling on my keyboard right about now. With a great dinner, great drinks, and a casual atmosphere, we could stay here all day if we didn’t have to food coma in the middle of the day. Wolf’s has recently announced plans to triple it’s brewery production and create an additional kitchen for the taproom, so warm up that belly to eat and drink even more!
Must try item: Cuban benedict
Favorite Hungover Brunch
Now don’t get us wrong, Block’s Bagels is by no means just for hungover brunch, it is delicious at any time of the day. But when you’re in a jam, and I mean full throttle headache, perhaps still slightly drunk, might vom in the car on the way to Block’s, this is your savior. Bagels as good as New York I daresay..with in-house made creamcheese, grab some lox, and this bagel savior slam dunks your hangover away. (I mean no guarantees, but it seems to work pretty well for my deathly hangovers, I’ve never thrown up Block’s, though I have thrown up kimchi fried rice the morning after…that is NOT good on the way up.) But I digress, Block’s cures hangovers (guarantees not included, but if your hangover goes away, we’ll take credit).
Must try item: the #2: bagel w/ lox and 2 eggs and the #5: corned beef. 2 eggs & bagel
Tucked away in a little shopping center off Kenny Road, Belle’s Bakery is somewhat of a hidden gem. They carry a wide range of bakeries that are suuuuper light and fluffy. They use whip cream frosting so its less heavy and less overtly sweet. They also serve a great lunch, so grab a sandwich, a cake, some tea, then also some shaved ice and go hide out in their community room where they play Miyazki movies or Planet Earth depending on their mood.
Must try item: Strawberry Cake & shaved ice
Favorite Staple Spot
(tie) Tensuke Market/Arirang
Around the corner from Belle’s, Tensuke Market is our favorite anytime spot. Tensuke is half Japanese grocery shop, half dine-in cafe. They offer tasty Japanese street meals such as udon, curry rice and yakitori. However, where they really shine is the sushi. They get their fish from Akai Hana (the neighboring Japanese restaurant which they also own). The fish is high-quality and affordable — 2 things that go really well together. But just up the street on Bethel is a Korean grocery store called Arirang with a little restaurant in the back (sensing a trend yet?). Korean food is awesome in that it comes with an assortment of small side dishes called banchan that come with your meal. What makes that even better? That that soup pictured above is only $6.99.
Must try item: Any of the sushi rolls really. You can customize your order at the sushi window. And their curry is bomb (Tensuke) / spicy beef stew + banchan (Arirang)
Favorite Lunch Spot
This year, Katzinger’s took our favorite lunch spot, as a 30 year deli veteran, Katzinger’s knows how to make a mean sandwich. Their corned beef sandwiches are like none other, with their secret ingredient marinating their meat for 48 hours before cooking, blows other cornies away. They were also featured on the Food Network on Best Thing I Ever Ate for their Upper Yough Reuben. We are also eagerly awaiting the return of last year’s favorite lunch spot, Cravings Carryout, at their new spot downtown!
Must try item: Katzinger’s Reuben
Favorite On-the-Run Food Spot
Bibibop had another huge year, with 4 new locations just this year, and plans to expand even more, Bibibop begins their climb to take over the world. This American take on Korean food is just what you need on the go as you can pick all of the ingredients you want yourself.
Must try item: Make your own Bibimbop bowl
Favorite Happy Hour
Arch City Tavern
Arch City Tavern is such a great place to be at any time, but it’s even better when wines, beers, and artisan pizzas are 1/2 off from 3pm-7pm. Grab a seat by the window, people watch and eat as much fig pizza as you can, and yes I am that girl that picks off the figs of the pizza if no one else happens to be watching me.
Must try item: Fig pizza, brussel sprouts, parmesan truffle fries
For being a “shitty” bar in the Short North, Oddfellow’s is pretty damn good. The place has no airs about it as it trucks on firmly in the most glamorous part of town. They offer a nice menu of quality cocktails and an above-average craft beer selection. They have a selection of tasty snacks to go with your drinks. They’ve also partnered up with Hai Poke to offer some Hawaiian seafood delicacies Friday & Saturday 4pm-9pm, or you can go to Mikey’s Late Night Slice next door. Secret: There’s a hidden champagne button that, when pressed, bequeaths the lucky partron with a free glass of champagne. The button moves after every time it’s found, so happy hunting!
Forno makes up the other half of our favorite bar in Columbus, the sister restaurant of Pint House, this bar/restaurant is a little more dressy (without being stuffy) than its beer garden sister. Forno boasts a giant stone oven in the center of the restaurant, ensuring your food will be speedy and hot. They also celebrate late nights with you with 1/2 off bottles of champagne, pizza, and wine after 10pm. So grab a buddy, a seat on either the orange or blue side and enjoy a delicious cocktail on them.
Must try item: St. Bernard (Oddfellow’s) / Arancini & Kiwi Mules (Forno)
Favorite Bar to Watch Sports
Forno’s beer garden sister, Pint House is hands down the best place to watch “sports.” Or in my case, eat a bunch of tasty snacks and drinks while Jeromy watches sports. With a great offering of food and drinks, as well as a crowd that is just as into the game as you, you’re sure to find your sports crowd here as well as some tasty treats.
Must try item: Fish & Chips
Forno / The Blind Lady Tavern
Forno tops our list again with some of our favorite drinks such as their kiwi mule, which tastes like juice (I can go through 2-3 of these guys easy), and their apple manhattan. If you’re lucky enough to find out about it, Forno also occasionally hosts a speakeasy in their basement. Their last speakeasy was complete with an ice luge at the entrance, a band, and a dimly lit bar with all the prohibitions you are thinking of.
Blind City Tavern located just on the outskirts of downtown, is where we’ve found some of the most unique and interesting drinks in Columbus. Their drink menu is simple and small, but each drink is made with supreme care. One of their drink options is “tickle your fancy,” in which you pick a liquor and the bartender will surprise you with a drink–we have yet to have a bad drink yet. One of their bartenders, Alex, competed in a Bacardi competition last year and placed 3rd overall. His drink? An alcohol infused boba tea. Seriously (so good, and so strong).
Must try item: Apple Manhattan (Forno) / 1831 or Tickle Your Fancy (Blind City Tavern)
Favorite Columbus Restaurant
Salt & Pine
Salt and Pine is the foodie love creation from Chef Andrew Smith (previously at The Rossi), and some of the creative minds behind Harvest & Curio. With a crackpot team such as bakers like Xuedan (previously at Pistacia Vera), and sushi chef Sung, the food that comes out of S&P is some of our favorite in Columbus. With meals served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ye ain’t even know (how delicious it is, unless you’ve been).
Must try item: Porcini Pate, griddle cakes, pork sausage, & ancho chocolate cake
Favorite Fancy Restaurant
The Refectory is one of those restaurants, where you walk in and probably none of the decor has changed in the past 36 years it’s been open, but the awards continue to accumulate on their walls over the years, and the food continues to be phenomenal along with some of the best serving staff we have ever had. The restaurant is meticulously maintained for each table, with staff whisking away your dirty forks for clean ones and warm bread always on your table. We first went the Refectory on my 21st birthday, let me tell you, don’t go somewhere fancy with small plates on your 21st…it will not end well for anyone involved (Jeromy later wound up with my $150 meal thrown up on him, but he still loves me). For meals & service like this, it comes at quite the pretty penny so save it for an occasion, or continue to hunt their website for deals–they usually do things like 2 weeks of Restaurant Week.
Must try item: Brandy Brined Tennessee Emu Fan Filet
Now we love fancy restaurants on the occasion, but our true calling is cheap, good eats. The Philco burger is just that, $4 for a double burger of 2 oz patties, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion & mayo. It’s like a McDonald’s burger on crack, and so much better.
Must try item: Phillip’s Jr
Favorite Date Night Restaurant
A dimly lit restaurant with delicious food is always the key to a great date (because everyone looks flattering in dim light haha jk jk maybe). So be sure to trick your date, particularly if you met through Tinder, into meeting you at the Rossi for an evening bite. Split a prosciutto wrapped grilled caesar salad, order some delicious drinks (anything with Pim’s is always good), and get everything else on their menu. Also if you’re trying to have a wine night, they have a pretty bangin’ cheese plate.
Must try item: prosciutto wrapped grilled caesar salad, yukon gold french fries, tri-pepper dusted prime strip
Favorite Chinese Restaurant
Comfort food is everything. When you’re cold, when you’re feeling blue, or for when you’re feeling massively hungover, comfort food is there to save you. Our comfort food is the Chinese cuisine at Lucky Dragon in Clintonville. From their Hong Kong wonton soup, roast pork fried rice, or beef ho fun, the food here saves us all the time.
Must try item: Hong Kong wonton soup, roast pork fried rice, beef ho fun, eggs & tomato
Favorite Non-Columbus Restaurant
Taiwan & HK Trip
It was really hard to narrow down where our favorite meal was outside of Columbus, we traveled a lot this year, but our favorite trip was travelling to Asia to see our families and eating some of the best food we have ever had. In Taiwan, we traveled to Taipei and ate tons of fresh seafood, drank watermelon juice, and had mango shaved ice. In Hong Kong we had the most amazing wagyu beef and chef’s choice sushi at Mooloowooloo (try saying that fast). Not to mention food in Asia is so cheap (buns for $0.30 fo real), you can eat like kings all the time…as long as you’re not paying rent there.
Must try item: Wagyu beef in Hong Kong
Favorite Nom Life Moments
Our favorite Nom Life moment this year was quite the milestone! Getting engaged this year is one of the happiest moments of our life, and we are so happy to have you all along on our journey! Excited for 2016 and things to come!