2019 Restaurant Bucket List

One of my favorite ways to kick off a new year is to create a Restaurant Bucket List. I could pretend that I am going to clean out my closet this year, or resolve to eat less cupcakes, but an eating goal seems a lot more achievable. The past few years I’ve created this list (2016 list|2017 list|2018 list), it’s really helped me keep track what new (or new to me) spots I need to sample. Here’s to more carbs, cocktails, and copious amounts of food flights in 2019!

El Lugar


Photo Credit: Instagram @ellugar614

Alpine, El Lugar’s sister restaurant, curated one of my favorite meals in recent memory, so I have great expectations for this tapas and wine bar. Even more exciting: the steak and wine flights (three steaks expertly paired with 3 reds)! This looks like this perfect place for shareables with friends.



Photo Credit: Instagram @comune_restaurant

Who knew a plant-based menu could get this creative? I’ve been eyeing the cuisine at Comune lately, and it looks heavenly. There’s a focus on seasonal and local ingredients here, with dishes like Coconut Squash Soup and the Crispy Fried Rice with kimchi. But the veggie-infused cocktails have me really intrigued: roasted carrot rum and matcha gin sound like must-tries.

Coppa Gelato


Another flight situation I need in my life: a gelato flight! This Westerville sweet shop boasts cannoli, coffee, and most importantly, cups of gelato. For the flight, you pick 4 flavors to devour in mini scoop form, and I’m already struggling to narrow down what my choices will be. Earl Grey? Pomegranate? Hazelnut Latte? I can’t wait.

Somewhere in Particular Brewing


I’ve had Nowhere in Particular’s beers at other locales, when it was a nomad brewery under that name, but I’m more than ready to sip on Somewhere in Particular brew at their new home base in Upper Arlington. Those suds will be washing down some of the scrumptious-sounding snacks on the menu, like Crack Candied Bacon and Beer Queso.

The Lox Bagel Shop


Photo Credit: Instagram @theloxbagelshop

You’ve likely seen social media photos of the beautiful beet cream cheese slathered on freshly baked bagels from Lox. I hope to join their ranks and nosh there soon, but it sounds like I’ll have to get up early. Bagels have been selling out fast because the eatery is so popular! Head to their Instagram page for more droolworthy bagel pics.

Helen’s Asian Kitchen


All my blogger buds raved about Helen’s spicy cauliflower dish, so when the restaurant closed, I was disappointed I never made it. Fortuntely, Helen’s and her famous fiery cauliflower meals are back, and 2019 is my year of redemption. I’ve got my eye on the bao and the green onion pancakes too.

Budd Dairy Food Hall


Coming later in 2019, this Italian Village concept is spearheaded by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, so I know it will be wonderful. The teasers so far have indicated that there will be 9 restaurants, 3 bars, and pop-up dining at the location, as well as a rooftop patio and games. It’s also right across from Seventh Son, which doesn’t hurt either.

Pierogi Mountain


Pierogi are my weakness. Pillowy potato puffs that are socially acceptable to slather in butter and sour cream? Yes please. The Summit Street spot is rumored to have a spectacular version, and I can’t wait to try them. Bonus points for the second location coming to German Village this year too.

Belgian Iron


Photo Credit: Instagram @belgianiron

Still more flights here! This time, I’m ready to try “wafel” flights in the Short North. This brand new joint is dishing up sweet and savory waffle varieties that I am more than willing to sample. Why pick between Lemon Creme + Berries or Balsamic Chicken Sriracha waffles when you can get both?



Sometimes the suburbs don’t get enough love, but I’ve heard great things about this Dublin favorite. I had a killer cheese plate here as part of the Celtic Cocktail Trail, but I need to return soon for a full meal. Calamari fries and osso bucco, here I come!

What dishes have you been drooling over so far in 2019? Did I miss any locales you love? Let me know in the comments below.

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Header Photo Credit: Instagram @belgianiron

2018 Restaurant Bucket List

Every year, I like to kick off the new year by compiling a list of restaurants that I haven’t yet had the pleasure of sampling, but hope to visit in the coming year. Some on the list are old favorites that I’m ashamed to say I’ve never tried, a few are new kids on the block, and one doesn’t open until later in 2018, but all are spots where I’m eager to eat. Here’s my 2018 Restaurant Bucket List!


Bacon Risotto from Veritas Tavern

I’ve written about one of my incredible experiences at the Delaware reiteration of Veritas here, but at the start of the year operations moved to Gay Street downtown. I expect to enjoy the dishes at this new locale just as much as the old one, since I still spy bacon risotto on the menu.

Cravings Cafe


Another business reborn in a new venue, Cravings is at the top of my to-do list. All the beloved treats from the former setting are here: breakfast sammies, chocolate chip cookies, and of course, brioche donuts (bronuts). Plus, I’m currently drooling over the daily specials like the corned beef hash burrito or the chorizo and beans over fried goat cheese corn cakes.

Momo Ghar


Lauded by critics and diners alike, Momo Ghar is a must-try for me this year. The Nepalese joint just expanded from the Saraga international grocery to an additional stall in North Market, and I’m currently drooling over the different iterations of the momo dumplings pooled in spicy sauces.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse Columbus


Photo Credit: Jeff Ruby Steakhouse via Instagram

This Cincinnati staple has put down Cbus roots, and I’m ready to devour all the steakhouse dishes next time I need a fancy night out. Classics like filet, Oysters Rockefeller, and crab cakes merging with more non-traditional items like prosciutto-wrapped pears and tempura lobster sushi rolls sounds just about perfect.

Harvey & Ed’s


Coming in Spring 2018, this Cameron Mitchell concept has me hungry already. Billed as a modern delicatessen, the Short North spot seems both approachable and innovative, touting menu items such as potato latkes, egg creams, and carryout sandwiches. Stay tuned for more on this one!

The Keep


Photo Credit: The Keep via Instagram

The revitalization of downtown’s LeVeque building also brought with it a new restaurant and bar, The Keep. Visions of the menu’s enormous smoking seafood tower and cocktails with gin and rhubarb syrup have haunted me every since. Furthermore, the Art Deco style of the new hotel has me ready for a stay-cation.

Eden Burger


I’m far from a vegan, but I love veggie burgers. I’ve heard great things about Eden Burger’s take on the patty, made with beans, rice, spices, and more. The buffet of toppings especially sounds craveable, even sporting a Western burger on the menu, crowned with BBQ, onion rings, fried jalapenos, and ranch.

The Light of Seven Matchsticks


Photo Credit: The Light of Seven Matchsticks via Instagram

A call to this speakeasy below Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza is long overdue. I’m intrigued by the secret hidden menu, the adventurous craft cocktails, and savory snack offerings. Soup dumplings, duck fat popcorn, and a brown butter bourbon drink might be the cure for the winter blues.

Asterisk Supper Club


Westerville’s Asterisk has proven it’s got staying power. I’m dying to try the afternoon tea, with finger sandwiches and scones, but the dinner dishes such as the chicken and waffles (fried chicken on a jalapeno and peanut butter waffle with honey butter syrup) appear mighty tasty too.



Photo Credit: Vaso via Instagram

Hotel restaurants are stepping up their culinary creations, and Vaso is another example of that. This Dublin locale has a rooftop lounge that makes me ready for summer, signature sangrias and tonic syrup, as well as Spanish tapas that will make you swoon.

What restaurant has your stomach growling in 2018? Send me an email or leave a comment below; I want your recommendations!

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2017 Restaurant Bucket List

The best and worst thing about Columbus’ phenomenal food scene is that there is always a new restaurant to try. I did a pretty good job at conquering last year’s locales, but this year there is a fresh crop of eateries to enjoy! I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the cuisine at the places below before 2017 ends:



Cosecha Columbus

Photo Credit: Silas Caeton

With a Mexican-inspired focus and Salt & Pine’s Silas Caeton at the helm, this new venture can’t go wrong. The spot doesn’t open until early 2017, but you can bet I’ll be first in line. The pop-ups they’ve had around town have looked divine. Pictured: Grilled octopus with mojo-marinated cabbage, red mole, and roasted taters.

Simply Rolled


A fun twist on Thai ice cream rolls, these treats are hard to track down but the reaction from fans radiates positivity. A flavored cream base is poured onto cold stones, mixed with toppings, and scraped into pretty rolls. Catch them at a festival or pop-up near you!

The Avenue Steak Tavern


The Avenue Steak Tavern

Photo Credit: The Avenue

As a huge Cameron Mitchell cheerleader, I must be crazy for failing to eat a full meal at this Grandivew joint. The classic steakhouse interior always looks inviting, and I’m such a sucker for a well-prepared steak. Plus, they have baked cheese fondue. When melty cheese is on the menu, you must order it, end of story.



Brunch is always a good idea, but when your diner of choice seeks out seasonal ingredients to create scrumptious-sounding comfort food, you can’t delay in visiting. I’ve got to visit Skillet in 2017, so I can gobble up entrees like quiche made with roasted butternut squash, kale, chevre, fresh thyme, and shallot baked in flaky pastry.



This Reynoldsburg watering hole has been on my radar for awhile. The number one reason: a bruschetta bar! Mix and match varieties like Brie and apple with fig jam, burrata and bacon, or ricotta, dates, and pistachios sound heavenly, plus there is some great happy hour pricing on beer and wine.

Paulie Gee’s


Paulie Gee's

Photo Credit – Paulie Gee’s

Where did I go wrong that I still haven’t made it to Paulie Gee’s, home of the mini pizza flight? That’s right, no more confining your choices to one pie – you can devour 3! When the menu contains pizza combos like the Monte Cristo (Canadian bacon, gouda, maple syrup) or The Katzingers 83 (swiss, pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian dressing drizzle), I’m drooling already.

Tensuke Express


A quick-service spot inside a beloved Japanese market, Tensuke Express cuts out the sushi and focuses solely on other delicacies. Dishes like ramen bowls, pork cutlet fried rice, and spicy shrimp udon make up the diverse menu, and I’m dying to try them all!

de Novo on the Park


The views of the new de Novo location look stunning, with large windows facing Columbus Commons and eclectic furnishings. The menu is intriguing as well – Duck BLT sliders, lobster mac, and kangaroo (!) too. I’m sold on noshing here next year!

Did I miss any noteworthy restaurant you love? Tell me in the comments below.

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2016 Hot List

2016 Hot List

It’s my dining bucket list! This compilation contains some eateries that are brand-new and some fan favorites that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t sampled yet. The thing I’m looking forward to the most about 2016 is discovering more Columbus cuisine and returning to the restaurants that I love.

Restaurants to Try

Salt & Pine:  http://saltandpine250.com
From ricotta gnudi to short ribs, every photo I’ve seen of the dishes here make my mouth water. Plus with Harvest Pizzeria as a sister restaurant, what could go wrong?

Krema:  http://www.krema.com
I’m obsessed with peanut butter anything, so I’m mystified that I haven’t made it to Krema before. With all kinds of peanut butter sandwiches and milkshakes too, this place sounds like my personal paradise.

Copious:  http://www.copiouscolumbus.com
This 2015 newcomer pops up on my radar constantly, so its menu must be pretty magical. Crab Dip? Duck Confit Risotto? Count me in.

Tai Tiki:  http://www.taitiki.com
Everything about Tai Tiki is tempting! They have seafood-heavy selections, and fruity, pineapple-garnished drinks. Who doesn’t want to be transported to the tropics in the dead of Ohio winter?

Kolache Republic:  http://kolacherepublic.com
The Czech bakery’s kolache are yeast dough pockets filled with sweet or savory goodies. I’m sure either kind will be divine.

Angry Bear Kitchen:  http://www.angrybearkitchen.com
Innovated dishes are the name of the game here, and I’m dying to check it out. Items like chicken-fried squash or grilled strawberry sauce sound wildly unique.

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant:  http://www.columbussunflower.com
I’m crazy for dim sum, so why haven’t I been here yet? This Dublin spot is touted as the best dim sum restaurant in town, and trying one of everything is the key to my heart.

Sweet Carrot:  http://sweetcarrotcolumbus.com
The beloved food truck turned brick-and-mortar in Grandview this year, and I’m intrigued by their offerings. Corn cakes and macaroni and cheese sound right up my alley.

Restaurants to Revisit

Here are some spots that I love, but that I’ve neglected lately. Each of these locations deserves a second or third visit, ASAP.

Guild House:  http://www.theguildhousecolumbus.com
I’ve enjoyed a remarkable happy hour at this beautiful Cameron Mitchell staple, but to gain a real appreciation for this spot, I need to come back for the full meal experience.

Denmark on High:  http://www.denmarkonhigh.com
It’s been far too long since I stopped back into Denmark, where my husband and I used to be regulars. The house-made cocktail components really shine through, and they serve up a mean charcuterie plate.

Charcuterie Plate from Denmark

Hounddog’s 3 Degree Pizza:  http://www.hounddogspizza.com
They know how to make a pie at this campus-area dive. Oh Smokin’ Joe’s crust, how I miss you. Can we get back together soon?

Veritas Tavern:  http://www.veritastavern.com
Every course I ate at Veritas Tavern this year blew my mind and the menu changes seasonally, so a return visit is definitely in order.

Veritas Tavern in Deleware

Lola and Giuseppe’s Trattoria:  http://www.lolas-italian.com
The teeny Gahanna gem is one of the best Italian spots in the city, but doesn’t get enough recognition. I could survive on the sweet onion bisque alone for at least a week.

The Refectory:  http://www.therefectoryrestaurant.com
It’s been forever since I’ve stopped into this upscale French classic. For my next special occasion meal, you’ll find me here.

Mikey’s Late Night Slice:  http://www.latenightslice.com/
I’m always in the mood for some Mikey’s. With the opening of the Fourth Street location with an expanded menu, there’s no time like the present!

Late Night Slice

What restaurants are must-try places for you in 2016? Have you been to any of these joints?

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