The small city of Columbus in Indiana boasts incredible buildings by the likes of I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, and Deborah Berke and also has a thriving art scene and many great restaurants. Here is a must-try list of some of the most delicious spots if you want to explore further.
4th Street Bar & Grill
Bar, Diner, Restaurant, Pub Grub, $$$
If you want to experience what being local is all about, then head to 4th Street Bar & Grill. Established in 1981, this venue is a popular neighborhood joint where friends and family gather for friendly conversation, good eats and great drinks. Within a laid-back atmosphere, visitors can chow down on tasty options such as grilled polenta with wild mushrooms; Korean BBQ mahi mahi with seasoned rice and vegetables; and the eponymous 4th Street burger topped with sautéed mushrooms, smoked bacon, Swiss and American cheeses. The menu also offers small plates, soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts. Plus, you’ll have plenty of drink options to wash everything down. The grill is open Monday through Saturday.
4th Street Bar & Grill, 433 4th Street, Columbus, IN, USA +1 812 376 7063
Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, American, $$$
Nestled inside a charming old brick house, Addison Bakehouse is a cozy and friendly café serving a variety of fresh local eats within a homey environment. Using the best ingredients available, the kitchen crew creates everything from scratch, plus they have bakers on-site producing tantalizing desserts. Serving lunch Monday through Friday, Addison’s menu features sandwiches such as the Rosemary Dill Chicken Salad Sandwich with or without grapes and caramelized onions, daily soups, and salads such as the Strawberry Fields Salad with spring mix, strawberries, mandarin oranges, craisins, feta cheese and caramelized walnuts, served with grilled ciabatta.
Addison Bakehouse, 1702 Pennsylvania Street, Columbus, IN, USA +1 812 567 3037
Diner, Restaurant, Indian, Asian
If you’re looking for authentic Indian cuisine, then add Apna Kitchen to your list of dining destinations in Columbus. Stepping into the open, warm and inviting interior space, you’ll be greeted with the incredible aroma of the exotic spices used in their recipes. The menu is large with everything from soup and appetizers to entrées featuring meat, poultry and seafood to vegan and vegetarian plates to Indo-Chinese specialties. Start off your meal with some vegan samosas before tucking into a plate of lamb korma with a side of garlic naan. There is also a selection of mouthwatering desserts available along with intriguing drinks such as the mango lassi. Apan Kitchen serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
Blackerby’s Hangar 5
Cafe, Restaurant, British, American, $$$
Blackeby’s Hangar 5 is a friendly café and catering company that specializes in tasty American eats the way comfort food should be. The establishment overlooks the airport runway, making it the perfect spot for the aviation enthusiast. The welcoming ambiance is enhanced by the cheerful staff. Serving breakfast and lunch daily, the restaurant’s menu offers hearty portions of specialties such as The Voyager, a scramble with fresh spinach, mushrooms, chicken, and cream cheese topped with hollandaise, and layer breakfasts such as The Skyhawk Pie, featuring potatoes, two basted eggs, sausage, green peppers, onions and cheese smothered with sausage gravy.
Blackerby’s Hangar 5, 4770 Ray Boll Road, Columbus, IN, USA +1 812 378 4010
Henry Social Club
Restaurant, European, French, Contemporary, Fusion, American, $$$
The Henry Social Club is the place to go if you’re seeking a more upscale night out on the town with friends or that special someone. No stone was left unturned when creating this downtown restaurant; from the exquisite food created by Chef Gethin Thomas to the interior design, complete with Eames chairs and mirrors from 1921. Serving dinner Tuesday through Saturday, the current seasonal menu features highlights such as the Caravaggio pizza with wild mushrooms, basil, mascarpone, garlic, lemon, and parmesan, and the grilled New York strip steak with the delicious flavors of tarragon, shallots, roasted potatoes in duck fat, wild mushrooms, watercress and tomato. Don’t forget dessert; try Sophie’s Butterscotch Pudding with candied hazelnuts and whipped cream.
Deli, Mexican, American, $$$
Papa’s Grill is a lively restaurant serving up tasty American food within a laid-back environment. Pair an order of breaded pepper jack cheese cubes or fried pickles with chipotle ranch dipping sauce. Or go all out and order the Diablo Burger topped with pepper jack cheese, fried jalapeño peppers, and bacon with a side of Buffalo hot sauce. If you’re seeking something lighter, you’ll find fresh, crisp salads on the menu too.
Papa’s Grill, 3780 West Jonathan Moore Pike, Columbus, IN, USA +1 812 342 9736
Sogno Della Terra
Cafe, Pastry Shop, Contemporary, Healthy, $$$
Sogno Della Terra is a delightful bakery and coffee shop located in downtown Columbus that specializes in both sweet and savory baked goods, freshly baked bread and delicious coffee. Open Monday through Saturday, Sogno Della Terra offers other goodies such as house-made soup, including the comforting creamy potato soup or chicken vegetable, and flatbreads topped with delicious ingredients such as oyster mushrooms and cheese or beef and onions.
Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Tre Bicchieri’s specialty is Italian food, but it’s not any regular Italian trattoria. The culinary team takes classic dishes and puts a fresh, modern spin on them. The menu has everything from build-your-own pasta dishes to stuffed portabello mushrooms and turkey piccata over fettuccini. And everything is made using the best ingredients from local sources when possible.
Ye Olde Fish House
Ye Olde Fish House is a legend on Columbus’ dining scene, having served generations of families for over 75 years. Located in a blue building, this friendly haunt keeps it simple with a small menu, but that doesn’t mean the flavors are simple. Sandwiches include a fish or tenderloin sandwich, delicious sides include classics such as fried potatoes, creamy slaw, macaroni ’n’ cheese or potato salad. All served weekdays only.
Diner, Restaurant, Italian, American, $$$
A popular independent pizzeria, ZwanzigZ Pizza has won numerous awards over the years, and for good reason. From appetizers to specialty pies to build-your-own varieties, the menu is uniformly delicious and incredibly varied. Start out with some cheese sticks served with garlic butter before ordering the Lasagna Pizza topped with ricotta, provolone, mozzarella and white cheddar cheeses, Italian sausage, and tomato sauce.