Hi friends! Hope your day is going super awesome.
I have been living in Columbus, Ohio since 2014 when I moved here to go to THE Ohio State University! Columbus has treated me so well. I really do love this city! I feel like when I talk to people about Columbus I may talk it up a bit too much, but I honestly cannot imagine who I would be if I had not moved to Columbus to pursue my degree.
So pretty much anyone who has visited me in Columbus has been on the same food tour of the city. In Columbus I have been able to find many local eateries that not only cater to my dietary needs, but also exceed expectations. In Columbus I rarely ever eat at chains, which I think is pretty cool and delicious.
So join me on a food tour of Columbus, all with gluten free options of course!
The Angry Baker
Update 6/3/20: The Angry Baker has permanently closed.
The Angry Baker is a local brunch place. Their gluten free vegan pancakes have my heart. Anyone with celiac knows, most breakfast options at restaurants include eggs, potatoes, and breakfast meats. Although those are fine options, they get boring and not appetizing after being the only options for years. When my friend Z took me here the first time I was nervous because the pancakes were vegan, but they are so delightful you would never know. The pancake flavors rotate seasonally. I have had sweet potato, strawberry, and carrot cake pancakes all of which were fantastic. The best part is they are always made gluten free, so you do not have to worry when you order. They also have other gluten free options, but honestly I have never ordered anything other than pancakes.
Katalina’s has one location, but recently I read they are working on opening another location, so that’s exciting. Katalina’s has a cute, little space, which makes for a long wait time on the weekends. On the weekdays the wait is not nearly as bad, if you are only around for the weekend, I still think it is totally worth it. They cater to all the dietary needs and the posted menu has all of this information. The two things they are known for are their pancake balls and their breakfast tacos. Unfortunately the pancake balls are not gluten free, but look delicious for any of your non gf friends. They fill them with things such as Nutella. I go for the breakfast tacos. They are traditionally made on soft corn tortillas so no need to worry there. I’m honestly salivating thinking about them right now. I thank my coworker for buying me my first breakfast tacos. I can’t thank him enough for helping me experience this amazingly trendy Columbus brunchery (I may or may not have just made up this word) (also don’t burst my bubble if it is a real word).
The North Market
So this is probably the only place I ever really go for lunch. I have a weird eating schedule most of the time and often times just snack and do not really eat lunch. When going to the North Market I do like going during lunchtime due to it being less crowded. The market has many different vendors selling many different options for food. My favs in the market include Market and Boar, Bubbles, and Pistacia Vera. When I go to the market I definitely treat myself. At Market and Boar I get their loaded chips. It is kettle-cooked chips with your meat of choice, house made cheesy sauce, a sour cream like concoction, tomatoes and jalapenos, except I get it without the tomatoes and jalapenos. I get bubble tea at Bubbles. I usually like to go for the pineapple tea with mango jellies if they have them. Lastly I treat myself to macaroons from Pistacia Vera. Although these are the vendors I usually go to, there are many more awesome vendors who have such great products. If you do decide to visit The North Market I do suggest taking a lap before deciding on your meal, the space is not too terribly big.
Update 6/3/20: I feel conflicted about updating this. Despite that I believe some people will find this information helpful. The last few days Columbus has had protests regarding police brutality against African Americans. Employees from Brassica have come out saying they have been treated very poorly throughout the COVID pandemic as well as during the protests. I say I am conflicted because it is difficult to find safe food as a person with dietary restrictions. But I also believe the places we spend are money matter. So I am adding it in so that you can make your own educated decision. As of now I have no plans to visit Ohio so, I don’t know if I will visit Brassica at that time. And just because I do something does not mean you need to do it exactly the same way. I really just wanted to bring this information to your attention.
Brassica is a local Mediterranean Style eatery. They serve the food in line style, like Chipotle, so my friend Z was always afraid to take me there. After meeting someone who had worked there before and being reassured I would be ok I finally gave it a try. The best part about this place is almost everything on the menu is gluten free. The only things that are not gluten free are the pita and the pita chips. You can get a bowl or a sandwich. Obviously I got the bowl, which has a rice and lentil base. I added chicken, hummus, eggplant, and tahini. It was so amazing. The day I went they did not have any pita, so I was extra in the clear, but despite the fact that everything is gluten free I would still mention if you are highly sensitive. The staff was super awesome and I’m sure they would go to extra measures to make sure no contamination has occurred. After eating here I do not know that I will ever eat at Chipotle again. It is so good it puts them to shame. I will definitely be back to Brassica in the near future and suggest you make a visit as well.
So I went back to Brassica. This time they had their pita bread, so I informed them I had Celiac. They were great. They changed utensils for me. They also had a large dish of hummus that they scooped mine out from the opposite side they had been using. This time I also tried the falafel and it will be my go to from now on. I had absolutely no problems after eating, so with that being said I fully suggest this place once again. It truly is great food! Oh and definitely try the minty beet lemonade!
Update 6/3/20: The protests I discussed earlier have been brutal in Columbus. Condado is a restaurant I thought would be more pro-Black Lives Matter. During the protests they decided they were going to feed the police department. When their employees said they would not work on that specific order they fired all of them. Hearing this disappointed me tremendously. Again I am telling you this so you can feel like you are making an educated decision. Below I talk about how I’ve eaten at Condado many times. At this point I do not know if I will eat at Condado again in the future. With this information I want you to make the decision that is right for you.
This is my go to taco place. Not going to lie to you friends, my friend Rachel and I went AT LEAST once a week last spring semester before graduation. It was bad how often we visited. They do have a pretty good happy hour on the weekdays between 4 and 7; unfortunately we did not visit too often during happy hour. Anyways our go to was to share a pitcher of house margaritas and chips and queso. After eating queso we would decide if we wanted tacos or more queso. One time we got more queso instead of tacos, it was a great and awful decision all in one. Walking home after eating that much queso was a struggle and kinda painful. On most other visits we got queso and then each of us would get one taco. They have suggested tacos, or make your own. I make my own, it is pretty fun and yummy. Also if you are going to be around Columbus often you should definitely join their rewards program. For every dollar you spend you get one point and after 50 you get $5 off. I won’t disclose the amount of points, or dollars saved using the rewards program, I will just say it’s worth it.
My gluten free friends… Harvest has perfected the gluten free crust I swear. It is the best gluten free pizza crust I have ever had in my entire life no lie, and I’ve tried gluten free pizza in Italy. On top of that I have shared my pizza with multiple gluten eating friends and they all enjoyed the crust. It has my stamp of approval and may be a reason I visit Columbus once I move away. Harvest has multiple locations, I usually visit the Clintonville location due to its proximity to where I live. The staff is also super knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and needs. My friend Z and I went and we wanted to share an appetizer. Our waitress told us what was gluten free, and how other things could be modified to be gluten free. We ended up sharing Brussels sprouts after the waitress suggested we get them without the breading. I appreciate that they know what they are talking about and are helpful in figuring out what I can eat. The Brussels sprouts were delicious even without the breadcrumbs. I’m sure my mom will be so shocked… I used to be the pickiest eater. My go to pizza is the Almond Pesto Pizza. It has almond pesto, artichoke hearts, spinach and mozzarella. They also have more traditional pizzas, and make your own, as well as burgers and sandwiches.
Yellow Brick Pizza
If you can’t tell, I have high expectation for gluten free pizza now that I have been introduced to Harvest. Despite this, I was willing and happy to give Yellow Brick a try. They did not disappoint. The gluten free pizza crust was great. It was like a normal old pizza crust, and much better than fast food pizza places. I also highly suggest the greek tater tots. They are regular tater tots you would get from the grocery with feta cheese, and Italian seasoning, ugh so good. The environment was also super fun and quirky. My friend Z and I went to the one near University District, but they also have a location in Old Towne East. They also have a bar, and seemingly good drink specials for the weekdays. It was also very affordable for eating dinner out, so that is always a plus.
Anyone who is super sensitive to gluten from cross contamination will be excited about Cherbourg. They are completely gluten and nut free, which is so awesome. On top of that their product is fantabulous. I first experienced Cherbourg when my previous job started carrying their product to be more inclusive to our gluten free friends, like me. I was in heaven. It was the first time in over two years at the coffee shop where I was working that we were selling a gluten free product. I was the official product taster when they brought in samples, it was great! Unfortunately the coffee shop I was working in stopped carrying their product, but they do have a storefront and there are other shops that I’ve heard are carrying their product. My absolute favorite of what I have tried is the strawberry scone. It is so rich and flavorful. My only complaint would be that it does fall apart easily, but that is not uncommon with gluten free foods. They also have donuts, which is not something many people make gluten free and they are delicious as well. If you are looking for something not so sweet, they have a mini zucchini bread loaf that is delectable. They are literally the perfect size for a treat and I froze some of them and they still tasted just the same when I got them out of the freezer. Anyways I believe they are definitely worth it whether you buy their product at one of the coffee shops they are sold in or you make the drive to Bexley to visit their storefront.
Ever since the first time I visited Jeni’s I was impressed. Jeni’s is a Columbus based ice cream shop that has grown and opened shops in many big cities in the United States. Jeni’s has always served phenomenal ice cream, but things just got better for us Celiac’s and gluten intolerant friends. Jeni the owner was trying to be more inclusive to people with dietary restrictions and changed recipes for some of the add-ins in the ice creams to make them gluten free. I was shocked. My friend Z was questioning the poor guy serving us about how, and what they make the add ins with, at the time she was specifically asking about the added in cookie bits. Supposedly they have been making a lot of their products with almond flour. I had cookies and cream ice cream for the first time in years. I was so giddy. The people behind me probably thought I was crazy, but come on cookies and cream is one of the best ice cream flavors ever. I will forever be a loyal Jeni’s customer because of the quality and the inclusivity of this company. Now the rest of the ice cream industry has to catch up.
Pattycake is a vegan bakery in Columbus. They are not 100% gluten free, but do carry a handful of gluten free products. Pattycake can be found at many local coffee shops as well as at their storefront in Clintonville. Unfortunately many of the shops that carry Pattycake either do not carry any of the gluten free products, or a very limited selection of gluten free products. If I want Pattycake, I usually go into their storefront and it’s super cute in there. For anyone that may be worried because it is a vegan bakery, don’t be. Their product is so tasty and worth it. My favorite treat from Pattycake would probably have to be their gluten free cupcakes. I’ve also tried their gluten free brownies, and cookies and suggest them all.
So there you have it my friends. My go to Columbus Food tour. I hope you enjoy and have great experiences visiting any and all of these amazing local eateries.