Rapidly gaining a reputation as one of America's up-and-coming culinary destinations, Columbus' breakfast scene is creating a buzz with its diversity, one-of-a-kind experiences and vast number of five-star-worthy offerings.
From classic diner fare, to offbeat, ethnic and funky, Ohio's capital city has an unusual number of top-notch breakfast joints. In fact, the city's wealth of wonderful morning dining spots inspired the well-read food blog, breakfastwithnick.com, led by local writer and Professor Nick Dekker.
Known to his students as ‘Professor Breakfast’, the Ohio State University Theater Department lecturer attributes the city's popularity as a breakfast destination to its people.
"The strength of any restaurant scene rests on the personalities and entrepreneurs that make it happen," Dekker said. "The tremendous quality of the food and the diversity of offerings in the city are surely part of it, but what really makes Columbus breakfast so wonderful are the people who put in a ridiculous amount of hours running their restaurants. They always come up smiling, ready to welcome customers to their restaurant and make them feel loved."
With more than a dozen local coffee roasters and farmers' fields just minutes away, Columbus breakfast purveyors have easy access to the best local ingredients from which to craft their menus. Here are a few of the local favourites.
Latin-infused Katalina's legendary pancake balls stuffed with Nutella, fresh strawberries and dulce de leche are served with sweet and spicy bacon. Truffled egg and Mazatlan slow-roasted pork and egg sandwiches are just a sample of what draws the huge crowds that pack into this little corner eatery for breakfast every day.
In German Village, celebrated pastry chef Spencer Budros bakes with grace at Pistacia Vera. Classic French laminated doughs give way to stunning croissants, feuilletine and renowned French macarons. Breakfast seekers can also find daily quiche choices, a Greek yogurt parfait with toasted grains, almonds and house-made preserves, or smoked salmon tartare with crème fraîche and cucumber served with a rye croissant. Also in German Village, Skillet chef Kevin Caskey takes local to a higher level during Saturday and Sunday brunch with his changing-daily menu of southern-inspired dishes like Andouille sausage gravy and biscuits or eggs and grits.
Hand-held and just a couple of dollars each, Czech pastries and breakfast sandwiches rule the menu at Kolache Republic. This tiny cafe cranks out sweet and savory kolache, a fluffy, slightly sweet dough stuffed with fruit, nut, sweet cheese or meat fillings, then baked to tender perfection.
An early adopter of Columbus' passion for great farm-to-table breakfasts, Northstar Cafe is known for its Cloud Nine Ricotta Pancakes, turkey and sweet potato hash and ham and cheese scones so light they practically levitate.