Northstar Cafe, Columbus, OH

I love heading down to Columbus to visit family because we always eat well when we’re down there, too. Most of the time we make a point to stop at the NorthStar Cafe in Clintonville when we’re in town. They have great food (everything is made in house), a local focus and customer service that rivals Zingerman’s.You order your food at the counter and they bring it to your table.

My only small compliant is that at peak hours it can be tough to find a table you don’t have to share with another group. They have a mix of smaller tables and a few large “community” booths that can fit up to 8 or 10 people.

On this dinner visit I ordered the Thai Burrito which can be adapted for vegetarians (made with tofu) or carnivores (made with roasted chicken). I opted for the meat version with the rotisserie chicken roasted in house. I also opted for the sweet potato fries in place of the, still delicious, tortilla chips and salsa. My burrito was stuffed with the chicken, peanut sauce, brown rice and coleslaw. It was large enough that I would have been satisfied with just one-half, but it was so good I was happy to have two! The sweet potato fries were crispy and delicious, not the best I’ve ever had, but far from my least favorite.

The atmosphere in NorthStar is always lively and can be a bit loud. Considering you don’t tip the staff, the food prices aren’t too bad for the quality and for the fact that they do bring your food to you. Still a regular stop on our food tour of Columbus.