My dad is one of the hardest people to shop for so for Christmas my sister and I purchased him and ourselves tickets to the Breakfast Tour with Columbus Food Adventures. He loves breakfast and we often meet him for breakfast at the German Village Coffee Shop so we thought this would be a fun way to spend time together and to discover some delicious breakfast places. We made sure to buy the tickets online super early since they sell out quickly. The selection of tours ranges from a Taco Truck Food Tour to the recently added Brunch Tour and with 11 tours to choose from, there’s one for every foodie out there. We participated in our tour this weekend and it was a lot of fun. Our tour guide was Nick Dekker, a breakfast food blogger and author of Breakfast With Nick: Columbus. For only $55 a ticket, we stopped at five locations: Ethyl & Tank, Buckeye Donuts, Jack & Benny’s Brainstormer Restaurant, Oddfellows, and Fox In The Snow. We ate some great food on this tour, discovered some new places, and learned a little bit of history about these local eats.
After we piled into the tour van, we made our way down to campus to our first stop, Ethyl & Tank. Ethyl & Tank has been opened for a year and operates as a bar/restaurant/coffee shop. We began by making our own Bloody Mary sample at the Bloody Mary bar (I went with cilantro infused vodka, the regular mix, a few spoonfuls of bacon, a dash of pepper, and garnished it with a stalk of celery) then moved to a private table upstairs for samples of their most popular breakfast dishes, pancakes topped with pulled pork and a waffle with a fried chicken wing on top. I wasn’t sure I would be into these dishes and the pancake totally caught me off guard. It was delicious! So sweet yet savory at the same time. The waffle wasn’t my favorite but I am definitely more of a pancake fan. The restaurant was very chill and the bar was lined with big screen TVs for your viewing pleasure.
Next, we traveled just a little further down High Street to Buckeye Donuts. I used to live right behind Buckeye Donuts during my time on campus but only ever stopped there twice (once for dinner, once for a late night snack). We headed straight to the back where the Nick told us a little bit about the history of the donut shop before the owner shared a little more fun trivia. We were able to sample several types of donuts throughout the lesson, which were absolutely delicious (I’m boring and snagged a piece of sour cream and glazed but, boy, were they delicious). Near campus after hours and looking for some delicious food, Buckeye Donuts is open 24-7.
Our third stop, Jack & Benny’s Brainstormer Restaurant at the airport was a little further away in a spot I had never visited. The original Jack & Benny’s is located near North Campus but this second family owned location opened at the OSU airport in 1995. Home of the Gutbuster, the diner is a charming little pace with easy access to the old control tower, which is open to the public to watch small aircraft take off and touch down. They even have free coloring books for kids. We were able to sample a buckeye pancake, which had chocolate chips and peanut butter and was sweet deliciousness. Then we had a “small” sample of the Gutbuster, which is ham, cheese, eggs, and potatoes topped with creamy gravy. Jack & Benny’s Brainstormer Restaurant is a perfect place to take the kids for some delicious breakfast followed by plan watching at the tower.
After our third stop I was starting to feel pretty full but Katalina’s by Oddfellows was too good not to sample. Katalina’s is a small cafe in Harrison West that now serves their very own cuisine at this Mikey’s Late Night Slice bar/restaurant. We received samples of classic Katalina’s cuisine, which included pancake balls (one filled with Nutella, one with dulce de leche), Migas (eggs scrambled with Sriacha Romesco sauce, bits of Shagbark chips and pepitas, and fresh chives) and a side of toast slathered with more Romesco. The migas and toast were delicious but at this point I was only able to take a bit of the Nutella-filled pancake ball, which was soooo tasty! I wish I could have expanded my stomach and eaten more. This was one of my favorite places in terms of aesthetics and I will definitely be making another stop here soon.
Last but not least, we headed out to Italian Village to the new Fox In The Snow. This coffee shop/bakery/cafe was constructed from an old mill and turned into a hip, bright, airy eatery. Being our last stop on our tour, we arrived here around 12:30 and it was bustling with most tables full of individuals sipping coffee, chatting over baked goods, or reading. We were able to choose from their samples of cinnamon rolls (um, hello, delicious!), buttermilk biscuit (not as good as my favorite at Northstar but pretty yummy), blueberry scone, and blueberry poptart. One of the owners told us a little bit about the cafe’s background and shared some photos of what the mill looked like before they got their hands on it. It’s really impressive that they made something so cool from something so worn down. This is one of many third-wave coffee shops but is one of the coolest I have stepped foot in, though, I’m not sure I’m quite hip enough to make it a regular spot.
I ate soooooo much delicious food during this 3.5 hour experience and enjoyed spending time with my family while exploring my favorite city, Columbus. I highly recommend checking out one of the food tours, as I will be doing another one in the future (likely a walking tour). Also, thank you so much to our guide Nick for sharing his love for Columbus and all its yummy breakfast food.
Check out upcoming tours here.