Dublin, Ohio, is in the midst of a culinary boom. The city’s thriving Bridge Park development on the east side of the Scioto River has fueled a rush of restaurants that reflect and inspire the already impressive lineup of eateries in on the river’s west bank. “Bridge Park has exploded Dublin’s food scene,” says Bethia Woolf, co-owner of the food-themed tour company Columbus Food Adventures. “It’s a town that has always supported local restaurants, but the development really allowed it to expand. Now you have this fabulous mix of long-established restaurants in the historic downtown and a whole slew of new culinary experiences on the other side of the river.”
There are more than a dozen restaurants within the new development alone and more are slated to open soon, including the fourth eatery by well-known Columbus restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. Linked together by a striking $23 million pedestrian bridge, the two sides of Dublin offer a new riverside park, an extensive art walk, and plenty of shopping options to explore between meals. Both sides offer Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas, so feel free to walk around with an alcoholic beverage in hand.
Where do you begin to explore this culinary expanse? Here are some suggestions to point you in the right direction.
A staple of the local culinary scene for more than 20 years, Tucci’s features fresh hand-cut steaks and seafood, unique appetizers, and an extensive wine list of more than 300 bottles. The menu of steaks and chops is extensive and flexible, with a host of additional enhancements and sides from which to choose. Pizzas and pastas join entrées like the mango serrano tuna stack, huli chicken, and seared jumbo scallops with crispy prosciutto.
35 N. High St., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 792-3466
This is where southern comfort nests comfortably within an upscale modern lounge. The sophisticated cuisine includes local twists on southern classics, such as shrimp and grits with andouille sausage, bacon, trinity, and red eye gravy; fried chicken and waffles with maple gravy and hot honey; and short rib hash with sunny side up eggs, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, cremini mushrooms, red peppers, poblano chimichurri, and cilantro. The modern decor creates a great atmosphere for sampling handcrafted Southern cocktails, like an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac, or perhaps a selection from their extensive array of bourbons.
6628 Riverside Dr., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 905-1666
Inspired by the spirit of coastal California and traditional wine country cafés, this contemporary wine bar and bottle shop/restaurant offers rotating, seasonal blends from Tuscany, Austria, Napa Valley, and more. The interior is certainly chill, somewhere between an airy beach retreat and cozy country inn, while the bottle shop offers wines from the American west and other global wine regions. Some beers are available along with light, refreshing cocktails like the Aperol spritz or slushy di giorno. Pair your drinks with nibbles from the Italian-inspired menu, such as prosciutto and melon, tomato toast, Castelvetrano olives, or berries and cream.
75 S. High St., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 553-7227
With travel at its heart, this brewery hopes to whisk you away (mentally at least) to far off destinations with beers like Tuk lager, Alpine Architecture pilsner, and Bungalow IPA. The space is light and airy with a greenhouse overlooking the valley below. Food is available from nearby restaurants, including seafood and fine steaks from The Avenue Steak Tavern and the innovative tavern fare of The Pearl gastropub.
108 N. High St., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 389-0137
The first time Columbus’s iconic public market has expanded to an additional location, the Bridge Park version offers more than a dozen eateries that span the culinary globe, including Kintsugi Sushi Bar, Dos Hermanos Tacos, Falafel Kitchen, Pasta Ditoni’s, and Lan Viet. Baked goodness and sweets abound with an array of treats available from Bake Me Happy, Bread Bakery + Café, and Rime Time Curiously Crafted Pops. Even more restaurants are slated to open soon.
6750 Longshore St., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 683-8800
La Chatelaine French Bakery and Bistro
Originally founded by a couple from France, the family-owned La Chatelaine is a step into a Normandy country café. The bistro serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offering French classics such as petit déjeuner Français, boeuf Bourguignon, poutine, and escargots de Bourgogne. The bakery presents a sumptuous panoply of goodness, including macaroons, beignets, chocolate mousse, eclairs, and no fewer than six types of croissants. Fresh breads are made in-house and often served right out of the oven; wine, beer, and cocktails are available.
65 W. Bridge St., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 763-7151
WHERE TO STAY
With its European-influenced design and calming, graceful interiors, AC Hotel Columbus Dublin is the perfect place to recover from your culinary adventures. But if you’re not quite ready to turn in just yet, VASO’s rooftop lounge offers sophisticated cocktails, creative tapas, and expansive views of the Scioto River valley. Check out the private cabana seating or the heated igloos in the cooler months. Menu highlights include the fennel braised pork cheeks, Brazilian cheese bread bites, and a seafood paella (for two) that includes tiger shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, and saffron rice. There is also an array of frozen drinks, house cocktails, and simple, clean Japanese highballs.
6540 Riverside Dr., Dublin, Ohio, (614) 798-8652