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Aug 17, 2007 12:07 PM

Columbus, OH eats near COSI

We're taking a day trip to COSI tomorrow and would like to have dinner nearby before we head back home.

Looking for family-friendly, casual, non-fast-food establishments. Kids are great eaters, not picky. We're sort of in an ethnic food rut, so kindly steer us away from Indian or Thai or the like. Looking for: delis, contemporary American, etc.


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  1. The Short North, Arena District, Grandview, Victorian Village and German Village areas are all within a 10 minute drive. Everything in Columbus is pretty casual. How about Tratorria Roma on Grandview Ave? You should make a reservation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Diane in Bexley

      How old are the kids? I wouldn't describe most restaurants in the Short North, Grandview, Victorian Village, or German Village as family friendly, especially on a Saturday night. There are exceptions (Katzinger's, Schmidt's, Hoggy's would all fit your requirements).

      The Arena District is mostly chains, and is more child friendly. BD's Mongolian Barbeque is a fairly new chain that kids of all ages like. Ted's Montana Grill (the Ted is Ted Turner) has bison dishes. You'll have to pay to park for any place in the Arena District.

      The Florentine (907 W. Broad) is really close to COSI. It is a big, old Americanized Italian place that is straight out of the 1970's. The food is good but not great, but the place has atmosphere, and other diners won't be staring at you wondering why you brought your kids.

      Barley's Smokehouse and Brewpub (1130 Dublin Road) is another family friendly option.

      1. re: kura kura

        The kids are 10 and 7. I wanted "family friendly" in that people wouldn't mind kids in the restaurant. They both eat well beyond chicken fingers and burgers. We'd like to avoid chains as well.

        ETA: Both kids are very well-behaved and have done well in upscale restaurants. I don't want to pay upscale restaurant prices for this trip, hence the "family friendly, casual" description.

    2. If you just head North on High Street to the Short North, you can stop at Northstar Cafe . . very casual, and very good food . . . veggie burgers, chopped salads, burritos, flatbreads, tofu and chicken stirfries, etc. Not a huge menu, but everything is freshly prepared and mostly locally grown. My kids (10 and 5) like it a lot. If you are heading North (going home), then just take either 315 or 71 to either Henderson Exit (on 315) or Cooke (on 71), head towards High street and there's another one at High Street and Henderson.

      1 Reply
      1. re: eahohio

        Thanks, everyone. I'm thinking we'll do either Northstar Cafe or The Florentine, depending on what everyone feels like eating.