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Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton dining

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upcoming business trip: I am flying into Columbus, driving to Cincinnati and leaving out of Dayton for a quick three day trip. Looking for the following:

Columbus: great lunch place(easton area or north)
Columbus: happy hour with great food specials(anywhere but will be driving to Cincinatti after)
Cincinatti: great lunch spot downtown or close to, happy hour downtown with great food specials
Dayton: lunch spot(will be in Miamisburg), happy hour with great food specials

I prefer happy hours becuase they are less expensive(on a per diem) and i can eat early. This also gives me the opportunity to try great restaurants in the areas I travel for less money while dining alone.

I am open to all foods, no chains please, i like to eat local. live in texas no so only BBQ if it is awesome

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  1. Columbus happy hour deals - G. Michael's in German Village (www.gmichaelsbistro.com) has great specials at the bar and a great atmosphere in a gorgeous neighborhood.

    Columbus lunch - for north, I love Worthington Inn in Worthington. Beautiful old hotel with lots of locally sourced foods. www.worthingtoninn.com

    1. If you're in Miamisburg on Friday, you're not far from Rue Dumaine in Centerville. Great food run by an award winning chef. Unfortunately, Friday is the only day they offer lunch. In that general area, there's a couple of decent steak houses, The Chop House and small chain J Alexander's. In "downtown" Miamisburg there is Giuliano, run by a family who's owned restaurants in the Dayton-area for about 100 years. They offer a decent and small lunch buffet. They usually offer one chicken and one fish entree on the buffet, along with pizza, and do a good job in keeping up with it.

      1. If you need to eat lunch at Easton, I would suggest Northstar. They are a locally-owned mini-chain (three locations in Columbus) and the food is very good. I also think it's an excellent renovation of an old Smith and Hawken building. You order at the counter and they bring your food. If there's a long line, you can go directly to the bar. The house-made ginger ale is excellent, as is their veggie burger, their tomato soup with olive tapenade, and the cheeseburger with fries. I find the people-watching fun and the atmosphere as pleasant as the food. Most of the other restaurants in Easton and the area are fast food or national chains, alas.

        For a happy hour with good food in Columbus, you might look into G. Michael's, as everything there is consistently excellent. It's in German Village but close to the highway. Barcelona, in the same area, might be another good choice but I will have to check and see what their happy hour situation is and get back to you.

        I can't help with Dayton, sorry.

        I don't know about happy hour specials in Cincinnati off the top of my head, but will look around and try to get back to you.

        1. Another option at Easton would be Cafe Istanbul, another local chain (three locations in the Columbus area/Turkish-Mediterranean) but I don't think you can go wrong with Northstar Cafe. The ginger ale is a treat and the burger, flatbreads and brunchy items I've all found very good.

          I'd second or third G. Michael's in German Village.

          Can't really help with Cincy or Dayton, but here's hoping you can find something worthwhile in both cities.