Crave celebrates our city's signature dishes

Columbus isn't synonymous with one particular dish the way Cincinnati is with chili, or Chicago is with deep-dish, or Philly is with cheesesteak. But that doesn't mean we're lacking dishes that scream Columbus. They're the plates you can't order anywhere else in the country. The sandwiches you grew up eating. The bites you show off to out-of-town visitors. The stuff you'd pine after if you ever moved away. They're what restaurants brag about via menu declarations: "Home of the World Famous PastaSalvi!" "Enjoy the legendary Mother Mohawk!"

We whittled the list of only-in-Columbus dishes down to our favorite dozen. Finalists made the cut for numerous reasons, from having a fantastic name (like the Village Addiction) to being downright addictive (Marcella's veal meatball).


Tourists love this family-owned German Village spot, and they also love the Bahama Mama. The spicy smoked sausage is a heavily seasoned combo of beef and pork stuffed into natural casing. Fun fact: A Schmidt's family member named these guys after a particularly lovely trip to the Bahamas in the 1960s. The grilled links taste best on a toasted split-top sandwich bun dressed with some spicy mustard and horseradish.

Schmidt's Restaurant und Sausage Haus
240 E. Kossuth St., German Village