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).


All the novelty dogs at this hipster hangout have clever monikers, but only one is named after a Columbus rock band. The Whoa Nellie's topped with pulled beef brisket and drizzled in barbecue sauce and got its name from restaurateur Elizabeth Lessner, who calls herself a "huge fan" of frontman Bob Ray Starker. The shout-out is especially fitting at Dirty Frank's, where the jukebox is filled entirely with songs from local bands.

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace
248 S. Fourth St., Downtown