Not an hour after a lengthy chat with a fellow editor about which of the city's best restaurants would make this year's Crave 10 list, a gentleman named Tom calls me. "Is there anywhere in this town to get good Mexican?" he asks. Of course, I tell him, mentioning great taco spots like Los Guachos and Hass, along with the authentic trucks on the West Side.

Not an hour after a lengthy chat with a fellow editor about which of the city's best restaurants would make this year's Crave 10 list, a gentleman named Tom calls me. "Is there anywhere in this town to get good Mexican?" he asks. Of course, I tell him, mentioning great taco spots like Los Guachos and Hass, along with the authentic trucks on the West Side.

When asked to compare notes on the best restaurants in the city, I couldn't help but laugh to myself. This reader was unknowingly getting a sneak peek at this year's lineup. Don't be deceived by the name, I tell him; Wolf's Ridge Brewing-the newcomer to the Crave 10 list-is so much more than a brewpub. And has he tried Veritas in Delaware? That modern eatery earned top marks last year, in its first year in business.

Tom remained skeptical, though, as the conversation turned to talk of institutions that top other best-of lists in town, and how they fall into the mix.

Finally, he blurts out what I could tell he was thinking all along: "Well, Columbus doesn't really have any good restaurants does it?"

I disagreed-kindly, of course. If that were the case, if Columbus really didn't have any noteworthy restaurants, you wouldn't be holding this magazine right now. I also wouldn't be struggling to narrow down story ideas to a mere 156 pages every quarter. There's more than enough good stuff going on in our local food and drink scene.

This year's Crave 10 (on page 82) proves that. Within the 270 loop (and one just beyond), you can fill up on Lowcountry comfort foods, be wowed by artful plates at a brewpub, attend a convivial dinner party in Victorian Village or taste authentic Japanese fare. And I'm just getting started.

While food is a big part of which restaurants make the Crave 10 each year, that's not the only thing we consider. A restaurant is an entire experience, so we take into account all elements. We pay attention to the setting and to the service. We take a close look at expertise behind the bar-including cocktails, wine and beer. The result is 10 restaurants where you are guaranteed an extraordinary dining experience.

Just think of it as the editors of Crave sharing their favorite spots-like a friend giving a great recommendation.

Enjoy!

Beth Stallings, Editor

I'd love to hear what you think of the magazine! Email me feedback on what you love and what you think we could do better at bstallings@columbuscrave.com.