A fun and stylish plant-based cafe

2019 was a big year for plant-based dining around the U.S., and Columbus was no exception. Proudly women-owned and -operated, Woodhouse Vegan was a pop-up inside Oddfellows Liquor Bar for two years before sisters Cara, Nicole and Krista Woodhouse along with mom Carla opened their stylish plant-based café in October.

If Comune is the perfectionist older sibling among Columbus’ veg-focused restaurants, then Woodhouse is the easygoing little sister who’s the life of the party. 

The cozy Italian Village café, with its 1900s-era exposed brick, bustling open kitchen and staff sporting black Dickies coveralls, offers a cheerful and inclusive vibe. Gluten-free? No problem. Allergic to soy? Sure, they can work with that. Part of the family’s mission is to make vegan fare (or dining out with food allergies) less scary, and they succeed.  

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The food menu, a blend of junk food and comfort food (call it stoner-casual), is consistently delicious, too, ranging from pretzel bites to a grilled cheese on Lucky Cat bread to Skyline-inspired chili to flavorful and filling West African peanut stew.

Woodhouse’s OG Loaded Nachos, the chips organized vertically in a loaf pan, can contend with any meat-burdened ones in town. The same goes for its large Superfood Caesar salad, which is packed with kale, capers, garlic-roasted chickpeas, hemp-heart crumbles and a creamy cashew dressing. Anchovies be damned—or, in this case, saved.

Maybe it’s those Dickies coveralls, but when you walk into Woodhouse, you can’t help but think: This is what cool looks like in 2020. It will be even cooler when the café’s back patio finally gets approval. Woodhouse does serve beer, wine and liquor, so look for that patio to be a popular drinking spot.

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