Columbus Monthly’s 2021 Best New Restaurants

Ten dining spots that inspired us during a difficult year

Columbus Monthly
Chef Stephan Madias at Wario's Beef & Pork

Whether it’s an East Coast-style sandwich carryout or a mecca for handmade pasta or a fast-casual Somali restaurant, our favorite new dining spots of the past year have one thing in common: They’ve rolled with the punches. Some opened before the COVID-19 outbreak began last year, forcing them to pivot; others opened in defiance of the historic pandemic, with safety and takeout plans in place from the start.  

Restaurants changed this year and so did we. Several of our typical barometers for evaluation—such as dining experience, service and pretty plating—went out the window in a world dominated by takeout and delivery. Instead, we focused on ingenuity, potential and—simply—good food. Here are 10 of the top newcomers to open from November 2019 to October 2020.

Afra Grill, North Side

Chapman’s Eat Market, German Village 

Cleaver, Grandview 

Emmett’s Café, Brewery District 

Natalie’s Music Hall & Kitchen, Grandview

Novella Osteria, Powell 

Preston’s: A Burger Joint/Honey’s Fried Chicken & Biscuits, Short North 

Rooh, Short North

Village Taco—The Joint, Merion Village 

Wario’s Beef and Pork, Arena District

More:Sign up for Columbus Monthly's Best New Restaurants At-Home Experience, March 9-20