Columbus Monthly’s Best New Restaurants: Emmett’s Café

A Brewery district café mixes a top-notch coffee program with an eclectic menu.

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Chia rose parfait and the Aussie Cap from Emmett’s Café

You can count on one hand the number of cafés in Columbus that marry solid espresso programs with outstanding food: namely Pistacia Vera and Fox in the Snow Café. Add newcomer Emmett’s Café on South High Street to that exclusive list.  

Emmett’s, which opened in October with the pandemic well underway, was prepared from the beginning by smartly offering a menu of easy-to-take-away foods and a large outdoor patio. To pull off this feat, its co-owners, Ben Kelley and his brother, Michael, brought together a trio of local talents: veteran barista Robin Myers (formerly of Pistacia Vera and Brioso Coffee), chef Lara Yazvac Pipia (formerly of Freedom a la Cart) and Josiah Littrell (a seven-year veteran of Northstar Café).  

The Emmett’s Café staff

A special shoutout goes to Yazvac Pipia (a past Columbus Crave Tastemaker) for her eclectic menu. It’s tough to find an item that doesn’t hit its mark on this menu, which covers breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

For breakfast, there’s the One-Handed, a slyly decadent take on the classic Egg McMuffin, with herbal notes from a rosemary aioli contrasted with a salty, crispy prosciutto. It’s just enough to kickstart the day. Looking for something more substantial yet healthy? Order The TK sandwich, featuring egg, avocado, white cheddar, arugula, whole grain mustard and a lemony zucchini pickle on Matija Breads’ focaccia. “It’s got this great textural contrast,” says Yazvac Pipia. “There’s still the egg and cheese. There’s avocado on it. It’s super green. It looks healthy, it feels really good to eat. And it’s just very bright and lemony and bracing.” 

The TK sandwich with a side of tots from Emmett Café

For lunch or dinner, excellent house-made falafel carries the Fancy Falafel Pita sandwich as well as the South High Salad, featuring greens, cauliflower, roasted beets, almonds, pickled onions, goat cheese and a lemony dressing. 

There’s not a misstep on the drink menu, either, which features Rishi teas and coffees from Melbourne, Australia-based Proud Mary Coffee. Among the espresso drinks, don’t miss the popular Aussie Capp, Myers’ chocolate-dusted homage to an Australian cappuccino. 

Emmett’sCafé, 744 S. High St., Brewery District, 614-826-0679, emmettscafe.com

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