Celebrating Bethel Road, One of the Best Stretches in the City for Dining

Our picks of the best must-try dishes, international markets, snacks and more

Columbus Monthly
Coco Hot Pot

When you approach Exit 8 on State Route 315, there’s a blue sign that reads “Food — Next Right: McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Tim Hortons, Bob Evans, Chipotle, Five Guys.” Imagine for a second that the sign told a different story about Bethel Road, one more authentic to Columbus’ history and changing demographics and tastes, listing staples like Min-Ga Korean Restaurant, Jiu Thai Asian Café, The Refectory Restaurant & Wine Shop and Los Guachos Taqueria.

Our imaginary sign would tout Bethel Road, named after the old Bethel Church (now home of The Refectory), as one of the city’s most interesting and best dining destinations. Sure, there may be prettier thoroughfares (with less traffic), but few that are more diverse—a microcosm of the city. Bethel boasts immigrant-owned restaurants going back generations, two Korean markets and a fantastic Turkish one, a French chef who strives to keep fine dining relevant, some of the best tacos and Chinese hot pot in town, one very popular strawberry cake and much, much more. The following stories are a love letter to a 3.5-mile stretch of the city that begs exploring, west from 315 to the bend where Bethel and Hayden roads collide. As chef Avishar Barua, a Columbus native and Bethel Road superfan, asks: “What is Columbus food?” For an answer, just take a look around Bethel Road.

21 of Bethel Road's Greatest Hits

The banh mi sandwich from Buckeye Pho

Hand-stretched noodles, French terrine, al pastor tacos and other tasty finds. Read more

The History and Evolution of Bethel Road

How a rural, two-lane road became a busy corridor for international dining and groceries. Read more

Two Service Industry Insiders Recommend Their Favorite Bethel Road Spots

Krizzia Yanga of Bonifacio and Boni: Filipino Street Food and Avishar Barua recommend their favorite places to eat on Bethel Road. Read more

Seven International Groceries and Markets on Bethel Road

Gourmet Fine Foods by Istanbul Market

Bethel Road has a diverse mix of markets ranging from Korean to Turkish to Mexican—many of them offering excellent prepared foods and baked goods. Read more

Korean Market Han Ma Oom Continues Under New Ownership

Business owners Sujin Park and her husband, Wonju La, are getting used to their new routines the small Korean grocery store they acquired in March. Read more

13 Must Try International Snacks Found on Bethel Road in Columbus

International snacks to find on Bethel Road

Is there any more vibrant, delicious glory than a well-stocked snack aisle? Here's our baker's dozen of international snacks to try. Read more

Meet Chef Richard Blondin of The Refectory

Chef Richard Blondin will celebrate his 30th anniversary at Bethel Road's The Refectory in 2022. Read more

Six Bethel Road Sweets and Desserts to Try

Strawberry cake from Golden Delight Bakery

From Golden Delight’s famous cake to a classic crème brûlée, here are six Bethel Road sweets to try. Read more

This story is from the May 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.