Listen, I hate to play favorites, but it’s important to highlight what’s great about the Columbus food scene. So here are what I think are the best breakfasts in Columbus, Ohio!
Because? From its Short North side street, The Lox Bagel Shop turns a simple proposition (sandwiches with fresh bagels) into a real success. Care and attention to ingredients result in some of the best bagels in town with winning combinations like house-cured lox or pastrami, fresh cream cheese and eggs.
where? 772 N. High St., Short North
What to order: Pastrami on top, lox with egg on sea salt and herb
Read more: The Lox Bagel Shop
Because? Starliner Diner, a Hilliard institution and one of Central Ohio’s most beloved breakfast spots, offers classic cuisine with a focus on Mexican and Cuban dishes. Add in quirky clock decorations, giant space-themed murals, and other touches, and it’s easy to see why this is a longtime community favorite.
where? 4121 Main St., Hilliard
What to order: Cuban French toast, chilaquiles with chorizo
Read more: Starliner Diner
Because? Not to be confused with The Original Pancake House, The Pancake House is a family-owned breakfast spot with two locations. In addition to standing out for their namesake dish, they also build on their background to serve huevos rancheros, breakfast tamales, and a Venezuelan brunch dish featuring arepas.
where? 1182 E. Powell Rd., Lewis Center and 129 W. Schrock Rd., Westerville
What to order: Cinnamon pancakes, Venezuelan brunch
Read more: The Pancake House (Lewis Center) and The Pancake House (Westerville)
Because? South of Lane is a cozy, laid-back neighborhood cafe in Upper Arlington that serves up the classics with a wry twist. The omelets, hash browns, and burritos are perfectly executed, but the fun lies in their over-the-top selections, like the bourbon pecan French toast, the breakfast Man Bun, the loaded waffle sandwiches.
where? 1987 Guilford Rd., Upper Arlington
What to order: SOL omelet, PB3 waffle with peanut butter, bacon, Nutella, banana
Read more: South of Lane
Because? In a city full of great diners, Tommy’s consistently lands on top. Run by the Pappas family, this Franklinton restaurant just celebrated 30 years of colorful Americana decor, good camaraderie, giant omelets, home fries, eggs benedict, and some of the best Belgian waffles in town.
where? 914 W. Broad St., Franklinton
What to order: Greek omelette, Belgian waffles
Read more: Tommy’s Diner
Because? Quirky Katalina’s is known for Latin-inspired dishes and colorful decor that includes guests drawing on the walls, plus catchy phrases like “Peace, Love and Pancake Balls.” In addition to focusing on local ingredients, Katalina offers unique finds like giant breakfast tacos, migas, Mexican French toast, and even Latin-leaning okonomiyaki.
where? 1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Harrison West and 3481 N. High St., Clintonville
What to order: Pancake balls with Nutella, sweet and spicy bacon, breakfast Chick’wich
Read more: Katalina’s and Katalina’s too
Because? Emmett’s is inspired by Australian-style coffee shops, offering expert coffee service alongside a dynamic menu that goes beyond just pastries or breakfast. Both of their locations have quickly become community hangouts, especially the new Old North location in the historic open-air building. Special kudos for thoughtful menu items like overnight oats, avocado toast, and breakfast bowls.
where? 744 S. High St. (German Village) and 2571 Neil Ave. (Old North)
What to order: One Handed Breakfast Sandwich, Breakfast Burrito, Aussie Cappuccino
Read more: Emmett’s Cafe (German Village) and Emmett’s Cafe (Old North)
Because? Since the first Fox in the Snow opened in the fall of 2014, Columbus has fallen in love with the bakery and cafe. It’s hard to resist the array of freshly made pastries, the wonderfully executed coffee, and that egg sandwich that just doesn’t look that good. Low counters and a lack of wifi also make coffee shops conducive to much-needed conversation and connection.
where? 1031 N. Fourth St., Italian Village; 210 Thurman Ave, German Village; 160 W. Main St., New Albany
What to order: cinnamon rolls, blueberry cookies, that egg sandwich
Read more: Fox in the Snow (Italian Village), Fox in the Snow (German Village) and Fox in the Snow (New Albany)
Because? DK packs a punch: some of the best donuts in town + great breakfasts. The beloved Grandview restaurant ranks among the best donuts in town for their old-fashioned longjohns, apple fritters, as well as fillings like the DK All The Way, large omelets, biscuits and gravy, hashish. Get the best of both worlds with the Donut Sandy by using a grilled glazed donut as the bread!
where? 1715 W. Third Ave., Grandview
What to order: DK All The Way, chorizo hash, old fashioned sour cream
Read more: DK Money
Because? Chef Henry Butcher’s Creole cuisine helped introduce Columbus to Creole and Cajun cuisine many years ago, and his family’s King-Lincoln restaurant is still a mainstay. Hungry diners head to him for fresh beignets, BLTs, grits with shrimp or catfish.
where? 1052 Mt. Vernon Ave., King-Lincoln Bronzeville
What to order: beignets, Eggs Basin Street with rice patties
Read more: Creole cuisine
Because? The Barouxis family has been feeding Ohio State students since 1969. What originally started as a coffee and donut shop has grown into an institution known for freshly made donuts, breakfast sandwiches and presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a week.
where? 1998 N. High St., Campus
What to order: buckeye donut, maple bacon longjohn, apple fritter, everything
Read more: Buckeye Donuts
Because? While the Short North grows and changes, Tasi Cafe has remained steadfast on Pearl Street for over 15 years. The cozy location, great coffee and fresh pastries, and creative breakfasts like buttermilk pancakes, French toast, and smoked salmon bagels keep guests coming back year after year.
where? 680 N. Pearl St., Short North
What to order: jallah french toast, poached eggs with black bean cakes
Read more: Cafe Tasi
Because? An extension of the popular Way Down Yonder on the South Side, this downtown shop specializes in this New Orleans signature pastry. They offer excellent plain beignets covered in powdered sugar, as well as versions like Banana Foster or Fried Stuffed Oreos. Not in a sweet mood? Try a Southern breakfast or shrimp and grits.
where? 368 E. Main St., Downtown
What to order: Donuts, of course! But you can’t go wrong with shrimp and grits.
Read more: Down Beignets and coffee
Because? Delaney’s started in a small strip mall store in Westerville, once home to the beloved Best Breakfast & Sandwiches, and they have continued the legacy of making hearty, well-crafted breakfasts. It’s the place to go for big plates of corned beef hash, country-fried steaks, big fries and the cornucopia-like Conewich breakfast.
where? 5916 Westerville Rd., Westerville and 6150 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg
What to order: Breakfast Conewish, corned beef hash
Read more: Delaney’s Diner
Because? Brekkie Shack brings a fun, modern twist to breakfast, with coffee, pastries, cocktails and solid interpretations of contemporary favorites like avocado toast and sweet potato hash. Case in point: Their All the Feels take on the usual breakfast sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheddar, crispy Brussels sprouts and a sweet maple sauce.
where? 1060 Yard St., Grandview
What to order: All the Feels Egg Sandwich, Coastin’ Burrito
Read more: Brekkie Shack
Because? This little bakery introduced Columbus to its namesakes with fluffy, slightly sweet Czech-style pastries. They’re filled with sweet cream cheeses, fruits, nuts and other seasonal specialties, but the real selling point are the breakfast sandwiches, using the same dough and wrapping it around eggs, sausage, bacon, cheese, hash browns
where? 702 S. High St. (inside The Daily Growler), Brewery District/German Village
What to order: sweet cheese kolaches; chorizo, hash brown, egg kolache sandwiches
Read more: Republic of Kolache
Want to explore more of what Columbus has to offer? Find the Complete Columbus Breakfast Guide, check out the Columbus Diner Guide, discover the Complete Donut Guide, or get caffeinated with the Complete Coffee Shop Guide.