[UPDATE October 2019: Red Velvet Cafe has closed. You can find Filipino brunch items at Bonifacio.]
Red Velvet Cafe (Facebook / @redvelvetcbus / Instagram: @redvelvetcbus)
246 S. Fourth St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
Open Mon-Fri, 8a-9p; Sat & Sun, 9a-9p
Accepts cash & debit/credit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/Y/N
Visited: Friday, April 3, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.
I’ve been creeping on the Red Velvet Cafe Pickerington on Instagram for sometime. It’s hard not to. They consistently post great photos of their coffee and cupcakes and sandwiches, to the point that they’re constantly on your radar. Unfortunately, I never made it to the cafe in Pickerington (but still plan to someday!). Recently, however, it got easier to fulfill the cravings brought on by their Instagram feed, with the opening on a new location in downtown Columbus.
Red Velvet managed to find the right place at the right time, I think. They’re on South Fourth St., sandwiched between Dirty Frank’s Hot Dogs and Little Palace. That whole stretch is booming, with El Camino Inn, 16-Bit Arcade & Bar, and eventually a brick-and-mortar Mikey’s Late Night Slice and a spot called Tavernesque, from the owner of Bodega. Red Velvet is a little different than the late night spots lining the street, but it’s a happening place to be.
The cafe itself is small, with a handful of cafe and cab tables, and a big square counter laden with cupcakes. A good bakery sells itself by putting it all on display, and Red Velvet does a great job of enticing you the moment you walk in the door.
Keep an eye on their social media to follow the day’s cupcake offerings. Note the vegan options, too.
The other draw of Red Velvet is their multitude of coffee preparation styles. If you want just a straight up pour over or an espresso drink, you’re covered. But if you want something more interesting, they’ve got French presses, syphon pots, and all manner of equipment to make international styles of coffee.
This is the cortadito, their version of a cubano cut with a little milk. It’s sweet and strong.
On our visit we tried the buckeye cupcake. It was very moist and rich with the requisite chocolate and peanut butter flavors.
I also had the Vietnamese coffee (seriously, I had a lot of coffee that morning), which is finely ground coffee blended with sweetened condense milk.
Part of the fun is watching the process.
The resulting coffee is sweet and strong, so it’s served over ice.
They do have some more serious food offerings, too, besides just cupcakes. For instance, this beautiful avocado toast, an open-faced sandwich piled with spinach, bacon, roasted red peppers, avocado, and a poached egg. Simply gorgeous, and simply delicious, although the red peppers were a tad over-powering.
They also serve a line-up of paninis. They were out of Filipino pulled pork I was hoping to try, but the pulled chicken turned out to be excellent, too.
Red Velvet seems to be hitting all the right notes, whether you’re looking for coffee or a sweet snack or a more substantial lunch. I still need to visit the Pickerington cafe, but we’re certainly lucky to have them downtown, too.