UPDATE 2020: Warehouse Cafe has closed, but you can visit their sister restaurant Cafe Illyria.
243 N. Fifth St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
Open Mon-Fri, 8a-2:30p; Sat, 9a-1p
After more than a decade of writing the blog, it’s fun to re-visit some of the places I discovered years ago. I first wrote about the Warehouse Cafe downtown in 2008 (see the post here), and I haven’t had many opportunities to return since then (except for bike ride in 2011). But when I was assigned to write about it for the Columbus Dispatch last month, I was happy to re-visit and see that, well, not much has changed.
You might not be familiar with Warehouse Cafe if you don’t work or live downtown, or if you’re in the early stages of exploring breakfast in Columbus. They’re the very definition of a hidden gem. No official online presence: no website or social media. Just a one-room breakfast and lunch spot cranking out the classics.
Aside from the hidden gem quality to the location, the decor makes it an interesting find. It’s part of an old factory building, and you can see the remnants of its past in the wooden floors, brick walls, and old pulleys hanging from the ceiling.
You order at the counter and find a seat. Here’s a look at the breakfast menu. All the basics, plenty of omelets, a couple specialties, plus coffee and other beverages.
I remembered the breakfast combo being a worthy choice. It’s still my mark for measuring a breakfast restaurant. Can they do the basics well?
The answer is, yes, Warehouse Cafe does the basics very well. It reminds me why I love breakfast. My meal consisted of simple sausage links, two properly done over easy eggs (look at that yolk!), nicely seasoned potatoes, and buttered toast. You can’t go wrong with this.
And even better was the 12″ Breakfast Wrap, essentially a grilled quesadilla with scrambled eggs, cheddar, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, home fries, and a choice of meat. I picked the bacon and was very satisfied. It’s compact and holds together well, is very filling, the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout, and seasoned well.
If you’ve never been, add Warehouse Cafe to your list of Columbus breakfasts to explore. And if you’ve visited in the past, make a point to hit them up again the next time you need a breakfast or lunch spot downtown.