Listen, I hate playing favorites, but it’s important to call out what’s great in Columbus’ culinary scene. So here’s what I think are the best breakfasts in Columbus, Ohio!
The Lox Bagel Shop
Why? From its side street Short North location, The Lox Bagel Shop turns a simple proposition – sandwiches on fresh bagels – into a real hit. Care and attention to ingredients results in some of the city’s best bagels with winning combinations like house-cured lox or pastrami, fresh cream cheese, eggs.
Where? 772 N. High St., Short North
What to order: Pastrami on everything, lox with egg on sea salt and herb
Read more: The Lox Bagel Shop
Why? A Hilliard institution and one of Central Ohio’s most beloved breakfast spots, Starliner Diner pumps out classic diner fare with a focus on Mexican and Cuban dishes. Add in kooky clock decorations, giant space-themed murals, and other touches, and it’s easy to see why this is a long-running community favorite.
Where? 4121 Main St., Hilliard
What to order: Cuban French toast, chilaquiles with chorizo
Read more: Starliner Diner
The Pancake House
Why? Not to be confused with The Original Pancake House, The Pancake House is a family-owned breakfast spot with two locations. In addition to excelling at their namesake dish, they also draw on their background to serve up huevos rancheros, breakfast tamales, and a Venezuelan brunch platter with arepas.
Where? 1182 E. Powell Rd., Lewis Center and 129 W. Schrock Rd., Westerville
What to order: Cinnamon roll pancakes, Venezuelan brunch
South of Lane
Why? South of Lane is a cozy and quiet neighborhood cafe in Upper Arlington serving the classics with a wry twist. The omelets, hash browns, burritos are all perfectly executed, but the fun lies in their over-the-top selections like the bourbon pecan French toast, the Man Bun breakfast, 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
Why? In a city full of great diners, Tommy’s consistently lands near the top. Run by the Pappas family, this Franklinton eatery just celebrated 30 years of colorful Americana decorations, good camaraderie, giant omelets, home fries, egg benedicts, and some of the city’s best Belgian waffles.
Where? 914 W. Broad St., Franklinton
What to order: Greek omelet, Belgian waffle
Read more: Tommy’s Diner
Why? The quirky Katalina’s is known for Latin-inspired dishes and colorful decor that involves guests drawing on the walls, plus catchy phrases like “Peace, Love, and Pancake Balls.” In addition to a focus on local ingredients, Katalina’s features unique finds like giant breakfast tacos, migas, Mexican French toast, even Latin-leaning okonomiyaki.
Where? 1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Harrison West and 3481 N. High St., Clintonville
What to order: pancake balls with Nutella, sweet & spicy bacon, Breakfast Chick’wich
Why? Emmett’s is modeled on Australian-style coffee shops, which offer expert coffee service alongside a dynamic menu going beyond simple pastries or breakfast. Its two locations have quickly become community hangouts, especially the newer 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
Fox in the Snow
Why? Since the first Fox in the Snow opened in the fall of 2014, Columbus has been in love with the bakery and coffee shop. It’s hard to resist the array of scratch-made pastries, wonderfully executed coffee, and that egg sandwich that has no business being that good. The low counters and lack of wifi also make the cafes 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 galettes, that egg sandwich
Why? DK offers a one-two punch: some of the city’s top donuts + terrific diner breakfasts. The beloved Grandview diner is ranked amongst the city’s best donuts like their old fashioned, longjohns, apple fritters, as well as filling meals like the everything’s-included DK All The Way, big omelets, biscuits and gravy, hashes. Get the best of both worlds with the Donut Sandy using a grilled glazed donut as the bread!
Where? 1715 W. Third Ave., Grandview
What to order: DK All The Way, chorizo hash, sour cream old fashioned
Read more: DK Diner
Why? Chef Henry Butcher’s Creole Kitchen helped introduce Columbus to Creole and Cajun fare many years ago, and his family’s King-Lincoln eatery 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 on rice patties
Read more: Creole Kitchen
Why? 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 that’s known for fresh-made donuts, breakfast sandwiches, and a 24/7/365 presence.
Where? 1998 N. High St., Campus
What to order: buckeye donut, maple bacon longjohn, apple fritter, everything
Read more: Buckeye Donuts
Jack & Benny’s
Why? Jack & Benny’s is a campus institution since the early 90s, serving hearty breakfasts to hungry Ohio State students. The Garcia family offers a warm welcome to their classic diner space, lined with photos, bobbleheads, and more collegiate paraphernalia.
Where? 2563 N. High St., Old North
What to order: buckeye pancakes, chorizo scramble, The Gutbuster
Way Down Yonder Beignets & Coffee
Why? An extension of the popular Way Down Yonder on the South Side, this downtown shop specializes in that New Orleans signature pastry. They offer excellent plain beignets covered in powdered sugar, as well as versions like bananas 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: Beignets, of course! But you can’t go wrong with shrimp and grits.
Read more: Way Down Yonder Beignets & Coffee
Why? Delaney’s started out in a small strip mall storefront in Westerville, once home to the beloved Best Breakfast & Sandwiches, and they’ve continued the legacy of pumping out hearty and well-executed breakfast favorites. It’s the place to go for big plates of corned beef hash, country fried steak, great hash browns, and the cornacopia-like Breakfast Conewich.
Where? 5916 Westerville Rd., Westerville and 6150 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg
What to order: Breakfast Conewish, corned beef hash
Read more: Delaney’s Diner
Why? Brekkie Shack brings a fun and modern touch to breakfast, with coffee, pastries, cocktails, and solid interpretations of contemporary favorites like avocado toast, sweet potato hash. Case in point: their All the Feels interprets the regular breakfast sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheddar, crispy brussel sprouts, and a sweet maple sauce.
Where? 1060 Yard St., Grandview
What to order: All the Feels eggs sandwich, Coastin’ burrito
Read more: Brekkie Shack
Why? This little bakery introduced Columbus to its namesake fluffy, lightly 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: Kolache Republic
Hang Over Easy
Why? It’d be easy to write off Hang Over Easy as simple a college hangout, what with the restaurant name, certain dish titles, their proximity to campuses (OSU, OU, UC), but I gotta tell you: they produce some killer breakfasts. I love their chicken and waffles, their HOE benny, breakfast tacos, and the Frog Eyes (biscuits and gravy with fried eggs on top).
Where? 1646 Neil Ave., Campus and 51 Parsons Ave., Olde Towne East
What to order: The Dirty, chicken and waffles, breakfast tacos, Frog Eyes
Read more: Hang Over Easy
Want to explore more of what Columbus has to offer? Search the full Guide to Breakfast in Columbus, look through the Columbus Diner Guide, scope out the Complete Donut Guide, or get caffeinated with the Complete Guide to Coffee Shops.