Our Favorite Tastes, Sights, and Adventures for 2022

December 29, 2022

2022 has certainly been an adventurous year for us! BreakfastWithNick.com got a complete revamp thanks to the Wonderly crew, we reported on lots of great new food and drink, we ventured all over the state from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, we went on TWO train journeys. So I rounded up some of our favorite openings, coffee and cocktails, breakfast and bakeries, travel fun, and more. Enjoy!

Favorite Openings

Chef Avishar Barua Opens Joya’s Cafe

We’ve long been fans of Avishar’s, and were selfishly very excited when opened his first eatery near us in Old Worthington. Since his late fall opening we’ve eaten pretty much everything on the menu and have yet to find a weak link.

The East Market, Centerpiece of the Historic Trolley District

In my mind, the East Market is one of the city’s biggest culinary developments of 2022. I love the restoration of the old streetcar buildings, the lineup of vendors, the event spaces and bars. And coming soon: Columbus Brewing Company’s Beer Hall!

Chef Sebastian La Rocca Brings FYR to the New Hilton Tower

The new Hilton Tower is an interesting addition downtown, especially for its ground level restaurant FYR, headed up by Argentinian chef Sebastian La Rocca. Our dinner featured interesting cocktails and wines, and thoughtful menu of creative dishes large and small.

Subourbon Southern Kitchen & Spirits Opens in Linworth

This new Linworth outpost from the Alqueria Farmhouse Kitchen team was a welcome addition to the neighborhood. They infused new life into the former Crafty Pint/Hoggy’s space with a terrific whiskey menu, great cocktails, and a comforting Southern-inspired menu.

The Mercury Diner Lands in the Former Crest Parsons

After falling dormant during the pandemic, the Crest on Parsons Avenue was given new life as the Mercury Diner, a space-themed greasy spoon with creative breakfasts, solid coffee, and cocktails.

The New Worthington Tavern Adds Weekend Brunch

We were delighted when the Worthington Tavern opened, bringing a new option for cocktails, beers, burgers, and more to Old Worthington. And we loved their weekend brunch even more.

Other notable openings:

Favorite Dining Adventures

The World Famous Bologna Sandwich at Waldo’s G & R Tavern

Coming back from a conference in Sandusky, I stopped at the G & R Tavern in Waldo, a cash-only joint known for their their thick-cut bologna sandwich. And don’t miss the homemade pies!

Korean Fried Chicken at CM Chicken

All we have to do is breathe a whisper of this Korean fried chicken chain, which opened its first location at Henderson and Kenny, and we’re pretty much guaranteed a trip there – that’s how much we crave it!

Old Favorites at New India

We’re fortunate to have a lot of great Indian food in Columbus, but New India has quickly become one of our favorites. We love everything the family-run restaurant has to offer, but we simply can’t miss the delightfully sweet and savory Afghani naan.

Beer and Pizza at Columbus Brewing Company

In 2020 CBC finally got its own taproom on the west side. We’ve loved every visit there, from the 20+ beers on tap to the Detroit-style pizzas to the bar snacks like wings and mozzarella sticks.

Delightful Modern Indian + Cocktails at Rooh

Rooh is a rarity amongst the Columbus dining scene, an upscale eatery offering familiar Indian flavors in contemporary interpretations. The quality is food is matched by the complex and fun-to-imbibe cocktails.

Birria Tacos at Los Agavez Taqueria

In a city rich with tacos, Los Agavez stands out. The Clintonville truck helped introduce Columbus to birria, a slow-cooked beef served with a rich consumé for dipping. Their signature tacos are a constant craving for us. But don’t miss their al pastor, too!

Make the Best Ravioli with a Class from Braised & Broiled

Joseph and Annie from Braised & Broiled invited us out to experience one of their classes in their home. Under their friendly guidance we learned how to make ravioli from scratch, which we then enjoyed with an incredible Italian feast! We highly recommend one of their classes.

Other Favorite Bites:

Favorite Breakfasts & Bakeries

Emmett’s Cafe Expands to Old North

Emmett’s already had a hit on their hands with their Brewery District cafe, what with its coffee and breakfast sandwiches and burritos. But then they expanded with a beautiful new location inside the historic Open Air building in Old North.

Have Breakfast in an Old Train Station in Granville

The new Station in Granville makes its home in the former train station. Owned by the Harvest Pizzeria crew, the beautifully refurbished cafe serves great coffee, pastries, and breakfasts.

Filipino and Italian Flavors at Three Bites Bakery

Isabella Bonello’s Three Bites Bakery, which started as a home operation, grew to its own storefront in King-Lincoln this year. Her lineup of expertly made goods are some of the most unique and crave-able in the city.

Croissants at North South Baking

While on our January trip to Covington, Kentucky, we were directed by a friend to North South Baking, which operates out of Bircus Brewing. There we found a spectacular lineup of croissants, custard-filled goodies, mini kouign-aman.

What’s Better at DK Diner: The Donuts or The Breakfast?

DK Diner is a long-running favorite, a beloved neighborhood diner with great breakfasts (try the chorizo hash!) that also happens to produce some of the city’s best donuts (get a sour cream old fashioned!).

The Best Way to Celebrate the Buckeyes is with Buckeye Donuts

Speaking of donuts, it was time for a revisit of our favorite donut shop! Buckeye Donuts has been going strong since 1969, producing fresh donuts 24/7 by hand. While my breakfast tours are on hiatus, I’ve really missed getting to visit that crew regularly.

Making Dutch Babies on WOSU’s Broad & High

This fall I appeared on an episode of WOSU’s Broad & High, talking about the arts and showing host Kate Quickel how we make Dutch baby pancakes!

More favorite breakfasts:

Favorite Coffee

The Analog Coffee Bar at Carabello Coffee

Another highlight from our Northern Kentucky trip last winter! One of our favorite moments was a stop at Carabello Coffee in Newport. The Analog Coffee Bar inside offers a specialized seasonal menu. After a sub-zero tour of the neighborhood, a seat at the coffee, getting to interact with the barista, was the perfect warm-up.

Parable Coffee Finds a New Home Downtown

One of the city’s top coffee shops made the move from Parsons Avenue to a beautiful corner space in the old Lazarus building downtown.

Mom ‘n Em Coffee & Wine

During our last Cincinnati trip we passed through Camp Washington to visit this coffee shop and wine bar. The Ferrari Bros’ shop, named in honor of their mother, was ranked the best coffee shop in Ohio by Food & Wine.

More favorite coffee adventures:

Favorite Cocktails & Beers

Your New Favorite Watering Hole Should Be The Bar at Echo Spirits

Echo Spirits produces a unique roster of spirits, and their relatively new bar is a cozy, out of the way spot for dynamic cocktails. Just let beverage manager Derek Reno and his crew steer you. (Bonus: Echo Spirits now has Rabbit Ramen parked on site!)

Beers in a Beautiful Setting at Twin Oast Brewing

During our weekend up at Lake Erie, we stopped for dinner at Twin Oast on Catawba Island. It’s readily apparent why it’s become a destination: great food, an expert roster of beers, and unparalleled views of orchards, fields, firepits, custom oast towers, even a small music venue.

Ginger Rabbit Jazz Lounge Offers Conservas, Cocktails, Live Music

One of the most exciting new additions this year is Ginger Rabbit, an underground jazz lounge from the owners of Chapman’s. It’s the perfect spot for local music, interesting bar snacks and cocktails.

Sip Ciders in a Barn at Seek-No-Further Cidery

This year we discovered more and more reasons to visit Granville. Seek-No-Further Cidery makes its home in a renovated barn downtown and delivers some of the best ciders I’ve tasted.

Favorite Train Adventures

All Aboard Amtrak’s Southwest Chief

This spring, to celebrate our dad’s 70th birthday, my three brothers and I took him on a trip along Amtrak’s Southwest Chief from Chicago to Flagstaff. We’re all train enthusiasts, so it was a memorable experience, getting to watch the changing scenery, enjoy good meals and great company.

Have Breakfast on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

For Father’s Day, Beth and the boys took me up to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, where we enjoyed breakfast on the train as it rolled through the national park. It was a load of fun, and served as a great start to a day exploring the park.

Favorite Travel

A Little Star Wars in Cincinnati

We love Cincy, and this end-of-the year overnight had us checking out Music Hall for the first time while trying both new and familiar eats. Also: riding the streetcar.

Of Bourbon Bars & Distilleries in Northern Kentucky

One of my favorite trips of the year was a late January excursion to Covington, Kentucky and the surrounding area. Covington, Newport, Ludlow, and nearby towns are rich with cocktail bars, distilleries, historic buildings, and world-class eats.

What To Do With Kids in Washington, D.C.

Our family had an incredible spring break trip to Washington, D.C., exploring monuments and historic sites, checking out great eats, seeing a space shuttle!

Where To Eat, Drink, Hike & Explore in Flagstaff

Our Amtrak trip ended in Flagstaff, a terrific high desert home base for exploring nearby Sedona, the Grand Canyon, the Meteor Crater – not to mention the Lowell Observatory, local breweries, great breakfasts, train-watching, and more.

How To Do a Day in Miami County

We spent a day exploring Miami County, from touring a Mustang museum to a breakfast charcuterie board, a visit to a chocolate factory to a canal boat ride, beers in an old church, and more.

The Best Things to do at the Shores & Islands of Lake Erie

This summer we returned to Lake Erie for a weekend that saw us exploring wineries and breweries, spending a day on Kellys Island, kayaking the Portage River, swimming at Lakeside.

A Stay at The Mohicans Treehouses

We’ve loved every visit we’ve made to The Mohicans. Their amazing treehouses and cabins are the best getaways we can imagine: quiet, tucked away in the woods, surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Favorite Guides

I love writing helpful guides, and this year I shared several. Hopefully their helpful in

Thanks again to everyone who follows along here! We appreciate all the support throughout the year, and we wish you Happy New Year for 2023!

Want to keep up with more? Follow me on Instagram at @breakfastwithnick, check out the news archives, search for travel inspiration, explore the breakfast map, or…

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I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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