Vegans might be used to eating salad when out with friends, but in Columbus, there’s a whole world of options for animal-friendly food, and most have something great for omnivores as well.
The Angry Baker
891 Oak St. and 247 King Ave
Tex Mex Tofu Scramble from The Angry Baker
One could never be angry, or “hangry,” when surrounded by gorgeous baked goods, pumpkin French toast, porridge, or a vegan curry burger stuffed with cilantro pesto, beets, and arugula.
This cozy, urban cafe at the corner of Oak and South 18th streets offers a full menu — including breakfast, lunch and dinner — along with the bakery, and a quaint cafe vibe. Three separate chalkboards communicate vegan, vegetarian and meat-lover offerings, and these erasable menus easily accommodate seasonal changes and ingredient availability.
Everything from their crumbly, flaky scones to their creamy mushroom gravy is made from scratch. Flavor is not sacrificed in my favorite dish, the Tex Mex Scramble, stuffed with tofu “scrambled eggs,” black beans, peppers, red onion and leafy greens. It’s served with a side of homemade salsa verde.
To satisfy a sweet tooth, try the rich and decadent chocolate brownie with a blueberry base (replacing eggs). You’ll never eat a regular brownie again.
3009 N. High St.
Carrot Cupcake from Pattycake Bakery
I once asked Jennie Scheinbach, an owner of Pattycake Bakery, if I could pay rent to live inside her pink-and-blue bakery.
After being greeted by a smiling cartoon cupcake, guests enter a treasure trove of pastries, all boasting a delectable secret — they’re all vegan.
Pattycake is one of the most precious gems of the Columbus vegan community. Their sticky buns, available only on Saturdays, are a true addiction, and their wide selection of perfectly presented pastries are so delicious that non-vegans won’t believe they’re free of eggs and milk. In fact, my mom believes that the entire shop is a lie, claiming, “There is no way these are vegan.”
Pattycake Bakery is the perfect place for people with a sweet tooth. The business even delivers if the Clintonville location is too far for most students. My favorites include the Co-Operative Cherry Chocolate Chip Bar and carrot cupcake, generously iced with luscious “cream cheese” icing.
1227 N. High St. and 132 S. High St.
Let’s taco ‘bout it. Be prepared for a dizzying array of possible combinations to customize tacos and margaritas to your liking.
The atmosphere has a personality unlike any eatery to appear in Columbus, where church pews are used for seating, sugar skulls are painted on the walls and two dressed skeletons perch atop a bicycle in the corner of the restaurant.
For gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free or carnivore diets, this place has the tools to create the ideal taco and margarita.
The taco ordering process is like a Scantron exam, in that you get a sheet with a pencil and you bubble in your choices. If this is intimidating, there are savory suggested selections.
The three vegan protein options include thick and meaty roasted portobello mushrooms, Thai chili tofu — which is drool-worthy enough to make a carnivore give the vegetarian life a shot — and barbecued jackfruit, which has a fibrous texture that mimics pulled pork.
The tacos are downright criminally good. It took every ounce of self-restraint not to swan-dive into the kitchen and kiss the server square on the mouth with my pineapple salsa breath.
I’ve decided to have my paychecks deposited directly into my Condado Tacos savings account. It’s that good.
Inside North Market at 59 Spruce St.
Chocolate Strawberry Donut from Destination Donuts
Destination Donuts makes me feel like Plankton trying to steal the secret Krabby Patty recipe. They’re huge, 3 inches tall, fried to golden perfection, with soft, fluffy interiors that make my eyes roll and everything around me disappear.
It’s difficult to pick just one doughnut, and eating a second or third is worth the sugar coma. They sit behind the glass counter, drenched in sugar and icing, begging for attention. The vegan ones are denoted by a small “v” written on a piece of tape at the front of the pan.
In general, the doughnuts are dense, fluffy and breathtakingly tender, and new flavors emerge each week. Flavors include cookies and cream, a doughnut dipped in ganache and covered in cookie crumbs; or apricot pistachio – dipped in sweet apricot glaze and covered in pulverized pistachios swimming in glaze; Blackberry Sage, Red Raspberry Hibiscus, and so on.
After eating one of these buzz-worthy bites, you’ll be saying, “TGIDD — Thank God it’s Doughnut Day.”
Vegan Apricot Pistachio Donut from Destination Donuts
The Loving Hut
Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace
Melt Bar & Grilled
Strongwater Food & Spirits
For those of you unaware, I am a reporter for The Lantern, Ohio State University’s student-run newspaper. This is a published article, which you can read here.