Northstar Café, Enjoy A Bit Of Urban Columbus Flavor

Northstar Café, Enjoy A Bit Of Urban Columbus Flavor

Established in 2004, the Northstar Café has been serving Columbus natural and locally grown foods for over a decade. Their menu features New American cuisine in a comfortable but upscale dining environment. The vibe in the restaurant is a sort of urban casual chic. Everything is clean and modern and tastefully decorated. But it’s the food that keeps customers coming back. The dedication to quality and organic ingredients makes for delicious menu items. Whether you come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the ambiance and food combine for a truly satisfying experience.

A conscientious menu with famous signature dishes

The Northstar’s signature veggie burger, the Northstar Burger, with salad
Source: Graysmith

The Northstar Café makes a real commitment to responsible food practices. Their food is made from scratch, in an exposed kitchen so guests can see how the food is handled. Even the ginger ale they serve is made in-house. Whenever possible, organic ingredients are used and mentioned on the menu.

Dinners run from 12 to 15 USD, before drinks. But you’ll definitely want to tack on an order of sweet potato fries! Considering the time and effort put into preparation and finding wholesome ingredients, the cost of the meal is surprisingly affordable.

This is a great place to go if you have friends with dietary restrictions. In an effort to make dining easier for everyone, both meat-loving and vegetarian options are available, and a great portion of the menu items are marked as vegan-friendly, meaning they can be prepared without meat or dairy. Sadly, none of the bakery items are vegan-friendly yet. But you’re not likely to have room for dessert, because the food is so tasty, you won’t be able to make yourself leave room for it.

All of the recipes are designed with great care, and the flavors are amazing. A famous example of this is their eponymous Northstar Burger, a veggie burger that regulars argue is the best veggie burger on the planet. I can confidently agree with them. It’s a genuinely sublime experience!

Friendly ordering at the front counter

The front counter where orders are placed
Source: Graysmith

Menus are available at the front door when you first walk in. The entryway is bright, clean, and inviting. The staff are friendly and welcoming; they’re happy to direct first-timers unused to the up-front ordering system.

During regular meal times there is a line, and this gives you just enough time to peruse the menu and decide what you’d like (of course, the menus are available online, as well). But don’t dawdle, because the line moves quickly, and before you know it, you’re placing your order with a friendly cashier wearing an organic cotton t-shirt – even the uniforms are sustainability-conscientious.

A sleek dining room shares the space with the kitchen

The open kitchen and a bit of the dining room
Source: Graysmith

Once you’ve ordered, you can sit wherever you like. The cashier gives you a numbered card to put on your table that lets wait-staff know where to bring your dishes when they’re ready.

As part of their commitment to responsible food practices, the Northstar Café’s kitchen and bakery is visually open to guests. They do this to emphasize that the food is all made from scratch, but it also demonstrates a willingness to be transparent in their food handling procedures.

The dining room is separated from the kitchen by a half wall, and a variety of seating is available. The warm glow from the pendant lights softens the sleek industrial elements like the exposed ceilings and cement floors.

Enjoy your food on the garden patio

When the weather is fair, the patio is the best place to sit
Source: Graysmith

Even on a late September evening, the weather in Columbus can be comfortable enough to sit outside and enjoy a meal in the evening air. The Northstar’s patio is lined on all sides with greenery. The low garden lamps offer heaps of ambiance. High Street isn’t noisy, and the patio is a great vantage point from which to enjoy the hustle and bustle, and people watch.

By late afternoon, the shadow of the building and the awnings over the tables keep away the heat and glare of the sun. It’s a cozy, open-air space for catching up with family and friends.

A charming location

The Northstar’s entry, facing High Street
Source: Graysmith

The Northstar has three locations in central Columbus, all serving the same great food with minor menu variations, but the one on High Street in Beechwold is their flagship.

Getting there is easy by car. The restaurant is just a couple of miles north of campus on High Street. Free parking is available in a lot behind the building. The surrounding neighborhood, Beechwold, is a coveted historic housing area, and a lot of the local businesses cater to the green and holistic movements.

One noteworthy neighbor is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, right next door. Jeni’s is another Columbus original, competing with Cold Stone for specialty ice cream. If you can manage room for dessert after so much good food, the famous Columbus Ice Cream shop is just a few steps away!

Casual, healthy dining at its best

When you’re in Columbus, make it a point to treat yourself to a meal at the Northstar Café. Go ahead, dine responsibly. You’ll soon be telling all your friends.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I love exploration. I was on my first camping trip mere weeks after my birth, and I’ve sought out new experiences ever since. I wrote my first travel narrative at twelve years old, about a family...Read more

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