Top Spots: 7 best cheap eats in the Columbus area


Food almost always tastes better when someone else is doing the cooking, but sometimes eating out can get expensive.

Luckily, the Columbus area has several great options when it comes to inexpensive and delicious food. I asked NBC4 viewers what their favorite locally-owned restaurants to grab cheap eats are and here’s what they said:

Tony’s Coneys

Where: 5266 W. Broad St., Columbus

Coming in at No. 1 among NBC4 viewers is Tony’s Coneys. This little hot dog joint has been serving the Columbus area since 1951. With dogs starting at just $1, Subs for just $3, and large milkshakes for just $3.50, you can’t go wrong. In fact, the most expensive thing on the menu is a hand-dipped banana boat dessert for $4.50.

Tommy’s Diner

Where: 914 W. Broad St., Columbus

It’s no surprise Tommy’s Diner is making the cut for another Top Spots list. They’ve been among NBC4 viewers’ favorite breakfast joints several years running and have won several other local awards, including the NBC4 Up to Code award. Tom Pappas and his wife Kathy opened Tommy’s Diner in 1981. After a fire shut the restaurant down in 1998, the two completely remodeled the establishment, ushering in the Tommy’s that we all know and love. With most sandwiches, entrees and burgers ranging between $7 to $8, it’s a great spot for lunch as well.

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace

Where: 248 S. Fourth St., Columbus

Dirty Frank’s has been a Columbus staple since 2009, a Top Spots winner for best hot dogs and an NBC4 Up to Code recipient. With 44 gourmet dogs on the menu and a myriad of toppings to choose from if you want to build your own dog, it’s practically impossible to be disappointed. Viewers recommend the Cowgirl Carmen (coney sauce, cheddar cheese and crushed Fritos, piled on top of your choice of dog) for just $3.75. They even offer vegan and vegetarian dogs and will go the extra mile to make special orders vegetarian.

Hounddog’s Pizza

Where: 2657 N. High St., Columbus

As a campus-area staple, it’s no surprise Hounddog’s is a viewer favorite for some affordable and delicious pizza. A 12-inch cheese pizza is just $14.49, and their 16-inch pie with anywhere from seven to 10 toppings is just $26.99. They also have an amazing happy hour with $1.50 domestic drafts, $5 domestic pitchers and $2 well shots.

Café Creekside

Where: 53 Granville St., Gahanna

Café Creekside is one of Gahanna’s favorite breakfast places, serving everything from frittatas and standard egg breakfasts to the Big Nasty (two biscuits, home fries, sausage gravy, three eggs, cheedar cheese and your choice of bacon or sausage for just $7.99).

Block’s Bagels, Bakery and Deli

Where: 6115 McNaughten Road, Columbus

                3012 E. Broad St., Columbus

Blocks has been serving up traditional New York-style bagels for central Ohio since 1967. The shop boasts the best bagels this side of Brooklyn and has Kosher certification by the Vaad Hoir of Columbus. Plus, their deli sandwiches are out of this world (I personally recommend their Reuben, and viewers also love their tuna melt). Block’s has two locations in the Columbus area: one just east of Interstate 270 off Main Street in the McNaughten Center and one on East Broad Street in Bexley.

Habanero’s Fresh Mexican Grill

Where: 3650 Main St., Hilliard

If you’re looking for some of the best Mexican street food around, Haberneros is the place for you. Viewers rave about the freshness of the food (and it doesn’t hurt that they have a full bar either). Their burritos are huge, so you definitely get your money’s worth here. Try the barbacoa burritos; you won’t regret it.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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