Anyone who has been on one of our Taco Truck Tours knows that there is great Mexican food to be found on the West Side. But, increasingly, the West Side has been accumulating a roster of great food options well beyond south-of-the-border mobile fare. When you head out west, don’t gamble with what’s for dinner – here’s the good stuff in the Casino District:
Khyber is a new Pakistani restaurant that opened early in 2013, thereby doubling the number of Pakistani restaurants in Columbus. It’s just off Georgesville Road, on Industrial Mile, ever so slightly south of the Casino. Pakistani food is similar to Northern Indian cuisine and at Khyber you’ll find succulent spicy ground meat kebabs, light crisp nan bread and tasty dal. (425 Industrial Mile Road).
Just around the corner from Khyber, and almost directly across from the casino, is Columbus’ only Cambodian restaurant. We particularly like their stuffed chicken wings, amok (baked fish) and curry hot pot but you’ll find a lot of variety including some Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Siem Reap recently added a liquor license so you can enjoy a Tiger beer or one of their house shots. (375 Georgesville Rd)
Westgate Thai is a small mom and pop that operates out of the Westgate Import Market on Sullivant Avenue. It’s a little further from the casino but definitely worth the detour. This is some of the most authentic and best Thai food you will find in Columbus and if you’re lucky there might even be dessert available. Their mango with sticky rice (below) is fantastic. (3201 Sullivant Ave)
Also on Sullivant Avenue, Luc’s is another Asian Market with a kitchen in the back. Luc’s offers a predominantly Vietnamese and Cambodian menu in a no frills environment. There is usually a selection of cold prepared foods in the case near the door but head to the far left corner for the kitchen putting out the hot dishes. (3275 Sullivant Ave)
More than just a well-known Mexican market, Plaza Tapatia also a (to our minds, criminally overlooked) restaurant. During the week Plaza Tapatia has an impressive and ever changing buffet with Mexican dishes that you often won’t find elsewhere. On the weekends it’s a la carte only, and a meat lovers paradise with their mixed grill platters (the molcajete and the parrilada) being the hands down favorites. On Sundays you’ll often find mariachi or nortena bands playing and a lively atmosphere. (4233 Shoppers Lane, close to the intersection of Broad Street and Georgesville Road behind the Westland Mall)
In this part of town, it’s worth noting that there’s more to Latin American cuisines than just Mexican. Los Galapagos is Columbus’ only Ecuadorean restaurant. They’re open 6 days a week but busiest on the weekends when they offer quite a few specials. You’ll find both Ecuadorean and Colombian dishes, and portions are eye-poppingly generous (as shown below). (378 S Grener Road)
In addition to the Mexican taco trucks, on summer weekends you’ll find a Honduran food truck called Merendero Catracho on Sullivant Avenue. It’s definitely worth a stop. Try the Honduran fried chicken on a bed of plantains, their delicious baleadas, or one of the best pupusas in town. (3868 Sullivant Ave)
Some of the west side taco trucks have been so successful that they’ve graduated to bricks and mortar restaurants. La Super Torta didn’t move very far, opening a restaurant a couple of blocks from their old truck. They serve taco truck favorites (tacos, burritos, gorditas) as well as Oaxacan tlayudas and soups. (721 Georgesville Road)
Next door to Super Torta is our pick for the west side’s best Somali restaurant, Kulan. We’d recommend the foul (bean dish) with anjera or the chicken suqar with rice. (727 Georgesville Rd)
For locations for all of these restaurants and more check out the map on alteatscolumbus.com.