I often get asked where to eat lunch or where to take guests who are visiting Columbus. This is what I came up with off the top of my head given a 1 hour constraint.
If you have the time then go on a food tour with Columbus Food Adventures. The tours are a collection of the best places serving the food they are the most proud of. When you're getting your hand held by obsessive foodies then you are getting the best dining experience in Columbus,
Skillet is my favorite Columbus restaurant. Locally sourced simple fare cooked with skill. The local sourcing isn't just a badge to put on a menu; they find food that's either not available to the bulk restaurant suppliers or of such high quality that it's not worth comparing. Today I had duck egg carbonara where the egg's yolk was so yellow that sunglasses were required. They're known for weekend brunch but their lunches and dinners during the week seem to be a well kept secret.
Bono Pizza is still the best pizza place in Columbus. They cook pizza in a wood fired oven that's hot enough to leave a slight char on the top of the crust while the rest is cooked to perfection. No A/C and occasional long lines so don't be afraid to order ahead.
Kitchen Little is where I see more restaurant owners eat than anywhere else I go.
If you allow a guest to leave Columbus without experiencing Jeni's Ice Cream then you are a bad person.
I don't make it to Basi Italia here as often as I would like but they're brilliant every time I do.
Explorer's Club has gone from great but inconsistent to nailing it every time I walk in the door. I would average 3 lunches and 2 brunches a month here and they were great every time.
For the Scotch fans, visit Wings in Bexley.
But you don't have to take my word for it.