Food and Drink

🍽️ It's Restaurant Week again

Data: OpenTable; Chart: Axios Visuals

If you plan on indulging in the latest 614 Restaurant Week, make your reservations quickly.

How it works: Monday through Saturday, enjoy special three-course menus at fixed prices ($15-$50) at more than 100 area restaurants.

🧀 Local guide to the best mac and cheese in Columbus

A brown and white plate piled with mac and cheese

Tip Top's iconic mac and cheese is delicious when dining in or taking it to go. Photo: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

Today is National Cheese Lover's Day, and we think there's no better way to celebrate than with a delectable dish of mac and cheese.

Our readers' local favorites:

Playing along at Parlay Sporting Club + Kitchen

The front door to Parlay Sporting Club + Kitchen in Columbus' Short North.

Photos: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

👋 Tyler here. Parlay Sporting Club + Kitchen markets itself as not just a place to eat and drink, but to play.

  • There's Skee-Ball in the corner, bartop ring toss and, soon enough, a betting kiosk to wager on sports.

Columbus' prettiest sushi rolls

A sushi roll shaped like a dragon, with raw tuna on top and a shrimp tail in the mouth

The tuna-topped Red Dragon roll at Akai Hana, breathing a shrimp tempura fire. Photos: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

👋 Alissa here with a food recommendation that's too picturesque to eat but also too delicious to pass up.

Rolling the news: Akai Hana is a local sushi powerhouse dating back to the '80s in the Japan Marketplace just north of Upper Arlington.

Mercury Diner offers best of both worlds

Sandwiches and fries on a diner counter.

The Mercury Diner's chicken sandwich and patty melt lunch meals. Photos: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

👋 Tyler here. Columbus' newest diner is a versatile one.

  • You could head to The Mercury Diner for a tipsy brunch loaded with biscuits and gravy and mimosas.

A year of culinary hellos and goodbyes

Animated illustration of a neon sign with a "Sorry We're Closed" flickering on and off.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Columbus diners said farewell this year to tofu at Buddha Bowl, pesto sandwiches at Corner Bakery Cafe and fried chicken at Hen Quarter.

The legend of Red Lobster Lover Joe

A Red Lobster restaurant storefront.

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A local man known only as Red Lobster Lover Joe has enjoyed something of a cult following for his earnest obsession with the seafood chain.

The intrigue: He's shared photos of his near-daily visits on Twitter and Flickr for the past decade, but until recently, the man behind the account was largely a mystery.

The country's best tacos are served locally

A yellow plate of tacos with a glass Coke bottle next to it and a chair in the background that reads "Los Guachos"

Los Guachos Taqueria has five locations around the city. Photo: Mary Jane Sanese/Axios

👋 Mary Jane here with a local staple for Taco Tuesday.

Context: I assumed Los Guachos had the best tacos in the city even before I learned of its laundry list of accolades.

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