Students at Ohio State University have an endless buffet of choices as they mill down High Street in central Columbus. Bars, late-night snack stands and lunch counters cater to the college student night owl lifestyle; seemingly the only cuisine in short supply around college campuses is a good place for early birds to congregate. The 24-hour Buckeye Donuts prominently serves up a uniquely college menu, not only of donuts, coffee and breakfast dishes, but also of gyros, humus, Greek salad, and other Mediterranean lunch dishes. Not the first things you’d expect on the menu for a bakery, but not an unexpected mash-up for a town like Columbus.
The donuts, which are the number one appeal in the bakery, are very tasty. The basic dough is light and very sweet, it’s a great blank slate to build a great set of specialty donuts from. What Buckeye Donuts has done with this selection, though, its absolutely capitalize on this strength and make some interesting and unusual things to taste. There are basic vanilla cream, custard, and jelly-filled donuts of course, but other tasty options include a seasonal menu of donuts; Bismarcks and bow ties, apple fritters and of course a selection of Greek pastries from baklava to tiropita, a feta turnover you’ll rarely find in an American bakery.
The menu is specialized to Greek dishes for convenience; not just the highly Americanized gyro, falafel and pita standard options, but also unusual things like Tzatziki, Greek sausage and Katamala olive-topped salads. It’s surprisingly ethnic for a bakery in Columbus, and I’m impressed that the place has held its business so well selling things the average student might not be inclined to try at first glance.
The atmosphere of the place is very pleasant. It’s small and cramped, no doubt, but there is an intimacy in the small tables and it’s a place where groups regularly gather for breakfast or lunch. The prices here are a little inflated, with 95 cent-donuts and $6.00 gyros, but buying in bulk pays when using one of the online coupons Buckeye Donuts offers on its website. I suppose that’s the trade-off you’re faced with. To me, those prices are a little steep considering how easy it is to find things a little cheaper at one of the innumerable businesses down the street. Whether the trade-off is worth it is really up to you.
All told, the place isn’t bad. The food itself is nice and tasty, and though the prices and environment aren’t my favorite, they can certainly be easily rectified by ordering t0-go and using coupons. I can see what keeps people coming back to this place, and I would definitely say it has a very attractive charm.
- There are web-only coupons for loyal customers on the Buckeye Donuts site. Most are for donuts and gyros.
- The atmosphere is as little tight but comfortable. At the same time, it seems to be frequently busy here.
- Buckeye Donuts is open 24 hours a day.