Donut sandwiches are fun, but classic breakfast fare is hard to beat.
Over the course of many visits to Honey Dip Donuts & Diner in all combinations of friends, family members, solo, etc., this reviewer would have to peg the average age of those in attendance higher than it is lower. And believe me when I say that this is a very good thing and a testament to Honey Dip’s roots in the Columbus community, an institution that has been serving some of the same locals with a remarkably similar menu for not just years, but decades.
Honey Dip has been open since the 1970’s, a lineage of donuts and diner food that can sometimes feel almost hidden in plain sight given that Honey Dip’s short brick building is set well off of one of the busier roads in the Columbus near-suburb of Upper Arlington. This is a stretch of town that has changed slowly over the past handful of decades, with a number of the businesses still operating under original signage with near-original building exteriors & interiors. Honey Dip is no exception, bold yellow lettering attached to its roof, a vintage sign in its fairly cavernous parking lot, all in service of the donuts and diner food within.
Though the marquee outside often proclaims the best pancakes and omelets in town (and they’re very, very good), it’s hard to argue that the real star here is the wall of donuts just inside the front door, extending into a long case under the cash register. This is the type of donut shop that largely makes what it makes during the first half of the day and expect to run out of most of it by closing time. Just a few minutes inside will shed light on just how frequently that happens, with carry out order after carry out order of donuts flying out of the shop.
But this reviewer has always been drawn to the short counter that sits just left of the admittedly impressive donut wall, the classic diner layout with fixed, swivel stools ringing a diner counter. A handful of tables run along the window opposite the counter and a large space to the right of the donut wall opens up into more traditional low, square table seating. This secondary space is home to an intensely array of framed photos, a collection that ranges from humorous sayings to pictures of Honey Dip to, mostly, photos of patrons past and present.
The special here has, in name, been a selection of donut-based menu items as long as this reviewer has been visiting Honey Dip. The donut bacon cheeseburger, the donut BLT, the donut sandwich, all variations on the theme of slicing a glazed donut in half and throwing a collection of sandwich-like ingredients in the middle. And though all of those feel like good one-time selections, the heart beat here is in the breakfast basics. The omelets, the pancakes and, my favorite, the classic American breakfast of eggs, toast, potatoes and meat selection. Diner food doesn’t get more fundamental and I have never been disappointed after ordering.
On the lunch side of things, the typical sandwich favorites can be found, from classic burger to a fried bologna sandwich. This reviewer frequents the cajun chicken gyro, one of many gyros to be found on the menu and always great. And if any room has been left for a pre- or post-meal donuts, it’s hard to beat any of the offerings but the apple fritters and long johns are personal favorites.
Honey Dip Donuts & Diner is a classic. Classic menu, classic combination of donut shop and diner, classic old-school feel of a community gathering spot serving coffee and breakfast all day to all ages. That the decades have continued to roll and Columbus around Honey Dip has evolved considerably only underscores the fact that Honey Dip is doing something right. Honey Dip is the go-to spot to grab a seat at the corner and order a timeless classic.