out of 10
Maybe the best Columbus donut-beer combo available.
DK Diner is the convenient, walkable spot that every neighborhood needs. Up for an early breakfast and donuts? You’re covered. Hankering for a craft beer without the hankering for a dive bar (perish the thought). You’re covered. Sloppy burger stacked up with onion rings and barbecue sauce? Also covered. And DK Diner delivers not just on breadth but on quality, an oasis of a restaurant amid the densely residential Grandview Heights neighborhood of Columbus it calls home.
There are many highlights to note, but let’s not bury the lede. The donuts here are outstanding, homemade and sell out quickly as the day progresses. There are some seasonal favorites, like the hot cocoa donuts around Christmas, for example, but everything from the basic cake donut on up is likely one of the best you’ve tasted and worth a trip all their own. It is not uncommon for families in the area to reserve holiday morning donuts a few days before to ensure they’re ready for the table and immune to stockouts. The display case sits under the cash register in the center of the open-air space, making clear what’s left of the day’s haul.
DK Diner draws crowds at off-hours at times, meaning that it’s best to come early and be happy with the seating available at the time.
Inside, a row of booths line one wall while an array of self-serve drinks line the wall opposite, leaving a little bit of semi-awkward room in the middle of the space for tall tables. The cooktop in back borders a small counter area that provides a view of the action and is, in this reviewer’s estimation, the best place to target for a seat when visiting. But because of the diverse nature of the diner’s offerings, DK Diner draws crowds at off-hours at times, meaning that it’s best to come early and be happy with the seating available at the time.
But that small interior footprint has grown over time, extending to porches both directly in front of the building and to one side, seating slowly taking over what was a more spacious parking lot in front of the building. These extended dining areas have become more and more weatherproof over the years as well, owing to the popularity of the diner and the variability of Ohio weather. More than once this reviewer has strolled in for breakfast only to find a group of medical professionals getting off their overnight shifts, stacking craft beer pints as deep as possible on one of these outdoor patio tables. DK Diner offers a little something for everyone.
If there’s such a thing as a small town feel for a neighborhood completely surrounded by one of the Midwest’s fastest growing cities, this is it.
Best of all, the diner tradition of reflecting the local community is alive and well here. Grandview Heights is a small semi-suburb still close in proximity to downtown Columbus, giving it the feeling of a pocket neighborhood still very much linked to the city and not its outlying suburbs. If there’s such a thing as a small town feel for a neighborhood completely surrounded by one of the Midwest’s fastest growing cities, this is it, and that comes across in everything at DK Diner from the posters on the walls to the long-tenured staff that have become such an integral part of a visit.
A few favorites have been selected below, but this reviewer (and really anyone I’ve ever spoken to about DK Diner) has never had a bad meal. The diversity in the menu, from breakfast to burgers and everything in between, provides a fit for really any occasion. And that kind of versatility is what makes DK Diner such a perfect neighborhood spot. Small footprint, generous patio, local staff, good beer, DK Diner provides a little bit of everything intimately linked to the Grandview Heights community it serves.