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Explorers Club
Explorers Club

Explorers Club Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.explorersclubmv.com
  • Phone: (614) 725-0155
  • Hours of Operation:

    Brunch:

    Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm

    Sunday: 9:00am - 2:00pm


    Dinner:

    Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

    Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food, Global, International, Fusion / Eclectic
  • Executive Chef: Dan Varga
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: We offer take out catering or drop off catering for small to medium events. Food Truck is also available. Please call and ask for Tracy for details
  • Private Party Facilities: Our Party room seats 10-24 guests with a small step out patio. Contact us for more information
  • Private Party Contact: Tracy Studer (614) 725-0155

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Morrill Avenue
  • Public Transit: On Bus Line
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Plenty of On-street and Off-street Parking
A word from Explorers Club
Perk up your dining-out routine with an adventure over to the artsy, funky, laid-back lands of the Explorers Club. Nestled in a century-old building, the Club bubbles with a Latin and Cuban-influenced decor; there is a lot of character there. The setting seems to perfectly accent the eclectic menu, helmed by Chef Dan Varga.

Vegans and vegetarians will feel as welcome as the carnivores, with many dishes aimed to please every taste and lifestyle. Explore the menu and try items like the "Sweet Plantains with Salsa Yogurt Dressing", the "House Made Hungarian Sausage and Rib Tip Platter", "Roasted Half Chicken", or "Sweet Chile and Soy Tempeh".

The Brunch menu is just as delicious, offering everything from traditional breakfast items to "Huevos Rancheros" and "Cuban French Toast".

Over at the bar, there are plenty of wonderfully-crafted mixed drinks, beers, and wines to accompany your favorite dishes.

NOTEWORTHY: Lots of parking available.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "I made a last minute reservation - but we had no problem being seated. The only problem was the special monthly menu was still listed as available on Open Table and when we got there we were told it was only the regular menu because it was almost the end of the month. It was a bit disappointing because it looked like an interesting selection. We ordered from the standard menu and the food wad good and plentiful"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "I love this place. Met my friend here for brunch and it was outstanding. Outstanding food, outstanding service, outstanding ambience. Easy parking although it was crowded."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "This restaurant is somewhat off the beaten path for Columbus, but is well worth a visit. It has a very friendly, helpful staff, and a great menu that seems to change somewhat often and is strong in Latin-American food and vegetarian options. I had the chorizo burger during my most recent visit and it was very well made with a nice side if Cajun fries. Their homemade salsas are great, and definitely pack a punch."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Been hearing about EC for months, food great/service not consistent. The menu was causual almost neighborhood joint feel. We arrived at 7:30 on a Friday and had no trouble being seated quickly. Service was a little slow but worth the wait. Margaritas are some of the best we've had and we've lived in Texas and New Mexico. Pierogis were pan-fried with caramelized onions and mushrooms; they were flavorful, tender and light. They need to put these on the menu as a regular item. Jerk chicken was tender, juicy and had the right amount of spice. Lamb pastrami was tender with the flavors you expect from good pastrami except with a hint of lamb gaminess. Finished dinner with the zucchini bread and pumpkin pudding, licked the plates clean."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Good food, vibrant dining scene, very loud. The Pumpkin Stuff is incredible."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We trusted the OpenTabe reviews and found a casual gem with great food. Our waitress was new but her enthusiasm and attentiveness more than made up for the fact she was on a learning curve. Her more experienced peers continually checked in on us and ensured we had a great experience. The food was great - jerked chicken was awesome!"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "The Explorers Club is a wonderful place with wonderful food that never disappoints you."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "The menu changes every so often, which is great if you want to keep coming back and trying new things! I had the Hummus Quinoa Patty, which was very tasty. Loved the fries on the side, too!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "3 of 6 West-African menu items were not available on they're monthly special menu. We're told to call first. But reservation was made a week in advance so calling ahead isn't really an option one you've gotten an agreed upon time with friends. Food/Service was good as usual but..."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Been here almost a dozen times. Got the fried plantain as usual. Outstanding. Always great and a step up from what you'll find most anywhere in Columbus area. The mac and cheese is out of this world amazing. After a taste, my girlfriend kept stealing bites. The Mofongo Burger, which was previously the best burger I could find in Columbus after trying 20 or more of the so-called bests. The beef patty was still fairly good, not the same though. Whatever beef they were using was the best I've tried. Hopefully this was just an exception. Overall, still a great dining experience."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We had seen good reviews of this restaurant, but really had no idea what to expect. The setting is "corner tavern," the interior is cozy and neat, and the menu is adventurous and unique! The night we went, there was a feature menu offering African dishes - goat and mutton items that sounded intriguing. We were not that adventurous, so we ordered from the regular menu and settled for Chili relleno, sweet plantain, Cuban pork, and meatloaf. All were excellent! Dessert was a really tasty treat of mango donuts - beignet-like confections with mango bits inside. We'll be back and be sure to try something more exotic!"
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "Had dinner and loved it. Great food. A real treat. I will go back to try brunch."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "This was my second visit to Explorers Club. First off, I love that I can reserve a table online. Our server was kind and great at making suggestions. I ordered the huevos rancheros and shared the daily special pancake. My friend ordered the eggs benedict. Neither of us were disappointed. I can not wait to come back for dinner!"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Just experienced the brunch menu at Explorer" Club and it was a treasure hunt. Very good and nice combinations. Will return for their monthly feature menu to try some more yummies. Try it and you will like this little gem."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "the coffee is terrible...weak and tinny...the selections sound interesting but the mac & cheese was bland enough that we did not even want to box it for the kids at home...you ahve a good thing in the oven...get to good!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Chef Dan is always coming up with something new and exciting for the menu! I love that I don't ever have to get the same thing twice, even though I would because it's all amazing!"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "As I visit the Columbus area from Philadelphia on a regular basis I always manage to fit the Explorers Club in for a meal and they never disappoint! Always great food and a nice friendly environment, a must go if you have never been!"
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "terrific food - different menus than anywhere else in Cbus"
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "I have been to Explorer's Club on a few occasions. It has been very good every time that I have been there. Service is excellent. Food is always excellent. Really worth a trip if you are in the area."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "This was our 2nd Mother's Day spent at the Explorer's Club and for the second year in a row we loved it! Food is always so unique and delicious! It is a casual atmosphere with 5 star cuisine! Our waiter was a delight! Super friendly! I would absolutely recommend this spot for anyone looking to try something out of the norm but still always consistent with excellent service and food! Love this place!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Went for a Mother's Day brunch. Great food - nice change from run-of-the mill brunch choices. I had a braised leg of lamb frittata that was wonderful! The wait staff was super friendly and worked to make my wife and kids happy. Reservation was for 10:30am and there was plenty of space, no waiting, and no trouble with parking. A great overall experience."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The Moroccan menu is great stuff. We had nearly one of everything on the menu for our group of 6 (including 2 kids). Started with the Moroccan Trio of dips/sauces and the roasted Olives. The Baba was smoky and wonderful. The white beans with the olives were nicely al dente. The avocado, orange & grapefruit salad was nicely deconstructed which really brought out the complementing flavors. One of us had the Lamb Kefta, it's as good as it looks in the picture! I had the Braised Lamb Shank. The meat fell off the bone and the garbanzo + cous cous was just the right complement to the juicy meat. The dates stuffed with marzipan for dessert were wildly rich, meaty and wonderful."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "I made reservations for the Explorers Club for my 25th birthday with a group of 4 of my closest friends; for the majority of us it was our first time in. The monthly menu (Moroccan) had just been revealed earlier that day, and while the standard dinner & wine menus placed on our table had not yet been updated to reflect all the new changes, our server was extremely knowledgeable, even to the point of offering my sister (who had ordered a dish no longer available) the option to customize an existing dish to get it as close as possible to her original order. Our drinks were kept refilled, the food came out hot and delicious, and our server was attentive without being overbearing. We all left very satisfied, and I will certainly be returning."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "This month was their Hawaiian menu - outstanding food, and the best was the mango doughnuts for dessert!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Explorers club is the perfect place for those looking for something a little different. Their brunch menu contains a lot of items that are new twist on old classics such as "breakfast mac and cheese," a breakfast burrito with mac and cheese in it, and my favorite, eggs Benedict served on jalapeno biscuits. I've only been to The Explorer's Club twice, the first time was on a Sunday, a little after noon and despite the place being filled to the gills my party of 4 was seated with in ten minutes. The next time was on a Saturday around 11:30 and the place was pretty empty. Both times the servers were kind, helpful, welcoming, and knowledgeable of the menu and the wait time for the food was fairly short."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We've been to the Explorer's Club a few times in the past, and it is usually pretty good. This time the regular menu was uninspired as it was missing many of the regular items we were used to ordering. Nothing on the Hawaiian menu sounded good either. The mac and cheese sandwich, while good, was just warm. It is much better when the mac and cheese is piping hot. In addition, we ordered an extra condiment, and it wasn't delivered with the meal. The server brought out the condiment when we told him it was missing, but then we were charged for it. We'll be sure to check out the menu before coming back to make sure we are inspired by the menu options."
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "The menu is "different", so you must be open to trying new things."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "The owner is knowledgeable and calm, letting us know how the batches of hot sauce turned out. The root salad and stuffed pepper were wonderful small plates, but our table came for the burgers. The wait staff was friendly and attentive, rather than perfunctory about the work. This place is a find."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "it was nice...not too crowded and the food was delicious!!"
    Dined on 4/21/2014
  • "My husband's BD fell on Easter Sunday so we decided to celebrate on Sat night. We had a reservation for 6:30 and were promptly seated at a booth near the front window. We normally like the booth seating but for some reason the sound echoed from the conversations going on in other areas - we could barely hear the server tell us about the specials. I had indicated in the special request sec that it was my husband's BD but no one noticed. We found the noise level very distracting - we couldn't talk to each other without raising our voices. We have dined previously on the weekend and never experienced this problem. The food was good and the server was attentive - but it would have been nice if we could have talked while we ate."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "This was our third time at the restaurant but definitely our most negative experience. The service was inconsistent, we received the wrong drinks and then the ones we got were off-putting. It didn't help that 3 different people had come to our table. We had the "special" Hawaiian salad but it was missing many of the ingredients and was mostly tasteless. Pros: Get the Fried Plantains with Yogurt Dressing."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "I took my guy to the Explorer's Club for a belated birthday dinner and the monthly menu was Hawaiian. The macadamia nut crusted ahi was the best my seafood-loving fiancee had *ever* had (that's a quote). I had the Loco Moco (kalua pork, house made smoked portugese sausage and island fried rice with a fried egg), which was excellent. Of course, the fried plantains from their regular menu should not be missed, and I totally recommend springing for both the yogurt sauce AND the sweet habanero sauce. Best of all was the service - Luke was both awesome and a lot of fun - it truly made the experience great. Can't wait to come back!"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Our group of five enjoyed brunch on Sunday, April 13, at Explorers Club, Merion Village. It was a special occasion as we welcomed our niece and her husband to Columbus and began introducing them to the restaurant scene here. They are moving to Columbus from Chicago and have been in the restaurant business so they have high expectations/standards. They enjoyed Explorers Club - the ambience, the service (waiter was Christian), the food. I'm sure they will be customers in the future. By the way, I ordered the Cuban French Toast and found the presentation lovely and the dish very tasty, especially the fresh fruit."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Maybe Hungarian food is just to heavy and bland for my palate."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "The times we've met others for dinner they have been pleased with the food and service. Last time was 'Hungarian night' and although we were looking forward to the 'Hawaiian menu' we were completely pleased with the appetizer and dessert. The veggie patty and bacon pimento cheese burger were excellent as well. We like the location and the interesting art on the walls and will return with other friends when the occasion allows."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "My wife & I visited for the first time on 4/5/2014. It has an open-air, laid-back feel. The decor has interesting iron art, like a map of the US made from welded old hand tools, and some cool caricatures. They have two unique menus, including a monthly theme--Hawaiian for us. Apps: Spam Musubi (like sushi), Caribbean Jerk stew, & Island Grain Salad (huge). Dinners: Loco Moco & Hunky Plate. Overall, it was all very good. The food was well prepared (chicken cooked perfectly) and mostly seasoned just right. Although, the stew could have been spicier and the stew was just warm. Paid ~$100, including drinks (not tip). Plenty of food for leftovers--at least another meal. The waiter did a great job--thanks, Christian! Will go again!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Days later and I'm still thinking about it. The flavors were amazing."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Wife and I enjoyed ourselves. Good food and a really neat building and dining area. Wish we could have been there for one of their other monthly special menus but everything on the menu look and sounded good."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Started off with a really great server. Very welcoming and helpful with the menu. The food was homey but only if you were in the home of someone who really knew how to cook. My date and I shared the warm root salad with maple vinegarette. It was tasty and the root vegetables were the star. I would order it again but would get the dressing on the side....there was a bit too much on it for my taste. Then had the jerk chicken. Was good. The jerk sauce had the flavor and the spice level was good. Loved the Brussels sprouts. The side of Mac and cheese was good though a little heavy on garlic. Will return."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "This was my first time here and I will definitely go back and recommend it to friends and family. The service was quick and friendly and the food was devoured."
    Dined on 3/23/2014