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Explorers Club
Explorers Club

Explorers Club Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.explorersclubmv.com
  • Email: expclub@yahoo.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 WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Maybe Hungarian food is just to heavy and bland for my palate."
    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
  • "My vegetarian daughter decided on the venue. My expectations were somewhat modest. However, the menu was the first surprise. They had a wide variety of items that were for both vegetarians and those that enjoy meat. The warm root salad was my first, but it won't be the last. We both enjoyed our meals and the waitress was another surprise. An old friend that went on a mission trip to fix houses in Appalachia. A wonderful evening full of surprises!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Thursday - 1/2 price beer night - woot! Server's name was Monica. Really one of the best waitresses I've ever had. The dishes she recommended were spot on. It was Cuban month, so I thoroughly enjoyed the fried plantains with yogurt/salsa sauce, my husband (who is not adventurous) had Andouille. The sausage is smoked right there in the restaurant, is served with red beans and rice, and it soooo good. I only had one bite and was instantly envious. I had a pimento/bacon/bbq burger. Burger was huge, done as I ordered, was incredibly juicy. Fries soggy, but who cares - didn't have room anyway. Would order the burger again, but I want to go back for my own Andouille!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We just love the Explorers Club for their fantastically unique and delicious menu. The servers and owner are also great with recommendations and super friendly. This is one of our favorite places in Columbus!!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "The good is unique and yummy. They have a regular menu and then a different monthly menu from a different area of the world. Love it."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Diverse menu which is well prepAred and seasoned The restaurants goes to a new location with their menu each month such as Cajun ambience is wonderful and eclectic romantic and small I will return I had the mofongo burger And it was wonderful I would recommend for quiet relaxing dinner"
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "If available, order the oatmeal, apple, peach and pear pancakes! Unbelievably delicious."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We had brunch and was amazed by the quality of the food and the reasonableness of the price. Everything from the tea and coffee to every ingredient used for the meals was fresh and outstanding. We are looking forward to returning for brunch and to try one of their great sounding dinners."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "This was my second trip to Explorers Club and it was just as good as the first. The food is outstanding and the portion sizes are very substantial. I love that the menu changes and the monthly special menus. There is something that everyone in your group can enjoy from burgers and fries to some vegetarian and vegan options. Any entree with Mofongo is a must. Either the meatloaf, burrito or burger. Definitely do it."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "This place is amazing, and I love it more every time I go there. They had a creole special menu, which 3 of our party ordered from, and we were all blown away. Really enjoy this place, and can't recommend it highly enough"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Food was sooo delicious. Baked mac and cheese and their burgers were so well made. My medium rare burger... was actually medium rare!! Fried plantains and yuca bytes made a great appetizer. Really familiar food was done with international flavor."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We went during the Caribbean menu and I purchased the jerk ded snapper with mango chutney. It was fantastic! My husband ordered the goat which was also delicious. There was a lovely atmosphere to the restaraunt, not too dressy and not too casual, but very full of character. Our kind of place. The staff was all extremely friendly, and helpful. Especially with those menu items we had never heard of before :). We had a brilliant time!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "All of the small plates and salads that we ordered for the table were really good, but there seemed to be a shortage of main dishes that did not come without a side of fire! I mentioned to the waiter that I could not handle spicy food, however I ended up with the hottest dish on the menu. Most of my party of 8 mentioned that the spice level of their meals was also a bit overwhelming."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Explorers Club is our "go to" dining place. We've never had a bad meal, or experienced anything less than excellent customer service. If I was to complain about anything it would be the seating, but Rome wasn't built in a day. I highly recommend the mac and cheese. I never go without ordering it. The mofongo sandwich or meatloaf are excellent choices as well. I love that they feature various cultural foods from time to time such as Hungarian and Italian, but the main menu is always a staple. The best part is having this type of restaurant in our own backyard. A neighborhood gem!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Easy to find, in the heart of the city. Had to park a ways down on the street, but was okay. Small, lovely place, reminded me very much of dining experiences in San Francisco. They have a wine/drink menu, however they were out of a few key ingredients. Somewhat disappointing. I was eating vegan, taking a non-vegan out for a birthday dinner. Food was good. Some menu items a bit pricey, but fine for a special occasion. Surprised at the paper napkins. Cloth napkins would be a better touch and would suit the setting. I highly recommend sharing the sweet plaintains with mango haberno sauce as an appetizer, and for dessert you must try their vegan peanut butter cup. It was awesome. I will be eating at Explorers Club again - soon."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "My husband and I dined here on 2/12. I checked the website and was looking forward to trying a few of the selections from the Caribbean menu (featured for February 2014). Unfortunately, we were given a Hungarian menu which really isn't what I would call a menu. There was one soup, one entree and one dessert on this "menu." The meals we did choose for dinner were very good, creative and filling. We will definitely come back, but I'll probably call first to find out what the featured menu is for the day. Explorers Club: Thank you for a pleasant dining experience. Your restaurant is lovely, warm and clean."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "The food is always great and reasonably priced. The menu has entrees you usually won't find at other restaurants."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Very ambitious menu, with choices that challenge the palate while remaining tasteful. Definite Caribbean influence, with a modern American twist. Loved the Jerk Chicken, liked the Mofongo burger (pulled pork atop burger, jalapeno infused throughout). Only setback was slow service. We waited upwards of 30min between appetizer and main course and occasionally sat with an empty beer glass for a few minutes before the waiter returned. Otherwise very courteous, friendly staff."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "The owner was extremely rude to my friend and me. We both had purchased a Groupon for this restaurant so decided to go together. Upon our arrival at the bar to eat, the bartender (who also happened to be the owner) explained we are only supposed to use 1 Groupon per group. I explained that we were paying separate, regardless of using the Groupon. He pushed it further to explain that it's not supposed to be allowed. After awkward silence, he mumbled something along the lines "I guess I'll use them, but I shouldn't be." Needless to say it was an uncomfortable experience the rest of our time at this restaurant."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Driving past this restaurant I never gave it much thought but today my wife and I finally gave it a try. Wow, what a nice surprise. I had the explorer Benedict, the eggs were poached perfectly and there was a nice thick piece of the tasso Ham on it. She had the shrimp and tasso grits, the spice level was absolutely perfect and the shrimp were wonderfully cooked. I would highly recommend this restaurant and we will definitely be back. It was nice to experience foods that are not commonly seen around the Columbus area."
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Great service, interesting food, will definitely be coming back!"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "I hear that Explorers Club also has excellent dinners, but I have only ever been there for brunch. Which is delicious! Lots of veggie options and lots of nice hot coffee. One friend complained that everything was spicy but to me that's a plus!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We decided to dine at EC for the first time during restaurant week. We had the charcuterie board & the rest. week menu. We also enjoyed a bottle of malbec. The food & service were wonderful. My very small criticism was that the head cheese on the was stone cold. It had wonderful flavor but the cold temp made the fat have a gelatinous texture. When I have head cheese I want it to melt on my tongue. The appetizer I got was a dumpling w/ kimchee. The kimchee was also very cold. It had great flavor & texture but was very cold compared to the freshly fried, hot dumpling. The fried plantains, duck pastrami & the pork cheek tamale were the highlights of our meal. We also had a wonderfully polite & attentive server. We will definitely return to EC."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "Rich savory flavors, good service. Cuban Duck confit tacos were delicious. Great masa and rich flavor in the pork cheek tamales, big ups korean potstickers. Thumbs up to bosch pears dessert was complex and fun. The Irish Car Bomb Bread pudding was only ok, the flavors didn't scream, When I hear Irish, I need a richer whiskey flavor. C'est la guerre. My only disappoint was the beer: The Fort Collins Fat Tire was FLAT (I've never added salt to that beer before, and this is a beer I know having lived next to Fort Collins). Also, the White IPA was not a winning IPA, kegs past their prime. I'll be back to explore the club and to give the beer list another go. This place is worth a visit."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "The food was tremendous, the staff were freindly and attentive and the mojito was nice and strong."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "The food sounded sooooo delicious, but was really just somewhere between okay and good. My friend and I both had a $9.00 margariata. They tasted good (one had cucumber and one had jalapeno), very inventive but we barely got a buzz. I won't be going back even though the service was really excellent."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The restaurant area was so loud, most of the time I could not hear what my husband was saying. We had several people that were talking so loud it was very annoying, other than that the food was excellent. I thought it was a little high priced, but we had been here once before and I reserved this for us to celebrate my husbands birthday. I noted that on the reservation hoping something would be done to recognize this, but nothing was."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Visited on the spur of the moment. Excellent dinner on Mexican food night. Rabbit was delicious."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Had a fantastic brunch at the Explorer's Club. The food was served promptly, the service was fantastic, and the portions were a great value. The Cuban French Toast was fantastico!"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "My husband and I have been to this restaurant at least 6 times and taken our friends because of the unusual menu items. We made reservations to take a friend and show her how much we liked it. I had previously checked to find the current "monthly" menu was Korean - but when we arrived we were told that the first Wednesday of the month is "always Hungarian" so there is no Korean. There was nothing I saw on the website that indicated this. We weren't totally disappointed until we were told that all of the Hungarian was sold out. Our reservation was 7:30. We chose from the regular menu. The sweet potato fries with mine were cold and my husbands fries were too salty. Our food took a very long time - even though the place was half empty."
    Dined on 1/8/2014
  • "I made reservations for New Years Eve, because the reviews looked good and it was fairly close to home. I was disappointed from the time we sat down and were given a limited menu, until the time we left. The food was under seasoned, If it was seasoned at all. There is no changing the sides that come with the entrée, because as our server said, the chef is a "princess" and thinks he knows best. Needless to say the experience was very disappointing."
    Dined on 12/31/2013