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Explorers Club Reviews List

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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.
73 Current Reviews
Summary of Diner Ratings & Reviews
Overall 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
(73 Reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 73 reviews
5 stars
(36)
4 stars
(28)
3 stars
(4)
2 stars
(3)
1 star
(2)
Food 
4.4 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.4 / 5
Service 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Outstanding) 4 / 5
Noise Level
2.5 / 3
Energetic
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Filter Reviews By:
Diners classify this restaurant as:
  • fit for foodies(45)
  • neighborhood gem(42)
  • great for brunch(25)
  • good for groups(18)
  • great for lunch(11)
  • special occasion(9)
Explorers Club Reviews List
Review 1 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 6/01/2014
 2012
Dined on 6/01/2014
 2012
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 6/01/2014
 2012
0points
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Review 2 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/08/2014
 2012
Dined on 3/08/2014
 2012
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 3/08/2014
 2012
0points
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Review 3 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Great restaurant for all occasions and meals.

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
"We went here the day before Valentine's Day to beat the crowds and were surprised by the availability of a Valentine's Day menu. We have been here many times and have never been disappointed. Brunches are excellent as well."
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 4 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

I already miss it.

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"This was one of the best places in Columbus. I'm very sad that it is now closed."
Dined on 1/16/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, hot spot, special occasion, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
0points
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Review 5 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 4/05/2014
 2011
Dined on 4/05/2014
 2011
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 4/05/2014
 2011
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

great find!

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"went here for restaurant week and although i drove past it a couple times before finding it, after i got in, everything was great after that! waiter was super helpful and nice. food was great! different and yet portions were big enough that we had enough room for all three courses! the vegan banana bread was awesome! didn't think i would like it but it really hit the spot and came out warm too, which helped on the chilly day! definitely would come back to eat here again!"
Dined on 1/14/2015
 2010
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 7 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Awesome food

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Explorers Club has an excellent menu and great service! This was our first time going for brunch, and it was pretty busy, so I would recommend a reservation. Some highlights from this visit were the salted caramel pancakes (yum!) and the breakfast burrito with Mac and cheese inside! There are gluten free and vegetarian options clearly marked, which is nice, too."
Dined on 2/15/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 8 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Funky, fun menu and everything I had hoped for!

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"My husband and I just discovered this place. I was immediately excited about the menu and walked in knowing what I wanted to try. We started with the fried plantains (I always get these when I see them on a menu) and they did not disappoint. The jalapeno biscuits with chorizo gravy was EVERYTHING I had hoped for! And I will be getting it again with a different egg option in the future. My husband had the breakfast burrito (with macaroni and cheese) and it was huge, but delicious. If you love a little spice/heat and prefer your breakfast/brunch to be more eclectic and adventurous than white napkins and mimosas, this needs to be a must on your restaurant rotation. The staff is fun and the ambiance is great. Also, the morning we were there, the music was all late 90s, so it was very nostalgic and comforting to a 30 year-old."
Dined on 2/15/2015
 2009
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 9 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on Valentine's Day

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Special Valentine's Day menu, food was very good and portions were generous. Excellent service, I"ll definitely come back."
Dined on 2/14/2015
 2011
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 10 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Less a great find. We will be going again for sure."
Dined on 2/14/2015
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Great eclectic food

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Great eclectic food and atmosphere. The server was great and we didn't have a long wait for our food. We were there for brunch. We have been there several times for dinner and it was great too."
Dined on 2/14/2015
 2013
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 12 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Nice Special Menu

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"We really enjoyed the special Valentine's Day menu. We can't wait to get back to try something from the regular monthly menu. Will definitely return the next time we come to downtown Columbus."
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2010
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 13 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Very Quaint Neighborhood Restaurant

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"They have two small rooms that are fairly small with a bar at the entrance. The rooms are attractively decorated with contemporary art and uniquely covered sound barriers in the ceiling.
Our server couldn't be more friendly or helpful. We started with a small plantain appetizer which was tasty along with two potato like cakes. The dips that came with it were very good.
The drinks we ordered were a strong but tasty Manhattan and a Jalapeño Margarita. The margarita was smooth and delicious.
Our meals were off a special Valentines menu. We had a pasta penne and a chicken with beans and rice covered with mole sauce. The chicken was tender and delicious and the pasta was a large portion with a nice blend of veggies, garlic and sauce.
We finished the evening with a Carmel topped flan. Again very good.
We really enjoyed everything and will be back."
Dined on 2/14/2015
 2009
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Energetic Vibe

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"The Explorers Club has a real energy about it. Very casual but vibrant decor, featuring lots of original artwork. Friendly and efficient wait staff. Delicious, albeit often spicy food (I love it, but a warning to some of you). The mango beignets are addictive; I'd get an order to share. Portions can be quite large, and you may find yourself still eating long after you're full, because it is so yummy. The place is popular... I'd suggest a reservation. Definitely make a reservation for a group."
Dined on 2/08/2015
 2010
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 15 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Spiced comfort food

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"We had the meat loaf and 1/2 chicken. I had some left over, but on the way home had to keep resisting the urge to reach in the box and grab another bite. The food was well spiced but not overbearing."
Dined on 2/03/2015
 2008
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Great Brunch spot in Marion Village

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"The portions are huge! The food was very tasty. The peach bellini was delicious. The mac and cheese grilled cheese had a little bit of unexpected heat to it which I really liked. The chile relleno on the other hand was far too hot for my liking. My partner, who normally likes spicy foods, even said it was a little hot for his taste. It had a very nice crust and was otherwise very delicious once you got past the heat. The only other complaint I have is that the tall table by the window is very shaky. It was annoying to have the table move so much every time you touched it so I dinged the ambiance. The staff and service were both excellent."
Dined on 2/01/2015
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for lunch, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 17 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

a little heat

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Good food and atmosphere but many dishes are spicy which is fine but not all are labled spicy like the Mac and cheese. Would go back service was solid but need to ask questions before ordering if you can't take the heat."
Dined on 1/24/2015
 2013
Special Features: good for groups
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Great but...

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"We have been to Explorers club a few times and always have great food, great service and never problems getting a table. We like it so much we brought some new friends to dinner. We had our meals and ordered a final round of beer to chat a bit more. The place was full but not like a line of ppl at door waiting to be seated. About 20 minutes later as we were finishing those post dinner beers a rather rude guy in a Tshirt that was clearly too small for his body came over and cleared the few remaining dishes and said "I'm going to need to reclaim your table when those beers are done" and walked off. I'm guessing he was ready for us to leave. It's not like we had the table for 4 hours. Our reservation was 6:30 and this happened about 8. When we did leave there were tables open, seats available at bar and no one standing waiting to be seated. Not sure if guy was manager or what but that was rude and our friends who thought this new gem that is 2 blocks from their house thought it was rude and bc of Mr Grumpy may not come back."
Dined on 1/23/2015
 2009
Special Features: neighborhood gem, hot spot, fit for foodies
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 19 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Great Food Great Vibe

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"The Explorers Club is a casual intimate gem just on on outskirts of German Village .
The menu is creative and the food fresh .you can tell from ownership to wait staff that they care about the customer. The menu prices are more than reasonable . Cain't wait to try the bruch.
"
Dined on 1/23/2015
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 20 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Neat Little Place

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Explorers Club was not at all what I expected but was a great place! It had a cool atmosphere with tons of fun artwork. The food was phenomenal! As a vegan, I was thrilled with the meatless options but by carnivore boyfriend was equally satisfied. We will be back!"
Dined on 1/19/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 21 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/16/2015
 2015
Dined on 1/16/2015
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"Staff was friendly and knowledgeable. Food was delicious."
Dined on 1/16/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, special occasion, late-night find
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 22 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Maybe good for a quick sandwich at lunch?

Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"I thought the point of Restaurant Week was to showcase some of a place's signature dishes for a good price. Not sure this place got that. We definitely spent more than we would have just ordering off the menu. My husband and I went, each got different RW offerings. My roasted veg pizza was fair, veggies not really roasted, doughy crust, nothing but balsamic drizzled over. Duck wontons also fair, with tough, gamey meat inside. Husband kind of liked; I couldn't eat them. My scallop pasta with vermouth sauce was okay, kind of tasteless. Hubs' chorizo-stuffed chicken was dry. We both got the creme caramel....looked nice but the caramel tasted really strong, almost burnt. My Manhattan was the best part; really sweet but tasty. Not worth the cost, but there you are... Place is cute; sadly, we were seated in what looked like a room addition, not too homey and quite chilly. I had to wear my coat through dinner. I don't think we'll be back, especially in light of the how far the drive is for us."
Dined on 1/16/2015
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 23 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

A special place

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"My family, consisting of three generations, has enjoyed Explorers Club several times. We like its "neighborhood" ambiance. The food is always well prepared and the recipes are unique. Our only complaint is how noisy it sometimes gets; we would encourage the management to consider improving the acoustic damping in the space."
Dined on 12/20/2014
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 24 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Truly Unique

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Wasn't sure what to expect, but up for something new and different, so we tried it with a couple of our more adventurous friends. Everyone enjoyed their selections. There are two menus - one "fixed" and one "variable". The variable changes monthly featuring specialty dishes from all over the world. Also a nice selection of vegan options.
The restaurant is in a very cool old brick building at the corner of Morrill & High. Parking was easy. Atmosphere and decor were casually elegant. Nothing pretentious and nicely done. Service was prompt and courteous. Servers answered many newbie questions well, with great patience.
This place is quite the find! We'll be going back before word gets out, while we can still get a table!"
Dined on 12/16/2014
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 25 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Birthday Brunch

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/14/2014
 2013
Dined on 12/14/2014
 2013
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"We had a party of nine for a 24-year-old's birthday. We had a great spot. The food was different and excellent and the $5 brunch specials on mimosas and bloody mary's was exactly what we needed. Everyone loved their meal. The atmosphere was perfect, too."
Dined on 12/14/2014
 2013
Special Features: good for groups, great for brunch, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 26 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Very Nice Dining Experience

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"The food and service was excellent. I really liked my Monfongo Burger as well as the plantains. Drinks and dinner is nicely priced. Waiter (I believe his name was Steven) was very personable and knowledgeable of all menu items. I can't wait until I return to try another dish."
Dined on 12/12/2014
 2013
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, great for brunch, special occasion
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 27 for Explorers Club
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Sunday Brunch

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"The chile relleno was outstanding. My family was blown away by the quality of the food and enjoyed the quirky ambiance of the restaurant."
Dined on 12/07/2014
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Ratings-Only Reviews for Explorers Club
Based on the average of (46) ratings-only reviews
Overall 
4.2 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.2 / 5
32 out of 35 recommend this product
Food 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
Service 
4.1 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.1 / 5
Ambiance 
3.9 / 5
(Very Good) 3.9 / 5
Noise Level
2.6 / 3
Energetic