Nancy’s Home Cooking is something of a Columbus, Ohio institution. Located in Clintonville, north central Columbus, Nancy’s Restaurant exemplifies everything a joint should be.

Nancy’s is first and foremost a diner with all the ambience expected in an Edward Hopper painting. When you enter the right wall will be the cooking area, with a long lunch counter and booths in the back. The cooking area will be covered with signed pictures of local dignitaries including Ohio State athletes, Elvis Impersonators, and Dale Earnhardt. The place will be full, if you come by yourself you may find a spot quickly, but the larger your party, the longer your wait. Make your party five or smaller, or expect to divide.

Nancy’s has no menus. Weekday mornings they serve an early breakfast then switch to diner lunches about nine. They close at noon and reopen from four to seven PM for dinner. On weekends they serve breakfast and close at noon.

I prefer the Nancy’s breakfast. The coffee is good, and if you run out go ahead and get the pot. Just remember to fill your neighbor’s cup! And notice the crowd, you’ll find everyone from working-stiff retirees through OSU football tackles to new age lesbian couples sharing coffee and conversation. It just doesn’t matter when you’re at Nancy’s The garbage omelettes are justly famous, taking their name from the fact that everything goes in. And I do mean everything! They’re huge and cheese will string out on the occasional bite. And they’re big, too. I have tasted no finer omelette, anywhere at any price. The homefries are to die for, buttery and tender. The french toast is wonderful, though I’d skip the pancakes. Nothing fancy and don’t tell your cardiologist as fat is part of the flavor. And it’s cheap too. Coffee, potatoes, a garbage omelette and toast goes for $5! You’re stuffed and out the door for a McDonald’s price.

If you show up for dinner the crowd consists of working class people and students. Dinner is also five bucks and include your choice of two entrees, mashed potatoes a vegetable and a drink. Good peasant food and lots of it, cheap. The price comes from the limited menu. And you can always get a piece of pie!

Nancy’s is located at 3133 N. High St. In Columbus, Ohio 43214. Phone is (614) 265-9012 To get there from I-71 get off at the Weber Rd exit, and turn west. Weber will dead end into High street. If this is a Saturday morning wave something at the anti-abortion protestors. Turn right as Nancy’s is the block just past McDonald’s on the left. On street parking is what you have. Check out the guitar repair shop and the art gallery that flank Nancy’s. And come hungry!

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