Cazuela’s was named best international food by Ohio State students. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Former Photo Editor

Cazuela’s commanded the competition for best international food, grabbing the category’s top spot by a considerable margin with 41 percent of the votes. Tai’s Asian Bistro came in a not-so-close second, garnering 14.9 percent. Evidently, Cazuela’s holds a special place in Ohio State students’ hearts — including mine. 

If you’re looking for a night of bar hopping, although not technically considered a bar, Cazuela’s original location on North Campus is a good place to start. It still gives off a fun, ripe-with-drunk-college-kids vibe, but in a tame environment — and with clean bathrooms. It’s always the first place I stop when going out on the weekends. I’m serious. Every time. 

For me, and I imagine for most customers, Cazuela’s isn’t about the food — it’s about the drinks. The jumbo margaritas, a staple of any Cazuela’s experience, are, in fact, jumbo. Whopping 24-ounce glasses of flavored margaritas (take your pick of frozen or on the rocks) can be seen sitting on most tables around the restaurant at any given time. For $10.69, from peach to mango to guava, there’s a flavor for everyone. And if the single-serve margaritas aren’t big enough, you can always get a pitcher for $22.14. It’s meant for the table, but you can finish it alone if you really believe in yourself. 

If it’s not drinks you’re looking for, the food is still worth a try. The servers must think so — I guarantee you’ll be asked no less than five times if your table would like to order food before you drunkenly pick something off the menu just to be left alone. While anything tastes good after a jumbo lime margarita or two, Cazuela’s food is something I would actually eat sober.

The restaurant’s Pacifico shrimp tacos are my go-to. And while they’re not actually Mexican food, the cheese fries are phenomenal. But my favorite edible Cazuela’s creation has to be the chips and salsa. They’re given to every table for free, so I’m not sure much thought goes into making them, but they’re just so tasty. 

Aside from the food and drinks, there’s something inherently charming about Cazuela’s atmosphere, maybe because it looks like it used to be a house. Most restaurants I’ve been to aren’t split level with twists and turns from one room to the next, but perhaps it just makes Cazuela’s feel even more like home.

The main seating is on the left, but down a neck-breakingly steep set of stairs on the right is a cute bar — the perfect spot to wait 30 minutes for drinks while you wait 40 minutes for your table. (To be fair, that’s only applicable on weekends.) 

While Cazuela’s isn’t currently open for dine-in, it is open for takeout and delivery between 11 a.m. and midnight at its original location at 2321 N. High St.

I haven’t been to the new location at Gateway, which opened October 3, although I was accidentally dropped there by an Uber once. Honestly, I didn’t even go inside. I don’t love Cazuela’s for the name, the food or even the drinks — although I’ve never had a better frozen margarita. I love it for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve brought there.

From my sister to friends from high school, everyone I’ve taken to Cazuela’s has enjoyed it, unless they’re lying to me. I’m attached to that place. Although I suppose after going there at least once a week for three months, you would be too.