Much like our city’s dedication to all things food, Columbus has plenty of places to grab a good drink.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a fancy evening with high-end cocktails or keeping it lowkey with some games and beers, you can find what you’re looking for in C-bus. We’ve ranked the top 50 bars in Columbus, giving you your very own handy, dandy checklist when it comes to going out around town.
You ready? Let’s do this.
50. | Bodega | Short North
Why we love it: Bodega has a casual yet lively atmosphere, plus they’ve got a great happy hour, including $1 grilled cheeses on Monday. Plus they’ve got 47 taps full of craft beer deliciousness.
What to order: If I’m not ordering a beer at Bodega, I’m getting the High Street Honey. I’m obsessed with this cocktail which is made with Watershed Gin, sage-infused honey syrup, and lemon juice.
49. | Sidebar | Downtown
Why we love it: Because tapas. Enough said.
What to order: I don’t know when it started happening exactly, but whenever I go to Sidebar now, I just want wine. Maybe it’s the environment, maybe it’s a good selection. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions!
48. | Arch City Tavern | Short North
Why we love it: What do you get when you combine great service with awesome food and drinks and a killer vibe? You get Arch City Tavern. And that combination is exactly why we love it.
What to order: Settle for nothing less than and Irish Kiss, made with Jameson Caskmates IPA, and Ginger Syrup with Hazelnut & Orange. Perfection.
47. | Olde Towne Tavern | OTE
Why we love it: Olde Towne Tavern is lively, fun, and they know the value of a spectacular daily special.
What to order: Death in the Afternoon was invented and relished by Ernest Hemingway. It’s a floral cocktail, made by blending champagne, sugar, and Bohemian-style Mata Hari absinthe. And it’s 100% the drink you should give a shot at the tavern.
46. | Three Sheets | Brewery District
Why we love it: This is one cozy haunt. Three Sheets is the place to meet up with an old friend over drinks, plus it has a great location.
What to order: Order a beer and just relax.
45. | Huli Huli Tiki Lounge | Powell
Why we love it: There’s nothing quite as joyous as getting a drink with some sort of fruit or umbrella in it. And that’s a fact.
What to order: Treat yo self. Order a Mai Tai, pretend you’re on a beach somewhere, and just enjoy your night. You’ve earned it.
44. | Bristol Republic | Short North
Why we love it: A country bar in the heart of the Short North? What’s not to love. Bristol Republic has become quite the favorite in their short time open, and that’s probably because it’s an awesome place to grab a drink after work with your pals.
What to order: Whiskey or Bourbon. That’s what Bristol Republic does best, and you’re definitely going to want to let them do it.
43. | Wine on High | Short North
Why we love it: Who doesn’t wanna have a wine day with the girls? I know I do, and when I get to experience that pure bliss, it’s always fun to gather at Wine on High. They’ve got a wine club, plus a great happy hour and helpful and knowledgeable staff.
What to order: Obviously the answer here is wine. If you’re unsure of what you’d like, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Seriously, they know what they’re doing.
42. | R Bar | Arena District
Why we love it: R Bar is so much more than a hockey bar. Not that being a hockey bar is a bad thing, because loving the Columbus Blue Jackets is pretty easy to do. They have over 30 flat-screen TVs (remember when there were non-flat-screen TVs?) and they show all kinds of sports.
What to order: The bar carries a good selection of craft beer. So pick the one that will go best with your bar food and enjoy!
41. | Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails | Uptown District
Why we love it: Tip Top is the kind of bar where everybody knows your name. Well, maybe not initially, but if you get going there long enough, they will. It’s got a friendly crowd that can appreciate a good deal and a fun night out.
What to order: Back in the day, my go-to at Tip Top was $2 PBRs. But I guess as we mature, so do our tastes. Now, I just like to scan the 22 taps and choose a beer that actually tastes good! At least for the first round anyway.
40. | The Keep | Uptown District
Why we love it: The Keep is modern, elegant, and perfect for date night or just generally impressing your company. It’s inside the most beautiful and iconic building in Columbus and the food and drinks are all top-notch.
What to order: Order the Pear Necessities, made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Lemon house-made pear & pineapple liquor, and egg white.
39. | Little Rock Bar | Italian Village
Why we love it: Little Rock is a phenomenal place to catch a DJ, dance the night away, or even do karaoke. Their events calendar is almost as impressive as their drink selection.
What to order: Grab something off the “Something Different” section of their menu. There’s a pretty good chance it will be a beer you haven’t tried before.
38. | Club 185 | German Village
Why we love it: Club 185 used to be known as a speak-easy and it’s been serving up drinks and fun since 1954. It’s got charm and swag that only comes with decades of experience.
What to order: Don’t overthink your visit here. The name may sound exclusive, but it’s a friendly atmosphere where you can order something on tap and make some new friends.
37. | Parsons North Brewing | Schumacher Place
Why we love it: North Parsons has an amazing space, both indoor and out. They frequently have a food truck on hand to satisfy your munchies and there’s also usually Bob Ross on TV. Heaven, pure heaven.
What to order: Order the West Coast IPA. It’s citrusy, bitter, and floral, sort of like myself
36. | Local Bar | Short North
Why we love it: I always describe Local Bar as a hipster dive bar, and I mean that with a sincerely affectionate tone. It has all of the things I love about both hipsters and dive bars, plus I can eat free popcorn.
What to order: I tend to keep it pretty simple at Local Bar. You can find me there with a Gin and Tonic.
35. | The Sycamore | German Village
Why we love it: The Sycamore is a complete experience. From the food you order to the drinks you consume, you will understand why there’s always a wait. Pro-tip, just save yourself the headache and make a reservation!
What to order: The Last Monarch is a Butterfly Tea-infused Watershed Guild Gin, with Chartreuse and fresh lime. It’s so freaking good and you’ll be happy you got one.
34. | Barcelona | German Village
Why we love it: Tapas again. But this time I’ll elaborate. Barcelona is one of this city’s best restaurants. And the food is so awesome that sometimes, I think it overshadows the delightful drinks.
What to order: Get the Barcelona Manhattan. It’s house-made blackberry-maple infused Woodford Reserve bourbon, with Miro Vermut de Reus rojo, Angostura bitters, and served up or on the rocks with a brandied cherry. Yummmmmmm.
33. | High Bank Distillery | Grandview Heights
Why we love it: There is a lot to love about High Bank Distillery, but nothing comes close to how much I enjoy their Socially Acceptable $5 Day Drinking menu on Saturday and Sunday. It deserves so much praise.
What to order: My cocktail of choice is the High Bank Vodka. It’s fruity and perfectly balanced and goes great with my sunny disposition.
32. | The Bottle Shop | Dennison Place
Why we love it: If you like your ambiance laid back but your cocktails fancy, The Bottle Shop needs to be on your to-do list. Their drinks are tasty and their staff is friendly, plus they’ve got a decent variety when it comes to drinks.
What to order: The staff is really helpful at The Bottle Shop, which is why I want you to live a little and just try what they suggest to you. I’ve never had a bad sip there, and I doubt you will either!
31. | Geordie’s Restaurant | Merion Village
Why we love it: I’m a sucker for a good English pub, and they don’t come much more authentic than Geordie’s. Fish and chips. All. Day. Long.
What to order: This one’s a close tie between ordering a beer (like you should do at the pub) and grabbing a Bloody Mary. I’ll let you choose!
30. | Brothers Drake Meadery | Weinland Park
Why we love it: Whether you’re going for a tour and tasting of the meadery or you’re just looking for a well-made cocktail and some live-music, Brothers Drake is for you.
What to order: The cocktail menu is updated seasonally, so my suggestion would be to go in for a tasting and figure out which kinds of mead you’re drawn to. That will help you know what to expect when you’re looking over the drink menu!
29. | Beck Tavern | German Village
Why we love it: In my humble opinion, Beck Tavern is the king of all Columbus dives. I’m sure that will be disputed, but I stand by it. Plus, they’ve got $1.75 domestics during happy hour, which is pretty close to unbeatable around town. They have TVs so you can catch the big game, darts so you can get a little competitive with friends, and they’ve got some of the most interesting regular patrons in the city.
What to order: They say they have the coldest beer in Columbus, so let’s just go ahead and accept our fate here.
28. | Short North Pint House | Short North
Why we love it: The front, Biergarten-esque part of Short North Pint House may just be my favorite bare in Columbus. It is just so bright and open, which is a good thing because this place can get pretty packed.
What to order: Allow me to introduce you to the Boozy Push Pop. They come in both Buckeye and Orange Creamsicle flavors and they’re just plain wonderful.
27. | Grandview Cafe | Grandview
Why we love it: Grandview Cafe has always been a gem, but they’re even more elegant now after their semi-recent remodel. It’s just a nice place to relax, enjoy quality drinks, and have a good time.
What to order: You can choose any 3 bourbons off of their menu for a $15 flight, and that’s totally what you should do.
26. | Dick’s Den | Old North Columbus
Why we love it: Dick’s Den is authentic, exciting, and just genuinely one of the best bars in town. There’s nothing not to love!
What to order: You can get whatever drink you want. Dick’s Den is about the experience. They’ve got the best live music in the city and an atmosphere you won’t want to leave.
25. | Oddfellows Liquor Bar | Short North
Why we love it: Oddfellows is always buzzing. It’s a popular bar for a reason, and that reason is that it is awesome. From their friendly staff to the dog treat vending machine to the adorable dogs that are always nearby at Oddfellows, it’s going to be a good night if you’re headed there.
What to order: Boozy slushies are the way to go at Oddfellows. Aren’t they sort of always the way to go?
24. | Vaso | Dublin
Why we love it: Rooftop views aren’t all created equal. But Vaso in Dublin has a pretty spectacular one. The bar overlooks the Scioto River and the drive to Dublin will definitely be worth it for your drink and that Instagram pic.
What to order: Order a Back of the Coffee Line. It’s made with Vanilla Bean Vodka, Espresso, Fernet, and a mint sprig. Refreshing and tasty.
23. | Sacred Palm | Short North
Why we love it: A tropical speakeasy doesn’t really need a lot of explanation when it comes to why we love it, right? It’s bright, unique, and they’ve got incredible drinks.
What to order: I think part of the beauty of Sacred Palm is discovering all of the quirks yourself. Try something new, fam!
22. | Milestone 229 | Scioto Mile
Why we love it: Location. Location. Location. Grabbing a summer cocktail at Milestone 229 ranks pretty high on my list of preferred activities. The restaurant is beautiful, the service is always great, and the quality of the food and beverage experience is out of this world.
What to order: Try their Barrel-Aged Margarita. It’s made with house aged Patron Reposado tequila, mango liqueur, Ancho Reyes, orange, lime, and agave syrup.
21. | Char Bar | Short North
Why we love it: Char Bar was the first place I ordered a drink when I turned 21. It’s a well-weathered dive bar that’s wormed its way into the hearts of many a Columbus resident. It’s a great place to catch up with friends or to play some darts.
What to order: Just do yourself a favor and order a Long Island.
20. | 16-Bit Bar + Arcade | Downtown
Why we love it: Want to play old-school arcade games while enjoying delicious beverages? If the answer is yes, then you most certainly already know and love 16-Bit. As long as you’re drinking, you can play the games for free.
What to order: Cheech Marin. This yummy cocktail is made with Espolon Reposado Tequila, Lime, Agave Nectar, orange zest, and salt. It’s perfect for a summer evening spent playing Frogger.
19. | BrewDog | Franklinton
Why we love it: BrewDog Franklinton has 48 beers on tap and a rooftop patio. Enjoy a beer while you take in the sites of Franklinton, in all its funky glory.
What to order: Elvis Juice. It’s a grapefruit IPA and it’s perfect for those warm days that we all know are just around the corner.
18. | Strongwater Food and Spirits | Franklinton
Why we love it: Strongwater was one of the first bars in the city to fully embrace that industrial, yet elegant, vibe. The staff is super talented, serving up quality, crafted dishes and drinks.
What to order: The Franklinton Mule is the way to go at Strongwater. It’s guaranteed to wet your whistle.
17. | Juniper Rooftop | Downtown
Why we love it: Not only will the drinks impress you at Juniper, you’ll also fall madly in love with the place itself. It’s got the best view of Columbus, hands down, and it’s perfect for a romantic date.
What to order: Nothing says “I love and appreciate myself” quite like a gin cocktail from Juniper. Specifically, the Lavender Bee’s Knees made with Watershed Bourbon Barrel Gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, and lavender bitters!
16. | Wolf’s Ridge | Downtown
Why we love it: Wolf’s Ridge has consistently made a name for themselves ever since their debut. Through their incredible kitchen and food, as well as through their award-winning beers.
What to order: It would be a shame to go to Wolf’s Ridge and only try one of their beers. So my recommendation here is to order a flight. You can get a flight of 3 or 5 and one of those choices should definitely be Clear Sky Daybreak.
15. | Land-Grant Brewing | Franklinton
Why we love it: There’s no other way to say it. Land-Grant is just a super chill bar. The people, both the staff and the patrons, are always friendly and welcoming, creating an atmosphere you won’t want to leave. It’s a popular spot for Happy Hour and post-work gatherings, and it’s a great place to unwind after a stressful day.
What to order: 1862 Ale. This beer is a dry-hopped American take on the classic German beer and it’s unbelievably delicious.
14. | Pretentious Barrel House | East Columbus
Why we love it: There are lots of reasons to enjoy an evening spent at Pretentious Barrel House. One of those reasons is their Skee-Ball league. Start stretching that arm out now, buddy!
What to order: Pretentious Barrel House was the first dedicated sour brewery here in Columbus, and their experience shows in their drinks. They have some of the most unique flavors you’ll find in a beer and there isn’t really a “bad” choice when it comes to ordering. Sybarite is a great beer to start the evening. It’s a red ale aged in a blend of red and white wine barrels and has a super complex flavor, with everything from vanilla to orange citrus.
13. | Seventh Son Brewing | Italian Village
Why we love it: It’s weird to think that Seventh Son has only been around since 2013. They seem like such an old soul, but that’s probably because they’re incredibly involved in the Columbus community. We love Seventh Son because they make handcrafted beers and they do it with care.
What to order: Humulus Nimbus. This flagship beer from Seventh Son walks a fine, yet perfect, line between an IPA and a pale ale. The Strong Pale Ale is 6.0% ABV and made with berry-piney hops and light malts.
12. | Gallo’s Tap Room | Bethel
Why we love it: Gallo’s is the place to be when it comes to watching sports at a bar. They’ve got projectors, 4K TVs, and even free wi-fi. When it comes to the food and drink, they’ve got a chef-driven menu with 23 craft beers to choose from and over 50 bourbons and whiskeys.
What to order: Grab a beer and relax. There’s no pressure at Gallo’s!
11. | Bob’s Bar | Beechwold
Why we love it: Bob’s bar is the self-proclaimed “Cultural Hub of the Midwest” and I have to say, I sort of agree. Hear me out. Yes, it’s a dive. One of the best dive bars in America in fact. But that’s what makes going there such a great experience! Just trust me.
What to order: Scotch. The liquor selection at Bob’s surprises me every time, but there’s nothing like a nice glass of Scotch at a dive bar.
10. | Lincoln Social Rooftop | Short North
Why we love it: Lincoln Social is the perfect late-night cocktail meet-up spot. The views of Downtown Columbus are stunning, and a visit to the rooftop bar will literally brighten any day.
What to order: While you’re gazing up at a galaxy far, far away, you can sip on a Luke Skywalker, a lemongrass-infused Ketel One vodka drink made with matcha and lemon.
9. | The Light of Seven Matchsticks | Worthington
Why we love it: The Light of Seven Matchsticks feels like something out of a bygone era. From the plush, velvet decor to the secret menu you have to find before ordering, this speakeasy takes it all to a new level.
What to order: Not my circus, not my monkeys. Yes, that’s really the name of the drink! It’s made with Overproof Rum, Smith & Cross, lemon, cinnamon, and demerara.
8. | Antiques on High | Brewery District
Why we love it: Antiques on High has a retro vibe with some great sour beers and some amazing cocktails on the menu. The space can get a little crowded, but that’s when you move upstairs to the rooftop patio. It’s even great in the winter, due to the massive fireplace!
What to order: This spin-off from Seventh Son Brewing is all about the sour beer. I like a sour-but-not-too-sour beer, so my go-to beer at Antiques on High is Wax Poetic. It’s a sour blond ale that’s aged in oak barrels and the bar describes it as “moderately sour”.
7. | Old Skool | Clintonville
Why we love it: Sometimes, you just wanna go hang out in a sports bar, eat a hot dog, and have a craft beer. It’s because of days like this that we’re thrilled that a place like Old Skool exists.
What to order: Get a beer! Old Skool has a great selection of Ohio beers available, plus they update their draft list online so you can plan your brews out ahead of time.
6. | Watershed Kitchen + Bar | Fifth by Northwest (ish)
Why we love it: Watershed is classy and marvelous. Whenever I have guests in from out of town, it’s always my go-to, impress them with dinner and drinks, sort of place. It’s a beautiful restaurant with high-quality service and goods, and that’s the tea.
What to order: The Dunhill. This drink takes a bunch of ingredients I’m not usually a fan of and combines them into one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. The Dunhill is made with Four Peel Gin, East India Sherry, Dry Vermouth, Dry Curacao, and Absinthe Rinse.
5. | Pins Mechanical Co. | Various Locations
Why we love it: Duckpin bowling + a great drink + good friends + a late-night food truck meal = a pretty epic night. Pins Mechanical Co. is a great place to gather a large group together, even if you don’t plan on bowling.
What to order: At Pins I can go either way: they always have great beers on tap and they have some pretty good cocktails. I’m a bourbon girl so I’ll always recommend the Brown Derby, made with Four Roses bourbon, honey, and grapefruit juice.
4. | Denmark on High | Short North
Why we love it: Want to feel like an absolute baller? Order a cocktail from Denmark on High and then sip that cocktail while you look down on North High Street. Seriously. You’ll feel grown up AF.
What to order: Brexit No. 86, a refreshing cocktail made with mint, cucumber, Pimm’s Liqueur, Ginger liqueur, lemon juice, strawberry jam, Turbinado, and soda.
3. | Two Truths | Short North
Why we love it: Two Truths is the kind of bar you want people to know that you know about. It’s undeniably cool, and their reputation is elevated even further by the wonderful, hand-crafted cocktails being created there.
What to order: Up and Up. This drink is like a cocktail and dessert all in one. The drink consists of Rumchata, Vanilla Bean Vodka, Coldbrew Coffee, mint and shaved cacao. The drink makers at Two Truths are the best in the city and you will not be disappointed.
2. | Mouton | Short North
Why we love it: When it comes to cocktails in Columbus, Mouton is an institution. It’s an intimate place with a moody (good moody) vibe. Cocktail lovers in this city owe a lot to Mouton because they were truly some of the first folks raising the bar when it comes to mixed drinks around town.
What to order: Old Fashioned. How they have managed to perfect the best cocktail in the world is beyond me. But you’ll never have a better one than at Mouton.
1. | Veritas | Uptown District
Why we love it: Veritas has received national attention, and for good reason. Chef Josh Dalton has gotten accolades from Forbes to Food and Wine, and Veritas deserves all of that and more. It’s an exceptional place to grab a drink, order some food, and enjoy the culinary creativity all around you.
What to order: My current obsession at Veritas is the Desert Poppy, made with reposado, grand poppy, honey, lemon, and apple. But the menu is bursting with cocktails to try, so don’t hold back!
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