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When it comes to good food, Columbus doesn’t mess around.
From our suburbs to our urban core, there are restaurants with great vibes producing incredible food for residents and visitors alike. There are fun, family-friendly restaurants, cozy historic restaurants, and even some fancy, fine dining spots.
Whether you’re new to town, just here for a few days, or you’ve lived here your entire life, downtown Columbus has a culinary scene that deserves to be explored. Defining downtown is a little different for everyone. While visitors would certainly consider the Short North or German Village downtown, residents may not.
We’ve kept this list to the core downtown area, but at the end, you’ll find links to other urban neighborhood eateries that deserve a mention.
About: Veritas has become one of the finest dining experiences this city has to offer. Offering elevated small plates in the gorgeous, historic setting of the Citizens Trust Bank building, Veritas is an excellent choice for those looking for a romantic night out or an evening well spent with friends.
Aside from the culinary delight, one of the best things about eating at Veritas is that the all-glass kitchen gives diners the chance to see all of the magic taking place in the kitchen.
Location: 11 W Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
About: Wolf’s Ridge is an absolute must when you find yourself in downtown Columbus. The Wolf’s Ridge dining room may be in a brewery, but you should know that it’s so much more than brewpub food. The dishes are elevated, beautiful, and full of interesting and unexpected flavors. Throw in one of their award-winning beers and you’re in for one fantastic evening.
Location: 215 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing
About: Sometimes, a restaurant is so much more than just amazing food. The Keep is a modern brasserie that offers quite the menu, including food and craft cocktails. But the setting is just as fabulous. Located within the historic Leveque Tower, the atmosphere within this art deco dream is unparalleled. The gas lamps and modern-yet-rustic furnishings only serve to enhance the menu.
Location: 50 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: The Keep
About: Due Amici is one of my favorite cozy restaurants in the city. They originally opened on New Years Eve nearly two decades ago and they’ve managed to maintain that fresh, exciting energy ever since.
Whether you’re looking for a bite and a drink at the bar, or a more formal sit-down experience in the dining room, Due Amici will definitely leave you feeling full and happy. The menu features classic Italian dishes as well as modern and creative twists for lunch, brunch, and dinner items.
Location: 67 E Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Due Amici
About: Sidebar is the place to go with a group of friends. With amazing cocktails and wine selection, you can treat the squad to tapas to share or other items from the menu. The bartenders at Sidebar specialize in pre-prohibition era cocktails and they genuinely put the craft in craft cocktail.
Location: 122 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43215
About: With comfort food on the menu and over 30 beers on tap, The Walrus is one of those places that you’ll feel instantly welcome, whether you’re a regular or you’re new to town. The restaurant is a great option for both lunch and dinner.
They often have live music in the evenings, plus, they’ve got 24 televisions if you’re hoping to find somewhere to catch a big game.
Location: 143 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: The Walrus
About: There’s no better place in downtown Columbus for quality, affordable eats than Dirty Franks. This hot dog joint is perfect for a quick bite at lunch or an evening out with friends. They also have Wiener Wednesdays, where the restaurant features a special hot dog with fries for $5. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Location: 248 S. 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Dirty Franks
About: You can’t come to Columbus and not visit the oldest restaurant in town. The Ringside Café has been a part of downtown Columbus since 1897. It’s a tiny but cozy spot with an old-school ambiance that can’t be fabricated. Stop in for a 100% Angus beef burger, have a beer, and enjoy eating in a part of the city’s history.
Location: 19 N Pearl St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Ringside Cafe
Matt & Tony’s Kitchen + Tavern
About: Matt and Tony’s has quickly become a favorite spot downtown. The menu includes hand-pattied smash burgers, hand-breaded chicken tenders, and a variety of house made favorites, including their absolutely massive tater tots. The whole family will enjoy the meal at Matt & Tony’s.
Location: 340 East Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Matt and Tony’s Kitchen + Tavern
Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar
About: Craving sushi? There’s no place in downtown Columbus quite like Rishi. The east Asian-inspired menu features specialties from a variety of regions. The restaurant also offers amazing Asian-inspired cocktails, Japanese whiskey, and some killer sake options.
Location: 114 N 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar
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