Originally pulbished 4/4/18. Updated 3/26/19.
Columbus has spent the last decade cementing itself as a food city.
In this city, the only reason you need to give yourself to go out to dinner is that there are so many places worth trying. It would be criminal to stay home when there is delicious food being crafted just for you!
The restaurants included in this list aren’t all fancy date-night type places, although you will find a few of those. We’ve separated the restaurants into the most popular food categories in the city: Brunch, American cuisine, Tacos, International cuisine, Seafood, BBQ, Pizza, Breweries, Burgers, Fried Chicken, Steakhouses, and Fast-Casual dining. Think of it as your go-to list when you and your friends can’t decide what type of food you want or how much you want to spend.
On this list, you’ll find popular spots and hidden gems, with menu items ranging from tacos to carrot cake to high-end fine dining. But that’s enough yapping. You’re getting hangry and looking for suggestions, so look no further.
Price per Person scale: $= under $10. $$= $11-30. $$$= $31-60. $$$$= over $61
Location: 2973 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Favorite Menu Item: Creme Brulee French Toast. This fluffy delicacy consists of custard soaked brioche topped with berry compote and house made whipped cream. Do you need a napkin? I think you may be drooling a little.
Location: 410 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: Skillet’s menu changes seasonally, but my current favorite brunch item is their Huey, Louie, Andouille Hash. Yes, the name may be a little too literal, but it’s delicious and worth it. This dish consists of duck thigh and leg confit hashed with roasted local sweet potatoes, house-smoked andouille, candy onions, and blistered sweet peppers.
Location: 1987 Guilford Rd, Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Favorite Menu Item: Greek Omelet. South of Lane is my favorite neighborhood diner and it’s my go-to brunch when I’m craving an omelet. The Greek version comes with spinach, tomato, onions, peppers, and feta cheese.
Location: 169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: Eggs Lindey’s. This classic dish is elegant and delightful, just like this iconic restaurant. It is made up of two petite filets and poached eggs on english muffins, served with tasso ham hollandaise and fresh fruit.
Location: 1105 Pennsylvania Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
Favorite Menu Item: Pancake balls. Hands down. The pancake balls at Katalina’s are what we’re all showing up for. Choose your favorite filling, you really can’t go wrong.
Location: 1664 Neil Street and 51 Parsons Ave.
Favorite Menu Item: Chicken & Waffles. It’s one of the pricier things on the menu ($9.99) but it’s worth every penny. A delicious, fluffy buttermilk waffle topped with perfectly seasoned chicken tenders? Sign. Me. Up.
Want more Brunch options? The Best Brunch Spots In Columbus
Location: 1299 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: 24K Carrot Cake. This sweet treat will be the perfect ending to a great meal at Cap City. This carrot cake is made with pineapple, golden raisins, and walnuts and topped with white chocolate cream cheese icing.
Location: 2 Miranova Pl, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: NY Strip. This juicy, 14 oz steak is served with camrelized onions, mushroom ragout, and cardamom horseradish reduction. There’s a reason why M at Miranova is one of the very best restaurants in the city, and I truly think this NY Strip has something to do with it.
Location: 262 E Sycamore St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: Rosemary Lemon Chicken. The chicken is served with roasted redskin potatoes, hericot verts, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers. It’s elegant, scrumptious, and incredibly filling.
Location: 716 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite menu item: The menu at Ambrose & Eve has seasonal influence, but as long as they’re on the menu, Chicken and Dumplings will always be the thing I recommend to people. They may actually be better than your mom’s. I said it.
Location: 1312 Grandview Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: Cochinitas tacos. These tasty tacos are made with Achiote marinated pulled pork, slow cooked in banana leaves, cilantro, and habanera-lime pickled red onions.
Location: 5221 Godown Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
Favorite Menu Item: The Original Taco Al Pastor. Los Guachos’ signature marinated pork is served on corn tortillas and topped with sliced pineapple, onions, and cilantro. The food here is comically cheap and absolutely phenomenal.
Location: 733 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Bistec tacos. At Bakersfield, I’ve honestly never had a bad taco. But the one that I dream about is their Bistec taco. It’s made with marinated grilled short rib, chipotle slaw, and cilantro and it’s basically heaven in taco-form.
Location: 59 Spruce St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Dos Hermanos Tacos. It’s that simple, pick the meat you want and let them serve you an authentic, delicious taco. If you’re feeling like you want to pass on tacos (I don’t understand why, but just in case) you should definitely try their tamales.
Location: 132 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Go for the Surf n’ Turf tacos, stay for the margaritas.
Want more taco options? Do You Love Tacos? Here Are The 10 Best Places In Columbus
Location: 263 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: Everything on the Tapas menu. I really like tapas and I love ordering it at Barcelona. If I had to choose my favorite item it would be the Calamares Fritos, aka corn meal dusted, delicious calamari.
Location: 1664 W 1st Ave, Grandview Heights, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: Gnocchi al Forno. I love a good gnocchi and no one does it better than La Tavola. This dish is a homemade potato pasta, baked with fresh artichokes, onion,
garlic, and herbs in a creamy, white wine and fontina cheese sauce.
Location: 50 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Coq au vin. The Keep was such a pleasant surprise. The French brasserie has a variety of dishes, but there’s nothing better than a well-made coq au vin. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, it’s a red wine braised hen served with smoked bacon, mushrooms, carrots, and whipped potatoes. You’re welcome and I’m sorry for introducing you to your new obsession.
Location: Saraga International Market. 1265 Morse Rd, Columbus, OH 43229
Favorite Menu Item: Jhol Momo. There is a reason this is the best-selling item on the menu. These delicious Himalayan chicken-filled dumplings are seated in a spicy sauce and honestly, you won’t believe the complex flavors your mouth is experiencing when you eat them.
Location: 1092 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220
Favorite Menu Item: Roasted Bison Strip Loin. The Refectory is the most elegant and finest dining you’ll find in Columbus. Their whole menu is out of this world, but since I’m being forced to recommend one item, it would be the roasted bison. The meat is marinated in smoky paprika and served with Buffalo mozzarella feuilleté and a cardamom sauce. Fancy, but totally worth all of that $$.
Location: 5871 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH 43017
Favorite Menu Item: Chicken Tikka Marsala, or really anything at the lunch buffet. Best lunch buffet in the area, hands down!
Location: 2333 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Favorite Menu Item: Crab + Lobster Ravioli. Combining pasta and seafood will probably go down as one of humankind’s greatest achievements. And any historical documents should contain this ravioli. It’s served in a sherry-shrimp broth, with brown butter, brussels sprouts and kale slaw, and Lake Erie Creamery goat cheese.
Location: 4002 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219
Favorite Menu Item: Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs served with asparagus and drawn butter. They always say “go big or go home” but I prefer “go big and go home full of delicious crab legs”.
Location: 839 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43214
Favorite Menu Item: I wouldn’t dream of telling you which delicious combinations to choose at this fast-casual seafood joint. But I will say that you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re looking for a concrete suggestion, consider this: whatever you get, get it with the Kai’s Kajun sauce. You can thank me later.
Location: 641 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Shellfish Tower. Get some friends together and treat yo’ self. The tower includes a dozen Oysters and Clams on the Half Shell, Half Pound Peel & Eat Gulf Shrimp, Louie Dressed Colossal Crab, Cocktail Sauce, and Pickled Horseradish.
Want more Seafood options? 7 Seductive Seafood Dishes That’ll Send Your Taste Buds Overboard
Location: 1114 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43205
Favorite Menu Item: Ribs, ribs, and more ribs. Just kidding, you can just get a half-order or Rib tips if you aren’t feeling too famished. These fall-off-the-bone pork ribs are served with B & K’s sweet, special sauce.
Location: Short North Food Hall. 1112 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
Favorite Menu Item: Brisket. You can get it on top of mac & cheese (The Haystack) or as a sandwich. It doesn’t really matter how you eat it because no matter what this Texas-style brisket will change your life.
Location: 755 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: Pulled Pork with sweet whiskey sauce. If you’re getting sides, don’t skip the coleslaw, even if you aren’t normally a fan. This coleslaw made me rethink everything I thought I knew about the subject.
Location: Land-Grant Brewing. 424 Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: I know you’re going to think this is a cop-out, but I just cannot pick one thing on the Ray Ray’s menu. I’ve sincerely never been disappointed with anything I’ve ordered there. The meats are seasoned beautifully and always perfectly cooked. Just go and pick anything that tickles your fancy.
Location: 268 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Spicy pepperoni. I’m a simple person with simple pleasures, and a slice of Mikey’s spicy pepperoni pizza makes me smile from ear to ear. It’s best enjoyed with a delicious beer and good friends.
Location: 2643 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43209
Favorite Menu Item: Rubino’s is a little bit of a time warp. They don’t accept credit cards and you’d be hardpressed to find any sort of web presence. But it doesn’t matter because the pizza is unique and delicious. Pro tip: whatever pizza you choose, get extra cheese.
Location: 1618 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
Favorite Menu Item: Sicilian pizza. Adriatico’s has several crust options, but the Sicilian is the best. It’s thick and doughy and perfect after a fun night out.
Location: 2657 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Favorite Menu Item: Any pizza with a Smokin’ Joes crust. Smokin’ Joes is a hand tossed garlic butter crust, served with a sweet tomato and basil sauce.
Location: 495 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: It’s a tie between the Ohio Double Bacon and the Spicy Yuma. The Ohio Double Bacon is topped with fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, Aleppo pepper, and oregano. The Spicy Yuma is a topped with a delicious Gouda/Havarti blend, chorizo, jalapenos, corn, roasted red pepper and chipotle-spiked tomato sauce. Yum, right?
Want more Pizza options? The Great Columbus Pizza Superlatives: Where Everyone Wins And The Points Don’t Matter
Location: 1105 Pennsylvania Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
Favorite Menu Item: Brussell sprouts. I know you probably think I’m crazy, but they are honestly the best brussell sprouts I’ve ever had, and I hate brussell sprouts. Whatever Watershed is doing to them, they’re doing it right.
Location: 850 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Bayou Bitez. If you’re interested in trying new food, Hoof Hearted Kitchen is where you need to be. I never thought I’d enjoy eating tempura fried alligator, but you learn something new every day.
Location: 503 S Front St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Cheese and Charcuterie. The rest of the menu is delicious, but there’s something about their charcuterie that has me coming back again and again.
Location: 215 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Lamb Rack. Wolf’s Ridge is so much more than a brewery. This kitchen is one of the best in the city and the Lamb Rack is my proof. It’s delicious and tender and honestly, the best lamb you’ll be served in Columbus.
Want some take a closer look at Columbus breweries? The Best Breweries In Columbus According To Untappd
Location: 7490 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH 43016
Favorite Menu Item: Get the Galley Boy, (Lebron’s favorite) add on some onion rings and a milkshake if you’re feeling fancy. It’s the one time eating in your car will be an absolute joy.
Location: Various locations
Favorite Menu Item: The smash burger at Preston’s is absolutely delicious. It comes topped with American cheese, lettuce, red onion, pickles, and their special sauce, which is moste definitely special and 100% amazing.
Location: 183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
Favorite Menu Item: The Thurman Burger. It’s massive, overwhelming, a touch greasy, but totally worth it. This isn’t an everyday item that you’d order, it’s for special, hungry occasions.
Location: 3503 Trabue Rd, Columbus, OH 43204
Favorite Menu Item: The cheeseburger. No fuss, no frills, just a good, juicy, tavern burger.
Location: 3945 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219
Favorite Menu Item: The Uncle Jimmy Burger. If you’re willing to get out of your burger comfort zone, you’ve got to take a bite out of this. The toppings are a little unorthodox, so stay with me. The burger is made with grass-fed beef and is topped with peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon and habanero pepper jelly. The burger is delicious, but the best part is that $1 from every Uncle Jimmy Burger sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Want more Burger options? The Top 10 Best Burgers In Columbus THROWDOWN
Location: 790 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: The fried chicken, duh. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you choose dark or white meat, whatever your preference is, you’ll leave feeling absolutely stuffed and superbly happy.
Location: 4203 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Favorite Menu Item: 4 Drumsticks, but you choose your own spice level. I’m a big fan of the Hot, but I can only take so much and literally cried the first time I tried the Holy level of spicing. If it’s your first time and you want to take it easy on the spice, go for the Warm.
Location: You can find this delicious food truck all around the city. Click here for deets.
Favorite Menu Item: Fried Chicken Biscuit sliders. These delicious treats are perfectly fried and topped with a herb honey drizzle.
Location: 1333 Northwest Blvd, Columbus, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: Wings. I’m a huge fan of chicken wings and I’m never disappointed at Uncle Nick’s. You can choose from a variety of sauces for your wings, including BBQ, Hot, Ranch, Cajun, Buttery Garlic, Arizona Ranch, Hot BBQ, and Honey Mustard.
Want more Fried Chicken options? The Best Fried Chicken Places In Columbus You’ve Probably Never Tried
Location: 2891 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43209
Favorite Menu Item: Dry Aged Kansas City Strip. This may be the most perfectly seasoned steak I’ve ever had. It is the definition of “melt in your mouth.”
Location: 1307 Grandview Ave Ste 3013, Columbus, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: Porterhouse. This steak is big, juicy, flavorful, and yes, a little expensive. If you’ve got some extra cash to drop on an unforgettable meal, go to The Avenue.
Location: 1 E Campus View Blvd, Columbus, OH 43235
Favorite Menu Item: Prix-fixe menu. They have two tiers on their fixed menu, a $44 option and a $54 option. You can’t go wrong with either. J Gilbert’s has amazing food, but it has exceptional service. It will be a full dining experience and you’ll love every second of it.
Want more Steak options? The 7 Best Steakhouses In Columbus
Location: 680 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Favorite Menu Item: Falafel, in any form. Brassica is serving up the best Mediterranean food in the city (yeah, I said it) and their Falafel is one of my favorite things to eat. You should also order the hummus because it will probably be the best hummus you’ve ever had in your life. And also, the fries. So. Yummy.
Location: 1270 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: Kimchi. Bibibop lets you build your own meal with both meat and non-meat options. Get the purple rice in your bowl and once you’ve chosen your perfect ingredients, order some kimchi.
Location: 5326 N Hamilton Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43230
Favorite Menu Item: Schwarma. I love this fast-casual restaurant, and my go to is a yummy pita with Schwarma, aka an Israeli favorite of chicken cooked in Middle Eastern spices.
Location: 4386 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Favorite Menu Item: Pho bowl with beef and beef broth. At 6-1-Pho, you can customize your Pho to what you’re feeling. There are plenty of vegetarian options and it’s a great place to grab a quick bite to eat of Vietnamese street food.
Location: 855 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Favorite Menu Item: I couldn’t choose one if you made me. Here’s the deal, I love sushi. FUSIAN has a pre-made menu that you can choose from if you need suggestions, but you can also customize just about everything in your sushi roll, from the type of rap to the internal components, to the sauces. Go crazy!
Now that we’re all a little hungrier, let’s make some plans! Who’s buying?
A daily Columbus email you'll actually love. ❤️
Every morning we compile the best of Columbus news & events and deliver it in a quick 5 minute read that sets you up with everything you need to be a well informed Columbusian. Columbusite. Cbussian? Whatever, give it a try, you'll love it.