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Where To Eat Near Columbus for Amazing Food

Columbus restaurants you need to try for an unforgettable meal.

Columbus, Ohio has a lot to offer tourists and locals alike. There’s the college scene, the football games, the nightlife, museums, and much more.

Once you’re done traveling the city, you’ll want to grab a bite to eat. If you’ve never been to Columbus, it can be overwhelming. The city is quite large.

It’s a real foodie haven near The Ohio State University, where a strip called High Street has everything you could want or imagine. There’s cuisine from all around the world to suit any and everybody’s taste buds. 

If you’re wondering where to eat in Columbus, look no further. I’ve assembled a list of the best places to eat in Columbus, from Italian food to Soulfood, Spanish cuisine and more.

We’re positive that you’ll find something you like for the large variety of eateries we’ve recommended. 

Check out our list of the Best Restaurants in Columbus, Ohio.

Best Restaurants in Columbus

  1. Refectory
  2. Mitchell’s Ocean
  3. Barcelona
  4. Cap City
  5. Fireproof Restaurant
  6. Hyde Park 
  7. J Gilbert
  8. Lindey’s
  9. Martini
  10. The Guild House
  11. Rodizio
  12. The Pearl
  13. Thurman Cafe 
  14. Basi Italia
  15. Jeff Ruby
  16. Lola
  17. Schmidt’s

Refectory

1092 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220
Phone: 614-451-9774
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I was in the mood to be wowed and have a complete dining experience—Refectory delivered. 

The building is beautiful, and the ambiance of the place oozes romanticism and elegance. It’s located off of Bethel Road in the Sycamore Hills neighborhood, just west of Olentangy Plaza shopping mall.

I had to try the roasted duck breast, which had a richness that I’d never tasted before. It was pretty pleasant. And of course, I ended the night with some classic Tiramisu that was just sublime. Don’t hesitate to visit!


Mitchell’s Ocean

4002 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-416-2582
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Mitchell’s Ocean is one of the best places to eat in Columbus. The restaurant is located conveniently inside the Easton Town Center, where there’s plenty of parking outside.

The elegance of the restaurant is palpable. It possesses a level of sophistication that elevates your entire dining experience.

If you’re lucky enough, you can grab a window seat and see the beautiful view of the shopping mall complex as you enjoy fine dining.

The seafood wasn’t outdone by the spectacular decor, which was made evident by the perfectly cooked twin lobster tail dish and the expertly seared scallops that managed to put a big bow on the dinner for me!


Barcelona

263 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206
Phone: 614-443-3699
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If you enjoy Spanish food that tastes and looks great, then Barcelona Restaurant and Bar is the place to be when you’re in Ohio. 

Located in the Columbus Museum of Art, Barcelona is a mesmerizing restaurant that boasts an outside dining area.

The interior is dimly lit, giving off both a romantic and relaxing vibe. 

When it comes to the food, the Paella Barcelona was recommended to me by a knowledgeable waiter. Might I say that her intuition about what I would like was spot on! 

The seafood melded together so wonderfully in the dish that I wanted for nothing else. I recommend you drop by.


Cap City

1299 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: 614-291-3663
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Immediately upon walking into Cap City Fine Diner and bar, you can’t help but notice the transformative decor which transports you directly to the ’50s. 

The waiters were accommodating and always kept a keen eye on your glass if the need for a refill presented itself. This level of attentiveness was much appreciated.

I tried a Philly Cheesesteak, and it was delicious. The onions, peppers, and steak were all the perfect mix of texture and wonderful flavors. Stop by when you can!


Fireproof Restaurant

1026 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-706-4425
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Located within a short driving distance of Goodale Park in the Italian Village neighborhood, Fireproof Restaurant is a mainstay on one of the busiest streets in Columbus, Ohio: High Street. 

Fireproof is a steak restaurant that embodies both excitement and elegance all at once. It is both a place to hang out with friends and a place to take a romantic date.

The food selection is eclectic, to say to least, with seafood, meats, vegetables, and appetizers all neatly categorized within the menu.

Being a steak lover, I couldn’t leave that beautiful restaurant and their courteous staff without trying a wagyu steak. It was rich, tender, and juicy—the highlight of my night!

Here are some other dishes I recommend: Chorizo Mussels, Seared Scallops, and Hamachi Tacos.


Hyde Park

569 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-224-2204
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Nobody does steak quite like Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. But before we get to the fantastic steakhouse cuisine, allow me to take a moment to talk about Hyde Park’s location.

Right away, as you approach the building, it appears to be some kind of historical building located across from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, right near North Market Downtown, making it a central hub for fun attractions in Columbus, OH.

The dining experience was just as great. I practically dove headfirst into a succulent and juicy Tomahawk Ribeye Steak with some delicious veggies on the side. The drinks were good as well.

I advise you to give them a chance to wow you as well with their Lobster Bisque or the Seafood Platter.


J Gilbert

1 E Campus View Blvd, Columbus, OH 43235
Phone: 614-840-9090
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Located not too far from Zipzone Outdoor Adventures is another highly touted steakhouse. However, as the name indicates, J Gilbert’s Wood-Fired & Seafood specializes in steaks and seafood.

When I stepped in, I immediately noticed the beautiful tables and how they were situated. Additionally, there’s a cabin feel to the interior design that meshes well with the overall direction of the restaurant.

I figured I would get the best of both worlds, so I began my meal with the shrimp cocktail, and for my entree, I went with the perfectly prepared top sirloin to see what J Gilbert’s had to offer. And they were both cooked perfectly.

You should consider this restaurant on your trip to Columbus for sure. 


Lindey’s

169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206
Phone: 614-228-4343
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I found Lindsey’s nestled nearby Frank Fetch Park. I was lucky to visit Lindsey’s on a nice sunny day because Lindsey’s has a beautifully constructed patio area that happens to be highly coveted among regulars. However, the patio is run on a first-come, first-serve basis, weather permitting, of course.

The decor is charming, with an old-school dining vibe that permeates the entire building. The cuisine as a whole has a lot of variety from steak to chicken to seafood dishes.

On searching for a memorable dish, I took a chance with the Lobster risotto, and it seriously paid off. The flavors were well-balanced and delicious. My first time having Lobster risotto was a grand slam! Don’t hesitate to visit Lindey’s. 


Martini

445 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-224-8259
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The name “Martini” had made its way to me long before I stepped inside Martini Modern Italian. Everyone raved about their drinks and specific take on modern Italian cuisine.

As you make your way through the restaurant, extravagant chandeliers are hanging throughout with beautiful hardwood flooring. Simply put, lots of work appeared to be put into the decor and interior design.

Thanks to the helpful hand of one of their diligent waiters, I chose a veal martini which was topped with an incredible sauce, and I had the decadent Chocolate Torte for dessert.

Try some of these dishes when you stop by at Martini: Lamb Pappardelle, Beef Carpaccio, Chocolate Bread Pudding, Sea Scallops, and the Bruschetta.


The Guild House

624 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-280-9780
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There’s only one word that I can think of to define The Guild House: Impressive. I’ve never been to a restaurant that appeared so regimented and ready to deliver the best possible food and dining experience to its prospective customers.

Not one step or even move in the process of the customer experience is wasted. It’s amazing what professionalism at the highest level can do for a burgeoning establishment.

I went with the elegantly plated and delightful lamb chops. They were just chock full of flavor and cooked perfectly. For dessert, I landed on the rich Chocolate peanut butter torte. The Guild is simply one of the best eateries in the city.


Rodizio

125 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-241-4400
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Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse is a delightful deviation from your traditional restaurant or pub. You can find Rodizio Grill not too far away from Huntington Park and the Columbus Union Station Arch.

This Brazilian steakhouse house has a very vibrant, modern, and casual look to it. The inside of the building is spacious and can accommodate many people.

There’s no indecision when you’re at the Rodizio Grill because you can try everything. They cart an array of meat around, allowing you to try whatever you fancy.

The atmosphere is very festive. My party and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Here are some of the delicacies we ate on that beautiful day that you have to try when you finally make it to Rodizio: Garlic Beef, Fried Banana, and the Parmesan Crusted Steak.


The Pearl

641 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-227-0151
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On my way to The Pearl, I noticed that it was within five minutes by car of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, right near the Victorian Village neighborhood.

At The Pearl, the drinks, as well as the food, feature prominently. They have classically inspired cocktails and an exclusive selection of Ales, Lagers, and Stouts. All of this is available in a cozy atmosphere likened to a tavern.

The cuisine is varied, allowing you to have your pick of styles and types of nicely executed dishes. 

I tried the Chicken and Waffles on my visit, and it was a wonderful blend of sweet and savory fried goodness. I highly recommend you visit The Pearl. 


Thurman Cafe

183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
Phone: 614-443-1570
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The Thurman Cafe is where you visit when you want to enjoy burgers done the first right way.

The building itself is unsuspecting, and the interior is modest with the ambiance of a typical sports bar. The Thurman Cafe is a restaurant where you can be casual and enjoy a staple of American culture, massive burgers.

When you finally make it to Thurman Cafe, you have to try the following delectable dishes: The Western Burger, Thurmanator Burger, Loaded Hot Dog, Sloppy Fries, and their Italian Sub.

Check them out off of Thurman Avenue in the German Village neighborhood, just south of Schiller Park.


Basi Italia

811 Highland St, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-294-7383
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Basi Italia is a nice slice of Italy placed right in the heart of Columbus, Ohio. The restaurant exudes sophistication. With the seating arrangements, you have the choice to sit at a convention table or a beautiful table with stools; it just adds to the uniqueness of Basi Italia.

Basi Italia has both authentic cuisines coupled with their take on some Italian and inspired Mediterranean dishes.

I was excited to try the Grilled Lamb Chops, which were charred perfectly. For dessert, I couldn’t leave without having the Cannoli. 

If you’re ever at Basi Italia, also try the Pan Seared Salmon.


Jeff Ruby

89 E Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-686-7800
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If you’re looking for a restaurant that delivers on the whole gamut of what it means to have a dining experience, then Jeff Ruby’s is top shelf.

As you enter, the hostess is immediately attentive to your needs, and this energy is present from the waiters to the chef and the management.

Jeff Ruby’s serves as my one-stop-shop for outstanding steaks, seafood, and fresh sushi. There were no complaints from me whatsoever.

I had the steak and lobster; the idea was to sample the best of both worlds, and I was fully satiated. The steak was a perfect medium-rare, and the lobster was succulent and tender. Jeff Ruby’s knocked it out of the park.

Another dish you should consider when you finally make it to Jeff Ruby’s is the Blue Crab Bisque.


Lola & Giuseppe’s Trattoria

100 Granville St, Columbus, OH 43230
Phone: 614-473-9931
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Lola & Giuseppe’s Trattoria is located not too far away from High St. and Granville St, east of Creekside Park. 

This eatery is a place where the food is the star, and everything else is secondary. The location is a modest and cozy establishment which gave me more of an intimate feel about it.

This place serves up Italian favorites and Seafood entrees that are made with a great deal of detail paid to it.

The sampler platter was fitting for me since it was my first time there, and I wanted to taste a bit of everything. I had Eggplant, Lasagna, and Spaghetti and Meatballs. Go there, now! 


Schmidts

240 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH 43206
Phone: 614-444-6808
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Schmidt’s Sausage Haus can be found within moments of a driving distance away from the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Schmidt’s is an eatery that specializes in German cuisine. It’s a quaint restaurant with tons of character packed into a cozy and inviting establishment.

The place is always packed, which can be an indicator of just how awesome it is. 

Since I was at a sausage house, I felt obligated to try the delicious Bratwurst German Potato Salad with Potato Pancakes and Applesauce. 

This dish was what I expected and more. I could taste the authenticity of the German food and see the German culture through the restaurant’s decor.


Final Thoughts

Columbus, Ohio, is home to The Ohio State University and tons of exciting festivals and events. There are indeed tons of places to pick from, but I hope this list illustrates Columbus’s best restaurants. 

I didn’t find any of these establishments to be lacking in food quality or excellent service. 

If I still didn’t quite capture your attention, check out these places to get breakfast around Columbus.Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave me a comment, and I’ll check it out!

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.