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16 Best Restaurants in Columbus

friends eating at a columbus restaurant

Columbus, Ohio, is a vibrant and diverse city with a thriving culinary scene that caters to every palate. In this guide, we will embark on a gastronomic journey through the heart of Columbus, exploring the best restaurants that this city has to offer. Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor eager to savor the local flavors, our curated selection of dining establishments spans a wide range of cuisines and dining experiences. From upscale eateries serving gourmet dishes to cozy neighborhood gems dishing out comfort food classics, Columbus has it all. Join us as we discover the culinary gems that make Columbus a food lover’s paradise.


Refectory

1092 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220
614-451-9774
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Refectory Columbus
Source: Refectory

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. It even has a private section if you’re looking for a spot to host a larger group for special occasions. You have to try the roasted duck breast, which has a richness that you never tasted before. End the night with some classic Tiramisu that was just sublime. Don’t hesitate to visit!


Mitchell’s Ocean

4002 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219
614-416-2582
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Mitchell's Ocean Columbus
Source: Mitchell’s Ocean

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
614-443-3699
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Barcelona Columbus
Source: Barcelona

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 by a knowledgeable local waiter. We recommend you drop by.


Cap City

1299 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43212
614-291-3663
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Cap City Columbus
Source: Cap City

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. Try a Philly Cheesesteak, and it was delicious. The onions, peppers, and steak were all the perfect mix of texture and wonderful flavors.

See also  13 Best Rooftop Bars in Columbus

Hyde Park

569 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
614-224-2204
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Hyde Park Columbus
Source: Hyde Park

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. We practically dove headfirst into a succulent and juicy Tomahawk Ribeye Steak with some delicious veggies on the side. The drinks were good as well. We 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
614-840-9090
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J Gilbert Columbus
Source: J Gilbert

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. You will immediately notice the beautiful tables and how they are situated. Additionally, there’s a cabin feel to the interior design that meshes well with the overall direction of the restaurant. Begin your meal with the shrimp cocktail, and for entree, we recommend the perfectly prepared top sirloin to see what J Gilbert’s has to offer. You should consider this restaurant on your trip to Columbus for sure. 


Lindey’s

169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206
614-228-4343
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Lindey's Columbus
Source: Lindey’s

You will find Lindsey’s nestled nearby Frank Fetch Park. Try 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. Try the Lobster risotto, and it will seriously pay off. The flavors are well-balanced and delicious.


Martini Modern Italian

445 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
614-224-8259
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Martini Columbus
Source: Martini

The name “Martini” had made its way to us long before we 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, we chose a veal martini which was topped with an incredible sauce, and we 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
614-280-9780
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The Guild House Columbus
Source: The Guild House

There’s only one word that you can think of to define The Guild House: Impressive. We’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. Go for the elegantly plated and delightful lamb chops. They are just chock full of flavor and cooked perfectly. For dessert, land on the rich Chocolate peanut butter torte. The Guild is simply one of the best eateries in the city.

See also  11 Best Outdoor Dining in Columbus

Rodizio

125 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
614-241-4400
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Rodizio Columbus
Source: Rodizio

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. Here are some of the delicacies 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
614-227-0151
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The Pearl Columbus
Source: The Pearl

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. Try the Chicken and Waffles on your visit, it is a wonderful blend of sweet and savory fried goodness. We highly recommend you visit The Pearl. 


Thurman Cafe

183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
614-443-1570
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Thurman Cafe Columbus
Source: Thurman Cafe

The Thurman Cafe is where you visit when you want to enjoy burgers done the 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
614-294-7383
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Basi Italia Columbus
Source: Basi Italia

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. Try the Grilled Lamb Chops, which are charred perfectly. For dessert, you can’t leave without having the Cannoli. If you’re ever at Basi Italia, also try the Pan Seared Salmon.

See also  9 Best Food Trucks in Columbus

Jeff Ruby

89 E Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
614-686-7800
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Jeff Ruby Columbus
Source: Jeff Ruby

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. We suggest the steak and lobster; the idea is to sample the best of both worlds, and you’ll be fully satiated. The steak should be a perfect medium-rare, and the lobster succulent and tender. Jeff Ruby’s will 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
614-473-9931
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Lola & Giuseppe's Trattoria Columbus
Source: Lola & Giuseppe’s Trattoria

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 is fitting for someone’s first time there, and you’ll want to taste a bit of everything. Order the Eggplant, Lasagna, Spaghetti, and Meatballs.


Schmidts

240 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH 43206
614-444-6808
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Schmidts Columbus
Source: Schmidts

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 it is at a sausage house, you should feel obligated to try the delicious Bratwurst German Potato Salad with Potato Pancakes and Applesauce. This dish is what you expect and more. You can taste the authenticity of the German food and see the German culture through the restaurant’s decor.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including Tripadvisor.com and Theinfatuation.com. 

We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 6 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g50226-Columbus_Ohio.html
https://www.theinfatuation.com/columbus/guides/best-restaurants-columbus-ohio
https://www.eater.com/maps/best-restaurants-columbus-ohio
https://www.columbusnavigator.com/the-best-restaurants-in-columbus/
https://www.opentable.com/metro/columbus-restaurants
https://www.choicehotels.com/ohio/columbus/best-restaurants

10 Comments

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  1. Have you eaten at Kitchen Social? It’s delicious and reasonably priced. There are now 2 locations. I’ve only eaten at the Polaris location rather than the bridge park location in Dublin.
    -Maggie B

  2. Great article, except that none of the restaurant mentioned in the top 10 List are in the Short North (on N. High Street) nor are they near Ohio State, unless you consider Downtown near Ohio State.

  3. I’m surprised NADA isn’t on this list. The patio is awesome as well as the homemade margarita.!! 220 W. Nationwide Blvd.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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