Experience the perfect blend of culinary delights and fresh air as we uncover the best restaurants with outdoor dining in Columbus, Ohio. Whether you’re looking for a picturesque patio, a charming sidewalk café, or a rooftop oasis, Columbus offers an array of dining options that allow you to savor your meal under the open sky. From brunch spots that bathe in the morning sunlight to romantic dinner locales illuminated by stars, these outdoor dining destinations cater to all tastes and occasions. Join us as we embark on a journey through Columbus’s vibrant culinary scene, where delectable dishes are served with a side of beautiful scenery, making each meal an unforgettable experience.
Barcelona Restaurant and Bar
Do you have a yearning for Spanish cuisine? Step into Barcelona where you can experience an elegant selection of global dishes infused with a touch of Spain. Barcelona is in the historic German Village neighborhood, where there’s plenty of charm and scenery to take in while you dine. The stunning patio features perfectly maintained greenery and fountains to set the scene for people dining outside. Chef Nate Bingman and his team rotate the menus regularly to keep things fresh, but you will never be disappointed by the Plato de Charcuteria. Bingman and his team carefully select cured meats and artisanal cheese that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.
Head to Grandview Heights on the city’s west side for a unique outdoor dining experience. DK Diner is known for its proper diner food, but it offers something a little extra and oh-so-satisfying – donuts! The DK Diner team makes donuts fresh every day, and they even offer some special selections, like Apple Fritters and Cinnamon Rolls. Expect a laid-back, everybody’s welcome, casual dining experience. Aside from the donuts, you can get incredible breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. I recommend the DK pancakes made from donut batter to start the day off right. For lunch and dinner, try the Donut Burger featuring smoked bacon, an over-hard egg, and of course, a donut on top.
Lunchtime in German Village is only complete when you swing by Pistacia Vera. The theme is French cuisine at this quaint local hot spot. Though it’s on the main thoroughfare, the area is typically quiet during the day. Plus, you can walk down the block to the Book Loft before or after you eat! As for what to order, I have one word for you: macaron. Sure, you can get a sandwich, croissant, or any number of French-inspired dishes at Pistacia Vera, but you go for the macarons. Order a cup of coffee or tea and ask for at least two macarons (the raspberry Chambord and vanilla bean are divine). When you settle into a cafe chair on the patio, it will practically transport you to the French countryside.
Did you ask for Mediterranean cuisine? Head to Clintonville in the city’s north end and swing by Lavash Cafe, where you can eat your fill of falafel, kebabs, gyros, and so much more. The owners are delightful and love chatting with customers. Just be ready to wait because this place is usually hopping with a line out the door! When you stop in, try the Lavash Combo to get a taste of everything, and don’t forget to leave room for dessert. The baklava is divine and tops off the whole meal.
Lindey’s is another well-kept secret. Okay, maybe it’s not that well kept because it’s often busy, but it’s often overshadowed by some of the other fine dining restaurants downtown. Concerning nightlife, Lindey’s is a bit off the beaten path because it’s tucked away in a German Village neighborhood, but that only adds to its charm. If you don’t mind going a few blocks away from the main thoroughfares, you are in for a treat. The patio is a hot spot, and it’s first-come, first-serve so get there early for surf and turf with a sophisticated spin. Go to Lindey’s for a special occasion and splurge on the filet for a meal you will never forget. It’s served with buttermilk chive mashed potatoes, and you can even add blue cheese crumbles if you like. Save room for Lindey’s Post Mortem, a chocolate brownie topped with coffee ice cream and drizzled with Kahlua hot fudge!
Even though it’s located in Dublin, Tucci’s is anything but Irish because it’s more eclectic. You can find everything from steak to lasagna and a healthy selection of appetizers. The local favorite features an outdoor dining experience that’s surprisingly intimate and chic. Tucci’s is known for its friendly service, ambiance, and incredible wine selection. While Tucci’s offers a fine selection of meals, it’s not easy to pass on the steak. You can choose everything from a New York Strip to Filet Mignon and there are several add-ons, including sauteed mushrooms and lobster. As a side, go with the parmesan truffle fries.
Northstar Cafe is a Columbus staple with multiple locations, but the original is downtown in the Short North district. If you aren’t familiar with Columbus, the Short North is the city’s art district with the trendiest spots. You can find everything from vintage clothes to vinyl records to awesome eateries like Northstar Cafe right on the main thoroughfare. The cafe serves local brews and uses local ingredients for most dishes. While you can certainly swing by for any meal of the day, lunch and dinner are the best with a selection of salads, bowls, pizzas, and sandwiches for every taste. Try the house Northstar Burger to get a taste of what it’s all about, and your share of vegetables for the day.
Speaking of local brews and the Short North, BrewDog is a must-visit. Even if you don’t drink beer, you can get wine, liquor, and non-alcoholic beverages at this industrial-style restaurant and brewhouse. Beer drinkers can pick from 24 taps featuring BrewDog specials and a range of other local breweries. For food, BrewDog teamed up with Moody Trudys to provide food to complement the brews. While the pressed sandwiches are stellar, try pairing a Smorgasboard (cheese, meats, and spreads) with a flight of beers. You can even get vegetarian or vegan options.
Back on the north end of town, cross over I-270 to stumble into the Polaris area with loads of shopping, entertainment, and dining. The Polaris Grill is a popular choice with eclectic menus and regular events. While the inside is nice, the patio provides one of the best outdoor dining experiences in the city. For dinner at the Grill, try the Salmon Shiitake Fettuccine. It’s served with clam sauce and roasted asparagus. Then, top off your meal with the Chocolate Mousse Cake.
Hofbräuhaus Columbus is in an up-and-coming area near the Arena District. If you aren’t feeling the crowds around Nationwide Arena, take a five-minute cab ride to grab a beer and meal in a quieter venue. The patio is comfortable and the Bavarian-inspired food makes for a fun, filling meal. Special events are happening all the time to enhance the experience. It’s impossible to visit Hofbräuhaus Columbus and not try the pretzels and bier cheese. Seriously, once you see an order come out to a table near you, we challenge you to pass on that deliciousness. Plus, there’s schnitzel and some of the best burgers you will ever have.
One of the best things about Columbus is the number of hidden gems, like Fox in the Snow Cafe. This treasure is tucked away off the main road by a little drive, so you could almost miss it. While the building might not look like much at first glance, it is one of the best outdoor dining options in Columbus. Of course, Fox in the Snow only serves breakfast and lunch, but what more do you need? Fox in the Snow has a lot to offer, and they do it well but start with the Pecan Sticky Buns. Sure, it’s a sugar shock that can knock your socks off, but every delectable bite makes it worthwhile. Besides, you can balance that sugar with iced tea or a pour-over coffee.
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 Wanderlog.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.