18 Best Restaurants in Columbus, OH


Columbus, Ohio, captivates with a unique culinary magic that becomes evident upon the first bite at any of its local establishments.

The city's food scene offers an enticing blend of innovative creations, warm hospitality, and vibrant atmospheres, turning every dining experience into a memorable event.

The diverse culinary landscape of Columbus promises a unique journey of flavors and textures, crafting palate-pleasing narratives with each meal.

This serves as an invitation to embark on a culinary adventure, exploring the finest restaurants that Columbus, Ohio, has to offer.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Alayah Talley, Sabrina Conley, Ronald Howard, Joseph James, Judy Luster, Amy Ours and Marian Ennis.


You wouldn't believe the gem I stumbled upon in the heart of our city - a bright and contemporary café that goes by the name of Brassica.

This place has become my go-to lunch spot, especially when I'm craving their locavore pita sandwiches.

Complete with beer on tap, Brassica offers more than just typical café fare.

And let me tell you about their food - it's an explosion of Mediterranean flavors.

My personal favorite is their sandwich packed with brisket, hummus, and pickled onions, topped with crispy onions, greens, and their special sauce.

Every mouthful is a delightful mix of tender, flavorful brisket and the welcomed crunchiness of onions.

Pair it with their well-seasoned fries, and you have a meal that fills you up without making you feel overstuffed.

If you have kids, you might want to request a booster seat.

Take it from me, Brassica is definitely worth exploring if you're looking to try something new and delicious in the city.

Brassica · 680 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Mediterranean restaurant

Basi Italia

"Where am I going tonight?" I ask myself, as I glance at the setting sun, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink.

Almost instinctively, the answer pops up in my mind - none other than Basi Italia, my treasured neighborhood haunt.

Stepping inside, I'm immediately transported to the tranquil, rustic charm of a quaint Italian village - a stark contrast to the bustling city outside.

The decor is simple yet soothing, the soft lighting creating an intimate atmosphere that's perfect for that little bit of 'me' time I so cherish.

Now, the food. I think the word 'delicious' doesn't quite cover it.

From dishes inspired by Northern Italian cuisine to off-menu surprises, everything is mouthwatering.

I remember the first time I tried their mussels and halibut - absolutely divine!

And the spaghetti and meatballs, an off-menu treat, has become a must-have on all my visits.

And, if you're visiting in the summer, don't miss out on their pesto and tomatoes - simply out of the world!

But a word of advice, don't let the size of the portions intimidate you.

Yes, they are indeed generous, but that simply means you can share a meal, making the experience even more delightful.

It's a bit of a local secret, we share our meals, not just to save on the cost, but to savor the varied flavors and create beautiful memories.

Is it perfect? Well, almost. There's the valet service and restroom that could do with some improvement.

And yes, the prices may seem a bit over the top, but believe me, every bite is worth it.

Basi Italia · 811 Highland St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus

Whenever I need to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, I head straight to my favorite spot in Columbus – the historic German village.

It's a charming place, with cobblestone streets and quaint brick houses, but the heart and soul of this community, for me, is undoubtedly Schmidt’s Sausage Haus.

Stepping inside Schmidt’s is like stepping back in time to the Gilded Age.

Housed in a historic livery stable, the restaurant exudes an unpretentious charm, perfectly complemented by the lively strains of live oompah music.

It is one of the oldest establishments in the area and certainly one of the most loved.

Schmidt’s is renowned for its excellent service and reasonably priced dishes.

My regular go-to is the sausage sampler.

The option for "bottomless" is a delight, especially with their irresistible Bahama Mama's.

Paired with their homemade mustard and horseradish, it's easily one of the best meals you'll find in Columbus.

But what keeps drawing me back are the desserts. Their cream puffs are an absolute delight, not too sweet, just the perfect balance.

And if you get a chance, definitely try the peach cream puff and the German chocolate cake.

Their desserts are a testament to the culinary prowess of Schmidt’s – everything is made in-house and the high standard is evident in every bite.

The upper level party room is a hidden gem, perfect for group gatherings or special occasions.

I've attended a wedding reception there, and everything from the décor to the buffet-style dinner was impeccable.

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus · 240 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH 43206
★★★★★ · German restaurant

The Refectory Restaurant

You know, it's not every day you get to dine in a former church, but that's exactly what you get at The Refectory Restaurant.

Sharing a meal here is like partaking in a special ritual, the soaring ceilings and vintage stained-glass windows set the scene for an otherworldly gastronomic experience.

Celebrate your special occasions here, and you'll understand when I say, they make every guest feel like royalty.

I remember celebrating my anniversary here a while back.

It was as if the whole restaurant was in on our celebration, making the occasion even more memorable.

And oh, the food! The French cuisine served here is nothing short of spectacular.

Trust me, even the vegetarians among you will be spoilt for choice.

The tasting menu I indulged in was an explosion of flavors and textures.

The wine selection, paired perfectly with each course, only enhanced the experience.

And trust me when I say, the sommelier here knows his stuff!

The Refectory Restaurant is easily one of the best, if not the best, that Columbus has to offer.

Just remember, if you want to experience fine dining at its best, this is the place to be.

Everything from the ambiance, the service, and of course, the food, is impeccable.

A perfect night out? Absolutely. Just don't forget to make a reservation. Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this divine dining experience.

The Refectory Restaurant · 1092 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220
★★★★★ · French restaurant

Valters at the Maennerchor

You ever have one of those places in your city that just takes you to a whole different world? For me, that place is Valters at the Maennerchor.

This traditional German restaurant, nestled in a cozy 1907 brick house, is my go-to spot when I'm craving some hearty and authentic European cuisine.

Stepping through their doors, you're immediately greeted with a warm and comfortable ambiance.

The atmosphere is so rich and the décor is so intricately German, you're almost fooled into thinking you've been teleported to a cozy inn somewhere in the heart of Germany.

And let me tell you, the food matches the authenticity of the setting.

I’ve had the pleasure of trying their hangover special, which was the perfect mix of both hearty and light.

I've also had the chance to try their french toast that’s made with baguette bread instead of the typical slice, topped with fresh fruit.

Both dishes were just the right amount to satisfy your cravings without leaving you overly stuffed.

Now, the desserts here are a different story.

Their lemon cheesecake, although not my preferred style, was alright but the real star of the dessert show are their cream puffs.

They're a delight to the taste buds, and I can't help but order them every time I dine here.

Being able to experience a taste of Germany right in the heart of my hometown is something that I truly treasure.

With the great food, inviting atmosphere, and authentic German culture, it's no wonder that Valters at the Maennerchor has become a favorite spot for many locals like myself.

Valters at the Maennerchor · 976 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
★★★★★ · German restaurant

The Pearl

I've been living in this city for quite a while now.

Over time, I've developed a particular fondness for neighborhood gems that offer more than just a meal.

One such place is The Pearl, a refined tavern that has captured my palate and heart.

The Pearl is not your average eateries.

It has a warm, alluring ambiance that subtly whispers of refined elegance.

Lending to this is the dimly lit interior, creating a romantic allure that's simply hard to resist.

Every visit there feels like an immersive experience with the soft lighting setting the mood for a delightful culinary journey.

The menu at The Pearl has a wide range of options, but their seafood is my personal favorite.

The selection is fresh and quality is always top-notch.

One of my go-to dishes is their Seafood Tower, which is generously served and an absolute joy to devour.

However, I must note that the mussels and oysters are quite small, but don't let that deter you - they make up in flavor what they lack in size.

And then there are the drinks.

The cocktail list is as enticing as the food menu.

Each concoction is carefully crafted with house-infused drinks, promising an explosion of flavors with every sip.

Prices are fair, considering the top-notch quality of ingredients and the artistry of the mixologists.

Service is one aspect I cannot overlook when talking about The Pearl.

The Pearl is also a popular spot for brunch and happy hour among the locals.

Their Fish N Chips have won my heart and I can say without hesitation, they’re the best in town.

The Pearl · 641 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Barcelona Restaurant and Bar

When the cravings for some unique and authentic Spanish flavors kick in, I find myself often drawn to the Barcelona Restaurant and Bar.

The restaurant boasts a chic, modern interior with an equally impressive greenery-filled patio that's an absolute haven during those chilly nights, thanks to the cozy heat lamps.

The experience begins with their service, which, I must admit, is an interesting blend of casual and serious dining.

It's like they're trying to find that sweet spot in between, and while it's a tad awkward, it adds an air of intrigue to the whole dining experience.

When it comes to their food, the menu is, in a word, eclectic.

The large snack plate, in particular, stood out, albeit a bit disproportionate with an abundance of olives and Marcona almonds.

But don't let this minor setback deter you, the rest of the dishes are simply delightful.

On a special occasion, I took the liberty of trying their Pre Fixe Menu.

It was a sensory journey into Spanish cuisine, albeit unfamiliar, but tantalizingly good.

If you're looking for fresh, healthy, and phenomenally prepared dishes, Barcelona Restaurant and Bar should be on your list.

The drinks are another aspect that shouldn't be overlooked.

They are flavorful, strong, and the perfect accompaniment to a great meal.

Barcelona Restaurant and Bar · 263 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206
★★★★★ · Spanish restaurant

Hofbräuhaus Columbus

On the hunt to find a little slice of Germany in the heart of Ohio, I found myself at Hofbräuhaus Columbus, a Munich-inspired beer hall nestled in the bustling city of Columbus.

The moment I stepped in, the authenticity of the Bavarian atmosphere was palpable, complete with garden seating that transports you to a classic German beer garden.

Their in-house beers are an absolute treat for any beer lover, brewed to perfection and served with invigorating freshness.

One of the unique aspects of the place is that you have the option to get your own steins to keep on premises. But their offerings don't stop at beers, they also have a wide array of Bavarian fare to choose from.

On one occasion, I decided to go for their bourbon glazed Salmon paired with Mashed Potatoes & a vegetable medley.

The food was served within 15 minutes and the flavors were absolutely phenomenal.

Another time, I had their burger which was juicy and full of flavor, paired with a pretzel that was a bit too salty for my liking but still fresh.

Their unique spin on the traditional spaetzle, by adding bier cheese, was also a delightful surprise.

Their upstairs party area is a bonus, offering a unique party experience.

And don't miss out on their gift shop, it's got some quirky and interesting souvenirs.

What tops the list though, is their cream puff!

It's a must-try and was just the perfect sweet ending to a hearty Bavarian meal.

Hofbräuhaus Columbus · 800 Goodale Blvd, Columbus, OH 43212
★★★★★ · German restaurant


It's not every day that you find yourself sitting in the heart of a stone-clad garden, savoring the fragrance of blossoming flowers while waiting for your dinner.

Yet, this is exactly how I found myself one ordinary evening at Lindey's, my favorite dining spot tucked away in our beloved city.

If you haven't yet given this restaurant a visit, I strongly urge you to do so.

The moment you step into Lindey's, the old-school charm sweeps you off your feet.

I often find myself basking in the warm glow of the vintage lanterns, chuckling at the light banter of the friendly waitstaff, and of course, marveling at their delectable American surf 'n' turf menu.

On this particular evening, I decided to indulge in my favorite dish, the angel hair pasta, and a slice of their divine key lime pie for dessert.

The carpaccio appetizer, an all-time favorite, was, as always, exceptional.

It practically melted in my mouth, leaving a trail of delicate flavors behind.

The pasta was cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of tangy pesto. It's dishes like these that keep me coming back to Lindey's.

The outdoor patio was a delight as always.

Surrounded by the prettiest garden scene, I couldn't resist taking a few photos of my meal against this picturesque backdrop.

The soft notes of "What You Won't Do for Love" by Bobby Caldwell wafting from the speakers was just the icing on the cake.

Each time I visit Lindey's, it feels like a special occasion.

The combination of the cozy ambiance, top-notch service, and mouth-watering food always creates an unforgettable experience.

It's the kind of place that, once visited, stays with you, beckoning you to return.

And trust me, you'll want to.

Lindey’s · 169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206
★★★★★ · Fine dining restaurant

Martini Modern Italian

Who hasn't had one of those days where you're craving a hearty Italian meal that feels both familiar and innovative at the same time?

On days like these, I often find myself heading to Martini Modern Italian, a place where traditional Italian cuisine meets modern culinary creativity.

The restaurant's contemporary dining space, complete with elegant chandeliers, sets the stage for a memorable dining experience.

I've had the pleasure of celebrating special occasions here, and the ambiance is just perfect.

Amid the lively chatter and clinking of glasses, there's a sense of upbeat energy that makes you feel right at home.

The menu at Martini Modern Italian never disappoints.

On my last visit, I devoured the Tenderloin and the Short Rib.

The meat was cooked to perfection, tender and rich in flavor.

It was one of those meals where you can't help but sigh in contentment with the first bite.

Not to mention, the service here is top-notch.

The restaurant also offers an impressive Mothers Day Brunch.

The food, as always, is fantastic, and the drinks are just as great.

Despite the parking being slightly challenging, there's a convenient parking garage nearby.

But the real star of the show here is their take on classic Italian dishes.

The Veal Martini and the Chicken Parm are two of my favorites.

The Veal Martini with that delicious sauce, combined with prosciutto and greens, is an absolute delight.

And let's not forget their unique twist on the classic Chicken Parm, topped with baked pasta, elevating the dish to a whole new level.

Martini Modern Italian · 445 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Watershed Kitchen + Bar

There's nothing quite like a night out at Watershed Kitchen + Bar.

Tucked away in an unsuspecting location, it's a shining star of the Columbus culinary scene.

It's not just a restaurant; it's a distillery with a passion for craft cocktails and a knack for creating mouthwatering dishes.

The moment you walk in, you'll feel the energy of the place.

It emanates from the passion of the buzz of happy diners and the clink of glasses.

It's more than just a place to eat—it's an experience.

When it comes to drinks, Watershed takes it to the next level.

Their cocktail menu, sorted by region and ingredients, always tempts me to be a little adventurous.

The bartenders, like Todd, are not only knowledgeable but also have an easy-going demeanor that makes you feel right at home.

One of my personal favorites is their Negroni, made with barrel-aged gin—it's a concoction that never disappoints.

Yet, it's not just about the drinks.

Their food is impeccable too.

The short rib, for instance, is a wonder—beautifully moist and sans any artificial smoke flavor.

It's a delight that is perfectly complemented with refreshing jicama and a sauce that is absolutely on fire.

And if you're curious about the inner workings of Watershed, there's a distillery tour that’s both fun and informative. It's a testament to the passion and expertise behind every cocktail and dish they serve.

Watershed Kitchen + Bar · 1145 Chesapeake Ave ste d, Columbus, OH 43212
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Milestone 229

I love Columbus, Ohio, but sometimes, I crave an escape from the hustle and bustle.

That’s when I find myself dining at Milestone 229 - a hidden gem where comfort meets sophistication.

This modern American spot is my go-to for its comfort-driven fare.

A recent dinner started with their fabulous German Pretzel Bread.

The unique, yet delicious Whole Grain Honey Mustard on the side was a delightful surprise to my tastebuds.

For the main course, I chose the Hanger Steak, while my companion opted for the Lobster Ravioli.

My steak was cooked just to my liking, and the side dishes were the perfect compliment.

My companion couldn’t stop raving about the Ravioli - a clear testament to the restaurant's culinary prowess.

The dining experience is enhanced by the restaurant’s airy atmosphere and the stunning view of the Scioto Mile fountains from the patio.

While the fountains were unfortunately not working on our last visit, the view of downtown was still breathtaking.

From placing the order to the presentation of the dishes, everything was handled efficiently, contributing to a relaxed dining experience.

An added bonus for me is the ease of access to Milestone 229.

Despite limited off-street parking, the restaurant is fully accessible for handicapped patrons, so everyone can enjoy the experience it has to offer.

Milestone 229 · 229 S Civic Center Dr, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · American restaurant

The Guild House

If you've never paid a visit to The Guild House in Columbus, let me tell you, you're missing out on a unique dining experience that is sure to leave you wanting more.

One of my frequent indulgences in the city, The Guild House, boasts an eclectic menu that takes you on a culinary journey across the globe.

The dining room, with its rustic-modern charm, sets the tone for an unforgettable meal.

Now, about the food. The PANCAKES are an absolute must-try!

Each bite is a delightful burst of flavor, with fresh fruit, lemon curd, and Ohio maple syrup all playing their part.

Pair it with a side of bacon, and you have yourself a breakfast of champions.

And if you're into appetizers, don’t miss out on the OYSTER MUSHROOMS.

They may look like calamari mushrooms, but the flavor is in a league of its own, especially when enjoyed with the truffle aioli.

It's not just a restaurant; it's an experience, whether you're there for everyday dining or a special occasion.

And did I mention it's also kid-friendly?

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, they offer gender-neutral bathrooms and even provide feminine hygiene products.

It's these little nuances and the attention to detail that make The Guild House a cut above the rest.

The Guild House · 624 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Restaurant


I've been living here for a while now and dining out is a frequent affair.

Being a foodie, I often indulge in trying new and exciting places.

One establishment that has never disappointed me is Marcella's in Short North. Let me tell you about a recent memorable night there.

Ah, Marcella's! Every time I step into this place, I can't help but be charmed by the lively atmosphere and the smells wafting from the kitchen.

The sight of freshly baked breads stacked high right at the entrance is enough to get my taste buds tingling.

The prosciutto pizza was a beautiful melody of flavours and the gnocchi was a delight with every bite.

But the real star of the night was the veal meatball - absolutely exquisite, and worth every bit of praise it's been getting.

The place was packed, and I could see why.

The ambiance was buzzing, and even though the chairs were a bit small and the tables somewhat close together, it didn't really bother us.

We were too engrossed in the culinary symphony that was our meal.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention their wine menu!

They offer various tastings in different pour sizes, and trust me, their selection enhances the dining experience.

Marcella’s · 615 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Southern Italian restaurant

Forno Kitchen + Bar

Every now and then, you stumble upon a gem in your own neighborhood that you just have to rave about.

For me, that gem is Forno Kitchen + Bar.

Tucked away in the heart of the city, this place knows how to make a mundane Tuesday feel like a lively weekend.

After a long day at work, I was desperately craving a good pizza and a pleasant evening - and boy, Forno did not disappoint.

Forno's allure begins with its swanky decor - the perfect blend of modern and rustic that instantly sets a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

It was happy hour when I walked in, so I decided to go for their special drinks.

The prices were beyond reasonable, and the happy hour drinks were a treat.

I opted for the one of their stone-fired pizzas, which seemed to be a crowd favorite.

And rightly so, the pizza was just the right amount of crispy and cheesy.

For the little ones, the kid-friendly menu is quite diverse.

My son, who's a picky eater, was delighted with his meal. I also tried the calamari, which was cooked perfectly - just the right amount of crunch and flavor.

But it's not just the food that's impressive, the service at Forno Kitchen + Bar was impeccable.

During my next visit, which will definitely be soon, I plan on trying their weekend brunch.

A fellow diner recommended their pasta forno, which apparently is a game changer.

Forno Kitchen + Bar · 721 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · New American restaurant

Veritas Restaurant

I'll let you in on a little secret: some of the best food in Columbus can be found nestled in the heart of the city at Veritas.

A homely haven that never fails to impress, Veritas is a local gem that offers a thoughtful tasting menu, exquisite dishes, and tip-top cocktails.

Having made Veritas a regular haunt, I've had the pleasure of witnessing, firsthand, the evolution of its menu.

My personal favorite? The summer menu. It's a seasonal masterpiece that never fails to seize my taste buds.

There's something about the corn chowder - a divine concoction that's rich yet balanced, the right amount of corniness offsetting the depth of flavor.

The pork and sea bass are other notable mentions.

Always cooked to perfection, they truly embody the art of culinary excellence.

And let's not forget the desserts. Their unique take on desserts serve as a refreshing endnote to the culinary symphony that is Veritas.

But it's not just the food that makes Veritas stand out. It's the whole dining experience.

Veritas · 11 W Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Restaurant

The Old Mohawk Tavern

If home had a taste, it would be something like what I find at The Old Mohawk.

It's a buzzing American tavern tucked in the heart of German Village, a spot that wraps you in nostalgia and feeds you comfort on a plate.

The place is quite the pioneer, having been a speakeasy once upon a time.

Today, it serves creative sandwiches and a unique turtle soup that has people talking.

Every trip to The Old Mohawk is a journey back in time.

There's a certain romantic charm about the brick walls that still echo tales from the past.

Every meal feels like it has been prepared with love and care, making it a heartwarming experience like no other.

The Club Sandwich, wrapped and bursting with flavor, is a personal favorite of mine along with the Mother Mohawk and the Rueben.

The fried mac and cheese bites are just the indulgent treat that you need to round off a meal.

What adds color to the whole experience is the exquisite collection of art by local artists that adorn the walls.

Every piece tells a story, making the dining experience at The Old Mohawk a feast for all senses.

The beer selection is worth mentioning too, its variety is pleasantly surprising.

With German Village's cobblestone streets and charming houses around, you can't help but feel like you’re holidaying in a European countryside.

It’s a beautiful juxtaposition between the heart of the city and the soul of a quaint city.

Whether it's the food, the history, or the art that draws you in, The Old Mohawk guarantees an experience that leaves a lasting impression.

The Old Mohawk · 819 Mohawk St, Columbus, OH 43206
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Del Mar SoCal Kitchen

There I was, stepping into Del Mar SoCal Kitchen on a bustling Friday night, looking forward to a fun-filled evening here.

I was immediately taken aback by the rustic-chic decor, which perfectly set the ambiance for the Southern California-inspired cuisine that was to follow.

The noise level was a touch overwhelming, I must admit.

The hum of chatter and clinking of glasses was louder than my usual preference, but it didn't detract from the overall experience.

Indeed, it gave the place a lively vibe that I found quite infectious.

And oh, the food! Simply exquisite.

Every dish was an artistic creation, a perfect blend of seasonal flavors and imaginative cooking.

One thing that really struck me was the discrepancy between how the place looked in pictures and its actual atmosphere.

The photos just don't do this place justice!

The aesthetic is beautifully high-end, yet without an overwhelming price tag.

The fried oysters, brussels as an appetizer, the crispy skate, and the chicken sandwich as entrées were nothing short of excellent.

Del Mar SoCal Kitchen · 705 N High St 1st Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Final Thoughts

I must say Columbus, Ohio, boasts an impressive array of culinary delights, each offering unique flair and flavors.

Whether it's enjoying a casual dinner at Hofbräuhaus Columbus or a special occasion at Martini Modern Italian, there's always a memorable experience waiting.

Personally, every visit to this city is a new opportunity to explore another exquisite food destination, proving Columbus is truly a city for food enthusiasts.

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