A roundup of the best restaurants in Columbus, from locally owned coffee shops and bakeries to lunch spots, casual dinners, ethnic finds, finer dining and beyond.
What are the best restaurants in Columbus, Ohio?
Let's face it. Columbus has some pretty dope places to eat!
One of the most common questions I get asked is where people should eat when they come visit our fine city of Columbus. Instead of having to rack my brain every time to remember this list, I've decided to document all my go-to spots in one living breathing document that I can continue to update as the city and my tastes change.
I've lived in Columbus for going on twelve years now so I've seen plenty of places come and go. It's been really exciting to watch the local food movement blossom in our small but mighty midwestern city.
This comprehensive list of (in my humble opinion) the best local restaurants in Columbus ranges from cozy coffee shops, brunch nooks, fine dining experiences, fast casual lunch digs, and funky breweries.
If you have any favorites to add to this list, please leave a comment letting me know! I'm always down to try new grub.
Brunch + Coffee Shops:
Alchemy: Shameless plug. We serve breakfast, lunch, brunch (Grandview only) and dinner, but my favorite is our Grandview location’s weekend brunch. Other menu favorites include the Cherry Cheezecake, Pesto Avocado Toast, Power Stir Fry, Curried Chickpea Salad, and so much more.
Pistacia Vera: One of my favorite coffee shops in the city with great breakfast, too. The mushroom quiche, smoked salmon croissant, and the pan au chocolate are my go-to's. I also love their beautiful macarons!
Katalina’s: A funky breakfast nook with the best Nutella pancake balls in the businesses.
Parable: A pop-up coffee shop in the Comune space with the best coffee drinks in town. The miso sesame latte with oat milk is to die for.
The Lox: The best bagels in Cbus. Try the sea salt and herb with beet cream cheese!
Dough Mama: Adorable little Clintonville brunch spot. The pancakes are my obsession.
Fox in the Snow: The most hipster and Instagramable coffee shop in Cbus. They have the most delightful pastries (the blueberry galette and sticky bun are my favorites) and an epic egg sandwich.
Lunch + Casual Dinner:
Northstar: Consistently tasty counter-service café with incredible brunch, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more. Everything is impeccably sourced and predominantly organic. Perfect for a quick bite! The ricotta pancakes and the veggie burger are heaven and the chocolate truffle cookie may be my favorite dessert in town.
Paulie Gee's: We get the Detroit-style square pizza pretty much every Friday. Literally our favorite pizza of all time. I dream about the thick, airy crust!
Harvest Pizzeria: Our other favorite pizza, especially when we want thin, chewy crust. The Spicy Yuma (I get no sausage) is incredible as is the Kale Caesar. The Bexley and Clintonville locations have expanded food menus beyond pizza but I think the German Village one has the best atmosphere.
Brassica: Northstar's little sister concept, Brassica is fast-casual Mediterranean food. Don't skip the luscious homemade whole wheat pita bread!
FUSIAN: Build your own sushi roll. Great fast casual sushi on-the-go.
Antiques on High: An awesome new brewery (not a restaurant) with a super cool atmosphere. It’s a sister brewery to Seventh Son, which is my other favorite local brewery. Both are great spots to grab drinks.
The Crest: My favorite casual spot to grab a sandwich or beer in an eclectic gastropub atmosphere. Great patio, too. Fun fact: I was a server there in grad school!
Bamboo Thai Kitchen: Great hole in a wall Thai food. The Pad Kee Maow is my favorite. Incredible wide noodles in a delish sauce with tons of veggies. We also love the Pad Thai and Kimchi Dumplings! Siam Orchid is another popular Thai place.
Amul India: Straight up strip mall Indian food and SO GOOD. My favorites are Chana Masala, Chana Saag, all the chutneys, and naan obviously.
Akai Hana: Columbus doesn’t have enough good sushi spots, but this is our fave. It’s the most authentic Japanese food in the city. You’ll definitely have to wait! Don’t forget to check out Tensuke Market.
Mazah: My favorite local Mediterranean spot located right by Alchemy Grandview. Baba ghanoush, falafel…you know what to do! We also love Lavash.
Finer Dining Dinner
The Market: My favorite restaurant in Columbus. Go for dinner and enjoy their playful and inventive Italian-Mediterranean bistro fare.
Comune: Incredible higher end vegetarian fare. They make serious magic with vegetables and have insane cocktails.
La Tavola: Don't be fooled by the fact that it's next to a laundry mat. This local spot has the best ever homemade Italian food and it's all sourced with integrity. They have amazing rotating specials, but I can never stray from the gnocchi with marinara and the pizza. Jeff adores their chicken parmesan. Amazing salads and wine too. It’s small, so try to make a reservation ahead of time.
Basi: Our favorite intimate dinner spot, hands down. The patio is insanely amazing and the food shocks me every time with how unique it is. We often celebrate our birthdays at Basi---it's that good.
Service Bar: A newer favorite distillery of ours for a night out on the town, Service Bar is a hip spot in Short North with amazing cocktails and spunky, innovative dishes. The pimiento cheese dip with tapioca poofs, vegetable dumplings, and Oaxacan 75 cocktail are my go-to's. You will likely need a reservation a couple weeks in advance to get in.
Third & Hollywood: This Grandview staple is a more upscale version of sister restaurant Northstar. The cheddar skillet biscuits will change your life.
Calling all locals! Tell me---what are your favorite Columbus restaurants?