Ohio’s state capital is not only packed with romantic things to see and do, from strolling along the city’s Scioto Mile on the banks of the Scioto River to exploring the American and European paintings and a sculpture garden at the Columbus Museum of Art. Visitors also have a choice of intimate and cozy restaurants where they can celebrate love.
Renowned for its charming secret garden patio which is the perfect spot for pre-dinner Champagne or after dinner cocktails, Barcelona is one of the city’s top dining establishments, offering sublime cuisine, global wines, and world-class service. Tucked away in historic German Village, the culinary gem is inspired by the vibrant atmosphere of the Ramblas and the taste of sipping sangria by the seaside, exuding an Old World European charm and serving a seasonal menu of contemporary cuisine prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and made from scratch, along with home baked bread and desserts. An award-winning wine list features globally-inspired wines that enhance the offerings of Barcelona, along with imported craft beers and handcrafted cocktails. Barcelona is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, and dinner only on the weekends.
263 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206, Phone: 614-443-3699
© Basi Italia
Nestled in the heart of Victorian Village, Basi Italia is a small and intimate restaurant offering simple Italian fare with innovative twists. Specializing in Italian and Mediterranean inspired food, the family-friendly restaurant features a cozy dining room and a charming terrace where diners can enjoy weekly wine tastings known as Vino on the Veranda. The seasonal menu boasts Northern Italian favorites such as homemade pasta and sauces, wood-fired pizzas, prime meat, chicken and veal dishes, and freshly prepared salads with locally sourced ingredients and regional produce. Fine wines can be enjoyed with every meal, along with craft beers and signature cocktails, and the restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
811 Highland St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-294-7383
3.Columbus Fish Market
© Columbus Fish Market
Located between Fifth and Third avenues in Grandview, just south of Lennox Town Center, the Columbus Fish Market is one of the best places to go for fresh fish in Columbus. Daily delivery of a wide variety of fresh fish flown in from all coasts promises only the freshest produce allowing the restaurant to offer the largest selection of fresh seafood in the city. Boasting an upscale New England chowder house ambiance with a cozy bar area and subtle lighting, the dining room has intimate booth seating, which is ideal for romantic dinners. A full-service bar menu offers an array of libations, including signature cocktails, craft beers, fine wines, and specialty coffees. Columbus Fish Market is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
1245 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43212, Phone: 614-291-3474
4.Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant
© Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant
Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant offers an authentic taste of East Africa in the heart of Columbus. The restaurant is an eatery, bar, music venue and pool hall and attracts a crowd who come to enjoy the good vibes and delicious food. The eat-with-your-fingers menu features eye-popping large dishes lined with injera bread such as Awaze Kulwa/Tibs – a beef dish cooked in a spicy red sauce and the Dukem Special – a mix of beef, peppers, onions, and tomatoes served over tangy injera bread with sides of iceberg lettuce and hot sauce. Diners can tuck into the delicious finger food and listen to live Ethiopian music every night of the week.
4720 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43213, Columbus, OH 43213, Phone: 614-986-8482
5.Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Columbus
© Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Columbus
Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Columbus is a premium restaurant chain that specializes in prime-aged meats such as bison and wagyu beef, fresh seafood, and fine wines. The upscale contemporary American steakhouse boasts plush décor with warm golden accents, luxurious upholstered chairs, and walls lined with bottles of wine. The menu offers a wide range of hand-cut in-house, hormone, antibiotic, and steroid-free meat cuts, including ribeye, filet mignon, New York strip steaks, as well as appetizers, fresh salads, pasta dishes, and desserts, all of which are prepared using locally sourced ingredients and made from scratch. Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Columbus has multiple private dining rooms for special events and functions and is open for dinner every night.
1570 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240, Phone: 614-433-7307
6.G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar
© G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar
G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar is a contemporary restaurant that serves locally sourced regional American cuisine and fine wines in a stylish setting. Boasting cozy, wood-and-brick-trimmed interiors and a charming outdoor patio, the casual neighborhood bistro promises a unique dining experience with a focus on local, seasonal food using the highest quality ingredients and prepared from scratch. The menu reflects Executive Chef and Co-Owner, David Tetzloff’s signature southern-inspired “low-country” flair with dishes like Pan-Roasted Sausage Stuffed Quail, Jerk Spiced Broiled Mahi, Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin Medallions, and Sautéed Scallops. Desserts of Lemon Gingersnap Tart, Bourbon Pecan Pie, and Double Chocolate Pots du Crème provide the perfect end to any meal and a curated wine list features easy-drinking and casual wines. G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar is open for dinner, seven nights a week.
595 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-464-0575
7.Hudson 29 Kitchen and Drink
© Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink
Named after the famous Hudson River Valley, home of the Culinary Institute of America, and the beautiful route which winds through Napa Valley, Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink is a casual spot where friends can meet and enjoy great food and drinks in a laid-back atmosphere. Part of the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants Group, the restaurant serves a seasonal menu of contemporary cuisine created with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and prepared from scratch. The cuisine is accompanied by an artfully composed wine list of more than 100 bottles, both casual and rare vintages, as well as classic cocktails, craft beers from around the world, and a range of soft drinks. Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
The Lane, 1600 W Avenue, Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221, Phone: 614-487-0622
8.Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse
© Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse is an upscale steakhouse chain with a sophisticated setting that serves perfectly grilled meats, fresh seafood, and handcrafted cocktails. Located in the heart of the city, Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse is an ideal dining destination for business functions, special occasions or a romantic dinner for two; the restaurant also offers four different private dining rooms that can accommodate up to 60 guests. A full-service bar serves Happy Hour martinis, signature cocktails, and small bar plates in the evenings and valet parking are available. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse is open for dinner, seven nights a week.
569 North High Street Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-224-2204
9.J. Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood
© J. Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood
J. Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood is a classic steakhouse chain that serves honest Midwestern cuisine in an elegant and refined setting. Named for a renowned Kansas City restaurateur, J. Gilbert, the famous restaurant chain boasts dark wood interiors and intimate seating and serves a menu of rustic Kansas City-steakhouse fare such as prime wood-fired steaks and fresh seafood, hearty sides and fresh salads. Signature dishes include Mishima Ranch Wagyu Burger, Maple Plank Roasted Salmon, and decadent desserts like the made-from-scratch Seven Layer Coconut Cake. The cuisine is accompanied by an extensive wine list of fine wines around the world, handcrafted cocktails, and imported spirits, and craft beers on tap and by the bottle.
1 E Campus View Blvd, Columbus, OH 43235, Phone: 614-840-9090
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10.Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse
© Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse
Jeff Ruby’s is the place to go for a great steak, fine wine, and a stylish and elegant ambiance. Offering outstanding cuisine accompanied by impeccable service, dining at Jeff Ruby’s is all about ‘the experience.’ With branches all over the country, Jeff Ruby’s has taken the coveted title of being one of the nation’s highest ranked steakhouses, according to various surveys. Serving award-winning steak since 1981 to an array of connoisseurs, celebrities, loyal guests, Ruby's steaks are renowned for being ‘the best of the best,’ sourced from purebred Heritage Black Angus cattle and hand cut to order. Jeff Ruby’s caters for private parties and hosts various events including live music featuring local artists throughout the year.
89 E. Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-686-7800
Juniper is Columbus' premier rooftop dining and event space with an upscale indoor and outdoor rooftop cocktail lounge with spectacular views. Perched atop the Smith Brothers Hardware building, the 12,000-square-foot restaurant and event space serves a variety of Caribbean small plates and signature cocktails in a stylish and sophisticated environment. Ideal for a romantic night out on the town, sunset cocktails and pre-dinner drinks or a late-night bite after dancing, the restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and Sunday brunch and caters for private events and functions. The entire venue can also be hired out for weddings and other celebrations.
580 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-464-3333
© Latitude 41
Based in the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, Latitude 41 is a contemporary, upmarket dining destination that serves seasonal New American cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. The restaurant features wooden floors with a variegated color-pattern, large windows that flood interiors with natural light, crisp white tables, and padded, comfortable chairs. The menu celebrates the culinary diversity of Ohio with organic, farm-to-table fare prepared with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and naturally raised meats, poultry, and seafood. A full-service bar serves craft and draft beers, family-owned wines from around the world, and classic cocktails made with local spirits, along with specialty coffees and dessert liqueurs. Latitude 41 is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
50 N 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-233-7541
Lindey’s is an old-school bistro with a Parisian feel that offers a sophisticated menu of contemporary fare and casual wines in a relaxed and laid-back setting. The special-occasion venue is perfect for a first date or celebrating a special occasion with a creative menu of innovative cuisine, featuring signature dishes such as crab cakes, shrimp and lobster risotto, Australian sea bass, and lobster bisque. Diners can enjoy their meals in the elegant dining room or out on the patio beneath the star, and pair their cuisine with fine wines, craft beers, or handcrafted cocktails from the full service bar. Lindey’s is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206, Phone: 614-228-4343
14.Martini Modern Italian
© Martini Modern Italian
Martini Modern Italian is an excellent spot for traditional Italian food and casual drinks. Located on High Street, the family-friendly restaurant features a contemporary dining space with wooden flooring and elegant chandeliers. A seasonal menu of innovative Italian cuisine with modern twists feature classic such as engaging riffs on antipasto, brick oven pizzetta, fresh calamari, short ribs, veal martini, and chicken carbonara. All food is prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and is accompanied by an array of Italian-inspired handcrafted cocktails, fine wines from an extensive wine list that blends the best of Italy and California, including traditional favorites and unique, limited production wines. Martini Modern Italian is open for dinner only, seven nights a week.
445 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-224-8259
15.Mitchell's Ocean Club
© Mitchell's Ocean Club
Located in Easton Town Center, Mitchell’s Ocean Club is an upscale supper club that serves fresh seafood, prime steak and chops, and over 50 wines by the glass. Owned by renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, the modern American restaurant and lounge serve an impressive menu of New American fare with signature dishes such as King Salmon, Florida Grouper, Twin Lobster Tails, Gerber Farms Chicken, Pork Porterhouse, and Surf ‘n Turf platters. A Wine Spectator-honored wine list features a variety of wines from around the world, as well as craft beers and signature cocktails expertly put together by a team of well-trained bar chefs.
4002 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219, Phone: 614-416-2582
Mitchell’s Steakhouse is an award-winning steakhouse that focuses on prime, hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and fine wines from around the world. The restaurant is elegantly decorated in warm tones and wrought ironwork detailing with art-adorned walls and offers a menu of house-aged steaks in a variety of cuts, ranging from butcher cuts of filet mignon, prime ribeye and prime New York strip to on-the-bone cuts of bone-in filet and ribeye. Signature steaks include Filet Oscar, New York Au Poivre, and Gorgonzola-Crusted Ribeye and the cuisine are accompanied by fine wines from an award-winning wine list featuring 200 of the world’s finest labels. Mitchell’s Steakhouse is open for dinner only, seven nights a week.
45 North Third Street, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-621-2333 / Private Dining Phone: 614-221-1828
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17.Redlands Grill (J. Alexander's)
© Redlands Grill (J. Alexander's)
Part of the Redlands Grill Group, J. Alexander's is a contemporary American restaurant that focuses on wood-fired cuisine. In addition to serving a seasonal menu of American classics including prime steaks, ocean fresh seafood, entrée salads, and gourmet sandwiches, the restaurant also serves signature plates such as Grilled Fish with Mango Papaya Salsa, Seafood Czarina, Chicken Milanese, and Tuscan Steak, along with an outstanding selection of wines both by the glass and bottle from the full-service bar. Crisply dressed waitrons serve the excellent cuisine with passion and flair, and the ambiance is chic and elegant. J. Alexander's is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
7550 Vantage Dr, Columbus, Ohio 43235, Phone: 614-847-1166
18.Rodizio Grill - Columbus
© Rodizio Grill – Columbus
Rodizio Grill is a traditional Brazilian restaurant inspired by the Gauchos that roam the prairies of Brazil. The restaurant specializes in churrascaria which features all-you-can-eat meats which are cut and served tableside along with fresh salads from an extensive salad bar. A two-course dinner featuring unlimited artisan appetizers and salads, followed by a rodizio service of freshly grilled meats carved tableside. Sip on freshly made Caipirinhas or Mojitos while enjoying artisan cheeses, olives, bread to start before tucking into a variety of grilled meats. Samba Brazilian Grill is open for dinner, seven nights a week and Sunday brunch.
125 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-241-4400
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© Service Bar
The Service Bar is a modern American kitchen, distillery, and bar at Middle West Spirits in Columbus that serves sharing plates of contemporary cuisine and house spirits in a hip, trendy space with an outdoor patio. Helmed by Executive Chef Avishar Barua, the eatery offers inventive dishes with Midwestern and Middle Eastern accents with signature dishes such as Koji Half Rohan Duck of ginger scallion breast and confit thigh with Hainanese Duck rice and various suck sauces, and Short Rib with Huajian Bao, black Garlic and smashed cucumber. The Service Bar is home to The Bottle Shop, which provides an escape for contemporary cocktail connoisseurs and craft spirit lovers with rare Middle West Spirits like Vim & Petal Gin and OYO, and a unique collection of mixology and lifestyle products.
1230 Courtland Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, Phone: 614-947-1231
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20.Smith & Wollensky Columbus
© Smith & Wollensky Columbus
Smith & Wollensky is a chain of world-renowned high-end American steakhouses with locations worldwide. Founded by 1977 by Alan Stillman, the restaurants boast the same trademark décor - wooden exteriors with green and white colors. Diners enter Smith & Wollensky Columbus through an antique, stained oak revolving door into the warm interior with polished wood floors, brass fixtures, and turn-of-the-century décor. The restaurant serves a menu of USDA prime dry-aged and butchered in-house steaks and fresh seafood, including giant live Maine lobster, shellfish and sushi grade tuna, and generous desserts. An extensive wine list ensures an elegant complement to any meal with a curated selection of rare labels, as well as signature cocktails and imported spirits. Smith & Wollensky Columbus is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
4145 The Strand West, Phone: 614-416-2400
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21.The Avenue Steak Tavern
© The Avenue Steak Tavern
Located in the heart of Grandview, The Avenue Steak Tavern is a warm and welcoming wood-accented steakhouse with soft lighting that provides the perfect locale for a romantic dinner or special celebration. The traditional steakhouse serves a menu of classic steakhouse fare including prime steaks, fresh seafood and shellfish, handmade pasta and sauces, and fresh salads, along with decadent desserts, classically inspired cocktails, and a hand-curated collection of Old and New World wines. The Avenue Steak Tavern offers a semi-private dining area for private events and functions for groups of up to six people and is available for private luncheons seven days a week. The Avenue Steak Tavern is open for dinner only, seven nights a week.
1307 Grandview Ave #3013, Columbus, OH 43212, Phone: 614-485-9447
22.The Boat House Restaurant
© The Boat House Restaurant
Located off Spring Street at Souder Avenue, the Boat House Restaurant is an elegant restaurant with spectacular views of the downtown skyline that serves a fresh, inventive, seafood-driven menu that echoes the fun-focused atmosphere of Columbus. Created by Shane Mueller and his culinary team, the restaurant menu features delicious appetizers, gourmet burgers, fresh seafood platters, prime steaks, and savory dishes, along with fresh salads, and hearty sides. Guests can dine in the inviting dining room or out on the charming patio while soaking up the beautiful views and sipping handcrafted cocktails prepared by expert bar staff. The Boat House Restaurant is open for dinner only, Wednesday through Saturday.
679 W Spring St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-469-0000
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23.The Guild House
© Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
The Guild House is an artisan eatery with a rustic-modern dining room that serves creative American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Repurposed wood, local artworks, and contemporary accents make up the interiors of The Guild where guests can sample the eclectic, globally inspired seasonal menus. Dishes are prepared with locally sourced ingredients and globally-inspired recipes and presented with artistic technique and flair. Signature dishes include Ricotta Gnocchi with fava beans, Campanelli duck confit with asiago, Scallops with English peas and orange vinaigrette, and Salmon Romanesco with cauliflower caviar cream. The cuisine is accompanied by an extensive wine list with wines from around the world and handcrafted cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices and imported spirits. The Guild House is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
624 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-280-9780
24.The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar
© The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar
The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar is based inside the art deco Hotel LeVeque and offers a unique dining experience. The kitchen serves modern French-inspired fare and classic cocktails, craft beers and fine wines in a stylish and sophisticated setting. The chef-driven brasserie has a speakeasy bar, warm décor with gas lamps and rustic furnishings, and a vibrant atmosphere that reflects the Roaring 1920s with a 21st-century twist. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, the Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar is a great spot for a quiet dinner for two or a special celebration with friends.
50 West Broad Street Mezzanine Level, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-745-0322
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25.The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro
© The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro
Based in a former church with soaring ceilings and magnificent stained-glass windows, the Refectory Restaurant and Bistro is a spectacular dining establishment that serves exceptional contemporary American and classic French cuisine complemented by a world-class wine cellar with over 700 selections. Perfect for a special celebration or a romantic dinner for two, the cuisine is served by experienced and knowledgeable staff who are trained to present each guest with the finest cuisine and impeccable service. The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro has two private dining rooms for special events and functions for up to 120 guests and is open for dinner only, Monday through Saturday.
1092 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220, Phone: 614-451-9774
25 Best Restaurants in Columbus, OH
- Barcelona, Photo: Barcelona
- Basi Italia, Photo: Basi Italia
- Columbus Fish Market, Photo: Columbus Fish Market
- Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant, Photo: Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant
- Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Columbus, Photo: Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Columbus
- G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar, Photo: G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar
- Hudson 29 Kitchen and Drink, Photo: Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink
- Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, Photo: Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse
- J. Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood, Photo: J. Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood
- Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, Photo: Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse
- Juniper, Photo: Juniper
- Latitude 41, Photo: Latitude 41
- Lindey's, Photo: Lindey's
- Martini Modern Italian, Photo: Martini Modern Italian
- Mitchell's Ocean Club, Photo: Mitchell's Ocean Club
- Mitchell's Steakhouse, Photo: janifest/stock.adobe.com
- Redlands Grill (J. Alexander's), Photo: Redlands Grill (J. Alexander's)
- Rodizio Grill - Columbus, Photo: Rodizio Grill – Columbus
- Service Bar, Photo: Service Bar
- Smith & Wollensky Columbus, Photo: Smith & Wollensky Columbus
- The Avenue Steak Tavern, Photo: The Avenue Steak Tavern
- The Boat House Restaurant, Photo: The Boat House Restaurant
- The Guild House, Photo: Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
- The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar, Photo: The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar
- The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro, Photo: The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro
- Cover Photo: smspsy/stock.adobe.com