The Best Bars for Foodies in Columbus

The OpenTable Team

From the student population of Ohio State University to thirsty tourists, Columbus has no shortage of people looking for a great place to drink. Thankfully, Columbus also has no shortage of amazing bars, from live music joints to chilled-out lounges. But where are the best bars in Columbus? Welcome to our Tastemaker List bar edition. Our expert team have tried and tested the top drinking spots in the city and whittled them down to a list of “must-try” venues.

From High Street Honey to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite, Death in the Afternoon, cocktails are a must in Columbus. It comes as no surprise that in such a foodie city, plenty of these concoctions come alongside small plates worthy of big restaurants. Enjoy olives in Italian Village, sweet stuff in Short North or burgers washed down with craft beer down High Street. Book now and reserve a comfy seat at one of the best bars in Columbus tonight.

Restaurants:Fireproof Restaurant & Lounge, Union Cafe, Bristol Republic
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Tapas / Small Plates, Contemporary American, Barbecue
Neighborhoods:Short North - Arena District, Columbus

Fireproof Restaurant & Lounge

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Short North - Arena District
411 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Hot Spot
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
Fireproof’s owners designed it to be a one-stop destination where guests can enjoy a great meal, then finish off their night working through the cocktail menu at the bar. The food Read more
89% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Columbus

Union Cafe

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Columbus
754 reviews
  • Fun
  • Great for Brunch
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
Union Café has been a Short North institution for over two decades, now. Why has it stood the test of time so well? As well as being a safe space for the LGBT community, Union CaféRead more
93% recommended
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Bristol Republic

$$$$·Barbecue·
Columbus
189 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Bar Seating
  • Great for Brunch
An after-work favorite, Bristol Republic is a Nashville-inspired bar with an eye-watering range of whiskey and bourbon. Sundays are for BBQ buffet, and with the Nashville theme goiRead more
90% recommended
Great for Brunch in Columbus

1808 American Bistro

$$$$·American·
Delaware
1,211 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
Head out to Delaware for the day and book a table at 1808, a bright and warm restaurant redolent in wood and bare brick. There's a huge beer selection, complemented by unusual addiRead more
95% recommended
American in Columbus
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The Tip Top

$$$$·American·
Columbus
“Kitchen and Cocktails” in any restaurant title is a big claim- a place that will keep diners fed and watered all night, from dinner time until doors close at 2 am. Tip Top managesRead more
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Service Bar

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Short North - Arena District
473 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Special Occasion
Middle West Spirits Distillery has its own on-site showcase for its spirits, in the shape of Service Bar. Service Bar is as much as top restaurant as a favorite drinking spot, reguRead more
96% recommended
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Gallerie Bar & Bistro

$$$$·American·
Columbus
530 reviews
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Business Meals
  • Good for a Date
Travelers know that some of the best bars in the world are hotel bars. So, it’s no surprise that this classy affair located inside the Hilton is one of the best bars in Columbus- aRead more
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The Crest Gastropub - Clintonville

$$$$·Gastro Pub·
Clintonville
143 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Casual
More than just a Clintonville favorite, The Crest is a modern and eco-thinking pub with a focus on sustainability and seasonal cuisine. Some food is grown on the roof, and in raiseRead more
93% recommended
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Del Mar

$$$$·Californian·
Columbus
806 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
California comes to Columbus in the shape of the Del Mar SoCal Kitchen. SoCal stands for Southern California, which is the inspiration for the menu here. Diners can watch as their Read more
94% recommended
Hot Spot in Columbus

Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Columbus
94 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Fun
This brew-pub is the spin-off of the famous Hoof Hearted Brewing in Marengo. The cute cartoons from the brewery’s artwork have made it into the bar, and contrast interestingly withRead more
98% recommended
Great for Brunch in Columbus

Forno Kitchen and Bar

$$$$·American·
Short North - Arena District
1,643 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Hot Spot
  • Happy Hour
Forno is a Short North hot spot for pizza, drinks, and weekend brunch. Sit at the long, marble bar and indulge in local craft beer, a superb wine or one of their handcrafted cocktaRead more
98% recommended
Great for Brunch in Columbus
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Matt the Miller's Tavern - Grandview

$$$$·Pub·
Grandview Heights
656 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Good for Birthdays
Back to back booths, pub-style décor and big-screen TVs make Matt the Miller’s Tavern a great bar and restaurant to gather with friends. There’s a sports bar feel but also the welcRead more
92% recommended
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The Avenue - Dublin

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Dublin
1,221 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
Low lit and intimate, the restaurant has a cool 1920s vibe which is only accentuated by the red leather booths. Right on the fast-developing Grandview Avenue, this Steak Tavern is Read more
96% recommended
Special Occasion in Columbus
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Hofbrauhaus Columbus

$$$$·German·
Columbus
698 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Good for Groups
  • Fun
Influenced by German beer halls, Hofbrauhaus as a concept is a large, gathering space for friends to eat, drink, and become a community together. Long tables allow many groups to sRead more
96% recommended
Good for Groups in Columbus

The Pearl

$$$$·Gastro Pub·
Short North - Arena District
4,281 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
Short North is home to many great eating and drinking spots. Not too many of them, however, claim to be a restaurant, tavern and oyster room all at the same time. The Pearl has an Read more
97% recommended
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SideBar Columbus

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Columbus
652 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
Is there anything more social than sharing a few beers and some tapas? Small plates are the perfect food for passing around the table- and sparking conversation. Downtown’s SidebarRead more
95% recommended
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Veritas Tavern

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Delaware
292 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
Nationally recognized as one of the best bars in Columbus, Veritas is the Uptown place to be. Diners can lose themselves in the exquisite tasting menu, once of the very first in thRead more
96% recommended
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Gallos Tap Room Llc

$$$$·Grill·
Clintonville
Bars are for fun, and Gallo’s in Bethel certainly promises that. Multiple screens keep drinkers updated with the latest sports action, plus there’s darts, pool, and even arcade gamRead more
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