The Best Cheap Eats in Columbus

The growing city of Columbus, Ohio, is one of fastest-rising cities in America; featuring a thriving college community, an expanding economy, and an exciting cultural and culinary scene, Columbus is a place to go to and a spot to be in. The best cheap eats in Columbus provide an inexpensive and delicious flavor to the city, feeding the locals and visitors with a potent combination of delicious Midwest style and diverse tastes. But where are the city's in-the-know diners headed out to when they're looking for some cheap eats in Columbus? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. Here, we've put together a list of the best, most inexpensive places to eat in the city. From local pubs and taverns to get a good meal and watch the Buckeyes or Blue Jackets to downtown favorites, the best cheap eats in Columbus have something for everyone. Grab a table tonight and enjoy!

The OpenTable Team
Restaurants:Rusty Bucket - Bexley, Fireproof Restaurant & Lounge, Rusty Bucket - Westerville
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American, Tapas / Small Plates
Neighborhoods:Bexley, Short North - Arena District, Columbus
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

Rusty Bucket - Bexley

$$$$·American·
Bexley
116 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch

The comfortable sports bar chain called the Rusty Bucket features some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. The Bexley installment of this pub delivers a fine, fun time perfect for some sports-watching...

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Great for Lunch in Columbus

Fireproof Restaurant & Lounge

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Short North - Arena District
791 reviews
  • Good for Groups
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

Right in the heart of the Italian Village in Columbus, Fireproof provides some of the best cheap eats in the region. Fireproof is a stylish, elegant tapas restaurant and wine lounge. Seafood is one of...

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Good for Groups in Columbus
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Rusty Bucket - Westerville

$$$$·American·
Columbus
257 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Kid-friendly

The Westerville location of this venerable local chain features some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. Head out to the Rusty Bucket for the big game and a great time out. The daily “Blue Plate” spec...

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Kid Friendly in Columbus

Rusty Bucket - New Albany

$$$$·American·
New Albany
189 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Lunch

Head out to New Albany for one of the finest outlets of the Ohio-favorite Rusty Bucket neighborhood pub. This fun and lively pub chain is full of hearty food and drink and offers some of the top cheap...

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Rusty Bucket - Dublin

$$$$·American·
Dublin
181 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Great for Lunch
  • Kid-friendly

Trek to Dublin to find some of the best cheap eats in Columbus at the local Rusty Bucket restaurant. The Rusty Bucket is an exciting, friendly spot that's the perfect option for a beer and a burger du...

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Rusty Bucket - Easton

$$$$·American·
Easton
150 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Late-night Find

The Easton outpost of the local Ohio chain called the Rusty Bucket is a fun and lively spot full of great beer and excellent food. Grab one of the many fantastic local beers on tap with dinner. Try th...

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bd's Mongolian Grill – Arena

$$$$·Asian·
Short North - Arena District
179 reviews
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Lunch
  • Kid-friendly

Right in the heart of the Columbus arena district, BD's Mongolian Grill is an excellent spot for a hearty meal before or after an event downtown. Head in for the fabled create-your-own stir fry meal a...

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Houlihan's - Upper Arlington

$$$$·American·
Upper Arlington
584 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date

Trek out to the Kingsdale Shopping Center for a relaxed, casual dining experience and some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. The vast and varied dinner menu includes favorites like Sedona shrimp pas...

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BRU Burger Bar - Westerville

$$$$·Burgers·
Westerville
282 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch
  • Casual

The Bru Burger Bar in Westerville offers some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. The creative menu features plenty of hearty burgers for all tastes. Try the traditional patty melt, with Thousand Isla...

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Good for Groups in Columbus
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Bravo Italian Kitchen - Columbus - Bethel Road

$$$$·Italian·
Northwest Columbus
821 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for a Date

This authentic Italian space in the middle of Columbus offers plenty of great cheap eats and great times for visitors. Head in for lunch to try the crispy calamari, organic chicken meatballs, and peco...

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Great for Lunch in Columbus

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse - Polaris

$$$$·American·
Polaris
153 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Lunch

The Columbus Polaris Fashion Place is the spot for BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. This fun, lively restaurant features an expansive menu full of hearty dishes and craft beers. Try the BJ's Oktoberfest...

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Cap City Fine Diner & Bar - Gahanna

$$$$·American·
Gahanna
2,908 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Lunch

This modern twist on the classic diner has a menu full of hearty favorites and some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. Try the blue cheese potato chips with alfredo sauce or the hour and sour calamar...

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Fado Pub & Kitchen

$$$$·European·
Dublin
382 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Lunch

A welcoming, intimate Irish pub in Easton Town Center, the Fado Irish pub is the spot for some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. Head in early in the morning on the weekends to watch some European s...

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Good for Groups in Columbus

Hang Over Easy

$$$$·American·
Columbus

This Columbus favorite has the slogan of “breakfast cures all.” It's the place to go for a restoring, hearty meal after a night out on the town. This cheap eats in Columbus destination offers a menu f...

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Little Palace

$$$$·Greek·
Columbus

Take a trip back in time to classic Americana at Little Palace, one of the best cheap eats places in Columbus. Little Palace's decor is straight out of 1950s and 1960s kitsch, and the spot is always l...

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Hubbard Grille

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Columbus
1,070 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for Groups

A stylish spot in the heart of Columbus, this refined restaurant in a historic building is a cheap eats destination for locals and visitors. Head in for the Grille's acclaimed $5 happy hour menu for a...

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Lemongrass Fusion Bistro

$$$$·Asian·
Short North - Arena District
1,052 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

This hip and trendy downtown Columbus bar is a happening High Street destination. It also features some of the best cheap eats in Columbus. Stop in for the Lemongrass happy hour for a special menu of ...

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Thurman Cafe

$$$$·American·
German Village

A longtime Columbus favorite, this cheap eats destination boasts a menu full of oversized burgers. Before the famous burgers, be sure to grab a Thurman's appetizer. Highlights include fried jalapeno “...

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