The Best Cheap Eats in Columbus

The OpenTable Team

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!

Restaurants:Rusty Bucket - Bexley, Fireproof Restaurant & Lounge, Rusty Bucket - Westerville
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American, Tapas / Small Plates
Neighborhoods:Bexley, Short North - Arena District, Columbus

Rusty Bucket - Bexley

$$$$·American·
Bexley
87 reviews
  • Casual
  • Kid-friendly
  • Bar Seating
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 Read more
100% recommended
Kid Friendly in Columbus

Fireproof Restaurant & Lounge

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Short North - Arena District
378 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Hot Spot
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 loungRead more
88% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Columbus
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Rusty Bucket - Westerville

$$$$·American·
Columbus
175 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Comfort Food
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 daiRead more
98% recommended
Great for Lunch in Columbus

Rusty Bucket - New Albany

$$$$·American·
New Albany
123 reviews
  • Casual
  • Comfort Food
  • Neighborhood Gem
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 sRead more
98% recommended
Best Service in Columbus

Rusty Bucket - Dublin

$$$$·American·
Dublin
99 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Comfort Food
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 Read more
98% recommended
Kid Friendly in Columbus

Rusty Bucket - Easton

$$$$·American·
Easton
104 reviews
  • Casual
  • Happy Hour
  • Good for Birthdays
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 tapRead more
93% recommended

bd's Mongolian Grill – Arena

$$$$·Asian·
Short North - Arena District
180 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Worth the Drive
  • Good for Birthdays
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-yourRead more
91% recommended
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Houlihan's - Upper Arlington

$$$$·American·
Upper Arlington
385 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Casual
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 liRead more
99% recommended
Great for Lunch in Columbus

BRU Burger Bar - Westerville

$$$$·Burgers·
Westerville
198 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Comfort Food
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 meltRead more
92% recommended

Bravo Italian Kitchen - Columbus - Bethel Road

$$$$·Italian·
Northwest Columbus
760 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Special Occasion
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 chickenRead more
90% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Columbus

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse - Polaris

$$$$·American·
Polaris
139 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Comfort Food
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 Read more
88% recommended
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Cap City Fine Diner & Bar - Gahanna

$$$$·American·
Gahanna
2,568 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
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 hRead more
96% recommended
American in Columbus

Fado Pub & Kitchen

$$$$·European·
Dublin
247 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
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 wRead more
92% recommended
Scenic View 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 destinaRead more
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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 Read more
Not available on OpenTable
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Hubbard Grille

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Columbus
926 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
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 hRead more
93% recommended
Contemporary American in Columbus

Lemongrass Fusion Bistro

$$$$·Asian·
Short North - Arena District
1,068 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Bar Seating
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 foRead more
Healthy in Columbus

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 inclRead more
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