Balboa

4.4
128 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian

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About

Balboa is a Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Columbus, known for it's fresh juice margaritas, giant patio, and the best tacos in town.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Californian, Mexican / Southwestern, Mexican
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Wed–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Brunch
Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Mon, Tue 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
Wed, Thu 3:00 pm–11:00 pm
Fri, Sat 3:00 pm–12:00 am
Sun 3:00 pm–10:00 pm
Happy Hour
Mon–Fri 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
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Phone number
(614) 745-1201
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Eddie Loyola
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Our parking is limited.
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Public transit
The closest COTA stop's are the following: #3658, #7122, #2916, #2938, #2939, #2915, #2868, #7409
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Special events & promotions
We love hosting special events and fundraisers that benefit our community! Please contact us with more details at balboagrandview@gmail.com
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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What 128 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Poor service. Didn’t see a waiter for 30 minutes after ordering drinks

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E
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great drinks! Tacos were delicious

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PO
Columbus
23 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful as always

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OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4food 1service 3ambience 4

I have been to balboa a ton of times. This time the food was horrible. I was taking a friend for taco Tuesday and raved about how good the tacos were, but this time they were just bad overall. All our food was cold, even the meat on our tacos! Very disappointed :/

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BA
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

I really wanted to like this place. Nice location and outdoor patio on busy Grandview Ave. Unfortunately, the food was super disappointing. My husband and I both ordered the chopped salad with a lime/ginger vinaigrette. It was tasteless. (we asked for extra dressing ---- that didn't help) The protein (chicken) was similarly tasteless. (no grilled taste, or even the hint of seasonings) My daughter was with the chicken tortilla soup as well. We are not food snobs at all.... but will not be returning to Balboa any time soon.

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PO
Columbus
23 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a OUTSTANDING place.
I hope our future visits are as good.

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AK
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our time here! Gorgeous weather and patio seating on a late summer evening. Food was great!

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RW
Columbus
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

First visit to Balboa last Friday night. Food was tasteless. I cannot imagine returning.

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MD
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was great. The dining area was clean. It was a good atmosphere. I had the barbacoa bowl. It was okay. I probably won't order it again. I do plan to return to try some other menu items.

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OT
Columbus
16 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Tied it. Won't go back. The server was very ambivalent and seemed bothered that we were there. The food was average. With all of the options Columbus has to offer in this space this is a failure.

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M
Columbus
15 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had tried to go to Balboa shortly after it opened with a group of friends, but it was slammed and the wait was long. Since then I'd been hesitant to go, because I value convenience. However, this Friday I was able to get out of work a little early and managed to get a happy hour patio seat around 4:30. Let me tell you, I was hugely surprised by the quality of the food. The meat on the tacos was super high quality and they really pile it on. I got an order of tacos - pork belly, carnitas, and barbacoa - and I would definitely recommend all three, though the pork belly was my favorite. I thought the price was reasonable, and the service was actually excellent. We never had an empty drink :) overall would highly recommend, it's my new favorite taco place in cbus!

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LM
Columbus
12 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

McKenzie our server was disinterested, never came to offer refills. Stated I don't know beer so I can't help as her initial contact. Overall a long wait for food despite being there at 5:30 on a week night. Brisket tender but no flavor, desert was dry and not really edible. Shrimp enchilada was delicious though.

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M
Columbus
38 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Balboa was a nice new find and addition to Grandview. The service was terrific and we both loved the food. BTW, best margaritas I have ever had but be sure to get them on the rocks.
A+

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RI
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Sat by the kitchen and was able to watch some cooking. There was a female cooking and not wearing gloves. Watched her use her bare hands to hand ready to eat food. Also watch a young male come out of the kitchen and go into the bathroom with gloves on and come back out of the bathroom still wearing the same gloves and go right back to work touching food without changing them. Told the manager and a few minutes later seen the female cook using her bare hand again touching ready to eat food. Management and staff need to learn proper hand washer and food handling procedures.

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JF
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

This was my 5th or 6th visit to this restaurant. Wet weather prevented us from sitting on the patio which was our intention, however it did result in lower occupancy level in the dining area and a lower noise level too.

As always, the food was on point, with my companions opting for taco trios and I elected to have the flautas, which were filled with carnitas on this occasion.

The bar service was excellent, with our cocktails made to a high standard.

The high point of the visit was the excellent service we received from our server, Carly. She was attentive and engaging and ensured we made informed selections from the menu and due to the low diner turnout because of the inclement weather, she spent extra time visiting with us and made the evening much more enjoyable as a result. Unfortunately, she will be departing the area soon to attend graduate school, but we wish her well in her future endeavors. Hopefully Balboa can find more servers like her.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

A little pricey but good atmosphere

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T
Columbus
26 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was really great. The pork belly tacos were amazing.

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OT
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great patio deck!

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RO
Columbus
9 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A fun place with great cocktails and good food. The music was a bit too loud, but some people like that more than I do. Worth a try if you haven't been.

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P
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Excellent drinks, Great patio, Average food. I got the chicken enchiladas, which came with black beans and rice. It was well plated and looked far better than it tasted. The meal was not particularly authentic in taste nor adequately seasoned. That is not to say that it was awful either - I did eat it all. The server was friendly but not very attentive.

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F
Columbus
49 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been to Balboa twice, and both times have been good dining experiences. The food was fresh and delicious, and the pitcher of margaritas was the perfect touch. Being able to eat on the patio made it all the better.

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WH
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Balboa is a favorite spot in Columbus. Great outdoor seating area and relaxing environment.

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R
Columbus
21 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great outdoor patio option with amazing service who was very accommodating and went above and beyond! Ambience is amazing and food tasted great! Loved their stuffed avocados and curly fries w toppings
Wi definitely go again

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l
Columbus
20 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Three of us enjoyed a pitcher of Sangria and various bowls. Too many chips. Very attentive service.

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DE
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

It took forever for someone to take our order, then took just as long for our drinks and food to come out. We weren’t in a rush, but it was a lot longer than a usual wait.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Blah....highly okay experience on brunch. Great experience with dinner

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B
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic restaurant with great tasting food and phenomenal service. A must-visit if you’re in the area

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OT
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and environment as always!

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OT
Tucson
4 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 2

This place has amazing food. However the service is a mess. Not once did our waiter bother to take things from our table. And we skipped out on dessert in order not to deal with him. The food was amazing, but the service wasn’t great, rather very inattentive. And the noise level was way too loud to have a basic conversation.

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NS
Columbus
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

It was my first visit. I can't wait to go back!
Best chips, salsa and queso!

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DE
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great, atmosphere was lovely, waitress was nice but somewhat abrupt. Definitely a nice night out.

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C
Nashville
9 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

We’re from Texas and have enjoyed Cali-Mex and Tex-Mex all of our lives so maybe we had pretty high expectations going into the restaurant.
PROS:
The chips themselves were off the hook good, fresh, crispy, and warm!
The Guacamole was fresh and delish!
The barbacoa was fantastic and flavorful!
CONS:
Where were the rest of the spices? The onions pickled with habanero had zero heat. Maybe it’s time to put a fresh habanero in the pickle jar. Go crazy, put 2.
The house salsa tasted like watered down soup.
The queso tasted like warmed velveeta with no rotel.
The chicken tingas had no ting. We both left it on the table.
The margaritas were tasty and I know there had to be tequila somewhere in the room, I just don’t think it made it into the drinks.

If you like cilantro, which my wife does, you won’t mind. If you don’t care for it, stay away.

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EB
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The house Margarita is amazing. Everything that I have had on the menu was delicious.

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OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food and drinks were very fairly priced and yummy

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CA
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was great! Service was fair. It was not very busy on the Sunday we went for brunch and there appeared to be sufficient staffing but they were slow. Was still a good experience and would give it another try.

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AP
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had a good time. The food was good - not amazing but worth the price. They were playing good music so it wasn’t too awkwardly quiet. Margaritas weren’t super strong, which could be a good or bad thing. I’d go back

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BR
Columbus
5 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great little place! Used to be a good sushi spot, now transformed into a southwestern/Tex-mex restaurant. Very reasonably priced, decent selection and excellent service. Excellent cocktails as well! I’m sure we will be back very soon!

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KS
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My friends and I got together to celebrate my birthday at Balboa. It was an amazing time! Good food and great service! Our waitress went out of her way to make sure we had everything we needed! Couldn’t ask for better service.

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SP
Columbus
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent!

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