Union Cafe

4.6
497 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Union Cafe is a popular restaurant and bar lounge located in the heart of the Short North. Featuring Columbus' best patio, Union Cafe serves modern American cuisine from 3 chefs. Treat yourself to popularly priced dishes with excellent portions. Union Cafe is also known for having the best drinks in Columbus. Grande sized libations will leave you with a fun time.
A visually arresting interior design complements our terrific service staff. Roam from the covered patio bar to the serpentine archway bar up to the candle light dining and back around to the amber glow dining lounge.
Union Cafe is a full video cafe, so you can enjoy your favorite music videos, sports and more while you dine in style. Popular events include:
SUNDAY Brunch Buffet (Walk-in only after 10a)
MONDAY $10 Pizzas + $1 off pints, $7 Moscow Mules
TEQUILA TUESDAYS free chips + salsa and $5 margaritas
WEDNESDAY $9.99 Strak + Fries
FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR with $5 Happy Hour martinis & appetizers
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Asian, Fusion / Eclectic
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Hours of operation
Breakfast/Brunch:

Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00pm


Lunch:

Daily: 2:00pm - 4:00pm


Dinner:

Daily: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(614) 421-2233
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Benjamin P
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Catering
We have a Modern Catering Menu with items such as Tandoori Chicken Skewers, Meat & Cheese Tray, Dessert Samosas, Southern Pimiento and Lime Spiced Tortilla Chips.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Hull Alley
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Parking details
Public Parking garage located at Hubbard east of High St, less than 1 block away.
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Public transit
COTA Bus #2
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Entertainment
Karaoke Monday nights
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 497 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great happy hour!

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JC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my second time going to Union and both times were for Sunday Brunch. Food is amazing, great music and atmosphere. I plan to go back on other nights to experience all the Union has to offer

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HR
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food itself was very good but the hostess was unaccomodating with reservation changes even though there was no one at the restaurant.

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TC
Columbus
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Love going to Union Cafe for brunch! The food is absolutely amazing! The staff is absolutely amazing!!! Will not going anywhere else for brunch!!

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JC
Columbus
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 4

I love this place they have added some mew items to brunch buffet for the season. The service is always good amd the ambiance is great. The buffet is by far one of the best have attended made it a birthday tradition for me and kids🎂

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CC
Columbus
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great waiter (Edwin) who was sweet and attentive. The food was delicious and I love the friendly crowd at Union.

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T
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, fun atmosphere, and wonderful staff. (And strong drinks...so pace yourself!)

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BW
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Everything was great. I wish we were sat in a nice quieter spot. Not a 2-top right in the middle of the bar. Another thing bothersome is our waitress made us pay right when she dropped off the food because she was off. So I had to go to the bar for many things, Drinks, Salt and Pepper, A1 steak sauce. It wasn’t a great experience.

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CA
Columbus
35 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good bar food. The truffle fries were excellent. Taco salad with mariachi ground beef very good and quite filling. Loud, loud, loud. Not an easy place for conversation. Friendly.

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S
Columbus
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We had a show at 8pm and thought we had plenty of time to eat. After we ordered and waited 40 minutes for appetizers which we never received, someone went to the host stand to ask what was going on. They said it was a one hour ticket time. We ended up cancelling our order and never got any food to eat. What made it even worse, our server came out and said that the manager accidentally voided our whole check so he ad to re-add the drinks as 1 charge for inventory so we have no idea if our actual bill was correct - it seemed high for 6 happy hour drinks, 2 beers and 2 non-happy hour drinks but we had no time to argue anymore. We go here frequently and this was one of the worst restaurant experiences many of us had ever had.

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A
Columbus
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Confirmation and communications were great. Easy to use. Service at Union Cafe was great.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Skylar took such good care of us with a party of 20. Thank you

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SK
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Those waffles are the best I’ve ever had!!! So good!

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

We were visiting for dinner before race day. We wanted some variety but also pasta options. We had a variety of meals including pasta, sandwiches and pizza. All of the meals were really fresh, appealing and delicious! Prices were reasonable. We hope to come back for brunch after our race! Our waiter, Jose, was super helpful with the menu and I even ordered one of his recommendations-the chicken piccata. It was sooo good I wished I had room to eat it all. I’m so happy I found this restaurant!

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OT
Columbus
6 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

The food was great but the service was just ok.

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food... atmosphere and service

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OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our Dinner at Union, Fun upbeat staff catering to every whim. Easy menu to include, Great appetizers and Entrees.

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R
Columbus
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome on ever aspect with the exception of noise. Way to load

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BA
Columbus
5 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Food was good. But they left the patio door open. So all of the smoke from the patio came into the restaurant. It felt like it was the 90s again.

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C
Columbus
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

Food was a 2 1/2 hour wait. Ended up leaving and going elsewhere.

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BM
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The worst service I have ever had, food was so so , the first drink was good but 2nd wasn't mixed right. I don't see myself returning ever to eat there again.

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DR
Columbus
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great time at U! The staff is amazing! Thank you Everyone!

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OT
Columbus
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my nine year old niece, newborn, and mother in law here for the first time for brunch. The food, staff, and ambience was wonderful. My niece loved the “old school” music videos, and my newborn snoozed comfortably since the noise wasn’t too bad while we all ate.

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CK
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently great food. Server was very attentive and friendly.

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j
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I frequent Union at least once a week. More in the summer. The staff is knowledgeable and courteous. The food portions are huge. The cocktails are awesome. My only complaint is; Bring back surf and turf!

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OT
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Slow service but I understand cause of the game. Could’ve been faster with drinks. Waiter was very unsure of our order

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r
Cincinnati
47 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A really great surprise. Last minute pick based on reviews. Outstanding food, service and value. The entire short north is very eclectic and this place is top of the list, but if you're open minded, this is a great find. I wouldn't say it's designed to be a family joint but fits every other mindset.

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c
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun birthday celebration! Jose’ was a great waiter and made sure we had a great first experience dining at Union Cafe. Food was excellent!

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d
Columbus
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We had a party of eight for brunch. Our server Chelsea was great. However, 10 minutes after we'd all settled our checks and were enjoying some current events discussion, the host sent our server back to our table and asked to ask us to give up our table, as other customers were waiting to eat. We weren't too happy with the restaurant after that occurred.

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n
Columbus
10 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was excellent and the drinks were average quality. The service was attentive at first and then once the food came very sparse. It took her 15 minutes to get our checks at the end of the night and then another 15 minutes to run the credit cards. made the dinner longer than it should have been.

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F
Columbus
27 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Union Cafe is fun and fabulous! The food is great, the service is excellent, the menu is good, the music is perfect, and the ambiance is fantastic! I can’t wait to go back!

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HH
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Took my daughter and her girlfriend there for a Birthday celebration. Was fun, staff was great and attentive. Food was good and her special dessert was amazing. They even put a candle in it. The white gummy bear shots are absolutely amazing! It was definitely a drive as we live in Newark, but well worth it! Thank you Jozi, Christian, and the other great staff that made her 30th Birthday so great!! Was a little loud in there for talking, but it was a Friday night, so it was expected.

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JR
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Boyfriend and I took his roommate out for dinner and showtunes. It was busy and we had to wait a bit for a table inside but worth the wait once Showtunes picked up a few hours later

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j
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

It was a perfect Union Sunday night. Friendly wait staff. Show tunes. Chatting with those all around.

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k
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely love Union! Sunday show tunes are the greatest. Always a good time with good food and drinks.

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b
Columbus
54 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was okay

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OT
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was great!

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RB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Having grown up near Columbus & spending years in the city attending OSU, I was shocked to come back to visit friends & Union. Back in the day, before 2000, the Union Cafe was a great video bar ran by business partners Ray & Rajesh. It was a vibrant local bar, laid back but still had a nice character about it. There were longtime bartenders, wait staff was friendly & fun, the whole scene entertaining - easy on the eyes… if you will. Fast forward almost 20 years later, I was happy to see Union as a big bar, restaurant with a great outdoor patio space. Until I walked in that is, I had been warned ahead of time not to eat there, it was a place that locals just went for stiff drinks, & a boozy brunch weekend spot. The place was crowded when we arrived. The reservation team and door staff at the patio greeted us very pleasantly and said there would be a wait, but they could seat us very soon on the patio. I knew I had probably just lost my table being 15minute late, but wasn't worried & truly looking forward to sitting outside. At the bar, drinks were strong & good, large pours just how I remembered the local C-bus scene. However, the actual dining experience was horrible, everyone was right! Don't mix your drink spot with your dinner!? The server was bad, didn't listen to anything we said, just looked at what we pointed for dinner & brought out whatever. He never got the order correct, bringing me a chicken sandwich, & then a breaded buffalo chicken on a plate, instead of a BBQ chicken breast. It was a simple order with simple sides. I just wanted proteins & a salad. The ambience also ridiculous on the patio, people standing all over trying to drink & talk loudly, even though it was still dinner service!? The staff could hardly move around, tables were not at all separated from the bar? The missing seats right by the entry way to the patio, the wooded seats have been removed right off the metal frames? Making room for more people? A very bad look!

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k
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had 18 people for a 30th Birthday celebration and Union went above and beyond to accommodate our group. The service was excellent (loved our waiter) and food was delicious. Portions are huge so I just shared my blue cheese tater tots with the group! Lol

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r
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Sunday Brunch Buffet was amazing!! We had a group of girls after a bachelorette and it was perfect.

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