Great dining destinations can be found everywhere, and in big cities like Columbus, you’re certain to discover unique eats in every neighborhood, around every corner, and tucked into the most unexpected places. Here are 12 spots for creative fine dining in Columbus!
Veritas recently made the move from Delaware to downtown Columbus, making their home in the old Citizens Bank building. You can see into the kitchen through the glass walls, where chefs create picturesque (and delicious) small plates like bacon risotto or mushrooms on toast. Enjoy cocktails in the restaurant or head upstairs to the second bar in the massive bank lobby.
Situated in Middle West Spirits distillery, Service Bar features a beautiful marble bar, creative cocktails (try a flight of Old Fashioned cocktails or the savory Hard Pour Corn), and a menu from chef Avishar Barua that recreates comfort foods like dumplings, pork rinds, wings, and tacos. (Even better, schedule a tour to coincide with your visit!)
The very definition of a hidden gem, Basi can be found down a brick side street in Victorian Village. There you’ll find chef John Dornback and his team hand-making Italian dishes to go with cocktails and a notable wine selection. It’s a cozy spot in the winter, and features a quiet little patio during the warmer months.
The Top Steakhouse
The Top demonstrates that there’s no school like the old school. Visiting for dinner feels like a step back in time, with swanky decorations, cocktails, steaks, and seafood on order.
Trillium Kitchen & Patio
Trillium took over the Old North house that was home to Alana’s for many years, and chef and owner Bradley Balch has renovated the place into a new haven for great food and cocktails. Cozy up for creative comfort foods crafted from local and seasonal ingredients, from duck breast to ahi tuna, lobster ravioli to pork shanks.
A favorite place for old school Italian, La Tavola is a family-run spot in Grandview that features fantastic service. It’s the place for all the favorites: pizzas, gnocchi, fettucine, chicken Parmigiano, risotto, or even good old pasta and meatballs.
Rockmill Tavern is an extension of Rockmill Brewery in Lancaster, a brewery situated in the rolling hills of an old horse farm. The tavern, located in Columbus’ historic Brewery District, recreates that same feel with rough barn wood on the walls and a warm welcome. Dig into chef Andrew Smith’s creations, from his tavern burger to his spicy chicken sandwich, Angus ribeye, and rotating pasta and seafood dishes. It all pairs perfectly with the Belgian-style ales crafted in-house.
Watershed Kitchen & Bar
Watershed Distillery built out their own bar and restaurant last year, bringing in chef Jack Moore to create a menu focused around Midwestern comfort fare: pork rinds, buttermilk fried chicken, short rib, pork chops. True to their nature as a distillery, Watershed also features a rotating list of cocktails created by award-winning mixologist Alex Chien.
Giuseppe’s makes its home in Bexley, and wins fans regularly for their Old World Italian dishes, from braised meatballs to spaghetti alla carbonara, stuffed ravioli, veal marsala, and more. They’re also known for their cocktail service, with a world-class menu that changes with the seasons.
South Village Grille
This new neighborhood eatery has brought upscale cocktails, lunch, brunch, and dinner to German Village. Sit at the bar to enjoy creative bar snacks like oysters, Brussels sprouts, wings, and meatballs, or grab a table to enjoy pizzas, burgers, fried chicken, stuffed trout, short ribs, pastas, and more.
The Guild House
In the heart of Short North, attached to Le Meridien, The Joseph hotel, the Guild House isn’t necessarily an unexpected find, but their breakfast, lunch, and dinner really deserves the love. The seasonal menu draws on local ingredients, and features interesting takes on all the classics: flatbreads, seafood, steaks, pastas, and everything in-between.
The Keep Liquor Bar
The Keep can be found on the mezzanine level of the renovated LeVeque Tower, Columbus’ first skyscraper. The restaurant and cocktail bar brings to life the historic digs, where chef Jonathan Olson and his crew – working in an open kitchen – craft everything from seafood towers to steak tartare to fried whole fish. Don’t miss the luscious desserts (peanut butter ice cream!) or the large whiskey selection.
For more Ohio eats, Find It Here at Ohio.org.