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The Best Bars for Foodies in Columbus

From the student population of Ohio State University to thirsty tourists, Columbus has no shortage of people looking for a great place to drink. Thankfully, Columbus also has no shortage of amazing bars, from live music joints to chilled-out lounges. But where are the best bars in Columbus? Welcome to our Tastemaker List bar edition. Our expert team have tried and tested the top drinking spots in the city and whittled them down to a list of “must-try” venues. From High Street Honey to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite, Death in the Afternoon, cocktails are a must in Columbus. It comes as no surprise that in such a foodie city, plenty of these concoctions come alongside small plates worthy of big restaurants. Enjoy olives in Italian Village, sweet stuff in Short North or burgers washed down with craft beer down High Street. Book now and reserve a comfy seat at one of the best bars in Columbus tonight.

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The OpenTable Team
10 Restaurants
Updated 26 February 2020
Restaurants:Fireproof Restaurant, Bristol Republic, 1808 American Bistro
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Cocktail Bar, Barbecue, American
Neighborhoods:Short North - Arena District, Columbus, Delaware
A photo of Fireproof Restaurant restaurant

Fireproof Restaurant

$$$$
Cocktail Bar
Short North - Arena District
4.6
1394 reviews
Fireproof’s owners designed it to be a one-stop destination where guests can enjoy a great meal, then finish off their night working through the cocktail menu at the bar. The food focuses on tapas separated out into snacks, soups and salad, meat, seafood and veggies. Customers come back time and again for treats like the octopus in orangecello vinaigrette, and the Hamachi tacos. Enjoy the chic surroundings whilst finishing off with a prickly pear margarita; plenty of new flavors to experience at Fireproof.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Bristol Republic restaurant

Bristol Republic

$$$$
Barbecue
Columbus
4.5
433 reviews
An after-work favorite, Bristol Republic is a Nashville-inspired bar with an eye-watering range of whiskey and bourbon. Sundays are for BBQ buffet, and with the Nashville theme going strong, expect competition level ribs, wings and pulled pork. Drinks wise, for those not tempted by the hundred or more whiskeys, there are plenty of signature cocktails plus draft beer and cider. Join them at the weekends for Live Music Brunch, an event not found anywhere else.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of 1808 American Bistro restaurant

1808 American Bistro

$$$$
American
Delaware
4.6
1640 reviews
Head out to Delaware for the day and book a table at 1808, a bright and warm restaurant redolent in wood and bare brick. There's a huge beer selection, complemented by unusual additions like mead, plus a three-category whiskey menu. Food here is all about combining the classics with local, seasonal ingredients. Enjoy melt-in-the-mouth beef carpaccio followed by wild-caught shrimp and grits, then finish off with a unique Boozy Popsicle. A huge hit in the Delaware dining scene.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Service Bar restaurant

Service Bar

$$$$
Contemporary American
Short North - Arena District
4.2
503 reviews
Middle West Spirits Distillery has its own on-site showcase for its spirits, in the shape of Service Bar. Service Bar is as much as top restaurant as a favorite drinking spot, regularly appearing at the top of “best of” lists. A bustling and vibrant atmosphere is the backdrop for some astonishingly good looking dishes. Cheese & Poof is their take on pork rinds, under a tower of puffed pork skin. "Rachel" is their unique twist on Pastrami on Rye, with a touch of Kimchi. The restaurant's website encourages diners to follow Service Bar on Instagram to discover what the chef’s specials are- thoroughly embracing the digital generation. Booking recommended.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Crest restaurant

The Crest

$$$$
American
Columbus
4.4
229 reviews
More than just a Clintonville favorite, The Crest is a modern and eco-thinking pub with a focus on sustainability and seasonal cuisine. Some food is grown on the roof, and in raised beds in the restaurants garden. Everything else comes from local farmers and producers. These mindful ingredients appear in dishes like a grain salad, the spring pot pie, and the house burger with pickled onions and batata harra fries. Putting the “pub” into “Gastropub”, there’s an exciting cocktail menu and a select wine list, plus plenty of non-alcoholic options too.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Del Mar SoCal Kitchen restaurant

Del Mar SoCal Kitchen

$$$$
Californian
Columbus
4.7
1716 reviews
California comes to Columbus in the shape of the Del Mar SoCal Kitchen. SoCal stands for Southern California, which is the inspiration for the menu here. Diners can watch as their food comes together in the open kitchen, or sit and enjoy premium cocktails at the bar. Happy hour includes plenty of drinks offers, plus a huge selection of dishes including octopus, shrimp ceviche, and tuna poke. Good vibes, served daily.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen restaurant

Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen

$$$$
Contemporary American
Columbus
4.4
179 reviews
This brew-pub is the spin-off of the famous Hoof Hearted Brewing in Marengo. The cute cartoons from the brewery’s artwork have made it into the bar, and contrast interestingly with what is otherwise a sleek and sophisticated looking space. As one would expect, there are always plenty of beers on offer here, from dark stouts to double IPA. A popular spot for brunch, diners can expect the usual suspects but done extremely well, including shrimp & grits, breakfast burritos, and biscuits and cream. Comfort food and beer, the best things in life.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Forno Kitchen and Bar restaurant

Forno Kitchen and Bar

$$$$
American
Short North - Arena District
4.8
2339 reviews
Forno is a Short North hot spot for pizza, drinks, and weekend brunch. Sit at the long, marble bar and indulge in local craft beer, a superb wine or one of their handcrafted cocktails. Dinner is all about contemporary cuisine finished to perfection in a stone-fired oven. As well as the signature pizzas, dishes include baked lobster rotini, salmon with red pepper coulis, and eggplant parmesan. Soak up last night’s alcohol with a hearty brunch of biscuits and gravy or the breakfast BLT. Elegant décor with a fun menu makes this one of the best bars in Columbus.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Avenue - Dublin restaurant

The Avenue - Dublin

$$$$
Steakhouse
Dublin
4.7
2732 reviews
Low lit and intimate, the restaurant has a cool 1920s vibe which is only accentuated by the red leather booths. Right on the fast-developing Grandview Avenue, this Steak Tavern is fast becoming the place to be. Valet parking is available at certain times, and the service is excellent. Enjoy a classic shrimp cocktail, followed by a hot chicken biscuit, or an 8oz top sirloin. Then relax at the bar and discover pre-prohibition cocktail recipes, reconstructed as faithfully as possible. A classy yet relaxed night out.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Pearl - Short North restaurant

The Pearl - Short North

$$$$
Gastro Pub
Short North - Arena District
4.8
5168 reviews
Short North is home to many great eating and drinking spots. Not too many of them, however, claim to be a restaurant, tavern and oyster room all at the same time. The Pearl has an extensive drinks list including ales, lagers, stouts, wines, and unique cocktails. They focus on food for people who love to eat, from people who love to cook. Brunch is a laid back yet flavorful affair, with two types of Bloody Mary, rollmops, bacon-wrapped dates, oysters in the shell and, of course, amazing Eggs Benedict.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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