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Discover the Best New Restaurants in Columbus

A photo of Red logo
by The OpenTable Team
Updated 23 October 2019

As the capital of Ohio and one of the biggest cities in the Midwest, it should come as no surprise that Columbus has a superb dining and drinking scene. At the best new restaurants in Columbus, world-class chefs embrace the region's great agricultural bounty, nod to the Midwest's enduring love of hearty comfort food and make their own marks on the dining scene. But where do the savviest foodies in Columbus go when they want to dine somewhere new? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We studied data covering thousands of restaurants to determine the best of them all according to OpenTable's most experienced eaters. The following 20 restaurants, mostly in the cultural hubs of downtown Columbus and the Short North Arts District, represent the newest and most impressive of them all. Why not book a table today at one of the best new restaurants in Columbus?

A photo of Fireproof Restaurant restaurant
4.3
4.3 (1481)
$30 and under
Tapas / Small Plates
Short North - Arena District

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

About the restaurant
Fireproof Restaurant and Lounge opened in the summer of 2019 in a historic Short North Arts District venue. It immediately generated buzz as one of the best new restaurants in Columbus. The concept emphasizes small plates, top-notch cocktails and wines, and a lively, convivial atmosphere. Dozens of shareable plates feature on the dinner menu along with a couple of large-format options: a whole fried chicken and a 33-ounce wagyu tomahawk. Small plates range from snacks like warm marinated olives and spiced, roasted nuts to more substantial fare such as grilled Spanish octopus and guajillo-braised Duroc pork shank. Expect arrays of traditional Spanish tapas along with some Latin and pan-Asian fusion creations.
Top review
CodyL
Dined 4 days ago
A tried and true tapas restaurant with delicious food and great portions. Excellent service as well! (5 star treatment!)
A photo of South Village Grille restaurant
4.8
4.8 (876)
$30 and under
American
German Village

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

About the restaurant
South Village Grille is one of the best new restaurants in Columbus thanks to its straightforward concept of presenting top-notch new American cuisine in a pleasantly chic space. The décor adds pops of greenery, raw wood and brass accents to a background of gray tones. It’s a refined look that complements the restaurant’s upscale-casual atmosphere. Craft cocktails, a lengthy wine list and creative seasonal menus (lunch, dinner and weekend brunch) fit such a vibe. Standout dishes from chef Josh Wiest include the sweet heat pizza with sriracha honey sauce, Korean sausage, kimchi and shishitos, and a tomahawk pork chop with pimento cheese grits, braised collard greens and maple Tabasco gastrique. The restaurant also offers a full sushi menu, plus daily specials such as oyster Mondays and wine Wednesdays.
Top review
Jamie
Dined 5 days ago
We had dinner for my sister's Birthday and Jennifer was our server. She was absolutely fantastic. She greeted us promptly, was very friendly, and knowledgeable. We had a short time window before we had to go to a show and she ensured everything went smoothly. The cocktails were on point and all of our food was very good. I definitely want to go back again and try the sushi selection. It's very refreshing to go to a restaurant and get a good experience. It's tough to come by these days. Nice job, South Village Grill!
A photo of SoCal Kitchen + Bar restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2101)
$31 to $50
Californian
Columbus

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

About the restaurant
Bringing the flavors and sunny vibe of Southern California to Columbus, Del Mar SoCal Kitchen specializes in fresh seafood and has a fitting nautical theme. The bright and lively venue includes an open kitchen and rooftop lounge. Raw bar offerings feature on the dinner and brunch menus, among them a daily selection of oysters, salmon or tuna poke and peeky toe crab. Other options include handhelds and full plates of crispy skate, halibut and swordfish. Non-seafood items including an Angus ribeye and brick chicken feature too, as well as ample salads and light bites.
Top review
Catty
Dined 2 days ago
We had a wonderful time celebrating two birthdays. They provided complementary birthday desserts for the birthday honorees. We got there right before happy hour ended. The happy hour is a great value and is served all over the restaurant. The food was hot, fresh and very tasty. SoCal will definitely be put in our happy hour rotation. The only downside is the parking.
A photo of SOW Plated restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1321)
$30 and under
Fusion / Eclectic
Upper Arlington

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

About the restaurant
As soon as it opened in 2019, SOW Plated was recognized as one of the best new restaurants in Columbus for wellness-minded foodies. Its concept embraces seasonal, sustainable and organic local produce, from-scratch cooking and plant-based cuisine. Select meat and seafood dishes feature on its brunch and dinner menus, while vegetarian and vegan dishes get equal attention. Exemplary items include roasted Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and gremolata, sustainable fish of the day with asparagus, mushrooms, Swiss chard and a garlic umami sauce, and a Mediterranean bowl with roasted vegetables, olives and pesto over ancient grains. Cocktails made with cold-pressed juices are another SOW signature.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Great food. Everything that we had was phenomenal. Our server was very tentative. Food prices are average. Compare price to the quality of food, this is the go-to place to have a meal
A photo of Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen restaurant
4.5
4.5 (228)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Columbus

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

About the restaurant
The major draw to Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen in Columbus is a dozen craft beers on tap. Expect a lineup of curiously named brews like “Who’d Like To Hold My Clipboard” and “Musk of the Minotour” available as pints, flights and crowlers. The unique brewery also ventures into house-roasted coffee, organizes a running club and hosts a seasonal on-site swimming pool. Almost incidentally, they do some great food as well. Augment choice beers with such unexpected appetizers as Bayou Bitez (tempura fried alligator), caviar-topped nachos with truffle chips, and baked brie topped with dark cherry and peach jam. Bigger bites include fish and chips, surf and turf, burgers and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with grilled pineapple and cheddar.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on 11 Feb 2024
Our server was amazing, all the food was good, the wings had a little too much sauce on them but were still good
A photo of Bristol Republic restaurant
4.5
4.5 (549)
$30 and under
Barbecue
Columbus

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

About the restaurant
Bristol Republic, which opened in Short North in the spring of 2019, combines a country music venue, whiskey bar and barbecue restaurant. Adding to the honky tonk theme is a venue decked out with cowboy hats, guitars, cowhide upholstery and a few choice taxidermy displays. Visit Thursday through Sunday to catch live music, on weekends for the city’s only live music brunch, or seven days a week for a fantastic barbecue dinner. Bristol Republic smokes all its meats in house, among them 18-hour brisket, hot links from a local butcher, Texas-style spare ribs and hickory-smoked wings with a choice of seasoning and sauce. There’s a “try it all y’all” option with meats to feed two to three plus sides, cornbread muffins, pickles and coleslaw. Sandwiches, burgers, fried chicken and shareables round out the menu.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
The food was absolutely amazing, and the cocktails were very tasty. The service was hands down the best I have had in a long time.
A photo of Z Cucina di Spirito Dublin restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1590)
$30 and under
Italian
Dublin

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

About the restaurant
The new Dublin venue of Z Cucina di Spirito joins the original in Grandview in offering locals and visitors remarkable Italian cuisine in an upscale setting. The restaurant’s signature is seasonal, from-scratch small plates, pasta dishes and entrees alongside a thoughtful wine list. All the fresh pastas, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, charcuterie, breads and desserts are hand-made in house. Italian classics and original creations share space on the dinner menu. Some of the most intriguing among them are a starter of house-made burrata with butternut fries, a grilled pizza with prosciutto and roasted grapes, a lobster carbonara with squid ink fettucine, and braised short ribs with smashed gigande beans. Don’t miss the tiramisu (or butterscotch panna cotta, or s’mores cheesecake…) for dessert.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on 14 Feb 2024
Made a reservation for valentines and was greeted with amazing customer service from the time we walked through the door to finishing our meal .Definitely recommend
A photo of Fado Pub & Kitchen restaurant
4.6
4.6 (628)
$30 and under
Unspecified
Dublin

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

About the restaurant
Fado Pub and Kitchen in Dublin is a contemporary take on an Irish pub with some seriously good food to go with its pints. While the culinary inspiration is from Europe, the kitchen uses local meats and produce from Ohio whenever possible, as well as featuring local beers on draft. The all-day menu is lengthy and intriguing, bringing together casual classics like wings, Bavarian pretzels and a signature Reuben sandwich with original creations and Irish-inspired fare. Among the latter are a shepherd’s pie and lamb shank pie, colcannon among the sides, and for dessert a Guinness brownie sundae.
Top review
buddy14
Dined 3 days ago
A spacious place for lunch where our 2 special needs grandchildren could enjoy their meal in a relaxed environment where no one was rushed. The food was fantastic. Our server was very accommodating and accessible.
A photo of Service Bar restaurant
4.6
4.6 (594)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Short North - Arena District

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

About the restaurant
A hip eatery and craft distillery in Short North, Service Bar is one of the best new restaurants in Columbus for both drinking and dining. Imaginative, hand-crafted cocktails showcase Middle West Spirits distillery, the parent company of Service Bar. Consider the “Toastyyyy!” with wheat whiskey and chili-infused Swedish punsch, or the “Long Gin Drink” with pineapple liqueur and sparkling sake. The tightly edited dinner menu also embraces complex combinations. Examples include the red cabbage Caesar with tahini, puffed grains and miso, and the Rachel sandwich with kimchi over Montreal-smoked pastrami. Also consider the whole chicken service, a tandoori roasted crown plus Bengali fried chicken with caramelized onion sourdough naan among other sides.
Top review
Max67vip
Dined 7 days ago
Food was excellent. Server did everything to make the evening right. My wife ordered a vegetable entree. It was very good, but there should be some other things on the plate. It would be better both aesthetically and just a bit more food. We did enjoy our evening, which was done very well considering it was Valentines Day.
A photo of Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse - Columbus restaurant
4.9
4.9 (4609)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
Short North - Arena District

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

About the restaurant
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse embraces the characteristic opulence and special occasion vibe of an old-school fine dining establishment. Ruby red velvet booths, white tablecloths and shiny dark wood furnishings under chandeliers lend a timeless feel to the upscale steakhouse, as does its menu focused on prime steaks and seafood. Expect nostalgic menu items such as oyster Rockefeller, steak Diane and lobster thermidor along with 10 exclusive steak cuts. The steakhouse also offers a full sushi menu, raw bar and top-notch wine list. Note that Columbus hosts the newest of five award-winning Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouses nationwide.
Top review
ChrisN
Dined 3 days ago
One of the best resturant experiences I've ever had in my life and by far the best in Ohio.
A photo of Good Night John Boy restaurant
4.2
4.2 (195)
$30 and under
American
Short North - Arena District

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

About the restaurant
Live fire cooking and shareables are the signatures of SeeSaw, a chic and shiny 200-plus-seat newcomer to Short North. With award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer behind the scenes, SeeSaw quickly made its mark among the best new restaurants in Columbus upon its mid-2019 opening. Sawyer oversees a kitchen fitted with custom grill suites fired by wood and charcoal, tools put to good use adding smoke and sear to meats, seafood and vegetables alike. Wood-fired items are highlighted on the dinner menu, among them a shared plate of grilled broccoli rabe and broccolini, an Ohio grass fed burger and brick chicken, half a boneless bird with mashed potato. Before or after a meal, be sure to spend some time on SeeSaw’s rooftop bar.
Top review
Goldyprincessvip
Dined on 11 Nov 2023
We went for brunch and loved the atmosphere and our server was wonderful. The only thing that was as odd is that the coffee pot was broken and they didn’t have coffee available for brunch at 11am? The music was a bit loud to hear over and would have been more appropriate later in the day. Overall loved the food and experience. We look forward to going back again!
A photo of Vine + Forge Restaurant & Lounge restaurant
3.2
3.2 (47)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Columbus

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

About the restaurant
Vine + Forge, which opened in Columbus in the fall of 2019, emphasizes world-class wines and hand-crafted cocktails as much as its also-excellent cuisine. It features Ohio beers on draft as well, making the venue a major draw for visitors and locals who consider great drinks to be a vital part of any dining experience. Chef Angela Allison creates menus to accompany those drinks, taking inspiration from Ohio’s agricultural heritage. Examples include flat breads, charcuterie and hummus boards ideal for sharing. Vine + Forge occupies a stylish, modern space on the ground floor of downtown’s Crowne Plaza hotel.
Top review
REBECCACvip
Dined on 13 Jan 2024
Extremely crowded and was understaffed. Food was delicious and venue is conveniently in the lobby of the hotel.
A photo of ROOH Columbus restaurant
4.8
4.8 (843)
$31 to $50
Indian
Short North - Arena District

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

About the restaurant
ROOH, a contemporary Indian restaurant with sister venues in San Francisco and Chicago, is a remarkable newcomer to Columbus. Executive chef and founder Sujan Sarkar worked at some of the most acclaimed restaurants in London before launching his own brand. Sarkar’s signature is putting a modern, eclectic spin on ancient Indian culinary traditions. Expect ample small plates showcasing seasonal produce, perhaps beetroot murabba (beatroot and peanut croquettes) with plum chutney and goat cheese, and avocado and edamame papdi chat with green mango and sunchoke crisp. Large plates might include traditional butter chicken, anchari monkfish and lamb shank nihari, along with several vegan and vegetarian options.
Top review
KalyaniS
Dined 4 days ago
Amazing food!!! Wish you had a location in Cleveland!
A photo of Ruth's Chris Steak House - Columbus restaurant
4.0
4 (1078)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
Columbus

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

About the restaurant
After a hiatus of more than three years, Ruth’s Chris, one of the most popular and largest steakhouse chains in the United States, returned to Columbus in the fall of 2019. The large new location, a historic former hotel in the Short North Arts District, features unique touches including works by local artists in the entryway and Buckeyes memorabilia. The restaurant is open seven days a week for happy hour and dinner. Columbus diners can once again enjoy Ruth’s Chris’ signature prime steaks served sizzling in butter, as well as a comprehensive array of family-style sides, seafood entrees, appetizers, salads and desserts.
Top review
MauriceK
Dined 3 days ago
Our dinner at Ruth Cris’s was outstanding! The steaks were cooked perfectly, and our server was friendly & attentive to our needs. My only suggestions would be to open the doors a few minutes earlier, as our reservation was for 4:00 pm when the restaurant opens…we were coming from Dublin, and not sure how long it would take to reach the restaurant, and arrived 20 minutes early, which forced us to have to wait in the Winter cold. Maybe the bar could be opened 15 minutes earlier so that diners could be warm while waiting for their table. Another suggestion would be to give diners a small seafood fork; I had the petite filet & lobster tail, and it was difficult to get the lobster meat with a dinner fork.
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