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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
8 Restaurants
Updated February 26, 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
4.7
1219 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
4.6
396 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?

A photo of 1808 American Bistro restaurant

1808 American Bistro

$$$$
American
Delaware
4.5
1579 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 Del Mar SoCal Kitchen restaurant

Del Mar SoCal Kitchen

$$$$
Californian
Columbus
4.7
1542 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 Forno Kitchen and Bar restaurant

Forno Kitchen and Bar

$$$$
American
Short North - Arena District
4.8
2220 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
4.8
2414 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 Hofbrauhaus Columbus restaurant

Hofbrauhaus Columbus

$$$$
German
Columbus
4.7
1054 reviews

Influenced by German beer halls, Hofbrauhaus as a concept is a large, gathering space for friends to eat, drink, and become a community together. Long tables allow many groups to sit together, sparking conversation and laughter. Live music brings even more merriment to the proceedings. The food continues the German theme, with dishes like chicken with Bavarian potato salad, German potato pancakes, or fried pickle spears. Plus, of course, plenty of beer. Excellent for big groups- 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 Pearl - Short North restaurant

The Pearl - Short North

$$$$
Gastro Pub
Short North - Arena District
4.8
5003 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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