A… Hot Dog Palace? Yes, you heard that right. Well, actually, it’s not a “palace” per se, but it’s one of the finest dive spots that you’re going to find. Eclectic, amusing artwork is strewn all over the walls, and the gourmet hot dogs took us to a better place after the first bite. Not only are the walls interesting, but so are the people who come in to visit. Being there late at night is quite an adventure in itself simply because of the characters. Don’t let that distract you from those gorgeous dogs, though. The “Whoa Nellie,” piled high with brisket… oh mama.
Credit: Bacon Today
2. 16 Bit Bar
What’s better than getting schwasted? Obviously getting schwasted while playing video games, and there certainly are plenty to choose from at 16 Bit. Featuring everything from classics like Donkey Kong to some rarer ones, like Twilight Zone, there’s a little bit of everything. Not only that, but there bartenders always craft perfect cocktails. Our favorite? Definitely the Burt Reynolds. Comprised of bourbon, sugar, orange, cherry, and bitters; it’s absolutely perfect.
Credit: 16 Bit
3. The 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant
Planes! Planes everywhere! That’s just part of the scenery at this restaurant, though. Nestled right next to the runways at Columbus International Airport, you’ll get to watch the planes take off and land as you enjoy your dinner. It’s definitely something to special, to watch them fly right above you, and something you won’t experience anywhere else in the city. The meals are classy as hell, too. You can never go wrong with the Lobster Tail. Never.
Credit: Mary Szymkowiak
4. Viking Premium Beverages
Sometimes you don’t want to wait to get home to drink that bottle of alcohol you just bought. Well, luckily for you, there’s a bar where you can drink the liquor as soon as you buy it. Yeah, it’s pretty unique, but they’ll let you walk right over to the attached bar and serve you that bottle you just bought. It’s pretty nice, really. Not only that, but they also have a prime selection of draft beer on tap. Sure, someone may judge you, but it’s way cheaper, and the selection is top-notch.
Anchors away! Ever wondered what it’d be like to step back into the age of pirates for a little bit? You can definitely get at least a little taste of it by stopping into the pirate-themed Surly Girl Saloon. Some of the cupcakes even have swords on top! Not only that, but they’ve earned quite a bit of attention for their cocktails over the past few months, and we can definitely see why. Their “Sass”parillas will knock you on your ass if you’re not careful. They’re just too tasty.
Credit: Matthew Hance
6. Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Okay, so it’s not quite a restaurant nor a bar, but it’s certainly worth the mention, because, damn; it’s impressive. First off, how about their ridiculous selection of coffees. You want something fair-trade? It’s everywhere. You want something as black as Batman at 2:00 A.M.? There’s plenty of that for you, too. So many choices! Our personal favorite was the Baba Budan. Spicy, smoky, and complex… what else can you ask for?
Credit: Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Guilty! Well, at least we’re guilty of being in love with this place, at least. The Jury Room is, oddly enough, located pretty much right across from the courthouse, making it the perfect place to go when you’re in the area. We’re not judging, nor saying you’re up to anything, but… if you either need to celebrate a victory or mourn that loss over your traffic tickets, this is the place for you. Oh, and the Jury Burger is one of the best damn burgers you’re ever going to set your eyes on. No doubt.
Credit: Jury Room
What’s up with that thought-provoking artwork? We’re too hungover for this! Just kidding. We’re never too hungover to enjoy breakfast at Starliner Diner. Maybe it’s the amazing customer service, maybe it’s the fact that their Breakfast Burrito magically absorbs our hangover, but we’re in love with this place.The best part is that it’s not only their breakfast that’s amazing. If you get a chance to try their Cajun NY Streak, do it.
Credit: The Breakfast Grub Guy
What other place has a dance party every month, and actually follows the theme? Well, we can think of at least one in Columbus, and the theme is interesting as hell, too. They have an “80’s Ladies” theme that keeps people coming in all the time; adorned in their throwback styles, ready to jam out to some old school Madonna. Not only that, but this is, without a doubt, the best place to catch live music in the entire city.
Credit: Skully’s Music Diner
You won’t find many meaderies in the city. Oh wait, you won’t find many meaderies anywhere in the entire country, but, we’re lucky enough to have our very own right here in Columbus. Not only that, but they also get super creative with their flavors and batches. They even have an Apple Pie Mead! It’s phenomenal. Make sure you grab the Blueberry Chai flavor if you get the chance. It’s simply amazing.
Credit: Jeffrey and Anna
11. The Blue Danube
As soon as we saw the huge ass mural on the wall outside, we knew that we were in for a treat at this place. Well, we were right. The “Blue Dube” as many refer to it, is adored by hipsters and townies alike, simply because it has a little bit of everything. Pro Tip: Check out the ridiculous amount of music contained within their jukebox. When it comes to jukeboxes, it easily has to have one of the largest ones. Oh, and the food is a steal. Great music, cocktails, and food? What are you waiting for?
Sure, it’s easy to give in to all of the other chained sports bars, but none should be as near and dear to the hearts of Columbus natives quite like Eddie George’s Grille 27. Adorned in OSU memorabilia and over 60 flat-screen TVs to catch that OSU game on, this is the place to be on game day. If you’re not an OSU fan… well, you can still enjoy the food, because it’s all we’ve ever dreamed of for American food. Try the Deep Fried Cheeseburger… Yes. Deep. Fried. Cheeseburger.
Credit: Eddie George’s Grille 27
13. Spaghetti Warehouse
Sure, everyone loves to get their fill of carbs here and there, especially if they come from some solid Italian cuisine, but you can find Italian everywhere. What you won’t find, however, is an Italian restaurant where you can load up on carbs inside a trolley or elevator, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Spaghetti Warehouse. Sure, you may have to wait for those tables to become available at times, but it’s worth it for the experience. While there, make sure to get the Grilled Chicken Linguini. It’s heavenly.
Credit: Mahoning Valley Eats & Treats