Whether you’re hosting the big game-watch party, joining up with friends to watch on a big screen or looking for good eats before or after the game, Columbus has something for everyone. Buckeye Sports Bulletin once again offers its suggestions as to where fans can eat on game day or any day.
• An all-occasion steak tavern that glows with sizzle and warmth, The Avenue serves fine steaks and tavern fare in Grandview’s historic Bank Block neighborhood and in Historic Dublin. The Avenue – a Cameron Mitchell restaurant – features incomparable appetizers such as shrimp dejonghe and oysters Rockefeller followed by mouth-watering entrées including veal Milanese with mozzarella, arugula and linguine; Atlantic salmon with spinach, fennel and chardonnay butter sauce; or a selection or USDA prime steaks and chops. The Avenue also features a wide array of beverages, including local favorites such as classically inspired cocktails and a carefully selected collection of Old and New World wines.
Visit the Grandview location at 1307 Grandview Ave. (614-485-9447) or The Avenue in Dublin at 94 N. High St. (614-591-9000). For reservations, call or go online at theavenuesteaktavern.com.
• Enjoy all of your brunch favorites any day of the week at BLunch – An Urban Cafe in Clintonville, featuring elevated breakfast favorites, the best pancakes in town, sandwiches and salads. The full bar service offers the mi-MOST-a, local craft draft cocktails, an outstanding house-made Bloody Mary and local brews. Dine in a bright, casual and lively atmosphere. Reservations accepted for parties of six or more. BLunch is open daily from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. but closed Tuesdays. Parking is available. Visit them at 2973 N High St. or online at www.blunchcolumbus.com. Call (614) 641-7501.
• Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, created by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, offers a dining experience you won’t soon forget. You can expect a menu that will satisfy the most discriminating palate. Try the weekend brunch from 11 a.m-3 p.m. for classic eggs Benedict, French toast, torta, eggs on hash, spinach quiche, smoked salmon and bagel, four-egg omelet, breakfast burrito or the “diner” steak and eggs special with your favorite drink. Or meet up with friends for Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4-6:30 p.m. for specially priced appetizers and drink specials in the bar. Choose from a variety of fresh salads and selections such as balsamic chicken or pecan-crusted pork chops, or try one of the delicious diner sandwiches or desserts. There are three locations, at 1299 Olentangy River Road (614-291-3663), minutes from Ohio Stadium; 1301 Stoneridge Drive in Gahanna (614-478-9999); or 6644 Riverside Drive in Dublin (614-889-7865).
• Count on Champps at 1827 Olentangy River Road for a delicious menu in a fun atmosphere just a long punt from Ohio Stadium. Whether you are in the mood for soup, salad or burgers, you can find it here. Try an appetizer like the legendary loaded nachos or prime rib quesadilla. Or enjoy an entrée like the vodka chicken pasta or beer-battered fish ’n’ chips. Don’t miss the blackened chicken alfredo or miso-glazed salmon. Want a burger? Order a traditional cheeseburger or try the Truffle Mushroom Wagyu Burger. Enjoy a mojito or margarita or a domestic or craft beer with your meal. Also available are meatless Beyond burgers and great desserts too. Champps is also perfect for your next event for 10 to 100 people. Their experienced event coordinator can help you plan your event. Stop by online at www.champps.com or call them at (614) 298-0833.
• The Chocolate Café at 1855 Northwest Blvd. has the cure for your cravings with a delicious menu of treats. Their lobster bisque is served daily along with an amazing array of specialty sandwiches including their BMT flatbreads, Greek pitas and Cajun chicken paninis. Grilled cheeses are a specialty, and be sure to order a soup and salad too. Choose from an extensive dessert menu including real hot chocolate, chocolate dipped strawberries, hand-dipped Buckeyes, assorted ice cream flavors, fondue and over 50 assorted candies. Visit them online for details at www.chocolatecafecolumbus.com or call (614) 485-2233.
• Hometown favorite City Barbeque has been feeding Buckeye fans since 1999. Load up your tailgate party with their award-winning brisket, competition-quality St. Louis-cut ribs, Texas smoked sausage and classic pulled pork. There’s a full roster of made-from-scratch classic sides, from collards and corn pudding to mac & cheese and potato salad. City Barbeque makes game day simple for groups of all sizes – just pick the Party Pack that fits your crowd. Check out citybbq.com or download the city bbq app for $5 off your first order.
Of the eight City Barbeque joints in Columbus, the original Upper Arlington location is closest to Ohio Stadium: 2111 W. Henderson Road, (614) 538-8890. Visit their website for other convenient locations.
• Cancel those airline tickets to Mexico and head for Cuco’s Taqueria at 2162 W. Henderson Road instead. If you are in the mood for some authentic Mexican cuisine, you will love their extensive menu, from starters such as fresh ceviche or queso fundido with melted Chihuahua cheese and chorizo to main entrées like carnitas and steak ranchero. Try their signature tacos, and choose from a variety of soups and salads. Don’t miss the fajitas platter, the enchiladas or tamales either. Stop by for breakfast too.
Cuco’s Taqueria has a full bar with an extensive selection of margaritas, so stop by for Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. Visit them online at www.cucostaqueria.com or call (614) 538-8701.
• Part of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ Short North Collection, Del Mar offers the best of Southern California-inspired dishes and cocktails. The restaurant team is fanatical about freshness and uses only the best fare from the farm, garden and sea.
Del Mar is open Sunday-Thursday from 4-10 p.m. and Friday from 4 p.m.-midnight. The restaurant is also open for Saturday brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner from 3 p.m.- midnight, as well as Sunday for brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner from 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Del Mar is located at 705 N. High St. in the Short North Arts District (614-300-9500).
• Treat yourself to authentic Mexican fare at Don Tequila Mexican Grill and Cantina. Try the chimichangas – stuffed with your choice of beef, pork, lobster, shrimp or chicken – or the El Potosino – a combination of grilled chicken fillet and grilled shrimp with pico de gallo, steamed vegetables and shredded cheese. Or why not try the flaming cheese fajitas, with grilled strips of chicken, steak, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, poblano peppers and tomatoes, served on a skillet covered with flaming melted cheese and garnished with fajita salad. Don Tequila serves all of your traditional favorites, from tacos to burritos to enchiladas.
Don Tequila has four locations: 9762 Sawmill Parkway in Powell (614-932-9100); 6211 Cleveland Ave. on the North Side (614-523-2604); 3140 Kingsdale Center in Upper Arlington (614-273-1305); or 5637 Woerner Temple Road in Dublin (614-761-2200).
• Stop in and try the tasty Mexican menu items at El Vaquero, within walking distance of Ohio Stadium and the hotels on Olentangy River Road north of OSU. Choose from a variety of fresh, authentic cuisine selections such as the queso fundido with grilled shrimp, onions, mushrooms and melted cheese. Try one of the many salads or order a bowl of Sopa Azteca and have a frosty, crafted margarita from the bar. El Vaquero offers Happy Hour from 4-8 p.m. daily. Sample the fresh guacamole and bring the family for a great time. A kids menu is available too. No game tickets, no problem. Watch on the big-screen projector. Come celebrate another Buckeye victory at 3230 Olentangy River Road or call (614) 261-0900 for information.
• Grandad’s Pizza is a family-owned and -operated pizzeria located in Grandview Heights. They offer pizzas, old-school subs, sandwiches and more at affordable prices. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional pizza with fresh toppings or a specialty pizza like the chicken bacon ranch pizza, you’re sure to find something to please everyone. Complete your meal with a fresh Italian or Caesar salad or boneless or traditional wings with your choice of 10 different sauces. Located at 1254 West 3rd Ave., Grandad’s also offers discounts to businesses with advance ordering and features daily lunch specials. Call (614) 488-9700 or visit www.grandadspizza.com. Visit their new location at 4093 Trueman Blvd. in Hilliard (614-767-3020).
• The Guild House is an artisan eatery featuring creative American cuisine available for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The chefs at The Guild House collaborate to create seasonal offerings that are regionally and globally inspired, all with artistic technique in an energetic and inviting space. Located in the Short North Arts District (624 North High St., 614-280-9780), The Guild House offers Happy Hour seven days a week from 3-6 p.m. in the bar with half-price featured wines, cocktails, beers and selected items from their chef-inspired menu.
• The menu at Hudson 29 is nothing short of an expansion and redefinition of American cuisine, taking it to new heights through simple preparations that allow the flavors of the expertly sourced ingredients to shine through. You’ll savor this simplicity throughout the menu, a familiar and hearty collection of starters, prime steaks, roasted chicken and knife-and-fork sandwiches.
The bar has been raised in similar fashion. The focus is on wine, with an artfully composed list of 100 bottles. Cocktails crafted with house-made mixers and fresh-squeezed juices and an ever-changing list of craft beers round out the selection. Hudson 29 serves lunch and dinner daily with weekend brunch. Enjoy Happy Hour at Hudson 29 Monday through Saturday featuring special prices on appetizers, handcrafted cocktails, wines by the glass, draft beers and ales. There are two locations, at 1600 W. Lane Ave. (614-487-0622) minutes from Ohio Stadium, and 260 Market St. in New Albany (614-859-2900).
• Looking for a very special dining experience to commemorate an anniversary or occasion, or simply to enjoy an excellent meal you won’t soon forget? Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse at 89 East Nationwide Blvd. in the downtown Arena District, one block south of the Convention Center, was voted Best New Restaurant in Columbus in 2018 by readers’ polls from (614) Magazine, Columbus Monthly, Columbus Alive and CityScene Magazine. One stop will tell you why. Try the USDA prime steaks, including the Japanese A5 Wagyu, amazing scallops and seafood, or full raw bar and sushi. The impeccable service, live entertainment and attention to detail are just some of the reasons your visit will be a memorable one. Peruse their extensive wine list, after-dinner menu and cigar menu, and be sure to take advantage of special gift card promotions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse serves dinner Monday-Thursday 5-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5-11pm. Reservations are recommended but not required. Call (614) 686-7800 or visit www. JeffRuby.com/Columbus.
• With a retractable roof and a fire pit, Lincoln Social is a cool rooftop oasis and the ideal spot for guests to sip, savor and surround themselves with the cityscape. Enjoy the sweeping city views with a cocktail in hand at Lincoln Social, part of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ Short North Collection. Located on the ninth floor above Del Mar SoCal Kitchen, Lincoln Social is an energetic gathering place complete with a flower wall to grab the perfect Instagram picture. Guests are invited to elevate their evening Tuesday-Thursday from 4 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday from 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday from 1 p.m.-1 a.m., and Sunday from 1-10 p.m. Lincoln Social is located at 711 N. High St. in the Short North Arts District (614-300-9494).
• Los Guachos is the place to head when in the mood for authentic Mexican food. And they just opened their third brick-and-mortar restaurant in Dublin, located at 7370 Sawmill Road, which has a full-service bar, in addition to their other two locations: 5221 Godown Road and 1376 Cherry Bottom Road. Los Guachos has been named one of America’s best taco spots by Yahoo and voted one of the best taco spots by the Food Network. Also, it was recognized by Every Day with Rachel Ray and Maxim Magazine as having some of the best tacos in the country, among other mentions within the Columbus press.
Visit them for tasty Mexican dishes including their famous Gringas, Juanas and original Tacos al Pastor. Open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. -1 a.m. at their Columbus locations and every day from 11a.m. -11 p.m. in Gahanna. Call ahead for carry-out at (614) 538-0211 (Godown Road), (614) 471-4717 (Gahanna) or (614) 726-9185 (Sawmill Road). Stop by online at los-guachos.com.
• Make Mackenzie River Pizza your HQ for delicious food in a fun atmosphere. They are located at 1515 Polaris Parkway, at the first light off I-71 on the corner of Lyra Drive and Polaris Parkway. Choose from a selection of sandwiches and pasta along with their original thin-crust pizza. See if you can finish the Cowboy Nachos and check out the state-of-the-art Ice Bar which will keep your craft beer cold. Amazing soups and sandwiches are available including a list of specialty burgers like the “Grizzly” or “Bleu Onion BBQ.” Look into a pulled pork sandwich or Rustler’s Reuben, one of many to choose from, and wash it down with one of their 16 craft beers or extensive bourbon list. Still hungry? Try the Buffalo mac ’n’ cheese, Cajun chicken alfredo or other pasta choices. Ask about the daily specials and don’t forget dessert. Stop by for Happy Hour Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. Mackenzie River Pizza is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call them at (614) 840-9466 or visit www.mackenzieriverpizza.com.
• Try a longtime Buckeye fan favorite at Minelli’s Pizza and Next Door Tavern at 1189 N. Wilson Road. Enjoy Minelli’s thin-crust pizza, Italian specialties from manicotti to chicken parmesan, subs, sandwiches and salads while catching the Buckeye action on one of 14 large-screen TVs at the Next Door Tavern. Test your Buckeye knowledge with the collection of Ohio State photos, and don’t miss any of the game with the Big Ten Network and NFL Sunday Ticket.
Take the family to dine at the old-fashioned pizzeria or meet your friends next door at the Tavern and enjoy your favorite beverages with great food from Minelli’s. Quench your Buckeye fever at the Tavern’s seven-hour Happy Hour. Too good to be true? Call them at (614) 279-3344 and find out.
• Whether you’re in town for the game or live in Columbus year-round, treat yourself to the specialty cocktails and extensive menu at MODA Restaurant and Bar, located at 3100 Olentangy River Road in the recently renovated Marriott and Residence Inn. From gastropub small bites at the MODA bar to juicy hand-blended Angus beef burgers and fresh fish flown in daily, MODA has something for everyone. Try the Aukra salmon fillet with ginger glaze, Shiitake sticky rice and pickled Asian slaw, or check out the Chef’s Perfect Sandwich, a house-made short rib pastrami on a pretzel bun. MODA’s friendly staff serve up great food and specialty cocktails in an open and modern atmosphere.
MODA serves Sunday Brunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., or socialize with friends and fans at Happy Hour weekdays 4 p.m.-7 p.m. MODA is open daily from 6:30 a.m.- midnight and also offers gameday specials for Buckeye fans. Call (614) 447-9777 or visit www.ModaColumbus.com.
• You’re sure to find something for everyone at Paul’s Fifth Avenue, a Grandview tradition for over 50 years. Open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, Paul’s features an eclectic mix of cuisine. Enjoy all your favorites at breakfast, including eggs made-to-order, omelets, waffles, pancakes and home fries. Be sure to try Paul’s famous Callahans, your choice of toppings on a bed of home fries.
At lunch, try one of the traditional sandwiches such as the Reuben or a burger made from fresh-ground short rib and beef round paired with Paul’s famous Italian wedding soup. Or treat yourself to one of the traditional Italian favorites including Mama Panzera’s lasagna and chicken or veal parmesan. With ample parking and located at 1565 W. Fifth Ave. in Grandview just five minutes from campus, Paul’s is a convenient option for dining before the game. Phone (614) 481-8848 or visit www.paulsonline.com.
• There are days when nothing will do but a donut. Or two. Visit Peace Love & Little Donuts for a taste treat and bask in their ’70s-themed atmosphere at one of their two locations in the Columbus area. Relax in a colorful setting with tie-dye and music and grab a coffee with your selected donut(s). Choose from dozens of flavors for your donut cravings for an experience you won’t soon forget. They’re open Monday-Friday 7 a.m-6 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit Peace Love & Little Donuts of Upper Arlington at 2110 W. Henderson Road or call (614) 725-4100, or stop by the Worthington location at 656 High St. in Worthington (614-396-6503). Visit them online at www.peaceloveandlittledonuts.com.
• The Pearl is an urban and cozy tavern that showcases made-from-scratch food, classically inspired cocktails and an exclusive selection of ales, lagers and stouts. Start off with the creamy clam chowder with chorizo dust. For raw bar aficionados, The Pearl offers oysters and clams on the half shell, or try the N’Awlins baked oysters or the Shellfish Tower featuring oysters, clams, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp and Louie dressed colossal crab. Entrées include classics such as Southern fried chicken with a cinnamon sticky bun and cider-braised greens, Great Lakes fish ‘n’ chips or the braised short rib with horseradish mashed potatoes.
The Pearl’s brunch stands out from the bunch and is served every Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. Or hook up with friends for Happy Hour weekdays from 4-6 p.m. The Pearl is located at 641 N. High St. in the Short North Arts District, just a short distance from campus, and is open daily at 4 p.m. Call (614) 227-0151.
• One great option for affordable family dining in Grove City, just south of Columbus, is Plank’s On Broadway, which features a wide variety of sandwiches and entrées in addition to the ever-popular pizza. Favorites include burgers, grilled chicken salad and, of course, good cold beer. Patrons can enjoy a large works pizza for four for about $18 or a burger, fries and a beer for about $9.
Plank’s is located at 4022 Broadway, off I-270 west of I-71. For more information, call (614) 875-7800.
• For great food and atmosphere, try Press Grill at 741 N. High St. in the Short North (614-298-1014) and Press Pub on 5th (614-817-1198) in Grandview at 1505 W. 5th Ave. Their large menu includes the shrimp Po Boy, the pesto chicken sandwich and the famous Press Burger with fried egg. Choose a craft beer from the well-stocked bar and sample the daily specials: Mondays, Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs, two for $5; Tuesdays, 85-cent wings; Wednesdays, $1.50 tacos. And don’t miss Thanksgiving dinner every Thursday night for only $12. Visit www.presscolumbus.com to find out more.
• Bring your appetite to The Red Brick Tap and Grill located at 292 East Gates St. in Columbus. Whatever your mood they have it with a variety of burgers, dogs, gyros, pizza, calzones and salads. Peruse the amazing list of bottled and draft beers (more than two dozen rotating taps) and wine selections. Happy hour is weekdays from 3-7 p.m, and The Red Brick serves brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Ask about the daily specials, and visit their site for special events at www.theredbricktapandgrill.com. Call today at (614) 444-2742.
• Make Roosters your headquarters to watch the Buckeyes while enjoying great wings and good times – before, during and after the games. Locally owned and operated, Roosters is open seven days a week with multiple area locations. Voted best wait staff and best wings by 614 Magazine, Roosters invites you to come watch the game in a casual atmosphere while enjoying the selection of wings, burgers, pizza, salads and a ton of appetizers. If you’re watching the game at home, call Roosters for catering or carryout.
Look for the Roosters Food Truck at Ohio State home games in the Fanfest area between St. John Arena and the Ice Rink. Roosters is the Official Wing Sponsor of Ohio State Athletics. Visit www.roosterswings.com for locations and hours.
• Rusty Bucket is a casual American restaurant and tavern, a gathering place where people come to share laughter, smiles and great conversation over food that makes everyone happy. Satisfying and familiar, the menu is classic American fare, thoughtfully prepared from scratch by their executive chef. Cocktails are considered a craft, made-to-order by highly-skilled bartenders. From barrel to glass, no shortcuts are taken with the carefully selected beer list. The perfect draft is guaranteed. Stop by for lunch, meet family and friends for dinner, or stop in before or after the game. Rusty Bucket’s motto is great food, great drinks, great people – the Bucket Life.
Large party reservations, online waitlist and private dining are available. Visit one of their 10 Columbus locations today, available at www.MyRustyBucket.com.
• A longtime central Ohio destination restaurant remains the anchor of historic downtown Canal Winchester as Shade on the Canal (19 S. High St.) continues to be a gathering place for locals and visitors alike. And now the Shade brand has expanded with Shade on State Street in Athens (994 E. State St.) and Shade on 30th Street (850 S. 30th St.) in Heath.
Shade’s, as it is popularly known, offers the best in casual dining and sports pub atmosphere with a friendly staff, flat-screen TVs, upbeat music and walls lined with local black and white photos. You’ll find great food including award-winning pizza, great wings, fresh cut salads, sandwiches, tasty appetizers, homemade soups and more. Are you planning a special event? Check out Shade’s historic Pine Room at the Canal Winchester location. For information or carry-out orders call the Canal Winchester location at (614) 837-9873, the Athens location at (740) 566-1009 or the Heath location at (740) 788-9287.
• Since opening in 1995, Starliner Diner in Hilliard has been a local favorite with its eclectic menu and kitschy décor. The Cuban inspired menu also includes American and Southwestern influences and features popular dishes such as Creole Macaroni and Huevos Rancheros. Starliner Diner is frequently recognized as one of the best breakfasts in town, and it’s no wonder why. Starliner offers a wide selection of omelets, from the traditional ham and cheese to the Mexican chorizo with peppers, onions, garlic, jack cheese and cilantro. Or try the enormous breakfast burrito or chiliquiles Southwestern scramble. For lunch, check out the fish Po’ Boy or Cuban sandwich, or choose from a wide variety of dinner entrées.
Starliner Diner is open seven days a week and features a full bar with Sunday alcohol sales. It is located at 4121 Main St. in historic old Hilliard. Call (614) 529-1198 or visit starlinerdiner.com.
• Come celebrate 90 years of Italian dining tradition with TAT Ristorante di Famiglia, located at 1210 South James Road. Family-owned and -operated since 1929, TAT brings you four generations of cooking experience, available for dining in, takeout or catering, with homemade pasta and sauces. Stop in before or after the game. They can fill all your tailgating needs. Choose from an array of appetizers, salads, soups and entrées including deep-fried calamari, chef salads and special lasagna with homemade noodles. Specialty cocktails, beer, wine and champagne are also available. Whether in the mood for freshly made gnocchi, polenta or breaded veal, you will find menu items to satisfy your cravings. And don’t forget to leave room for dessert! TAT Ristorante is open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Call today at (614) 236-1392 or visit them at www.tatitalianrestaurantcolumbus.com.
• The Whitney House at 666 High St. in the heart of downtown Worthington serves made-from-scratch, American comfort food. Have a seat in the dining room and escape the gameday hustle or embrace the energy in their tavern, which features three TVs.
Noon kickoff? Stop by before or during the game for a piece of blueberry coffee cake with a side of candied bacon, biscuits & gravy with eggs your way, or their Ohio Burger made with Ohio beef, ground in-house daily. If you’re looking to booze up your meal, start with a boozy cereal or one of their hand-crafted brunch cocktails.
Dinner starts promptly at 4 p.m. Begin with something small from the selection of snacks or starters, such as the fried goat-cheese balls with tomato jam. Enjoy a variety of salads and main dishes, which can accommodate dietary restrictions. Try the seared ruby red trout with purple-potato hash, bacon, wilted greens and Tabasco butter sauce or the hanger steak with greens, a potato cake and seasonal butter. The Whitney House family looks forward to serving yours. The Whitney House serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., lunch Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner seven days a week starting at 4 p.m.
• Z Cucina, in the heart of the popular Grandview area at 1368 Grandview Ave., offers modern and traditional Italian fare in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The menu offers flavorful and well-seasoned small plates, salads and main courses. Among the items made in-house from scratch are the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, sausage, breads and desserts, and the menu includes handmade ravioli and tortelli, as well as other pastas. Z Cucina is known for its well-crafted, artisan wine list, and there is a full bar for your enjoyment. Z Cucina also offers full-service catering for functions both on and off site. Z Cucina is open Monday-Saturday at 5 p.m., with Happy Hour weekdays from 5-7 p.m. Visit Z Cucina’s newest location in Dublin’s Bridgepark District at 6584 Riverside Dr. For reservations or more information call (614) 486-9200 (Grandview) or (614) 916-9200 (Dublin).