Our City Online


City Welcomed 50 New Bars and Restaurants in 2018

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega City Welcomed 50 New Bars and Restaurants in 2018
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

It’s been a long ride, but it’s finally over — 2018 has come to a close. For some, it was a year of closure. But don’t mourn too long; there’s a natural rise and fall to the industry. And though we said farewell to a lot of favorites, 50 newcomers have entered the scene.

Criollo, 51 E. Gay St. Photo by Lauren Sega.


Another year, another growth spurt for Downtown Columbus. The neighborhood welcomed 12 new bars and eateries in 2018, the most of any neighborhood in the city. 

The owners of Si Señor opened a Peruvian fast-casual restaurant, Criollo, on Gay Street. Around the corner, the vacancy left by Phatt Taco on the corner of Gay and High Streets was filled by Rio Fresh Cafe. Mikey’s Late Night Slice added another location at the corner of High and Vine streets, this one including a basement speakeasy. And a new fine dining restaurant, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, opened on East Nationwide Boulevard.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, 89 E. Nationwide Blvd. Photo by Lauren Sega.

Downtown also saw the addition of cuisine from India (Haveli Bistro), Mexico (Tio’s Tacos & Tequila), Argentina (Barroluco) and Texas (Pecan Penny’s), and rounded out its burger and pizza options with Burgerim and Viiza

Residents and workers also got a couple more places for their morning coffee — The Goat at LC Riversouth and Stauf’s at the View on Grant both opened this year.

Short North

Following right behind Downtown is the Short North neighborhood, with eight new spots opening their doors there in 2018.

Lox Bagel Shop, 772 N. High St. Photo by Lauren Sega.

The Lox Bagel Shop opened for breakfast and lunch just this month, and C. Krueger’s Finest Baked Goods, by the founder of Cheryl’s, now offers cookies, pastries and coffees out of the old Robert Mason store on Brickel Street. White Castle made a comeback as well, in the brand new Castle development by Borror.

New places for a cocktail and a meal include Corso Ventures’ Short North Food Hall, Harvey & Ed’s by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, 1126 Sushi Bar & Restaurant, and Monarch Cocktail Lounge.

Grandview Heights

A diverse range of restaurants and bars launched in Grandview Heights this year.  

Brekkie Shack, as its name suggests, added a breakfast and lunch option to the area. Oshio Sushi Kitchen & Bar replaced GoCupz Korean Barbecue on West Fifth Avenue. High Bank Distillery opened their kitchen and taproom in May. Alchemy opened its second location in Grandview, simultaneously expanding their menu to include hot brunch and dinner. And Craft & Vinyl, a bar-slash-record-store-slash-recording-studio, opened in August.

The Grandview Roll from Oshio, 974 W. Fifth Ave. Photo by Lauren Sega.


Four new restaurants have opened in Bexley, all on the East Main Street corridor. 

Newfangled Kitchen’s specialty is meatloaf and deli sandwiches; at House Wine, guests can stay for a glass or take a bottle home; and Harvest Pizzeria and Brassica fans got some nearby locations. 

University District

The University District welcomed back Japanese Oriental Restaurant, a destination for sushi lovers. The District PourHouse, a new gaming bar, replaced World of Beer at the Gateway. And Rippers Roadstand shut down to make way for Barbacoa, a Mexican fusion restaurant, though it was quickly converted into a Poké Bros. under the same ownership.

Japanese Oriental Restaurant, 2283 N. High St. Photo by Lauren Sega.

South Side

The East Public development added two new spots to Parsons Avenue: Comune, a plant-forward restaurant, and North Parsons Brewing Co. Just a minute walk from there is new bar and deli Jimmyluka’s.


Dublin’s been the destination for several restaurants this year, particularly for businesses based in northeast Ohio. The Rail and Swensons Drive-In, both from Akron, opened in Dublin this year. They’re joined by a second location of the Avenue Steak Tavern, a Cameron Mitchell Restaurants venture.

The Mojo from The Rail, 5839 Frantz Rd. Photo by Lauren Sega.

Other notable additions to the Columbus food scene include: Ambrose & Eve and Antiques on High, both in the Brewery District; El Lugar and Alpine, adjacent businesses in German Village; a second Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies location, in Powell; local meadery Uprising Meadworks in East Columbus; intimate live music bar The Oracle in Olde Towne East; a third Poké Bros. location, in Westerville; a Brewdog kitchen and taproom in Franklinton; tapas bar Lupo on Arlington in Upper Arlington; G.D Ritzy’s in Clintonville; and a Clintonville location of Westies Gastropub, which was later converted into an event space.

Find out which of these were voted as the top 10 new restaurants in Columbus, and read on to see the 21 bars and restaurants that made their exit in 2018.

Don’t miss the next update! Subscribe to CU via email for news in your inbox:

Enter your email address:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


dining categories

Ring in the decade in style! Join us for an all-inclusive NYE celebration!