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Eat Right: Best Patios for People-Watching

 Shelley Mann Eat Right: Best Patios for People-WatchingPatio at Eleven — Photo by Walker Evans.
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Sunny skies and warm temperatures are becoming a trend, and that means only one thing—patio season! These patios offer prime people-watching opportunities, and stay tuned for more secluded patio picks.

1044 N High St., Columbus, OH 43201
The patio seating at this recently retooled (yet again) Short North hotspot is actually designed so that patrons can sip beers while looking right out onto High Street. Foodwise, new owner Brian Swanson has expanded the menu from the most recent fried-chicken-centric iteration to include burgers, gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pork belly nachos and more.

Due Amici + Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails
67-73 E. Gay St., Columbus, OH 43215
These conjoined patios on bustling Gay Street are just about the perfect after-work happy hour spot. Due Amici has a new chef, Michael Fairchild, and a new menu. Try updated entrees including a grilled filet with toasted peppers, crimini mushrooms and fingerling potatoes in a rosemary brown butter, and new pastas like the Pasta Diavalo—spaghetti with roasted peppers and onions in a spicy basil marinara.

591 N High St., Columbus, OH 43215
Right on the Cap, this see-and-be-seen patio is an oasis for Columbus power players. Adjoining Hyde Park steakhouse, this lounge-y bar’s patio is outfitted with plush couches and cozy armchairs. Grab a couple cocktails and plan to stay for a while.

Ethyl & Tank
19 E 13th Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
The Ethyl & Tank patio technically fronts 13th Avenue, but it has a clear view right onto High Street. That makes it perfect for surreptitiously watching as Ohio State students stream past—and reminiscing on days gone by. Weekend brunch is an optimal time to visit, with a top-notch build-your-own Bloody Mary bar plus Chicken and Waffles.


1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
Snag a seat on the in-demand deck in front of Katalina’s during brunch and watch all those overachievers on their morning runs, bike rides and dog walks. Feel confident in your decision to feast instead. Go for one of the hulking breakfast sandwiches, like the Mazatlan Sunrise Sammy with fried egg, Amish provolone, avocado, roasted red peppers and ranchero sauce—and splurge on Katalina’s famous Pancake Balls for dessert.

475 S. 3rd St., Columbus, OH 43215
Grab a cup of coffee and watch the world speed by from this quintessential big-city sidewalk patio on German Village’s busiest corner. Katzinger’s is best-known for its giant sandwiches, but the deli also serves some Jewish specialties ideal for accompanying coffee. Try the sweet Cheese Blintz with preserves or Noodle Kugel with apricot or sour cherry.

Local Roots
15 E Olentangy St., Powell, OH 43065
Take advantage of one of the best examples of a walkable suburban downtown at Local Roots in Powell. The restaurant actually has two separate outdoor dining areas—a traditional patio with umbrella tables and a lively Beer Garden offering a full slate of live music events. Catch local favorites such as Andy Shaw and Theo Perry (of the Floorwalkers) on weeknights.

Trattoria Roma
1447 Grandview Ave., Columbus, OH 43212
The patio at this family-owned Italian spot—which celebrates 25 years in business in 2015—offers a great view onto Grandview Avenue’s “restaurant row.” Check out Trattoria’s new create-your-own pasta bowls, with creative sauce options like Lemon-Pesto and Puttanesca, and add-ins ranging from meatballs to scallops.


Union Cafe
782 N High St., Columbus, OH 43215
There are several outstanding patio options along High Street in the Short North, but what sets Union’s apart from the rest is its height. Patio patrons are above eye level for passersby, so you avoid the feeling of being on display—but looking down on the throngs of revelers walking by is plenty entertaining.

Worthington Inn
649 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
The appeal of this stately patio is magnified on Saturdays during the summertime, when the Worthington strip of High Street is filled with the hustle and bustle of the Worthington Farmer’s Market. Chef Thomas Smith is committed to a farmer-to-chef ethos, incorporating locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats as well as free-range eggs onto his seasonal menus.

dine-originalsDine Originals Columbus celebrates, supports and promotes the culinary diversity that locally owned and operated member restaurants contribute to the identity and culture of our city. The nonprofit group is committed to strengthening the local economy and enriching the community through education and charitable partnerships.

Taste of Dine Originals, the group’s signature fundraising event, returns Thursday, May 7 at Capital University Field House! Enjoy endless samples from each of the Dine Originals Columbus member restaurants as well as plenty of wine, beer and cocktails. Tickets are available at buckeyeranch.instagift.com.

For more information, visit www.dineoriginalscolumbus.com.

All photos by Walker Evans.

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