Eat Right: Best Secluded Patios
It’s patio season in Columbus! Last month we focused on outdoor options perfect for people-watching. For romantic dinners, secret rendezvous and other occasions where seeing and being seen aren’t the primary objective, here are a few great patio options for a more secluded dining experience:
89 Fish & Grill
Downtown – 89 East Nationwide Boulevard
Dine al fresco in Downtown, but stay off the radar on 89’s patio — an urban oasis hidden away just off Nationwide Boulevard. Situated along the side of the building, the elevated patio fronts an alley running alongside the Third Street bridge. Pretty potted plants help keep diners hidden from passersby.
Victorian Village – 811 Highland Street
Columbus’ quintessential secluded patio can be found, of course, at Columbus’ quintessential hidden restaurant. Dining on the patio at Basi is just like dining in someone’s backyard — and the Victorian Village restaurant is one of the only in town to keep patio dining going strong through the winter, thanks to powerful heat lamps.
German Village – 263 East Whittier Street
Owner Scott Heimlich takes great pleasure and pride in landscaping Barcelona’s patio each spring, filling the space with tropical plants and potted flowers. The German Village patio is perpetually named as the “Best Patio in Columbus” in readers’ polls, and snagging a table on it during the busy summer months is an accomplishment in itself.
Columbus Brewing Company Restaurant
Brewery District – 525 Short Street
Situated just off the beaten path in the Brewery District, Columbus Brewing Company Restaurant offers a large tented patio that’s open year-round (pictured up top). A cheery red awning and string lights never fail to lend a bright, glowing vibe to any evening — a feeling that’s only enhanced by flights of Columbus Brewing Company’s award-winning microbrews.
Short North – 1227 North High Street
This Short North newbie opened its bustling backyard patio just in time for Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy build-your-own tacos and margaritas on communal picnic tables under string lights. Colorful new mural art on the surrounding building walls add to the big-city urban feel.
G. Michael’s Bistro & Bar
German Village – 595 South Third Street
One of the city’s most underrated outdoor dining spaces is G. Michael’s intimate patio, which seats up to 24 during the warmer months. Enjoy Chef David Tetzloff’s highly praised lowcountry fare from an umbrella table under the branches of a towering honey locust on this classic German Village bricked courtyard space.
Short North – 800 North High Street
Other patios along the Short North strip offer a dining-on-display experience, but Haiku’s lovely lit patio space manages to feel miles away from the fray. The outdoor deck is so spacious that unless you’re seated right at the sidewalk’s edge, you’re out of the view of the passing masses on High Street. Waterfalls and a koi pond add to the zen-like nature of this covered patio space.
Nicola Restaurant + Bar
Upper Arlington – 4740 Reed Road
Don’t let its suburban location fool you. Nicola has a truly beautiful patio that’s surrounded by tall bushes and accented with plenty of colorful flowers. The authentic Italian restaurant often hosts live music as well as special wine tastings and dinners out on the umbrella tables.
Northwest Columbus – 1092 Bethel Road
Experience a different side of the celebrated French restaurant during seasonal 10 for $10 Wine Nights, held on the outdoor patio (weather-permitting). The restaurant’s wine manager shares under-the-radar wine bargains that should cost two or three times the price during these casual events, where attendees are encouraged to taste at their own pace.
Short North – 21 East 5th Avenue
This Italian Village restaurant is making ingenious use of the thin strip of space between neighboring buildings by setting up patio tables, stringing up lights and dubbing it The Breezeway. Enjoy happy hour specials—$3 beer, $4 pours of wine and $4 simple cocktails—between 5-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5-9 p.m. Sunday on The Breezeway.
Yellow Brick Pizza
Olde Towne East – 892 Oak Street
The Near East Side boasts a couple of great hidden patios, including Olde Towne Tavern’s cozy courtyard with fire pit and Yellow Brick’s beautifully designed space, which is walled off with fencing made from reclaimed barn wood. Watch for live DJ sets and other special music events through the summer.
Dine 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.
On the first Wednesday of each month, each Dine Originals restaurant offers their own special dining experience, whether it’s a prix-fix dinner, a tasting menu, a retail wine night or a fun promotion. No matter which Dine Originals restaurant you visit tonight, you’ll be treated to a VIP dining experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
For more information, visit www.dineoriginalscolumbus.com.
All photos from individual restaurant websites.