Date ideas in Columbus

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner I thought I would mention some places to eat at in good ole’ Columbus whether you’re celebrating with a special someone or friends. Trust me, when it comes to food recommendations, I will not steer you wrong.

I included a variety of places (from fancy to very casual) that will fit your budget!

Oh, let me give you a tip if you’re planning to go to dinner on Valentine’s day: make a reservation soon, especially since the holiday falls on a Friday! Restaurants book up fast and a lot of places offer a special Vday menu so make sure to check that out.


Barcelona >> menu

The ambiance is romantic. Food is expensive, but what I’ve had was delicious. Any place that gives everyone an amuse bouche or offers you an individual straw in a basket is fancy. Also, your waiter/waitress gives you their business card. Talk. about. class.


Paella Barcelona

Marcella’s >> Short North / Polaris

A little bit more of a fun and casual environment, but you can still dress up. There are a lot of delicious options and this place is my choice for Italian food over places like Brio and Bravo.

Northstar Cafe >> menu

It’s cold outside folks so warm up with their divine hot chocolate. Unfortunately, quality products cost $$ these days, but I promise the chicken sandwich and prosciutto & eggs (only for breakfast) are SO legit! Note: each location has a slightly different menu.


Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar >> menu

Flight of Meads!

Share the “flight” where you can sample many of their meads including one that tastes exactly like Apple pie! (mead is a honey based fermented alcoholic beverage – super yummy!)

Seventh Son Brewing Co. >> menu

This must be where the hipsters go when they’re not at Bodega (which is closed for February). Lots of seating space and you can stay warm and cozy by the fireplace ; )

Cafes & Desserts

Zen Cha >> FB page

So many tea options. It is a little pricey for tea, but it’s a nice cute place to sit and chat.

Yaourt >> FB page

Best froyo in Columbus. Dare I say it? Their original is on par with Pinkberry!

Pistacia Vera >> menu

So charming and almost every girl I know likes macarons. There are also many other dessert options.


Macarons from Pistacia Vera

Jeni’s Splendid ice cream >> menu

I’m team Jeni’s through and through. Try all the flavors! I am so happy they brought my favorite back: goat cheese & cherries.

Hope you enjoy good food with good company on Valentine’s Day. Many of the places mentioned will be featured in my Columbus Happy Hour overview, which I will be posting after the 14th!


Jeni’s Ice Cream photo by: Paul Woo


  • Jacqueline says:

    Great choices! Never tried Barcelona before, but it sounds amazing!

  • David says:

    I feel like all these places, except maybe Guachos would be super crowded on Valentines day. Would you recommend a less popular, more cozy place?

    • Kathy says:

      I would recommend going to a place that does take reservations because many people will be planning dinner dates for the holiday. Take the time to make the call to secure your table :)

      Cafe Bella is a hole in the wall place that has an interesting concept where there is no set menu. The chef makes up the menu on the fly depending on the ingredients available for the day. It’s usually a 3 course meal for a set price (about $15) . Also, the last time I was there it was BYOB! Definitely a different dining experience.

      Going to Whole Foods might be fun too! There’s a tiny restaurant and bar inside the one on Dublin Granville. Whole Foods offers all different types of food so there will be many choices depending on what you’re craving!

  • Kim says:

    You should a post about the best hidden happy hours!

  • Krist says:

    I love Zencha!

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