Updated at: 10-06-2023 - By: John Lau

Welcome to the bustling nightlife scene of Columbus, Ohio, where an eclectic mix of cocktail lounges, dive bars, and upscale establishments line the streets.

Whether you’re a local or visitor exploring High Street or venturing into the charming Short North district, you’ll find no shortage of amazing drinking spots in this thriving city.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of 19 best bars in Columbus that cater to various tastes and preferences – from laid-back neighborhood pubs to unique rooftop experiences.

Top 19 Bars In Columbus

Bob’s Bar

Bob's Bar

If you’re searching for the perfect spot to unwind after a long day, look no further than Bob’s Bar – one of the best bars in Columbus, Ohio.

At Bob’s Bar, you’ll be treated to an impressive variety of craft beer options.that cater to every taste bud imaginable. Not only is their selection vast, but their knowledgeable and friendly staff will ensure your experience is top-notch from start to finish.

Short North Pint House

Venturing into the heart of Columbus’ vibrant nightlife scene, I found myself at Short North Pint House – undeniably one of the best bars in the city.

With an extensive selection of beers on tap including countless local brews as well as a full bar stocked with crowd-pleasing favorites, there’s something to cater to everyone at Short North Pint House.

In addition to their impressive craft beer offerings and happy hour specials that are hard to beat elsewhere in town, this trendy neighborhood spot also serves up delicious pub grub options perfect for casual dining with friends.

Dick’s Den

Dick's Den

Step into Dick’s Den, one of the best bars in Columbus, and you’ll immediately feel welcomed by its laid-back atmosphere and friendly patrons. This legendary dive bar has been serving Ohio residents for years, satisfying both young and older crowds eager to indulge in an ice-cold beer or expertly crafted cocktail.

What sets Dick’s Den apart from many other local hangouts is not only its diverse crowd but also its commitment to live music. As I sat at the bar sipping my drink, I was mesmerized by an up-and-coming jazz band serenading us with their smooth tunes.

The combination of great drinks and locally-inspired entertainment makes this place a must-visit on any list of best bars in Columbus.

BrewDog Franklinton

BrewDog Franklinton is undeniably one of the best bars in Columbus, and as someone struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to know your drinking destinations. This tap bar is situated in a trendy neighborhood known for its artistic culture and strong sense of community.

The Scottish brewery specializes in craft beers that will leave you coming back for more. What sets this establishment apart from others on our list is its beautiful rooftop terrace, providing unparalleled views of the downtown skyline while sipping on your drink of choice.

It’s perfect for beer enthusiasts looking for an authentic tasting experience but also for those who want to unwind with friends or family in a welcoming atmosphere.

Brothers Drake Meadery

When it comes to unique drinks in Columbus, Brothers Drake Meadery is a must-visit bar. As one of the best bars in the city, this local producer of mead focuses on serving products from Columbus and Ohio.

The bartenders at Brothers Drake Meadery are knowledgeable about their meads and cocktails, making recommendations based on each customer’s preferences. Whether you’re interested in trying a flight of meads or savoring a specialty cocktail made with locally-sourced ingredients, Brothers Drake Meadery has plenty to offer those seeking something different.

Sidebar Columbus

Sidebar Columbus

As someone who loves to explore the Columbus nightlife scene, I have found that Sidebar Columbus is one of my favorite bars in the city. Located in a historic brick building in downtown Columbus, this bar and restaurant serves up South American-inspired cuisine with a Spanish flair.

But it’s not just about the food at Sidebar Columbus – their cocktail game is on point as well. They are known for shaking some of the best cocktails in town, using fresh ingredients and innovative techniques to create drinks you won’t find anywhere else.

The Pearl

One of the best bars in Columbus that I highly recommend to anyone struggling with Alcoholism is The Pearl. If you’re looking for a great place to unwind, relax, and enjoy a night out without risking your sobriety, then this spot is perfect for you.

Located in downtown Columbus, this bar offers a wide variety of cocktails and drinks that are sure to satisfy any palate.

The building housing The Pearl dates back over 100 years and has been beautifully restored while still retaining its historical charm and authenticity. You can expect not only delicious food and drink but also exceptional hospitality and service.

Whether you’re looking for seafood or steak, they have it all on their impressive menu selection.

Forno Kitchen + Bar

Forno Kitchen + Bar

Forno Kitchen + Bar is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to explore the bar scene in Columbus. Located in the trendy Short North Arts District, Forno offers contemporary cuisine and a unique stone-fired dining experience.

But what sets Forno apart from other bars on this list? For pizza lovers, it’s worth noting that Forno is not only one of the best bars but also the highest-rated pizza restaurant in Columbus, making it an essential stop for any foodie or pizza enthusiast.

The Bottle Shop

Moving on to another excellent Columbus bar, The Bottle Shop is not only one of the best bars in town but also a refined cocktail bar. Located in the University District’s Dennison Place, it boasts a dog-friendly patio that creates an incredible atmosphere for pet-owning enthusiasts looking to enjoy their drinks while spending time with their furry friends.

MyBartender recognized The Bottle Shop as one of the 23 best bars in Columbus because of its excellent mixology and fantastic bartenders who create craft cocktails that are popular among locals looking for a night out.

One unique aspect of this establishment is the pop-up events hosted by some former employees who once clashed with management over creative differences and decided to create their own inventive takes on crafting cocktails.

The Alibi Bourbon And Cocktail Lounge

As someone who loves trying out new bars and discovering hidden gems, I can confidently say that The Alibi Bourbon and Cocktail Lounge is one of my favorite spots in the Short North neighborhood.

I appreciate that The Alibi offers a full menu with various food options to pair with their drinks. Plus, their happy hour specials from 4 pm to 6 pm on weekdays are hard to beat.

But what really sets this place apart for me is the cozy atmosphere and entertainment options available – from live music performances to trivia nights, there’s always something going on at The Alibi.


Zeno’s is a popular dive bar located near the Short North neighborhood and Ohio State University. As someone struggling with alcoholism, I appreciate the comfortable atmosphere of this neighborhood bar, especially its basement dive bar.

According to MyBartender, Zeno’s is one of the best bars in Columbus for all ages and walks of life. Not only do they offer a menu with various options for food and drink, but they also host fun trivia nights that bring people together.

In fact, Zeno’s was even awarded as the third-best bar in Columbus to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets play.

Seventh Son Brewing Co.

Seventh Son Brewing Co.

Seventh Son Brewing Co. is undoubtedly one of the best bars in Columbus, and for good reason. As a craft beer lover, this bar has everything I could ever want in a brewery taproom – an impressive selection of local beers and a rotating schedule of food trucks right on their outdoor patio.

Located in the historic Italian Village district of Columbus, Seventh Son Brewing Co. provides an unbeatable atmosphere that truly captures the essence of Ohio’s beloved bar scene.

Little Palace

As someone who enjoys the occasional drink, I can confidently say that Little Palace is one of the best bars in Columbus. Located in Downtown Columbus at 240 S 4th St. this bar and restaurant has a full menu to satisfy any craving.

One of the things I appreciate about Little Palace is how welcoming they are to all ages and walks of life. Whether you’re out with friends or looking for a place to unwind after work, you’ll feel right at home here.

Oddfellows Liquor Bar

Oddfellows Liquor Bar

Oddfellows Liquor Bar is a gem in the Short North Arts District of Columbus. As one of the best bars in town, it boasts an eclectic decor that will keep you mesmerized throughout your stay.

But what really sets Oddfellows apart is their job opportunities for bartenders with no prior experience. If you’re looking to break into the industry or simply want a new challenge, this spot could be exactly what you need.

Strongwater Food And Spirits

As someone recovering from alcoholism, I’ve found Strongwater Food and Spirits to be a great place for socializing without the pressure to indulge. Located in East Franklinton in Columbus, Ohio, it’s been listed among the best Bars in the city and for good reason.

Not only do they offer an impressive list of cocktails on their menu but starting this January they will open their kitchen as well. Their private events service can also cater to weddings with offerings ranging from food and catering to rentals and equipment.

Grass Skirt Tiki Room

As someone who enjoys a good tiki bar, I can confidently say that the Grass Skirt Tiki Room was one of the best bars in Columbus. It had everything you could want in a tropical-themed establishment – from retro decor to exotic drinks and Polynesian cuisine.

Sadly, after seven years of operation, the Grass Skirt Tiki Room closed its doors in 2019. However, during its time in business, it served as a tribute to Columbus’ rich heritage with Kahiki and provided visitors with a nostalgic experience they couldn’t find anywhere else.


Curio at Harvest is an amazing cocktail bar situated in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus and is one of the best bars in Columbus. The atmosphere and ambiance of Curio are perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a night out with friends or loved ones.

One thing that sets Curio apart from other bars in Columbus is its focus on mixology. Their specialty lies in serving some unique drinks that you won’t find anywhere else, like the Four Thieves Vinegar – a mixture of gin, honey syrup, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, egg white foam & orange bitters.

If you’re looking for an exceptional evening out with some fantastic craft cocktails served by knowledgeable bartenders who will guide you through your choices or just want to unwind after work while enjoying happy hour specials with your friends- then make sure to add Curio at Harvest to your list!

Rambling House Soda

Rambling House Soda

Rambling House Soda is a refreshing gathering place for those seeking non-alcoholic alternatives. This unique soda pub, located at 310 E.

Hudson St., Columbus, aims to promote wellness and craft drinks in a cozy atmosphere.

One of the highlights of this top-rated bar in Columbus is the fresh ginger soda that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with spirits for cocktails. Rambling House also offers canned cocktails and a perfect wellness shot that promotes health benefits from ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper, and honey – all locally sourced ingredients.

The Light Of Seven Matchsticks

If you’re looking for a unique bar concept that offers creative mixology, then The Light of Seven Matchsticks was one of the best bars in Columbus.

This speakeasy-style bar was located beneath Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Live Music in Worthington and provided an intimate drinking atmosphere with high-end cocktails made with precision and care.

Though it is now closed as of fall/winter 2021, this spot left an indelible mark on the Columbus craft cocktail scene, serving patrons for over five years.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for a night out in Columbus, Ohio, there are plenty of great bars to choose from. Whether you prefer dive bars or upscale cocktail lounges, the city has something for everyone.

So gather up your friends and hit up some of the top 19 bars listed above for an unforgettable night of bar hopping and fun.