Soaking in some sunshine and eating an incredible meal may be two of my favorite things. If you haven’t tried these restaurants and cafes before, they’ll quickly become your new favorites. While there may be multiple locations that aren’t listed, it’s because these have better outdoor seating. It’s summertime, so I wanted to list the places with good patios and balconies. Forget that indoor stuff. Get outside…and EAT.
The pricing for all of these according to Urban Spoon is in the “$$” range. In other words, it ain’t no Wendy’s, but it also ain’t no Hyde Park.
Katalina’s Café | Victorian Village
If a vacation destination could be a restaurant, it would be Katalina’s. Somehow when you eat here, you escape normal life for just a while. If you ask people what they get at Katalina’s, they’ll reply with two words: Pancake Balls.
Fox In The Snow Café | Columbus
This is your place for afternoon pastries and egg sandwiches. The garage doors open up and make the entire space outdoor seating during the warmer months, but there’s a patio as well. Weekends can get crazy busy, so get there early. It’s the Columbus version of a west coast coffee shop.
Old Bag of Nails | Creekside
There are a ton of these all around town, but the Gahanna one in particular has a great back patio and a balcony for some nice outdoor seating overlooking Creekside. While I’m not a big fish eater, people go nuts over their fish ‘n chips.
Condado Tacos | Columbus
Double-decker taco time, y’all. It’s a hard shell wrapped in a soft shell and held together by queso, guac, beans, and more taco seasonings and ingredients. Locals love the tacos and the fun and funky communal patio area, too!
ZOË Café | Bexley
Such a nice place to eat outdoors on a lunch break. It’s on one of the main drags in Bexley, and is so tasty it’s unreal. From bagels with salmon to pancakes to zesty quesadillas, they have a ton of options on the menu.
Brio Tuscan Grille | Easton
The outdoor seating at this place is hard to beat. You can even go later at night for some appetizers and relax on cushy lounge chairs. Great for evening chats with good company.
Uptown Deli | Westerville
This place has a downtown feel without the traffic. If you’re looking for a surprising little suburban getaway, give this a try. They call it a deli for a reason. You walk in and immediately see an array of meats through the window. Meat lovers – This is your new home. Please note that this deli is also brewing company, so if you’re looking for a more family friendly time to visit, give lunch a try.
El Arepazo Latin Grill | Columbus
If all they served was rice and beans, I’d still go, because the flavor is THAT GOOD. A friend of mine told me it’s about as authentic as they come (in terms of Latin food here in the US). Get the Patacon when you go. You won’t regret it. It’s a unique outdoor space. This location is only open for lunch. If you want outdoor dinner seating, try the Gahanna or Brewery District locations.
Milestone 229 | Scioto Mile
I almost didn’t include this as an option because it kind of pushes into the ritzier category of dining out, but there are some menu items that squeeze into that $$ range, especially during brunch or lunchtime. The view is spectacular, overlooking the Scioto Mile.
J. Liu | Dublin
Any meal at J. Liu tastes spectacular, but my personal favorite is their Sunday brunch. Sometimes you’ll find Crab Rangoon and two steps further, the world’s most amazing Belgian Waffles. It’s a buffet-style with a range of cuisines that can satisfy my adventurous taste buds and my Dad’s boring ones all at the same time.
Harvest Pizzeria | German Village
If you’re sick of pizza chains and want a really good brick oven pizza, go here. Their Fennel Sausage Pizza is basically a part of my family now. Harvest Pizzeria gets a lot of produce from local farmers, which is a big plus in my book. While the seating is more limited than its sister pizzeria in Clintonville, it’s worth it for the patio.
Marcella’s Ristorante | Short North
If you’re lucky you’ll get a seat right next to the sidewalk. The reason I’m including this in outdoor patio space is because the entire front windows open up! While you won’t sit precisely in the fresh air, you’ll still get plenty of it indoors. This is a great option for a date night when you want to go a little fancier but aren’t quite ready to Pearl it up.
Northstar Café | Easton
The one word that comes to mind with Northstar Café is FRESH. I don’t even like salads that much, and I scrape every piece of lettuce off the plate there when I order one. In fact, if there was a place that could turn me into a salad lover, this is it. It’s so much more than salads though. Take a look at the menu to see what I mean.