Where to Stay, Eat, & Drink in Columbus Over a Sports-Centric Weekend

October 11, 2022

Disclaimer: this post is part of a partnership with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. Photos and opinions are our own.

There’s no doubt Columbus is a sporting town, from the Ohio State Buckeyes to the Blue Jackets, Clippers, and Crew, the Arnold plus all the visiting athletic events at the Convention Center or other venues. If you’re spending a couple days in Columbus for an event, we’ve rounded up places to stay and a few neighborhoods to explore in your down time, or for a quick cup of coffee, a big dinner, or drinks out.

FIRST, look up our list of Where to Eat & Drink Before the Game for loads of ideas close to downtown for lunch, dinner, and drinks: local market stalls, pizza and tacos, brewpubs, upscale eats, and late night snacks.

Where to Stay

There are loads of great hotels within easy walking distance of the district, from national brands to unique properties offering their own special amenities.

The Hilton Downtown Columbus

The Hilton – and the brand new Hilton Tower – are connected to the Convention Center itself. They offer all the amenities of a stay at a Hilton property, and sit next to Nationwide Arena, the North Market, and other hotspots. Stop at the Gallerie Bar & Bistro for a meal, or hit up Provisions on High for drinks and snacks.

Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph

Le Meridien sits at the southern end of the Short North Arts District, and offers comfortable rooms with a modern, sleek design that’s accented by artwork throughout. The ground floor includes a cocktail bar, The Soul at The Joseph, and the building is connected to The Guild House, a perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks.

Canopy By Hilton

Sitting on Nationwide Boulevard, the Canopy By Hilton is a newer property that gives you easy access to the neighborhood while featuring two great dining options: lower level Central Market House serving breakfast and brunch, and the rooftop Goodale Station with great views, cocktails, and small plates.

The Graduate

Sitting in the heart of the Short North Arts District, the collegiate-themed Graduate focuses all on Ohio, with scarlet and gray coloring, athletic paraphernalia, and rooms nodding to greats like Jesse Owens and John Glenn.

AC Hotel Columbus Downtown

The new AC Hotel across from the North Market offers comfortable, European-inspired design, open event spaces, a rooftop bar, and much more.

The Hotel LeVeque

Hotel LeVeque makes its home in Columbus’ iconic LeVeque Tower, an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1927. The celestial-themed hotel is gorgeously appointed and includes the in-house restaurant The Keep Liquor Bar.

The Moxy

The hip and modern Moxy hotel lets you check in 24/7 at the bar, lounge on the first floor with drinks or a round of pool, or easily explore the surrounding Short North Arts District.

German Village

Columbus’ historic German Village was first populated by German immigrants in the 1800s. Its beautiful brick streets, half-story homes, and ample park space have been wonderfully preserved. The entire neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Start Your Morning

German Village Coffee Shop

Mingle with locals at this one-room diner, known for great pancakes, omelets, French toast, and crispy bacon pressed on the grill.

Fox in the Snow

The much loved Fox in the Snow is a coffee shop and bakery known for great java and beautiful pastries like cinnamon rolls, scones, galettes, biscuits with jam. Don’t miss their egg sandwich, too!

Skillet

This family-run spot changes its menu daily. They source locally to create stellar, comforting breakfast and lunch dishes.

Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

Stauf’s is a long-time Columbus roaster and coffee shop, and their German Village location is a favorite. Start your day with a cappuccino, a fresh muffin, and time on the patio.

Lunch, Dinner, & Drinks

The Sycamore

This neighborhood haunt was given new life recently. It’s great to visit any time of day: for a latte and a pastry in the morning, a quick lunch of salads or sandwiches, or happy hour, drinks, and dinner.

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus

Another Columbus institution, the family-run Schmidt’s has been around for over a century. Head there for great German food, and don’t miss their signature Bahama Mama sausages and giant cream puffs.

Katzinger’s Deli

Long-running, city-favorite deli known for huge sandwiches (reubens! BLTs! tuna salad!), bagels, corned beef hash, barrels of pickles.

Lindey’s

For more than 30 years, Lindey’s has been the place for big celebrations or simple nights out. Catch their brick patio in the warmer months while you enjoy their beautifully executed bistro menu.

Barcelona

The elegant but casual Barcelona specializes in Spanish fare, from extensive tapas, great wines, and favorite dishes like paella. Look for a seat on their lush, expansive patio!

Thurman Café

A cozy little dive bar that’s earned national attention for their towering burgers. Feeling really hungry? Tackle the infamous Thurmanator!

Valter’s at the Maennerchor

Columbus’ German singing chorus makes its home in an historic house on High Street, where Valter and his team dish up scratch-made German and American favorites in the pub.

South High Street & the Brewery District

High Street south of downtown is lined with all sorts of great bars, restaurants, and shops. The historic Brewery District, sitting to the west of High Street, was where traditionally German immigrants brewed their beer. Today you can still see evidence of it in the brick streets, old rail lines, and brewery structures getting a modern makeover.

Start Your Morning

Emmett’s Café

Emmett’s features thoughtfully crafted coffee, breakfast, and pastries. Start with an Aussie cappuccino and a hand-held breakfast sandwich, or order up a breakfast burrito,

Kolache Republic

Inside The Daily Growler (a great spot to sample 60+ beers later in the day!), Kolache Republic bakes up lovely Czech-style pastries. They fill the dough with fruits, nuts, and sweet cream cheeses, or wrap it to create savory breakfast sandwiches.

Lunch, Dinner, & Drinks

Law Bird

A fantastic cocktail bar that drew national attention even before it opened in late 2020, Law Bird is a hip stop for creative cocktails, an artfully curated wine list, and elevated-but-fun bar snacks you won’t find anywhere else.

Antiques on High

A sister brewery and cocktail bar to Seventh Son Brewing, Antiques features a delightful mid-century modern design, great libations, and a focus on sour beers. Hungry? Local food trucks park out back regularly!

Marvin’s

The new Marvin’s is a hidden gem, an already-popular stop for happy hour, drinks, and dinner, or a creative weekend brunch.

Matt & Tony’s Wood Fired Kitchen

A warm and welcoming pub offering good drinks and hearty eats like burgers, salads, sandwiches, fish and chips.

Dinner and a Show at Shadowbox Live

Sticking around for a couple nights? Book tickets at Shadowbox Live, Columbus’ long-running resident theatre company that puts on original rock-n-roll and sketch comedy shows. Arrive early to enjoy drinks and dinner at your table!

Italian Village

Centered along North Fourth Street just north of downtown, Italian Village is a growing neighborhood with some of the city’s favorite spots for breakfast, beer, and fun eats.

Start Your Morning

Fox in the Snow

The original location of this beloved coffee shop and bakery is still popular for the work-from-home crowd, meeting with friends, or grabbing a quick cup on the go.

Park Service Coffee

This family-run coffee truck serves great espresso and brewed coffee. Find them most mornings in front of Seventh Son Brewing or Budd Dairy Food Hall.

Java Central at Zaftig

Westerville’s Java Central Coffee Roasters makes good use of Zaftig Brewing’s brewpub in the morning. It’s a great stop for a quiet cup of coffee, pastry, or breakfast sandwich.

Lunch, Dinner, & Drinks

Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen

This quirky and colorful brewpub serves creative brunch and dinner that pairs perfectly with its over-the-top selection of pilsners, pales, IPAs, and sours.

Seventh Son Brewing

One of the city’s first in the wave of microbreweries, Seventh Son has established itself as a favorite outpost for craft beers, community events, and local food trucks.

Budd Dairy Food Hall

Built out in a former dairy building, the Budd Dairy Food Hall features a dozen local stalls selling everything from pizza to lobster rolls, tacos to burgers, southern fried fish to Filipino street fare. Grab drinks at the downstairs bar or find a spot on the rooftop!

Zaftig Brewing

Zaftig is known for their big beers, from double IPAs to barleywines to barrel-aged stouts. Their brewpub pairs all those ales with a hearty pub menu. It’s also a spot to catch your favorite teams on the big screen.

S’wich Social

Finish out your day with a little dessert! S’wich Social lets you build your own giant ice cream sandwiches using freshly baked cookies.

Franklinton

Franklinton sits just west of downtown over the Scioto River, and has been experiencing a renaissance of sorts in recent years, with the growth of a dynamic arts district on the eastern edge.

Start Your Morning

Tommy’s Diner

Just down Broad Street from downtown sits Tommy’s Diner, a beloved family-fun greasy spoon known for its welcoming atmosphere, filling breakfasts (don’t miss the best Belgian waffle in town!), and retro American décor.

One Line Coffee

One Line is a top-notch local roaster who crafts pour overs, espresso drinks, tea, and snacks. Visit later in the day for a glass of wine or a beer!

Lunch & Dinner

Land-Grant Brewing

A social center in Franklinton, Land-Grant features a big taproom with vintage sports pennants hanging on the walls. They also feature an expansive beer garden that hosts live music and community events. Get dinner from the Ray Ray’s Hog Pit truck parked on-site!

Strongwater Food & Spirits

Strongwater is a restaurant, bar, and event space in a renovated warehouse building in Franklinton. Sneak in for happy hour or stick around to taste their eclectic menu.

BrewDog

The Franklinton outpost of this Scotland-based brewery features a giant, rotating lineup of beer, a big pub menu, and a popular rooftop patio.

Yellow Brick Pizza

Pair great brews with Yellow Brick’s creative menu of pizzas and calzones. Don’t forgot a side order of tater tots!

Don’t Miss the Arts!

The Franklinton Arts District is a growing epicenter for the independent arts in Columbus. If you’re visiting the city over the second Friday of the month, don’t miss Franklinton Fridays, when galleries and artist studios stay open late so guests can stroll the district, shop the flea market, tour exhibitions, and grab dinner or drinks. Highlights include the 400 West Rich complex of artist studios, galleries like ROY G BIV, Vanderelli Room, Wild Goose Creative, Chromedge Studios, and Glass Axis.

Disclaimer: this post is part of a partnership with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. Photos and opinions are our own.

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FOOD + TRAVEL WRITER

I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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