Written by: Steve Stover
Date: May 3, 2013

Pasta dish at Basi Italia

Dining on Basi Italia’s patio in Victorian Village is one of the most unique experiences in Columbus. Photo:Flickr TheHungryDudes

It seems like almost every restaurant is a patio, terrace, deck, or sidewalk. I am always on the lookout for pleasant outdoor settings and good food. So here is my top outdoor dining venues by categories:

Best views

  • Bel Lago – Views of the Hoover Reservoir
  • M at Miranova – Great furniture and views of the city
  • Cafe Istanbul – On Riverside with the best views in the city

Most romantic

  • Barcelona – Wonderful fenced patio setting plus great Mediterranean food
  • Seven Stars at the Worthington Inn – Patios nestled in bushes, covered, sparkling lights and excellent food

Best scene (as is to see and be seen)

  • Lindey’s – The added patio/terrace to the ever-popular roof-level deck, being remodeled to include bathrooms; planning tapas menu; still hot

Best people watching

  • Alana’s – Just north of campus on High Street, creative food, reasonable wine prices, and great people watching
  • Le Chatelaine – Multiple Locations

Best gourmet patio

  • The Refectory – Probably the best food you’ll find outdoors in Columbus, and a bistro menu that’s a real deal that features a special 3 course regional French menu, with two choices for $21, Monday through Thursday, on the matured fenced patio
  • G. Michael’s – Small patio in German Village with excellent food

Steve’s favorite

  •  Basi Italia  – A nine month patio with great Italian food and friendly servers

Top bar and food patios

  • Flatiron Bar and Diner – Perhaps the best food in a bar in Columbus
  • Claddagh Irish Pub – Near Polaris with sunsets, a fireplace and firepit!
  • Old Bag of Nails – The Gahanna location overlooks the Rocky Fork Creek and a park

Finally, don’t forget

  • Moretti’s of Arlington – fountain and landscaping with a small plates menu
  • Figlio – The Riverside Drive location covered patio overlooking the Scioto

  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

    • Sara Davis

      Not quite, the Silent Woman was located a couple blocks East of Yearling Rd, the sign depicted a maiden type female form holding a couple of steins, she had no head. There was no severed head, no knife. The same sign has been there for over 40 yrs now (per my last trip to ohio)

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.

    • lettuce dolphin

      hello, I have worked at a Bibibop for 2 years now, the price for a chicken (spicy or regular) bowl currently is 6.75$, steak bowl is 7.25$, and a tofu bowl is 6.65$. Along with that the appetizers are 1$ for pineapple, 1.50$ for edamame and kimchi. Also drinks are 1.75$ but come out to 1.88$ after tax.
      A chicken bowl with a drink is 9.14$ if you eat in and 8.63$ if you take it to go.
      Also the service is incredibly fast, if there is no line we can usually get someone to make an entire bowl in about 1-2 minutes. The only time service is slow is when there is a rush, around 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm, and even slow is an understatement, once you get to the line it usually takes about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes to get through. Also the line length and time depends on the store, i have worked at several Bibibop’s and some attract a larger crowd than others. The most visited age demographic in my opinion is about 20-25 and 40-50.

      The reason i started working at a Bibibop is because of the low prices for such a delicious and large amount of food, the bowls are about the size of two softballs, i do not know how many fluid ounces off hand though, i believe around 48 fluid ounces.
      If you have any other questions or anything about Bibibop i got you, i’m not being paid to do this, i just came across it while on the internet and saw a lot of inflated prices and felt like sharing the exact price.

      I hope you all have a great day, Take care always!

      • lettuce dolphin

        Also a lot of the prices on the op post are not correct and we do not carry some items anymore, such as the Pellegrino.

        Take care always!

  • Laurie Wickline

    Didn’t see Milanos. Used to go there all the time! Loved the lasagna!!!

  • Denise Lafferty

    Bill Knapps

    • Jim Early

      looks like they closed in 2001:
      Bill Knapps 2100 Bethel Road Columbus
      Bill Knapps 6851 N High St Worthington
      Bill Knapps 2199 Riverside Dr Columbus
      Bill Knapps 12995 Stonecreek Dr Pickerington

  • Carol Francis

    Knights Ice Cream has been closed since 2015!

  • Judith Swanson

    I have a few random comments. There was a restaurant in the early 80’s on Main (downtown) called Numbers which was run by Steven Bimbo (King of the Gypsies). Siam (both the original restaurant on Bethel and a branch in German Village (where Bavaria House used to be). John’s Village Junction on High in German Village. Many restaurants opened and closed in Brewery District. Butchie’s (east) had a couple of other names which were more Italian sounding. Columbus Steak House was in a shopping center at east of 71 on 161. We went there a lot in the 1980’s.

  • Sara Davis

    The Silent Woman was locared on Main St in Whitehall, a couple blocks East of Yearling Rd