Columbus Happy Hours for Foodies

March 15th, 2011    •  by Bethia    •   13 Comments »

There are a multitude of places that you can get a cheap happy hour martini or discounted draft beer, but perhaps even more interesting are the restaurants that offer great deals on quality happy hour dining in addition to the drink deals. We’ve spent a few weeks looking into these, and here are some of our favorites:

Rigsby’s Kitchen
Rigsby’s most well known happy hour is their Monday $1 oyster special but they also have a fantastic bar menu. Although happy hour for drinks runs until 7pm, the Rigsby’s bar menu is served all day Monday-Saturday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. The bar menu offers three small plates for $10 (discounted if you have an SBB card) as well as pizza, pasta, burger and salads. Small plates include the famous truffled deviled eggs, polenta fries, Sicilian meatballs and dates stuffed with lamb sausage wrapped in pancetta.

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The Refectory
The Refectory happy hour, weekdays from 4:30pm – 6:30pm, is great for early birds, and they offer some of their spectacular appetizers at half-off. If you haven’t eaten at The Refectory this is a great introduction to the cuisine of Chef Richard Blondin and a chance to sample some of his signature dishes such as the scallop pomponnette or the mussel soup (which has been on and off the menu for 18 years). Like many of the more popular happy hours, you have to find a seat at the bar to take advantage of the deals, so these happy hours lend themselves to smaller groups. The appetizer menu currently offers such delicacies at alpaca terrine, marble of escargot and salad gourmande. On Mondays martinis are $5 and each weekday offers a different drinks special.

happy hours in Columbus

G Michaels
G Michaels Happy hour is from 4:30-7:00pm and is, again, only for the lucky few who nab a seat at the bar. Happy hour includes small plates for $6, $4 house wine and $5 martinis (my favorite is the Lolita). Small plates includes G Michael’s signature shrimp and grits as well as the current seasonal selection, and all show off the skill and passion of Chef Tetzloff. There are always some creative meat dishes often including well handled offal. Current small plates are pheasant pot pie, oxtail crepinette and oysters Bienville.

Latitude 41
Handy for events downtown, Latitude 41 has a great (and largely unknown) happy hour Monday-Thursday 5-7pm, offering 50% off selected appetizers, $2 draft beers and $6 martinis. Appetizers include Asian wings with kimchi, chicken and waffles, flatbreads and mussels with lemongrass.

Deepwood has one of the longest happy hours 3-7pm and offer a special ‘tavern hours’ food menu with prices ranging from $4-$8. Current selections include braised beef short rib, duck fried rice, ham and cheese gougere, cod fritter and house made sausage. On top of that, there’s an innovative cocktail list with house and signature martinis priced at $4-$5.
columbus best happy hours

Worthington Inn
During happy hour (4-7pm weekdays) the Worthington Inn offers their bar snack menu for, you guessed it, half price. The menu currently includes BBQ pork sliders, warm artichoke dip, Reuben skins, corned beef, caraway kraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island and the Worthington Inn’s answer to buffalo chicken wings – Spicy pork chicharrones with celery and blue cheese.

happy hour worthington

Lindey’s happy hour is another early one, running from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the bar. Their bargain bar menu offers dishes ranging from $2-$4 and includes Lindey’s chips (with Roquefort, bacon and green onions), sliders, fish tacos, crab cakes, flat breads and potstickers.

Black Creek Bistro
Tucked over in Old Towne East, it’s easy to forget about cosy Black Creek Bistro. Their happy hour is 4-7pm Monday to Friday and includes $5 house martinis, state minimum priced wine and $5 appetizers. The appetizers (including fried brie, salmon cakes, shrimp and calamari) are good, although not as locally focused as the rest of the menu. Our favorite (and the most unusual) appetizer was probably the duck tostada with hand pulled slow cooked duck, poblano salsa, avocado, white beans and pickled onions. Black Creek Bistro also offers a 3 course fixed price menu for $20 during happy hour.

We love to go to M to taste the latest creation concocted by M’s mixologist Cris Dehlavi. M’s special happy hour for food lovers is on Friday when they offer half priced sushi rolls from 5-7pm. This coincides with their Monday-Friday drinks happy hour with $5 martinis and wine specials. The surf and turf sushi roll includes filet mignon and tempura shrimp.

Drinks happy hour is 5-7pm Monday to Friday (bar only) but if you go on Monday night all tapas dishes are half priced all night. Tapas includes dishes such as steamed mussels, calamari, stuffed avocado and hummus. If you are willing to pay full price for your drinks you can sit out on the patio and enjoy your tapas.

Nida’s happy hour is 4pm-6.30pm Monday-Friday with lots of drink specials, $3 and $4 sushi rolls and $3 selected appetizers. Try the Krathong Thong (phyllo pastry shell filled with ground chicken and corn), Thai Gai Todd (chicken wings) or the satey tofu.

Nida's thai on high,  krathong thong, thai appetizer

Burgundy Room
The Burgundy Room has happy hour Monday -Friday 4-7pm and offers four small plates for $3-5. Choose from truffle fries, mussels with chorizo, beet dip and goat cheese crostini and a short rib slider with waffle chips. Wash that down with a $4 martini, a $1 PBR or a $5 glass of house wine.

If you have other happy hour suggestions for places with food above and beyond typical bar food, please feel free to post them below.

13 Comments to “Columbus Happy Hours for Foodies”

  1. Great post! Very, very helpful!

  2. Great post, thanks so much for sharing! Just wanted to let you know I’m a Columbus native, now writing my own food blog in DC, and love being able to read your posts to keep up with the changing C-bus foodie scene back home! Can’t wait to try out some of these great happy hour locales next time I’m back 🙂

  3. Great roundup! Thanks Bethia!

  4. This post is amazing…can this be a tour?
    If so…I am in!

    • I’m sure you we could do it for a private group.
      If you started at Deepwood at 3pm you would have four hours to play with.

  5. Met you at a Big Fish. Great summary!! Alll my favourites in here. What a tour this would be—maybe we could organize one?

  6. Thank you, Bethia! As always great insights into the Columbus food scene. So many great choices for happy hour indeed!

  7. The Happy Hour at Eleven can’t be overlooked! Small plates and drinks all for $4.00 a piece. And they aren’t smaller or weaker versions of what you would be served outside happy hour!

  8. Pining for Cbus 🙂 Thanks!

  9. Thanks for this! I am always on the lookout for more affordable ways to try out some of the higher-end restaurants in Cbys, and especially am big on happy hours with delicious food.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I don’t get to happy hours very often because of my kiddos but when I do get a girls night out or date night – I will definitely use your list! I have been to Lindey’s (loved it!), Worthington Inn, and Barcelona on a Monday and loved them all! Thanks again! 🙂

  11. Vino Vino is super. From 5-6 pm only, any seat in the restaurant, they have salads, apps and pizzas for 3 or 4 dollars. Eight to ten choices of things to pick from. Plus full pours of the house white or red for five bucks or four ounce pours for 3 bucks.

  12. KCMiller
    May 23, 2011

    My favorite happy hours, foodwise, are Barrel 44 in the Short North and Marcella’s out at Polaris. Both offer great discounts on amazing food, and I can never decide which is my favorite. You must try the duck flatbread or the beef and blue cheese crostini at Barrel 44, and their cocktails are perfection. And at Marcella’s, the Crispy Potato pizza is revelatory.

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