There is just something about summer in the Short North: outdoor events, walking from gallery to gallery, and warm summer evenings spent dining at the abundance of restaurant patios in the District. Whether it’s grabbing a slice of pizza after hours, or a deluxe date night, these outdoor eateries can’t be beat. With this list as your guide, your summer is sure to be full of fantastic al fresco fare, as well as unforgettable evenings under the stars.

If a date night is what you have in mind, Eleven is a fabulous al fresco setting located at the southern end of the Arts District. Take in The Cap’s hustle and bustle as you eat on the upscale outdoor patio or come early to enjoy the open-air happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 Tuesday through Friday. Yelp reviewers rave of this welcoming, upscale al fresco combination, saying that dining under the billowing ivory curtains outside truly creates a relaxing ambiance. From lobster mac n’ cheese to seafood shareables or one of the best filets in town, Eleven is a fantastic choice for a summer evening.

 

 

Casual dining with an upscale feel can be found just a few blocks north at Hubbard Grille. This Short North favorite has been celebrated throughout the city since their opening in 2010, but as an al fresco dining spot, it can often be overlooked. Located in the old Winder’s Chevrolet dealership, Hubbard Grille’s abundance of history and charm is evident from first glance at its retro, neon sign. Enjoy the celebrated calamari and the energetic atmosphere, by grabbing a spot on the chic patio. You’ll have a front row seat in the heart of the Short North to take in the Arts District environment.

 

 

As the summer heats up, what better way to cool down after a night out than by enjoying a midnight snack under the arches? At first it may be tough to spot this afterhours treat, but once you have tried Mikey’s Late Night Slice, as any Columbus native can attest, you will not forget it. Providing a welcome alternative to sliders and street meat by serving up sizable slices of New York style pizza on weeknights until 3:00am and on the weekend until 4:00am, Late Night Slice offers patio seating and complimentary retro movies projected on the adjacent building. For those adventurous eaters, Late Night Slice offers quirky menu items such as a Pizza Dawg, Cheezus Crust and the Baby Cheezus. And even if you aren’t a night owl, Late Night Slice now offers the same succulent slices during the day, along with a slightly expanded menu that includes subs and other items, under the moniker Mikey’s Quick Slice. So, whether you’re taking a much deserved lunch break or indulging after a long night out with friends, pizza on the patio is a perfect summer option.

Centrally located and critically acclaimed, Bodega, a hip all-occasion restaurant, recently revamped their menu and the city is taking notice.  Bodega boasts a one-dollar grilled cheese special on Mondays, as well as the best happy hour in the Short North, but don’t let the discounts fool you.  With an evolving menu options and a creative culinary staff, not to mention the delightful street-side dining option, it’s no surprise Bodega is a favorite al fresco spot. Perfect your people watching skills while enjoying the delicious shrimp and grits paired with one of over 50 beer options and taste for yourself what all the fuss is about.

 

 

With the dozens of al fresco dining spots throughout the District, some large party patios, a few hidden gems, why not let the experts show you around?  We recommend Columbus Food Adventures for a walking food tour of the Short North Arts District that highlights the finest local fare and allows participants to take in the unique, exciting atmosphere of the Short North, step by step.  Covering approximately 1.5 miles, the tour is available in a group or private setting and features tastings at six to seven stops in addition to information about the history of one of the premier neighborhoods in Columbus. Tours start at the busy North Market where you’ll learn about the culinary options inside the downtown marketplace, then travel with the experts throughout the District and let your taste buds do the exploring.  Get out and enjoy the unique experience of Columbus Food Adventures to reserve your spot today!

From quick lunch breaks to romantic dinners to midnight snacks, there’s no shortage of al fresco options here in the Short North. The patios in the Short North give city-goers a chance to enjoy the weather and unique food that add to the ambiance of the Arts District. So go scope out a new outdoor eatery today and soak up those summer rays while you can!

We also recommend these al fresco spots this summer:
Brothers Drake Meadery
Union Café
The Happy Greek
Basi Italia
La Fogata Grill
Haiku Poetic Food & Art