Columbus, GA is a growing city full of amazing things to do. With lots of outdoor adventure, awesome museums, parks, and plenty of free things, too — Columbus is one Georgia city that’s worth the visit.
In addition to the growing list of things to do in this west Georgia town, you’ll also find some absolutely amazing restaurants. You’ll find awesome southern eats, upscale dining, can’t-miss breakfast spots, coffee houses, trendy spots and so much more.
Centrally-located in west-central Georgia and 90 minutes from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, it’s an easy drive from anywhere in the Southeast to some memorable eats. Ready to learn more? Here are 27 delicious restaurants in Columbus GA that you’re going to want to check out!
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN COLUMBUS GA
- Best for Foodies: Hotel Indigo Columbus at Riverfront Place has a great location near lots of popular Columbus attractions, and a great onsite restaurant too. Enjoy fresh entrees at Denim & Oak Riverfront Restaurant, featuring handpicked produce from W.C. Bradley Farms. In addition, their Eighteen 85 Rooftop Bar + Kitchen offers an inviting setting for twilight craft cocktails and regionally-influenced local beers.
- Best Historical Hotel: The Columbus Marriott was originally constructed as a mid-nineteenth-century cotton mill. This downtown hotel is only steps from the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Springer Opera House and the Chattahoochee RiverWalk. Houlihan’s in their onsite restaurant.
- Best Tried and True: The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Columbus-Fort Benning features a pool, fitness center, and a complimentary breakfast that includes both full and continental breakfast options.
SOUTHERN RESTAURANTS IN COLUMBUS GA
Looking for some Southern cooking? Columbus has you covered with these amazing spots.
MINNIE’S UPTOWN RESTAURANT
Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant is known for their delicious meat and three options for lunch, but their recent 10Best honor proves they’re worth a visit. With typical Southern sides like collard greens and candied sweet potatoes, and the best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted — you won’t regret a visit here.
This family-friendly option is sure to satisfy the palates of even the pickiest eaters. Be prepared to wait — it’s a popular place for good reason!
Minnie’s is open 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday through Friday. Closed Saturday.
PLUCKED UP CHICKEN AND BISCUITS
Plucked Up Chicken and Biscuits is the creation of local eatery icon Mark Jones. Think perfectly fried chicken and fluffy, golden-brown biscuits and all the different dishes that are possible, and you have Plucked Up.
Try the Alexi biscuit sandwich — it features grilled chicken with fresh spinach, goat cheese smear & tomato jam. Yum!
Its casual atmosphere is within a brick-exposed venue with “memorable” décor. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays.
SMOKE BOURBON AND BBQ
Smoke Bourbon and BBQ is a casual spot that showcases the only rooftop patio on Broadway and is known for creative barbecue and Southern fare, such as mouth-watering favorites: pimento cheese wontons, brisket tacos topped with pineapple cilantro slaw and pickled onions, and brisket gnocchi. Make sure to try the crowd favorite — the Pig Mac, a pulled pork sandwich topped with homemade mac and cheese and a house-made sauce all on a toasted brioche bun.
Open on Sunday from 11am to 3 pm, Monday and Wednesday from 11 am to 9 pm and Thursday-Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesdays.
COUNTRY’S ON BROAD
Country’s on Broad is a locally-based restaurant started in 1975 and now has three locations in Columbus, including one in Uptown Columbus. This location is uniquely situated in a building with shiny, stainless steel interior decor. The restaurant is housed in a former Greyhound bus station built in the 1930s, with a free juke box playing music selected by customers. There’s also a vintage bus attached to the building and it’s available for dining!
Country’s Barbecue is a popular destination for barbecue, ribs, milkshake bar and more, and it’s home to probably the best lemon meringue pie in Columbus, Ga. and beyond. (It’s definitely the tallest!) We ate here during our visit to Columbus and absolutely LOVED it. Open for lunch and dinner — 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
RUTH ANN’S RESTAURANT
Ruth Ann’s Restaurant was originally built in 1959, and this iconic eatery may serve the best breakfast in Columbus, Ga. It is a “must visit” Columbus restaurant with a no-frills homey atmosphere.
Ruth Ann’s famous delicious Southern home-style breakfast and lunch dishes are served all day — you’ll find coffee, espresso and cappuccino, too. Want something for unique for breakfast? Try the Capt’n Crunch French Toast!
Ruth Ann’s is open Wednesday through Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
TRENDY RESTAURANTS IN COLUMBUS GA
These trendy spots in Columbus are worth a visit!
THE BLACK COW
The Black Cow is a homey destination for fried green tomatoes and other Southern-inspired comfort food, plus cocktails. The burgers are especially good with a shout out for a “Best Burger in Georgia” by readers of Garden & Gun magazine.
The kids will love the high-top tables, Coca Cola mural and, right outside the front door — “Lil Rafter” — the bull that kids can ride. Mom and Dad will love the cocktails!
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Closed Sundays.
DOWNSTAIRS AT THE LOFT
For more than 25 years, Downstairs at The Loft has been a place dedicated to great food, fun and quality entertainment. Offering a variety of casual American fare options, it serves dinner and amazing desserts, such as its brag-worthy cheesecake.
Upstairs in the lounge, known as The Loft, guests enjoy music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with comedy acts every Thursday.
Downstairs at The Loft is open Tuesday-Wednesday from 5 pm to 10 pm and on Thursday-Saturday from 5 pm until they decide to close.
Just across the street from the historic State Theatre of Georgia, the Springer Opera House, the owner/operators of well-known establishments The Loft and Mabellas have added Saltceller to their Columbus restaurant portfolio.
Saltcellar delivers a variety of clean, fresh and bold flavors. Try their Goat Cheese Stuffed Piquillo Peppers app before moving on to entrees like their Saltcellar Shrimp and Grits or their Shrimp-Stuffed Carolina Trout.
It is open 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday and 5 p.m. until closing on Friday and Saturday. It is a great pre- or post-show stop, or anytime, for applause-worthy dining.
BARE ROOTS FARMACY
Bare Roots Community Kitchen & Bar supports the development of a resilient and healthy food culture throughout Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley.
Diners looking for fresh, local and organic in Columbus, Ga., Bare Roots Farmacy is the place. Bare Roots is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. everyday.
11TH AND BAY
Whether dining indoors, at the bar, or al fresco with a great sunset view, the team at 11th and Bay are inspired by Southern hospitality and fresh creative Southern cuisine. Quality products from our local area are sourced from farmers and purveyors to create the seasonally-driven menu.
With 4.5 out of 5 stars in just about every listing, 11th and Bay is one of the best restaurants in Columbus and is just steps from the Chattahoochee River. We ate here on a visit to Columbus and just absolutely adored it. We cannot say enough good things about 11th and Bay!
It’s open 5-8:30 on Wednesday and Thursday and 5-9pm on Friday and Saturday. It’s closed Sunday-Tuesday.
CANNON BREW PUB
A microbrewery, before anyone knew what a microbrewery was, Cannon Brew Pub is also known for its wood-fired pizza and a variety of burgers. Its brick-lined pub setting gives it a unique old-world charm right in the heart of Uptown Columbus. Try the White Chicken Nachos app!
It’s open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-9pm and Sunday from Noon to 9pm. Closed Monday.
Defining itself as an artisan pasta company, Chef Trevor’s philosophy is “to create dining excellence through unequivocal passion, humility, and class.” While his wife Brandi arrives early daily to roll the pasta, Chef Trevor spends the evenings cooking custom dishes from scratch that evolve into his seasonal menus at Trevioli.
Trevioli is open 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday and 5 to 11 on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.
Chef Bryant Walker, a Columbus native, transforms the essence of his New South Cuisine with Wicked Hen Restaurant and Lounge in Midtown. Featuring modern technique and fresh, natural regional fare, the kitchen recreates the bounty of the surrounding area and redefines traditional Southern cooking.
Brunch and lunch hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11am-2pm. Dinner hours are 5pm-9pm Tuesday-Thursday and 5pm-10pm Friday-Saturday. The Upstairs Lounge is open Tuesday-Saturday beginning at 3pm.
UPSCALE RESTAURANTS IN COLUMBUS GA
Ready for a night out on the town? Try one of these amazing upscale restaurants in Columbus GA.
Chef Jamie Keating has wowed Columbus with this Epic concept, which features “elevated American cuisine in a white tablecloth setting.”
Having earned the AAA Four Diamond Award, the 2017 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine, and being named by Gayot.com a 2016 Top 40 Fine-Dining Eateries in the United States, the only one in Georgia and ranked 10th on the list, Epic is a popular special-occasion restaurant in Columbus GA. Reservations are recommended.
Epic is open Tuesday – Saturday, 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., with the $45 pre-fixe menu being served from 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Mabella describes itself as a “quaint trattoria” which translates to “an Italian restaurant serving simple food.” If “simple” means “delicious,” they are a definitely “trattoria.”
The historic building was a telephone switch in the 1800s, hence its name. Chef Tom Jones works to fuse the history of Columbus into his wonderful menu options. It’s open 5-10 Monday through Thursday and 5-11 Friday and Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Located in Midtown, Jarfly is a new fun place offering great food and drinks that everyone will love. Roll-up doors, bike racks, and pet-friendly exterior seating make it a go-to location to relax and enjoy.
With menu items like a Vegan Smash Burger and Lobster Rolls, and plenty of tropical cocktails and craft beers — this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy. Make sure to get some Loaded Fries!
Named after the loud, buzzing Southern cicadas, there is definitely a buzz around town about Jarfly.
COFFEE HOUSES IN COLUMBUS
Stop by one of these amazing Columbus coffee houses for pastries and a cup of joe.
IRON BANK COFFEE CO.
Iron Bank Coffee Co. is an independent and locally owned company located in the unique old Iron Bank Building in the historic district of Uptown Columbus.
In addition to coffee, lattes, and espressos, they serve teas, smoothies, beer, and wine. Food offerings include breakfast items, sandwiches, sweets, and salads with homemade dressings. This is a breakfast favorite of ours!
It is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.
FOUNTAIN CITY COFFEE
Established in 2003, Fountain City Coffee has been roasting beans and serving the Columbus area since their inception. They consider everyone involved–from bakers and baristas to regular costumers–as part of the family. They pride themselves on their deeply flavorful roasts and their commitment to using high-quality, ethically-sourced green beans.
In addition to coffee, they also serve breakfast sandwiches and hot and cold sandwiches for lunch.
Hours are 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
MIDTOWN COFFEE HOUSE
With a tagline “everything we do is fresh,” it is sure to be good. Featuring premium coffee, and homemade soups and sandwiches, Midtown Coffee believes in great service and good value with a simple feel yet sophisticated flavor.
Make sure to join them for their Trivia Fridays at 7 p.m. featuring a different theme each week.
Midtown Coffee House is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and it’s closed on Sunday.
Golden Donuts is a locally owned donut shop. Whether you want to dine-in or drive-through, Golden Donuts is serving up hot, fresh donuts. They’ve got coffee too!
Open Monday-Saturday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
CLASSIC RESTAURANTS IN COLUMBUS GA
Looking for some classic Columbus restaurants that everyone will love? Here are some of our favorites!
CERRONE’S BRICK OVEN PIZZERIA
Named the “2019 Best in the Southeast” at the biggest pizza competition in the United States — the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas — Cerrone’s is a surprise place to find some great pie. Locally owned and operated, they have the only true-to-region, authentic New York woodfire, brick oven pizza in Columbus.
All of their items are prepared by hand daily from the freshest imported Italian and domestic ingredients available. They offer a wide selection of craft beers and wine from the state of Georgia.
Hours may change based on the availability of pizza dough, but they’re generally open Monday-Thursday from 3pm-8:30pm and Friday and Saturday from 3pm-9:30pm. They’re closed on Sundays.
Having been in the seafood business since the 1950s, the Smith Family has brought their coastal homestead connections to Columbus by way of Bluewater Grill and its fresh, scratch kitchen. Try the Smoked Mahi Dip and the Bluewater Oysters. You won’t be sorry!
Open Tuesday – Thursday from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Friday – Saturday from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
SCRUFFY MURPHY’S PUB
While in Columbus, enjoy some authentic Irish, British, and American fare at Scruffy Murphy’s Pub. Be sure to try the signature dish…pub-style Fish ‘N’ Chips with house made Tartar sauce. They carry premium import and craft beers, many local, on draught.
A Columbus institution since 1976, offering dining, a game room, and a bar, Speakeasy is appealing to all ages. Its menu features the signature Camel Rider sandwich, original Speakeasy pizzas and specialty desserts including Nutcracker Pie and Drowned Brownie.
They are open 11am-8pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
PARKER’S PANTRY AT THE PARK
With a passion for feeding people good, quality food, Parker Mullins started a catering business that grew into Parker’s Pantry, which features the tagline “Love People. Feed them Good Food” across her menus.
Serving freshly made soups, salads, sandwiches, and sweets, don’t be surprised if a menu item is sold out for the day.
SURPRISING RESTAURANTS IN COLUMBUS GA
When you think about restaurants in Columbus GA, you may not think about restaurants like these!
My Boulánge is French cafe and wine bar that’s open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. This French bakery is a delightful locale and one of the best places in Columbus for breakfast, lunch or a sweet treat, such as a handmade macaroon.
There are not too many places to eat in Columbus where one can enjoy a fresh croissant, croque madame, croque monsieur or croque salmon. And, it is a great spot for coffee or espresso to kickstart a day.
NONIC BEER BAR & KITCHEN
Nonic Beer Bar & Kitchen is probably the only place in Columbus calling itself a “gastropub.” While the word on the street is Nonic has the best craft cocktails in Columbus, and it has more than 30 rotating taps featuring flights and multiple pour sizes, the food is as equally notable. Their small plates and food offerings are amazing.
Nonic is a 21 and older facility, but they will serve any age on their patio.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- COLUMBUS: 21+ Things To Do In Columbus GA You Will Love (+ Lots Of Freebies!)
- WHITE WATER RAFTING: 6 Exhilarating Places You Should Try White Water Rafting In Georgia
- WHITEWATER EXPRESS: WhiteWater Express: Wet and Wild Adventure in Columbus, Ga
- ATLANTA DAY TRIPS: 31 Day Trips From Atlanta That Should Be Top Of Your Bucket List
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