Downtown Concierge

Your Guide to Shows in Downtown Columbus (+ Where to Eat)

There's nothing quite like the anticipation of seeing a show Downtown! Dressing up, hitting the town, and grabbing some dinner before the lights dim: it's all part of the show night experience. We've got your full guide to show nights in Downtown Columbus, so you can stress less about logistics and fully embrace your evening.

 

The Theatres 

  • Ohio Theatre, 39 E State St - A visually stunning, 2,791 seat iconic historic landmark hosting national tours, the Columbus Symphony, BalletMet, and more
  • Palace Theatre, 34 W Broad St  - At the base of Leveque Tower, grandiosely decorated with red and gold and holding 2,695 seats
  • Southern Theatre, 21 E Main St - The oldest surviving theatre in central Ohio hosting Opera Columbus, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and more
  • Riffe Center Theatre Complex, 77 S High St - Home to a smaller, ~900 seat space on the third floor of the Riffe Center along with intimate studio-style theatres hosting CATCO and more
  • Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave - This small theatre is a little outside of the central Downtown core, nestled in the Discovery District right by Topiary Park and hosting local theatrical acts.
  • MadLab Theatre, 227 N Third St - An intimate and funky theatre hosting new and original works and contemporary productions.

 

Getting There + Parking

  • By car: For both convenience and cost, our favorite place to park is in the Columbus Commons Underground Garage, located at 191 S Third St.  The garage offers an entrance directly up to the Ohio Theatre entrance on State St, and is just an 8 minute walk from the Palace Theatre, 6 minute walk from the Southern Theatre, and 6 minute walk from the Riffe Center. 
  • By bike: Bike racks are plentiful Downtown if you're taking a personal bike. You can also consider taking a CoGo bike and parking at the Columbus Commons CoGo station at 55 E Rich St (rent via the Lyft app).
  • By bus: Both the 1 and 2 COTA buses travel Downtown via High St. Get off the bus at either High & State or High & Town. 

 

Food

There are lots of local restaurants to choose from within walking distance of our theatres downtown. Our top choices for a pre-show meal or post-show bite are below, all within a 10 minute walk of the theatre. 

Casual + local

  • Aracri Pizzeria on Gay, 51 E Gay St - A full bar, pizza, pasta, and garlic knots -- sometimes that's exactly what you need, and Aracri does it right. 
  • Tiger + Lily, 19 E Gay St - Casual, quality Asian-inspired fare including ramen, Korean BBQ and curry.
  • 4th and State, 152 E State St - Totally-vegan diner offering a plant-based twist to American classics. 
  • Tasty Dawg, 107 S High St - Hot dogs and sandwiches in a colorful spot with mega-friendly service.
  • House Taco, 79 S 4th St - Homemade Mexican food with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Market 65, 65 E State St - Fresh and healthy salads, wraps and sandwiches.
  • Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails - Dim and old-school dig with a big menu of food and drinks including pot roast and Monte Cristos.
  • Downtown Tavern, 201 S High St - All day happy hour in a super laid-back spot with darts and TVs.
  • Condado Tacos, 132 S High St - Colorful spot with creative Mexican-inspired dishes and margaritas.

Elevated but relaxed

  • Due Amici, 67 E Gay St - Casual fine dining with Italian fare, with happy hour til 6:30pm. 
  • Milestone 229, 229 S Civic Center Dr - A Downtown classic perfect for date night, serving elevated comfort food with fantastic riverside views. 
  • Sidebar Columbus, 122 E Main St - Wine and tapas -- is there a better pair? South-American inspired cuisine in a laid-back setting.
  • Little Palace, 240 S 4th St - 50's and 60's themed with a dim interior full of nostalgic feel and prices alike.
  • Spaghetti Warehouse, 150 S High St - Classic Italian dishes with a modern twist, offering prime views of Columbus Commons.
  • Pat & Gracie's, 121 S High St - American fare perfect for pleasing all palates located just steps away from the Ohio Theatre.
  • The Woodbury, 215 E Town St - Classic food with a twist, including PB&J wings and pancake tacos.
  • Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus, 161 N High St - An elevated menu of American fare in a beautiful, historic building with a thorough menu of drafts and cocktails.

Fancier fare

  • Speck, 89 N High St - Elevated Italian dishes in a beautiful modern and colorful setting.
  • The Keep, 50 W Broad St - Located in the iconic Leveque Tower and offering 
  • Veritas, 11 W Gay St - Small plates and cocktails are the specialty of this top ranked Columbus restaurant.
  • Mitchell's Steakhouse, 45 N 3rd St - Steak and sophistication are the bread and butter of this spot.

Open late

Hungry after the show? Never fear! Here are our picks for late-night eats Downtown: 

  • Tip-Top Kitchen and Cocktails, 73 E Gay St (open til 10pm Sunday, 11pm Tues-Wed, 12am Thurs-Sat) - Dim and old-school dig with a big menu of food and drinks including pot roast and Monte Cristos.
  • Little Palace: Food + Liquor, 240 S 4th St (open til 2:30am Fri-Sat, other days 1am) - 50's and 60's themed with a dim interior full of nostalgic feel and prices alike.
  • Hadley's Bar + Kitchen, 260 S 4th St (open til 12am Fri-Sat, 10pm Thurs and Sun) - American food in an industrial setting with a variety of craft beers.
  • The Walrus, 143 E Main St (open til 2:30am Fri-Sat, other days 12am) - Lowkey industrial spot with a wide variety of American food and 30 drafts.
  • Mikey's Late Night Slice, 268 S 4th St  (open til 2:30am every day) - A shameless Columbus classic serving a variety of pizzas by the slice.
  • District North, 10 E Long St (open til 1am, closed Saturday) - Mediterranean grill serving traditional kabob and more Egyptian-influenced food.
  • Downtown Tavern, 201 S High St (open til 11 pm Sun-Tues, 12am Wed-Thurs, 1 am Fri-Sat) - All day happy hour in a super laid-back spot with darts and TVs.
  • Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, 248 S Fourth St (open til 10 pm Sun-Mon, 11 pm Tues-Thurs, 1 am Fri-Sat) - All the hot dog variations you could dream of in an eccentric setting.

 

Where to Find Shows

There are a whole host of shows held in Downtown Columbus -- hosting a litany of performance art from classic Broadway hits, to ballet, to our world-class symphony. To stay up to date with shows happening here in Columbus, be sure to follow CAPA (Columbus Association for the Performing Arts) and check out their calendar. You'll find everything from performances by BalletMet and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra to new works by MadLab Theatre and broadway classics by Broadway in Columbus.