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Your Guide to Seeing a Show in Downtown Columbus

There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of a live show, big or small. 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 night Downtown.

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

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. Parking is just $5 for Ohio Theatre shows,  and $6 for 5 hours of parking on other days. 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.


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.

Casual + local

  • Lola’s Kitchen + Bar, 201 S High St – Small plates, adventurous salads and almost everything else you could crave with an expansive happy hour, open Wednesday-Sunday.
  • The Woodbury, 215 E Town St – Offering “a twist on traditional classics” (chicken hotcakes tacos and PB&J fried wings, to give you an idea) in an elevated-yet-casual setting.
  • 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.
  • Milestone 229, 229 S Civic Center Dr – A Downtown classic perfect for date night, serving elevated comfort food with fantastic riverside views.
  • Barroluco, 47 N Pearl St – Tucked into Pearl Alley offering up Argentinian comfort food (empanadas, anyone?).
  • 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.

Elevated yet 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.

Open late

Hungry after the performance? We’ve got you covered. Here are our picks for late-night eats Downtown:

  • Tip-Top Kitchen and Cocktails, 73 E Gay St (open til 2am) – Dimly lit, spacious tavern offering a wide variety of affordable comfort meals like pot roast, patty melts and fried green beans, plus creative cocktails.
  • Little Palace: Food + Liquor, 240 S 4th St (open til 2:30am Fri-Sat, other days 1am) – Boasting perhaps the best deals in town, step back in time in this cozy restaurant offering $5 chicken sandwiches, gyros and much more.
  • Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen, 260 S 4th St (open til 2am Fri-Sat, other days 10pm) – 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, open til 2:30am daily for your post-show cravings.
  • 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.
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