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Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

The Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus, OH is home to a diverse range of budget-friendly restaurants that offer delicious food without breaking the bank. Overall, these top five budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus provide excellent food and great value for the price. Here is why they are the best restaurants in Columbus for your budget.

1. Northstar Cafe: With multiple locations, Northstar Cafe, one of the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, offers organic and locally sourced menu options that are affordable and tasty. Known for their veggie burgers and hearty breakfast options, Northstar Cafe is a go-to spot for those looking for healthy and budget-friendly eats.

2. Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace: Located in downtown Columbus, Dirty Frank’s, one of the most popular budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a no-frills hot dog spot that offers a variety of hot dogs and sausages, including vegan and vegetarian options. Their unique toppings, such as spicy peanut butter and Sriracha coleslaw, make for a delicious and affordable meal.

3. Condado Tacos: Offering build-your-own tacos and bowls, Condado Tacos, among the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a popular spot for budget-friendly Mexican eats. With locations throughout the city, their customizable menu allows for endless flavor combinations at an affordable price.

4. Lavash Cafe: Serving up Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, Lavash Cafe, another of the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a family-owned spot located in Columbus’ Grandview Heights neighborhood. Their hummus, falafel, and shawarma plates are affordable and delicious, making it a go-to spot for those looking for budget-friendly Mediterranean eats.

5. Ray Ray’s Hog Pit: Known for their award-winning BBQ, Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, amid the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a food truck turned brick and mortar restaurant located in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus. Their smoked meats and sides, including mac and cheese and collard greens, are budget-friendly and flavorful, making it a must-visit spot for BBQ lovers on a budget.

Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

1. Northstar Cafe - Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

Northstar Cafe

Address: Multiple locations in Columbus, OH. One of the locations is at 4241 N. High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Phone Number: (614) 784-2233

Northstar Cafe, one of the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers a variety of healthy and organic foods made from locally-sourced ingredients. The interior of the restaurant is spacious with a modern feel and has ample seating arrangements. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also have a bakery that offers fresh pastries and bread.

One of the signature dishes of Northstar Cafe is the Sweet Potato and Turkey Hash, which is a blend of roasted sweet potatoes, ground turkey, onions, and herbs. They also serve salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and entrees that are made from fresh ingredients.

What makes Northstar Cafe unique is its commitment to using locally sourced, organic ingredients in all of its dishes. Additionally, the restaurant offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on their menu, making it a popular destination for those with dietary restrictions.

The service at Northstar Cafe is efficient, with friendly staff who are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to provide recommendations.

Main Menu Items:

Northstar Burger – A classic burger made with grass-fed beef, topped with white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, and Northstar’s special sauce. Served on a brioche bun with a side of mixed greens or fries.

Buddha Bowl – A vegetarian bowl filled with brown rice, crispy tofu, avocado, carrots, cucumber, scallions, sesame seeds, and a sesame-ginger vinaigrette.

Sweet Basil Burrito – A burrito stuffed with chicken, black beans, jasmine rice, and a mix of roasted red peppers, onions, and sweet basil. Topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and served with a side of salsa.

Ohio Bowl – A hearty bowl filled with Ohio-grown beef, sweet potatoes, kale, chickpeas, and a harissa-tahini dressing.

Daily Market Salad – A fresh salad made with seasonal vegetables from the local market, mixed greens, and a house-made vinaigrette. The ingredients change daily, so each visit can bring a new and exciting salad to try.

Customer Reviews:

“I had the Northstar Burger, and it was delicious! The patty was juicy and perfectly cooked, and the bun was fresh. The sweet potato fries were also a hit. I appreciate that they use organic and locally sourced ingredients. The staff was friendly and attentive.”

“I’m a vegetarian, and I love the fact that there are so many vegetarian options on the menu. I had the Buddha Bowl, and it was amazing. The ingredients were fresh and perfectly seasoned. The ambiance of the restaurant is great, and the service is always top-notch.”

“I had the Turkey Reuben, and it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. The turkey was perfectly cooked, and the sauerkraut and Russian dressing were the perfect complement. The service was fast and friendly, and the restaurant has a great vibe.”

In summary, Northstar Cafe is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers healthy and delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients. With its commitment to sustainability and use of organic ingredients, it is a unique and popular destination in Columbus. The service is top-notch, and customers rave about the flavorful and fresh dishes on the menu. They rank amid the top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus for good reasons.


2. Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace - Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace

Address: 248 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm
Phone Number: (614) 824-4673

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace, one of the most popular budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a casual restaurant that serves a variety of hot dogs, sausages, and other comfort food dishes. The interior of the restaurant is decorated with graffiti and vintage posters, giving it a fun and funky vibe. The menu features unique hot dog creations such as the “Ohioana” topped with Cincinnati-style chili, shredded cheddar cheese, and onions, and the “Good Morning Vietnam” with Vietnamese-style toppings like pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and sriracha mayo. They also offer vegetarian and vegan options.

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace is known for its creative and unique toppings for their hot dogs and sausages, making them a standout in the Columbus food scene. They also have a fun and laid-back atmosphere, making it a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner with friends.

The service at Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace is known to be friendly and efficient, with staff members who are knowledgeable about the menu and can make recommendations to customers.

Main Menu Items:

The Ohioana – This hot dog is a Columbus classic, topped with spicy stadium mustard, sauerkraut, and onions.

The CBGB – Named after the legendary punk rock venue, this hot dog features spicy mustard, sriracha, and crispy bacon.

The Frito Pie – A unique twist on a classic hot dog, this dish is topped with chili, cheese, and Fritos corn chips.

The Cuban Missile Crisis – A nod to the Cuban sandwich, this hot dog is topped with pulled pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, and spicy mustard.

The Chihuahua – For those who love spice, this hot dog is topped with jalapenos, hot sauce, and spicy nacho cheese.

All hot dogs at Dirty Frank’s are served on a steamed bun and can be customized with additional toppings such as sauerkraut, onions, relish, and more. In addition to hot dogs, the menu also includes vegetarian options and sides such as tater tots and fried pickles.

Customer Reviews:

“I had the “Ohioana” hot dog and it was amazing! The chili was perfectly seasoned and the cheese and onions just made it even better. The atmosphere of the restaurant is also really fun and unique. Definitely recommend!”

“Dirty Frank’s has become my go-to spot for a quick and tasty lunch. I usually get the veggie dog with avocado and sprouts, and it’s always fresh and delicious. The staff is also super friendly and welcoming.”

“If you’re a hot dog lover, you HAVE to check out Dirty Frank’s. They have so many different toppings to choose from, it’s hard to decide what to get! I tried the “Chicago” dog and loved it. The prices are also really affordable, especially for the quality of food.”

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace is a must-visit for hot dog lovers in Columbus. With its unique toppings and fun atmosphere, it offers a dining experience that is both delicious and enjoyable. The service is also top-notch, making it a great spot for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. They stand out among the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus.


3. Condado Tacos - Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

Condado Tacos

Address: Multiple locations in Columbus, OH (Short North, Downtown, Easton, Polaris, and more)
Hours: Varies by location, typically open daily from 11am-11pm or later
Phone Number: Varies by location

Condado Tacos, among the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a lively and colorful restaurant that specializes in made-to-order tacos, with a focus on creative flavor combinations and fresh ingredients. The menu features a variety of taco options, from traditional to inventive, with the option to customize each taco to your liking. In addition to tacos, they also offer a selection of appetizers, salads, and sides.

One unique feature of Condado Tacos is their build-your-own-taco option, where you can choose your tortilla, protein, toppings, and sauces to create a personalized taco. They also have a large selection of tequilas and margaritas, as well as non-alcoholic options like house-made agua frescas and sodas.

The service at Condado Tacos is generally fast and efficient, with friendly staff members who are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations. Orders are taken at the counter and food is delivered to your table.

Main Menu Items:

Build-Your-Own Tacos – You can choose between a soft or hard shell and then fill it up with your choice of protein (such as chicken, pork, beef, or tofu), toppings (such as lettuce, tomato, cheese, and salsa), and sauces (such as chipotle aioli or avocado crema).

Queso Blanco – A creamy and tangy white cheese sauce served with chips, perfect for sharing as a starter.

Elote – Grilled corn on the cob, slathered with spicy mayo, cotija cheese, and chili powder.

Nacho Average Taco – A unique twist on nachos, featuring a bed of chips topped with your choice of protein, beans, queso blanco, jalapenos, and more.

Baja Bowl – A hearty and healthy option, featuring your choice of protein, black beans, brown rice, lettuce, avocado, and salsa, served in a bowl.

Customer Reviews:

“I had the queso blanco and a few different tacos, including the shrimp, Korean BBQ, and sweet potato black bean. All of the tacos were delicious and flavorful, and the queso was some of the best I’ve had. The service was friendly and fast, and the atmosphere was lively and fun.”

“Condado Tacos is my go-to spot for a quick and tasty lunch. I love being able to build my own tacos and choose exactly what I want on them. The ingredients are always fresh and the flavors are great. Plus, the margaritas are fantastic!”

“The atmosphere at Condado Tacos is really cool and fun, with lots of bright colors and murals on the walls. I tried the brisket and Korean BBQ tacos, both of which were really flavorful and satisfying. The service was good and the prices are very reasonable.”

Condado Tacos is a fun and casual spot to enjoy creative and customizable tacos, as well as a variety of other Mexican-inspired dishes and drinks. With fast service, friendly staff, and a lively atmosphere, it’s a great option for a quick lunch or a night out with friends. They deserve to be ranked among the top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus.


4. Lavash Cafe - Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

Lavash Cafe

Address: 2985 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 11am-9pm, Sunday: Closed
Phone Number: (614) 263-7777

Lavash Cafe, another of the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a Middle Eastern restaurant located in the University District of Columbus. The restaurant is named after the traditional Armenian bread, lavash. The interior of the restaurant is decorated with traditional Middle Eastern decor, and the atmosphere is cozy and welcoming. The menu offers a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, including shawarma, kebab, falafel, and hummus.

The restaurant’s signature dish is the lavash wrap, which is a traditional Armenian wrap filled with chicken, beef or falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a special house sauce.

One unique feature of Lavash Cafe is that they offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options. They also offer a variety of gluten-free options for customers with dietary restrictions.

The service at Lavash Cafe is friendly and efficient. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu and is happy to make recommendations. The food is prepared quickly and is served fresh and hot.

Main Menu Items:

Adana Kebab – a dish made from spicy ground lamb that is grilled and served with rice, salad, and lavash bread.

Falafel Plate – a vegan-friendly dish made from chickpeas and spices, served with hummus, salad, and pita bread.

Shawarma Plate – a popular Middle Eastern dish made from marinated meat that is grilled and served with rice, salad, and pita bread.

Chicken Pesto Panini – a grilled sandwich made with chicken breast, pesto sauce, and mozzarella cheese on lavash bread.

Armenian Pizza – a traditional dish made with lavash bread, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your choice of toppings such as lamb, chicken, or vegetables.

Customer Reviews:

“I absolutely love this place! The falafel wrap is my go-to and it never disappoints. The service is always friendly and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting.”

“The hummus at Lavash Cafe is some of the best I’ve ever had. I also love their kebab platter. The portions are generous and the prices are very reasonable.”

“I recently went to Lavash Cafe for the first time and was blown away by how delicious the food was. The lavash wraps are amazing and the vegetarian options are top-notch. I will definitely be back!”

Lavash Cafe is a cozy Middle Eastern restaurant in Columbus that offers a variety of delicious dishes, including their signature lavash wrap. They are known for their vegetarian and vegan options as well as their gluten-free options. The service is friendly and efficient, and the prices are reasonable. They have earned the rank of the top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus.


5. Ray Ray's Hog Pit - Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit

Address: 2619 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM; closed on Mondays
Phone Number: (614) 753-1191

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, amid the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus, is a casual BBQ restaurant that serves a variety of smoked meats such as brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. They also offer classic BBQ sides like mac and cheese, baked beans, and collard greens. The restaurant has a simple interior with picnic tables and rustic decor.

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit is known for its commitment to smoking its meats the traditional way, using only wood, time, and patience to create the perfect flavor. They also use local ingredients whenever possible, making their food even more fresh and delicious.

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit has a friendly and efficient service. Customers can either order at the counter or through their online system. The food is prepared fresh and served hot.

Main Menu Items:

Pulled Pork Sandwich – Slow-smoked pork shoulder, hand-pulled and piled high on a toasted bun. Served with your choice of sauce and a side.

Beef Brisket – Smoked low and slow until it’s fall-apart tender, served sliced with your choice of sauce and a side.

Smoked Chicken Wings – Juicy and flavorful chicken wings, dry-rubbed and smoked to perfection. Served with your choice of sauce.

Pit Beans – A hearty and savory side dish made with smoked brisket ends, onions, peppers, and a blend of spices.

Mac & Cheese – A classic comfort food made with tender elbow macaroni and a rich, creamy cheese sauce. Can be served as a side or topped with your choice of meat for a hearty meal.

Customer Reviews:

“The brisket sandwich was the best I’ve had in Columbus. The meat was perfectly smoked and juicy. The mac and cheese was also amazing.”

“Ray Ray’s has the best pulled pork sandwich in town. The sauce is tangy and the meat is so tender. The sides are also top-notch.”

“The ribs were fantastic – fall-off-the-bone tender and full of flavor. I also loved the collard greens, which had just the right amount of smokiness.”

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit is a must-visit for BBQ lovers in Columbus. Their commitment to using traditional smoking methods and local ingredients results in delicious, flavorful food that keeps customers coming back. With a friendly and efficient service and a casual atmosphere, Ray Ray’s is the perfect spot for a quick and satisfying meal. They can definitely be counted among the top budget-friendly restaurants in Columbus.


The Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in Columbus. From the classic hot dogs at Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace to the creative tacos at Condado Tacos, there is something for everyone. Northstar Cafe offers healthy and organic options, while Lavash Cafe brings Mediterranean cuisine to the table. Finally, Ray Ray’s Hog Pit serves up mouth-watering BBQ that is sure to satisfy any meat lover. This is why they are the best restaurants in Columbus for your budget.



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