Columbus, Ohio is a city that takes its food seriously. From classic comfort food to international cuisine, there's something for everyone.
One dish that has become increasingly popular in recent years is fried calamari. This deep-fried seafood appetizer is a favorite among many, and Columbus has no shortage of restaurants serving it up.
But where can you find the best fried calamari in Columbus? This is a question that many locals and visitors alike are asking.
Some might argue that the best calamari is found at a high-end seafood restaurant, while others might claim that the best comes from a hole-in-the-wall diner.
Regardless of where you go, the key to good fried calamari is freshness. The squid should be tender and not overcooked, with a crispy coating that's not too heavy.
The dipping sauce is also important – whether it's a classic marinara or something more unique, it should complement the calamari without overpowering it.
In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the best places for fried calamari in Columbus. From upscale restaurants to casual eateries, we'll explore the city's top spots for this delicious dish.
So whether you're a seasoned calamari connoisseur or a newbie looking to try it for the first time, read on to discover the best fried calamari in Columbus.
1. Villa Nova Ristorante
Villa Nova Ristorante is a family-run Italian restaurant that serves up large portions of Italian and American fare.
While there are plenty of options to choose from, their fried calamari is a standout dish. The calamari is top-notch and served hot, making it a must-try for seafood lovers.
The restaurant has a great family-friendly atmosphere and friendly service. It's the perfect spot for a casual dinner with friends or family.
With over 50 years in the neighborhood, Villa Nova Ristorante is a classic spot for Italian-American classics.
2. Barcelona Restaurant and Bar
Barcelona Restaurant and Bar is a bustling Spanish tapas joint that serves up some seriously tasty fried calamari.
The calamari is lightly breaded, tender, and comes with an excellent aioli.
The warm decor and friendly servers add to the overall ambiance of the place.
If you're a fan of Spanish food and tapas, be sure to check out Barcelona Restaurant and Bar.
3. Gallo's Kitchen & Bar
Gallo's Kitchen & Bar is a casual spot that serves a mix of Italian and Creole fare. They have a lively bar with beer, wine, and TV sports.
The fried calamari is a must-try, perfectly fried and served with a creole type sauce.
The staff is exceptional and the atmosphere is great. They have a nice selection of wines, beer, and mixed drinks, along with a decent selection of whiskey.
If you're looking for a good meal, Gallo's Kitchen & Bar is definitely worth checking out.
4. Sidebar Columbus
Sidebar Columbus is a low-lit eatery serving up Mediterranean and South American tapas.
The small plates are well-priced and perfect for sharing with friends. The fried calamari is a standout dish and highly recommended.
The cocktail menu is also worth exploring. The service is excellent, with friendly and knowledgeable staff.
The atmosphere is lively and great for a night out. All in all, Sidebar Columbus is a must-visit for those looking for delicious tapas and great drinks.
5. Tai's Asian Bistro & Sushi
Tai's Asian Bistro & Sushi is a must-visit place for those who love fried calamari.
The dish is made with fresh ingredients and perfectly oiled, creating a delicious and crispy texture. The portions are huge and great value for money.
The restaurant offers a large menu of Asian fusion dishes, including sushi, and the service is quick.
The cozy atmosphere and clean surroundings make it a great place to enjoy a meal with friends and family. Highly recommended for those looking for a satisfying and tasty meal.
Marcella's is a bustling Italian eatery that serves up classic dishes with a modern twist.
Their fried calamari is a standout dish that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
The service is attentive and the atmosphere is lively, making it a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner for two.
Don't forget to try their other Italian favorites, like the pizza and pasta dishes.
7. The Mad Greek
If you're looking for delicious fried calamari, look no further than The Mad Greek. This family-owned Greek restaurant offers an expansive menu with plenty of options to choose from.
While everything on the menu is tasty, the fried calamari is a standout dish that is sure to please seafood lovers.
The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable, making it a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is casual and inviting.
With its authentic Greek cuisine and laid-back vibe, The Mad Greek is a must-visit spot for anyone craving some delicious fried calamari.
8. Rodos European Grill
Rodos European Grill serves up some of the best fried calamari around. The food is consistently delicious, with fresh ingredients and fair pricing.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, making for a great dining experience.
The Mediterranean cuisine is a must-try, with gyros and chicken kebab dinners being fan favorites.
Don't forget to try the lemon orzo chicken soup and the fried zucchini as well. All in all, a hidden gem that is definitely worth a visit.
9. Z Cucina di Spirito
Z Cucina di Spirito is an upscale Italian restaurant that serves some of the best fried calamari in town.
The calamari is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with just the right amount of seasoning.
The dish comes with a delicious dipping sauce that perfectly complements the flavors of the calamari. The restaurant has a modern and elegant atmosphere, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy some delicious fried calamari, Z Cucina di Spirito is definitely worth a visit.
10. Kai's Crab Boil
Kai's Crab Boil offers a unique seafood experience with their spiced-to-order shellfish boils.
The service is attentive and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu. The fried calamari is a must-try and is cooked to perfection.
The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food. The casual atmosphere and funky decor add to the overall experience.
If you're looking for a fun and tasty seafood spot, Kai's Crab Boil is definitely worth a visit.
11. Happy Greek Restaurant and Pub
Happy Greek Restaurant and Pub is a must-visit spot for anyone craving some delicious fried calamari.
This Greek restaurant offers an extensive menu with a variety of appetizers and entrees to choose from. The atmosphere is casual and family-friendly, making it a perfect spot for a night out with loved ones.
The service is prompt and friendly, ensuring that you'll have a great dining experience.
Happy Greek Restaurant and Pub is definitely worth checking out if you're in the mood for some authentic Greek cuisine.
12. The Top Steak House
The Top Steak House is a long-running old-school steakhouse that serves delicious fried calamari.
This mainstay presents seafood in a clubby setting with cocktails and live piano music. The calamari is cooked to perfection and served with a tangy dipping sauce.
The atmosphere is classic and stylish, making it a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner. The service is excellent and the prices are reasonable for the quality of food and experience.
If you're looking for a place to satisfy your craving for fried calamari, The Top Steak House is definitely worth a visit.
13. Claudiana Italian Restaurant
Claudiana Italian Restaurant is a family-owned Italian cafe that offers homestyle Italian cuisine.
The restaurant has a relaxed and intimate vibe, making it a perfect place for a romantic dinner or a night out with family and friends. The highlight of their menu is the fried calamari, which is crispy and perfectly seasoned.
The calamari is served with a delicious dipping sauce that complements the dish perfectly. The restaurant has a full bar, which is perfect for those who want to enjoy a drink with their meal.
The service is excellent, and the staff is friendly and attentive. If you are looking for a place to enjoy some authentic Italian cuisine and delicious fried calamari, Claudiana Italian Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.