Neighborhood Crawl: Grandview Heights

Columbus, Ohio

Sneaky Divey

To call Grandview a Columbus suburb is a bit misleading given the area’s proximity to downtown, but the neighborhood is very much its own ecosystem, anchored by Grandview Avenue and a string of restaurants, shops and the area’s best local coffee (Stauf’s).

The variation throughout the area is extreme, from million dollar homes to rows upon rows of affordable townhomes. That diversity lends itself well to a handful of dive bar gems largely outside of the main commercial corridor. It could be argued that Grandview is home to the city’s best dive bar (Johnnie’s, below), best karaoke bar (Mickey’s, below) and best deep dish pizza (Meister’s, also below).

While some of our stops on this recommended itinerary are a handful of blocks apart, Grandview is an easy neighborhood to access, drive through, park or grab an Uber, very much a comfortable, residential vibe on foot or in vehicle. And when a neighborhood features a dive as good as Johnnie’s, that becomes a natural place to start.

The Stops

1. Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill

1491 Glenn Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
The competition in Columbus for best dive bar is stiff, but Johnnie’s may very well be the winner, a bar occupying a house in the middle of a quiet residential street that features free snacks set out in the kitchen that doubles as the primary path to the men’s bathroom.

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2. Knotty Pine Brewing

1765 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Though the space has seen some cycling over the years between concepts, the brewery at the end of this residential block seems to have stuck. The bar is extensive and the indoor destination to be sure, but the spacious outdoor patio along a lazy street is the brewery bar’s best feature.

3. DK Diner

2169 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
Homemade donuts draw crowds here, but best acquire them early as they sell out fast. For such a small space, the menu is robust and the beer selection deep. It’s a neighborhood diner with a casual vibe with some seriously great food (we recommend the breakfast offerings).

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4. The Ohio Taproom

1291 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
What started as a keg fill shop has grown into one the city’s lowkey best patios. Given its roots, the beer selection is predictably robust and predominantly local, with a small interior space playing second fiddle to the aforementioned patio.

5. Byrne's Pub

1248 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Across the intersection from The Ohio Taproom, Byrne’s Pub is one of the city’s best Irish pubs, with a recent renovation taking the space right on brink of being too nice to be labeled a dive. Keep your eyes peeled for the pizza hole, a mid-wall linkage to Granddad’s Pizza, next door.

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6. Woodlands Tavern

1200 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Watch out for show nights when a cover might be required, but Woodlands is just a few steps away from Byrne’s and a nice stopover with a massive outdoor fire pit that draws a crowd as the weather cools.

7. Miner 49'er Black Light Mini Golf

1158 W 3rd Ave b, Columbus, OH 43212
An indoor glow putt that serves alcohol? Yes please. Miner 49’er connects to a bar next door and features an entirely indoor course made all the more fun with a beer in hand (or more challenging, depending on your consumption).

8. Mickey's

1230 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
Hands down, the best karaoke bar in Columbus is Mickey’s, little more than a rectangle with windows that transforms into a fogged up, alcohol-fueled singalong thanks to near-nightly karaoke and attractively-priced beer.

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9. Meister's Bar

1168 Chambers Rd, Columbus, OH 43212
And if you have any energy left at all, Meister’s a great place to end the night, a bar inhabiting a house on a small hill that doubles as one of Columbus’ finest deep dish pizza offerings. Snag the mid-level dart room if it’s available, providing both active and passive entertainment thanks to the view of the room below.

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Reviews Along This Route

Pete's Bar - Jacksonville Dive Bar - Neon Sign

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill

Free snacks in the kitchen.
Ginger's Place - Jacksonville Dive Bar - Outside

DK Diner

Come for donuts, stay for hash.
Harbor Tavern - Jacksonville Dive Bar - Outside

Byrne's Pub

Follow the shamrocks.
Pete's Bar - Jacksonville Dive Bar - Neon Sign

Mickey's Bar

Karaoke that fogs the windows.
Ginger's Place - Jacksonville Dive Bar - Outside

Meister's Bar

Deep dish dive.

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