Columbus Fish Market
Every day at Columbus Fish Market, as many as a dozen different types of fresh fish arrive and are offered for preparation in one of three ways. And that's just the part of the menu that changes daily. Overall, this local mecca for fish lovers and Best of Columbus favorite has a hard-to-fault selection of specialties and appetizers ranging from steamed littleneck clams in white wine, butter and garlic, to pumpkin seed-crusted tilapia, to your classic fried seafood platter.
Arriving with half a fresh lemon wrapped in cheesecloth and hush puppies that inspire open scorn for Long John Silver's, a familiar dish like the seafood platter really shows off the Fish Market's lovely attention to detail (for more examples, try the crab cakes or the unbeatable clam chowder). While dishes get more deliciously refined, such as the Ginger Crusted Atlantic Salmon, the restaurant also caters to weight watchers by making a simple grill or broil one of the daily catch options.
If you're not counting calories, however, a stop at the bar during happy hour is essential. A small-plate menu is available after 4 p.m., offering codwich sliders, blackened fish tacos, pan-roasted wild blue mussels and other gifts from the sea, all for under $3 each.
Runners up: Mitchell's Ocean Club, McCormick & Schmick's