Culinary Schools in Columbus, Ohio (OH): Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Columbus

Columbus is Ohio's state capital, its largest city, and a big college town - home to Ohio State University, which is one of the largest public universities in the country. Columbus boasts a very diverse economy, and was ranked number 11 on the list of Best Places for Business and Careers by BusinessWeek in 2012. Five Fortune 500 corporations are headquarters here, including Nationwide Mutual Insurance. Its diverse ethnic population is strongly influenced by the city's German roots, as evidenced by an entire neighborhood called German Village, where students at Columbus culinary schools are sure to get their fill of tasty German food.

Famous Columbus restaurants, foods and festivals

The culinary scene in Ohio has Irish and German influences, and many of the typical foods might require some explanation. For example, sauerkraut balls are fritters about the size of a meatball made with sauerkraut and a form of protein, such as pork or ham. Clambakes are also beloved here, especially in Northeast Ohio, and traditionally feature steamed clams, seafood, chicken, and an assortment of veggies like corn, potatoes and yams. While it is difficult to pinpoint food that is specifically from Columbus, buckeyes are popular in the entire state. This addictive candy is similar to a peanut butter cup covered in chocolate, and it looks similar to the chestnut that grows on Ohio's state tree the buckeye.

The downtown river front plays host to the Ohio State Fair, one of the largest in the country. The Jazz and Ribs Festival is also held downtown, while the Greek Festival is held at the gorgeous Greek Orthodox Church downtown, where visitors are sure to find homemade spanoptika and baklava. The end of September marks the beginning of Oktoberfest celebration at the German Village.

The cuisine of the Midwest has long revolved around fresh ingredients and no-nonsense cooking, and Ohio is no exception. Culinary students in Columbus should try to check out a few of the standout Columbus restaurants:

  • Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus: This family-owned restaurant doesn't disappoint. As one would expect, the family patriarch really is from Germany, and the German potato salad, red cabbage, and sausages taste very Old World indeed. Schmidt's has also added a sausage truck that's very popular at football games.
  • Kihachi Japanese Restaurant: This outstanding Japanese restaurant is located in an unassuming strip mall and is often considered a well-kept secret. It's upscale and minimalist and offers outstanding tapas-style plates with very high-quality fish and exceptional preparation.
  • Rigsby's Kitchen: Open for happy hour and dinner, this red-brick restaurant located in Short North has won several awards and is beloved for its mix of Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Don't miss the $1 Raw Oyster Monday.

Columbus culinary career outlook

Whether you want to be behind the stove or at the front of the house ensuring smooth operation of the restaurant, the food and beverage sector offers many opportunities for graduates of culinary schools in Columbus. Let's have a look at some data for the entire state of Ohio, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


Total Employment in Ohio (2014)

Average Salary in Ohio (2014)

% Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)





Butchers and Meat Cutters




Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Typically there tend to be better career options and higher wages in larger cities, according to BLS data. In Columbus specifically, there are plenty of opportunities in the food industry:



Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)





Butchers and Meat Cutters



Chefs and Head Cooks



Food Service Managers



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Students who earn a degree from culinary schools in Columbus may find that they'll have an edge over the competition in the job market. If this is the path for you, the next step is to choose a school that's right for you. This is a big decision, so be sure to do your research first. Get started by browsing the school listings below.


  • Columbus Oktoberfest,
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Ohio, 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Columbus, Ohio,
  • Jazz & Rib Fest,
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bakers,
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Butchers and Meat Cutters,
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Chefs and Head Cooks,
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Food Service Managers,
  • Rigsby's Kitchen,
  • Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus,
  • The Crave 10: The best restaurants in 2014, Crave, The Columbus Dining Magazine, Beth Stallings,
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This list also contains online schools that accept students from Columbus

Other Columbus, Ohio Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
Ohio State University - Main Campus Food Sciences and Tech.