Columbus >Food & Dining > Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
343 North Front Street, Columbus, OH | Directions 4321539.9693 -83.00384
M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-11pm, Su 11am-9pm
Neighborhoods: Arena District
O.K. Food, Friendly Service, Lots of Fun – Now, to start off this review, I would just like to let you know that this visit to Bucca di Beppo took place about 2 months ago and, though I SERIOUSLY doubt that anything has changed, there is the possibility that something has I suppose.
Alrighty, now lets get on with this thang! When you go to Bucca di Beppo in Columbus, which is right in the heart of Columbus, you realize that the parking is nothing more than horrible. In fact, when we arrived, it took us a good five minutes before we realized that there was just no way to park without taking at least a 3-5 minute walk through the arena district. So, if you are taking some older folks with you, it may be in your best interest to first, call ahead and see what the wait time is and second, drop them off at the door.
Okay, now that you're all parked, you should probably know where to walk in at. I say this because the front of this place actually (to me anyways) looks like the back. However, once you walk in, you are greeted with a smile. The outside of the building is very pleasing to the eye in the sense that it has all kinds of vines lining the walls and a beautiful submerged area for outside dining. I REALLY like that it is submerged because, being that it is below the ground level, it really cuts down on wind and sun if you like to eat outside.
Finally, I'll get to the food. We were both in the mood for Italian that day, so we both knew exactly what we wanted; we wanted Spaghetti and meatballs! So, that is what we got and, I have to say, we got it all right . . . WAY too much of it (though, I am not complaining). The website even tells you that they serve up two portion sizes. One, the small that feeds up to three, and the Large which "feeds an average-sized countury (yes, the website DOES say that).
Overall, the spaghetti and meatballs meal was so-so to me, which is a surprise nearly as big as the dish itself considering how much it was talked up by the people in the town. However, I did come across a review at Urbanspoon that claims the food has been changed in the recent year, so this may explain the strange phenomenon. Though, unlike this reviewer, I didn't think the food was bad at all. It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. The meatballs tasted a little off from what I expected . . . it just seemed like they needed something more. However, the sauce was great, and the noodles . . . well, if an Italian place screws up noodles (which Bucca did not), then they may as well give up and start a lemonade stand.
Now, I would like to point out to you that this place is a REALLY fun place to eat! However, this does mean that other people are trying to have fun as well and things can get a little loud in there. There are a lot of people that go here for birthday parties, graduation parties, and many more things of that nature, I'm sure. So, in short, be prepared for things like this to happen and don't be afraid to get a little loud yourself. This place seems to be built on the premise of fun.
The Verdict: 7.0/10
This place was astonishing in service, atmosphere, and portion sizes. The prices may SEEM a little high, but keep in mind that two people can easily get full on ONE large spaghetti and meatballs portion. However, the food was only so-so. I saw nothing astonishing about it but, once again, I didn't see anything terrible about it either. Overall, Bucca di Beppo is a great place for family, friends, and LOTS of FUN!
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Mediocre Food - Mediocre Service – Made reservations and recently went with a group of 8 people and was crammed into a booth with chairs added to the isle. With a few other tables in the same situtaion, made the dining room feel very cramped.
The service was ok, considering how busy the place was for a Saturday night. The wait staff could have visited the table more frequently but at least were able to accomodate us.
The food was ok as well - not bad but overall could have been better. For example, some of the pasta was undercooked but it was at least hot when it arrived. We ordered about 4 small dinners and shared. The Chicken Marsala was very good. Caprese Salad was not fresh.
Also, if you happen to go downtown to eat here while there is an event at Nationwide Arena, be prepared to spend a lot of time and money obtaining a close parking space.
Many Disappointments from Staff & Management – I have been a frequent visitor to the downtown Columbus Buca for many special occasions every year. It has always been our favorite location to host group dinners. Typically we have reserved one of the specility tables, most often the kitchen table. I have recently moved away from Ohio, but upon returning over the holidays we decided to host a family dinner at Buca. We were unfortunate to not be able to reserve one of the speciality tables during the tight schedule we had over the holidays.
I wish I could say our bad luck ended there, but it didn't. Upon being seated (table of 9) we were lined up in a big line along one side, 1 person at each head, and a large building column taking up the entire other side. This setup was so frustrating to converse around, especially given our limited visitation time with family.
Secondly, early into the dinner and just after ordering, one of the other waiters rudely drapped one of the "party curtains" across 2 individuals backs whom were straddling one head of the table. The curtain remained in place for over 10 minutes while several waiters and manager appeared to be discussing what they could do. Finally, the curtain was pulled back away and a half-hearted apology given.
While the food was slow in delivery, there was no big concern as we tried to visit with family and our newly friended column. Just moments after the food was delivered and passed around the table, the manager approached our table and asked if we would move to another table. EXCUSE ME??? We had just gotten our food and were being asked to move to another table? The reasoning behind the request was so that the party just arriving (just beyond the curtain divide) could be more comfortable. I'm not sure if it was the adjoining party or service staff's idea to ask us to move, but I have never been more insulted in years of dining out (and I dine out 5-7 days a week!). After dropped jaws around the table and more scrambling from the service staff, we were again given a half felt apology.
To complete the dining experience, another adjacent table had the server move one of the spotlights - without hessitation the server immediatly moved the spotlight directly aimed at the row of guests at my table.
As I left Buca I don't know if I was more blinded by the light or the whole experience of what just happened to us. I'm glad to say that all of our other dinners around Columbus didn't have the same bad luck.
We are very sorry to hear about your experience at Buca di Beppo. We will definitely take the time to look into this for you and we do hope that you will consider dining with us again.
What a great place! – My husband and I had dinner here for our anniversary; he had the chicken carbonara and I had the cheese manicotti (just LOVE cheese!) Our service was very good, we were seated promptly and we loved our dinners! It did seem just a little noisy to us but I guess that's the thing now. We will be back again!
Don't do it – I always had fun and enjoyed going to Bucca di Beppo downtown Columbus. I planned and pre-ordered for our work Christmas party and the night was a disaster. Our waitress tried to cram us into close quarters and wouldn't add another table. She asked me twice if I wanted to see a manager and I said yes. I didn't see one but she eventually gave us another table after everyone complained. She then sarcastically asked me if I was happy now. The main dish was supposed to serve up to 6, but were at most, for 4 people. Our waitress continued to be unfriendly. She then gave me the bill with a 20% tip that I mentioned I would leave when I called in to order. She also added a 20% tip to my separate bill of a bottle of wine. I took the tip off the wine, changed the main bill to 15%. She came back and asked me if something was wrong, when I said I wasn't happy with the service, she got the manager instead of accepting my tip. He then recalculated the bill and let me change the tip. Planet Hollywood bought Bucca out in 2008. Now I understand since that went out of business too.
Good thin crust pizza – The thin crust pizza is crispy and topped with mozzarella. The restaurant is too noisy, and the patrons compete to hear conversations at their own tables. Service is slow, and the restaurant is very crowded after a game. Drinks and food are overpriced.
great spot – To my pals,
you will love Buca. Great atmosphere. The pasta is amazing. By the way, this is just a test.
Get cozy with friends and family and enjoy an Italian feast at this loved-by-locals restaurant. – In Short
Homesick for your mother's Italian cooking? Grab your appetite and head to this restaurant, where the friendly wait staff will serve up portions of Colosseum-esque proportions, like spaghetti and meatballs loaded with savory tomato sauce and lots of pungent garlic. Dishes center on Southern Italian immigrant fare, and are meant to be shared family-style with a large goblet of wine-to enhance the taste, of course. The ornate décor with walls covered in vintage photos evokes a warm homey feel that welcomes customers to dine among the other families and loyal customers. Buon Appetito!
Starchfest – Bucca di Beppo is just an over priced starchfest. Granted, many Americans just think of bread pasta and pizza when they think of italian food. Bucca's menu should be cheap like their ingredients, but I still wouldn't eat there..
fun place to go with large group or just for a romantic dinner for two, as long as you have similar eating habits as those u go with. i've only ever had macaroni rosa, which is sooo good! it has macaroni noodles with broccoli, mushrooms, peas, and chicken and a tomato cream sauce. i also HIGHLY recommend their tomato/mozzarella salad.
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