Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
343 N Front St, Columbus, OH 43215
Bike Parking: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Italian, European, Continental
Alcohol: Beer, Wine
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Price Range : Average
I found this place to be absolutely amazing. The food was to die for and the atmosphere of the restaraunt was amazing. I've been here multiple times and we actually ordered carryout for last christmas with the canolis which were OMG. If you haven't gone, you have to go!!!
03/03/2011Provided by Citysearch -
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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02/28/2011Provided by Citysearch -
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.
01/03/2011Provided by Citysearch -
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.
12/24/2010Provided by Citysearch -
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!
12/18/2010Provided by Citysearch -
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.
02/28/2009Provided by Citysearch -
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.
05/14/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
08/15/2006Provided by Citysearch -
4 nurses and myself ate here.All got sick within 24 hours and went to the hospital,where we all were told we had food posioning.We have been sick for over a week,with no reponse from the management after many calls.We reported this to the board of health,and now We hope some action willbe taken.This place should be closed,the food is not fit for the public to eat.The management just does not seem to care ,except to take your money and serve tainted food.Believe me there are BETTER places to eat Italian food and not worry that you will have adverse effects then this dump!
08/04/2006Provided by Citysearch -
Talk about crazy stuff on the walls. And mass quantities of food. And wine. The check for four of us ran around $170.
They start by giving you a quick tour of the kitchen. (We were surprised not only by the row of italian men seated at table and having their dinner, but also by the otherwise apparent lack of activity in the cooking areas), which brought many questions to mind about the sanitary conditions in the restaurant... I mean, what other restaurant allows its patrons to just go traipsing through the kitchen? But maybe the kitchen we saw wasn't the primary one. There were chefs cooking, but not near enough to handle that whole restaurant.
The bathrooms were something else. Ladies room had framed undergarments and advertisements for sanitary belts and padded & shaped girdles and bras (for use in trapping a man). My husband told me that the men's room was filled with 'unclothed' statuary -- small boys peeing, a greased-up gladiator, and Zeus holding his own... er... um... member.
We were treated to several rounds of happy birthday (fortunately never quite at our table) in which our waiter virtually shouted (screamed, more like) the lyrics rather than actually singing anything.
04/18/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I have experienced Buca about 5 times and it has been a consistent experience; BLAND food, overpriced food & drinks, and lack-luster service. Everytime someone in my family says ""We're going to Buca di Beppo (they are from out of town so this place is cool to them) I either make up an excuse to get out of it or go knowing what a bad experience I'll be in for. I've tried numerous entrees of theirs but if you're looking for GOOD italian, go to Salvi's (Hilliard), Bravo or Moretti's. My boyfriend makes better italian and believe me folks, that's not saying much!!!!
03/18/2006Provided by Citysearch -
Loving Buca is like a dirty secret. There isn't one thing that makes the place appealing and there are dozens of reasons to hate it. Buca is a chain that seems bigger than life. Its noisy, crowded, serves huge portions of mediocre food with mostly indifferent service and yet I don't know anyone who will refuse to go if asked.
I doubt anywhere but Columbus would rate this as the numero uno Italian restaurant but it definitely fits into the local rating system where Taco Bell is the number 2 mexican
Call me if you need a sixth for the kitchen table.
10/26/2005Provided by Citysearch -
Some will find BdB loud, tacky, boisterous and inauthentic. And they would be right. Yes, the portions are enormous, but the food is nowhere near as good as, say, Salvi's or Moretti's. BdB is not the place for a romantic first date or anniversary - you find yourself shrieking to be heard - but if you're looking for a fun night out with friends or having an informal celebration of some kind, I'd say check it out. The servers do their best to take care of everyone but don't expect your glass to be refilled immediately. Parking can also suck. Oh, and try the Spumoni with chocolate sauce. Mmmmmm!
06/10/2005Provided by Citysearch -
In a city that is quickly developing, it is hard to find a place to dine that just feels like home. At Buca, it is like dining at Grandma's house in the old country. The food is fabulous, service outstanding, and atmosphere ""momma mia"". I just can't say enough about this place. With all the imposter Italian joints in town, it is nice to find one with fresh true Italian dishes. And if that isn't enough for you, just try the chocolate cake. Talk about curing any chocolate cravings!!!
06/06/2005Provided by Citysearch -
Just had my graduation at the Arena District Buca di Beppo. It was a great way to finish a long graduation cerimony. Had the whole family together and our server, Jen?,took fantastic care of us. The food is excellent and the ambience is like no other in Columbus. We will be back formy sister'sgraduation next year.
05/06/2005Provided by Citysearch -
Stopped in at Buca in the Arena district and had a great time. The Chicken lemon was excellent, the green beans nice and crisp, and we wrapped it up with the tiramisu. I found that the weekdays are the easiest to just walk in and sit down...no fighting the crazy crowds on the weekends.