Mad Mex

Mad MexMad Mex
Mad MexMad Mex
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1542 N High St
Columbus, Ohio, 43201-1121
United States

(614) 586-4007 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 21 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Babalu614
Babalu614 from Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Great atmosphere and location. Lots of cool artwork on the walls. The service was aweful. No line and took them 20 minutes for someone to come up and seat us. Food selection was good, their burritos are amazing! They have a good selection of drafts and more bottles. Overall a good place to check out for some food and drinks before a night out on the town,

Mar 20, 2017
Photo of jp32
jp32 from Michigan

2.34/5  rDev -38.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.75 | food: 2

This place thrives on its location alone. Waitstaff is subpar and generally not knowledgeable. Beer selection is average. Not terrible, but nothing to get excited about either.

The food is similar to any plain, run-of-the-mill mexican restaurant, and serving portions are small.

May 15, 2015
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FaustieMo from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Mad Mex is a nice place to fill up on food and grab a tasty beer. Their happy hour includes 1/2 off drafts and wings, but the dinner plates aren't too pricy to begin with.

What I like: The beer selection is pretty respectable. Well represented by Great Lakes products, and a sizable diversity in other craft beers on draft. Their tap list is posted online as well, so you can know what to expect. The atmosphere is nice, dark lighting, and is located at the South Campus Gateway, a real gem on campus area High Street.

What I don't like: The food is actually quite bland. It is fine, but nothing spectacular. In the future I would just get an appetizer and beers. Service is average.

I had a Founders Breakfast Stout. It was unreal and I was pleased to have been served in a snifter. I'd say come visit Mad Mex.

Oct 26, 2011
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BareRepublic from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A great place to go for happy hour. Always love unearthly and ruination when they have it on tap, and you can always find Bell's and Great lakes among many others. Monday night is all you can eat burritos for something like $5 and they aren't too bad. As other people have said, you can go down the street to Bodega's for some great beer while you're standing shoulder to shoulder with everyone, but you can get some great beer and some decent food here with room to spread out and not have to wait in line for another beer.

May 10, 2011
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ne0m00re from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Although the Gateway (South OSU campus) is not necessarily the area you'll want to go bar-hopping (it's full of bro-bars and massive commercial clubs), Mad Mex is kind of a gem. It serves Southwestern--and some Asian--dishes, but its rotating beer selection is generally worth the visit.
The beers that were on-tap while I was there include the following: Great Lakes' Elliot Ness and Dortmunder Gold, Great Divide's Hibernation (I've had Yeti on tap here before, though), Flying Dog's Raging Bitch (I've had Gonzo on tap here before, though), Dogfishhead's 90 Minute and an additional "seasonal," which escapes me at the moment, St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, Troeg's Nugget Nectar and Hopback, some local brews, and ten or so other beers that are definitely worthy.
Order the buffalo wings or burritos/wraps which contain wings, because the rest of the food is only mediocre (Chipotle blows most of the burritos out of the water). I think I got sick once off of their spinach...
If you sit at the bar, you'll have free access to nachos, which are also worth the visit.
Their happy hour isn't too shabby, with half-off drafts and wings. After 10pm everyday, they have "big-azz" 20 oz drafts (as opposed to pints at the same price) and half-off most food. Plan to visit during these times.
They usually play an eclectic mix of independent/new music, but late at night they'll have clubbing and pop music (to match the rest of the scene at the Gateway?). The bartenders are great, but the table service is hit-and-miss. Last night, I had an unusually attentive waitress, whereas the time before, they were lucky I stayed the extra 20 minutes to get my card back!
I'd recommend this place for the beer and snacks; if you're looking to dine out, go somewhere else!

Feb 14, 2010
Photo of ShareANevada
ShareANevada from Ohio

3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here later on a saturday, celebrating a friends bday. Not a lot of people here, seems maybe this is more of a restaurant than your standard beer bar. Young 20 something crowd, as you would expect for someplace so embedded in campus.

Dimly lit, nice atmosphere, we had no problem snagging seats at the bar. Chalkboard on the side noting names, abv and price for their ~25 taps. Also printed beer list on the bar. Notable taps were Maharaja($7), Mojo Risin($6.50), Bigfoot($5), Unearthly(6.50). All served in snifters.

They also had a special on 60, 90, and Aprihop. All were $5, and the Aprihop came in an oversized glass. Not a bad deal. Were informed the 60 was gone, and received the 90 in the 60 sized glass at same price.

Bartender was helpful, friendly, on top of things, and recommended we stop in from 4-630 M-F for happy hour, where drafts are half off. (Mental note!)

Easy to get too, plenty of drafts (for all palletes) and several to interest Beer Geeks too. I will stop in next time i'm in town to see whats new.

Apr 07, 2009
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robey12 from Ohio

3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

this is a good place to go to enjoy a variety of beverages on campus where bud light and miller lite are kings. Have had many differing beers here and am never disappointed with the selection, the staff or the service. Sadly I can't say as much about the food. I make sure that I eat something before I go there or am sure to get something safe on the stomach(which is hard to do there) if you know what I mean.

Not as busy as most other bars so if you go for just the bar then you are fine but the food will leave you disappointed or worse.

Mar 19, 2009
Photo of Bagman007
Bagman007 from Texas

2.95/5  rDev -22%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I've been here with some friends a handful of times. The atmosphere is great. Comes off as a trendy Mexican restaurant. A little on the small side though, as there are often some long waits for a table. Very good selection of food and beer. I was surprised by some of the choices on their beer menu. Didn't expect a place like that to have so much. The service was average, nothing special. My biggest problem with this place was the food. This ranks as one of the worst Mexican food restaurants I have ever been to. There are much better Mexican restaurants in Columbus. I've had everything from quesadillas to burritos and it has all been pretty bad. The drinks are a little pricey, but the food is what you would expect price wise. I hate going here because the food is so bad. Nice atmosphere to drink in with good happy hour specials, but overall there are better places to go in Columbus.

Dec 02, 2008
Photo of jmacdaddy2008
jmacdaddy2008 from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I enjoy going to this place every Wednesday for happy hour and beer tasting.

They have free glassware when you purchase the beer they are tasting.

The bar tenders could be more attentive but they are usually busy when I go.

They tend to have a good rotation of the seasonals from the better breweries.

They have a decent selection on tap and the half off from 4-7 is pretty sweet. I usually get the hottest wings they have, which are also half off.

They do a good job creating a place that's quiet enough to chat but still has a bar feel.
A must if you have the time to go to happy hour on Wednesdays.

Apr 16, 2008
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genog from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Just got back from having lunch there. Decent food, and atmosphere, but the tap selection is impressive.

I had a Bear Republic, Hop Rod Rye. They also have Bell's Oberon, Rogue Dead Guy, Bell's Hell Hath no fury, Breckenridge oatmeal, Brooklyn, Buckeye hippie, 90 minute, two brothers, Cain & Abel, Victory, Hop Wallup, as well as hop devil

They have one of the best happy hours in town. Drafts and wings are half off from 3-7. Working close by helps and I always try to stop by after 5 ;) Thankfully I have converted a few co-workers to craft beer !

May 25, 2007
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Bierguy5 from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Final stop on the pub crawl, and when we walked in here on Saturday night, the place was packed. We did manage to get seats at the bar, and ordered beers and food. The tap selection was great. I had a Bell's Two Hearted, and a Rogue Chocolate Stout. New Holland Dragon's Milk was quite popular. The Kaiser from Avery was also present. Our server was friendly, helpful, and prompt. I has some spicy chicken tacos that I enjoyed. I wasn't impressed with the complimentary chips and salsa, mainly the slasa as it was too chunky, but in the big picture, that is pretty small. I enjoyed this stop, and would like to come back and eat again. From what the bartender said, the taps will change every couple days, so it would be good to check out again.

Feb 19, 2007
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mcallister from Ohio

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Our final destination of our pub crawl and a pretty good one from a beer perspective. When we arrived the place was pretty hammered but we were able to find seats at the bar. The draught beer selection was top notch. I had an Avery Kaiser, my girlfriend a Dragons milk, and my other friends had Rogue Chocolate Stout, and a Clipper City offering.

I ordered some Spicey chicken tacos that really did not impress me. However I knew going in that I'm not a big fan of Tex/Mex style of food and much prefer a Mexican cuisine prepared by non-English speaking Mexicans. So my review of the food may be off a little.

If I lived on campus I'd be here daily too see what is new on tap, but I'd skip this place for eating.

Feb 18, 2007
Photo of blingger
blingger from Ohio

4/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Excellent beer selection which changes almost every time I visit.

Can't beat the happy hour for craft brews. Half price drafts and half price wings, and the wings are great - I've tried them all. You also get free salsa if you sit at the bar. They always seem to have draft selections from Avery, Rogue, Great Lakes, New Holland, Victory, and I've also seen Stone and Three Floyd's.

Atmospere is casual and a bit on the dark side, but is modern and nice with some nice TV's at the bar to keep tabs on sports.

Great hangout after work, especially for the price.

Oct 03, 2006
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Osiris9588 from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I wouldn't go here for the food, which is a Cali-mex fusion. Though the dip platter "Pick-a-dippa" is a good, filling appetizer. But the beer selection is top-notch, and changes almost daily. They can never even keep their printed beer lists up to date.

When you think of Mexican, or quasi-Mexian food, you think of Corona and lighter beer, but the list here features hoppy ales and a strong presence of stouts. They often offer several selections from the Victory brewery in Pennsylvania which can not be found outside the state of PA--execept at Mad Mex in Columbus.

24 drafts, quality craft brews. Other than The Happy Greek, which has great food, this is the only place in the South Campus Gateway that is worth checking out. Eddie George's place has 27 taps, and they almost all suck (Amstel Light? what's the point?) Come for the beer selection, stay for beer selection.

Sep 11, 2006
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Dogbrick from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Mad Mex is one of the establishments in the newly-sanitized South Campus Gateway area on High Street near OSU campus. Parking is plentiful thanks to a garage. Be careful with street parking as a lot of it is permit only.

The restaurant looks similar to other Tex-Mex chain restaurants. In other words, carefully decorated to look "authentic". This is not to say it's bad, just kind of predicatable. The garage door-enclosed patio is pretty cool. The bar is toward the center of the restaurant, and there is upstairs seating as well.

The beer selection is pretty good. There are around 25 taps with goodies from Rogue, Thirsty Dog, Shiner, Bell's, DFH and more. There are 40 or so bottles too with Great Lakes, Rogue, Stone, and many more represented.

The service here is pretty good. Our waiter was knowledgable about the available beers and made recommendations.

The food at Mad Mex is pricey and average. It would never touch some of the mom-n-pop type places in town but the portions leave plenty for lunch the next day.

All in all Mad Mex is a worthwhile visit in the OSU campus area. I wish Eddie George Grill #27 had put the same effort into variety in beer selection that Mad Mex did.

Aug 31, 2006
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unclederby from Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place is not so much a beer bar as it is a restaurant, but you'd think otherwise from the beer list.

A: Most of the time i really like it here, it's relatively dark with a sort of Mexican, funky "day of the dead" decor. There are several tables and lots of seats at the bar. I've been here several times and it seems eighties music/classic rock is the theme, though it's always at a comfortable volume and occasionally the TV takes precedent (as with the super bowl and the ncaa tourney. During the busiest times, it attracts quite the young, college crowd type (um... it's just south of OSU).

Ser: Service is almost always very good, though it can suffer when it's very busy.

Sel: Really, a great selection. The best I've seen in Columbus (only Surly Girl's even comes close). They have 24 drafts which during this visit included:
DFH 60 min.
N.C. Red Seal Ale
3F Robert the Bruce
Rogue Chipotle and Mocha Porter
Great Divide Hibernation
Great Divide Old Ruffian
Sierra PA and IPA
Bell's Rye Stout
Harpoon Hibernian Ale
Victory Storm King
Ommegang Hennepin

They also had a few macros available on tap for your wary friends.

Additionally, Mad Mex offers 39 bottled beers (all of which were'nt available) with offerings from Great Lakes, Three Floyds, Stone, Rogue, Victory and more...

The bottles can be extravagantly priced: Dreadnaught for $21, Allagash Tripel for $16 for example, but where the hell else are you even gonna find these at a restaurant? And with all these great drafts, who needs bottled beer?

F: I would call the offerings here Amerimexican, for lack of a better description. There are also some very intersting offerings such as shrimp and portabello rolls (recommended). Plenty on the menu if you're vegetarian. I've eaten here a few times now and the food is always good if not a little overspiced (be careful). The bean dip is the best i've ever had. It's also half-priced after 11pm on certain items.

If you're on a budget, you can definitely make out here: while drafts are already reasonably priced ($5.50 for 12oz. Old Ruffian) it becomes a serious bargain when you consider the 1/2 off ALL drafts happy hour from 4-7pm everyday. Food is also reasonably priced from $5 upwards for an appetizer and $8 upwards for an entree (and you get hefty servings).

Overall, this relatively new (for Ohio) establishment has won me over: the draft list is tops in Columbus (though i would like to see a couple of Belgian offerings, but that's just me); the food is above average and consistent and the service is always good and at very least attentive.

I highly recommend a vist.

Mar 17, 2006
Mad Mex in Columbus, OH
Place rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 21 ratings