Best Places for Trivia Night in Columbus, Ohio
(And 17 tips for an amazing night out! )

Trivia nights are a great way to test your knowledge, have fun with friends, and maybe even win a prize. But if you’re new to the trivia scene in Columbus, it may initially seem a little daunting. You may ask yourself, “Where do you find a trivia night? How do you form a team? What kinds of questions are asked? Is everyone smarter than me?”

I sometimes ask that latter one myself. Lol.

Columbus is a booming town for local, organized trivia nights. Trivia nights at bars and restaurants are on the rise and slowly trending up across the United States as bars and restaurants look for new and exciting ways to keep patrons coming back.

DJ Trivia, is a company who took advantage of the popularity of trivia and features live hosts called Trivia DJ’s. They post a calendar, each week, near you where you can play. My daughter and her friends are a great example of this, as they frequently visit Columbus bars that host trivia once or twice per month throughout the year.

This guide will answer all your questions and give you tons of tips to have fun and an amazing night out with friends, family, or coworkers. And we will share the best places to play trivia games in Columbus, Ohio

Trivia night tips

First and foremost, have fun! While some may take their trivia seriously, most don’t! Most people are there to have a little fun while they eat, drink, and socialize.

Before trivia night:

  • Know your trivia night: Take some time to research the trivia night you’re planning to attend. This includes finding out the format, rules, types of questions, and scoring system. This information is usually found on the trivia night’s website or social media page. Knowing the specific rules and format of the trivia night will give you a better chance of winning.
  • Do some research: Even if you’re a trivia buff, it’s always a good idea to do some research before trivia night. This can help you brush up on your knowledge on a variety of topics, including current events, pop culture, and general knowledge. There are many online resources and trivia books that can help you prepare. The more you know, the better your chances of getting the correct answers.
  • Team up: Most trivia nights allow you to form teams. It’s a good idea to team up with a group of friends or fellow trivia enthusiasts who have diverse knowledge. This will give you a better chance of answering a wider range of questions.
  • Arrive early: Arriving early to trivia night will give you a chance to get a good table and settle in comfortably. It also gives you a chance to review the rules and format if you’re new to the trivia night. Arriving early will help you start the night off right and focus on winning.

During trivia night:

  • Listen carefully: The host will read out the questions, so pay close attention. Sometimes, the wording or hints in the question can be crucial. Listening carefully will help you avoid making careless mistakes.
  • Strategize wagering: If the trivia night includes betting points on answers, consider your team’s confidence in the subject matter. Don’t bet too many points on a question unless you’re confident in your answer. It’s better to play it safe and bet fewer points on a question you’re more likely to answer correctly.
  • Use lifelines sparingly: If lifelines like phone-a-friend or ask-the-audience are available, use them strategically. Don’t waste them on easy questions or questions that your team can likely answer on your own. Save your lifelines for the tough questions that you really need help with.
  • Eliminate wrong answers: If you’re not sure about an answer, try to eliminate the obviously incorrect options. This can improve your odds of getting the right answer.
  • Teamwork: Encourage teamwork within your group. Discuss answers openly and consider different perspectives. Sometimes, a teammate may remember a crucial detail that you forgot. Working together as a team will help you increase your chances of winning.
  • Stay calm: Trivia nights can be competitive and fast-paced. It’s important to stay calm and don’t let the pressure get to you. Overthinking can lead to wrong answers. Take a deep breath and focus on answering the questions to the best of your ability.
  • Respect the host and rules: Trivia night hosts work hard to make the event enjoyable for everyone. Be respectful, follow the rules, and avoid arguing with the host over answers. If you have a question about a rule, politely ask the host for clarification.

After trivia night:

  • Learn from mistakes: Try to learn from your mistakes so that you can improve for the next time.
  • Respect other teams: Trivia nights are meant to be enjoyable for everyone. Be a good sport and avoid gloating or trash-talking other teams. Win or lose, be sure to congratulate the winning team.

Additional tips:

  • Focus on your strengths: If you have a particular area of expertise, such as sports, history, or pop culture, make sure to focus on those questions. This will give you a better chance of getting the correct answers and increasing your team’s score.
  • Use your lifelines wisely: If your trivia night offers lifelines, such as phone-a-friend or ask-the-audience, use them strategically. Don’t waste them on easy questions or questions that you have a good chance of answering on your own. Save your lifelines for the tough questions that you really need help with.
  • Don’t be afraid to guess: If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t leave it blank. There are no points for wrong answers, so you might as well guess. You may be surprised at how often you’re right!
  • Bonus tip: Have fun! Trivia nights are a great way to socialize with friends and test your knowledge. Don’t take the competition too seriously and enjoy the experience.

How do trivia nights work?

Trivia nights are typically run by a host who reads out the questions and keeps track of the scoring. Teams usually have 2-6 people, but most places also allow solo players or will encourage solo teams to join other teams. The team with the most points at the end of the night wins.

Do I need to know a lot about trivia to play?

You don’t need to be a trivia expert to play. Most trivia nights have a variety of questions that range in difficulty. And, even if you don’t know the answer to a question, you can still have fun trying to guess.

What types of questions can I expect at trivia night?

Trivia nights typically feature various questions to test participants’ general knowledge across various categories. The types of questions asked can vary, but here are some common categories and question types you might encounter:

  • General Knowledge: These questions cover a broad range of topics, from historical events and famous people to scientific facts and geographical information.
  • Pop Culture: Questions about movies, music, celebrities, and current trends in popular culture are common. They often include questions about recent releases and entertainment news.
  • History: Historical trivia questions may focus on specific periods, famous figures, important events, or landmarks.
  • Geography: Geography questions can involve naming countries, capitals, cities, rivers, mountains, and other geographical features. Map-related questions are also possible.
  • Science: These questions might cover biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and other scientific disciplines. They can range from basic scientific facts to more specialized knowledge.
  • Sports: Sports trivia often includes questions about athletes, teams, championships, records, and the rules of various sports.
  • Literature: Questions about famous books, authors, literary characters, and literary terms are common in trivia nights.
  • Food and Drink: These questions include cuisines, cooking techniques, famous chefs, and even specific dishes or cocktails.
  • Art and Music: Art-related questions may ask about famous paintings, artists, art movements, and techniques. Music questions can cover genres, musicians, albums, and song lyrics.
  • Movies and TV: These questions often involve identifying actors, movie quotes, directors, TV show plots, and famous film or TV moments.
  • Current Events: Trivia nights may include questions about recent news events, politics, and world affairs. Staying updated on current events can be an advantage for this category.
  • Wordplay and Riddles: Some trivia questions involve wordplay, anagrams, or riddles, requiring creative thinking and language skills.
  • Mythology and Legends: Questions about mythology, folklore, and legendary creatures from various cultures can challenge participants’ knowledge in this category.
  • Technology and Gadgets: Questions related to technological advancements, gadgets, inventors, and tech companies may appear in modern trivia nights.
  • Trivia about Trivia: Meta-trivia questions may ask about the origins of trivia, famous trivia facts, or the history of trivia games.
  • Potpourri: A catch-all category that can include random and unusual facts that don’t fit into the above categories.

Remember that the specific categories and question types can vary depending on the trivia night organizer. A well-rounded team with diverse knowledge can be valuable for tackling questions from various categories.

Is trivia night for everyone?

Trivia night is a social event where teams compete to answer questions on various topics. Trivia night can be a fun and engaging social activity, but whether it’s for everyone depends on individual preferences and interests. Here are some factors to consider:

Trivia Enthusiasts: Trivia nights appeal to those who enjoy testing their knowledge and competing in a friendly and social setting. If you love learning new facts and enjoy challenges, trivia night could be a great fit for you.

Social Interaction: Trivia nights are often organized in pubs or bars, making them an excellent opportunity for socializing. You might find trivia nights enjoyable if you like meeting new people, hanging out with friends, or engaging in group activities.

Interest in a Variety of Topics: Trivia questions cover many topics, from pop culture and history to science and literature. If you have diverse interests and enjoy learning about different subjects, you’ll likely find trivia night appealing.

Competitive Spirit: Trivia nights often involve a degree of competition. If you have a competitive streak and like the thrill of competing for prizes or simply for bragging rights, trivia can be a good fit.

Teamwork: Trivia nights can be played individually but are often more enjoyable when played in teams. You’ll likely have a great time if you enjoy collaborating with others, discussing answers, and pooling your knowledge with teammates.

Learning Opportunity: Trivia nights offer a chance to learn new facts and information in a fun and interactive way. Trivia can be a valuable learning experience if you enjoy expanding your knowledge.

Patience and Resilience: Not every question at a trivia night will be in your wheelhouse, and it’s possible to encounter challenging or obscure questions. If you’re patient and can handle the occasional “I don’t know” moment with grace, trivia night can still be enjoyable.

Remember, answering trivia is the activity, but having fun and socializing with others is why you are there!

Where are the best places that host trivia night near me?

Before heading over, double-check their website before you head out in case the night and/or schedule changes. And if you don;t see your favorite pub listed, many bars and restaurants have websites or social media pages listing their upcoming events, including trivia nights.

Land-Grant Brewing Co.

Land-Grant Brewing Co. hosts trivia nights once a week, usually on Tuesdays. You will want to check out their calendar for exact days and times, but also themes. This Is A Movie trivia night, for example, is all about movies and actors. If you love going to the movies, have an encyclopedic memory for the different roles actors were in, and regularly exclaim, “I’ve seen it before”, this one is for you. Themes rotate regularly, and you will definitely find one for you!

Land-Grant Brewing Co. is well-known around Columbus for making quality beers, from crisp and fruity to malty and hoppy. While they don’t make food on the premises, they encourage patrons to support the several food carts on site. In the winter, they also offer heated igloos and even curling lanes on their 1,300-square-foot ice rink.

The Best Places for Trivia Night in Columbus: Land-Grant Brewing Co.

Service options: Takeout · Delivery

Address: 424 W Town St, Columbus, OH 43215 • (614) 427-3946

Photo Credit: Land-Grant Brewing Company

Gateway Film Center

Unlike most of the other spots on this list, Gateway Film Center isn’t a bar, but it’s still one of the best places for trivia night in Columbus. This nonprofit cinema uses the power of movies to strengthen and unite the local community and regularly screens films from around the world within its sustainable business model.

While Trivia Night isn’t a regular, weekly occurrence, it is still a great place to visit and support. You can subscribe to their newsletter to be notified of upcoming events and movie showings.

Address: 1550 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201 • (614) 259-7182

Photo Credit: Gateway Film Center

Saucy Brew Works

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are popular days for trivia nights, but if you’re hesitating between a few spots, Saucy Brew Works is a safe bet, especially since they host Trivia Night on both days! And if racking your brain makes you hungry, you’re in the right place.

They have an extensive list of award-winning pizzas (with vegan cauliflower crust option) like the Fungus Amongus (with Boursin, parmesan, goat cheese, mushrooms, spinach, and more) and the Vegan Sausage Pepper (saucy red, vegan mozzarella, vegan sausage, peppers, red onion, and parsley). They also brew their own beer.

Service options: Dine-in · Curbside pickup · No-contact delivery

Address: 443 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43201 • (614) 696-5100

Photo Credit: Saucy Brew Works

The Barn

This beautiful venue is a great place to host private events, as it has a pool, a fitness center, and more. Parking is easy, the food and drink menu is reasonably priced, and The Barn also hosts its own events like wine tastings, evenings with live music, and of course, trivia night on Wednesday

Service options: Dine-in · No delivery

Address: 5451 Edwards Farms Rd, Columbus, OH 43221 • (614) 527-7800

Photo Credit: The Barn

Byrne’s Pub

Byrne’s Pub hosts trivia night every Monday at 7 PM (as with all these places in this list, please double-check their calendar in case their regular dates eventually change!)

While a lot of the spots on this list have barebones food menus, this one serves hearty fares like Shepherd’s Pie (a generous portion of Guinness Stew topped with mashed potatoes and aged Irish cheddar), Green Chili Mac & Cheese (a creamy, cheesy blend of white and sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and green chilies), and Fish & Chips (a healthy portion of beer battered cod, served with fries, hush puppies, and slaw), as well as appetizers, salads, chicken wings, soups, and more.

Service options: Dine-in · Takeout · No delivery

Address: 1248 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212 • (614) 486-4722

Photo Credit: Byrne’s Pub

Fourth Street Taproom and Kitchen

Generally held on Sundays, trivia night at Fourth Street Taproom & Kitchen is a live-hosted tv gameshow-style trivia contest for individuals and teams alike that comes complete with prizes for the winners.

The menu is also quite extensive, with appetizers like Nachos, Fried Pickles, and Garlic Hummus, vegan and meat-filled sandwiches, and a long list of beers, wine, cocktails, and shots. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items are clearly marked.

Service options: Dine-in · Curbside pickup · No-contact delivery

Address: 1810 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43201 • (614) 974-6555

Photo Credit: Fourth Street Taproom and Kitchen

Combustion Brewery & Taproom

Combustion Brewery & Taproom is one of the best choices around the area for fresh craft beer, with a selection of over a dozen regularly rotating craft beers made in-house or at their Pickerington location. It also happens to be one of the best places for trivia night in Columbus, with Crazy Train Trivia every Thursday.

While they do not make food, they have several food trucks on rotation throughout the week. On Thursdays, you can often expect to see Thai Palate, Grilled Cheese Gangsters, Poppy’s Roadside Diner, and Cupzilla BBQ.

Address: 2971 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202 • (614) 914-5112

Photo Credit: Combustion Brewery & Taproom

Sotto Terra at The Sanctuary

Come on down to Sotto Terra every Thursday for trivia night and a tasty drink. From Star Trek to RuPaul’s Drag Race and Hary Potter, the themes change often but are always lots of fun! Check out their website below to register teams of up to 10 participants.

Because they take such pride in providing a great experience for everyone, it has earned a well-deserved spot as one of the best places for trivia night in Columbus soon after it opened. And as “an upscale version of your favorite hole-in-the-wall bar,” they also serve some really good drinks.

Address: 610 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43215 • (614) 383-8698

Photo Credit: Sotto Terra at The Sanctuary

10 Pin Alley

10 Pin Alley is here to show that a bowling alley can also be one of the best places for trivia night in Columbus. 10 Pin Alley is also featured as one of the best bowling alleys in Columbus, according to our list.

Get a group together, send them your RSVP, and head there every Wednesday at 6:30 PM for a fun evening hosted by Trivia 614. Depending on the week, the theme can be General Knowledge, Disney, Superheroes, Star Wars, and much more.

Seating is available in the restaurant and on the patio, and they serve a wide array of dishes. Customers often love the Kingpin Burger (American cheese, pickle spears, caramelized onion, Sriracha, ketchup, and mayo), the Big Lebowski nachos (tortilla chips, Colby-jack cheese, black beans, shredded lettuce, pico-de-gallo, scallions, salsa, and sour cream), and the Veggie Pizza topped with onion, tomato, mushroom, red pepper, black olives, banana peppers.

Service options: Delivery

Address: 5499 Ten Pin Alley, Hilliard, OH 43026 • (614) 876-2475

Photo Credit: 10 Pin Alley

The Walrus

The Walrus hosts trivia night every Tuesday at 7 PM and 8 PM. While there are many other spots doing the same at that time, we recommend checking them out as well because not only are the evenings well organized, but you can also enjoy tasty dishes that go beyond standard pub fare. Lobster Mac and Cheese or slow roasted Short Ribs with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and parsnips, anyone?

Service options: Dine-in · Curbside pickup · No-contact delivery

Address: 143 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43215 • (614) 817-1710

Photo Credit: The Walrus

Joanna Steven