I’ve lived in Columbus for three years now and what I thought would just be a stop along the way during my college years has become a home. It’s small but it’s mighty. I have fallen in love with the revolutions and communities here under arches. There is a secret (not that secret) thriving cultural world happening and the city is one of the fastest growing regions in the county. Columbus is super underrated (I kinda want it to stay that way because cheap rent) butttttt if you find yourself in the city for a weekend or just moved here, these are a few of my favorite things!
Cafe culture is an essential piece of any good hometown in my opinion. For work, study or eating muffins, check these:
- The Roosevelt
- Coffee + social justice = everything good. This social enterprise donates a portion of their profits to 501 c 3 nonprofits and is a great spot for weekday meetings.
- Fox in the Snow
- My favorite for baked goods and coffee and sunshine on Saturday mornings. (no wifi though so don’t try to get work done)
- My favorite working cafe, this spot usually has plenty of open tables, plants, wifi and outlets.
- Pistacia Vera
- A little french-esque cafe with macaroons and all the beautiful things.
- Flowers and Bread
- A little outside of the city center in Clintonville, a slower paced, beautiful cafe perfect with pastries and sunlit tables
- Dough Mama
- Also located in Clintonville, the coffee and cakes are wonderful and there’s plenty of seating + cute merch
Places to go
For exploring on the weekends (or weekdays):
- Scioto Mile
- in the summer this is one of my favorite places to go. it has a beautiful view of the Columbus skyline and an extensive bike trail. there’s lots of grassy areas for picnics and this area is conveniently located near COSI children’s science museum, the new Veteran’s memorial center and bicentennial park.
- Franklin Park Conservatory
- Especially or when the weather in Columbus is not so wonderful, the conservatory is my haven for feeling outside without being outside. (also one of my fav spots during the holidays!)
- The Main Library
- This is a beautiful building full of books. My favorite. Worth a visit just for the architecture.
- Grange Insurance Audubon Center
- Nature in a city, this little oasis is right past the downtown area. There’s rock climbing, paths to walk and green, green, green.
- The Short North
- If you aren’t sure what you’re in the mood for you can probably figure it out in the short north. Restaurants, cafes, galleries, local shopping and ice cream available.
The important stuff:
- My go-to for brunch or din with friends. I recommend the breakfast pizza or the pasta forno!
- The mediterranean version of chipotle. Life changing.
- This is a fancier spot for brunch or dinner. Kinda pricey but worth it.
- Hot Chicken Takeover
- I don’t even know what I love more, the mission of this social enterprise or their chicken. Hot chicken takeover is committed to hiring men and women in need of supportive employment.
- Tacos, margaritas and queso.
- My favorite queso in Columbus. You need it.
- El Arepazo
- Venezuelan food that makes you realize how much you love Venezuelan food.
- Iconic ice cream that’s gone national. Columbus is the home of this splendid brand and it’s worth the long line and the price.
- Okay this might sound strange but: pancake balls. It’s important. Try them. Their food is locally sourced and the best
These can range from chill dive to upscale happy hours– enjoy responsibly:
- Seventh Sons
- One of my favorite places for a chill happy hour. They bring in food trucks (on Thursdays its periogies) and host community events like the Columbus Flea. Lots of draft beers on tap and seating indoor and out!
- Trivia night on Tuesdays! + a hip, eclectic vibe.
- During the summer, the outdoor pool is open for drinking and swimming! They also offer really good little apps and speciality cocktails.
- This is the most picturesque venue in Columbus (imo). It’s a black and white new york vibey place with an incredible view of the columbus skyline. It’s only open to the public Monday-Thursday however– on the weekends it’s a rental space!
- Local Bar
- This is the divey-est place on my list. Very homegrown + free popcorn.
- Here you can sample hundreds of kinds of wine using a preloaded card + fancy wine tech. There is wine from all over the world and it’s a perfect chiller night out with friends or date thing.
My other great love besides food:
- Vamp Official
- My friend Ellen Shirk opened this brick and mortar store about a year ago and is killin’ it! I want to buy every single thing it’s problematic.
- On Paper
- The happiest little stationary/trinket/card shop
- Quirky shop full of perfect gifts that you would never, ever think about. One of my favorite places to just pop in and explore.
- Little Hawk Shop
- Stump Plants
- Plants, plants, plants! This adorable little shop offers every variety of house plant + creative ways to display them.
- Valiente Goods
- The Book Loft
- This infamous staple of the Columbus landscape is located in German Village (one of my fav neighborhoods). The Book Loft has over 34 rooms of books and my favorite place to spend a rainy afternoon very very lost.
- Small Talk
- Two Dollar Radio
- My fav book store + coffee hangout spot. They publish their own books with beautiful covers and beautiful stories. You know every single book in there is wonderful because it’s hand curated by the owners.
Have a recommendation or would like to be featured? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!