When I first moved to Columbus for work I hardly knew a thing about the city and had very few friends here to turn to. Columbus for me was just another town I drove through, from school in Cincinnati to home in Cleveland. Fortunately I was able to meet some fabulous folks who know the area well and I'm happy to call Columbus home- it's a thriving community with a rich entrepreneurial spirit and some delicious dining and drinking destinations. While I now feel like I have a good grasp of the city and have seen and tasted some of the best it has to offer, I thought it would be fun to ask a good friend who's lived here longer and is absolutely on the pulse of all things trending in the city (and beyond!) to share a days worth of favorite Columbus places. So I introduce to you Columbus via my lovely friend Annie, who graciously narrowed down her favorite spots (no easy task!) and added some great color commentary on why she loves these places so much! Enjoy!
1.) Brunch: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing- Delicious and unique! With a menu that includes duck, doughnuts and beermosas for breakfast; let’s talk about variety and great tastes! I would be shocked if someone couldn’t find something they enjoyed on this menu! My absolute favorite for brunch is the Eggs Benedict, but I promise you this, it is not your average eggs benedict; in fact, nothing on this menu is “average.” In addition, the service is phenomenal and the space is open and minimalistic that it makes for a different environment than most restaurants that are often snug and crowded.
2.) Post-Brunch snack: Zest Juice Co, located in Grandview Heights. Zest opened in December 2014, and I have made at least one trip a week since it opened. There are now four “juice shops” in Columbus, but Zest differentiates itself by being more of the “every day” persons juice shop. I don’t feel intimidated when I enter the shop, not knowing what all of the juices are, and the owners are always willing to offer samples and explain the differences in the juices. Not to mention the store is right around the corner, which makes for the perfect stop for the next part of our Columbus adventure.
3.) Shopping: a total must! Objects for the Home and Vernacular: I am truly in love with these stores, and cannot shop them enough. The products are always changing, they’re unique and each store carries little pieces of Ohio design, which always makes my heart happy. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable, and I am supporting local! Objects for the Home, is exactly what is says—a variety of pieces from furniture to house décor, blankets and more! Vernacular (with locations in both German Village and Grandview), carries both men and women’s clothing and accessories, as well as fabulous stationary and candles that make the perfect gift! (Check out Mishaps & Mimosa's review of the stores too!)
4.) Shopping continued: For the more “fashion forward” experiences and to spend a little more, I would then visit The Rowe Boutique in the Short North. The Rowe is owned by a Columbus (Dublin) native, and her shop continues to thrive. The Rowe carries unique products and sometimes it’s fun to splurge on unique products!
5.) Short North Arts District: There are so many different places to visit in the Short North, I often leave time for my guests to take a walk through the area and hop into a variety of different galleries and boutiques, to experience the art and eclectic nature of the Short North.
6.) Lunch Time: Harvest Pizza - I know it may seem boring to take someone to a pizza shop when everyone has pizza; however, everyone has their favorite pizza and for me that is Harvest. (Plus with Curio right next store creating flavorful, fun, unique cocktails, the entire experience makes this a must do when visiting Columbus). The ricotta gnocchi is to die for as an appetizer, I have never had anything like this! Followed up with the Mean Green salad (the addition of quinoa and avocado gets me on this) and then for the main course a delicious pizza! I don’t know how to describe this pizza other than delicious!
7.) Afternoon stroll through the streets of German Village: There is something about the houses and the brick roads of German Village that just makes for the perfect walk (if it is nice weather of course). And seeing that we will be eating a lot, a walk might be a good post-lunch activity—I also LOVE taking walks with friends and if they haven’t been to Columbus, a walk through German Village is a must!
8.) Afternoon snack/dessert: Pistacia Vera. Try a macaron with a side of coffee at the adorable pastry kitchen—I just can’t think of anything better! I love stopping in to get a little dessert with a coffee and taking a break from the day. I don’t often treat myself to desserts, but if I’m in the area of Pistachio Vera it is something I cannot deny! PLUS, there is something about this space that I just love! Not that it doesn’t fit into Columbus, but I do feel like it is a bit unique in the German Village, and I like that about it! I’ve also been for brunch and they serve delicious quiche!
9.) Dinner: Maybe it’s because it’s in Grandview (where I live,) but Third and Hollywood is one of my favorites. Those cheesy biscuits! Their cocktails! Their food! I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant! I have been for both brunch and dinner and I would never pass-up the chance to eat at this fabulous establishment! Now that they have the back room for parties and in the summer the patio, I can always make an excuse to make a stop down the road in Grandview.
10.) Night out! Unfortunately, I often find myself in the very crowded bars of the Short North on the weekend. The only reason I say unfortunately, is because they are always so packed that it can take away from the fun because you’re dodging people the entire night. However, I do typically have a good time if I go to: Odd Fellows, Pint House (strictly when it’s not packed OR an OSU game is on,) Bakersfield, and Eleven.
Columbus is a pretty awesome city with tons of interesting neighborhoods to explore and great shops and restaurants to visit and indulge in. Hopefully Annie's insights have inspired you- whether you live here in this great town or are perhaps planning a weekend trip up to the state capital!