Columbus, Ohio | Guide
Columbus, Ohio will always have a special place in our hearts, it's where Jeromy went to college, and where we both lived together for 3 years. We met some of our best friends in this city, you won't find a more warm-hearted place. We've made a list of all our favorite haunts in the city, we'll be sure to update it when we go back!
You know no Columbus list is complete without the Short North placed on it. This bustling area is full of shops, restaurants, and bars. You can spend a whole day in the Short North, roaming from shop to restaurant, to bar...and then just stay there all night and have your husband tell you he is going to "race the taxi home," oh am I the only one with that issue?
- Go to the Rossi: our favorite place for any occasion, get the prosciutto-wrapped caesar salad.
- Philco: The Rossi's sister, and our favorite place for burgers (also they're $4).
- Pint House: has a warm and welcoming space, featuring an open air roof when the weather is nice. Their food, drinks, and company are all great, we recommend going on a week day or the weekend afternoon for a less crowded experience! During Gallery Hop, they feature an artist who paints a piece in the front room of the beer garden which stays there for a month! It's pretty bustling on the weekends, so prepared to wait a little bit for a drink, you're also bound to run into someone you know, or someone of someone you know.
- Arch City Tavern: One of our favorite restaurants, get the arch city burger (with a fried egg on top!) and their brussel sprouts. They may be fried brussel sprouts, but they're still a vegetable, so it's healthy right?
- Jeni's: because yes. Every visitor must go to Jeni's (we think this is probably a Columbus law)
- Katalina's: Technically Victorian Village area, but close enough-ish. Arguably the best breakfast in Columbus is at Katalina's -- Nutella stuffed pancake balls and sweet & spicy bacon are what our breakfast dreams are made of. Be sure to get here early or a little weirdly late for brunch or you may be facing a line wrapping down the street.
- Local Bar: They used to have hermit crab racing here, not sure if they do anymore, but they do still have free popcorn which is a goddamn lifesaver when you hit that 1am drunk munchies. Or when it's the middle of the day on the weekend and you just need a free snack. You do you.
- Oddfellows: The "shittiest bar in the Short North" is pretty damn fun. The bar is decorated with an assortment of seemingly random trinkets and decorations, the drinks are good, and their hummus is fucking magical. They also have a hidden champagne button, which if you find, you get free champagne for your party! (not sure if the button is still there) Also there is Mikey's pizza outside, which is what every bar should have outside.
- Native: This cold pressed juice shop started by two yogis is the ultimate zen spot in the Short North, grab a drink and a snack and immediately take a poop.
- Brother's Drake: Mead is one of the most fun alcoholic drinks in that it is delicious and 13%. Brother's Drake usually has live bands on the weekend -- that are always extremely talented, or we are extremely drunk, either way, it's a good time!
- Be sure to check out the graffiti in between alley ways! Ya can grab some fun snaps.
- Gallery Hop (1st weekend of every month): The weekend where Short North flings its doors open late into the night (aka 11 pm) with live music and artists gallivanting about High St with their talents.
- Pride Fest: (June 16-19th): One of our favorite celebrations all year in Columbus, the pride parade is full of love, fun, and drinks. Make sure to start your day with brunch at Union (if there isn't a crazy line!) and watch the parade mill by. This is one of the happiest days in Cbus, so be sure you don't miss it!
- Doo Dah Parade (July 4th): Celebrating all these whimsical &
weird on July 4th, be sure to check out the artistic local talents in the parade!
- Community Festival (Late June): Check out vendors, live music, and drinks! With vendors traveling from places all over the country, you're sure to find some unique goods!
The area of downtown is where you can find the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Clippers, music concerts, bars, & restaurants! Weekdays are bustling, but during the weekend you can enjoy a spacious walk around town.
- Dirty Franks: Hot dog heaven, need we say more?
- North Market: perfect for the finicky group who can't agree on what they all want to eat. Taste of Belgium, Hot Chicken Takeover & Destination Donuts are a must.
- Red Velvet: best cupcakes in town. for real. and bubble tea.
- El Camino Inn: Do it for the queso. and the $3 tacos.
- Nada: Do it for the queso & the mac & cheese. Then put the queso on that mac and cheese and be in cheese heaven.
- Wolf's Ridge Brewing: Wolf has got it all, great food, great decor, and a taproom in the back.
- 16 bit bar: Check out 16 bit and show your pals how cool is it Cbus has barcades where you can play for free. Best times to go are Saturday/Sunday during the day before the night rush comes in and you're not able to hog Tapper for an hour.
- Park Street: To reminisce on them cawlage days
- Pins: This spacious bar has pinball, duckpin bowling, a giant ping pong table and a giant jenga game set. There's also food trucks parked here for when hunger hits mid-bowling throw.
- Columbus Beer Fest (Aug 14th - Aug 15th): 300+ craft beers, live music, and food trucks. Be sure to buy your tickets online before the event! And make sure you get a pretzel necklace while you're there. Tickets - $40 online, $50 at the door.
- Food Truck Festival (Aug 14th - Aug 16th) 67 food trucks, live music, and vendors. Celebrate all mobile food this weekend!
- Fashion Meets Music Festival (Early September): Columbus' answer to the music fest scene is a fashion and music collaboration. Come check out emerging and well-known designers at their runway shows, and in between shows you can listen to musical artists.
- Moonlight Market (Sep 12th and Oct 10th starting at 6pm): A diverse mix of brick-and-mortar stores, pop ups, and food trucks for a unique shopping experience! You can purchase handmade jewelry, a vintage tee, & a pulled pork sandwich all in one place!
- Columbus Clippers (Season ends Sep 7th): Nothing more American than beer, baseball, and hot dogs. Try and check out their dime-a-dog night to eat as many hot dogs as possible in one sitting.
- Columbus Blue Jackets (Preseason starts Sep 21st): Cheer on Ohio's only NHL team the Blue Jackets!
- Park Street Festival (Early June): Celebrate the beginning of summer with food trucks, live music, and the holy giant lemonade stand.
- CD102.5 Summerfest (End of July): CD102.5's annual music festival that brings some of the best talent into Cbus! Past summers held the stage for Matt and Kim (Cbus favorites), Weezer and CAKE.
This hipster-suburban area is home to niche mom & pop shops that you won't find anywhere else in the city.
- Lucky Dragon: This casual Chinese restaurant has all your feel good needs, get the beef ho fun. It is the ultimate comfort food. Also the drinks are strong here.
- Ray Ray's Hog Pit: 12-16 hours slow roasted meat #drool, their food truck is outside Ace of Cups every weekend.
- Crest: One of the best vegetarian friendly spots in town, their drinks are also great. They have a rooftop patio where you can sit amongst the herbs while eating. Pretty rad.
- Park of Roses (All year, best blooms in late May, peak blooms in mid-June): Home to 12,000 roses of 400 various varieties, the park of roses is the perfect walk in the park. If you don't see someone doing some sort of photoshoot while you're there, you went on the wrong day.
- Clintonville Farmer's Market (April 25th - Sep 21st) Food doesn't get any fresher than this! Meet growers/farmers/bakers to get some delicious grub while supporting local.
The suburb in the city — Grandview has the fun of the Short North, but is slightly more sprawling. You can find some great beer here!
- Toast Bar: Any place that celebrates carbs is a great place in our book.
- Aladdin's: Healthy and delicious..is it possible? Aladdin's says yes. Their pita bread is always served nice & warm, make sure to get the hummus to dip it in.
- Till Dynamic Fare: One of the best vegetarian friendly restaurants in Columbus, Till is equally delicious as it is unique. Be sure to check out the owner's delicious deli next door, Izzy & Mo's for some bomb ass bagels.
- Cap City Diner: One of our favorite Cameron Mitchell restaurants in Columbus, their meatloaf is fantastic and melts in your mouth. Be sure to make a reservation as their nights can get a bit hectic with the suburban rush coming in.
- Bibibop: Our favorite make-it-yourself-meal (even over Chipotle --gasp!), this Korean-American restaurant serves a variety of meats you can put in your bowl and their purple rice is sooo good. Yum yum sauce for the win (on the side though).
- Aab: An all you can eat Indian buffet for $12 everyday. That is all.
- Haufbrahaus: Any place you can successfully dance on the tables with your friends without getting kicked out is a good place.
- Zauber's: Zauber's seems like a casual place to grab some food truck food & some brews, but I always wind up leaving a little drunker than I intended...
- Grandview Digfest (Early June): Celebrate the beginning of summer with a little block party in Grandview. Local breweries and spirits and of course food.
- Grandview Hop (Aug 29th and Sep 26th): A mini gallery hop, but in Grandview! Featuring food, vendors, & music!
Northwest Columbus is known for its authentic food, you should go here to eat. Often.
Tensuke: the best sushi in Columbus is right here in a little Japanese grocery store. It's also really cheap for the amount of sushi you get. The best places are cheap, good eats!
Belle's Bread: the best bakery in Columbus is right next to Tensuke, so you can grab your healthy sushi, and then 5 pieces of strawberry cake that looks like it came straight of the Mario game, but really it came from heaven. Because it is amazing.
Hunan Lion: One of our favorite Chinese restaurants in Cbus, we love a good sesame shrimp.
Los Guachos: The best Mexican restaurant in Cbus is tucked in a little plaza behind a gas station. This restaurant used to be a food truck, but got so popular they got a storefront! Their food is cheap and good. Get the al pastor, they're the best in town! (also not sure where else you can al pastor in Cbus, but theirs is really good)
Meshiko: Our favorite ramen in town, we like the mazeman the best!
Gogi: Korean BBQ is one of our favorite types of cuisine, mostly because we always wind up getting too drunk on soju and ordering too much meat. We love it every time.
Huong Vietnamese Restaurant: Pho is the cure to all hangovers, so make sure to come here if you're hungover (or if you're not, it's still equally as delicious). The decorations are also killer, they're quirky and strange, yet somehow so perfect.
The Refectory: The best fanciest, expensive food in Columbus. The veal melts in your mouth, the servers know everything about the menu/wines/probably life too. You should probably go here for restaurant week. Don't go here on a 21st birthday and then heavily drink after, you may not eat enough food..
This area is going through revitalization and already has the bright outlook of possibly the new Short North. With neat local business such as coffeeshops and breweries that have almost cult like followings around Columbus, it would be a shame to not come here with your out-of-towners!
Fox in the Snow: probably the most instagrammed spot in Cbus, you must take your guest here so they feel the ambiance of Columbus. Also get a biscuit/a cinnamon roll/scone. They're all amazing..
Market Italian Village: You can shop, eat, and get drunk all in one place. On Saturday mornings, they have a live band. (don't go then though if you're hungover)
Seventh Son: Their patio is strung with lights and little plants, and next to it is usually a delicious food truck, so of course we love it here. They brew great beer, but they also have great cocktails, so you can satisfy every type of drinker in your group (or non-drinker, they also have water). Their food trucks rotate so you can always try something new!
Italian Village Festival: Oct 9 - Oct 11: $5 at the door, you can try tons of Italian food from local vendors while sipping a cold brew. You can also partake in the Taste of Italy for a food intensive course on Italy for $35.
4th Fest: summer. live music, drinks, and food trucks all day at Seventh Son!
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
This is buckeye town, so hide any remnants of Michigan paraphernalia if you do root for them. Campus is packed during the school year, and empty in the summer, which is a great time for us to visit campus!
- Slice of New York: the most perfect crust pizza in Cbus, good drunk & sober (so you know its good pizza) -- now closed. RIP (now gone due to OSU taking over the world).
- Raising Cane's: The best hungover food in cbus. get the meal, you won't be sorry -- you might want more.
- Ethyl & Tank: The Crest's cheaper, but just as delicious friend, Ethyl &Tank, is campus' answer to good and cheap food. Get the bison burger or the chicken & waffles. Also, you can't beat their happy hour prices! Seriously. You cannot.
- Midway, Chumley's and Big Bar: Cheap drinks, angry dudes, girls that are too drunk — thus is the campus bar life. While there are many campus bars to reminisce your college memories, these three are our favorite!
Fourth St: Right off of 4th St on campus, is Fourth St. Bar & Grill. We have never tried their food, but their drinks are half on Tuesdays, so if you're looking for cheap drinks and a lively patio on a Tuesday night, this is the place to be.
- OSU Football: (Starts Sep 7th): If you are in Columbus during the fall, you need to at least watch a game even if you don't go. Go to a tailgate, drink some brews, and celebrate the love the entire city has for the buckeyes. If you see Urban Meyer give us a hug from us.
This charming area of town is paved with cobblestone streets and quaint little homes, everything looks super charming and is basically a giant photo-op.
- Sycamore: this little gastropub is perfect for date night or grabbing drinks with a couple girlfriends. Their veggie burger is really good and still satisfying for not having any meat.
- Alchemy: this healthy little cafe is run by Alexis of Hummusapien, she's a MS, RD, LDN. She has all the abbreviations, regardless she knows her shit. And the smoothie bowls there are some of my favorite.
- Club 185: One of of our favorite spots for burgers, it's $3.50. And yes it is better than McDonald's.
- Harvest Pizzaria: If we're gonna brave farting all night, this would be our go-to pizza in Columbus.
- Curio: After getting an incredibly cheap dinner and a couple drinks so we have a nice buzz, we'll stumble over to Curio and try to act like we belong in a fancier cocktail bar. We'll usually leave after two drinks each because our bill will start to pile onto us, but the drinks are very good here.
And the rest of the best
There are many awesome places to check out in Columbus not limited to certain areas. Our other favorite places to check out and events are below!
- Easton: For the avid shoppers, as many stores as you can cram into 5 miles...or so. Not really sure how long it is.
- Breakaway Music Festival: (Aug 24th-26th): Columbus' premier music festival to get turnt at. This year's lineup looks pretty sick, but be prepared a lot of little kiddos go to it. So be armed to give some much need water to those underagers -- one year Jeromy caught someone as she was passing out. #hero.
- Ohio Balloon Festival: (Aug 14-16th): Grab a lawn chair & watch the sky be filled with giant air balloons, including some interestingly shaped ones such as Darth Vader. 6pm nightly launch and 9pm glow. $10 weekend passes
- Arch City Streetwear Flea (Aug 23rd): Sneakers, streetwear clothing, grills, and food. Yeah this is going to be awesome flea with vendors like Made by Ngo, Ohio Against the World, & Sole Classics you won't want to miss this.
- Damn Girl (Aug 20th): Check calendar for later dates. This dance party has evolved from a small warehouse party to a full fledged event and was moved to the Bluestone recently, which is one of the coolest venues in Cbus. It is a refurbished church with stained glass windows and a stage for events!
- OGEE (Last Saturday of every month): Held at Strongwater, vibe to old school hip hop/rap.
- Strongwater: Come here to eat or for an event (such as Ogee!), this refurbished warehouse is also home to gallery space, so you can check out local artists after you eat!
- America's Best Zoo (aka the Cbus Zoo aka Jack Hanna's Zoo): Started in 1927, and in the past years cultivated by Jack Hannah, the Columbus zoo has proudly grown to become known as America's Best Zoo, with over 7,000 animals, a water park, amusement park, and golf course. During the winter they hold Zoo Lights, decking out the grounds in a sprawling light show for guests to enjoy at night!
- The Wilds: The largest wildlife conservation in North America is right here in Columbus, Ohio (shout out to our man Jack Hanna). We went here for one of Jeromy's birthdays and it was one of the coolest experiences. Riding on an open air cart, you're guided through a tour of their immense space where you are driven up to animals sometimes less than a foot away! You can also opt in to check out ziplining or eating dinner above the wildlife grounds for a sunset evening view.
- Franklin Park: Included in the top 50 places to get married in the US, this enormous park and conservatory is home to tons of plants, and also one of the most beautiful greenhouses. With varied events throughout the fall, you can pick & choose what you would like to see! Students & seniors get discounted tickets at $10 & GA is $13. See for yourself why this has become one of Columbus' hottest spots for weddings.
- Hocking Hills: Embrace the wildlife of Ohio an hour out of Columbus with cool trails, mini waterfalls, and romantic cabins. Perfect for a fall getaway over Labor Day or a big group party for some beer Olympics!
- Columbus Art Museum: Check out the Columbus Art Museum for rotating exhibits as well as their maintained gallery of pieces (including some Monet's and & Picasso's!) Free admission on Sundays.
That's our list! Not totally conclusive, we'll probably update it as we eat and wander around Cbus, but we hope it's a helpful and delicious guide! Did we miss a place you love? Let us know!
- E & J