As you may know, I am leaving Columbus after 8 years of living and loving in this great city. I have mixed feelings about moving away because I’ve always thought this city was rad. Columbus is the largest city in Ohio (according to the 2010 US census) and it’s also the BEST city in Ohio (according to me). Obviously Columbus is home to The Ohio State University, but did you know that the home offices for Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, Express, Lane Bryant, The Limited, Justice and Victoria’s Secret are all located in Columbus? But despite all those huge brands, Columbus is a great place for small businesses and entrepreneurs. There’s literally just SO much to do here. Columbus is also the 15th largest city in US, and the 3rd largest in the Midwest. Also, ladies, if ya wanna be topless here, you can! Women don’t have to wear a shirt anywhere men don’t have to wear a shirt. Not that people really take advantage of it, but how many cities can say THAT?
So today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite places in Columbus, though keep in mind that this post only scrapes the surface of what Columbus has to offer.
|Harvest’s Almond Pesto Pizza|
|El Camino (Source)|
Places to Eat in Columbus:
If you’re in the mood for pizza, Harvest Pizzeria in German Village has the best wood-fired pizza in Columbus. Grab a fancy cocktail at Curio next door while you wait for your pizza, and then pick from one of Harvest’s many gourmet flavors. My absolute favorite is the Spicy Yuma, which is topped with chorizo, jalapeno, and corn! Bonus: they always play sick music like Tame Impala.
Explorer’s Club in Merion Village is known for its menu of international flavors. Explorer’s Club is great for brunch and dinner, and they have a rotating monthly menu that focuses on different regions of the world. My favorite item is the Grilled Mac & Cheese sandwich (with bacon-tomato jam), which they serve for brunch and dinner. Make sure you ask for the habanero hot sauce!
El Camino is a cute little retro spot on South 4th Street with an amazing vinyl collection and the best chips and guac in town. My best friend and I used to go here every Thursday to split some Palomas and about 7 baskets of chips.
Places to Drink in Columbus:
If you read this blog, you know that I love Seventh Son! Seventh Son is a brewery on 4th St & 4th Ave with a great bar and beer garden. They always have a food truck for snacks and you can bring dogs! It’s a huge space, so even though there are always lots of people there, it never feels too crowded and you can always find a seat.
Bodega is an old favorite of mine. They have the most amazing selection of beer on tap. Seriously, they have a whole wall of taps. I would always go to Bodega when I first turned 21 and it really helped me to develop my craft beer palette. Is that a snobby thing to say? Whatever. The food is also also amazing and their front porch is the perfect place to sit and people watch in the Short North.
16-Bit is a retro-style arcade where all the games are on free play and all the drinks are cheap. I’m not good at arcade games at all, but it’s a really fun atmosphere.
|Discount Fashion Warehouse (Source)|
Shopping in Columbus:
Discount Fashion Warehouse is like the greatest place on Earth. All those brands with home offices in Columbus? They have their returns and overstocks sold at Discount Fashion Warehouse. You can get a Victoria’s Secret bra for like $7.
Homage is a Columbus clothing store that sells cool vintage-inspired sports fan gear. Their materials are so soft, you’ll want to rub them on your face and purr. And you don’t have to be an Ohio sports fan to shop at Homage. They have all kinds of teams and city memorabilia. You can also shop online!
I think that we often take Easton Town Center for granted, but it’s seriously an amazing outdoor mall. Easton has every store, like, ever, plus tons of restaurants and bars. They even have an eat-in movie theater if the urge strikes you.
|Short North (Source)|
Best Places to Wander Around in Columbus
German Village is a historical neighborhood in Columbus that was built by German immigrants in the 1800’s. Since the 1980’s the whole neighborhood as been carefully restored to its former glory. Take a walk among the winding brick streets and enjoy the architecture and lovingly maintained gardens. Next, get lost in The Book Loft, a really cool independent bookstore/labyrinth in a big old house. With book in hand, head over to Pistachia Vera and enjoy a coffee and pastry.
The Short North is home to tons of stores, bars, and restaurants – all locally owned! On the first Saturday of every month, all the galleries in the Short North stay open late for Gallery Hop. It’s really fun alternating between bars, restaurants, and galleries as you make your way down High Street.
|Ohio State football in “The Shoe”|
Culture & Sports in Columbus
Ohio State Football Game Day is always fun. Even if you can’t get tickets to the game, visiting the campus during football season is really fun. Can’t make it to Columbus in football season? We also have a professional hockey team (The Blue Jackets), soccer team (The Crew), and a minor league baseball team (The Clippers). All of the stadiums are fantastic and games are so much fun!
There’s a number of monthly themed dance parties held in Columbus. My favorite is Clampdown, an alternative music dance party held at Ravari Room on the second Saturday of every month. Other parties worth mentioning are Ogee (old school hip hop) and Damn Girl (disco!).
You can’t have a city guide about Columbus and not talk about the Columbus Zoo! The Columbus Zoo is consistently voted the #1 zoo in America. It can be a bit expensive going there, but it’s worth it. Plus, they serve alcohol. What could be better than enjoying a beer and checking out some animals?
So what do you think? Have I convinced you that you need to visit Columbus? What’s your favorite thing about your city? Let me know in the comments!
Images original where not otherwise noted, top image edited by Whitney Gibson.