There is so much to do, I mean EAT, in Columbus! I’ll post links to every place we went at the bottom of the post for easy reference. We were in Columbus for a wedding and we decided to make a long weekend out of it. We stayed at an Airbnb in the trendy short north neighborhood of Columbus. There were some great Airbnb options in Columbus, but this one was Marc’s favorite. It was a great choice.
Baby’s first Airbnb.
Our Airbnb in Nashville had some great Wi-Fi network names, but “Router? I just met ‘er!” is a new favorite.
The wedding couple invited us to their place for a gathering that first evening and we wanted to go, but after settling in, it was late and we were tired and hungry. Luckily, the taco place my internet friend Meredith recommended was just across the street from our Airbnb. It was a taco emergency.
It was busy at Condado Tacos, but we were seated right away. We ate queso with chorizo while we filled out our taco paperwork. Our waitress was really friendly and helpful. They have specialty tacos and are known for their taco shell options. Everything was great, but my favorite was the El Santo taco with chicken, lettuce, tomato, queso fresco, salsa roja and Condado secret sauce in a sweet Lucy shell (a hard shell surrounded by a soft shell with guacamole and queso). One of the best tacos of my life. Also, how cute is the table?
Our waitress told me that they could make any margarita a virgin margarita for me, so of course, I chose the prickly pear hot pink margarita. I’m so glad I did.
Fun fact, if you have more than 1,000 Instagram followers and you post a photo of their tacos, you get a free taco. I was having the HARDEST time getting a pretty picture of my tacos. Everything looked great and tasted amazing, but it took a while to get my taco’s best side. VSCO also decided to upgrade their phone app and changed it all around that morning and I was pretty annoyed about it. It wasn’t working quite right at first and it was just putting a damper on our trip. Didn’t they know there was a free taco on the line?
Several people recommended the Fox in the Snow Cafe, who’s name is cute while giving you all the hipster vibes. This place did deliver with incredible baked goods and it’s just a beautiful place to chill for the morning.
Marc ordered the egg sandwich and I took the cashier’s recommendation of a cinnamon roll. I usually order a savory breakfast, but this place is clearly known for their sweet baked goods. I wish I would have gotten a photo of their overflowing plates of baked goods. It’s my Columbus regret. The cinnamon roll was no joke and probably the best I’ve ever had with plenty of fluffy cream cheese frosting.
That breakfast lasted us a long while and we spent the afternoon relaxing in our air-conditioned airbnb with the overhead fan on high. We both had a quick nap and then got ready for our friends’ reception! Their intimate ceremony took place on a pier and the rest of us joined them at their rustic barn reception with derby-casual dress requested. I wore my favorite straw hat that is rarely used and Marc dressed in a coral poplin shirt with navy gingham tie. I left my phone plugged in at our airbnb and sadly have no pictures of the reception, but there was barbecue and sweet tea and deep-fried oreos. Our friends looked great and were so happy. It was fun to celebrate with them.
I cooled it on dessert, hoping to finally get myself to Jeni’s Ice Cream that night. There’s a location just under a mile from where we were staying, but as we approached the shop, the streets were jam-packed with people. It was so intense that we figured Jeni’s would have to wait. The next day our Uber driver told us that it was the craziest night he’s seen since he started driving for Uber. Apparently several festivals and conventions were going on at the same time.
Our Uber driver dropped us off at North Market, Columbus’ fantastic indoor market. It was only a mile or so from our place, but the weather was very hot and humid and neither of us wanted to spend the day a sweaty mess.
We started the day with lavender bubble tea, because we had this bubble tea on our last visit and it was memorable. Just look at all of that boba! I’d love to have one every day, please.
Several people suggested Hot Chicken Takeover in North Market and I hadn’t had hot chicken since our first trip to Nashville. You can visit that post to see our first experience with HOT chicken. I went back and forth about whether I should order the warm or hot in Columbus. The line was pretty long and I had too much time to talk myself in and out of the hot.
I ended up ordering the warm chicken and it did have a kick, but not one as powerful as the Nashville hot chicken. It was delicious with the perfect crispy skin. You get unlimited sweet tea and homemade ranch which you can help yourself to and the meal comes with mac and cheese and a vinegary cole slaw. Marc opted to get Indian food from downstairs, boggling my mind completely. But that’s what’s great about the North Market, there’s something for almost every craving.
And afterwards, JENI’S! I can’t believe it took me almost 40 hours to get Jeni’s ice cream after I arrived in Columbus, but it was worth the wait. I had a scoop of seasonal buttermilk with roasted strawberries and sweet cream biscuits with peach jam (made with peaches from Nashville’s Peach Truck!)
After the market, we walked around, peeking into a shop here and there. It was very hot that we needed some AC every block or so. We popped into this adorable kid store called Cub Shrub. I bought a little submarine bath toy and BABY RUNNING SHORTS for my nephew’s first birthday. I loved everything in the store and thankfully that gave us a few minutes to properly cool down.
Because you really need to see the baby running shorts in action.
We splurged on a couple’s massages at The Woodhouse Day Spa in Dublin, Ohio, a short drive from Columbus. The staff was really nice and we were completely relaxed. Ready for dinner afterwards, we went right next store to Tucci’s, a steakhouse with seafood options. They have a big, beautiful patio and the weather had cooled slightly by that time of night. My craving for fries has been constant and the fries at Tucci’s really hit the spot. That Sunday (and maybe all Sundays?) they offered all of their wines under $100 at the lowest retail price and they will cork it back up for you to take home.
Guess what else charming little Dublin has? A Jeni’s! For dessert we walked across the street (exercise!) and grabbed a double scoop. This location had the honey milk chocolate with smoked almonds (it was highly recommended by the bride) that was sold out at North Market and I also got a scoop of Intelligencia black cat espresso. Jeni never disappoints me. And if you do walk across the street, make sure to look both ways because they have a traffic signal that tells you to watch out for cars that don’t stop. Two older gentlemen sitting on the patio at Starbucks must have noticed our confused looks and told us how dangerous crossing can there be. Yikes.
Monday morning was our last morning in Columbus. We packed up our stuff and planned to go to the Northstar Cafe for breakfast until the W Nail Bar opened up across the street. Northstar is known for its fluffy biscuits and using high quality ingredients in their food. We both ordered the cowboy breakfast with 2 Ohio eggs, a biscuit, meat of your choice and cherry preserves for the biscuit. Marc had an iced latte and I had the Shooting Star juice with orange, carrot, lemon and ginger. It was perfect.
The W Nail Bar was another great recommendation from Meredith. Everyone was incredibly nice and welcoming. They have quite a selection of colors and brands of nail polish, including a local brand. I went with Vinyluxe in Wisteria Haze because I was just feeling like purple. My maternity wardrobe is decidedly monochromatic and I’ve tried to brighten things up with my nail color. If you can believe it, the only other customer in the salon that morning knew the couple we were in town to see get married. We were talking about why we were in town and how nice the reception was and she put it all together.
No trip to Columbus is complete without a visit to Pistacia Vera. Their almondine cookies give me life and the pistachio chocolate chunk aren’t to be missed, either. They have fresh croissants, macarons and lots of other delicious baked goods. I knew I would be sad to come home to an empty refrigerator and taking home these treats would help ease the transition back to real life.
Our final stop was at Harvest Pizzeria in Clintonville for lunch. Meredith told me that this location (there’s another in German Village near Pistacia Vera) offers perfect crispy potatoes. Sold. She wasn’t wrong you guys.
We started with the crispy potatoes and ordered the lunch special which was $9 for pizza and a salad. I had the arugula salad and Marc had the kale caesar and added sardines. Vegetables!
For our pizzas, Marc ordered the Pineapple Pizza with mozzarella, provolone, pineapple, Ohio “Canadian” bacon and jalapeño. I had the Fennel Sausage Pizza with a gouda/havarti cheese blend, smoked provolone, onion, fennel sausage and fennel pollen. I added an egg, too. Everything was incredible.
I sat in the back of the car with my puffy legs and feet up and it was surprisingly comfortable. I look forward to normal feet again, but I may just lounge in the back from now on for road trips.
This picture right here is why you take treats home from vacation. Even if you have to go back to work, at least you have cookies from Pistacia Vera.
Condado Tacos 1227 N. High Street Columbus, Ohio 43201
Fox in the Snow Cafe 1031 N. Fourth Street Columbus, Ohio 43201
Bubble Tea & Juice Company – North Market / 59 Spruce Street Columbus, Ohio 43215
Hot Chicken Takeover North Market / 59 Spruce Street Columbus, Ohio 43215
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams North Market / 59 Spruce Street Columbus, Ohio 43215
Tucci’s 35 North High Street Dublin, Ohio 43017
Jenis’ Splendid Ice Cream 1 W. Bridge Street Dublin, Ohio 43017
Northstar Cafe 951 North High Street Columbus, Ohio 43201
Pistacia Vera 541 South Third Street Columbus, Ohio 43215
Harvest Pizzeria (Clintonville) 2885 North High Street Columbus, Ohio 43202
The Woodhouse Day Spa 19 North High Street Dublin, Ohio 43017
W Nail Bar 946 North High Street Columbus, Ohio 43201
Cub Shrub 749 North High Street Columbus, Ohio
Meredith’s Other Great Recommendations We Didn’t Get To
Dough Mama 3335 North High Street Clintonville, Ohio
The Sycamore 262 East Sycamore Street Columbus, Ohio 43206
Philco 747 North High Street Columbus, Ohio
The Roosevelt Coffeehouse 300 East Long Street Columbus, Ohio 43215
Destination Donuts North Market / 59 Spruce Street Columbus, Ohio 43215