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When it comes to cities that I dreamt of visiting in the US, I'm going to have to say that Columbus was never on the list. But when one of my dear and very sweet friends moved there, it suddenly somewhere I knew I would eventually visit. I don't know if she was pulling out all the stops or if I was just underestimating the city, but I was pleasantly surprised with the city.
I was only in Columbus for a short weekend trip, so we really didn't play tourist too much. We spent lots of time catching up at "our place" (aka Chuy's), but it definitely tasted a bit different though. So the guide is broken down into the two main areas we visited, browsed and of course ate.
Short North is an urban revitalization project near downtown. The area is full of restaurants, bars, shops, coffee houses and art galleries. It truly feels like a place where the "locals" go and hang out.
We started with brunch at Forno, which is known for their stone fired pizzas. It's a buzzy place and definitely some where you would need reservations. Fortunately, we were able to snag some seats at the bar without a problem. I liked that the pizza had tons of toppings, but wish it would have been thin crust.
2. One Line Coffee
After that we wondered down the street popping into stores and eventually ended up at One Line Coffee. Now, this is a coffee shop for true coffee connoisseurs. They have every kind of preparation you can imagine: pour over, cold brew drip, Chemex, French Press, the list goes on. There was quite a bit of a line and since they have so many options, be prepared to wait awhile for your coffee. I don't remember the name, but it was their version of hot chocolate. It had a very unique flavor that was hard to describe, but if you're expecting traditional hot chocolate, this isn't it.
The German Village reminded me of an old neighborhood you would find up north. The streets were lined with brick with lots of little side streets to get lost on and trees growing up under the side walks. (It was actually a bit treacherous at some points if you weren't paying attention.) It had a very quaint and charming feel to it.
With a little hanging sign, this restaurant looks like just another house on the street...minus the people going in and out. (Fortunately I wasn't driving because I definitely would have missed it.) The inside looks like something from the movies with a tin tile ceiling, dark wood and leather. It was definitely hopping though, so be sure to call ahead and make a reservation. The brunch menu was quite extensive actually, but I ended up ordering lemon ricotta pancakes and crab and egg hash. They were both really tasty, but it was a lot of food. I definitely wish I would have had someone to split it with.
4. Staufs Coffee
After brunch we headed to Book Loft, a fun house turned bookstore with surprises around every corner. I picked up Mindy Kaling's book before we headed over to Staufs Coffee for a Columbus specialty. I usually stick to coffee with cream and sugar, but when I saw the "Buckeye Coffee" I had to give it a try. It was really more like a peanut butter chocolate dessert in a cup rather than a cup of coffee, but it was a nice treat to end the weekend.
I can't say Columbus is the most booming tourist town, but if you find yourself there for the weekend, there are definitely things that you can do to have fun. Have you ever been to Columbus? I'm sure I'll go visit again, so if you've been before I'd love to hear your suggestions on what to do or see next time in the comments below.