I'll be honest. When I first moved to Columbus. I wasn't feeling it. I didn't think it was my style and I certainly wasn't in the proper mental and emotional state to give it a fair shot. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, I was always partial to the grit and grind of the Rust Belt region. I love baseball so Cleveland was the place for me. Roll Tribe! I thought, "how could I possibly live in a city with only a minor league baseball team, an MLS team and a professional hockey team?" I didn't even like hockey! But then I gave those things a try. I went to my first Columbus Clippers game and soon went to more games than I could count. I loved the intimate, small and clean ballpark. Huntington Park has the coolest nostalgic feel to it. Then I moved downtown to the German Village and started walking to Nationwide Arena for hockey games. What a blast! The feeling in that arena is electric and it's hard NOT to fall madly in love with that team. I was hooked. Soon after, I started to try more restaurants and local spots. Columbus really is a foodie city with so much to offer. Here are some of my favorite spots:
What an adorable corner bakery tucked away in the Short North. It has the most delicious baked goods. Recently, I had a slice of zucchini bread and (because I need my salty and my sweet), a ginger macaron. And it wasn't too expensive either. I think I paid $6 total for both! Plus, the staff was so friendly!
La Chatelaine Bakery French and Bistro:
This restaurant is an absolute must! It's like you step right out of Columbus and into Paris! The brunch options are to die for. I had the oatmeal and french toast, topped with fruit! The coffee is the best coffee I've had in a long time. Did I mention the people next to me were speaking French and the staff greeted me by saying "Bonjour Mademoiselle!"? It is how do you say.....spectaculaire!
Kittie's Cafe in Bexley:
This is the raddest coffee shop connected to a bookstore! This place has a laid back "surf's up" vibe. The lattes are smooth and the cups are vibrant. You can walk right in to Gramercy Books and check out their selection while you're waiting. Just writing about it makes me want to go back ASAP as possible. (office reference)
This little cafe and bakery is just a short walk from my place. All I have to say is that their macarons are unmatched. I especially love the pistachio one! Plus, this place is close to the Book Loft and Stauf's Coffee Roasters. You really could make a day out of hanging around this neighborhood.
Sure, everyone walks & runs the Scioto Mile right? But I don't know why it only recently occurred to me to cross the bridge and head to Genoa Park. It's a perfect view of the whole skyline and right near COSI. The whole experience was scenic for me. It's nice to see the greenery and the trees on a summer day. I'll definitely be going back soon and bringing a book along when I'm not trying to get my cardio on!
There are many other places I love but didn't mention. Day date? The Roosevelt makes a good cup of coffee. They have vinyl and you get to pick the tunes! Fun night out with friends? Head to Oddfellows or Pins! Want to have a great glass of wine? The Market Italian Village is amazing. Have a sweet tooth? Try The Chocolate Cafe. My point is, go out and explore the city you live in. Be a tourist in your own city. You are here for a reason. There are pros and cons in every location! I've been here a little over two years and there is still so much more I'm discovering.
I'll admit my love affair with Columbus is a slow and gradual one. It wasn't love at first sight, at all. But I am learning to bloom where I'm planted, instead of running away or thinking the grass is greener somewhere else.
Because when you bloom where you're planted, you open yourself up to new opportunities and end up liking things you never imagined you'd enjoy.