I know what you're thinking! Who would go to Ohio? We found ourselves asking the same dang thing. Yet Columbus surprised us. Stunning murals by local artists? Check. Queers holding hands? Check. Passionate bloggers? Check. Walkable streets? Ehhh...getting there. Amazing coffee scene, complete with a city-funded "Passport to Local Coffee"? Check. Bangin' cocktails? CHECK. Get ready to set aside every expectation you have about the Midwest on the official Mint & Mirth Guide to Columbus.
The first place you must stop off for coffee is Fox in the Snow Cafe. Start your morning with unforgettable cinnamon rolls and smooth lattes at this swoon-worthy hipster paradise. Foxy baristas, plenty of open seating, and big windows to give you a clear view into the bakeshop, where the pâtissiers busy themselves by dicing up pound after pound of butter. #hellyeah
Next up is Pistacia Vera, with peaceful loft vibes, mellow morning sounds, gorgeous variety of cakes, tarts, and bon bons.
One Line Coffee is downtown and not very glamorous, but they have crazy-good service and a housemade fig-honey latte that will get you spracked for the work week.
Be prepared for long lines at Skillet, a destination of muggy Southern bliss and a perfectly-concise menu. Come for the griddled everything. Did you want sausage gravy on top of your sausage?
You'll probably get lots of recommendations for Katalina’s; this place wasn't my cup of tea because their breakfast tacos were pretty white-washed, but I did love their pancake balls and pretty fresh-squeezed juices. Also, cute queers aplenty.
When you're ready for a healthy, veggie-based breakfast, check out the Northstar Café. Great tea selection.
Don't leave Columbus without making a stop at the Hot Chicken Takeover cart. Absolutely divine fried chicken, and it comes with FREE sweet tea! Also features good ol' fashioned slaw and mac and cheese. Sells out early.
I found myself coming back to Yellow Brick Pizza, a women-owned corner join with all kinds of interesting art on the walls, and unquestionably the best beer list in Columbus. Slowwwwww service. Try the Elliott Smith pizza, which uses honey in an unexpected way.
The Pint Room is a lunch runner up. Over 100 beers from around the world on tap. The PB&J burger is absurd and delightful.
Harvest Pizzeria, for me, was hands down the best restaurant in Columbus. Gorgeous patio, stiff drinks, killer pizza, cuties galore...people watchers' delight.
Schmidt's Sausage Haus is a hokey old joint, lines are long, service is so-so...but the menu hasn't changed in decades, the cream puffs are the size of your head, and it's only $9 for an absolutely enormous boot of delicious, frothy, ice-cold local beer.
CURIO!!! Best cocktails in the city by miles. We toured the best of Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland -- only Curio stood out as truly pushing the envelope on cocktails and innovating above and beyond local norms. The wooden menus are really creative, and the various collector's mugs make a great presentation. In speaking with the bartenders it becomes clear that they have a deep love of the craft. I think I came here every night in Columbus. Whoops.
Mouton is a smaller place on High Street with much better customer service than Curio, and a user-friendly menu with options for every palate. I was impressed with the attentive service and dark~sexy environment.
Also worth checking out is Denmark, a cute 2nd-floor bar tucked into a mixed-use commercial building. Great variety of drinks.
Hi, I'm Joni, founder and owner of Mint & Mirth.
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