Food & Things To Do


Hidden Oak Writer's Lair is close to downtown Columbus and its main attractions, such as the Columbus Museum of Art (free on Sundays), Thurber House, Kelton House, Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Topiary Garden, Battelle Riverfront Park, The Arena District, COSI, and the Columbus Commons.

Some of our favorite places to eat downtown are Tip Top, 4th & State, and the downtown core on 4th street with Hadley’s, 16-Bit Arcade, Little Palace, and the Walrus Room.

German Village

Our favorite restaurants in German Village, a historic neighborhood to the west, are Bendi Wok n' Bar for Thai with a hip vibe, The Old Mohawk for pub food with old school charm, Thurman Cafe (serves gigantic burgers and was featured on several food network shows!), Schmidt’s Sausage Haus for German food, and Lindey's or tapas at Barcelona for fine dining. For a cheap breakfast at a terrific greasy spoon, German Village Coffee Shop never disappoints. But you should expect a wait on a weekend morning. If you get a chance, check out Pistacia Vera’s heavenly macaroons. If you are gluten free, Bake Me Happy is even closer to the house at Whittier and Parsons.

Near East Side 

The East Market is housed in a beautifully restored historic trolley hub are a variety of vendors. Check out the trolley rails in the floor! You can order Greek, Korean, Creole, waffles, and more. There's and eating area with a friendly bar called The Railhouse. Downstairs is the speakeasy Switch. If you want to sit in a resturant, next door is The Columbus Brewing company and Local Cantina.

The Franklin Park Conservatory, one of the top botanical gardens in the country, is half a block from the East Market. It is surrounded by the Franklin Park Metropark. We’ve had many a great Sunday grabbing a coffee at the market then walking the grounds of Franklin Park, nodding at the resident herons, and checking out the newest batch of spring ducklings. 

Our favorite Olde Town East hangouts are Olde Towne Tavern (go during happy hour weekdays for amazing pretzel breadsticks with dipping sauces), Lifestyle Cafe for vegans (they make everything fresh, even the chicken and waffles), Mikey's Late Night Slice for pizza, Adella’s (they have a regular menu and a plant-based version of the same menu). The Oracle for is a hip hideaway drinks and occasional DJs. For a great breakfast, try Hangover Easy (cheap so there’s a crowd) or Gemut Biergarten (amazing brewery with epic stained glass of German mythology). Gemut’s weekend brunch is pricey but an exquisite treat! 

The Short North is full of restaurants, shops, and art galleries, and hosts a Gallery Hop the first Saturday of each month.  If you’re in town for an event at the Convention Center, check out the Short North Market, a public market established in 1876.

Italian Village - Budd Dairy Hall is another public market in a beautifully remodeled milk plant. Lots of food options though it gets crowded. Seventh Son Brewery is across the street.


Independent Bookstores

Two Dollar Radio

Publisher, printer, bookstore, cafe, bar, and event space.

The Book Loft, German Village.

A famous maze of 32 rooms of books, each with its own soundtrack. Open until 11pm.

Gramercy Books, Bexley

Prologue Books, Short North Arts District

Karen Wickliff-Books, Clintonville 

Phoenix Books Ltd., Clintonville

Record Shops

Spoonful Records

144 E State St, Columbus, OH 43215

Magnolia Thunderpussy

1155 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201

Used Kids Records

2500 Summit St, Columbus, OH 43202

Lost Weekend Records

2960 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202

Elizabeth's Records

3037 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH 43202

Records Per Minute

2579 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202

The Needle Exchange Records & Tapes

4290 Indianola Ave Suite 201, Columbus, OH 43214