Columbus, Ohio - Anything "Must-Do?"

Well I’ll be traveling to Columbus either this week or next (if not both), and fairly frequently in the future as part of my job. My first trip I expect to be only a few days, but I’m sure I’ll be interested in getting around at night and checking stuff out. Is there anything in Columbus that I really ought to do, if I get a chance?

I don’t know about Coumbus, but you’ll be about 75 miles east Dayten and the very cool Air Force Museum.

Hold your nose and leave as quick as possible :smiley:

Sorry, Michigan Wolverine fan here – just poking a bit of fun…

Wolverine fan? Feh. That explains both your User Names— Fighting and Ignorant!

Mazzen Frazzen Friggin Fracken

I know for sure there’s at least one Skyline Chili in Columbus. You could also stop in to see my Aunt, but don’t eat her chili.

Thanks for reminding me - I also meant to ask for restaurant recommendations. Adding Skyline Chili (and not Fessie’s Aunt’s to my list.

Do you know what part of town you’ll be in? There are LOTS and LOTS of restaurants. Also, what kind of food do you like?


Shop at Used Kids Records across from the OSU campus on High Street. It’s sweet.

Well my knowledge of Columbus is pretty limited, but I believe I’ll be staying at the Sheraton Suites, if that narrows it down at all? And I like any kind of food that isn’t olives.

I second the Air Force Museum in Dayton. They have prototypes of planes that are just now going into production.

I’ve lived in Ohio all my life and can’t think of anything in Columbus that jumps out. Every city has a night life and you just need to web-search your particular desires. By default, OSU creates it’s own little universe so there is probably a higher number of clubs to go to.

OK - I think there’s only one Sheraton Suites in the area, in Worthington. If so, you’ll be in an area called Crosswoods that has around 20 restaurants. The Fish Market is my favorite of the bunch. It’s one of several owned by a local restaurateur, Cameron Mitchell. Bravo! is also good (another local offering). Both of them are mid- to high-priced, depending on what you order, but consistently very good. Never had anything I didn’t like at either place (some things aren’t all that exciting, but they’re very well prepared). Fish Market has excellent desserts. I believe there’s also a Hyde Park Grille (the name has changed slightly, I think), that is a high-end steak-focused restaurant. It’s part of a small, Cincinnati-based chain. There’s also a Panera and a Chipotle up there somewhere too. And Bob Evans, a midwestern staple. It’s not very exciting, but always clean, decent service, not-awful food. I believe there’s also a good Turkish restaurant on Worthington Woods (Campusview becomes Worthington Woods as you move East on it).

If you want to venture farther away, you can go to Easton (several large, national-chain restaurants there as well as some locally-based ones - it’s a shopping/entertainment center). The Turkish restaurant that started out in the Worthington Woods location is now at Easton and they’re supposed to be excellent.

There are also some very good restaurants in the Short North, Arena District, Brewery District, German Village, Grandview - all of these areas are 20-30 minutes from where you’ll be.

I’ve got a couple of ideas on things you might want to see, but don’t have time to post them tonight…

Hope this helps.


Just to help you Google, I think it’s actually called the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. And it’s definitely worth the drive.

Personally if I were going to be in central Ohio a lot, I’d head down to Cincinnati. LOTS of Skyline Chilis there :cool: . A two-hour drive?

FYI, if you go to the Air Force Museum,the Wright Brothers prairie site, or the Wright Brothers Memorial, the speed limit is 25 mph and they WILL give you a ticket for anything over that.

They have some really interesting events at the Museum such as radio controlled aircraft and vintage aircraft fly-ins.

There a very browsable bookstore, called the Book Loft, in German Village. 32 rooms all strung together, lots of good finds.

And the German Village is lovely to walk through. Interesting architecture, great little shops. Some good restaurants if you want Wienerschnitzel.

Look at me, live in Ann Arbor and I’ve got more hopeful things to say than some of you Ohioans! What is the world coming to?

Wow, what’s with the Columbus threads lately? I guess it’s the place to be!:cool: Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to suggest.

BTW, regarding Skyline Chili- if you’re not already familiar with Cincinnati-style chili, before eating it try to forget that it’s called “chili.” It always seems to me like that’s what causes the number one complaint about the food from outsider-type people (“This stuff isn’t chili!”).

I really like Hocking Hills state reservation and the serpent mound.

You can visit Bob’s Bar which is my local hangout. It is a few miles south of Worthington.

One of my favorite restaurants in Columbus is Udipi Cafe. Udipi serves very delicious South Indian food. Its address is 2001 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. (if you take 71 N, you’d get off at Rt. 161. Make a right onto 161, which is also called Dublin-Granville Rd., and go for several blocks. Udipi will be on your right, in a strip mall-like thing with blue awnings.) The phone number is 885-7466. IIRC, they’re closed on Tuesdays.

There’s also a brand new restaurant called The Dosa Corner. They do a very good job with dosas, but they do them very differently from the way Udipi does. The ambience at Udipi is much better than it is at the Dosa Corner, but the variety of dosas available is better at the new place. I had a take-out menu and business card for them, but I don’t have them on hand. If you call information, you can get their address and phone number.

We’ve got some good Ethiopian food at the Blue Nile, a few blocks north of the Ohio State University campus. Its address is 2361 N. High St. The phone number is 421-2323. I recommend the kitfo, the yebeg watt, and the yedoro watt. If you don’t like spicy food, though, you might prefer to stick with the shifinfin, gomen, or yebeg tibs. They’re all quite yummy. The Blue Nile also offers a lovely Ethiopian honey wine. I’m kind of a fan of the honey wine, but I know someone else, a dedicated fan of Spanish vintages, who says it’s far too sweet for her taste. YMMV. Try to get one of the traditional woven tables. If you’re out with a group of people, and you aren’t afraid of a little caffeine, try the yegbuna bena family coffee.

Also near OSU is a place called Alana’s. Alana’s is creative gourmet stuff, with items like “tiger shrimp tortilla soup with goat cheese and fresh herbs de provence.” It’s really delicious, if a little pricey, and both the wine and cheese selections are great. Dessert ain’t bad, either.

Stauff’s and Scottie MacBean are both good for coffee. Both are worth checking out. If you’re in Worthington, Scottie MacBean is much closer to you than Stauff’s is.

We have some pretty good Somalian food at a restaurant called African Paradise. Be warned–the general standard is that men and women eat separately. When men and women come to the restaurant together, they usually sit in the back, in the women’s section. This rule certainly isn’t enforced by the staff, or anything–you won’t encounter overt discrimination-- but if you’re female, and you’re going to the place with a female friend, expect that men might give you funny looks or be a just a little too friendly if you’re sitting on the men’s side. Still, I think it’s a culinary experience worth having.

I don’t know how the Mexican food is in Connecticut, but we’ve got a burgeoning Mexican immigrant community out here in Ohio. Some pretty darned good taquerias have sprung up as a result. Check out the Plaza Tapatia and The Big Burrito (formerly called El Nopalito. Some people will still know it by its old name.) Both places serve a pretty good pozole on the weekend, and both offer menudo. (I can’t comment on the quality of the menudo, since I really don’t like the stuff in any form.) El Mariachi will serve you not bad Mexican 24 hours a day, with pretty good pozole on weekends.

There’s genuinely good Chinese at Shangri-La at 3754 Cleveland Ave. (phone number: 471-5400.) The thing is, there’s also kinda crappy Chinese food there, too. They have 2 menus–a pink one (for people who like at least semi-real Chinese) and a yellow one (for people who like lots of corn starch, sugar, and salt.) If you look decidedly non-Chinese, they’ll probably try to hand you a yellow menu. Make sure they give you the pink one. On Saturday and Sunday, they have pretty good dim sum. There isn’t room in the restaurant to roll carts through, so you make your order on a dim sum order sheet, which is like a sushi order slip.

For pastries, check out Mozart’s. We have genuinely excellent, wonderful, to die for ice cream at Jeni’s, in the North Market. Jeni’s is worth a trip to the North Market all by itself, but there are other little restaurants and stores there worth checking out, too.

Your best source for info on movies, nightlife (to the extent that we really have much nightlife), etc. is The Other Paper. It’s not a bad idea to check Alive, either. Both of these papers are free and can be found at major bookstores and many restaurants and bars. They’re published weekly, with new issues coming out on Thursdays.

If you’re into the arts, check out the Wexner Center. At the moment, the main building’s undergoing renovations, so their exhibitions are being held downtown, at the Belmont Building (330 W. Spring St. , between Neil Ave. and Cozzins St.)

The Wexner Center still has its performing arts and film showings at their Ohio State University campus space, though. The Wexner staff does a pretty good job of picking worthwhile stuff to see, and ticket prices are very good. You might also want to check out CAPA for other performances and film showings of note.

If the weather’s decent, you might want to spend an evening strolling around the Short North, looking at galleries and little stores and things.

Columbus is a great town for used book shopping. I second the recommendation to check out The Book Loft. There are also a bunch of other used book stores worth seeing. Antiquarian Books, Acorn Books, and Karen Wycliff’s all come to mind. You could spend a very pleasant afternoon or evening browsing books at Acorn and then walking a few doors down for excellent pastries at The French Loaf. If you check out “Books–Used” in the yellow pages, you’ll find that lots of used bookstores have North High St. addresses, either in the North Campus or Clintonville areas. You could very easily spend some time going from one shop to another, walking or driving only a few blocks from one shop to the next.

Wandering around German Village isn’t a bad way to spend your time, either. Oh, and there are a few restaurants worth mentioning in German Village, too. Easy Street Cafe does good basic American and Greek-American fusion food things. I recommend the saganaki and the baklava shake. They do a pretty good hummous, too. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Schmidt’s Sausage Haus’s main dishes, but their cream puffs are wonderful.

Yes, you absolutely have got to spend some time in Hocking Hills; it’s the most gorgeous place in this part of the country, and way more than you can see in one day. And you’ll want to go back to see it in all four seasons.