As you guys may have seen on Instagram, I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Columbus. I’d never been to Columbus but had heard from friends that it’s a cool city with a great food scene, so when Life in Cbus reached out to me about a visit I was all about it! I invited my best friend Jenny to join me – she lives in Atlanta and it was an easy and affordable flight for both of us. Perfect! Girl’s weekend it was. 🙂 I was so excited to get her to myself for a weekend – we hadn’t had that much quality time together in ages since we don’t live close by and she has two little kids, so it was quite the treat for her too. 🙂
Before we arrived in Columbus – or Cbus, as the locals call it – I did a ton of research on local restaurants and mapped us out a tentative itinerary to make sure we hit the best of the best. Jenny is mostly vegetarian (she eats some fish), so I focused on spots that had a lot of veggie options, which you guys know I’m all about anyway! We were both really impressed with the food scene in Columbus – everywhere we went was awesome. Here are the highlights by category.
For our first night of the trip, I made us a reservation at Barcelona, which offers Spanish-inspired food and reportedly had great wine – perfect for a leisurely catch up dinner!
I heard Barcelona was great for vegetarians and meat/fish eaters alike and that the ambiance was also fun – especially if you could snag a spot on their gorgeous patio. The patio was unfortunately packed, but we found the indoors to be lively and welcoming, too.
We shared a whole bunch of small plates and then an entrée. The only thing we got that we didn’t absolutely love was the fried calamari (basic/nothing special) – everything else was REALLY good. The goat cheese stuffed avocado with tomato sauce was especially good – never would have thought to try that combo! And the salmon entrée was phenomenal, too.
We also both really enjoyed the wine – they offer flights with three 2 ounce pours of your choice of any of their wine, and we told our waiter to just surprise us. Delicious!
Our other dinner of the trip was at Northstar Café, which came highly recommended by a ton of people on Instagram as well as Yelp! They had a great outdoor patio that we were able to snag a seat in (you order at the counter and then wait at your table for your food). I had one of their ginger mojitos while we waited – delicious and refreshing!
Northstar is apparently amazing for brunch as well as dinner – wish we’d had time to go back for brunch! – but I heard that their veggie burger was the thing to get so I wanted to go at dinnertime. Jenny and I decided to share two entrees – first up was the famous veggie burger, made with beets, black beans, and brown rice, as well as other top secret ingredients. Plus sweet potato fries! You guys – this was seriously THE best veggie burger I’ve ever had. Both of us absolutely loved it. The sweet potato fries were amazing, too – super crispy!
For our other entrée, we shared the “Buddha Bowl”’ with tofu, which was veggies, brown rice, and tofu (chicken is also an option) with peanut sauce. The sauce completely made this dish – it was so good we both wanted to drink an entire container of it. YUM!
On our first morning, we walked to yoga (more on fitness in my other recap post coming tomorrow!) and then hit up Tasi Café for brunch on our way back to the hotel. This was a super cute, hipster spot – small and cozy. We loved the vibe! It was another place where you order at the counter and then wait at a table for your food.
I enjoyed the huevos rancheros, which was a fun spin on the usual dish: a spicy tomato veggie sauce and eggs with a quesadilla stuffed with spicy black beans. Yummy! Jenny had the poached eggs with black bean cakes, which was kind of like a spin on eggs benedict. We also had some potato latkes on the side for good measure. 🙂
On Sunday, Jenny and I went for a run that had us end with lunch at Alchemy Juice Bar + Café in German Village! My blog buddy and fellow dietitian Alexis co-owns this café, and the healthy but creative menu sounded right up our alley. Alexis was super sweet and met us for lunch and treated us to a bunch of food – thank you for spoiling us, Alexis!
In addition to the juices (loved the basil in the green one, and the chia seeds in the strawberry one!) and yummy smoothie bowl pictured above, we also got sandwiches and an avocado toast to share because Alexis said it was not to be missed. 🙂 The avocado toast was as good as Alexis promised! It was topped with house-made hemp walnut pesto and hemp seeds – I MUST recreate this at home because it was seriously amazing.
The sandwiches were also SO good – I had the tuna-kraut, which was house-made albacore tuna salad (made with organic sauerkraut and apple – great combo) topped with avocado and micro-kale on fresh local whole wheat bread. Jenny got the house-made organic BBQ jackfruit which was topped with herbed cashew cream and carrot cabbage slaw on local ciabatta. Have you guys ever had BBQ jackfruit? It tasted JUST like pulled pork – insane!
I wish I could eat at Alchemy every day – their menu was amazing. Don’t miss it if you find yourself in Columbus!
In addition to Alchemy’s great juice and snack options, I’d also recommend checking out Native Cold Pressed, a cute juice place in Short North.
Jenny and I walked by after a sweaty yoga class and decided to pop in and share a juice – we opted for “Summer Nectar” which was watermelon, cucumber, mint, and aloe. Super refreshing!
We also bought a couple of their nut butter snack balls to eat during our kayaking adventure later that afternoon (more on that tomorrow) – yum!
I’d also recommend checking out the adorable and hipster Fox in the Snow Café – it was our first stop (it was about a mile walk from our hotel in Short North) on our trip!
The coffee was awesome and the scones were phenomenal – we shared a savory cheese scone and a blueberry lemon scone which was just the right amount of sweetness.
Last but not least: as many of you told me on Instagram no trip to Columbus is complete without a visit to Jeni’s ice cream.
This was our last stop on the trip and I’m so glad we didn’t miss out on it! The flavors were so fresh and creative. Jenny and I shared 2 scoops: goat cheese with red cherries and roasted strawberry buttermilk. As good as they sound, and not overly sweet, either!
What a fun and delicious trip with a great mix of healthy and more indulgent eats. If you’re a foodie, put Columbus on your “to visit” list. 🙂
I’ll be back tomorrow with my other recap sharing our fitness adventures from the trip – stay tuned!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Life in Cbus. I was compensated for this post and given a stipend to cover most of our flight and hotel expenses. We paid for food and fitness on our own. The opinions and text are all mine. Check out Life in Cbus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.