Tastes and Tours
Art aficionados will enjoy visiting the Short North Arts District, known as the “art and soul” of Columbus. On the first Saturday of each month, the area’s Gallery Hop features new gallery exhibitions, street performers and special events.
It is also a favorite place for locals and visitors to enjoy their favorite food, according to Dudley.
“The area’s North Market is a farmers market with prepared food from Vietnamese to sushi to Mediterranean,” he said. An incubator for small businesses, the North Market prides itself as the home of butchers, bakers and candymakers who grow, catch, cook and create distinctive dishes.
Dozens of diverse eateries pepper the Short North District, among them Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
“A local and national icon when it comes to this sweet treat, this is where Jeni got her start,” said Dudley. “She has won a James Beard Award for one of her cookbooks, and she sources her ingredients from around the world — and she is especially famous for her salty caramel flavor.”
To enjoy the culinary diversity of the entire city, groups can take an excursion with Columbus Food Adventures. The walking tours visit different communities, stopping at nearly a dozen food venues throughout a neighborhood.
“This experience is a true taste of local flavors, and the owner often meets with a group before the restaurant is open to the public,” Dudley said.
If beer is your beverage of choice, enjoy a Columbus Brew Adventure, where local craft beers and breweries are on tap. If it’s coffee you prefer, spend time on Columbus’ Coffee Trail, a partnership with Columbus’ beloved coffee shops, where interesting coffee-sourcing stories are part of the experience.
Dudley said groups visiting Columbus should bring home a culinary souvenir: the buckeye. Known as the athletics mascot of this city’s famed Ohio State University, the buckeye is also a scrumptious chocolate and peanut butter treat.
“While you can find buckeyes anywhere that sells chocolates, the Anthony-Thomas Candy Company is especially famous,” he said. “For another immersive experience, take a tour of their 152,000-square-foot factory, where a retail shop conveniently awaits at the end of the line.”