The Columbus Coffee Industry is very much saturated. There is coffee everywhere. The Experience Columbus Organization has made a coffee trail with multiple of the local coffee shops on it. If you go to four shops out of 18 now, you can get a “free” t-shirt. The t-shirt itself is super soft and comfy, so if you are a coffee drinker, I’d definitely say go for the coffee trail. Also I just read if you go to all 18 shops you get a travel mug so if you live here, or are here for a long visit maybe try all 18. You can learn more at http://www.cbuscoffee.com/.
So this was the coffee shop I worked at for almost three years. I have left the company, but still do believe they sell a good product. The company is based in Dayton, where I am from and where I first started with the company. The storefront in Columbus is very nice, but limited seating. During exam time, or when Goodale Park has events it can get very busy and somewhat cramped. Despite this one of the best things is they have a parking lot, unlike a lot of the other coffee shops, pros and cons my friends. They also have many different options for house made pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Although it is not coffee my go to drink is an iced almond milk matcha. They use sweet matcha. Matcha is a green tea powder that often is mixed with steamed milk to make a tea latte. It’s so delicious. My fav coffee drink pretty much anywhere is a cold brew. Here they have multiple different cold brews brewed from different coffees coming from different regions as well as different brewing methods. My favorites are the house cold brew made from their espresso blend and the Ardi Sidamo from Ethiopia in the Kyoto Tower. The baristas here are knowledgeable and helpful and definitely do not make you feel bad about yourself if you are a coffee novice.
Fox in the Snow
This cafe, which recently opened up their second location, is one of the trendier cafes in Columbus. I call it a cafe because a big part of their business is their food. Unfortunately the only food items that are gluten free are their granola and oatmeal. I have never tried them because I do not know if there is anything too special about granola and oatmeal. Despite this, for my gluten eating friend, the pastries and sandwiches they make look absolutely mouthwatering. Anyone who I’ve talked to that has eaten their product is always satisfied with their decision. They do have a full coffee menu including espresso based drinks, pour overs, etc. The company values social interaction and I say that because they have no wifi. Honestly they are always decently busy and for me trying to work in that environment would not go well anyways, but that’s just me. Weekends get crazy here, or so I’ve heard. They do have a parking lot, but it is somewhat small. If possible I would totally suggest trying to visit during a weekday and not the weekend. Overall this place is great. It seems like a coffee shop that would be in a much bigger city. The look of the place is so clean and finished. There are plants and natural light. On top of that all of their drinks look almost perfect when they are served. You should check out their instagram and the latte art they have posted. The latte art is very commonly photographed by customers and sometimes the main reason a customer may pick this cafe. I have worked with a handful of the baristas that are now working here so I love going in and visiting with them, they’re tremendous people and absolutely amazing baristas.
Mission Coffee Company
Mission is one coffee shop that I have not gone to very often, but I do like it very much. The biggest reason I don’t go that often is because I hate hate hate street parking, and am pretty bad at it too. The coffee is totally worth it. They roast all of their own coffee, which is rad, although this occurs at a different location. The atmosphere is really nice as well. They have a big garage door that they will open when it is warm outside so as to get the fresh breeze and sunlight. They are often pretty busy, so if you want to go and work on anything there you may want to get there early and stake claim to a seat. My all time favorite beverage is a salted caramel cortado with oat milk. Oat milk is honestly a fantastic dairy alternative. I had never had it until my barista friend at Mission suggested it. It is not too sweet, like some alternatives, but it is a bit thicker and does not seem as watered down as nut milks. If you are into dairy alternatives and have the opportunity to try it I do suggest it. But if you are a Celiac or gluten intolerant do make sure to confirm it is gluten free. I am not quite sure if all brands would be gluten free. Sorry about that tangent. The cortado itself was delicious, unfortunately I think it may have been a seasonal drink. Despite the fact that they may not still serve this drink, they sell a quality product and definitely one of the better coffee shops in Columbus in my opinion.
One Line Coffee
One Line Coffee has multiple locations. The one I’ve been to was the first storefront and is located in The Short North. It is where my friend Z works, and conveniently located a couple doors down from where I worked. I have frequented One Line a lot more often this past summer than ever before. The baristas are super fun to talk to and get to know, if you are there at a time they aren’t busy. The weekends there can get pretty crazy, but the coffee itself is worth the wait. All of the baristas are very knowledgeable and you will never get a bad cup of coffee here. They also hold different coffee classes for customers to gain more knowledge as well. My go to here is usually a cold brew, but that’s mostly due to time constraints and having to get back to work. Another great perk is that on the weekends they sell Cherbourgh Bakery products. If I remember correctly they sell the s’mores bar, lemon bar and the brownie. So if you need a gluten free snack, you can stop in as well. They also sell other gluten full sweets from other local bakeries as well. Definitely if you are in the Short North go in and say hi to Z for me, and grab a delectable cup of coffee.
Native Cold Pressed Juice
I do have to admit, I am a bit biased here. This is where I worked between May and December, and I have not visited any of the other juice bars in Columbus recently. I have definitely loved getting to know the business of juicing and work with all my amazing coworkers. Everything in the shop is raw, organic, vegan, and heavenly. Most things are gluten free as well! I have not tried anything I have not liked. Along with juice, that I helped produce while working the juicer position, they also sell smoothies and smoothie bowls, salads, and protein bites. I have to say my favs when I need a mid shift pick me up would have to be Sweet Beet Juice and the Buckeye Bites. Also random, I had never had beets before, but have fallen in love with beet juice it’s so weird. So whether you are a frequent juice cleanser, or an adventurer who wants to try something new there is definitely something here for you.
I moved to Columbus for college. As a result of that many of these bars are around Ohio States campus area. If you are wanting older adult/less crazy places to go out drinking this may not be the guide for you.
The Bier Stube
The Bier Stube aka The Stube is my absolute favorite bar in Columbus. It is located south of Ohio States campus, but still in walking distance for anyone living on campus or needing to get to The Shoe for a game. Craig, the owner is so great. He loves hanging out and getting to know his customers. The crowd in the bar is also always great. There are many regulars that know one another and I have always felt welcomed by all the other guests in the bar. I will warn you now though that the drinks are strong, it is very easy to get drunk at The Stube. So if that is your goal definitely check it out. They also have happy hour every weekday from 4-7. I don’t quite remember the beer specials during happy hour, because I have never drank beer but he does $1 wells. But be careful there is a $5 minimum on cards. One of my favorite memories of the Stube is actually the first time I went in. My friends had been going to happy hour for a while, but always while I was at work on Fridays. My friends and I went in on Opening Day because they were doing dime a dog day so we were going to have a drink and watch some baseball. So we went in and he just had a table with all the food and I went up to Craig the first day I’d met him to ask if I could just get a hotdog without a bun. And his response was “Just the weiner?” I died laughing, and also was like that was kind of inappropriate for someone I just met. But he brought me a couple hotdogs without the bun and over the next year and a half we got to know one another a bit better. I could keep going on and on about how I love The Stube, but I think you get the point. Just go to The Stube you’ll have a great time!
The Bottle Shop is an eccentric place located on King Avenue. They are both a bar and a store. If you go in and go to the right they have a selection of different drinks you can pick up and take away. If you go to the left they have a full bar and seating for a fun night with friends. I have only been a few times, but have always had a good time. They play some really weird videos here, I don’t know where they find them, but they can often be very amusing. The drinks are good and reasonably priced. They have a full rotating draft wall which is really fun. They normally have at least one cider on the wall usually from Mad Moon, a local cidery. Most of the Mad Moon Cider’s they have carried I have really enjoyed. Just ask to have a sample and they will let you do so. The one downside of the Bottle Shop is the location, there is another bar right across the street, but otherwise it really is not in walking distance to anywhere else. After living on campus and walking everywhere this was weird to me, but also the crowd is usually one that just wants to get a few drinks and hang out with friends. If this is the kind of thing you are looking for Bottle Shop is a good choice.
Cazuela’s is both a restaurant and a bar. I did not include them in my restaurant guide, because we almost never ate at Cazuela’s besides the free chips and salsa. Cazuela’s is a Mexican restaurant on the north end of Ohio State’s campus. This is actually a new location. Along with new construction and needing more space they decided to move a couple blocks further north than they were before. It is a bit of a ways away now almost to where Clintonville starts. Anyways they have a full bar as well as very sweet margaritas. Honestly once we started going to Condado for margaritas we went less to Cazuela’s because their margaritas are far too sweet for me and my friends. Despite this it is a still a good place to go enjoy drinks with your friends. They have indoor and outdoor seating, which is decorated in such a cute way. If you plan to frequent Cazuela’s you can buy a Cazuela’s cup. They give you a big plastic glass that says Cazuela’s on it and you keep it and can get margarita refills for cheaper prices than pitchers. But be careful, one of the waitress’ said she would rinse my friends out and bring it back right before we were leaving and he never got it back, so keep track of your Cazuela’s cup if you take it. I’m sure this was a fluke and that they did not do it purposely. Even if you only go once I do say go to Cazuela’s the staff is good and it is a long time Ohio State establishment.
Chumley’s is located on the south end of Ohio State’s campus. This location was opened only in the fall of 2017 due to construction around Ohio State’s campus. The layout of the new location is super cool, I never was able to visit the old location because it was closed before I turned 21. This location is two stories, with the bottom floor having a wrap around bar. The top floor is in the shape of a Block O with a bar upstairs as well. Chumley’s is known for hosting schooner night two nights a week, Monday and Thursdays. You bring a schooner, or can buy one at the bar and can fill it with anything at a discounted price. In my schooner I normally get vodka lemonade, but I’ve heard getting beer in your schooner is super cheap. I do have to say getting mixed drinks in your schooner often are very strong. So before you refill your schooner definitely check yourself and determine if you really need that schooner refill. Beware though schooner night can get pretty packed. Most weeks during the semester there will be a line out the door to get into the bar. One upside of visiting Chumley’s is that they are pretty strict on carding, so although it may be packed it’s usually not too rowdy of a crowd. From my experiences at schooner night most people just want to get their schooners filled and chill with their friends.
Little Bar is Ohio State’s version of a country bar. It is located north of Ohio State’s campus. Most of the crowd includes students studying agriculture or people who grew up in the agricultural world, I mean it is Ohio. They play country music almost all the time, so if you don’t like country music, maybe don’t visit Little Bar. I’ve never experienced or heard of anyone ever having problems at Little Bar. It is always just good respectful people out trying to have a good time with friends. My only complaint is that the women’s restroom is on the top floor. The bar is downstairs and my friends and I normally just stay downstairs if possible, but the restroom is upstairs, first world problems, I know. They have daily drink specials, although I can’t remember what they are. They also have karaoke night once a week, but we never braved going out and experiencing that. Most of the time Little Bar is not a long stop for my friends and I, it is usually a stop on the way to Three’s. Due to this I don’t have much more to say about it. It’s a good place to go, usually not too busy except on game days or days when everyone in the whole city is busy.
Last year, my senior year I lived next door to Out-R-Inn and went probably way too much because of this. Out-R-Inn is another bar that is really strict about carding and I’ve only ever heard of one person getting in underage so the crowd is usually pretty chill. Out-R-Inn has daily deals, but the most popular night to go to Out-R-Inn is Thursday nights. They serve $1.50 double wells on Thursdays. Due to the proximity to my apartment my friends and I frequented $1.50 double well night quite often. We even befriended one of the bartenders Billy, he was pretty fun to talk to and poured strong drinks. On Thursday’s he works at the back bar, go and say hi if you’re there. Out-R-Inn is also located next to Sicilia’s, a late night pizza place. On Thursday nights they open up the pizza window by the back bar. You can buy yourself a piece of pizza without leaving the bar. Another favorite is mug night. You buy a mug the first night and bring it back and get it filled for a cheaper price. We often did not go to mug night. They only had one gluten free option and honestly I can’t remember what it was now, but can remember it was not my favorite. Mug night is Sunday and Monday nights, so it can get crowded during not so busy times of the year, but most of the time it does not get crazy because of class and work the next day.
Three’s Above High
Three’s is a very fun joint. If you are an alum of Ohio State, it is owned by the people that owned Too’s Under High. Unfortunately due to all the current construction on High, Too’s was closed but the owners wanted to stay around and so they opened Three’s. Three’s is on the north side of Ohio State’s campus. Three’s is just a very lively place. The music is fun with lots of throwbacks. They also have live music on occasion, I don’t know if it is on a schedule or just whenever they can find someone to play. There is always people dancing with friends and having a good time. They also have a pool table, which in my opinion is kind of inconveniently place especially for busy nights. They have an assortment of creatively made drinks including drinks such as gummy bear shots, but also serve traditional drinks as well. The first time you go to Three’s you definitely have to have a Tidal Wave, it was a Too’s tradition that has continued on at Three’s. I can’t tell you much about it other than it tastes good and is gluten free, but just do it. Three’s draws a bit of a younger crowd, but that’s part of the reason it can be so fun.
*Sorry for the lack of pics. When I go out with friends, I want to be present in the moment and not on my phone all the time, and you should too. Be present in your life, especially when spending time with the people you care about!*