Catching good times with the city’s northside neighbor.
Picture this: you have been living on campus year after year, going to the same bars and dining halls during the week, dressing up to go to that cute new place that opened in the Short North on the weekend, paying too much for drinks, eating food that tastes awfully similar to every other place you’ve been going to, and you’re too nervous to tell your friends that the talk of new spot that is both a pet shop and a wine bar sounds like a fiscally irresponsible business venture for everyone involved. No, that’s not a real place… yet. If this sounds like you in any way, then it’s our guess that you have not given the historic and colorful neighborhood of Clintonville the time of day.
Push past the the outskirts of north campus, sorry no stopping at Three’s, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a Clintonville. What started as a community of summer homes for the professors of Ohio State has become today one of the best places to live, eat, drink, and find entertainment. If you’re just passing through, you might stop at their Hot Chicken Takeover location (it certainly has better hours and a shorter line than the North Market’s) or grab a drink at Condado’s—which Columbus might just consider renaming our city after or at the very least a high school stadium… But, if you are really searching for some places with character then it’s time you give Clintonville the attention it deserves.
Breakfast is a great place to start for a day in this easy-living community, and grabbing doughnuts from Tupelo Doughnuts is a perfect place to satisfy your early-morning sugar cravings while we all wait for Katalina’s new location to open up. Blunch is perfect if your friends and you are grabbing mimosas and breakfast to start your day, and ff you’re looking for quick coffee pitstop, Crimson Cup is a great for fresh cold brew and slow drip on a hot day. Continuing the theme of freshness, Lavash Cafe is hands down one of the best mediterranean restaurants in Columbus and a perfect lunch spot for some house made hummus and kabobs. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, Bareburger has all your greasy American needs.
If food does not get you as excited as it does for us, the Park of Roses is a beautiful spot to enjoy a summer day. Just behind Whetstone High School, this park is filled with tennis courts, soccer fields, bike paths, and as the name suggests—roses. Perfect for any date, this park is as lovely as it sounds. Just across the street you’ll find Flowers & Bread, a cafe that specializes in the art of bread baking and flower arrangements. If you’re looking for a bite to eat then it’s great for an afternoon snack. This renovated building also offers a variety of classes that you and your friends can take that will teach you how to make fresh pastries, pizzas, and loaves of bread as well as classes on flower arrangements (boyfriends take notes).
Clintonville isn’t just about cute parks and bakeries. When the sun goes down, you’ll want to visit the Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse and the Old North Arcade. Studio 35 is the spot to be for movie and beer lovers because you deserve to have a place that gives you both at the same time. Always screening new and popular movies, this theater also comes equipped with dozens of draft and bottled beers and serves made to order pizzas (seriously, what is better than beer, pizza, and Jurassic Park movies?). If movies aren’t your style then swing by the Old North Arcade for cocktails and video games that will make time fly by. But if you aren’t 21 and looking for some entertainment, Trapped Columbus is a good spot to check out. Trapped in a room with no way out and the clock racing against you, can you find an escape? If the sheer anxiety of that doesn’t freak you out then grab your sharpest minded friends and hit ‘em up because it is built for insane challenge junkies. Just make sure to snag your tickets in advance so you can try and tackle one of their several escape rooms.
7.14 Party In The Parking Lot
This parking lot party will have everything you love about festivals: picnic style foods and food trucks and live music. But what has me really gassed up about this? Chair massages from the Muscle Whisperer LLC for $1 per minute. Hit the beer stand, work on a buzz, and find the massage chairs to drunkenly put your muscles at ease for the day.
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.): Clintonville Farmers’ Market
Pick a Saturday with great weather and head into the neighborhood and you won’t be bored. This farmers’ market extends all the way through November, and it’s a great spot to get a fun snapshot of the city, listen to live music, support local business, and sample some fresh foods. The market stays true to only selling goods grown and produced in Ohio while offering tons of opportunities to volunteer if that is more your style.