New-to-Me Culinary Favorites in Columbus

Combine cookie dough, soft serve ice cream and toppings at Cookie Dough Creamery in Worthington, OH

As fun as it would be to try new restaurants every week, it’s not in the budget and doesn’t fully represent my lifestyle anyway. I enjoy most of my meals cooked at home in my own kitchen and workout a few times a week. I try to eat as healthy as possible Monday-Friday, mainly so I can afford to eat a cupcake (or 7) come Saturday. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Dining out is not an indulgence I’m used to every day of the week, therefore it’s not something I take for granted when it happens.

But shouldn’t someone blogging about food know everything there is to know about the food scene and try it all?

In my opinion, no. Part of my passion for food lies in trying new things and discovering places where food feels more like an experience rather than just eating. Would this feel as special if it was a daily occurrence for me? I’m not sure.

As I get to know Orlando better, it also means I get to know Columbus less and less. Visiting home now is a new experience, one I see through different eyes. And the favorite spots of my family are becoming some of mine. Here are just a few:

Pastries, Hot Chocolate and Lattes at Fox in the Snow Cafe - Columbus, OHFox in the Snow Cafe
Leave it to my sister to know all the cool hipster spots in Columbus. Not that she’s a hipster…we just both tend to like to hang out where the hipsters are. Probably because they tend¬†to make pretty good food and coffee. ūüôā

Fox in the Snow Cafe is one of those places my sister has been telling me about forever, so I was really excited to finally make it there when I went home for Christmas.¬†I was equally excited about finally having my first instagram-worthy cup of coffee (photographer problems).¬†I don’t really know the official name for when coffee shops make designs in your coffee, so for the sake of this post I’ll just call it mocha¬†art. The baked goods were also incredible! I got a pecan sticky bun and Amy chose a scone, and next time I’m there I’ll definitely try an egg sandwich. Service is friendly and fast, there’s plenty of seating and the open concept makes this space really inviting. Perfect place to start your day.

North Market in Columbus, OH North Market
I just wrote a post all about the North Market but it’s worth mentioning again. I’ve been twice now, both times with my sister, and sampled different things each time. There are over 30 vendors inside (not all of them food but still lots of choices) and from my experience, the vendors are all super friendly.

Both times I’ve visited for lunch and the market was busy, but not overly crowded. The entire upstairs is seating and you can also look over the shops below which makes for fun pictures. This is a really good spot if you want to sample a few things, or share with friends, or just eat tacos and donuts and ice cream like I did. It’s been enjoyable¬†both times and I know I’ll be back on future trips to Columbus. Eating feels more like an experience here which I love.

Layered cookie dough and ice cream with toppings at Cookie Dough Creamery - Columbus, OhioCookie dough flavors at Cookie Dough Creamery - Columbus, OhioCookie Dough Creamery
On my most recent trip home, my mom told me about a magical place called Cookie Dough Creamery where you layer cookie dough, ice cream, and toppings. My first thought was how they make the cookie dough safe, which is really strange considering I eat raw cookie dough way more often than I should. But this cookie dough is egg free and safe to eat. Apparently they also treat the flour to keep the dough soft while refrigerated. You can literally buy entire tubs of cookie dough to take home and snack on.

The operation is¬†a lot like froyo but obviously better because cookie dough is involved. They have tons of toppings to choose from and pricing is based on the cup size, not weight (so layer up when you’ve got the feels). My mom let me in on the secret that it’s best to press your cookie dough down into the cup, then layer a little bit of ice cream, some toppings, then more ice cream and toppings. I agree with this recommendation.

I won’t lie,¬†halfway through my cup I actually wondered if I could finish. It’s a pretty indulgent treat, even for me, but I have no regrets. I was, however, in dire need of water afterwards. Thankfully bottled water is only $0.50. Or free when you’re with your mom and she buys it for you. (Thanks Mom.)

Moscow Mules and Mac and Cheese at Prohibition - Columbus, OhioProhibition
This is a favorite spot of my family’s and they dine here often. Having visited, now I know why! As you can probably guess by the name, Prohibition is themed around the prohibition era in the United States (although they do serve alcohol in abundance so don’t worry). The walls are lined with black and white photographs from the 20s and vintage furniture makes up the waiting area on the first floor. The whole place has an old, authentic feel to it–right down to the steep stairs to the second floor dining/bar area–which makes a great first impression.

The cocktail menu has a ton of choices and lots of whiskey and bourbon. There were also a lot of drinks with ingredients I’ve never heard of which shows you how much I know about cocktails. In the end I settled for a moscow mule with bourbon which was delicious and just bourbon-y (is that a word?) enough. Things only went up from there when I ordered the mac and cheese, a delicious mix of cavatappi noodles, fried chicken, and sriracha sauce delivered in a cast iron skillet.¬†The sriracha comes on the side, so you can choose how spicy you’d like the dish to be. It’s a huge serving but the leftovers reheat really well in the microwave. A++.

Penzey's Spices Cinnamon DisplayPenzey’s Spices
I’ve been getting spices from Penzey’s in my Christmas stocking since college, but had never set foot in the actual store until a few weeks ago. I’ve grown to love cooking at home over the past few years and rely heavily on spices, so stores like this are right up my alley.

The huge cinnamon display was probably my favorite aspect of the store. I inherit a love for cinnamon from my mom and always double up the cinnamon called for in recipes (or just add it to recipes that don’t call for it) so I go through cinnamon really fast. Penzey’s has several varieties varying from mild to strong. I also love their spice blends, like Arizona Dreaming, which is great as taco seasoning with red pepper flakes and cayenne.

I’m not sure where else there are stores, but the cashier did mention their are 80 total. They also have an online store and catalog you can order from. Highly recommend!

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