This past weekend, I took a road trip from Cleveland to Columbus with two local Cleveland food bloggers, Crystal (Eat Drink Cleveland) and Alyssa (The Mexitalian). I’m lucky to have friends who are foodies because they know the best spots to eat! Check out our CLE to CBUS food tour that you can easily replicate during an upcoming weekend.
CLE to CBUS Food Tour
Stop #1: We left the Cleveland area around 9 AM and made the 2 hour or so trek down 71. Alyssa knew there was a Duck Donuts nearby the Polaris Mall exit, so this was stop #1 on our list. Duck Donuts creates fresh made-to-order donuts where you get to choose your own frosting, topping and drizzle. It reminded us CLE gals of Barrio since you get to customize and build your own masterpiece! I went with a lemon frosting with a raspberry drizzle and it was delicious. I’m pretty sure I ate it in less than 2 minutes. #oops
Alyssa was the pro and ordered a dozen to take home to her family. Smart girl.
Stop #2: After our sugar rush subsided a bit, we headed over to Watershed Kitchen & Distillery for a tasting and tour with some other Cleveland bloggers (Jen from Why CLE and Julia & Ben from The Beard & the Broad). Watershed produces vodka, gin, bourbon, old fashioned and nocino. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a refreshing customized boozy punch that our group later affectionately named “Bittersweet Bubbles: The Clevelander’s Choice”.
After learning a bit about Watershed’s history, we headed out for the tour of their facilities. I’m not going to lie, I still don’t fully understand how the spirits are made…but I did enjoy tasting all of them! (Science was never my strong suit.)
Hearing about all the hard work and time that it takes to produce the spirits really makes me appreciate the craft. I also love Watershed’s emphasis on local ingredients and making a positive impact on their community.
A few more tastings later, we headed back to the kitchen where we were treated to a sampling of their menu. The tasting included pork rinds (malt vinegar, Parmesan, fermented hot sauce), crispy fingerling potatoes (roasted garlic, herbs, Parmesan, rosemary aioli), braised meatballs (stewed tomatoes, mixed grains, cabbage) and fried Brussels sprouts (black pepper honey, lemon, mint). While everything was tasty, I especially favored the meatballs! Make sure you try them when you visit.
We also were able to sip on some cocktails from their new IKEA-inspired menu. My recommendation is the Yard Work cocktail (brown butter vodka, lemon, salted honey, cardamaro and sparkling cider). Yum!
A special thank you to Watershed for hosting us! If you’re interested in booking a tour, click here.
Stop #3: Will full bellies, Crystal, Alyssa and I headed to North Market where we walked around and gawked at all of the lovely food options. I really enjoy exploring markets in new cities and this one didn’t disappoint! We ended up sharing a few dumplings from Momo Ghar and sipping on fresh juices from Bubbles. It was time for a non-food stop so next we headed to…
Stop #4: …The Book Loft of German Village! Book lovers should make this a must see. I had never been to German Village but I fell in love quickly. This historic neighborhood is full of quaint, beautiful homes, tiny boutique shops and lovely restaurants. Crystal stopped in Schmidt’s to get their infamous Bahama Mama sausages and regrettable we didn’t stay for a meal because the wait was a bit too long. I’ll be back soon!
Stop #5: Our final stop was to the Short North where we dined at Nida’s Thai on High. Crystal had eaten there before and knew it was a great ending spot to our foodie day. I haven’t eaten a ton of Thai food and opted for the safer bet of veggie pad Thai. While it was really good, both Crystal and Alyssa ordered better (and spicier!) than me. Lesson learned: Have your foodie friends order for you.
We finally packed up our car and headed back to CLE with happy hearts and veryyy big bellies! There are so many great places that I want to try in Columbus and hope to make this day-trip an annual getaway from CLE.
Question for you: What other Columbus restaurants or must sees would you recommend?