Lindsay and I were recently invited to Experience Columbus, Ohio for Stonewall Columbus Pride. My first Columbus experience, was not what I’d expected. I pictured Columbus to be a huge sports town focused on all things athletics. Turns out, there’s a lot more to Columbus that tailgate parties. My favorite part of the after Pride festivities was all the unique restaurants, bars and snack shops. Here are a five of my favorites.

North Market

The Market is filled with 33 vendors selling every kind of food imaginable. Each counter is serving up something unique and delicious. From Market & Boar’s holy smoke BBQ to the Lan Viet Market there’s a little bit of something from all around the world. Also located in the market are fresh seafood, meat, and flower vendors as well as several retail stalls.

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Stack City Burger Bar

Stack City is the perfect lunch spot. A nicer end of the spectrum casual dining atmosphere and gourmet burgers, sandwiches, wings and salads makes it an elevated lunch hangout. Lindsay opted for the 1940 burger with sautéed onions ($7.50) and jumbo southwest ranch onion rings ($6). She was raving about the B&B pickles on the burger and how great the thick cut rings were. I opted for the Southwest Chicken salad with roasted corn, black beans, and BBQ ranch dressing ($9).

The Pearl

The Pearl is a Gastropub filled with old fashioned made from scratch American classics. While they don’t describe themselves as a soul food based restaurant, I found the description to be fairly accurate. I had the Southern Fried Chicken ($19), in bone chicken paired with a fresh baked cinnamon roll  and cider braised greens was the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Lindsay had the Fish n Chips ($17) bathed in apple cider vinegar. They also have a full bar with a wide variety of unique cocktail and ale options.  

Brothers Drake Meadery

Mead… as in… like some Game of Thrones type mead and wenches stuff. That’s what we’re talking about. To my surprise, mead is actually more similar to wine than to beer and comes in tons of different varieties. The Brothers Drake Meadery is a socially conscious, hip hangout that combines ancient mead recipes, small plates made with local ingredients and socially just business principles. They also offer tours showing the process behind how they produce different meads. The tasting tour includes sampling some currently available meads as well as one or two in-process.  You will also try some raw Ohio honey that we use and get to keep your branded tasting glass. Cost is $15 per person and you must be 21+ to sample.

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Gallerie Bistro and Bar

Located inside the Hilton Columbus Downtown, Gallerie Bistro and Bar is a french inspired bistro was our favorite classy brunch spot of the weekend. We got mimosas ($8) and a carafe of coffee because… Well… What is brunch without coffee and mimosas? The vibes are a bit upscale without being stuffy or pretentious. Lindsay had the  buttermilk fried chicken with sage waffles ($14). It was drizzled with a hot sauce aioli and homemade maple syrup. Honestly the best chicken and waffles we’ve ever tried. The pineapple upside down pancakes with Malibu maple syrup ($13) were also phenomenal.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Experience Columbus. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.