The lighter side of real estate

33 Things You Need to Know About Columbus Before You Move There

How much do you know about the San Francisco of the Midwest? If you're planning to move to Columbus, or just stopping by for a visit, here are 33 things you need to know.

David Cross

Content Editor

232 articles, 24 comments

1. The Wexner Will Blow Your Mind

Source: Flickr user TijsB

On the campus of The Ohio State University, the Wexner Center for the Arts is the city’s go-to location for contemporary art. Film, concerts, dance, theater, and exhibitions—this place has it all. It’s one of the cultural hubs of the Central Ohio region, and for good reason.

2. Columbus Is Smarter Than You

Source: Flickr user Howard TJ

Earlier this year, The Intelligent Communities Forum named C-bus as one of the seven most intelligent cities in the world. Let me repeat this: in the world.

3. Columbus Is a Major City

Source: Flickr user Will Merydith

I’ve been all over the country and everyone always forgets that Columbus is a big city. Don’t believe me? It’s the fifteenth largest city in the country, right behind San Francisco. According to the Census, Columbus has 809,798 people living within its borders. The City by the Bay has 825,863 people. Think about that for a second.

4. North Market Has All the Food You Want

Source: Flickr user tlarrow

Have you ever been to a shopping mall mixed with a supermarket? If you’re from Columbus you have. The North Market is on every city tour guide because it’s awesome. Walking in you’ll be bombarded with the smells that will melt your brain. The downside is that parking can be troublesome.

5. Do Not Drive Anywhere Before a Home Football Game

Source: Flickr user tlarrow

More than 90 percent of the people in Columbus are football fans. Think of it this way: They will cut you for talking trashing about the Buckeyes. If you happen to go out immediately before or after a home football game, good luck getting back. The roads simply shut down.

6. The Highway Is a Ghost Town During a Home Football Game

Source: Flickr user Sam Howzit

If you happen to be one the dozen people in the city who don’t like football, wait until a home game starts and take a tour of the city. It will be completely empty and devoid of any human life. It’s an eerie feeling.

7. If Elizabeth Lessner Opens a Restaurant, You Better Eat There

Source: Courtesy of Hound Dog's.

Columbusite Elizabeth Lessner is the brain behind Surly Girl Saloon, a cowgirl-themed bar in Columbus’ Short North district. You read that correctly: A bar with a cowgirl theme. If that’s too much for you—and I guarantee it’s not—try Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits or Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails.

8. Columbus Is a Test Market for Everything

Source: Flickr user phlyingpeguin

Columbus is like a fast food test market Mecca. Companies test all their crazy ideas on Columbus to see how the rest of the country might like it. Sometimes it’s rad; sometimes it’s disgusting.

9. Columbus Has Two Pro Sports Teams

Source: Flickr user Sports Crazy

Columbus is a football town, there’s no denying it. But that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t like other sports. Columbus has two professional sports teams: the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Crew. Of course, most folks in the city count OSU’s football team as professional, too.

10. The Annual Doo Dah Parade

Source: Flickr user Kind of Bruin

If you like nonsensical fun and a gaggle of marching Fidel Castros, this is your type of parade. Sure, it might not be as famous as Pasadena’s Do Dah Parade, but it’s still amazing. Remember, participants can bribe the judges.

11. Oh, You Like Movies?

Source: Flickr user Ubi Desperare Nescio

A Clintonville landmark, Studio 35 is a boozy little movie theater that is proud not to host an AMC experience. It also doesn’t hurt that this joint has beer brought in by Barley’s Brewing Company.

12. German Village

Source: Flickr user VasenkaPhotography

This tiny neighborhood is one of the premier historic districts in the country. It’s a gorgeous area with a lot of friendly folks. I used to think it was expensive, but then I moved to San Francisco. Now I think it’s cheap.

13. CD 102.5 The Alternative Station

Source: CD 102.5.

Tired of vanilla radio stations? Turn up your car stereo and tell Clear Channel to screw off. CD 102.5 (formerly CD101) has fought the good fight against mediocre music with lively programming. Also name one dude who doesn’t have a crush on spin jockey Lesley James. I dare you.

14. Columbus Is Home to this Bridge

Source: Flickr user busionpanda

Franklin County built this ridiculous bridge over the relatively small Olentangy River. I have no idea why the county needed this behemoth structure to cross a stream, but it’s a badass bridge.

15. Thurman Burger

Source: Flickr user Joel Washing

This is a Thurman Burger. After eating it your stomach will alternately love you and hate you. That is the price you pay for greatness. The massive Columbus burger comes with what is essentially a ham sandwich on top. If looks familiar because the glutton from “Man vs. Food” swung by The Thurman Cafe to give it a nibble.

16. Home of Origins

Source: Flickr Will Merydith

Sure, Columbus doesn’t host E3 or Comic-Con, but the city is home to Origins, a massive gaming and popular cultural convention. Why fight through hordes of looky loos at larger conventions when you can see concentrated fandom here?

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17. Tow Trucks Are Like Vultures

Source: Flickr user Tyson K. Elder

It’s a sad fact that if you lived on Ohio State’s campus you grew to hate tow trucks. These asshats drive around every weekend night looking for a quick $200. I’ve lived in a lot of places, but Columbus has been the worst when it comes to these clowns.

18. Columbus’ Library Is Awesome

Source: Flickr user silver marquis

Seriously, there is a reason Columbus is smart. Let’s consider the city’s library system. It received a five out of five rating by the Library Journal—for five years in a row. It also has a National Medal for Museum and LIbrary Service.

19. Schmidt’s

Source: Flickr user rayb777

This is a Schmidt’s cream puff. It’s about half the size of your head. It tastes like heaven. Stop drooling on your keyboard.

20. Goody Boy

Source: Michae's Goody Boy

Nestled in the Short North district, this tiny restaurants serves delicious and dirt-cheap diner food. It’s changed a lot in the last couple of years. At one point it was a crapshoot whether it would be open. Now its claim to fame is a ginormous patio.

21. Hounddog’s Pizza

Source: Hound Dog's Pizza

Hounddog’s has the best pizza in Columbus. Ignore the surly waiters and waitresses. Make sure to get garlic butter crust, otherwise you’re killing a kitten.

22. Other Cities Do Not Know How to Tailgate

Source: Flickr user John Beagle

Tailgating is a profession in Ohio. A good tailgate will include—but is not limited to—large amounts of charred meat, beer, mixers, a random person who you invited, beanbag toss (cornhole), and redneck horse shoes. Typically, there will be so many tailgates, you won’t know where to go first.

23. Catfish Biff’s

Source: Catfish Biff's

This is not the best pizza in Columbus. I know that this is a weird thing to say, but it needs to be mentioned just in case someone decides to swing by this place. Catfish, which is situated across the street from OSU’s freshman dorms, is still standing because of the “freshman 30” all those bright-eyed students pack on throughout the school year. If you’re from Columbus, or spent any time on the Buckeye campus, you’ll know this place.

24. Columbus Park of Roses

Source: Columbus Recreation and Parks Department

The first of two parks on this list, the Columbus Park of Roses is a huge, huge, rose garden in Clintonville. If you live in the area, you already know about this gorgeous park. In fact, it probably shows up on Columbus tour guides. So this isn’t an insiders guide, but it is still awesome.

25. Glen Echo Ravine

Source: Flickr user Stephen Wolfe

While Glen Echo Park isn’t as well known as the Columbus Park of Roses, this little gem is a great place to take in some nature. It’s a ravine park near the Clintonville/University area. Bring your camera for bird watching.

26. Olentangy Trail

Source: Columbus Recreation and Parks Department

Sorry for the aside, but I get a kick out of calling this thing the “Old Tangy.” People of Columbus, you should do this more often. Anyway, the Olentangy Trail is almost 14 miles long and winds from Worthington Hills to downtown. Go ahead, ride your bike along it or go for a stroll with your sweetie.

27. Hidden Hiking Off of Olentangy Trail


If you’re into urban hiking, there is a hidden trail off the bike path near the section of the Olentangy Trail near Blake Avenue. I don’t condone going off the trail, but if you happen to get the urge, you’ll find some decent fishing locations. If you’re more adventurous, you might even find a part of the Gates of Hell, a heavily graffitied tunnel under North High Street.

28. Community Festival

Source: Flickr user skpy

No one actually calls it the Community Festival; it’s called ComFest. No one will judge you for making the mistake—at least not to your face. This annual event is when all the free spirits around Columbus come out of the woodwork. Don’t plan on getting any sleep.

29. Gay Friendly

Source: Flickr user whiteshark29

Back in 2010, the New York Times called Columbus the gay Mecca of the Midwest. Also, in 2006, a study by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute estimated that 6.7 percent of the city’s population was gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals.

30. High Ethnicity

Source: Flickr user rayb777

Speaking of diversity, Columbus has a significant immigrant population—including the second-largest Somali population in the country. All this means that Columbus has one helluva ethnic food scene.

31. This City Is So Meta

Source: Flickr user ptc24

Ohio’s capital is home to The Topiary Park, which is a landscape of a painting of a landscape. Do you feel like you were just Inceptioned?

32. Everyone’s Favorite Flavor Is Salty Caramel

Source: Jenni's Splendid Icecream

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, pretty much the best ice cream in the city, is known for its salty caramel flavor.

33. Columbus Has More Spirit

Source: Brothers Drake Meadery

The folks in this city are into their specialty distilleries. Here are some you should know: Middle West, Watershed, and Brothers Drake Meadery. Bottoms up!

Now that you know what’s up in Columbus, prepare to move to the best city in Ohio—and probably all of the Midwest.

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posted on: August 1, 2015
396,452 views, 249 comments


  1. Patrick

    I don’t know anybody that claims Salty Caramel is their favorite flavor at Jeni’s. Sweet corn w/ blackberries is by far the best.

    • CW in response to Patrick

      Salty Caramel is the best.

    • Proemas in response to Patrick

      I think a number of years ago she had a Brown Bread and Stout (not sure on the beer type) ice cream. I really miss it. You can have the Salty Caramel.

    • Katie in response to Patrick

      Salty caramel really is the best. You know, if you’re not eating black raspberry chip at Graeters. (Which why isn’t that on the list?!)

      • Dee in response to Katie

        Katie, maybe because Graeter’s home is in Cincinnati. Just tossing out a possible explanation. I’ll take Jeni’s every single time over Graeter’s more mundane flavors. G is good, but J goes so far beyond.
        Personally, I do love that salty caramel and it’s the first flavor everyone should try at Jeni’s imo.

        • ryan in response to Dee

          I don’t usually leave replies on random internet message boards, but when I do, it’s to defend the honor of the best and most flavorful ice cream in the world: Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip.

          Suck it, Jenny’s (sp?).

          • Joe in response to ryan

            Agreed Graeter’s Black Raspberry Choc chunk is awesome!

    • FormerCMH in response to Patrick

      I did enjoy some of Jeni’s Salty Caramel ice cream.

    • Chuck in response to Patrick

      Salty Caramel in a waffle cone from Jeni’s is one of the things I look forward to every year when I visit Columbus for the Origins Game Fair. I think I had one cone every day during this year’s convention. I also anticipate the olive cheese nuggets on Saturdays at the Omega Artisan Bakery, and pretty much anything from Barley’s (where I was introduced to the Scotch Egg this year, YUM!).

    • Jeremy in response to Patrick

      Salty Caramel is not the best in the city. It’s the best in the universe. BOOM.

    • OhioBornAndRaised in response to Patrick

      GREATERS ICE CREAM IS THE BEST – the original, and first. You can watch them make the ice cream because the store is the factory and can get free samples of all flavors.

      Jeni’s Ice Cream is a copycat POSER startup trying to become a giant corporate chain. True Columbus natives are Greater’s all the way

    • D in response to Patrick

      Goat cheese and roasted cherries. The best

    • John in response to Patrick

      I grew up in Columbus and have lived in much better cities since. It’s not that great. Truth.

  2. Columbus Metropolitan Library

    Thank you for including us as one of the 33 things you need to know before moving to Columbus. We’re truly honored. Thank you.

    • David Cross in response to Columbus Metropolitan Library

      It was easy. CML is a great place. I spent a lot time in and out of the main library.

      • Basil Grows in response to David Cross

        TV’s David Cross, of long, late night Comic Town MtG games? I am amused more than I probably should that your article popped up in my news feed. ^.^

      • Max Ink in response to David Cross

        Wow, David– quite a list you’ve made! And it’s interesting to see how many people have commented. There’s plenty to love about this city (and apparently, plenty to gripe about, too).

        I write & draw a comic book “BLINK” that is set in Columbus. In the pages of the books, I’ve featured 11 of the 33 things you’ve mentioned. (I guess we have similar tastes.)

        Thanks for all the Arch City love!

    • Matthew in CMH in response to Columbus Metropolitan Library

      CML’s Main Branch, located at 96 S Grant Ave, is the most BEAUTIFUL building in the city IMHO. Also, the satellite branches are very easy to get to via COTA!

    • Katrina in response to Columbus Metropolitan Library

      Goodness! Columbus Metropolitan Library was the first place I found when I moved here and the first place I was almost in tears when I moved to Newark and didn’t have access to anymore. I have lived in many states… none of which has a library that could even REMOTELY compare to Columbus Metropolitan Library!

      One other thing I wish they had added though was the Metro Parks. Franklin County has a gem with those parks and when I wasn’t in the library, I was there. They are clean,happy, fun areas where you don’t have to worry and the people you do run into are friendly. Tons of wildlife on the trails if you come at the right times and since they are connecting them all, tons of options. My dogs and I loved the Metro parks.

    • Beth in response to Columbus Metropolitan Library

      You are the best! I have had a card for as long as I can remember.

    • Blossom in response to Columbus Metropolitan Library

      I LOVE MY LIBRARY!!! They have EVERYTHING and they stay on top of it all. I’ve lived all over and no other library system comes close!

  3. meatflop

    Number 30 is a laughable joke, this city is packed with poor quality ethnic restaurants and commercial joints

    • Gabe in response to meatflop

      You must not get out much. Maybe you should get a job, and maybe you could afford to go out to some of the great restaurants in Cbus.

      • RidMyselfOfCbus in response to Gabe

        Come to Columbus if you enjoy the company of stuck-up assholes like Gabe!

        • FormerCMH in response to RidMyselfOfCbus

          I know right? Gabe does kind of sum of the stuck-up-ed-ness of central Ohio. Having lived in Columbus for 18 years, the “true ethnic” food restaurants are few and far in between. If it is Asian, it is commercial and highly reproduced all over. The best was most “ethnic” WAS Fortune Chinese in University City Plaza (under old ownership). Mexican? Really, unique and authentic anymore? Nowhere anymore really. It’s a staple. Ethiopian, yeah, Blue Nile was interesting. Taj Mahal was a home feeling Indian restaurant for me. Being Italian myself, I’m biased and nothing came close to good in Columbus (being from Youngstown originally). But I digress…

          • sds in response to FormerCMH

            Mexican: Cucos in UA or Los Guachos Taqueria just to name two
            Indian: There are A TON of great indian Resturants – New India off Bethel and Masala off Polaris Parkway! With the technical contractor population we have in Columbus there are bound to be a lot of great Indian resturants!

            I think its hard to say we don’t have great ethnic food when it looks like you have barely looked outside the box…

          • teetop in response to FormerCMH

            If, as your name suggests, you no longer live in Columbus, then you may have no idea what the city is like now. I grew up there but moved out 15 years ago. I visited last year and it was like another city altogether, with a vastly different culinary scene.

          • David Cross in response to teetop

            No, I no longer live in the city, but I visit several times a year. But to make sure I wasn’t off base, I spoke with multiple current residents beforehand.

          • Targhee in response to FormerCMH

            Just to add to the list
            For Japanese you have Kihachi which Anthony Bourdaine described as one of the best meals he’s had anywhere in the world, or if you want cheap authentic Japanese go to Tensuke market and have something from the attached cafe.
            For Ethiopian you have to go off the beaten track to places like Lalibela, the kind of place where english speakers are the minority.
            For Indian I’m partial to Bananna Leaf, but there are tons of good places around.
            For Vietnamese, you can’t go wrong with Pho Noodle House or Mi Li Cafe.
            For Mexican, there are too many to list and I don’t mean El Vaquero. Cuco’s, La Casita, Los Gauchos, and a dozen awesome taco trucks all over the city.

          • Jason in response to FormerCMH

            They have some of the best Italian in Grandview, it’s not a corporation and many don’t speak of it, but it’s a little family owned Italian Restaurant called Trattoria Roma. I’ve never been in a better restaurant fabulous service and large portions of extremely delicious plates, They also play good Rag Tag music vs the music corporate owned Italian restaurants if you ever are around Columbus Grandview Ave. and 5th Avenue it’s a small place right by Grinders, If it’s Tursday through Aunday you must make reservations. It was by far mind blowing I guarantee you would enjoy

    • Proemas in response to meatflop

      Poor quality ethnic restaurants? Have you been to Lalibela? No? Then shut it.

      • Donald in response to Proemas

        Ummmm..Colummbus is absolute joke! If you think about moving here; get ready to spend the couple of years of life just wasted away about OSU, ICON, High Street, Long Street, and other things that are absolutely irrelevant. If you are young and talented…..DONT MOVE HERE EVER!

        Signed, an OSU Alum from the east coast.

        ….GO BUCKS!!!!

      • Beth in response to Proemas

        That is one of my favorite restarants EVER. I could eat there every day if it were closer.

      • arsenicsauce in response to Proemas

        Is Lalibela on Hamilton in Whitehall? By Body Language and Donatos? That’s the only one I can think of and I’ve never been in there OR in Mi Pais because they look so grungy to me, even though I could walk to them from my home. I should try them some time.

        We also have one of those few-and-far-between Tee-Jays and the Indochine Cafe (at which I discovered I hate pho, but my mom’s food was really good) and King Gyros and… I live close to a lot of food (and a lot of fast food).

    • KGebby in response to meatflop

      You have no idea how good you have it in Columbus! Cleveland food scene SUCKS ass! What I wouldn’t give to live less then 20 from Tensuke Market, Sushi Ting, Jeni’s, Banana Leaf, North Market(West Side can suck it), Dirty Franks, Surly Girl, Barrel 44 or Sunflower (Oh Dim Sum how I love you)!!!

      • Rob in response to KGebby

        Are you out of your mind? Cleveland has one of the best dining scenes in the country! Have you been to the many great restaraunts on East 4th Street, the Warehouse District, Ohio City, Little Italy or Tremont and now the newest destinations in the redeveloping flats? Cleveland is home to the best home grown eateries in the country. Maybe you should try going out more!

      • real talk in response to KGebby

        is this a joke? you can’t compare north market to west side. it’s like comparing osu football to little sister’s of the poor. you must be a troll.

      • Tony in response to KGebby

        Yeah, a lot of people forget about the amazing cuisine that doesn’t cater to poor college kids. Tensuke Market, and their sister restaurant, Akai Hana are amazing. All of these people dogging the Columbus food scene probably ate at restaurants featured on or
        Get out to the Upper Arlington area (Just outside of the Campus area) and there are some AMAZING ethnic restaurants.

        • Jason in response to Tony

          I agree Tony I moved up off Kenny Rd by Bethel and the Kenny Center had many different good ethnic restaurants and they had a ethnic grocery store for that ethnicity right next to it almost,

    • RG in response to meatflop

      Have you tried Haitian American restaurant at 161/Karl area?

    • Katrina in response to meatflop

      I agree with this statement. Columbus is severely lacking in affordable ethnic restaurants. Considering Columbus is #2 in Somali population, I was excited to move here. I love Somali food. One restaurant. Indian restaurants, there are a few that are overpriced and most of their dishes I make better at home. If you are in the market for Chinese, you have one heck of a selection… same for italian. Now… Schmidts…. Yeah… that’s a restaurant! LOL Honestly though, considering the size I am disappointed in the variety of ethnic cuisine.

      • Joe in response to Katrina

        seriously you think Cbus doesn’t have many Indian restaurants? Do you ever leave your home?

    • MrBrenton in response to meatflop

      East African: Darbo, Ginerva, Banadir, Blue Nile; Vietnamese: Pho Asian Noodle House & Grill, Buckeye Pho; Korean: Kaya, Diaspora; Japanese: Akai Hana; German: Schmidt’s; Mediterranean: Lashish, Mazah, Mexican: Cuco’s…

      Ok, I’m getting tired of thinking of different nationalities. The reason there’s great ethnic food in C-bus isn’t because it’s such an awesome restaurant market that professional restauranteurs are trying to out do each other by opening ever increasingly exotic restaurants in the trendy parts of town. C-bus has great ethnic restaurants because we’re a culturally diverse city and as people settle here from all over the world they bring their foods with them.

      So, if you want to find a great Somali restaurant you have to go to the Linden neighborhood, where there’s a large Somali population and you find Darbo and Banadir; if you want a great Asian restaurant you have to go to Bethel Rd where there are large asian communities and you’ll find Kaya, Diaspora, and Buckeye Pho.

      If you hangout downtown, cruise the Short North, and go shopping at Easton, you’re not going to find authentic ethnic food, but go to the neighborhoods where immigrant populations live and eat, and you’ll find plenty.

      • Joe in response to MrBrenton

        Exactly! Thank you for a great comment on how to find great foods in Cbus!

    • Lainie in response to meatflop

      You’re in the wrong neighborhoods.

    • What? in response to meatflop

      When I asked what the best Mexican place to eat they told me; “Chipolte”. The worst thing about that, is that they were right

  4. meatflop

    naw its not, look closer, the osu colors are not scarlet and gray, thats a sparty fan standing in the mix.

    • Mollie in response to meatflop

      Mollie wrote: July 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm
      That is OSU. That picture is taken next to the varsity club. I’d know that corner anywhere. Directly behind those kids in the picture is the new parking garage next to one of the student centers across from Blackwell hotel and St. John arena.


    • BH in response to meatflop

      No you are wrong. That is Tuttle just north of Lane Ave.

      • Mollie in response to BH

        I am right. Sorry I didn’t mention the street name but that’s exactly where they are.

  5. meatflop

    *The other OSU’s colors

  6. MC

    Move to Cleveland…after you’ve choked down your 300th pierogi or giant grilled cheese, you might start to appreciate the Columbus restaurant scene a little more. And the city in general!

  7. Matt

    CORRECTION: OSU did not build the Lane Avenue bridge. The Franklin County Engineers Office did.


    • Matt in response to Matt

      Close…but still no cigar on correction. Columbus is the county seat of Franklin County, but they each have separate stretches of road that they manage. “Franklin County built this ridiculous bridge…” is correct. Headline: “Columbus Is Home to This Bridge” maybe?

  8. Ralph

    This is great with only one mistake and one omission.
    The mistake is that OSU did not build the Lane Ave. bridge, Franklin County built it. And the only omission is how could you mention the best library system in the country, but forget to mention the best zoo in the U.S. too?

    • David Cross in response to Ralph

      Hi Ralph, You’re right. I completely forgot about the Zoo. It is great. Thanks for the info on the bridge.

      • dY in response to David Cross

        The Zoo = not in Columbus.

        • gayby in response to dY

          Actually it is technically. The property is owned by the City of Columbus and all codified ordinances apply there.

    • FormerCMH in response to Ralph

      The Columbus Zoo IS INDEED one of the best in the country. Good work by some real stand up people there. How did that miss the “top” 33?

    • Ted in response to Ralph

      The Columbus Zoo is pretty sweet, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best in the country. The National zoo in DC is at least as good, if not slightly better, and it’s free. Of course I may be a bit bias, since I originally am from the DC area.

      • jobo in response to Ted

        . . . biased. . . .

      • AlieLynn in response to Ted

        I’ve lived in both Columbus and DC for a significant amount of time and the DC zoo doesn’t even come close. It is way more broken down and not as well landscaped, it isn’t nearly as large, and the layout is ridiculous (walking up that big hill at the end of a long day is a real b*tch). The only thing that is better about the DC zoo is it’s free and it has panadas, the end. Also, once the planned safari part of the C-bus zoo goes in, its going to be so large you won’t be able to even see it all in one day! Oh, and it’s been voted the best zoo in the country on many occasions – the National Zoo, not so much

  9. dza

    number 30 is a picture of ethiopian food not Somalian food. The person who thinks that columbus is packed with poor ethnic food is wrong you just have to ask around and go looking for it.

    • David Cross in response to dza

      Your right. I couldn’t find a good picture. Went with what I had.

      • Ruhel in response to David Cross

        Just so you know #30 is actually the primary cultural dish of both Eritrea & Ethiopia. However, if you’d like to be further enlightened about the delicacies of the Horn of Africa I’d be more than happy to accommodate you. Thanks for your interest 😉

      • jobo in response to David Cross

        . . . you’re . . . And thank you. No need to get indignant, just nice, friendly chat.

        • Ruhel in response to jobo

          Indignant? Not at all dear. My comment was simply an informative & factual statement. Hopefully you were enlightened as well 😉

  10. TS

    You forgot to mention Bob’s Bar, very important…it’s the cultural hub of the midwest. And also featured in a Maxim Magazine article. Hurry, add it before it’s too late!

  11. Mollie

    That is OSU. That picture is taken next to the varsity club. I’d know that corner anywhere. Directly behind those kids in the picture is the new parking garage next to one of the student centers across from Blackwell hotel and St. John arena.

  12. CW

    Also the best pizza is probably Harvest… in german village.

    • ed cyzewski in response to CW

      Agreed on Harvest Pizza. Although Natalie’s is a new place in north Clintonville that is worth checking out too. Either of those are ideal spots if you’re used to New York style thin crust pizza and can’t stomach Hound Dogs. I get that people love it, but Harvest and Natalie’s are more of my style.

      • Blossom in response to ed cyzewski

        Columbus has more pizza joints than any other city in the U.S.. There’s a taste for every pallet. But when I want old style, salty, pepperoni and CANNED mushroom it’s always Tommy’s in Upper Arlington. A thin soda cracker crust loaded with mouth-watering badness. What time is it…?

  13. Ed P.

    #8 is a picture of the original Wendy’s, which no longer exists.

  14. Brewdood

    Thanks for the Barley’s mention. The craft beer scene here is getting ridiculous. Don’t forget to visit Barley’s Smokehouse & Brewpub, home to pit-style barbecue and craft beer brewed on premise under one roof.

    • David Cross in response to Brewdood

      A couple of years back I got a tour of Barley’s for a ThisWeek video. It’s a great place.

  15. LB

    I would also like to add that there are awesome things outside of the campus/Short North/downtown area – like Westerville’s Inniswood Park and Blendon and Sharon Woods, Dublin/Powell’s Columbus zoo (#1 zoo in the nation), Northstar (best veggie burger ever), Easton. Not to mention affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, good schools, close proximity to fun things like Cedar Point and Hocking Hills..

    • David Cross in response to LB

      North Star is the best veggie burger I’ve had…and I’ve been to a lot of veggie restaurants.

      • KGebby in response to David Cross

        Agreed! I hate, hate, HATE veggie burgers but that thing is amazaballs good! It shouldn’t work but it does!

      • jamesmoore80 in response to David Cross

        You should try the veggie burger at Passport Cafe, on Dublin Road. It’s equally excellent.

        • Cbuser in response to jamesmoore80

          I’m glad someone else has discovered this place. It is hidden away and looks like nothing, but the food is really, really good.

      • Mark in response to David Cross

        As someone who has tried every damned veggie burger I can get my grubby little mitts on, I have to suggest that you try the one at Betty’s some time. Thank me later.

  16. Brat_Sheba

    What about the fact that Columbus is home to a booming alternative sexuality scene, including two nationally recognized kink events per year – COPE and Winter Wickedness.

  17. Thomas McClure

    Also…we have our own Fashion Week! This is the fourth year! :)

  18. Tad

    Great list, but I might suggest #34 be Hayden Falls Park. It is a 25′ waterfall that is amazing after a heavy rainfall and in the winter when it is partially frozen. Also, The Scioto Mile is pretty incredible, too.

  19. Leunami


  20. Jason

    I’ve been going to Hound Dog’s since Rag-O-Rama was next door. Maybe I’m just sentimental but its my favorite. Along with Adriaticos.

    • Beth in response to Jason

      I lived there in high school. Now that I am older, I cannot get over the craptastic customer service, and refuse to get food from there. no matter how good it is.

  21. Naitik

    Having lived in 4 major cities in last few years including Columbus I would say most cities claim to have the same things. I love Columbus but lot of the things in this list are in small pockets around the short north area and with very poor public transit are nearly inaccessible for the majority of the population. I don’t see how this city can continue to grow at the same rate without sufficient investment in public transit going fwd.

  22. Mike Espina

    The population figure is misleading. What counts is the **MSA** population, not the inner city population. And C-bus’ MSA population is around 1.9 million, making it the 24-largest MSA in the U.S. That’s 1 major reason C-bus has only 1 major pro sports team. (Pittsburgh’s, where I live, is around 2.4 million, #19.)

    • Will in response to Mike Espina

      Mike, either you don’t count soccer as a pro sport, you’re ragging on the Blue Jackets and implying they’re not pro, or you didn’t read the article. Columbus has TWO pro sports teams. And if you want to be generous and include Delaware (home of MLL Ohio Machine), Central Ohio has THREE pro sports teams

      • TheGeneral in response to Will

        Actually, you’re leaving out another professional sports team in Columbus, the Columbus Clippers, who are the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians

      • Mitch in response to Will

        Mike – I don’t think the population (inner city or MSA) has as much to do with the lack of professional sports teams in Columbus compared to the presence of Ohio State, especially with 5 other major sports teams in the state.
        Will – Like Mike said, Columbus has one MAJOR pro sports team (major pro sports = NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Crew.

        • Mike Espina in response to Mitch

          Population is a significant factor when it comes to relocating a team. We have a Div I sports team here in Pgh –the Pitt Panthers — yet we have 3 major sports team b/c we’re almost twice as large as you.

          • James in response to Mike Espina

            It’s hard to compare the Pitt Panthers to Ohio State in regards to sports. The Buckeyes command a lot more attention than Pitt. Also, with Cincinnati and Cleveland both having professional football and baseball teams, it just wouldn’t make sense for a third professional team to exist here.

        • Mike Espina in response to Mitch

          Cleve. and Cincy are also almost twice as large as you (MSA populations).

          • jeff in response to Mike Espina

            You have described three different cities as being “twice as large” as Columbus CMA: Pittsburgh=2.4 million; Cincinnati=2.1 million; Cleveland=2.1 million. Being that Columbus is 1.9 million, I’m not really sure about your math.

      • Mike Espina in response to Will

        Soccer and lacrosse aren’t *major*, mainstream sports in the U.S. Not an opinion, but a fact.

  23. Allen

    No matter what list you put together, passions always rules the day, meaning there will be disagreement. For some of us older-type folk, the pizza we’ll swear by is one from Donato’s.

    Sadly, I left Ohio at the ripe old age of 25, but every time I return to C-bus, and that would be just about every year to play and march “one more time” in THE OSU Alumni Marching Band, I make sure to include a visit to Donato’s. Some habits just die hard . . .

    • Aimee R in response to Allen

      You have a great point! What about TBDBITL?!?! If you don’t know what tha is you’re not from Cbus. PS I’m what about Graeters as best oven cream?

    • arsenicsauce in response to Allen

      My family is all about Donatos. Maybe because we’ve always lived around the corner from one. But we love it. I think I was raised on that pizza. I’ve had their number memorized since I was a kid. When my cousin comes home from NYC she always goes to Donatos.

  24. Bethany

    You should mention Promowest Productions and all the concert venues and whatnot. Plus how much we love our food trucks! Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, Mikey’s Late Night Slic mmmmm. We’re having a Food Truck Fest on Aug 16 and 17th at Columbus Commons.

  25. Lee

    Not a single mention of the #1 Zoo in the USA?

  26. Lawrence

    BTW, it’s not called “Bean Bag Toss” around these parts. We call it “Cornhole.”

  27. Jason

    A true nod to Columbus, I really enjoyed the article and this is also the stuff I appreciate about our town!

  28. Rick

    Columbus and central Ohio also has the best fire and EMS systems in the country. Response times are below the national average and cardiac arrest survivability is higher than the national average. Also a couple of fire departments are nationally accredited department, City of Columbus and Washington Township(Dublin).

  29. JR

    The seventh most “intelligent” city and yet this list rambles on about sports and eating. I beg to differ on that claim.

  30. attention to detail

    Anybody else catch the irony of the spelling error in #2?

    • Chris Kolmar in response to attention to detail

      lol, nope hadn’t seen that yet. Thanks.

    • Attention to detail in response to attention to detail

      Wow, fixed already! They must read these message boards after all!

  31. Kathleen

    I think Buckeye Donuts on Campus should have gotten a nod.

  32. Gassy

    Um, no. I’ve lived in Columbus too many years and traveled all over. Columbus is not a great city unless you like things whitebread with a university district. The people here have small dreams, there is a constant influx of hillbillies from the surrounding area, diversity is measured by putting a black guy in a photo, and the cultural attractions, including the tedious Wexner Center, are small potatoes compared to anything in NY, Chicago, LA, DC, or even Minneapolis. If you’re white and want to raise a family, this is a good place; if you’re white and gay, this is a good place. Otherwise, there are much more exciting and friendly places. It is cheap, however, and it does have a good economy, and both of those are what keep me here. But I get away as often as I can.

    • C in response to Gassy

      Please leave then.

    • Southeastern Ohioan in response to Gassy

      Hi, I’m one of those hillbillies that influxes constantly into Columbus. I love you too.

    • M in response to Gassy

      If there are so many other places out there better than Columbus, you should definitely go live in one of them. Trust me, none of us would mourn your absence.

    • big time ohio in response to Gassy

      ^this. why do people have such a hard time figuring this out?

    • ElJefe72 in response to Gassy

      You say that the people living here have small dreams, yet you’re staying here because it’s cheap and has a good economy. I’d you’re the one with small dreams.

  33. Mike

    I like the shout-out to Catfish Biff’s, but feeling a little salty about the “not the best pizza” addendum. Come by some time while I’m working and I’ll make you the best pizzas you’ve ever had.

    • Joe Wear in response to Mike

      I delivered for Catfish Biff’s in the mid 80’s one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had.

  34. EEP

    The highway pictured is not a highway. It’s Broad Street east bound and it looks like that EVERY weekend.

  35. Jim

    And some great food blogs too – like CMH Gourmand.

    I might chose Adriaticos over Catfish Biff’s.

    • mike in response to Jim

      Adriaticos for sure. The best. I’m moving soon and I’m really gonna miss it.

  36. ChaCha

    Best pizza in town is Adriatico’s, no doubt about it. I liked Catfish Biffs, though it was never as good as Adriatico’s…until Biffs stole over $50 from me by triple charging my card and never refunding my money.

    • E B in response to ChaCha

      Hell yeah! I’ve had Hounddog’s and Catfish Biff’s, they can’t match Adriaticos. If you can make it to the campus area, Adriaticos is the best pizza around.

    • Steve Windle in response to ChaCha

      Has everyone forgotten TOMMY’S pizza …..

  37. dY

    Very nice list. The best part is that the list is full of things actually in Columbus. It drives me nuts when people highlight Columbus but then talk about the burbs. The only questionable is Goodie Boy.

  38. Erin

    Fun article. Thanks. I’ve been living in San Fran and considering moving back to Columbus so it was fun to see what other people value about this city and read a few comparisons. I’ll have to pull this up when my SF friends call me crazy for moving back! :)

    • David Cross in response to Erin

      You and me both.

    • Nate in response to Erin

      I’m 100% positive that if you use this list to justify moving from SF to Columbus your friends will laugh in your face. Here is the only sane excuse for EVER moving back to Ohio from any large city: “it’s to expensive here and I want to be close to my family again”.

      You’re welcome.

  39. Dana

    Goody Boy is no longer dirt cheap diner food. It has a Greek-slanted menu (owned by same folks as Jimmy V’s). Not expensive, but certainly not dirt cheap. They do have one of the best patios in town.

  40. lyndon

    You lost me at Hound Dogs. People, please stop talking up this place. It is truly an affront to pizza.

    • Chris in response to lyndon

      I’ll give you the fact that the service is “meh” at best most the time. But Hound Dogs is by far the best pizza in Columbus IMO. To each their own though!

  41. Brent

    Great piece here, David. A few omissions worth mentioning here and adding to the article. Columbus is also home to the Clippers AAA baseball squad. Also, Huntington Park was voted best ballpark in America (this includes both minor and major league parks). Clippers games not only provide a great social atmosphere, but are close to all the premier Columbus nightlife in the Arena District and Park Street.

  42. mjt1116

    I think Columbus is a little more than just Gay Friendly how bout more like Gay Capital of Ohio.

  43. Brad

    Columbus has about 210 square miles, SF has about 49. Think about that for a second before you try to compare the two.

  44. PJDavis

    Husband and I took a walk across the bridge pictured in #26. Don’t recommend it. We were verbally assaulted by a large group of teens. It was very intimidating. All we were doing was taking a walk. Sad but true.

  45. Tracy Warner

    Columbus has also got to be one of the most vegetarian/vegan friendly cities I’ve ever lived (And I’m from Berkeley, CA):

    – pattycake vegan bakery
    – northstar veggie burger
    – every Lessner restaurant notes veggie items on their menu
    – MadMex can make anything vegan
    – Hal & Al’s Bar has a KILLER beer selection and totes an all vegan food menu
    – Whole World in Clintonville
    – Banana Leaf
    – Mellow Mushroom
    – Z-pizza
    – Aladdin’s Eatery
    – Lemongrass Fusion Bistro in the Short North offers an entirely vegetarian menu up on request

    …and so many more!!

  46. Bobby Magee

    Article is blah. Everyone knows this and if you dont then you’ve not spent time here. Theres so much more and these places in this article to hit up are overrated and overcrowded. The author should of just plagiarized man vs food. By the way, Cd1025 is too pop anymore. Might as well put 97.9 on there. Any soul 1025 had left with andyman.

  47. Dave

    I left the Bus about a dozen years ago and about 2/3 of these great things were there. Nice to see some of the great updates, but also that there are some classics still on the list … like that demon-spawn-awesomeness cream puff.

    One question though – where’s the zoo? It’s been rated the best zoo in America in multiple publications.

  48. Andrew

    The San Francisco metro area’s population is well over twice the that of Columbus’. I wouldn’t necessarily call Columbus a major city. It’s a large city, but major? not even close. And as Brad mentioned; SF proper covers less than 50 square miles while Columbus is over 210 sq. miles.

    • paul in response to Andrew

      Columbus is a major city and is listed as such due to our large defense supply and Battell (sp) labs which does a lot of weapon research for the US military. Population and popularity, contrary to popular belief, dont constitute a major city.

  49. michelle foster

    Graeter’s…..Adriatico’s. Two authentic Cbus restaurants that deserve to be mentioned. I’ll wait in line at Adriatico’s for two hours before Biff’s. That’s where I got MY freshman 15! 😀

  50. Nate

    I am an Ohio native and have lived in both Cbus and San Fran…I have to say the two cities really are similar EXCEPT SF is known for hundreds of world renown restuaraunts, the Pacific Ocean, the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Redwood Forrest, Ski resorts, Wine Country, Silicon Valley and booming tech industry, everyone is fit, there are 12 months of sun, fishermans warf, 1,000s of miles of hiking trails, oh and diversity…

    • FormerCMH in response to Nate

      Well said Nate. I loved being born and raised in Ohio and did truly enjoy my years living in Columbus. I love visiting SF and the bay area. However, I live in Savannah, Ga now. 1/4 the size of Columbus, but FILLED with more culture, history, tribulation, strengths, weaknesses, riches, poverty, and beauty than Columbus has even seen. Now, that’s good AND bad. I have hope Columbus WILL grow. It is far to antiseptic right now. But I think it needs to have more of what you mentioned; DIVERSITY.

    • Andrew in response to Nate

      Whenever I visualize downtown Columbus I think of buildings built on top of a cow farm entrenched in monotonous sprawl. There are some pretty nice neighborhoods as there are in all large cities but the overall the culture and seems to be lacking. IMHO even Cincinnati and Cleveland have more character.

  51. smith

    None of these makes Columbus big, special or important. As former resident, I have to say this although I like Columbus.

  52. george

    I know it’s not in Cbus, but if you want a good salty caramel ice cream head to Ollies Fine Ice Cream in Delaware. It blows Jeni’s out of the water.

  53. Rachel

    #34 Women can go topless in public

  54. Brian

    No mention of “Shakespeare in the Park” every summer?

  55. Curt

    I would add only that we have a great zoo, and that no one calls it C-bus.

  56. Roy

    I was born and raised in Columbus. It’s a nice town but a lot of other cities have more to offer.

  57. Chris

    There are THREE professional sports teams in Columbus. The Clippers may be a minor league team, but their park beat out New Yankee Stadium as the best new ball park when it was built.

  58. Milo

    Good list, but I found a guy who doesn’t dig Lesley James – physically or as a DJ – and it only took one second to find his reflection.

  59. Mark

    Love this piece, even if it is a little food-centric. (Didn’t we JUST get off of the “5 Fattest Cities in America” list?)

    I must, however, take exception to the inclusion of Catfish Biff’s over Adriatico’s. They may only be blocks apart in location, but are worlds apart in quality. Biff’s doesn’t even rank on the Columbus pizza scene, where Adriatico’s is near the top, in the company of Mikey’s, Hound Dog’s, Z-pizza, and fancier offerings from places like Natalie’s and Figlio.

    Gotta say, I’m left scratching my head on this one.

  60. Monica

    Not pro, but there is great baseball to be watched at the beautiful Huntington Park! Go Clippers!

  61. Aimee

    You forgot to mention The Ohio State Fair and Red, White & Boom. Also 270 awesome outer belt where on the Fourth of July if you’re on the outterbelt you can see each suburbs firework display. These things are way more important & stand-out than Houndogs or Biffs. Also Westerville, a Columbus suburb, was named one of the best places to live in recent years….
    Also Tommy’s Pizza, the original on Lane & Starr is the Best pizza and Graeters the better ice cream.

  62. ed cyzewski

    I’m curious how this list will change in the next 5 years or so. For instance, I’ve seen a lot of great food trucks around the city and hope they continue to grow. In Clintonville and North Campus we have Ray Ray’s BBQ and Mya’s Fried Chicken that are regular stops for us.

  63. David Shuster

    The Shadowbox Cabaret. Where the acting is funny, the band is awesome, the actors and actresses are great and the FREAK is fabulous. Think R-Rated Saturday Nite Live.

  64. Heather

    This was great to read. Columbus is often overlooked as a major city. There is a lot to do and see here. I live outside the city in a little town called Sunbury and even I forget how much there is going on here. I love the buckeye fan references. We are a serious college football town! Your right, its a professional sport to us!

  65. Ronald

    Who is David Cross? If this were a survey I might take it seriously.

  66. Sloopy da Clown

    You forgot a few things. Like: Borden’s, White Castle, and Wendy’s were all started there; The Ohio State Fair, once claimed to be the biggest in America; Flippo, King of the Clowns, was based here for thirty years; Red, White, and Boom, largest fireworks display in the midwestern USA; Big and Little Darby Creeks, National Wild & Scenic Rivers; The Memorial Tournament, started by Jack Nicholas; COSI; James Thurber; George Bellows; Woody Hayes; Nancy Wilson; Leroy Jenkins; and probably a dozen more other things, that I can’t think of right now.

    • missingcmh in response to Sloopy da Clown

      actually white castle was started in wichita ks, but no longer has any restaurants in the state. Columbus Ohio is now where the family is located.

  67. Brian

    Hounddog is still there? Wow. When I went to school in Columbus, I had a phone number that was 1 digit different from Hounddogs. When I would get a misplaced drunk call at 2 AM, I would answer the phone “Hounddog, how can I help you?” and proceed to take their order. Serves them right.

  68. Andy

    It’s happened again, world. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream made yet another “best of” list. Graeter’s Ice Cream is just so much better in terms of value and quality it’s ridiculous. Jeni’s = unique high quality flavors, small portions, and expensive. Graeter’s = traditional flavors / amazing quality, inexpensive, and just a joyous place. In terms of energy, Jeni’s is that hip new kid in town, and Graeter’s is the unpretentious dude that’s been making ice cream since the 1800’s. Suck it Jeni’s!

    • Nick in response to Andy

      Graeter’s, as mentioned many a time before, is not a Columbus native. Rather, it hails from Cincinnati.

  69. Do’s and Don’t’s for The 4th of July Weekend | The McVey Team Blog

    […] honor of this recent article about the great things Columbus has to offer, we thought we would share our “Do’s and Don’t Do’s” (mainly the “Do’s”) of the 4th […]

  70. Jim

    #22 is a complete and total lie. Go down south. Go out towards Oklahoma/Texas country. Even the West Coast, which is up 3 hours earlier due to time change, tailgates better than Columbus. In the SEC alone, fans show up 3 DAYS before kickoff just to start tailgating. Just another incident of c-bus people thinking they are better than they actually are.

    • Matteo in response to Jim

      Hush Jim we don’t care for your nonsense!

      • Andrew in response to Matteo

        “We drink beer, grill meat, and praise our college football team better than anywhere in the country. What? you say Oklahoma does it better?! NAHHHH”…This is one of the many reasons why people don’t like us so much, and I don’t blame them.

    • JR in response to Jim

      That’s because some people actually have a life and don’t waste it getting fat waiting to watch morons throw a ball around.

  71. jsb

    Eh, this list is just ok, as Columbus is just ok. I grew up in Columbus, but have lived in the east coast for over half a decade. We moved here earlier this year because of the affordability and to be close to family. Columbus has a horrible public transit system, sub-par public schools, and we’ve pretty much done everything there is to do in the area in 4 months. Sure, theres some great restaurants, but other parts of the country are more enjoyable. And it is definitely not a major city.

  72. Nick

    I think it’s funny how much people are talking up Graeter’s as a Columbus thing, when it originated in Cincinnati and expanded to Columbus. Regardless of whether you think Jeni’s or Graeter’s is better, Jeni’s clearly gets the nod purely because it IS the definitive home grown ice cream of Columbus. I’m partial to Jeni’s but I also really do love Graeter’s, both are excellent quality ice creams, but I just have to go with Jeni’s because it is unlike anything else. Try both if you’re new to town or visiting though, definitely worth it because both are phenomenal. Also, Go Bucks!

  73. Unknown

    #34 – Columbus is rated 88 out of a 100 cities for Best Cities for Dogs aka its in the bottom 20. Don’t come here with your dog unless you plan to buy a house!

    • Joe in response to Unknown

      don’t get a dog unless you have a house anyway. Don’t expect tax payers to build infrastructure for pooches.

  74. Lucas

    In the Midwest there is another past time you forgot to mention! Columbus Motor Speedway is a great family fun event that could lead to a lifetime of safe fun, or a legal outlet for a need for speed! There is also the speculated new track that will take the place of the old Clipper’s Cooper Stadium. Hometown small track racing is amazing!

  75. Alexandra

    Actually, we do have Mid Ohio Comic Con. It isn’t as huge as the others, but it is there.
    Of all the restaurants in the Short North, you went with Goody Boy? I’ve been there exactly once, and I was very much not impressed.

  76. J

    Don’t forget the new 101 Beer Kitchen! Simply awesome and right off Sawmill Road in Dublin!

  77. Columbus Ceramic Classes

    Columbus has everything above and more ! Like most places, there will be those who claim anywhere is better but those people would not be happy anywhere. A great city to grow up in and to live and thrive in.

  78. WA

    The free outdoor rock climbing wall at Scioto Audubon Metro Park right next to downtown needs to be on this list.

  79. Chris

    Good job Columbus, about 40% of the things to know about your city involve either food or football.

  80. Expat

    Columbus is a joke. A mediocre mid sized city with giant college campus, some okay bars and food joints, a self congratulatory art/music scene built on nepotism, nothing more.

    I grew up in Columbus, right downtown as a matter of fact. I got fed up with the self importance of Columbus citizens, their tribalism, their bizarre hatred and jealousy of Cleveland, and the fact that the city gives tax breaks to arts groups to push poor people out of inner city neighborhoods for gentrification purposes (as is happening in Franklinton right now).

    People in Columbus are only nice to you if you think exactly like them. If you are a bit different, they will do their best to hate on you.

    I left Columbus for NYC 7 years ago. People in NYC are nicer and more accepting and people in Columbus, and there is a lot more to do. Columbus is the most negative place I have ever been to and leaving it was the best decision that I ever made. If I had to leave New York, I would live in Cleveland before moving to Columbus again.

    • A.J. in response to Expat

      You actually think people in NYC are nicer than the people in Columbus? I’ve lived in the Northeast and have traveled all over the country and the Northeast (especially New England) has some of the coldest people in the country. The people there don’t care to talk to you if they don’t know you and they don’t particularly care to get to know you even if they realize that you are new.

      • Expat in response to A.J.


        Yes, people in NYC are far more friendly and welcoming in NYC than in Columbus. People in NYC know how to mind their own business, which is something gossipy Columbusites seem unable to do. People in NYC are very open and friendly, they just have a real low tolerance for bullshit, which is something Columbus runs on. Might be why so many folks in Columbus have trouble making friends here.

        Also, when I lived in Columbus I was called a “faggot” by those artsy graffitti kids that the artists in Columbus support so much and also by Rednecks about 10 times a week. In NYC I’ve been called a “faggot” 4 times in the past 6 years.

        People here are nicer. People in Columbus are mean spirited and negative, and full of shit. Glad I left.

        By the way, next time you are reading about “the Franklinton Arts District” ask about all the code and tax breaks those people are getting from Mayor Coleman to gentrify the Bottoms for political points. Wait for Franklinton to be divided into East and West Franklinton as working class people are pushed out of the “arts district” area to make room for yuppies and artists. The art community is acting like its a DIY/grassroots effort…the City is giving them tons of tax and code breaks so the neighborhood can be gentrified and Coleman and the assholes who run the “Franklinton Arts District” can get political points.

        Disgusting. Glad I don’t live there. Especially since the Governor Ohio elected is waging a war on the working class and women’s reproductive rights.

        I’ll take everything good and bad in NYC over the nepotism of Columbus any day.

        • Lainie in response to Expat

          I found people very welcoming when I moved here.

        • Ryan in response to Expat

          One thing I’ve learned while researching the NE; The people aren’t rude or mean. They just like to keep to themselves. They don’t feel the need to tell everyone their life stories and vice versa. They’re not going to fake hospitality like people in the South & Midwest tend to do. In a way they are much more genuine and real.

          I’m single, in my 20’s, and live in Dayton. It’s rough, it seems like everyone here is either married or enlisted in the ‘People of Wal-Mart’ army. I actually kind of like Cincinnati and would consider moving there but the rest of the state seems pretty week. I have been applying for jobs out of state.

          • Nick in response to Ryan

            I’ll have to echo what Ryan has said here. I grew up in Columbus (and truly do treasure my upbringing there). By all accounts, I really do believe that people in Columbus (as well as much of Ohio) are nice people. However, this idea that the Northeast (especially New England) is filled with truly unpleasant people is just non-sense.

            After living the first 18 years of my life in Columbus, I moved to Boston for college, and have since stayed for medical school and medical training for the past 10 years. At first glance, it’s easy to see why some people think of us (I include myself in that group now) as “cold.” Most seem to mention “people never look/smile at me when I’m walking on the sidewalk” or “people don’t say hello to me on the subway” as if either is such a grave offense. In reality, as Ryan alluded to, my observation is that people in Boston are more private and more focused. The latter meaning that when you see a Bostonian walking downtown, they’re probably trying to get from one place to another for work/school etc. Life is much more fast-paced. The idea of a professional career and personal/professional success is much more important/prevalent here (as it is in NYC, SF, DC, etc.). You might be visiting my city, walking the historic Freedom Trail, visiting Faneuil Hall, etc. and that’s all great, but don’t hold it against me or my fellow Bostonians when we don’t smile at every tourist/pedestrian on the street. Quite frankly, we’re not strolling on vacation…we have places to go! All this to say it’s exceedingly unfair to group people from Maine in with Boston when you talk about New England — people in Maine are all about their small coastal towns, and are arguably more outwardly friendly than Ohioans.

            So, while it may be true that people in the Midwest and Southeast appear more outwardly friendly, don’t take it for face value. It’s likely that the cultures of those regions have for decades promoted more extroversion with regard to strangers. That doesn’t equate to true friendliness. I’m confident that you’ll have as easy, if not an easier time finding quality friends in any major, fast-paced city in this country. People are remarkably similar throughout this great country. We just come in slightly different flavors.

        • Joe in response to Expat

          You are probably mistaken if you think NYC has less nepotism than Cbus. As for tax breaks and other incentives for folks working to redevelop Franklinton, those are needed since you no longer live here and don’t really know what is going on there perhaps you should just STFU.

  81. Alexis

    This town is also very artist friendly. Columbus Arts Festival is nationally recognized, as is its poetry community. There are two Nationally known poetry slam teams, numerous poets who have performed throughout the country, and poetry shows almost every night of the week that cater to a wide variety of tastes.

  82. Dave

    17. Tow Trucks Are Like Vultures

    As a former tow-truck driver in Columbus, we town when called. During the football games, the CPD has the tow truck companies line up and they tell who gets towed.

    • Joe in response to Dave

      Two companies come to mind who have shark like drivers Shamrock and Camcar both troll to tow and are ruthless.

  83. Ashley

    Lots of people in Ohio call it the old & rangy river

  84. Brain

    I’m pretty confident that the intelligence ranking is seriously flawed. It’s based on online brain games or something along these lines. Problem with that; people in super intelligent cities aren’t on They’re using their intelligence to solve real problems. I remember seeing Athens, OH as #34 on some intelligence list. As an OU Alumni I can say that we are smart..but number #34 in the nation..ehh seriously doubt it. We’re probably just on the computer more.

  85. Barb

    I am suprised that the Columbus Zoo was not on your list. Im sure Jack Hanna is upset. Also the Metro Parks are the best. They should be on there too.

  86. Stephen

    The Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus Zoo (forgotten but admitted to in the comments), and the Jazz and Ribfest (completely missed). Are the only things I will truly miss when leave Columbus.

  87. Laura

    # 27 – *Blake avenue. I used to live there….

  88. Alex

    Didn’t even realize how much I took for granted XD!
    ALSO–it’s easy to tell when flying between the two, San Fran literally fits in a CORNER of Columbus.

    • Brainy in response to Alex

      you say that like it’s a good thing. It’s called sprawl and It’s actually a huge problem in central. Also the SF metro area has over twice the population of Columbus metro

  89. Keith

    Columbus is a lackluster city, but a great street. Seriously, take away High St and you have maybe one step above Toledo. The public transit is unforgivable; even living just north of the Short North I’d find myself stranded Downtown numerous winter nights because the wait between buses going up the busiest street in town is *an hour* starting at 8PM.

    Columbus is not as big as SF, not even close. SF is totally urban and packs in 800,000, while Columbus is a smaller-medium size city of 0ver 200,000 (and losing lots of residents at a rate similar to some Cleveland neighborhoods: when’s the last time you went to Linden/Driving Park/Steelton/Hilltop/Milo-Grogan/Krumm Park/Vassor Village/Southern Orchards/Shepard/Devon Triangle/i.e. most of urban Columbus? The other 600,000 is just suburban sprawl that Columbus annexed. There’s nothing “city” about 600,000 people living in suburban apartment complexes and ranch homes dotted by strip malls. While those strip malls have some decent ethnic restaurants good luck getting to them by bike or bus: you’ll have to invest in a car just to go out to eat to a good Japanese restaurant, so that kinda defeats the purpose whereas in SF you can walk a block or two to several. Most people staying in Columbus haven’t traveled outside of the state, which is pretty sad. I will say that Jeni’s is unmatched even in Mpls, but doesn’t compensate for everything else. I can’t believe no one has mentioned Dragonfly or Clever Crow Pizza (which would hold their own here easily), but then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some of the best spots in the city just disappear unnoticed. If you’re straight, Comfest is absolutely a must.

    After leaving Columbus for Mpls I was floored by how much new development is going on here: a few blocks along the Midtown Greenway matches what Columbus is seeing citywide. The lakes just outside of Downtown kick ass: no fault of Columbus that it doesn’t have several big-ass lakes near Downtown. I was also surprised by how much faster “bad” areas are improving. Go by Livingston Ave between Parsons and Lockbourne: we have that but one of the best coffee shops in he city opened there along with an art gallery and a top notch 60s themed diner. The rest looks like Livingston Ave: dumpy oorner carryouts, but here people actually see the potential for improvement whil in staid Columbus they can’t see past today.

    The one thing you need to know about Columbus is that you need to live within a handful of blocks of High St, otherwise you might as well be in Indianapolis or Phoenix.

  90. Josh

    “Earlier this year, The Intelligent Communities Forum named C-bus as one of the seven most intelligent cities in the world. Let me repeat this: in the world.”

    Did anyone else notice that this same website has a ‘top ten’ list of smartest american cities which Columbus is not on? Whoops.

    • Lynn in response to Josh

      Josh, he stated that Columbus is the 15th smartest city. Your reference to another article listing the “top ten” smartest cities would obviously exclude the 15th because 15 is not a number between 1-10. Better luck next time champ. Don’t look for someone else’s error just to make yourself feel better. Especially if you’re wrong.

  91. Robin

    I guess Columbus does not have a classical music presence nor an orchestra?

  92. Stephen Wolfe

    Thank you for using and crediting my photo (#25).

  93. TerjFerguson

    Great list! Reading someone of the comments I see it’s not easy to sum up Columbus in 33 items. I love this city!

  94. Dave

    EXCELLENT call on the horrendous slash borderline REALLYhorrendous service at Hound Dog’s. Pizza is still fantastic, however.

  95. nicole

    Don’t forget about the Columbus Clippers and Huntington Park! All sports are covered here in C-bus!

  96. C-Bus All star

    Why no mention of the other parts of the city and what they have to offer?
    Columbus is just not about OSU and Upper Arlington..although most
    arrogant snobs would like to portray it that way. Don’t be afraid to venture the near
    East Side, Reynoldsburg, Whitehall , Pickerington, Bexley and Canal Winchester
    the Franklin Park Conservatory etc. Just avoid the West side at all costs!

  97. Alyssa

    Thurmans, Schmidt’s, Hounddog’s, Jeni’s. Is it any wonder Columbus has an obesity epidemic?

  98. jobo

    After reading all 33 captions carefully, I’ve come to two conclusions: 1) The copy was apparently written by a hack on assignment who could hardly have spent more than 36 hours in town, and, 2) The photos are file pics from some publicity agent’s photo morgue.

  99. TCee

    Missing from this (very spotty and highly dubious) list:
    1. The Columbus Zoo (Halloooo McFly!)
    2. Shadowbox Live (only the largest resident theater gp in North America…but obviously less important than a ‘meadery’ whaahaaat?).
    3. Red, White & Freakin’ Boom! (a quiet, intimate agthering of a quarter million people every July4th)
    4. Actor’s Summer Theater (Shakespeare in the Park)

    • Nick in response to TCee

      As many above have previously stated, would 100% agree on the zoo. Shadowbox…meh. For Columbus it may be a unique place, but other cities have similar groups. Wouldn’t get too excited about that.

      Which brings me to Red, White, and Boom. Is it good fireworks, sure. Is it noteworthy nationally? Not a chance.

  100. ColumbusResident

    Don’t believe the Hype!

    Columbus kind of sucks. The people are very judgmental and probably half as friendly as people in other cities. As soon as you are seen by a person in Columbus you are judged. I’ve been to many cities in the world and Columbus is one of the least friendly places for striking up conversation with random strangers. There is a bit of “stuck up” and “hoity toity” among the people there. Most of them dress very nice. You may be impressed with the appearance of classy people on a night out in Columbus but don’t expect to be greeted with a warm feeling of belonging. I have tested my experience on many occasion to find it real. If you want to feel like your whole city is a High School and you have to somehow be one of the cool kids to get through the day, then you’ll actually like Columbus.
    As a Columbus resident, I say go to Cincinnati. The people are more willing to accept you and striking up random conversation with strangers is met with much more welcome.
    Columbus just isn’t very inviting of people. You kind of have to work your way in.
    I’ve never felt at home here.

    • Rick in response to ColumbusResident

      “There is a bit of “stuck up” and “hoity toity” among the people there. Most of them dress very nice.”

      As soon as I saw that I understood why none of the rest of your post sounded anything like Columbus — indeed, quite the opposite for the most part. You obviously are thinking of someplace else.

  101. arsenicsauce

    Never been to Catfish Biff’s or any of the other University/Short North Locations… but I tell you what, freshman year, my roommates and I sure did order those insomnia cookies!

  102. Minda

    I was surprised to see that the Columbus Zoo wasn’t included on the list. Also, there are lots of great festivals in the area throughout the summer. Origins is one of the largest gaming conventions in the country and the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con is growing each year. And strangely enough no one mentioned the Broadway Series shows that come to the Palace Theater. We also have Cosi, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Thurber House, the Arena District and a Casino! There are MANY colleges and universities – Ohio State isn’t the only one – Franklin, CCAD, Capital, Columbus State, Otterbein, Ashland, Ohio Dominican, Devry – to name a few. And to say that people in Columbus are not as friendly as New Yorkers is just plain nonsense. I’ve lived in other places and find the people in Columbus to be very friendly, willing to help others (lots of local charities), and very accepting of different cultures and lifestyles. I don’t know that I agree about calling it a major city, but it is definitely up and coming and a work in progress. PBS presented a series about Columbus neighborhoods last year for the city’s 200th anniversary
    which was very informative and gave a lot of historical information – it’s worth watching.

  103. Why?

    The city is a combination of Mayberry RFD and children of the corn. The longer I lived there the less it was like Mayberry the more like children of the corn.

    Incredible religious intolerance there.

  104. Tom

    I know everybody hates the tow trucks… but keep in mind they are hired by business owners and the city to enforce parking… since there are so many permits and such and so many people needing to park. this article implies that they are some kind of rogue towing service that lives by its own rules lol

  105. mscherer

    Little Lebanon Bakery in Polaris….

  106. SameGuyAsBefore

    Things that should be on here are not, and things that are on here should not be.

    We have so many awesome parks around here, especially including parks 10-15 mins outside columbus proper. Alum Creek, Highbanks, Scioto and others that have more trails, trees, water, and varied terrain

    Go to Schmitt’s for the Bratworst and authentic german food, not dumb pastries

    Columbus Zoo is one of the best in country, rivaled only by san diego or baltimore zoo

    Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Lake Erie are all within 2 hour drive not to mention Cedar Point or Hocking Hills

    Columbus Museum of Art and COSI are awesome

    Wexner Center being #1 sounds like some Ohio State promotional crap to me, Buckeye Football #1 for sure. List is way out of order Go experience 105,000 screaming buckeye fans at a historic stadium built almost 100 years ago in the state that invented football and tell me you’ve seen something else like it

    Being a state capital and having one of the largest universities in the nation at its core, has many perks like a diverse economy and jobs less prone to recession boom & bust cycle compared to other cities

    Do you hate obnoxious New Yorkers and the general Eastcoast mentality? Me too. Good thing this city is nothing like them and compared to the rest of the country, people here still have their heads screwed on straight. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative city, the way is should be. Yes a politically centerist city in 2013, thats just crazy

    If you like to be around blue collar people don’t move here unless you can adapt. Healthcare, insurance, and banks are dominant industries and is more white collar compared to cleveland, detroit, toledo. I was born and raised in columbus and people here ARE more conceited. A realization that occurs after spending time with people in different parts of ohio. Got a problem with that generalzation, too bad because its true

  107. OSU Alum & Former Cbus resident

    In other words… not much to do outside of High Street (OSU Campus area, Short North and German Village) Fun to go back, but very boring outside of fall football season. City lacks character outside of Short North and German Village. All Burbs.

  108. op628

    “North Market is on every city tour guide because it’s awesome.”

    Is this a ninth grade term paper?

  109. Mrman

    “A mediocre mid sized city with giant college campus, some okay bars and food joints, a self congratulatory art/music scene built on nepotism, nothing more.”

    That really did sum it up lol
    Columbus is a awesome city but god that statement summed it up. This is a great town to raise a family and live out all american middle class fantasies. Nothing wrong with that. I enjoy everything on this list but the people in Columbus will not tolerate too many big city trappings. This is why the public transportation here sucks balls. As long as the residents can get in their cars, go downtown to the one street where everything is happening then travel back to their little boxes on the hillside the kids are alright. Anything else is just waaaaayyy too out the box.

    A weird wonderful little monster of a town this place is. It’s half stepford, half mayberry,.0002 East village and half of that 80’s movie Revenge of the Nerds. very sterilized but it’s not all bad. very “safe” is the word.

  110. Bob Scharnhorst

    Actually Columbus can also claim the opening of the EDSEL Motor Division in 1957. My dad opened and closed the local offices of the The Lincoln Mercury Division which EDSEL was a part of. Many people don’t know that the car was named after Ford’s son EDSEL The most advanced car of it’s kind. And it had a mind of it’s own.

  111. Luer B.

    Granted, Columbus isn’t a densely populated bustling metropolis, but that’s ok. It is a robust city with a vibrant economy and lots of things to see and do for those willing to venture out a bit, including exploring nearby areas in the greater central ohio region. The world is filled with small to big cities, and size isn’t the measure of quality … Or everyone would be saying Lagos Nigeria or Beijing China are some of the best places to live.

    A few more highlights I don’t believe anyone has mentioned:
    – bike trails in and around many parts of central ohio and columbus proper, with the recent addition of COGO to make rent-as-needed biking more accessible
    – the Ohio Theatre, not everyone’s taste but a historic gem that is being put to great use for the art
    – festivals … From spring until fall there are manufactured estivates every weekend, with some of them quirky, some of them grand and glorious, but all of the. Great little mini- adventures usually free to enjoy
    – free music/arts events all summer long in the downtown district (scioto mile, columbus commons) as well as many of the suburbs; sometimes so many it is hard to pick just one to attend. Because you’ll miss another great one.
    – the ability to get away from it all very quickly by venturing up route 3 to Mohican, down route 33 to hocking hills, or ne on route 4 to Lake Erie….plus many other state parks and preserves scattered in between

  112. Jenn

    FYI, Columbus does host ComicCon.

  113. Cathy

    Ok, I know I’m late on posting this but I just ran across this article. I have lived in most of the major cities…long time resident of NYC, Toronto (yes, Canada), LA, Chicago, and recently moved here from Raleigh, NC. Quite frankly, it’s articles like this one that made me decide on Columbus so if I sound a little annoyed, I really am, because I actually thought I was moving to the “San Francisco of the Midwest”. Um, not quite. Four out of five people in San Fran or most other major cities ARE NOT OBESE, they do not live for a COLLEGE football team or wear said teams attire EVERYWHERE, and their main form of entertainment IS NOT TAILGATING. For the SEVENTH most intelligent city in THE WORLD, it’s really quite amazing how many people are sporting cancer causing John Boehner TANS, not to mention how ridiculous you look in the middle of December being the color of mud.

    I’m sorry for my anger…but this is a COLLEGE, SPORTS town. Every restaurant has a tv so patrons do not miss one GD Buckeyes game. I grew up in Buffalo, NY and I’m telling you the similarities are frightening. And at least the Bills were going to the SUPERBOWL.

    This is also one of the shadiest rental markets I have ever seen, with slum landlords everywhere and a “no pets allowed” policy like no other city I’ve lived in.

    Gay people and one street do not make a city cultural and artsy. And yes, New Yorkers are WAY friendlier than the people here. Probably because they have something to do besides TAILGATING.

    Now I expect some hate filled posts to come my way and fair enough…BUT if you have actually never lived anywhere besides Columbus or even Cincinatti which seems really common here and adds to the whole provincial mentality, then you really don’t have a leg to stand on. OK… bring it on!

    • Jessica in response to Cathy

      I just recently moved from Columbus to Southern Alabama. I attended OSU. I understand what you are saying, but it could be because you have not been going to the right areas in Columbus. There really are some great places there. The libraries are wonderful. I am a librarian, so I am a bit biased and the educational opportunities are boundless. Yes, it is a sports town ruled by Buckeye fever, but so are a lot of places. However, there are wonderful galleries. museums, historical sites, bookstores (try the Book Loft in German Village), and coffee shops (and I do not mean Starbucks). Stop by Mozart’s in Clintonville or visit uptown Worthington or Westerville. It might change you mind.

    • Jerry in response to Cathy

      I’m from the SF Bay Area. Went to school at OSU.. The SF of the Midwest is a bit bold.. I’d give that to Chicago. CO I’d also consider a large city.. Up and coming. Kind of with Cathy on this one just not as angry though. I left the city so I cant be angry at all.

      Only thing ‘San Fran’ about Columbus are the easter eggs of ‘culture’ that you may find; Short North.. Gallery Hop. Contrary to this article its not that diverse… In fact compared to SF, Columbus is not diverse at all. I never saw Asian folks outside of an Econ lecture. I felt like all you see are white…. and black people. Same with Cathy on the health note. When my parents came for graduation they said the quality of the food was not the healthiest.. I can only imagine them saying that because they’re Californians.

      I applaud you though. You sold this city well.

  114. Doug Beardslee

    Make that “psychedelics,” or whatever substance comes to mind to get this wildly imaginative!

  115. Andrea S

    We do host the Wizard World Comic Con :)

  116. Sarah

    I lived in Columbus half my life, and the other in Cinci. My preference is Cinci because of the amazing history, architecture, rolling hills, and overall soul. I always discover something new and interesting in Cinci. I liked Columbus for the more liberal scene, and I met some of the nicest, most intelligent people there. However, Columbus just lacked personality and soul for me. I can see how others would love it though. Overall, it’s a nice town, but does not have the grittier bigger city feel of Cinci or Cleveland. Cbus is a bit boring for my taste.

  117. EBreakey

    I grew up in Columbus and enjoyed it. But, I have lived in several other cities and Columbus doesn’t compare to most. Compared to San Francisco? Seriously? Olentangy bridge compared to the Golden Gate? I have always felt that Columbus has an inferiority complex. They just have to keep trying to prove they are better. It isn’t Chicago, New Orleans, St.Louis, NYC–etc. Just a nice mid west town. For the most part, people aren’t very friendly. In the South, people passing by say hi to each other, cashiers share stories with you. In Columbus, an occasional grunt is the norm. People need to appreciate their town, but not work so hard at convincing others that it is the best town ever. I’ve heard Ohioans say that Miami U is the Harvard of the Midwest. Why the constant need to make things grander or bigger than life? Columbus just needs to calm down and enjoy what they are.

  118. billybob

    ahh columbus…
    pros: great food (a nod to Udipi Cafe on 161), nice public parks, great library, tiny but fantastic weirdo garage rock bands, northern lights shopping plaza (one of the best thrift stores in town, with actual low prices), good vintage shops
    cons: nearly everything is overpriced beyond its quality (skully’s, rag-o-rama, i’m looking at you), awful newspapers (columbus alive is essentially just a pile of advertisements), bad public transport, aggressive and excessive presence of police, lack of nightlife (unless you just want to get really drunk)

  119. David

    After spending about 30 minutes that I will never be able to get back again reading the silly and pompous replies here, it seems incumbent on me to point out some realities to the “C-bus” crowd that don’t yet realize that a world exists outside of the C-bus bubble. Have you checked out how many good fast food joints there are in the country? Now, take that list and see how many you find here. Unless you’re addicted to McD’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and a couple of lesser known ones, you are missing out on a whole array of different burger joints. That’s just burgers. There are tons of other fast food joints that are quite good that never make an appearance here. Because they realize that the C-bus palate is very limited. When you use the term “Asian” to describe a whole sector of food, you fail to realize that there is enormous variety and you simply can’t say “I want Asian food”…this is like saying “I want California food”. And I really have to specifically say that Donato’s has to be the worst pizza (if you can call it that) that I’ve ever seen in my 40 years of world travel. Even the pizza in China is better than that stuff. The other joke here is the supermarkets. It’s unbelievable that such a “large, metropolitan, world-class city” would have such extremely limited selections of national brands. I’m not talking about some off-the-wall specialty product, I’m talking mainstream, nationally advertised products. Conspicuously absent from the shelves of the THREE (count ’em, three) “big” supermarket chains. Talk about having a monopoly. When you have to finish your shopping list by buying on Amazon and, you know you’re in trouble! The bottom line is, Columbus is not much of a city to experience diversity in. Someone labeled it “the San Francisco of the Midwest”. You must be joking. Maybe it can compete with Rancho Del Mar, but San Fran? LOL Please. So, you have lousy restaurant choices here, while there are a few good places (odds are you’d have to have a few), but variety doesn’t exist. Just because you EAT in a Somali restaurant doesn’t make it GOOD Somali food. Once you have tried more authentic places, you would be quick to realize that it takes more than a simple label to make something worthwhile. And for the haters out there, go ahead and bash if you must. Let’s face it, nothing said here will change your minds, and nothing you can say will change mine. I’ve lived in this hellhole for 20 years, and thankfully will be FINALLY relocating out of state, out of country, this year. I won’t miss it at all. Nor will I miss the arrogant, ignorant, folks here, or the multiple levels of amazingly redundant, wasteful government here (really folks, join the 20th century, let alone the 21st, the tax system, the property tax, the school system, all are throwbacks to the 1800’s. The words “streamline” and “efficiency” are foreign languages here). Go ahead, break your arms patting yourselves on the back for having achieved the height of mediocrity, but please, don’t confuse yourselves with a real city.

  120. Erick

    -mais non, c

  121. SoultoSoul

    I’ve beenher in Columbus, Ohio for 8 years since 2006. I’ve gotten lost on the city’s highway 270 and realized Columbus is a BIG cirle just like it’s name as weird as it sounds like Christopher Columbus discovered the world- hahaha. If you take an elevator high in the mid city section like west of Columbus, you’ll see the compass of Columbus is circular. Columbus really is CIRCLE. :-)))))

  122. Rob J

    “According to the Census, Columbus has 809,798 people living within its borders. The City by the Bay has 825,863 people. Think about that for a second.”

    LOL, ok. Now let’s think about Metropolitan Statistical Areas:

    #1 New York 20 Million
    #3 Chicago 10 M
    #11 SanFran 5 M
    #32 Columbus Ohio. 1.9M

    my 3-y.o. likes to stand on a chair and talk in a deep, growly voice to show how big he is. it’s pretty cute.

  123. shannon

    I realize this article is over a year old; but I couldn’t help myself. I lived in Columbus for a few years in the early 90’s. I then moved to Los Angeles, lived there for 10+ years. I also lived in Palm Springs, Vegas, Austin, and spent a great deal of time in San Fran. Now is Columbus on par culturally with San Fran or LA, probably not, but it’s not too shabby, Columbus is a great town, cant understand why so many people choose to bash it. Just because someone has a negative experience, or because they grew up there is not a justifiable reason to write off a city. I know people who live in LA and say it’s boring, or everybody’s full of sh@t, or whatever, but unless you’ve personally spoken to or encountered every person in said city how can you make such a generalization like that. For instance, I personally felt the indie hippy vibe in Austin was a tad over inflated. But I only lived there for a few years, I’m sure there was a lot I didn’t get to see. And as far as population is concerned, who gives two sh@ts if Columbus metro pop is larger than or smaller than anywhere else, population has nothing to do with how “cool” or “diverse” a city is. Hell, has anyone been to Portland OR? very cool town and way smaller than San Fran or LA or Columbus. And as for the New Yorkers who think that NYC is the center of the universe and everywhere else is a great void of culture, get the hell over yourself, sure NYC is amazing, but it’s not the only place, not by a long shot.

  124. CommentingLate

    There are a LOT of negative comments on here– so many folks making a snap judgments and assumptions. I doubt any of you have truly experienced this city. I don’t necessarily expect you to, everyone is entitled to having their favorite cities. Maybe you could hold back the scathing, hate-filled comments. Many of us call this place home.

    Yes, there are a lot of national restaurant chains that started/ are established in Columbus–fast food or otherwise. Ask any Columbus resident what their favorite pizza is, you’ll hear many responses… Grandad’s, Dewey’s, Adriadico’s, Yellow Brick, Pizza Plus, Rubino’s, that’s the tip of the iceberg. You probably won’t hear Donato’s.

    That’s just one example of the nuanced, varied experiences you can have in Columbus. A friend told me once that Columbus wasn’t diverse. She lived in a newly built house in a white, far north suburb. If you choose to not engage in the culture and diversity of a city, don’t criticize it. Get yourself down to Olde Town, Franklinton, Marion Village. Haven’t heard of these places before? Still looking for parking in the Short North? Take a step back, then google “COGO” and the “C-BUS” (yes it’s a real bus). If the fast food isn’t “cool” enough for you (when is fast food EVER cool?), check out the Food Truck Festival. There are some awesome taco trucks operating every day, specifically, if you take the time to look. If you don’t see enough diversity at OSU (I find this really suprising if you don’t, and I’m not talking about football games), grab a coffee at Crane Cafe in Hagerty Hall.

    True, there are plenty of things Columbus can work on. We aren’t as big as the population numbers seem– our city limits cover more square mileage than most cities and thus encompass more people. Columbus Proper will never break into the top ten in the U.S. population. The weather here will NEVER be as great as San Fran. The population is not as image-obsessed (although Cols. is frequently recognized for its presence in the fashion community based on Limited Brands, etc. being here) and could use to be healthier. We are a football-obsessed city. If you don’t like it you can always run errands during the games, traffic is quiet and there will be no lines! We are a “new” city, compared to Cincy and Cleveland, but we aren’t that new. We have a history and we are proud of it.

    I’ve had opportunities to settle in Boston, Philly, NYC, Chicago. But Columbus gives me the best of both worlds. I can actually afford to own a beautiful, 70-year-old home with a yard, plenty of room to grow, and good school district. You can find these neighborhoods throughout Columbus, and they are anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes from downtown. No two-hour commute. No big traffic nightmares. I am close to family in other midwestern cities. I also have access to a cultured metropolis that is on the up and up (yes, that’s how I describe Columbus). So next time you are surfing your smartphone on your two-hour sweatty subway ride back to your $3000/month studio apartment that you share with some dude you found on Craig’s List, try to hold off on angrily bashing a city you never took the time to know on a random opinion article.


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