Have you ever had the dilemma of not being able to decide where to eat? Have you ever wanted to sample all of the food in Columbus but didn’t have the time to do so? Well, look no further than Columbus’ own North Market. Located in the Arena District of Downtown Columbus at 59 Spruce Street, the North Market is a one-stop shop for everything tasty in Columbus. It has merchants from Columbus-based eateries lined up in an enormous warehouse of flavor. I visited this olfactory heaven a few weeks ago with my family and it was all that it was hyped up to be.
As soon as I walked through the door, I could see that it was going to be an enjoyable, albeit calorie laden, afternoon. At first sight, there were at least 15 different little stores to choose from and my only problem was where to start.
We started off with something small to set the day off right. My family and I went to Brittany Baum’s and Maria Battaglia Gentile’s store, Brēzel, to sample their famous hand-crafted soft pretzels. Between the four of us, we got pretzels with salt, cinnamon sugar, a candy coating and even one with a peach flavor brushed on top. After sampling all of them, the cinnamon sugar pretzel was my favorite. This pretzel was not only aesthetically pleasing, but it melted the second that it hit my tongue. The cinnamon sugar was not overpowering but instead it was the perfect complement to the delicious buttery pretzel. Overall, I cannot say enough about these Bavarian-style pretzels
The savory smell of barbecued ribs and brisket brought us to our next destination. A mere whiff of the food and Holy Smoke BBQ hooked me like a fisherman, and reeled me in. Stan Riley, the owner or Holy Smoke BBQ, knows what he is doing when it comes to barbeque. Simply the sight of the mounds of pulled pork and ribs covered in the smoky barbeque sauce made my mouth water. Although the ribs and pulled pork looked and smelled divine, I ordered what they suggested, the brisket meal. With the brisket, I was allowed two sides. Once again, I followed the suggestion of the employee and ordered the Mac n’ Cheese and the corn bread. Thankfully, I was not led astray. The taste of the tender brisket was augmented by their special smoky barbeque sauce. The Mac n’ Cheese and cornbread combination proved to be the perfect supplement to the already tantalizing meal.
The next stop on the flavor train was Clever Crow Pizza. This small family-owned pizza shop had the right blend of specialty and classic pizzas. My family and I split half of a Vegan Corn Pizza. Usually, I don’t find thin crust pizzas especially tasty, but this was by far the best thin crust pizza I have ever had. Its corn and red skin potatoes with chipotle hummus had my taste buds mesmerized. I would have liked to see a little bit bigger selection or even a “create your own” pizza, but that is a very small downside that was overwhelmed by the positives of Clever Crow Pizza.
The last stand that my family and I wanted to visit was a dessert stand. The Taste of Belgium ended the day on a sweet note. This restaurant, run by Jean-Francois Flechet, sells Belgian Waffles and Crêpes made in three minutes or less. I shared a blueberry crêpe with my family and it did not disappoint. The light, fluffy crêpe had just the right amount of blueberry sauce on it to the point that it didn’t compromise the taste of the crepe, but instead made the crêpe even more flavorful than it already was.
Overall, the North Market offered more than I had expected. If you are looking for an interesting and fun place to eat, the North Market is your place. Everything from the buttery pretzels to the savory brisket and the delectable pizza to the sweet and fluffy crêpes hit the spot. The food was simply extraordinary. The atmosphere is incredible with all of the different vendors acting like one big family. As soon as I walked in, I felt welcomed by every single vendor. Whether it was a “How’s it going?” or just a simple head nod, everyone seemed genuinely friendly and excited to help me. I would not only recommend this destination to everyone but I would say it is a “must visit” when stopping in Columbus.
Ryan Hochberg is a Business major, specializing in Accounting, from Solon, Ohio. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys trying different foods.