July 24, 2012
There is no better way to enjoy summertime in Columbus’ urban Arts District than cozying up on a patio at one of the many al fresco dining destinations. For many in the summer, it’s common to base your dining choices on patio options. From immersing yourself in the metropolitan culture or experiencing lunchtime in a garden, you are sure to find something that suits your style in the Short North. Out-of-towners and local residents alike find summer the best time to discover or rediscover all the District has to offer when satisfying your appetite.
While shopkeepers are getting ready for the first customers of the day, we recommend a stop by one of our favorite patios in the District at Cup O’ Joe & MoJoe Lounge. Take your coffee break outside for a change and enjoy the Short North in all its morning glory. Kick back with your favorite paper or reading material and enjoy the early sunshine.
When you work up that afternoon appetite, stop by the newly renovated Michael’s Goody Boy for a modern spin on the classic diner feel. In addition to their Americana-meets-Mediterranean menu, they have one of the largest patios in the Arts District making them an ideal lunch locale.
Another favorite choice for daytime dining is Northstar Café, a Columbus favorite for its delicious menu items and emphasis on natural, locally grown food. Located in the heart of the District, it’s the perfect place to grab your midday meal before shopping at one of the many surrounding boutiques or galleries.
When the after work hour rolls around, a Short North patio is the perfect place to put the day behind you and enjoy good company. It sometimes seems as though patios were invented just for happy hour. Quench your thirst with one of 15 flavors of the best margarita in town at La Fogata Grill. The sidewalk adjacent patio offers prime viewing of the District as it transforms from day to night. The signature arches over High Street light up and neighbors set out for an evening stroll. Located right next door to La Fogata is Union Café, another favorite patio for happy hour and nightly entertainment. Their happy hour small-plate specials are ideal for an early evening bite; we suggest the cucumber chutney sandwich or baked chicken samosas.
Although many of the Short North’s amazing patios can be found right along the High Street corridor, the hidden gems are what add to the allure of the neighborhood. Basi Italia is one such location. Their charming patio and mouth-watering seasonal menu has kept patrons coming back for years. They are a true local business with beloved owners that live right here in the Short North; they always make you feel right at home. Additionally, establishments like The Happy Greek can surprise the passerby. Although the business front has a High Street address, the rear of the building is where the ambiance happens. Tucked away, adjacent to the kitchen is the beautiful deck-style patio that Chef Adrian Tara serves daily. The patio atmosphere combined with the genuine and charming personality of one of the most talented chefs in the city make The Happy Greek an essential stop on your dining tour.
Food & drink are not the only offerings by the many patios in the Short North, however. Midnight Hookah, downtown’s premier hookah bar, is a great place for a laid back evening to enjoy the smooth flavors of a popular pastime. The patio attracts a diverse crowd and the indoor lounge is perfect for groups. Just across the street at Skully’s Music-Diner, dancing and music entertainment are the premier attractions. Skully’s is known for their high-energy crowd complete with dancing, DJs, bands and concerts.
There is a lot to explore in the Arts District and the many outdoor patios top the list this summer. Feast on good weather, good surroundings, good friends and of course, good food. Take advantage of the al fresco dining options while you can; we all know summer tends to fly by, so get it while it’s hot!