When you hear someone mention Italian Village three words probably come to your mind – historic, up-and-coming, and Wonder Bread. And unless you live in the area, date night (or day!) might not be one of them. When thinking about date night, Italian Village is often overshadowed by its popular neighbor, the Short North. However, just a few blocks from the often crowded Short North lies a street with great date potential.
Seventh Son Brewery was one of the first businesses to put down roots in Italian Village. In my opinion, their brewery and taproom is one of the prettiest in Columbus. With ample outdoor space (often heated with a fire on cold days), garage doors, and “rooftop” bar it’s one of the best places in town to enjoy a beautiful day. They have scheduled food trucks and events almost every weekend.
If you are looking to get a another stamp in your Columbus Ale Trail book, Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen is just a short walk down 4th St. Hoof Hearted has a more eclectic, modern vibe with crazy beer/food names and brightly colored beer cans. They have their own kitchen serving up everything from veggie burgers to duck leg. Oh, and in the summertime, pay $5 to enjoy their pool with a poolside bar.
Depending on what you are feeling that day, there are a couple of choice spots for brunch and they are only steps away from each other. Drunch Eatery + Bar serves over-the-top, brunch-like, sometimes fried dishes from 8am-5pm every day. You can order things like their Woahnuts, aka mini waffle donuts, or the Skool Daze which is a bowl of cereal, milk, and a baked cookie. Or you can just get the standard flatbread. Whatever you choose, you won’t go wrong!
Feeling like you want a healthier brunch option? Try the vegan brunch at & Juice Co. They offer it most Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-3pm. There’s no set menu…but, brunch details are posted on their Facebook page every week. And if it’s anything like their juices, it’s sure to not disappoint.
Other Italian Village locations that offer brunch are: Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen and City Tavern.
Four words: Fox in the Snow. That’s all you need to know. But really, if you haven’t heard of this bakery/coffee shop, then you must’ve been under a rock somewhere. A big rock, because ever since this cafe has opened people have been lining up every Saturday and Sunday. Even after opening a second location, the lines are still out the door, literally, every weekend. It might be the light-filled, industrial room or maybe it’s the breakfast sandwiches, but whatever it is, this is the “it” place to be every day in Italian Village.
Two of the more popular food offerings in Columbus, pizza and Mexican, are represented well in Italian Village. Brought to Italian Village by the owners of Harvest Pizzeria, Cosecha Cocina is a modern take on traditional Mexican food. While the food is exceptional, what really draws people is the space they occupy. The former dairy barn is an intimate and beautifully designed space, making it the perfect spot for date night. Oh, and their patio in the summer is always hopping.
We all know that pizza is basically its own food group in Columbus, and with so many options to choose from it can be hard to make a solid choice. I’ll give you two reasons GoreMade Pizza should be a date night choice. First of all, they use local sourcing for all of their ingredients, reducing your carbon footprint, and their pizzas are seriously delicious. Secondly, their happy hour (T-F 3pm-7pm) is made for date night – buy three beers and get a cheese or pepperoni pizza for free!
Other Italian Village locations that offer dinner are: City Tavern, Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen, Juniper Rooftop (see below for days), The Italian Market, and a food truck at Seventh Son Brewing.
Game Night Date
Amaze: The Columbus Escape Experience, would be perfect as a stand alone date or paired with one of the local restaurants for some post-dinner fun. Games cost $30 plus tax per person. And a maximum of ten people per game means that you will be in a room with eight other people. It is recommended you book in advance, because they are very popular! The best part is, they have five themed rooms, so you can return to this date night spot again and again!
Located in the historic Wonder Bread factory, City Tavern serves up bar food and a variety of games to its patrons. Not only do they have TVs for all of your sports viewing needs, but they also have board games available for you to play. Every Wednesday you get a chance to test your trivia skills with Big Head Trivia starting at 8pm!
Rooftops and date nights go hand-in-hand, and they may even be the perfect combination for the ultimate date night. A little farther down on 4th St. and on top of the iconic Smith Brother Hardware Building lies the exclusive Juniper rooftop. I’ve been eyeing this rooftop for some time now, but its limited, weeknight only schedule has made it tough to plan a visit. Open only for dinner Tuesday – Friday at 5pm, it is suggested that you check the calendar on their website to make sure it’s not closed for a private event. However, that view of downtown at sunset would definitely be worth the weeknight date.
Little Rock Bar is a casual establishment that with music-focused vibe. Nightly entertainment features comedians, karaoke, live music, current playlists, and sometimes dance parties. It has an open-air rooftop with fire heaters ready for the winter months. Best part of all, GoreMade pizza delivers there.
All images, including feature image, by Hannah Green, unless otherwise noted.