Columbus Food Adventures Short North Tour
It is Columbus Food Adventures, the food tour business of local restaurant expert Bethia Woolf. Bethia sprung onto the food scene in 2008 with the blog Hungry Woolf (now merged with the Columbus Food Adventures Blog), quickly followed by the group blog Taco Trucks Columbus which profiles taco trucks around the city. The Taco Trucks crew launched Alt Eats Columbus and Street Eats Columbus in 2010.
Columbus Food Adventures takes Bethia's experience eating her way through Columbus out of the computer and onto the streets, where guests join her on walking and van-transported tours.
Bethia was kind enough to invite me on a recent Short North tour. Other regular tours include Taco Trucks and Alt Eats. Private tours are welcome and gaining popularity.
Beginning at the North Market, our group visited the Greener Grocer and Kitchen Little. We walked to Short North newcomers Knead Urban Diner and Le Chocoholique next. Continuing North, we stopped in Eleni-Christina to see their bread baking operation and then sampled dishes at Tasi Cafe and Rigsby's Kitchen. A visit to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and walk back to the North Market wrapped up the tour.
Columbus Food Adventures website states "You should have enough food along the way for lunch." On our tour, which may or may not be typical, I ate enough for a huge lunch and even took home leftovers for Alex's dinner. Knead and Rigsby's offered a nearly full size plate each of meatloaf sandwich and fries and salmon over lentils, respectively. We ate salmon frittata and salad at Tasi, a cayenne truffle and chocolate covered twinke at Le Chocolique, and two samples at the North Market. The Jeni's ice cream serving was a full trio plus additional samples. I was pleased to see most restaurants highlighting local Ohio products on their menu and in tastes.
In addition to the surprising quantity, it was an exciting experience for me to eat dishes I would not normally order. The Short North Tour provided me with my first visits to Tasi, Knead, and Le Chocoholique. The restaurants all put their best fork forward by offering their specialties. Chefs and proprietors chatted with us, a rare treat allowed by visiting during the slower lunchtime service.
The Short North tour included the perfect mix of tour-guide speech and open conversation. During discussion over our dishes, Bethia guided our out of town guest towards other places she might want to visit and answered a wealth of questions. Bethia stopped the group a few times to point out historic landmarks. I learned new things about my hometown!
An interesting side benefit of going on a group tour is the conversation and community among other tour guests. It was lovely to meet Lisa Morton, proprietor of the Victorian Village Guest House, who was also on the tour. Through talking about the food, the other guests and I learned about each other and farmer's markets around the country.
I wholeheartedly recommend this tour for Columbus locals and out of town visitors. The price, $45 per person, is a great value for the impressive amount of food and good times included. I never thought I would be a 'food tour' person, but I see myself exploring the other tours offered (Taco Trucks, Alt Eats, and Dessert) soon.
If You Go...
- Dress appropriately for the weather. My tour was on one of the first very cold days of the fall and I was frigid because I forgot a coat. Do as I say, not as I do...
- Wear comfortable footwear. The walk between stops was not particularly strenuous but guests will be most comfortable with good shoes.
- Bring a little cash. No payment is required beyond the ticket price, however you may want some money on hand to buy something at one of the shops. A tip to the tour guide is always appreciated.
- Bring a bag. A few stops have goods available for purchase and, as I said, I ended up with leftovers. A reusable bag would have been nice to transport my little packages.
- Stay tuned to the Columbus Food Adventures blog, facebook page, and/or twitter for announcements about special tour offerings. This Thanksgiving weekend, for instance, Bethia is offering an additional tour on Wednesday to accommodate out of town guests. A special All Dessert Tour is starting this Saturday through the holiday season.