First, the bad news: My thrifting friends in Columbus say it’s not a great city for thrifting — too many students, leading to not-great donations and equally not-great competition for the good stuff. (the worse news: be careful with secondhand anything, as Columbus regularly makes the Orkin worst-cities-for-bedbugs list (I’m sorry.)) Not sure how true the non-goodness holds for antiques, as those are generally a slightly higher price point than straight-up thrifting. There’s a place called Eclectiques antique mall that always looks promising, but I never quite manage to make it there when we go.
The good news: so much amazing food. North Market is amazing for prepared food and fancy groceries(and Jeni’s ice cream, with flavors like riesling poached pear sorbet and whiskey pecan) — and they do short-term free parking in their lot, which makes the city shopping experience less aggravating. Harvest Kitchen and Bar has 2 locations and a butterscotch pudding that’s TO DIE FOR(even Husband-elect, who is anti-butterscotch, is in favor), plus fancy drinks and pizzas and other deliciousness. Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea make a jasmine green tea so good, I tracked down a full pound of it when my pilfered teabag supply ran out- their coffee also seems to be pretty good, although I’m not a coffee drinker so I can’t say firsthand.
The zoo is also excellent, with a big contact yard full of goats(I am a little goat-obsessive, so this is important to me) and well-designed exhibits if you’re into zoos. Lots of cultural programming & live music, an excellent roller derby league, and in the summer they host the Ohio state fair, so you can eat all the fried things on a stick and see butter cow statuary(there are also more goats.) I’m not a Cbus resident(unless I get that fellowship), so if there’s something more regular-persony you’d like to know, let me know and I can ask around to friends who are more local to you!