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5 on Friday: Unique Ice Cream Spots

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July is National Ice Cream month! I love ice cream!! 🙂 Columbus has so many amazing ice cream spots and Ohio is home to many nationally renowned brands as well! Don’t worry, Jeni’s and Graeters are still some of my favorites, but in this post I thought I’d focus on some unique ice cream spots around Columbus to encourage you to get out and try something new!

1. Diamonds Ice Cream

5461 Bethel Sawmill Ctr., Columbus, Ohio, OH 43235, 614-718-2980

Diamonds is a Mexican ice cream shop I’d been eyeing for a year or two before finally trying! There is a large selection of paletas (mexican popsicles), lots of hand dipped ice cream flavors, milk shakes, natural juice, aguas frescas, candy and more! I had the cookie dough paleta which was awesome and the boys had blue, bubble gum ice cream. Because blue, I guess. 😉 My friend, Melissa, shared about a regular trip she makes with her daughter out of Diamonds Ice Cream and a trip to Hayden Falls: Read it here. (There is also a Hilliard location!)


2. Mardi Gras

1947 Hard Rd., Columbus, OH, 614-766-2020

Mardi Gras is a must try for unique and international flavors of ice cream! You can sample anything you want before you choose! I tried an International Sampler and picked Green Tea, Sweet Rose and Pista Kulfi, all of which I enjoyed but I think I liked the Pista Kulfi (a pistachio flavor) the best! I asked to sample the Fire and Ice and couldn’t even finish the small sample because it was truly like fire on my tongue! There are plenty of other “regular” flavors to try as well, but I included the menu of their International Flavors so you can see what unique choices there are!


3. Dulce Vida Ice Cream Factory

4201 West Broad St., Columbus, OH, 43228, 614-429-3289

Sometimes you don’t know what to expect when you see something nestled into a strip mall and then you walk in the door and say, “Whoa!” That’s what happened to us at Dulce Vida West! This relatively new, brightly colored Mexican Ice Cream shop is full of options! We all tried a paleta, but we’ll be back to explore other options, I’m sure! Other menu items include hand dipped ice cream, aguas frescas, banana split, chicharrones, nachos and lots more! They also JUST opened a location off of Cleveland Ave. just south of 270 in June!


4. Cookie Dough Creamery

7227 N. High St., Worthington, OH, 614-547-0660

You know when you see a picture of some kind of food on social media and it sticks with you, haunting you until you try it? (Oh wait, is that just me? Don’t lie. I know I’m not the only one! 😉 ) Well, that was me with the ice cream cookie dough bars that Cookie Dough Creamery posted on their Facebook page! When we finally made it to the shop, I was momentarily tempted by the idea that I should first try out the main thing: the sundae bar. But then I would continue to be haunted by that chocolate covered ice cream bar, so I went with my gut and I was NOT disappointed!

So here’s what you do: you pick one of three sizes of bowls (they also have cones) and fill it with as much cookie dough as you want. Options included chocolate chip, sugar cookie and cookies and cream, to name a few. Then you can choose from several flavors of soft serve ice cream and dole whip, and then choose toppings and syrup. There were candy and cereal toppings to choose from. Here’s the best part (well, close to the best – the best was probably the cookie dough!) 🙂 price is per cup, not by weight! So you can cram as much as you can in the size bowl you choose! I helped the boys and didn’t fill them anywhere near as full as I could of (I did want them to take naps afterward! 😉 ) You can see it got two thumbs up!


5. Hilltop Dairy Twist

2860 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204, 614-279-8466

For a long time after moving to Columbus I was in search of a good, old fashioned ice cream stand like the kind I grew up with! Usually a combination of food like creamed chicken sandwiches, burgers, flurries and soft serve, you know the type. I couldn’t find anything like it in Columbus! A few years after moving here, I was meeting with a client on the west side of town and I would drive by the Hilltop Dairy Twist whose sign boasted 40 flavors of soft serve. It looked exactly like the kind of ice cream stand I had been searching for! You can get almost any flavor you can imagine swirled into soft serve ice cream, plus a plethora of other dairy stand food and treats! Plus, Hilltop Dairy Twist has the unique position of being next to Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery so you can experience some Civil War history as part of your trip! Cash only!


What’s your favorite ice cream spot in Columbus?

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5 on Friday: Tacos

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Of course this month’s Five on Friday has to be TACOS!! I love tacos! My kids don’t love tacos. How can that be? They like plain tortillas and chips and salsa, so we make it work! Four of these options I would consider to be kid-friendly. One is more of a date night . . . but we’ll get to that . . . Enjoy!

1. Junior’s Tacos

184 W. 5th Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

Junior’s Tacos is a taco truck that sits in the parking lot of a convenience store called Dairy Family. This was one of my very first, if not first, taco truck experiences, so it is dear to my heart. 🙂 It’s not too hard to find parking in the surrounding area and across the street from the truck is a park with several picnic tables. In the past, Junior’s has set up a tent with tables next to the truck. But it’s not up now so I don’t know if they will during the summer or if that’s a thing of the past. Tacos are $1.75 a piece and you can choose between Mexican or American tacos. (American have lettuce, cheese and sour cream!).

2. Zacatecas

3528 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204

We recently moved to Westgate and we tried Zacatecas upon recommendation of one of our new neighbors! One thing I’m excited about on the west side of Columbus is all of the authentic Mexican food! Zacatecas does not disappoint! I am especially in love with their salsa! If you’re looking to venture out and try more authentic ethnic restaurants, I highly recommend alt.eats.columbus or Taco Trucks in Columbus Ohio! I could read those blogs for days, making lists of places to try!

3. Los Guachos Taqueria

  • 5221 Godown Rd., Columbus, OH 43235
  • 376 Cherry Bottom Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230
  • 461 Commerce Square, Columbus, OH 43228 – truck

I’ve shared about Los Guachos before because their famous tacos al pastor are BOGO free on Mondays! (The tacos are $1.50 a piece, so you can get a TON of tacos without even coming close to breaking the bank on a Monday!) Nearly everyone on the planet agrees these are the best tacos in the world. Haha. No seriously. I honestly have never had anything else at the restaurant but the tacos al pastor! There are two restaurant locations and one food truck. I’ve been to them all. Give me all the tacos. 🙂

4. Katalina’s

1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

I’m including Katalina’s breakfast tacos on my list because they are one of my favorite meals in Columbus! When we first moved to Columbus, the restaurant was called Cafe Corner and we lived 3 blocks away. The breakfast tacos were one of the first things I tried – and continued to choose for years! I have since learned it is best to go with a friend or spouse, order these AND the pancake balls and share both meals! Is Katalina’s kid-friendly? I would say that depends on the kid, their age and the time/day you go. This place is so popular on the weekends, the line is out the door! There is not a lot of indoor seating, so plan to be out on the patio (which was expanded a few years ago)! The patio is kid-friendly, but if it were me, personally, I would try to pick an off-peak time to go so the kids don’t have to wait in line as long. But my kids are 2 and 5. If you have older kids, by all means, go on Saturday morning! 😉 Seriously though, just look at these tacos:

5. Balboa

1312 Grandview Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

Maybe someone will argue with me here, but I don’t consider Balboa kid-friendly. So this one I’ve added as a fun date night option for your taco fix! (They have 2 items on their “kid’s menu,” so to me that says we don’t expect there to be a lot of kids, but we have actually considered that there might be.) 😉 On Taco Tuesday, you can get 3 tacos for $8! They are good tacos with a lot of toppings! (I loved the pork belly taco the best!) I also have to include these babies below! The Balboa Island Bananas! Frozen bananas dipped in chocolate with hazelnuts, white chocolate, caramel sauce and whipped cream! Yum!

There are SO many place to get tacos in Columbus! What’s your favorite?

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5 on Friday: Columbus Donuts

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It goes without saying that these local donut shops are kid-tested and approved! 😉 (Has a kid ever met a donut he didn’t approve of?) I’ll be honest, I’ve only recently cared about donuts. I think that’s because, for a long time, my experience was limited to chains. Only in the past few years have I had some donuts that have caused me to think about them later and even crave them! There are so MANY great choices for donuts these days (I envision a Part 2 in the not-to-distant future), but here are 5 that have received our two thumbs up!

1. DK Diner, Grandview Heights

1715 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212, 614-488-5160

DK Diner was maker of the first donut I craved – the sour cream donut! 😋 Chocolate is really good, too! Of course, my kids always pick the donuts with the sprinkles. If you didn’t know, DK stands for Donut Kitchen and donuts were the first and only thing sold at the beginning of DK diner!

2. Destination Donuts, Downtown

59 Spruce St., Columbus OH 43215, 614-525-0878

Destination Donut has some really fun options! How about White Chocolate Pretzel and Salty Caramel or Aztec Chocolate and Spiced Pepitas? (Jaden chose Vanilla. Haha.) These are a bit more pricey than the others listed here so it’s a decadent treat! Flavors change daily and besides the stall at North Market, they can also be found at these locations!

3. Schneider’s Bakery, Westerville

Schneider’s is a long standing Westerville tradition, opening at 1:30 AM most days for your donut cravings! Only here can you get a 10″ Celebration Donut (think of this as a replacement to the birthday cake!) Cash or check only here and most of the donuts are just $.75 or $.85!

4. Amy’s Donuts, West Side

There are so many choices at Amy’s Donuts it can almost be overwhelming! For instance trying choosing 18 different donuts on a Saturday morning at 8:45 AM when there’s a line nearly out the door waiting behind you! No pressure! I’m not trying to scare you off because you should definitely try these if you haven’t already! SO good! I love the old fashioned varieties here and, of course, my kids love the crazy candy combinations! You can also schedule a tour, which is a fun outing with the kids!  Spoiler Alert: they get to decorate their own donuts at the end! 😉

5. Jolly Pirate Donuts, Grove City

3118 Southwest Blvd., Grove City, OH 43123, 614-871-1070

Jolly Pirate is your classic donut shop! There are two locations in the Columbus area: Grove City and Reynoldsburg. The Grove City location (where these pictures were taken) closed briefly but is back open under new ownership!  There are a lot of fancy donut shops to choose from, but if you want a classic donut and coffee experience this is it! No frills, good donuts!

What’s your favorite Columbus donut shop?

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