Mexico City

3-ish Days in Mexico City

Wow, it feels like it's been ages since Reuben and I were wandering around the streets of Mexico City trying to find the best tacos at every corner. Our trip to CDMX was short but some how we were able to fit in a ton of activities, consumed 30 tacos total, and walked enough to burn off maybe half the tacos. And now you can to! I said that in my best infomercial voice. To be honest, it was incredibly hard for me to write this Mexico City round up because I planned absolutely nothing... Reuben did it all! He was a man of leisure during a bulk of the planning process, so I just sort of let him run with it. Plus he's like a million times better at the whole Spanish translation thing than me. So you can thank Reuben for this little blog post and for your future Mexico City tacos! 

Mexico City was seriously such a beautiful place. The people were kind and patient with us. All the food we ate was literally the best ever. And our Airbnb was so homey and warm that it almost made me cry. Reuben and I travel pretty similarly. I typically need a few more nap breaks than him, but other than that we are pretty compatible. We develop an overall framework or game plan for our days, but then allow for a lot of wiggle room to wander and change plans based on how we're feeling or what smells good at the moment. Pretty much each day went sort of like this: wake up, venture out in search of coffee, wander around a cute neighborhood, find food, walk some more, see something cultural, find more food, walk some more, stop for an afternoon cocktail, head back to the Airbnb to rest and clean up for dinner, eat dinner, eat dessert, walk home, hydrate, and sleep. Oh and then sprinkle in a mini photoshoot in front of every colorful wall that calls to you every few hours!  So many great paint colors in Mexico City!

I split up the recap into three sections: Architecture, Food, and then our Airbnb. I don't necessarily "shop" when I travel so I don't have any recommendations for that, but we did stop in this really cute home goods store: Utilitario Mexicano! I picked up a few enamel bowls and handmade ceramic bowls to lug back home. Take a look, see what sparks your interest, and I hope you get to plan your own trip to Mexico City soon!


art + architecture

3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
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3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City

Neighborhoods
La Condesa // The neighborhood we stayed in, and it was absolutely perfect! I wouldn't want to stay in any other neighborhood. It was lovely and quiet, but close to so many great cafes and restaurants. The neighborhood is also centrally located, so it was super easy to get to other parts of the city either by foot or by Uber.
Roma Norte
Juarez
Centro Historico
Bosque de Chapultepec // The Golden Gate Park or Central Park of Mexico City
Polanco // Honestly, my least favorite neighborhood out of the ones we explored, but if extra fancy shops and luxury cars are your thing then you'll love it here
Coyoacán // Might be my second favorite neighborhood. There were quaint streets line with colorful homes. Frida's house was here too! And it was open to our favorite open air market with the best tostadas.

Architectural Sites
Biblioteca Vasconceles // An incredible library that reminded me of why I loved architecture. Haven't felt that way in an incredibly long time.
Casa Estudio Luis Barragán // The beautiful home and studio of Luis Barragán aka Mexico's most prolific architect. We also saw Ryan Seacrest here! It was crazy. I was sort of the only person that recognized him and became an embarrassing American. We don't have any photos of the tour, or of Ryan here because photos weren't allowed unless you paid $20 USD, each...
Archivo // A small gallery and garden right next to Casa Estudio Luis Barragán
Museo Jumex // Wonderful art museum and where we saw Ryan Seacrest again! We became BFFs obvi.
Museo Nacional de Antropología // Super cool anthropology museum. We got here about an hour before they closed and I wish we had planned to get there sooner because there was so much to see! I particularly wanted to see the grounds of archeological sites, but they were shooing people away towards the end of the day. So go early!
Centro Cultural Elena Garro
The Palacio de Bellas Artes
Iglesia de San Francisco
Metropolitan Cathedral
Templo Mayor


food + drinks

3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City

First of all, I just want to apologize for my lack of food photos on this trip. I'm not a great travel blogger... When I travel I guess I try to not have my phone or camera out too much and try my best to just enjoy where I am, especially when it comes to eating. I don't want to fuss with styling the table and finding the best light in a tiny fluorescent lit taqueria. I just want to eat. All of these spots were awesome though. Trust me. 

El Tizoncito // They claim to have invented the Al Pastor taco and I might believe them because they were sooooo good. Also, the guys carving the meat off of the trompo do it with style.
El Moro // Trendy and cute spot to grab some churros and hot chocolate. Or a churro ice cream sandwich!
Chiquitito Café // Coffeeshop with San Francisco vibes and matcha lattes.
Maque // lovely little bakery with the best conchas. They will yell at you if you take photos!
Mercado Roma // Trendy food market where we got the tastiest paletas at Bendita Paleta.
Tacos Orinico // Home of awesome tacos and revolutionary quesadillas! Ok, this Al Pastor is better, and the quesadilla was more like a grilled cheese taco with crispy edges, and it was insane.
Cicatriz // Open air cafe and cocktail bar. Amazing mescal cocktails and third-wavey espresso.
Pasillo de Humo // Fancy-ish but relaxed dinner spot. We ordered the chicken mole and it was life changing. Make sure to ask for extra tortillas so you don't waste a drop! This is also where I was introduced to my new favorite dessert, which is Pastel de Elote con Guyaba (Corn Cake with Guava). Need to make a version of it soon!
Ojo de Agua // Juice bar and lighter fare breakfast and lunch spot. The walls are covered in fruit and their chilaquilles are super tasty and spicy. Ok, so maybe it wasn't that light. 
El Pescadito // a fried seafood lover's dreamland. Fried shrimp and smoked marlin with a chopped up chili relleno, on a taco. Need I say more?
Cardinal // tiny coffee shop where we stopped for an espresso
Esperanza // The most glorious bakery I have ever seen. Imagine one of these classic Chinese bakeries where everything is in a plastic case and you pile everything you want onto a plastic tray with some tongs, but on Mexican steroids. Also featuring security guards with shotguns in front of the kitchen.
Contramar // OMG so good. Get the big fish entree (Pescado Contramar) and the tuna tostadas. The chef also has a restaurant in San Francisco, Cala!
Café Negro // Great coffee break spot in Coyoacan. I got a matcha latte and a matcha concha : ) 
Mercado Coyoacan // Our favorite open air market where you can wander around for hours! Free samples and friendly merchants.
Tostadas Coyoacan // This place is impressive and it seems to be taking over the whole market! Big piles of tostada toppings everywhere. Get the pulpo tostadas and the guava agua frescas. I wish I could eat that everyday!
Alipús Endémico // Mezcal bar where we celebrated Reuben's birthday! 
Molino el Pujol // Not the world famous Pujol, but their tortilla shop! We bough 2 dozen tortillas to take home and split a squash blossom tamale before heading to the airport


our Airbnb

3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City
3-ish Days in Mexico City

Okay. So if you do go to Mexico City, you MUST stay at our Airbnb. You can book it here! I really can't praise it enough. The space is a studio loft in La Condesa. Our host Guillermo was so sweet! He's also an architect, which made it super easy to connect with him since we're both architects too (Reuben is... I'm technically not, but whatever). But I bet if you were a kindergarten art teacher or an NASA engineer you would love him too. He owns the house with his mother and brother and it's a super well preserved classic Mexico City home. You walk through the house into the beautiful courtyard in the back and then climb up a few stairs to the roof where Guillermo designed and built 2 separate loft studio spaces. Both are available on Airbnb and each have their own outdoor patio spaces. No one else was staying in the other studio while we were there, so we have the whole roof to ourselves! Gosh, I could have sat up there forever. It was so sunny and peaceful. The studio space was perfectly sized for 2, well designed, and homey. At the end of our stay, Guillermo brought us up some Mexican pastries from Maque, which we went to on our first day, and told us that he loved having us there and that his home was our home now. Really wonderful hospitality gets to me and I almost cried. He was so sweet. We also invited us to Merida, Mexico in a few months because he's designing some vacation properties out there, so you'll probably see another Mexico travel post sometime soon!  

Sprouted Kitchen Food Photography Workshop

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Hi, friends! Sorry for the absence. Life outside of this space has been a little hectic. I feel like the week leading up to vacation is always a crazy whirlwind of tying up loose ends, getting as much work done as you can so your team isn't left floundering after you leave, clearing the fridge so it's not a science experiment when you get back, and throwing a Riverdale season finale watch party. Yes, I made cheeseburgers, french fries, and sprinkle milkshakes for a bunch of ladies and it was excellent. Once I found out the fate of the poor citizens of Riverdale, I was ready to fly off to New York to watch my best friend get hitched! I spent the last few days running around New York City, eating things, drinking things, dancing on a boat, and catching up with some of my best friends. Weddings are so great for obvious reasons... you know the whole mushy love thing. But they are also such wonderful reunions. Jeff, Katie, Hali, and Ben - I miss you all so much already! Still going through some friendship withdrawal. Why don't we all live in the same city again?!

Vacation is not over though! Reuben and I are spending a few days in New Jersey with his parents before heading to Philadelphia for the weekend. I really do enjoy New Jersey, at least where Reuben is from. It's green, rural, and peaceful. Everything that I crave while living in San Francisco. Plus it's filled with the best carbs in all the land! When we are not eating, we're watching The Great British Baking Show and planning out how to make sure my audition video isn't super embarrassing. If I haven't told you already, I'm going to audition for the Great American Baking Show, so wish me luck and send me all your tips if you're a GBBS super fan.

Part of the application is submitting a few photos of my best bakes. So while I was going through the gajillion photos hogging up space on my laptop, I realized I never shared with you my weekend of taking pictures of pretty food at the Sprouted Kitchen Photography Workshop a few weeks back! It was a literal dream. Sara Forte and Hugh Forte of Sprouted Kitchen taught the class. It was held at Aran Goyoaga's extra dreamy studio kitchen. It was filled with so many beautiful ceramics, linen napkins in every color, and stacks of stone slabs and backgrounds. A DREAM. I might say dreamy a little too much in the remainder of the post. 8 other ladies and I all few in from other parts of North America to spend the weekend together in Seattle arranging microgreens and playing around with our cameras. Hugh, Sara, and Aran were so sweet and were so knowledgable. I was fan-girling a little hard on the first day. It's just so crazy to actually meet these people that you've been following on Instagram for years and they are making breakfast for you! Like, what?! 

Without getting into too many painful details, the weekend workshop was spent shooting and styling the beautiful food Aran made for us, soaking in all the techy knowledge Hugh shared, and becoming Lightroom wizards. It was so fun! A little intimidating in the beginning because everyone's cameras were like triple my size... but size doesn't really matter, right?? As much as I loved playing with my food, I would have to say that my favorite part of the whole class was reflecting on why we do this. Why do we take the pictures we take? If there was no Instagram involved (no one would see it), why are we doing this? I think for most of the other people in the class, they had photography in mind. But for me I was reflecting on cooking. Why do I cook? Why do I want to make it beautiful? Why do I want to share it here or on Instagram? Big questions. I took the questions back home with me after the first workshop day. I had dinner with my friends in Seattle, but kept the question in the back of my head. That night I went to a friend's house for a birthday BBQ and I some how commandeered the grill and made some top notch  hot dogs for the group : ) . I think while I was grilling up basic Oscar Meyer hotdogs, I remembered that I love making food for people because I just love taking care of people. I want to make them happy. I want to share with them the joy I get from good food. I want to share with them something surprising and unique, but may be a pretty normal thing for me and my family. I want to share with people a little bits of me. I'm hoping that if you've been reading this for a while that you feel like you know me. Or if you actually do know me IRL, that I sound like myself!! The internet is such a big crazy space, but my hope is that my little corner of it feels cozy and like we're sharing a virtual slice of cake and coffee together : )))

Okay, my v heavy pasta dinner is starting to put me to sleep. Gotta sleep and semi watch the Cavs game. Bye, I'll let you know if Philadelphia is fun! 

Joshua Tree

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It's May and I'm finally back in my natural habitat: wrapped up in my blanket, on the couch, snacking on chocolate, and watching Jersey Shore Family Vacation. This feels great. The last month flew by in a blur because I was traveling every single weekend. I met up with my best friends in the desert, made a quick stop in Chicago and Cleveland, and spent a weekend taking pictures of beautiful food in Seattle. It was wonderful and exhausting. As much as I truly enjoyed the experiences of this past month and the lovely faces I was fortunate to see, I'm really looking forward to staying put in San Francisco for a few weeks. I missed Reuben, cooking in my kitchen, making my own matcha lattes, and sleeping in my own bed! I'll be staying put in San Francisco for about 3 more weeks until Reuben and I fly across the country for a little East Coast vacation.

We will be celebrating the marriage of one of my best friends, Jeff, in NYC!!! I love weddings so much! This wedding is going to be extra special too, because I'm in the wedding party with my other best friend, Katie! Gosh, its going to be a great time : ) This brings me back to our little trip to desert. I'm trying incredibly hard to not type dessert throughout this whole blog post btw. For Jeff's bachelor party we all met up for a weekend in Palm Springs/Joshua Tree! The weekend we were there was also the first weekend of Coachella. Hi, Cardi B! Hi, Beyonce! I was a little nervous that Coachella would throw a wrench in our weekend, but it actually really work out for us! Other than the time we were trying to get dinner and Jonny Depp was there with a million other people so we couldn't get in. But otherwise, Coachella caused Palm Springs to be pretty chill. I would go as far as to say that the best time to go to Palm Springs in during Coachella! Less crowded and everyone really likes you when you say you're not in town for Coachella!

We technically stayed in Joshua Tree, in a crazy house with an airstream and a pink fur cladded pool. I thought it was hilarious. The pool was real cold. We were able to last in the pool for a few hours on our pineapple and pretzel floaties until we had to make the journey into Palm Springs to take a dip in the Ace Hotel pool. There were pina colades so it was fine! When we weren't in the pool we were climbing the giant rocks in our backyard, climbing more rocks in Joshua Tree, avoiding a cactus induced injury (my shoe was not lucky), and people watching the colorful and mysterious characters of Palm Springs. What would you imagine a man who looks like Tarzan, in a white linen shirt (unbuttoned obviously), linen pants, UGG boots, and surrounded by other fashionably but oddly dressed men would do for a living? Do you think he enjoys watching the Jersey Shore? I had many questions...

One morning I made us a whole breakfast spread sponsored by Walmart. Just kidding. I wish! I feel like I always have these romanticized dreams of preparing a lovely breakfast in a cute Airbnb, but when you actually try to do that you realize that the knives are dull AF, the dishes are a little weird and mostly made out of plastic, and the pantry is full of questionable things. There was no bread knife!!! I felt like I was on Chopped or Cut Throat Kitchen. Despite the kitchen challenges, I was still able to pull off some pretty decent platter of french toast, bacon, and berries! Not bad if I say so myself!

I'll be spending the next few weekends working on some new recipes for you guys! And a post about the photography workshop I went to in Seattle! So stay tuned!


some of the things we did and saw in Joshua Tree + Palms Springs

our Airbnb with the fur
joshua tree national park
cholla cactus garden
ace hotel & swim club
workshop kitchen + bar
bootleggers tiki

tried to go to pappy + harriet's but Jonny Depp was there...

Early Snow at Lake Tahoe

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Hi, friends! How was your Thanksgiving? Are you almost done eating your leftovers? Did you get anything good on Black Friday? Small Business Saturday? Reuben and I had a very very low key Thanksgiving. We cooked ourselves a feast for two, consisting of turkey roulade, cranberry sauce, sourdough stuffing, scalloped potatoes, and sweet potato pie. No vegetables. There were mushrooms and celery in the stuffing if that counts. It was all super tasty and buttery. We have somehow almost finished all the leftovers, with the exception of some scalloped potatoes and the last bit of turkey. Is that impressive or sort of gross? Hard to tell.

In the days following, we continued to be hermits and avoid contact with the outside world. We watched Moana (cried) and LaLaLand (snooze... sorry!), clocked in some time at the gym, cleaned, cleaned, cleaned some more, went to Home Depot PRO (sooo much better than normal Home Depot), and attempted to save our bird of paradise plant. It was all very boring. But boring is good sometimes. These last few days allowed us to rest and catch up on life. Mental health days, ya know? It feels great having a clean apartment and purging all the useless junk from our apartment. WHY DO WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF???

Honestly, it feels like we have been on one long vacation since we went up to Tahoe last weekend. Plus next weekend we'll be heading to Healdsburg, CA! I've booked my first massage EVER. I'm so excited.

I'll fill you in on our trip up to Tahoe last weekend, in case you're planning a trip there soon! Reuben has been to Tahoe about 241,984 times. Or something like that. He spent a good year and half driving to and from there working on the Mountainside Stellar Residences. So I just default to him whenever we go up to Tahoe. Our weekend was essentially a rotation of: hiking, not sliding off the face of a mountain, eating until our bellies ached, lounging in the cabin, eating again, and sleeping for at least 10 hours. I think its the higher altitude, or I'm just a sleepy traveler, but we went to bed the first night at 9pm and it was GLORIOUS. I've listed out every place we went to during our trip and also some of Reuben's favorite Tahoe spots that we didn't the chance to stop by this time around.

If you've never been to Tahoe before, it is just beautiful! The lake is so vast, blue, and clear you could mistake it for the ocean. I had a very traumatic kayaking experience on the lake once. I don't want to talk about it. Still breathtaking though. During this trip, Tahoe was cold, snowy, and peaceful. The best part of the weekend was that I didn't have to cook and photography anything! It was a nice break away from styling food and chasing the short daylight hours in my apartment. Tahoe is about a 3 hour drive from San Francisco. We left early on Friday morning and made a pit stop for brunch and beer in Auburn, California. It is a super cute gold rush town covered in fall trees and the air was clean and crisp just like how Fall should be. After consuming our daily recommended calorie intake in hashbrowns and beer, we made our way to our little cabin Airbnb.

Tahoe was perfectly dusted in snow. At first, I was like, "shit. it is freaking cold!" But then I reminded myself that I was an Ohio lady and have been through much worse. So my complaining was curbed... just slightly. I'm happy I packed all my layers and an abundance of socks! However, I forgot to pack my hiking boots... so when Reuben insisted that we hike up a snow and icy mountain I was all 😫  But I only cried once-ish and fell into deep snow about 10 times. We didn't quite make it to the very tip top because it got super icy and I refused to die that day in my running shoes. But we did it and got to eat a whole sheet of Korean Nachos afterwards! To balance all the exposure to nature we spent a good amount of time wandering around the shops and cafes of downtown Truckee. Some of the stores there are sort of a vacation-home-furnishing nightmare, but others are super cute and you can find the perfect pig cookie cutter to add to your collection. 

I think it was the snow, the mountains, and Christmas lights, but I'm definitely feeling the holiday spirit! I'm going to bake some Christmas cookies today and keep the holiday vacation vibes rolling until the end of the year 😎


Where We Ate + Drank 

Edelweiss 2 – Auburn, CA
Classic breakfast spot with super crispy hashbrowns and small town vibes.

Moonraker Brewing – Auburn, CA
Reuben says their beer is legendary.

Mellow Fellow – Truckee, CA
Chill and fun bar where I discovered that I actually don't hate mustard after ordering their tasty pretzels.

Drunken Monkey – Truckee, CA
Awesome sushi restaurant that Reuben has ate at about 90% of the times he's visited Tahoe.

Alibi Ale Works – Truckee, CA
Stopped here after our snowy mountain hike for beers and their Korean nachos!

Coffeebar – Truckee, CA
I had the best matcha latte of my life here. The secret is vanilla agave syrup.

Moody’s – Truckee, CA
Classic old school mountain steakhouse. So meaty, it was great!

Sugar Pine Cakery – Tahoe City, CA
Cute and solid bakery. Off the beaten path.

 

Reuben's Tahoe Favorites

Jason’s – King’s Beach, CA
Woody 70's ski lodge vibe. Great for a huge mug of beer.

The Bridgetender – Tahoe City, CA
Nice log Cabin bar and restaurant. Grab a beer and a snack.

Morgan’s Lobster Shack – Truckee, CA
Excellent lobster rolls far away from where lobsters live.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters – Truckee, CA
Best option for a pour over. Located in a cool and cozy old building.

Jax on the Tracks – Truckee, CA
Classic East Coast diner with a big menu.

Ohio : Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati

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Ohio, I miss you! Reuben and I just got back from a wonderful week in the greatest state. This past week was packed with family, good food, group photos, old friends, driving, beer tasting, living room chilling, and lots of ice cream. I've been looking forward to this trip home for months and it didn't disappoint. My smarty-pants little brother graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Neuroscience. I'm so proud! He's so old and smart now, I almost can't believe it! Everything that he studies is way beyond me (architecture was a much fluffier major) but I'm 100% confident that he is going to become the greatest brain doctor : )

In 1 week, we were in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Ohio's Big C's! This trip was Reuben's first time to my hometown of Cleveland, and it was Reuben and I's first time being in Cincinnati together. Fun Fact: Reuben and I both studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati during the same time. I was in the undergraduate program and he was in the graduate program. Besides briefly meeting once in studio, we never really got to know each other until we both ended up in San Francisco. Being in Cincinnati together was super interesting because in the last 3 years, we've discussed and referenced the same Cincinnati things and places, but had yet to experience any of it together.

Ohio has changed so much since I lived there, so it was a trip of exploration for both of us. I've known this for a while, but the Big C's are getting SO COOL. The Midwest is feeling very West Coasty these days. I was pleasantly surprised by how many breweries, cute cafes, and interesting restaurants there were. I had one of the best meals I've ever had in Cincinnati! More details below. And can I talk about the weather?! I was able to stay outside at night with only a light jacket on. I know that doesn't sound like much, but after you've lived in chilly San Francisco for a while, you'll understand the luxury of being able to comfortably hang out on a roof deck at night without a parka on. *I'm currently ignoring the fact that it snows in Ohio. 

It's no secret that I want to move back to Ohio. A big part of me is really over living in San Francisco. It's beautiful and whatever, but it just doesn't really feel like home. I love our sunny apartment and living in Inner Richmond, but a lot of days I feel worn out and exhausted living in this expensive city. I contemplate if living and working here is really worth being so far away from my family? No, I don't think so... I have probably another 1-2 years of living in SF left in me. To be honest, I would move back to Ohio yesterday if Reuben didn't want to stay here a little bit longer.

People ask me why I love Ohio so much and it's really hard to explain.

1. Half my family is there (the other half is in Hong Kong).

2. Life is a little easier and more peaceful.

3. I can buy/renovate the house of my dreams there. Half a million dollars gets you a litter box in the Bay Area.

4. People are just generally nicer to you there. So many people wanted to just talk to us last week!

5. I can have a car. Is it anti-millennial to say that I hate taking public transportation?

I obviously, can't really complain about living in San Francisco. But there really isn't anything that can compare to being near your family, or stopping by your grandma's house to say hello after you land to also find your aunt and cousin there having dinner. Mini family reunion! I don't know if moments like this making you feel all warm and fuzzy, but it does for me. I hope that those of you who live close to your families appreciate what an amazing gift that is. And for those that live far away like me, make the most of the few moments you have with them!

Below is a recap of everything that we saw and ate while in Ohio!


Columbus

I didn't really get to explore Columbus that much because I was at the graduation ceremony getting a sunburn, but Reuben opted out of sitting in the sun and had a blast wandering around Columbus.

One Line Coffee 

Hoof Hearted Brewing | "Best Beer in Ohio" - Reuben

North Market | Fun market full of food stalls, spices, waffles, and a Jeni's stand. Reuben had the best pierogies ever at Hubert's Polish Kitchen.

Rossi | Our destination for a post-graduation dinner. Their menu was a mix of Italian and Asian small plates and shareable dishes. Great pizza, crispy octopus, and Bo Ssam (braised pork shank with kimchi and pickled cauliflower and served with steamed bao and lettuce)!

Jeni's Short North | Jeni's is my favorite ice cream. Hands down. I couldn't go to Columbus and not get a scoop (or two) from a Jeni's scoop shop. My favorite flavors are the Brambleberry Crisp and Milkiest Chocolate flavors.

 

Cincinnati

We were only in Cincinnati for about 36 hours... which makes this list a little ridiculous. 

21C Museum Hotel | If you are going to Cincinnati, I highly recommend that you stay here! It's such a fun and unique hotel! The lobby and first 2 floors are active museum galleries. It's located right downtown next to the Contemporary Arts Center and you can walk to Over-The-Rhine and to the rest of downtown. There are also boob tiles in the bathrooms.

Cheapside | Get the Oatmeal Creme Brûlée - OMG

Mediterranean King | $4 Amazing Falafel Pitas?!!!!!!!!! Why did I not go here everyday during college?

Skyline Chili | We arrived in Cincinnati around 10:30 pm after graduation dinner and mustered enough energy to head to Skyline for a late night coney. No regrets.

Arlin's | Classic grad school bar.

Listermann Brewery | The Blueberry Lime Tart Gose was my personal favorite. They mixed it with gatorade to make a green colored Haterade that I was super into.

Urban Artifact | They are located in an old church and specialize in sour beers, both factors we love.

Rhinegeist Brewery | It seems like Rhinegeist is slowly taking over the world. We just saw their beer in the Whole Foods here. Not my favorite beer, but they have an awesome roof deck which made for a great place to wrangle old friends together.

Salazar | ONE OF THE BEST MEALS I'VE HAD IN A WHILE. Please go. Order the chicken liver mousse, polenta with crispy egg, pork belly, and crispy chicken. Order everything.

Taft's Ale House | How did we consume so much beer in one day? We were only here for about 30 minutes, but it was such a nice and grand space to be in!

DAAP | Where I spent 4+ years of my life drawing, building models, drafting, not sleeping.

Washington Park | GORGEOUS. Might be my favorite place in all of Cincinnati. I can't think of a comparable park. It's just so beautiful and made even more magical with Music Hall as it's background. 

OTR + Downtown | OTR has changed so much. When I first moved to Cincinnati in 2009, people told us to avoid it because of how dangerous it was. It slowly started to have more shops, restaurants, and bars pop up, and now it's completely blown up with some of best restaurants and cute shops around! 

Greater's Ice Cream | Had to get it.

Bluebird | Classic little diner Reuben used to go to a bunch. Excellent crispy potatoes!

 

Cleveland

TBH I really wanted to just lounge around at my parent's house, which we did! My mom threw a thanksgiving caliber family cookout and made her famous fried chicken... I can't get myself to share the recipe yet. But since it was Reuben's first time in Cleveland we went in search of restaurants and trendy coffee shops!

Li Wah | I've been going here for Dim Sum with my family since before I was born.

Siam Cafe | Another place I've been going to with my family since I could remember! Go with a large group and order one of the large set dinners!

The South Side | Mmmmmm give me another skillet of their Mac n' Cheese.

West Side Market | I take everyone here when they come and visit Cleveland. Sample fruit from the produce vendors. Eat a crepe, a smoked sausage, a gyro, or all of the above!

Rising Star Coffee 

Cleveland Museum of Art | It's free to go here all the time! The main atrium is impressive and so is their collection of french impressionist paintings.

Platform Beer Co. | I had one of the most interesting beer flavors here - smoked pineapple sour.

Brick and Barrel Brewing | Cool space in a random industrial neighborhood I couldn't tell you the name of.

Mitchell's Ice Cream | I'm used to going to their location in my hometown of Westlake, but their location in Ohio City is really nice and you can watch them prepare and package their ice cream from an observation deck. It smells like waffles.

Apple Cart Ice Cream | I'm upset that I didn't actually get to have any apple cart ice cream this time. But I felt like I still needed to add it to the list because it is one of my favorite places to take people in Cleveland when the weather is nice. This is another place that I've been going to to since before I was born. The best soft serve. My order is always a small vanilla with candy eyes!