It’s no secret that there’s plenty to do in German Village. The neighborhood is full of shops, restaurants, and parks big and small, all situated in the brick-lined streets of the village.
This fall we’ve had the chance to explore the neighborhood at the invite of the German Village Society. This has let us re-visit old favorites and discover new nooks and crannies. For instance, one of the favorite places to start, well, any day in the village is the German Village Coffee Shop.
The eatery – also know as “Das Kaffee Haus” – is one of the most diner-ish diners I’ve ever experienced. Consider:
1. It’s a hole-in-the-wall
2. It’s got the requisite counter stools and booths
3. Everyone there seems to know one another
4. The menu is inexpensive
5. You will leave there full
The diner is known for its bacon, which it sources from Falters just over in the Brewery District. They press the thick slices on the flattop, so it comes out both crisp and chewy.
The diner breakfast. Thing of beauty, isn’t it? Comes complete with the brown coffee mug.
That morning, while my boys feasted on pancakes, I opted for the classic diner breakfast plate: eggs (over easy, of course!), bacon, hash browns (nice and crispy), and toast. It’s hard not to leave happy after a breakfast like this.
The Coffee Shop also rotates a monthly special pancake. On our visit they were doing a s’mores pancake, with chocolate chips in the batter and crumbled graham crackers and marshmallow cream on top.
After a breakfast like that, though, you’re in the mood for some exercise. The boys and I parked near Schiller Park, then tackled the playground there.
We took a stroll around the pond, too. “Boys, please don’t bother the ducks!”
If you’re familiar with the neighborhood, you know there’s always plenty to see and learn, whether you’re up for a casual stroll, doing some shopping, or looking for a spot to eat.
We took part in a portion of a walking tour with local author John M. Clark. He met the group at the German Village Meeting Haus and strolled through much of the neighborhood. John just published a book this summer called German Village Stories Behind the Bricks, all about the various people and history of the neighborhood, so needless to say he was full of stories about the buildings, businesses, and past residents of the village. (We stopped outside the original Max & Erma’s, for instance, and heard the story of how Max and Erma met.)
Amongst the other sites he pointed out, he took us to the umbrella girl fountain in Schiller Park.
I’ve never really spent time just admiring the fountain, but it’s a lovely little secluded spot in the park.
Strolling through the neighborhood, we also caught up with familiar sights like Helen Winnemore’s. Some of my earliest memories of German Village, when we moved to Columbus over 13 years ago, is exploring this shop.
Breakfast, parks, and tours. That’s it for the first part of our explorations! Stay tuned for part two.
A good time to visit the neighborhood is this Sunday, December 6 for Village Lights! Stroll the neighborhood from 5-9 p.m. and enjoy the luminaries lining the streets. Shops and restaurants are open late, you can take carriage rides, and visit vendors outside the Meeting Haus.
(This visit was invited by the German Village Society. Opinions and photos are my own.)