I am obsessing over the Japanese Market Place tucked in off Old Henderson Road in Columbus. The kids and I have been three times so far and we just keep coming back. This area is so unassuming and at first glance looks just like your average strip mall. If you enter the parking lot off of Kenny Road, the strip mall (Kenny Centre Mall) looks pretty generic and there is nothing particularly Japanese about it. We choose to park on this side so that we can stop by Kung Fu Tea to get our boba fix and walk down the sidewalk to Japan Market Place.
Love, love, love this Japanese bakery and cafe! A Parisian & Japanese combo with the yummiest pastries and matcha soft serve ice cream. Don't forget the melon float! My sons personal favorite.
2. J Avenue
A bright and tidy giftshop with adorable and unique gifts. Definitely had to rush the kids out of this one so nothing would be destroyed. Plus my daughter just has to squeeze anything plush and fluffy. But seriously, all you ladies buying your asian beauty products online NEED to stop in this shop.
3. Akai Hana
My husband and I first went on a date night here looking for good sushi in Columbus and boy did we find it. A great Japanese restaurant that's worth many a repeat visit.
I imagine this small market is what heaven will be like. AMAZING sushi to go, fresh fish if you make your own, all the best snacks. (Don't know what's in the package? Buy it anyway, it's all good). My kids eyes were huge walking down the snack aisle and attempted to grab one of everything. Those koala snacks brought back so many childhood memories so we for sure grabbed two boxes of those. Bets on how long they last?
When you need some ramen in your life, Which let's be honest, is EVERY DAY! I can't say enough about this affordable, delectable, restaurant. Perfect spot to bring the kids and expand their palette. Perfect for me so I can eat food I love and not sacrifice my culinary inclinations for a #basic kids meal. The casual atmosphere and mini bowl options make this a perfect spot for kids and we all know that I am all about taking kids out of the kid specific restaurants and exploring fine dining (or fine whining) with them in tow.
My kids just love coming to this hideaway strip and we even took our matcha cones outside and the kids played for a good 30 minutes in the rock landscape that is in the center of the Japanese portion of the mall. Everyone around was so polite and gracious to the kids. Employees taking breaks outside of their shops and making small talk with us as we walked past... it's areas like this in Columbus that truly make us feel like we have found our home as newby Ohioans.
P.S. The Whetstone Park of Roses is just minutes away!
Have you checked out any of the aforementioned? What's your favorite dish or treat?!