Valentine’s Day is the holiday for sweets and treats, while I know the traditional gifts are chocolate and flowers, I recommend thinking inside the box and bringing home pastries from a local bakery. Here are some of my favorite Columbus spots to indulge our sweet tooth.
Bake Me Happy
Bake Me Happy specializes in gluten free goodies that appeal to everyone. Introduce a bit of nostalgia into your Valentine’s Day with their versions of classic treats: snoballs, moon pies, pop tarts, brown butter rice krispie treats, and oatmeal crème clouds. Be sure to eye their pies, scones, and seasonal goodies, too!
Columbus has more German roots than Eastern European roots, so compared to other parts of Ohio – think northeast Ohio – we don’t see as many Czech, Polish, or Hungarian pastries. That means Kolache Republic has the corner on the market here! They feature a Czech version of the kolache, a fluffy yeast dough that they fill with cream cheese, fruit, nuts, chocolates. It’s hard to beat a box with a mixed selection of the sweet kolaches, all lined up and cut into squares.
Let’s be honest – you can pick up anything from Pistacia Vera and it’s cause for celebration. Their displays are regularly filled with sweet and savory croissants, galettes, pain au chocolat, brioche, madeleines, canneles – you name it. The real gem is the macarons. The colorful delicacies are made from two meringue cookies with icing between them. They’re available in all sorts of flavors, from pistachio to mint chocolate to cashew caramel and beyond.
Yes, I’m throwing donuts into the mix. I think donuts make the perfect gift for any and every occasion, and they’re undervalued as a Valentine’s Day gift. Our go-to is Buckeye Donuts. Give the gift of blueberry cake donuts, apple fritters, and maple bacon longjohns. If you feel the need to stick to Valentine’s Day colors, they offer red velvet cake donuts and will be doing heart-shaped yeast donuts.
True to their name, Mozart’s focuses on European pastries. Their cases are filled with gorgeous goods, from Black Forest tortes to Bavarian apple tarts to and a huge collection of petit fours. Our personal favorite is the soft and subtly sweet marzipan peaches.
Located in Old Worthington, Sassafras whips up scones, gooey cinnamon rolls, pies. Impress your sweetheart with a box of cookies or a stack of brownies or blondies. Pro-tip: buy some treats for Valentine’s Day, but then find an excuse to get back in the fall when they feature their bourbon pumpkin tart.
Yes, I’m throwing MORE donuts into the list. Tupelo is one of the new kids on the Columbus scene. While they’re building out a storefront in Clintonville, they have two trucks – Tup and Tilly – who make the rounds. Their donuts are both well executed and beautifully presented, from their crème brûlée with a sweet crust to rosewater almond. For Valentine’s Day they’re doing a special gift box of colorful, heart-shaped pastries.
For more sweet treats, Find It Here at Ohio.org.