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We asked, you answered. Here are some hidden gems in the Columbus area

Order Up!: Learn to prepare fresh Chicken Tikka Masala from Ria’s

Anuradha Rewatkar, founder and chef at Ria's Ethnic Foods, takes you step-by-step in the preparation of Chicken Tikka Masala, a favorite at her small Indian restaurant at 4848 Warm Springs Road. Plus tips on cooking with Indian spices and pastes.
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Anuradha Rewatkar, founder and chef at Ria's Ethnic Foods, takes you step-by-step in the preparation of Chicken Tikka Masala, a favorite at her small Indian restaurant at 4848 Warm Springs Road. Plus tips on cooking with Indian spices and pastes.

Columbus, Georgia is home to many notable spots, but what about the lesser-known places — the “hidden gems?”

Hidden gems can be anything from a little-known restaurant to a museum or park.

These are the places that don’t get as much recognition from the public, and that perhaps should. Columbus, as it turns out, is full of them.

Last week, the Ledger-Enquirer asked readers to name their hidden gems of the Fountain City. Here are the places that received the most votes.

Ma Rainey House and Blues Museum

Ma Rainey was born in Columbus in the 1880s. Part of the first generation of African-American blues singers, Rainey would go on to record over 100 tracks. In addition to her life as a professional blues singer, she also ran three theatres. Today, guests can tour Rainey’s home. The home is just one of many stops on Columbus’ Black Heritage Trail.

Exhibits in the Rainey Museum interpret the life and career of Ma Rainey, and trace the history and influences of the blues tradition of the lower Chattahoochee Valley.

Location: 805 Fifth Avenue

Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

Cost: Free

More info: Call (706) 653-4960

Ria’s Indian Cafe

Enjoy home-style cuisine from different parts of India at Ria’s Indian Cafe.

The restaurant offers numerous types of Indian food, from tandoori chicken to malai kofta and sevai upma, and has a Friday lunch buffet. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Location: 4848 Warm Springs Road

Hours: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

Cost: varies

More info: http://www.riasindiancafe.com/home.html

Heath Park

Heath Park is nested right in the middle north Columbus. There are ducks, geese, egrets and herons to watch as you walk around Lake Heath. This kid-friendly and stroller-friendly park also offers a 1.8-mile walking/biking trail and a kids playground area.

The park also offers grills and picnic tables/shelters. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash.

Location: 5845 Datchet Lane

Hours: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Cost: Free

More info: Call (706) 225-4658

Historic Westville

Step back in time to life in the 19th Century in Historic Westville. Through exhibits, live interpretations, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, visitors will be immersed in the history and spirit of the South, and the personal experiences of those who called the area home.

Westville has four areas: Muscogee Creek (pre-1836), Historic Village (1840s through 1890s), the Antebellum Period (1800 to 1860) and Pioneer Village (1800 to 1830).

Location: 3557 South Lumpkin Road

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday

Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for children K-12; $8 active military, senior, college student

More info: https://westville.org/

Other places that received submissions

  • Lunchbox Museum, 3218 Hamilton Road
  • La Nacional Mexican Buffet, 4621 Veterans Parkway
  • Golden Chopsticks, 3846 St Mary’s Road
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