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Hi, I’m Megan. I do Marketing and Communications here at Visit CoMo and I’m also a Columbia native!  I love traveling, the Mizzou Tigers, live music, ice cream, my cats and a good nap. I’m also lucky enough to get to promote my hometown every day. There are so many different ways to enjoy Columbia and each month I’ll be bringing you some of my favorites. Let’s go!


It’s easy to think you know CoMo. I mean Mizzou, Shakespeare’s, Homecoming, Booches…that pretty much covers it, right? Wrong! One of the best things about Columbia is that it’s always growing and changing. Even if you’ve visited recently, come on back and check out some of these new spots sure to help you make memories.

Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Photo from Barred Owl Butcher Facebook

Just a couple of blocks outside of downtown proper, Barred Owl Butcher and Table is quickly becoming one of CoMo’s favorite dining spots. The open space with vaulted ceilings still feels warm and welcoming with an incredibly attentive staff and a beautiful bar complete with library ladder. Definitely try a charcuterie board, the daily breads to start and the ricotta gnudi, which is one of my new favorite CoMo dishes.

Confetti Craft Co.

Photo from Confetti Craft Co. Facebook

If you love crafting, but maybe don’t have the space or the creative mind to come up with your own projects, Confetti Craft is now open! Hop online and make your reservation and pick a craft from their project bar, which runs from a wooden beer caddy to felt pillows to jewelry. You and your friends can enjoy drinks from their bar while you create your very own custom CoMo souvenir.

Unbound Book Festival

Photo from Unbound Book Festival Facebook

Columbia’s newest festival, the Unbound Book Festival began in 2016 and was an instant hit. This year’s festival is on Friday, April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd here in Columbia. Programs for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s literature will take place, with the highlight being special guest Salman Rushdie. New authors are being added all the time, so come to CoMo for Unbound and leave with an even longer to-read list!

Craft Beer Cellar

Photo from Craft Beer Cellar Columbia Instagram

Not looking for beer snobs? Good. Because Craft Beer Cellar is home to beer geeks! They can help you find the perfect beer, whether it’s from around the world or just down the street. It’s the perfect place to hang out and sip on something new or to find your favorites. If you’re feeling competitive, Tuesday night trivia is always a hit.

Strawn Park

The groundhog may have seen his shadow, but we’re still holding out for spring showing up early. That means enjoying one of CoMo’s picturesque parks. Our newest, Strawn Park, is home to the Harmony Bends Championship Disc Golf Course. Designed by renowned disc golf course designer John Houck, Harmony Bends features big hills, creeks and plenty of trees. Everyone from beginners to pros can enjoy this addition to Columbia’s already impressive parks portfolio.

So now you know: there’s always something new and different in CoMo. Start planning your next trip now to check everything out. Need help? Order your Visitor Guide here.

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Happy Friday! I’m Taylor, and I’m the Sports Sales Manager at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau. I came to Columbia in 2009 to attend Mizzou. I love to travel, hike, watch/play basketball and golf, and listen to music. Fortunately, Columbia has options for all that and more, which is why I love this place. Music is a huge passion of mine and every month I’ll be sharing my favorites from each month of shows and upcoming ones you shouldn’t miss.


January kicked off the new year with a fantastic lineup of shows. The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall bring in all types of genres each month for your listening pleasure. No matter what your favorite type of music is, you can always find it in Columbia. This month featured reggae, both up-and-coming and established country, a tribute band with a loyal following, and blues and jazz acts.

Whiskey Myers – Photo from The Blue Note Facebook.

I had friends see Junior Brown, a well-established country artist with that old school, western feel and Whiskey Myers, an up-and coming-band known for their “larger than life” performances. They were blown away by the quality of these two distinctly different performances.

I was fortunate enough to attend three shows this month. First, I attended the MO Reggae Fest, part of the third annual “MO Fest 2017,” a two-weekend event highlighting all genres. MO Reggae Fest brought in bands from St. Louis, Kansas City, and local bands from right here in Columbia. After a week and a half absence I went to see Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue perform. The band’s infusion of jazz, blues, rock ‘n roll, and hip-hop elements makes for a phenomenal show! My third show was a tribute band. Badfish – Tribute to Sublime has gained a loyal following of fans with their electrifying performances that nearly replicate the original band’s concert scene by channeling the spirit of Sublime’s encompassing sense of place and purpose.

Trombone Shorty – Photo from The Blue Note Facebook; taken by Bryan Pitman.

February will keep the party going at The Blue Note and Columbia with many acclaimed artists hitting the stage. Florida Georgia Line, ever heard of ‘em? They’ll be bringing their “Dig Your Roots” tour to Mizzou Arena tonight. On February 9th, hip-hop duo Atmosphere will bring their “Freshwater Fly Fisherman Tour” to The Blue Note. This is my favorite artist to listen to and watch perform. They bring an exciting and uplifting concert to each venue. Feel free to ask me all about them, I can tell you everything. Dylan Scott, only 24, will bring his up and coming country band to The Blue Note on February 16th. Two days later on February 18th, the Randy Rogers Band hits the stage. On February 21st, the musically gifted Ben Folds will grace the stage with his piano. And the kid from Boston, Sammy Adams, will bring his “Senioritis” tour to town on February 28th.

These are just a few of my personal highlights for February, check out The Blue Note or Visit Columbia MO for more upcoming events!

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Work hard AND play hard in Columbia! Check out how your meeting can be better here in CoMo:

Convenience

Columbia is located halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis on Interstate 70 and is 30 minutes from Missouri’s state Capitol, Jefferson City. Our central location means higher attendance for your meetings.

Columbia is easy to navigate with relatively low traffic and plenty of parking. If your attendees prefer not to drive, we have a variety of taxi companies and a convenient public transit system, COMO Connect, to take them wherever they need to go.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is here to help your Columbia meeting run smoothly. Here are some things we can do for you:

  • Arrange site visits of meeting spaces and hotels
  • Assist with date selection to avoid conflicts with other events
  • Obtain proposals and room blocks from hotels
  • Identify group-friendly restaurants
  • Assist with choice of event venue, speakers, entertainment and more
  • Provide a welcoming complimentary services package customized to meet the needs of the group
  • Help arrange transportation for off-site events
  • Assist with press release distribution as well as promotion on our website and social media

Value

With 36 hotels representing more than 3600 rooms, our lodging options and meeting spaces can accommodate any budget and are typically priced lower than larger cities.

Fun

Our unique blend of small town and big city offers a small-town feel and friendliness with big-city service and amenities – more than 200 restaurants (many of them uniquely local), shopping, galleries, entertainment, and more. You can almost always find live music playing in The District, where you can also catch an independent film, hop on the MKT Trail, and sample local beer.

Free-time activities: Make your attendees say “that was the best conference ever!”

  1. Grab a cup of homemade ice cream at Sparky’s (alcoholic flavors included)
  2. Listen to live music at The Blue Note or Rose Music Hall
  3. Shop for local gifts and products at Poppy or The Candy Factory
  4. Explore caves and trails at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
  5. Choose from locally brewed beers at Flat Branch or Logboat Brewing Co.
  6. Snap a photo at The Columns, Columbia’s most-photographed spot, and wander through Mizzou’s Botanic Garden
  7. Have a slice at Shakespeare’s Pizza, named “Best College Hangout” in the nation by Good Morning America
  8. Take a look through current exhibits at Sager | Braudis Gallery and Stephens College’s Historic Costume Gallery
  9. Catch an independent film at Ragtag Cinema – on a couch, with a beer!
  10. Sample Missouri wines at Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Are you ready to start planning your CoMo meeting? Request a meeting proposal here.

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Well, here we are – only two days left until 2017. It seems that everyone is ready to leave 2016 behind and get started on the new year but before we do, let’s take a look back at our 12 most-liked Instagram photos of 2016:

January

columbia big tree: big burr oak tree
The Big Tree looks extra magnificent surrounded by snow. Photo from @brittpepper.

February

alley a in columbia mo

Alley A 📷 by @nickeymonaghan

March

big tree mcbaine, columbia mo honeysuckle field

Awesome photo of the big tree from @schaeferpix.

April

rainbow over downtown columbia mo

Columbia = pot of gold. Photo by @imadiehere.

May

mizzou botanic garden, columbia mo, university of missouri, jesse hall in background

We heard it was National Garden Day…

June

sparky's homemade ice cream in downtown columbia, mo - cup of ice cream with a cone on top

90° temps = Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream 📷 by @christa_jane.

July

sunset in downtown columbia mo, como golden hour with tiger hotel in background

Check out that CoMo sunset! 📷: @sugarwhips

August

the big burr oak tree at night, columbia mo the big tree

We don’t think The Big Tree has ever looked so beautiful 📷: @johnbecksroommate

September

mkt trail in columbia mo, autumn, brown leaves on the ground

It’s starting to look like fall on the MKT! 📷: @dr_marge18

October

golden retriever rubbing francis statue nose for good luck on exam

Raise your paw/hand if this is how you get your good luck before exams. 📷: @finleythefierce

November

supermoon rises above jesse hall on the university of missouri campus in columbia mo

Check out this amazing shot from last night! [Photo by @wenbozzz] Did you see the super moon?

December

snow-covered broadway in downtown columbia mo

We’ve had a rough couple of days here in Columbia but at least the snow made for some great photos! 📷: @wgwinfrey


It looks like everyone really loves photos of The Big Tree, Jesse Hall, and The District! Do you have a favorite photo from 2016 you’d like to share with us? Tag us on Instagram (@VisitColumbiaMO), Twitter (@ColumbiaMOCVB), or use #ShowMeCoMo to share.

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Hi, I’m Megan. I do Marketing and Communications here at Visit CoMo and I’m also a Columbia native!  I love traveling, the Mizzou Tigers, live music, ice cream, my cats and a good nap. I’m also lucky enough to get to promote my hometown every day. There are so many different ways to enjoy Columbia and each month I’ll be bringing you some of my favorites. Let’s go!


I don’t mean to brag (yes I do), but I finished holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. I also wrapped all of my presents last weekend…I hardly know who I am anymore. But there’s no doubt that before the holidays pass, there will come a moment when I realize that there’s someone I forgot – a last minute gift that needs giving. I’m guessing the same might happen to you, too. Sure, you could go with an old standby like a candle or a picture frame or socks, but what about something uniquely Columbia for that person who has everything? Here are a few different fun ideas that will definitely get a sincere thank you!

Get Locked Up

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Photo from Breakout CoMo Facebook

If the person you’re gifting is into puzzles and intrigue, Columbia is home to three different escape rooms! These fun facilities give you and your group an hour to escape from rooms themed in all sorts of ways, including Pirate Adventure, Double Agent and Mark Twain Museum. These rooms are a great group activity and perfect for the competitive friend or family member. I know I’m still mad I didn’t escape from Double Agent and it has been months.

-Kick Off a Resolution

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Photo from Nourish Cafe & Market Facebook

Have a friend who’s a health nut or someone who’s going to get back in shape in 2017? Help them reach their goals with a gift certificate to Nourish or Main Squeeze Natural Foods Café. Both spots serve up delicious food that will probably make them forget how healthy it is. On a cold day, the Buddha Bowl from Main Squeeze really hits the spot.

-A New Night Out

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Photo from Barred Owl Butcher Facebook

Always head to the same spot for date night? This year, try out something new in CoMo. We’re hearing great things about Barred Owl Butcher and Table, which serves up a variety of sandwiches, small plates and charcuterie, or Flyover, which is home to a wood-fired oven. Both have a great cocktail menu and a focus on seasonal, local ingredients. You may just find a new favorite.

-Plan for some Festive Fun

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Give your recipient something to really look forward to by purchasing their passes to next year’s True/False Film Fest or Roots ‘n Blues ‘n BBQ Festival. Both events promise an incredible Columbia weekend for the film or music enthusiast. I pretty much plan my life around True/False and Roots ‘n Blues is my fall oasis, so these passes are a can’t-miss gift.

-Winter Warmies

Photo from Route Facebook

Photo from Route Facebook

It seems that winter has finally arrived here in CoMo…it even snowed yesterday! This means that bundling up must now commence. One of my favorite places to get hats, gloves and scarves is Route in the District. They specialize in fair-trade, handmade goods, and their winter accessories are so warm and comfy that it almost makes it ok when you have to go outside. Need a gift for someone who never puts their phone down (like me)? Get them a pair of glove/mittens. The wool gloves leave the fingertips exposed but you can also fold a mitten cover over before you lose feeling in them. It’s a win-win.

-For the Beer Snob

Photo from Craft Beer Cellar Facebook

Photo from Craft Beer Cellar Facebook

Everyone has a beer snob in their life. On the negative side, they make fun of you for drinking your light beer. On the positive side, you can always hit up the Craft Beer Cellar and have them a gift in no time. Their super friendly staff will help you pick out the perfect variety that will make your friend forget (at least for a few minutes) that you don’t know the difference between porter and a stout, and that makes a better holiday for everyone.

-Smelly Goodness

makes-scents

Three of my family members (who will not be named here because it’s not Christmas yet) will be getting goodies from Makes Scents. They have high-end skin care items, Butter nail polish (stocking stuffers!), holiday soaps, custom-scented items and my favorite candles in the whole world (Seeking Balance, if you’re shopping for me. I’m just saying). The staff will also put together an awesome gift set for anyone doing that last minute shopping…I know you’re out there.

Now that you’re down to only 20 shopping days until Christmas, I know you can feel the time crunch. Hopefully when you feel like you’ve run out of ideas, these will help jump start your shopping list and check even those picky people off your gift list. You can thank me with candles.

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See a show

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December performances include family-friendly shows, holiday specials, and adult comedy:

Elf Jr.
December 3-4 at Warehouse Theatre

Moscow Ballet: The Great Russian Nutcracker
December 1 at Jesse Auditorium

5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche
December 8-11, December 15-18 at Columbia Entertainment Company

See our calendar of events for a complete list.

Take a photo at the Magic Tree

Magic Tree, Columbia MO

The Magic Tree is a favorite Columbia holiday tradition, and although there’s now several of these completely lit trees around town, you should still make a trip to the original Magic Tree at the Village of Cherry Hill. There is even a festival for the ‘lighting of the tree’ on December 1st with Santa, food trucks, and holiday fun.

Go holiday shoppingholidaystorefront

We have all the usual shopping options where you can pick up gifts for everyone on your list but you should also check out these special events:

1st Annual Christkindlmarkt – December 2 at Gunter Hans, 5:30-8:30 PM
Battle FBLA Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair – December 10 at Battle High School, 8-12 PM
Holiday Gift Boutique – December 10 at Columbia Independent School, 9 AM
Columbia Winter Farmers Market – December 3, 10, 17 at Parkade Center 9-12 PM

Attend a festival

living-windows-the-district

The first weekend of December is packed with festivals: head downtown on Friday, December 2nd, for First Fridays in the North Village Arts District and Living Windows, when shopkeepers stage live performances in their shop windows. On Saturday, join Columbia Parks and Rec at Progressive Missionary Baptist for the City Kwanzaa Celebration. And Sunday? Check out the first annual Chocolate Festival at Parkade Center – pick up some holiday gifts from local vendors while enjoying chocolatey treats.

Listen to live jazz

big-band-jazz

“We Always Swing” Jazz Series is bringing two great holiday performances to Columbia this month:

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis+ Special Guest Vocalist, Catherine Russell
December 4th, 7 PM at Missouri Theatre

Tim Warfield’s All-Star Jazzy Christmas
December 11th, 3:30 PM and 7 PM at Murry’s

Check out a tractor parade

If you’re looking for a unique holiday experience, look no further than the annual Centralia Christmas Tractor Parade. See floats, tractors, lawn mowers, and other farm equipment decked out in holiday lights and decorations. Santa might even be there on his Christmas tractor.

December 16th, 7 PM in Centralia

Take in the holiday lights

You could drive around town looking for lights OR you could make plans to attend one of these events:

51st Shelter Insurance Christmas Tree Lighting | December 1st, 6 PM
Santa and holiday music included.

Friends of Rocheport Christmas Tree Lighting | December 4th, 6 PM
Christmas carols will follow the tree lighting and then head to Community Hall for refreshments and a visit with Santa.

Candy Cane Crib | 115 W. El Cortez Dr.
You can’t miss the famous Candy Cane Crib! Santa will be there on December 10th.

Holiday Lights and Sights Tour | December 16th, 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM
Meet Columbia Parks and Rec at The ARC and enjoy holiday lights from a mini-bus. Cost is $7.50, and pre-registration is required.

It’s a Wonderful Ride: Holiday Lights Bicycle Tour | December 18th, 5:30 PM
Join GetAbout Columbia at Lucky’s Market and see holiday lights in and around downtown.

Go back in time

Stephens College’s A Dickens Victorian Christmas is an annual favorite. It’s a family-friendly, authentic recreation of a 19th century English Christmas with Mr. and Mrs. Dickens that includes refreshments, period dance, music, and more. You have four days to choose from so don’t miss out!

December 4-7 at Stephens College, Historic Senior Hall

Run (or walk) for a cause

The Jingle Bell Run is the perfect excuse to break out those ugly holiday sweaters, tie jingle bells to yourself, dress up like Santa or an elf… the cheerier, the better!

December 10th, 8 AM at Silverthorne Arena

Brew ‘n View

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Beer and holiday movies – enough said. The Blue Note has two Christmas Brew ‘n Views planned: Home Alone December 15th and Elf, December 22nd.

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Our friends from Visit Knoxville put some information together for our Tiger fans heading to Tennessee this weekend:


Even the visiting team is treated like a local. Someone suggested we put that in an ad for Knoxville and well, we did. Cause it’s true. The locals may not say, “good luck” but they’ll always say “have a great time” – and we know you will. Knoxville is a favorite town for SEC fans, but it’s gotten even better since you were here in 2014.

maple-hall

Photo from Maple Hall Facebook.

Since then, the city has added several new downtown restaurants, including Maple Hall – a bowling alley/restaurant, a Brew Tour to give you a true taste of our expanding craft beer scene, and Pretentious Beer Glass Company- a one-of-a-kind spot where you can not only try a local beer, but watch your very own beer glass be crafted by glass artisans. And the best part? It’s all in and around Market Square – within walking distance of campus – so you can work a few things in before and after that 3:30 kick off.

baby-gorilla-zoo-knoxville

Photo from Zoo Knoxville Facebook.

We expect (and hope) you’ll be here for an extra day or two, so plan now for a trip to Zoo Knoxville  (home to more than 800 animals, including 3 adorable baby gorillas) or our popular Urban Wilderness (a 1000-acre stretch with 50 hiking and biking trails just minutes from downtown). Bike rentals are available if you don’t want to haul your own. Just contact us ahead of time; our Visitors Center will point you in the right direction.

owl

Photo from Ijams Nature Center Facebook.

Speaking of our Visitors Center… Let’s talk about that for just a minute. This is not your typical ‘maps and gifts’ Visitors Center. Yes, we have all of that (including the appropriately sized clear bags you’re going to need at Neyland Stadium; and no, they aren’t ALL orange), but we also have live music. Yes, The Knoxville Visitors Center, located at 301 Gay Street – across from the Crowne Plaza where some of you are no doubt staying – is home to WDVX, a very popular independent radio station well-known for its mix of Bluegrass, Americana, Classic and Alternative Country, Western Swing, Blues, Old Time and Appalachian Mountain Music, Bluegrass Gospel, Celtic and Folk. Whew! Every Monday – Saturday at noon, the WDVX broadcasts “The Blue Plate Special” – a free, live concert. So make plans to stop by!

11889456_10150569814169984_4197037888638829159_nWhile you’re at the Visitors Center, you can find out more about all of the other music, entertainment, history and culture this city has to offer. If you haven’t been here, you’re going to be surprised at how much you’ll find. If you HAVE been here, you’ll be surprised by how much more you’ll find. Head to VisitKnoxville.com to learn more.

So travel safely and good… er, rather… have a great time.

Follow Visit Knoxville on Instagram.

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The Mizzou Tigers kick off this Saturday, 2:30 PM at Memorial Stadium against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

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PRE-GAME

Looking for a hotel room? If you’re having a hard time finding a room, call us at 573-875-1231 and ask for hotel availability.

How to get to the stadium:

  • Park downtown [parking garages are free on Saturdays] and walk to the stadium
  • Park downtown and catch a shuttle to the stadium
  • Check to see if your hotel is on a shuttle route

{Shuttles cost $1.50 each way, and beverages/coolers are not allowed so be mindful of that before boarding}

Throw on your black and gold. Find new game day gear here:

Grab a bite to eat: look through our list of restaurants located in The District for lunch before the game or dinner afterward.

Weather: As of today (Wednesday), the forecast is calling for a sunny day with a high of 55, so you should grab your sunglasses and a jacket.

the-deuce-12

Where to watch: If you didn’t get tickets or would rather watch the game on TV, see our list of sports bars.

TAILGATE

A few tailgating notes:

  • Tailgating sites open at 8 AM
  • (12 PM) Tiger Walk occurs 2 hours and 30 minutes before kick off at the pedestrian bridge over Providence
  • (1 PM) The stadium opens 90 minutes before kick off
  • Remember to keep any pets on a leash
  • Just follow the rules and have fun!

Our Tiger Tailgating Pinterest board has ideas for game day recipes, tailgating tips and games, and more.

lighter-spinach-artichoke-dip

Lighter Spinach & Artichoke Dip

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, divided
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 (8 ounce) packages 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, pepper, garlic, artichoke hearts, cream cheese and spinach in a large bowl. Stir until well-blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and the remaining 2 Tablespoons Parmesan.

3. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top. Serve with vegetables or chips (extra calories for the chips!)

WHILE YOU’RE HERE

We have a lot more events than just the game going on this weekend. You can find more information on live music, on-stage performances, farmers markets, sporting events, and more on our calendar of events. We would love for you to spend some extra time here with us!


Contact us if you have any questions:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call us at 573-875-1231
Tweet us @ColumbiaMOCVB

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMo!

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Hi, I’m Megan. I do Marketing and Communications here at Visit CoMo and I’m also a Columbia native!  I love traveling, the Mizzou Tigers, live music, ice cream, my cats and a good nap. I’m also lucky enough to get to promote my hometown every day. There are so many different ways to enjoy Columbia and each month I’ll be bringing you some of my favorites. Let’s go!


As a Columbia native, one of the things I’ve always loved about our city is how many diverse dining options we have here. Cuisines from all over the world are represented, and chefs are adventurous with their ingredients. They also focus on procuring items from local purveyors, which really takes CoMo’s food to the next level. When your job is promoting Columbia, trying out as many of our restaurants as possible is research, right? So, I’ve done my research and here are ten of my favorite CoMo bites (in no particular order).

 

  1. The ½ Veggie on Wheat with Cheesy Tomato Soup from Sub Shop

sub-shop-editedSub Shop has been serving up sandwiches since 1975, and they’re a rainy day staple for me. Their veggie sandwich also comes with plenty of mayo and cheese and their homemade bread is toasted on the outside and soft on the inside. When it’s chilly, I have to add an order of their tomato soup. It’s thick and full of big chunks of melted cheese. And if you really want to take it up a notch…add bacon to that veggie sandwich and thank me later.

  1. The Pretzel Bites from Room 38 
Photo from IG user @taco_bout_someyummyfood.

Photo from IG user @taco_bout_someyummyfood.

Room 38 has an incredible menu that ranges from flatbreads to steaks to small plates and an incredible brunch. But one thing I have to get every single time is an order of the Pretzel Bites. They’re hidden at the bottom of the sharing plates section, but do not overlook these nuggets of amazingness! The bites themselves are soft and salty and drenched in honey butter. As if that wasn’t enough, they come with a side of spicy cheese dip. Room 38 has a nice lounge feel and the darker lighting means no one will see you stuffing your face with these super quickly.

 

  1. The Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Herb Aioli at Billiards on Broadway

billiards-editedThis pool hall knows how to do food! Their burgers have won the hearts of visitors and citizens alike, but my favorite things to add on the side of my burger are the sweet potato fries. Are the fries delicious? Yes, but it’s the aioli that really makes them. Truly you could put this aioli on just about anything they serve (ahem, grilled chicken sandwich) and be happy, but the sweet crispness of the fries really goes with the aioli so well that you might as well stick with how they serve it.

  1. The Oreo Speedwagon at Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream
oreo-speedwagon

Photo from Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream Facebook.

Here’s the thing about the Oreo Speedwagon. I can’t promise that it will always be on the menu at Sparky’s. They always have a wonderful variety of flavors rotating in their case and you can’t go wrong, but for me the Oreo Speedwagon is where it’s at. It’s basically a cookies ‘n cream ice cream but made with coffee ice cream instead of vanilla. Such a sweet pick me up! And you can say that ice cream isn’t as good when it’s cold out, but you would be wrong.

 

  1. The Blue Chips Cheese Bread at Murry’s

murrysI have been going to Murry’s for as long as I can remember. In my family, you got to pick where you wanted to eat for your birthday and both of my parents always picked Murry’s. Now the entire meal was always delicious, but it was the order of the Blue Chips Cheese Bread that really got the night started. Thick slices of bread are topped with blue cheese and shrimp and then covered with another melty cheese that I’ve never been able to pin down. Then everything is toasted and melted together and it’s just perfect. Murry’s brings back so many great memories for me and those memories definitely include this appetizer.

  1. The Bulgogi Taco at Seoul Taco
Photo from @SeoulTaco Instagram.

Photo from @SeoulTaco Instagram.

Seoul Taco started out as a food truck in St. Louis and now has a shared space with Strange Donuts right here in downtown Columbia. Whether it’s lunch time or late at night, I am in love with their Bulgogi Tacos. They’re so simple…just meat, greens, sesame seed and delicious Seoul sauce, plus a lime for some brightness, but their complex flavor is beyond. Their menu is small but the flavor is big!

  1. The Reuben at Uprise Bakery 
Photo from IG user @drewjkoch.

Photo from IG user @drewjkoch.

Things I don’t like: sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, rye bread.. But somehow, when Uprise Bakery combines their house made ingredients (seriously, everything on the sandwich is made right there), it’s a dream come true. This is another rainy favorite and is perfect as a meal with a beer from the bar before seeing a movie at Ragtag, which shares a space with Uprise. I’m so glad I went outside my comfort zone and tried this sandwich.

  1. The Glazed Salmon from Coley’s
Photo from @ColeysBistro Instagram.

Photo from @ColeysBistro Instagram.

This is a more recent discovery of mine and it quickly made my top list. Coley’s is another spot downtown with a great menu, and this dish is one that won’t make you feel like you overdid it at dinner. The salmon filet is cooked perfectly and served over vegetables that are cooked but still crisp. The soy honey glaze that finishes everything off makes this one of my new go-to’s that never lets me down and keeps it light…so I can go to Sparky’s after.

  1. The Brussels Sprouts at Kampai
Photo from Kampai Alley Facebook.

Photo from Kampai Alley Facebook.

Kampai is tucked in Alley A in downtown and specializes in delicious sushi. But my favorite bite from Kampai is actually on their hot tasting menu. I’m a sucker for anything involving Brussels sprouts, but these are now my favorite in town. The sprouts are flash fried and then drizzled in lemon chili oil. It’s a simple dish, but the crunchy sprouts along with the spicy and bright oil are the perfect combination and a great lead up to some of their sushi.

  1. The Beet Salad at Sycamore
Photo from Sycamore Facebook.

Photo from Sycamore Facebook.

Ok, so I had to throw one salad in here! No matter what entrée I get at Sycamore, I always have their beet salad to start. The mixed greens are always super fresh and well dressed, and you can put a roasted beet on just about anything and I’m game. But then they had to go and add goat cheese and now I have to get it every time I go, which is often. I love Sycamore’s cozy atmosphere, great drinks list and fantastic service. And I love their beet salad.


I can’t tell you how difficult it was to narrow down this list, so you can probably be sure that I’ll do another one at some point in the future.  For now, I’d love to know what your favorite CoMo bites are…we may even share them online! I’ll be back next month with my version of a CoMo gift guide.

Remember to tag us in your Columbia photos and use #ShowMeCoMo to share.

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where to eat in columbia mo on thanksgiving or christmas

If you’d rather go out for an easy meal instead of cooking on Thanksgiving or Christmas, try these restaurants:

11Eleven, 1111 E. Broadway (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – normal hours

Applebees, 2010 I-70 Dr. SW (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – 4-10 PM

Bob Evans, 3000 Clark Lane (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – 8 AM – 8 PM

Broadway Brewery, 816 E. Broadway (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – bar only

Cheerleader Pub and Grill, Holiday Inn Express (Thanksgiving) – 11 AM – 10 PM

Denny’s, 1100 Knipp St. (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – 24/7 with reduced menu

Flat Branch, 115 S. 5th St. (Christmas Eve) – closes at 4 PM

Glenn’s Cafe, 29 S. 8th St. (Thanksgiving) – 12-8 PM with limited menu and Thanksgiving plate special

Golden Corral, 3421 Clark Lane (Thanksgiving) – 10:30 AM – 5 PM

Grand Cru, 2600 S. Providence Rd (Thanksgiving) – 11 AM – 2 PM

Holiday Inn Executive Center, 2200 I70 Dr. SW (Christmas) – Buffet seatings at 11:00, 11:15, 11:30  AM and 1:00, 1:15, 1:30 PM

IHOP, 51 Conley Rd (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – regular hours, closes at 2 PM on Christmas

McDonald’s, 415 N. Stadium Blvd (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – regular hours

Pizza Hut, 715 E. Nifong Blvd (Thanksgiving) – regular hours

Ruby Tuesday, 2010 Bernadette Dr. (Thanksgiving) – 11-9 PM

Stadium Grill, Hampton Inn & Suites (Thanksgiving) – 3-10 PM

Starbucks, 2901 W. Broadway, #117 (Thanksgiving) – 6AM – 6 PM

TGI Fridays, 3030 I-70 Dr. SE (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – 11 AM – 11 PM

Truman’s, 3304 W. Broadway Business Park (Thanksgiving, Christmas) – 2 PM – 1:30 AM

The Upper Crust, 3107 Green Meadows Way (Thanksgiving) – reservations available between 1-5 PM; Thanksgiving buffet


We’ll update the list as we find out more. Happy Holidays!

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