Local Favorites

The warm weather in Columbia is what many, like myself, anticipate all year and for a really good reason. Now that June is underway and the days are getting longer, I’m here to let you know just where you can breathe in fresh air and experience Columbia from some of my favorite spots: the patios.

There are several patios to enjoy across Columbia and even more open up every year, but no two patios are the same. They each take on their own character, feeding off the energy of the staff and guests to build an atmosphere that is unique. Although not a comprehensive list, I’ve brought together some ideas of where to find just what kind of patio you’re looking for.


For a Quick Relaxing Drink

If you’re looking for a place to stop after work or between boutiques in The District, these two have you covered:

Tropical Liqueurs

Photo from Tropical Liqueurs Facebook

With two locations in Columbia and two decades of experience under their belt, Tropical Liqueurs knows how to treat patrons to the ultimate patio experience. The modest patio tables have shade umbrellas to protect you from the hot summer sun while you take in a cold drink. No food is served at the locations so this is a good place to spend an hour or two with friends or colleagues after work before heading home or to dinner.

Günter Hans- Artisan Café

Photo from Günter Hans- Artisan Café Facebook

Started by a female entrepreneur, Günter Hans- Artisan Café sports a traditional European flare that welcomes customers. Günter Hans is Columbia’s only full wine tap, which offers customers a unique experience coupled with a beautiful patio. The wine tap means the product arrives in barrels and is then served directly into the glass without being exposed to oxygen. European favorites such as bretzels, bratwursts, and waffles are featured on the limited menu to beat any snack craving you might have.

For Appetizers and Catching Up with Friends

These two are drastically different from each other but can both meet the need for quick food and good conversation with friends while relaxing on an outdoor patio:

Las Margaritas

Photo from Las Margaritas on Corporate Lake Facebook

Known for its location on Corporate Lake, Las Margaritas is a great spot for catching up with friends over delicious queso fundido or nachos Margaritas from their appetizer menu. The friendly personalities of the staff and quick service make your trip even more enjoyable and offers the potential to be a memorable meal.

Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Photo from Barred Own Butcher Facebook

This pick is a newcomer to the Columbia scene and is taking strides to be a must-try for residents and visitors. While you’re there learn more about the made-from-scratch, ingredient-first culture they are so proud of. The staff from the front door to the table are friendly, passionate and ready to answer any questions. The charcuterie and spreads menu offers a variety of options, from a Butcher Board to a whipped ricotta served with pita breads that pair perfectly with good people, memorable stories, and hand-crafted drinks.

For the Lover of Art & Music

These two are known for their quirky styles and exceptional food:

Cafe Berlin

Saturday and Sunday mornings year-round are busy with excited patrons ready for locally sourced comfort food but the onset of warm weather opens up new possibilities for Cafe Berlin-lovers. The patio is a great place to enjoy warm weather during the day and into the afternoon while night is a time to support local bands playing. Cafe Berlin is known for being vegetarian-friendly and a great place to eat out if you’re looking to please a variety of food lifestyles.

Tellers

Although outdoor seating is limited, Tellers is a wonderful place to eat if you’re interested in watching The District’s nightlife or catch a street performer playing. Inside, if you venture in, is home to several pieces of local artwork. Each piece is unique and adds to the artistry of the atmosphere.

For Dinner with Someone Special

If you’re looking for a great date-night patio, these spots are tried-and-true:

Flat Branch Pub & Brewing

With specialty pizzas and craft beer from its in-house brewery, a night out at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing is sure to be a special one. The outdoor patio is surrounded by trees so that the area is more intimate and cozy. Smiling faces from the servers and a wide variety of food options for all kinds of eaters makes this a nice location to spend time with a special someone or for a comfortable night with dear friends.

The Roof

Photo from The Roof Facebook

Located at the top of The Broadway Hotel in The District is the perfect place for a romantic night. The Roof offers a beautiful view of the Columbia skyline accompanied by a lavish and diverse menu. The seating options and fire pits create a fun atmosphere to share that special somewhere.

For a Columbia Tradition-Seeker

Looking for a patio that is uniquely ‘Columbia?’ Try one of these:

The Heidelberg

Photo from The Heidelberg Facebook

A staple for visiting parents and prospective students, this is also a must try for anyone visiting Columbia. The Heidelberg’s upper patio offers a view looking towards the University of Missouri and offers both covered and uncovered tables in case you need to get out of the hot sun. From appetizers to drinks to burgers, you’ll be sure to find a favorite to add to your list of traditions when visiting.

Shakespeare’s Pizza

Photo from Shakespeare’s Pizza Facebook

Each Shakespeare’s location has a traditional patio where individuals (and their pups) can enjoy a slice and a cold beer. If you’re looking for something a little different, Shakespeare’s Downtown v2.0, as they call it, has a garage door to give you an indoor/outdoor feel along the side of the building for a more private eating experience.

Whatever your patio needs are, Columbia has you covered. Try them out and share your favorite patio stories and photos with us on Instagram (@visitcolumbiamo) and Twitter (@ColumbiaMOCVB).


Blog written by Convention and Visitors Bureau intern, Grace Bommel

#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!


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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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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megan
Hi, I’m Megan. I do Marketing and Communications here at Visit CoMo and I’m also a Columbia native!  I love traveling (that’s me with a glacier in Alaska), 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!


megan-and-brenna

Brenna and me at a CBT event

Autumn in Columbia is my very favorite season. I love the crispness of the air, the leaves changing, the sound of drumlines that signal football is back. It’s also the perfect time to get out and spend time with friends. My favorite days spent out in CoMo lately are with my pal Brenna, who is the Editor over at the Columbia Business Times.

We like to mix something active with a nice dose of leisure, so this fall day out is perfect! This itinerary is more of a suggestion, though Brenna and/or I have done all of these things here in Columbia. Brenna would like you to know that I promise action photos from our next day out (Winter) because we’re going to plan it now and then document our day! Ok, ready to spend a great autumn day here in CoMo? Let’s do it!

Ladies’ Day Out – The Fall Edition

First thing’s first: sleep in a bit. You thought we were going to get up at the crack of dawn for our day out? Ha! You do not know Brenna and me well enough yet.

Ok, so you got some extra rest because you worked hard this week. Now the day out can begin. Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and one of the best stops in Columbia is at Café Berlin. It’s down in the North Village Arts District and the food is amazing. Look at this weekend brunch menu and salivate:

cafe-berlin

Only Café Berlin could make something called the Compost Pile mouthwatering.

One of the local favorites is the Starving Artist because gravy, but for my money it doesn’t get any better than the Apples & Sausage on a Pancake. A heaping plate of food plus coffee in one of Café Berlin’s random mugs means you’re ready to shop. Or take a nap. No! On to shopping…

The District, Columbia’s downtown, is full of fun little shops to explore. We have a few favorites that we always stop by so we can see what’s new!

Route used to be known as The Mustard Seed, but it’s still the incredibly unique free trade shop you always loved. The beautiful handcrafted pieces from around the world range from jewelry to scarves to décor. Last time we were in, I picked up a beautiful silver vase for my mantle at home and a black and gold ring I can wear when I want to look fancy while supporting Mizzou.

poppy

Every time I walk into Poppy, I decide I probably need one of everything. Photo from Poppy’s Instagram (@poppymadebyhand).

Poppy is also home to a great array of handcrafted pieces that make it very difficult to leave without something new. The fabulous owner, Liz, curates the best in jewelry, greeting cards, baby clothes, art and so much more, so that Poppy is the perfect place to shop for a gift. I’ve gotten everything from wedding shower gifts to Mother’s Day gifts at Poppy. They also partner up with Christy at The Ink Café for calligraphy classes that are a blast – even for people like me who have terrible handwriting and can only draw stick people.

yellow-dog

Yellow Dog always has the best window displays! Here’s theirs from the True/False Film Fest this year. Photo from Yellow Dog’s Instagram (@yellowdogbookshop).

One place we absolutely never ever miss (ever) is Yellow Dog Bookshop.  This small shop is owned by a wonderful married couple and is stuffed full of used books. They have a huge non-fiction selection on all sorts of topics, a Missouri section, and a fiction section that I love looking through to find treasures to add to my to-read list.  Anyone who knows me even a little knows I cannot leave a bookstore without buying at least one book (and usually more), so Yellow Dog is my favorite downtown escape.

Alright, I managed to keep myself from running out the door to go book shopping. Once our shopping has finished, it’s time to spend the afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather. Sometimes this is as simple as a walk on the MKT Trail here in Columbia, but when the fall colors are really out I love heading south of town to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

rock-bridge

Fun fact, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is even more beautiful than this picture makes it look.

Trail options are plentiful at the park, but my favorite is the wood-planked trail that leads you through the heart of the park. The trail allows you to take in the most impressive geological features of the park, including the actual rock bridge the park was named for, and you can also explore Connor’s Cave. The trail itself is under a mile long, but is has plenty of stairs and offshoots that allow hikers to experience the best the park has to offer. Plus, we’ve been shopping, so a lengthy hike isn’t really needed, right? Right.

After a long day of shopping and outdoor adventure, a nice dinner is in order. Brenna and I both have plenty of favorites when it comes to restaurants in CoMo. One of the most difficult decisions to make when you have such a great culinary scene is where to go for dinner. Just in The District alone, it’s almost impossible to choose!

For this fall ladies’ day out, we’ll stay in the south part of town near the park and hit Sophia’s for dinner. Like most places in Columbia, the atmosphere is casual but sophisticated, and their patio is a great spot for a fall evening. The menu ranges from incredible pasta dishes to flavorful tapas and flatbreads. With an impressive wine list, Sophia’s is also the perfect spot to linger and make the day out last a little longer.

Now for some ladies’ day out enthusiasts, there would also be another activity like dancing or cocktails somewhere fancy. But, to be honest, that’s not how Brenna and I roll. After dinner, our day ends with a big hug and a retreat to our homes where we can put on pajamas and watch Netflix. Of course, if I’ve really done a day out right, there will also be some Sparky’s Ice Cream waiting in the freezer for me.

Thanks for spending a ladies’ day out with Brenna and me! We’ll be working on our next day out as the weather gets colder and bring it to you in January. Next month I’ll feature some of my favorite CoMo dishes from all over the city. See you then!

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Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a sales manager for the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am an avid traveler, and I love the experience of meeting new people, experiencing new unexpected environments, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I am going to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community. Along the way we will explore some of our fabulous locally- owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals. I hope you enjoy this city as much as I do, and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage
of WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.


Columbia Culinary Tours
Whether you’re our guest for the weekend, new to town, or a life-long resident, if you haven’t tried Columbia Culinary Tours then you’re missing out!

 

So what is a culinary tour? Well I’d say it’s part-dining experience, part-socializing, and part-education. Regardless of how you describe it, it’s a great time and a fun way to sample some of Columbia’s food offerings.  You’ll get to sample five to seven restaurants and specialty food stores, and you can also meet the owners and managers of each location.

IMG_1643
My first tour was the Brunch Tour – a stroll through the district, sampling a variety of tasty breakfastoptions and coffees while learning a bit about Columbia’s history.  I walked away with a greater knowledge of Columbia and was happily satisfied from the tasty treats.

My second tour was the Flavors Tour, which was a fun tour spent with the accompaniment of good friends. We sampled several restaurants, oils and vinegars from Boone Olive Oil Company, and tasty cocktails while exploring the streets and alleys of our fine city.

20151218_141632edit

Have I captured your interest yet? There are five tours to choose from: the Brunch Tour, the Flavors Tour, the Night on the Town Tour, the Night on the Town Tour with wine pairings, and last but not least, the Craft Beer and Food Pairing Tour.  These tours are perfect for conference attendees, team-building experiences with co-workers, a group of friends, out of town guests or just for something new to do.

We hope you enjoy the experience and make it a part of your Columbia go-to activities. Have fun!

Book your tour here

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6697small- AndreaHello! My name is Andrea and I am a sales manager for the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am an avid traveler, and I love the experience of meeting new people, experiencing new unexpected environments, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I am going to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community. Along the way we will explore some of our fabulous locally- owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals. I hope you enjoy this city as much as I do, and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage of WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.


Did you know Columbia is home to over 200 restaurants? That means we can eat at a different restaurant every day over the next 150+ days! That is amazing, and so are our restaurants.

International Cafe editedWhether you are here for a conference, True/False, a girl’s weekend, or even just for the day, you can satisfy your palette with a wide selection, from diners to cafés.  Consider some of our ethnic choices such as International Café, Kampai Sushi, Kojaba Korean BBQ, or Thip Thai. If healthy cuisine is more your style, try longtime favorite Main Squeeze, or new addition, Range Free, which is perfect for those with food allergies.

With so many choices it may seem hard to narrow them down. If that is the case and you are feeling a little adventurous, how about making it a ‘food crawl?’ I often start at The Wine Cellar, head over to Addison’s, and then to Sycamore, end the evening at Teller’s for some of their fabulous bread pudding.

Have you ever tried a culinary tour? Columbia Culinary Tour has five tours you can choose from: Brunch Tour, Flavors, Night on the Town Tour, Night on the Town with Wine Pairings, and for you beer lovers – Craft Beer and Food Pairing. If you aren’t familiar with this organization, trust me, this will be a new favorite activity. Even if you are a Columbia native, you will learn something new, sample items from the menu you might not have tried before, and have a great time.

Whichever you choose, I know that you will be delighted with the quality of our selection and hopefully you will find a new favorite…or two! As always, Columbia is What You Unexpect. Ciao!


Head over to our dining section to find the perfect restaurant for you.

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Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a sales manager for the
Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau.6697small- Andrea I am an avid traveler, and I love the experience of meeting new people, experiencing new unexpected environments, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I am going to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community.  Along the way we will explore some of our fabulous locally- owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals.   I hope you enjoy this city as much as I do, and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage of WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.


Let’s start with the art of coffee! I love coffee, especially this time of year when the air has turned crisp and refreshing – I enjoy the warmth of the cup in my hand, the wonderful aroma and the work of art.  Columbia’s baristas are artisans, turning ordinary foam into a work of art. Columbia is lucky to have some amazing coffee shops, each awesome in their own unique way.  Take for example: Coffee Zone. If you want to be amped and ready for the day, Rocket Fuel will take you there! Also, Lakota has a warm and welcoming atmosphere that encourages a slower, more relaxed pace. Not to mention a particularly delightful mocha. fretboard

A recent discovery is Fretboard Coffee. They are located in the North Village Arts District, tucked away next to the Catacombs beneath Artlandish. If you haven’t been to this great area, GO!

Fretboard, like many of Columbia’s great coffee shops, roasts their own certified organic, free trade coffee beans. But what is so interesting about Fretboard is their unique way of customizing each cup of coffee. They have several different delivery methods to choose from – the tfretboardraditional French press delivers a full bodied cup, while the Chemex – invented by a chemist many moons ago, delivers a delicate cup, and the Aeropress, which is similar to an espresso and will give you quite a jolt. But my favorite, not only because I enjoy the end product, but because it looks so darn cool – is the Siphon pot. This pot truly looks like a science experiment and always results in a great pot of coffee. Stop by and watch these coffee artists work their magic and deliver you a wonderful work of art – in a cup.

So as you are strolling around the District, enjoying the magic tree and the holiday lights, please grab a coffee from one of our many, wonderful local coffee purveyors. Enjoy the public art, support our great locally owned businesses, and dine at one of our many fabulous, locally- owned restaurants.

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6697small- AndreaHello! My name is Andrea, and I am a sales manager for the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau and also an avid traveler. I LOVE to travel, and I love the experience of meeting new people, seeing a new environment, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I would like to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community. Along the way, I will introduce you to some of our fabulous locally owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals. I hope you enjoy the city as much as I do and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage of
WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.


This month I would like to introduce you to Access Arts, also known as School of Service. School of Service was started by Hurst John in 1971. John was an accomplished architect who had a son with Cerebral Palsy, and he felt art should be integrated into his learning. “Access Arts is open to all ages, abilities and economic circumstances.”

LogoAs a visitor to Columbia, you may be inspired by the beauty of the city and the amazing art galleries and public art, and Access Arts is perfect for a weekday art retreat, or if you are here for a conference and want a fun, interactive activity for your attendees – Access Arts is a unique place to rent for an activity or an afternoon reception. Your attendees will be inspired by the amazing artwork displayed throughout the three Access Arts campuses, and you will help move the mission of the organization forward by “providing creative learning experiences for everyone”… community member or visitor.

For more information about Access Arts, check out their website or stop by at 1724 McAllester Street, Columbia, Missouri 65201.
573-875-0275
accessarts@schoolofservice.org

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Downtown Columbia (The District) is full of great restaurants and delicious treats – here are 10 meals that Instagram users have shared over the past month. Warning: reading this while hungry will make you more hungry.

Cafe Berlin | 220 N. 10th St.
@thestephyp Dixie Benny! Home made cornbread, ham, poached eggs, and vegetable gravy! #bestbrunchinawhile”

Sake Japanese Bistro | 16 S. 10th St.
@elizabethinpink Mmmm sushi dates are fun”

Coley’s American Bistro | 15 S. 6th St.
@lonawood Hands down best place in CoMo! Love the food, drinks, atmosphere and music!  #hereeveryweek #okaymultipletimesaweek #summertime @coleysbistro

Chinese Wok Express | 422 E. Broadway
@blackgrits Getting our #pho on! #vietnamese #photogenic #beefpho #beef”

Seoul Taco | 1020 E. Broadway
@watertheodds Seoul Taco”

Shakespeare’s | 220 S. 8th St., 3304 W. Broadway Business Park Ct., 3911 Peachtree Dr.
@jasvii007 Old college days haunt. @kaysite @socalfoodiebears @cotraveler #shakespearspizza #mizzou #columbiamo”

Eleven Eleven | 1111 E. Broadway
@1111columbia Our dinner special tonight is a parmesan crusted pork chop with bacon fennel relish and roasted shallot potato purée”

Glenn’s Cafe | 29 S. 8th St.
@capri_su.n Catfish Sandwich. I think I like Cajun food”

Addison’s | 709 Cherry St.
@drewjkoch Had this delicious filet today: topped with fried onions and blue cheese, on a bed of mashed potatoes. #delicious #CoMo #columbiamo #bright #yum#food #steak…”

Main Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe | 28 S. 9th St.
@stephcahail I’m spending my last few days in Columbia eating at my favorite restaurants. My first stop is at The Main Squeeze! #bittersweet #salad#thefinalnomdown”

Now that you’re starving, pick one of the featured restaurants and grab a bite to eat.

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