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mondays with megan

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

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.

opens in a new windowConfetti Craft Co.

Photo from Confetti Craft Co.

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

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

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

Strawn Park Map

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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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

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

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

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

Roots and Blues and BBQ 2017 tickets available.

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 opens in a new windowRoute 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

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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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 shopSub 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.

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

billiardsThis 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 opens in a new window#ShowMeCoMo to share.

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