Skip to main content

Patio

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

patio of Tropical Liqueurs - tables with green plastic chairs and blue umbrellasPhoto 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

brick patio with tables and chairs; photo taken next to a tree with purple flowersPhoto 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

wooden deck with string lights and large plants looking out over a lake with a fountainPhoto 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

Barred Owl restaurant sign and several tables with chairs and tan umbrellasPhoto 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

patio area with tables and chairs and sunflowers

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

exterior of Tellers Gallery and Bar with brick wall and a few high-top tables and stools

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

unfocused people dining on Flat Branch patio with tables, chairs, and green umbrellas, surrounded by green plants

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

rooftop bar looking over Columbia during sunset with fire burning in the firepit 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

rooftop bar with tables and chairs and a few mismatched umbrellasPhoto 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

golden-doodle puppy sitting in a chair with a can of beer, a napkin, and a platter with a pizza-shaped dog toy on a tablePhoto 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 (or uncovered). Try them out and share your favorite patio stories and photos with us on Instagram and Twitter.


Blog written by Convention and Visitors Bureau intern, Grace Bommel

#ShowMeCoMo

Continue reading...

Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! Today’s favorites come from Beth Mead, CVB Sales and Marketing Manager. Her list is all about her “summer in Columbia” favorites:

Patio Dining:

Patio

(Photo of Bleu’s patio)

Columbia has amazing restaurants with great food. That is good news for us COMO diners year round. In the summer, we have great food on great patios. Even better! Some of my favorite patio- dining spots are Bleu, Sophia’s, Flat Branch, Les Bourgeois and Las Margaritas. So many patios, so little summer….

Kids Playing Outside:

Flat Branch sprayground

(Photo of Flat Branch Spraygrounds)

It’s a beautiful summer day and I’m stuck inside working at my desk. You know what makes that all better? Opening my window and working to the sounds of happy children playing in the spray grounds at Flat Branch Park. Suddenly, I am transported back to my childhood, running through a sprinkler in my front yard.

Ice Cream:

sparkysicecream

(Photo of Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream)

What is summer without ice cream? Of course, you can always make ice cream if you have enough time. Why bother, though? Columbia has more than enough ice cream spots to keep you going all summer long. My family’s favorites are Sparky’s, Randy’s, Andy’s, yogoluv and Buck’s Ice Cream at Mizzou.

Less People:

Hinkson Creek Trail

(Photo of bicycle rider on Hinkson Creek Trail)

This may sound odd for someone who spends their time encouraging people to visit Columbia, but I do love summer in Columbia. It’s quiet and peaceful; it takes less time to go from place to place. There are shorter lines everywhere-at the theater, the ice cream stand, your favorite coffee shop. Even the trails are less crowded.

The Arts Keep Going:

Art in the Park 2011 photo courtesy Art in the Park

(Photo of art at Art in the Park)

There may be fewer people in Columbia in the summer, but the Columbia arts scene doesn’t take a vacation. Summer kicks off with Art in the Park followed by the Blind Boone Festival, not to mention great stage productions at Maplewood Barn Theater, Summer Repertory Theater at Mizzou and Columbia Entertainment Company.

Flowers Everywhere:

Flat Branch Park flowers

(Flowers in front of Flat Branch Park sign)

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department does a fantastic job of creating beautiful garden spots in our public spaces. Whether you are walking or driving downtown, you can’t help but notice the bright plantings all over downtown. Also, next time you are taking your kids to the pool, or hurrying in to a tee-ball game, look around you. You are walking past colorful displays at the entrances to these places. Even if you don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers, you can enjoy them as you drive by: at the roundabout, the stoplight and the “Adopt a Spot” median plantings all over town.

Farmers Markets:

Columbia Farmers Market

(Photo of Columbia Farmers Market)

I love getting up early and going to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. I especially love the Farmers Market in the summer when there is so much variety with all the tasty summer fruits and vegetables. It gets my Saturday off to a great and healthy start and I am much more productive on those Saturdays. But…here’s a little secret: sometimes, I like to stay up LATE on Friday night and then I don’t love getting up early on Saturday. No problem. Columbia has a Sunday Farmers Market too. It’s open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, so I can play late on Friday and not miss out on my tasty summer market finds.

The Library:

Columbia Public Library

(Photo of Columbia Public Library)

I know that going to the library isn’t just a summer activity. The library is open all year. But there’s something special about visiting the library in the summer. I see all the kids checking out reading books with their parents and it reminds me of the time I spent browsing through my hometown library’s bookshelves with my mom and going to the morning “story time” once a week. Is there a better place to read a good book than outside on a sunny summer day?

Summer Welcome:

Mizzou Cornell

(Trulaske College of Business – University of Missouri. Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Okay, I know that I said I liked less people in Columbia in the summer. That’s true, but there’s just something about watching families visit Columbia in preparation for the upcoming school year. At the CVB, we get a lot of parents in our lobby during Summer Welcome asking questions about Columbia – where to live, what to do, where to eat. They are so excited to be here and when talking with them and answering their questions, I get excited to be here all over again. Every time.

Mugs Up:

Mugs Up

(Mugs Up at 603 Orange Street)

It seems like I’ve spent a lot of time talking about food: patios, ice cream, farmer’s markets.  Mugs Up is more than food, though, it’s an experience. If you’ve never been to Mugs Up, it is a small family operated drive-in located on Orange Street.  Their signature style loose meat “zip burgers” are tiny but tasty and their home made root beer served in thick glass mugs is just like root beer should be. Mugs Up: car hops serving hot delicious burgers, fries and root beer to your car window since 1955.

Summer Concerts:

9thstreetflaminglip

(9th Street Summerfest, photo courtesy of The Blue Note)

Columbia is a great music town all year, but I think our summer concerts are special. The variety is amazing; from high energy crowds jammed together on Ninth Street during Summerfest events to low-key, family friendly Sunday night concerts in Shelter Gardens, we have it all. If it gets too hot for you, duck into the Missouri Theatre for the Missouri Symphony Society’s Hot Summer Nights performances.

Let us know what you think of Beth’s favorites, and don’t forget to check back with us next week for more Friday Favorites!

Continue reading...

With the trees turning green and flowers starting to bloom, it’s a great time to visit Columbia and experience its outdoor dining options. Last year, we told you about our opens in a new windowperfect patios, but we have a few more suggestions for your next trip. Relax with some of Columbia’s most delicious food and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather!

In opens in a new windowthe District, there’s never a shortage of places to stop and have an incredible meal.

For al fresco dining, check out Teller’s. It only has a few tables out on the sidewalk and they go fast, but it’s a prime location for both food and people watching.

Teller’s in downtown Columbia decked out with Homecoming decorations.

Also in the District, Shiloh Bar and Grill is the perfect spot to sip a drink on their expansive patio, enjoy local music and have a great meal. The large shaded area is perfect for those hot days and the restaurant itself is a restored train station.

Food, fun and festivities.

Heading to the south part of town, a variety of outdoor options await you.

opens in a new windowLas Margaritas is a family-friendly and festive place serving up fantastic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant opened this fall, so this spring marks the first time patrons will be able to enjoy their beautiful lakeside patio. Take happy hour outside and take in the view at Las Margaritas.

Fresh and fantastic at Las Margaritas.

If something from across the pond is more your speed, head over to opens in a new window44 Stone Pub, where a seat on the patio and an extensive beer selection make for a wonderful experience. Dive into welsh rarebit, signature burgers and fish & chips. Be sure to get a side of colcannon. This mix of smashed potatoes, cabbage, bacon, butter and chives is absolute perfection.

44 Stone in south Columbia. Image from the Columbia Business Times.

Now that we’ve introduced you to a few more great Columbia patios, it’s time to come check them out! Did we miss any of your favorites?

Continue reading...