Skip to main content

local favorites

Friday Favorites

Today’s favorites come from Sarah Dresser, Program Specialist for the Office of Cultural Affairs. Everyone have a great weekend!

Place for a coffee break, low key lunch, pre-movie snack, or late night drink:
Uprise Bakery

Upriseopens IMAGE file

You’ve probably guessed that I frequent Uprise Bakery quite a bit. Possibly 3 or 4 times in one day! The good thing is that the atmosphere is always welcoming to my recurring visits. There is a wide array of unique soups and sandwiches as well as a great selection of craft brews. Plus you can take food and drinks with you into the neighboring Ragtag Cinema or enjoy on the patio if the weather is nice. Another perk is the staff’s great taste in music.

Outdoor happy hour:
Mojo’s Forrest Rose Park

Mojosopens IMAGE file

When the weather starts to warm up again in the spring, one of the first places on my list to go is Forrest Rose Park at Mojo’s for Friday afternoon happy hour. It is the perfect place to start the weekend and enjoy free live music on the patio or at a picnic table in the grass.

Event to make new friends:
True/False Film Fest


The light at the end tunnel each winter is True/False Film Fest. Between the documentary films, parties, parades, and busker musical showcases, you are bound to connect with some new people. Some of my best CoMo friendships were forged at True/False!

Place to see the unexpected:
Roots N Blues N BBQ

Roots N Bluesopens IMAGE file

I expect to see and hear great music at this festival. However, did I expect to see a roaming, glowing, larger-than-life winged caterpillar float overhead during the Avett Brothers concert? The answer is no. There are artsy surprises around every corner at this music festival in Stephens Lake Park. Hanging in the trees, wandering through the crowds, wherever you look there are art installations to intrigue and amazing you.

Runner up in this category: True/False’s March March

True False parade1 2014 Photos-3 -Elise

 (Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Ride to Rocheport:
Boone Dawdle

Boone Dawdleopens IMAGE file

My favorite way to ride to Rocheport is to dawdle – that is to Boone Dawdle. This annual event (also a fundraiser for True/False) is the perfect combination of all of my favorite things – fun with friends biking on the Katy Trail, live music along the way, trailside surprises, documentary film, great food, spectacular views of the Missouri River, and more!

Place to re-balance:
alleyCat Yoga

alleycatopens IMAGE file

(Photo from Facebook)

At least once a week, I need to take an hour or two to step away from all the hustle and bustle of Columbia and focus inward. alleyCat Yoga is my favorite place to quiet the mind as well as practice my favorite yoga poses. I’ve enjoyed many different classes, which are offered in a range of styles for students of all ages and all levels of experience.

Food truck:
Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co.

ozark biscuit

(Photo from Facebook)

I love that Columbia has embraced the food truck culture! Throughout the week, I will track on social media where to locate the trucks. My favorite has to be the biscuit truck. I enjoy the Souie Pig, smoked pulled pork piled on a biscuit and drenched in tangy arkan-sauce topped with vinegar cabbage slaw. Yum!

Theatre experience:
GreenHouse Theatre Project

greenhouseopens IMAGE file

(Photo from Facebook)

A theatre experience like no other in Columbia! GreenHouse Theatre Project’s motto is “innovative theatre in unexpected places.” You will see classical, new works, and experimental theatre productions at a variety of venues (think: art galleries, yoga studios, and even rooftops).

Place to mingle:
PS Gallery

Mingleopens IMAGE file

(Photo credit Chelsea Myers)

I’m always looking for an excuse to dress up and mingle with downtown. Even better in the presence of new and thought-provoking art. PS Gallery is the perfect location to mingle, with bi-monthly rotating exhibits that feature local, regional, and national artists. Opening receptions feature tasty bites from local eateries as well as the opportunity to chat with the exhibiting artists, see your friends and make new ones.

Cool thing to tell people about Columbia:
Public Art

29 Look Out Point (1)opens IMAGE file

“Look Out Point” by Carol Fleming

Columbia has an unbelievable collection of public art! Look around and you will see art along the street, on parking garages, outside city hall, in front of the library, on traffic signal boxes, and the list goes on. One of the best aspects of my job with the Office of Cultural Affairs is to spread the awareness of the diversity of public art in the city. OCA has a hard copy and online Public Art Guide, and a new mobile app for iPhone was just launched with Otocast. Take a self-guided tour with one of the guides and learn more about Columbia’s rich cultural landscape!

Continue reading...

Friday Favorites

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! Emily Lorenz from Show-Me State Games has shared some of her CoMo favorites with us:

I am excited to be able to share my Friday Favorites. I am the Marketing Coordinator for the Show-Me State Games, and have lived in Columbia for 12 years. Many of my favorites have changed a bit over the years, from when I started college to now, a married mom of two. But that is one of my favorite things about living here – there are shops, restaurants, and things to do, no matter your age.

Favorite Park: Philips Lake Park

Philips Lake 2

This is such a hard one to pick because there are so many I visit on a frequent basis. I took walks at Stephens on almost a daily basis as an undergrad and now love bringing my kids to play at Bethel and Flat Branch. However, one of my new favorites is Philips Lake Park. It is absolutely gorgeous, quiet, and has such a nice trail. The Show-Me State Games hosts our triathlon there as well as a Pumpkin Fun Run for kids, and it’s such a great park.

Favorite Patio: Las MargaritasLas Margaritas Patio

(Las Margaritas Patio, Las Margaritas on Corporate Lake Facebook)

The space now occupied by Las Margaritas has had many different names over the years. It was walking distance from the first apartment my husband and I lived in together and we walked there many nights.  I love how the patio overlooks the lake and gets both shade and sun. It’s great for a date or family night.  And one of the best parts is that Las Margaritas food (not to mention margaritas…) is delicious, its clean and has great service.

Best Kept Secret: The Groom Room

Groom Roomopens IMAGE file

Well, it’s not exactly a secret, as the owner is very busy, but it’s a hidden little gem, great for kid’s haircuts, men’s grooming services, and select spa services for ladies. It is perfect for toddler haircuts since there is a fun little car, movies, and snacks to keep kids happy! She also does mom-daughter pedicures which I am so excited to do with my little girl.

Local shop: Lizzi and Rocco’s

Lizzi and Rocco's Natural Pet Market

(Photo From Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market Facebook page: Kyle, Jessica, and the bosses – Rocco, left, and Lizzi)

Five years ago we adopted a dog from Second Chance Columbia. She’s been a part of our family ever since, and whenever we feel like treating her, Lizzi and Rocco’s is our choice. They have tons of healthy and delicious treats for our furry friend and they also host a lot of events. My kids love going, too, because they always get to make new doggie friends!

Summer Activity:  Little Mates Cove

Little Mates Cove

This summer I discovered Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes Park. My 1-year-old and 3-year-old both fell in love and it really has helped my daughter get more comfortable being in the water. It’s a fun, relaxing experience, and I only wish it was open longer…summer keeps me busy.

Columbia Event:  Show-Me State Games

Show Me State Gamesopens IMAGE file

Speaking of keeping busy in the summer, I know it is cheating a bit, but the Show-Me State Games really is my favorite Columbia event. From watching the kids in the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremonies to seeing seniors in their 80s competing, it is a very inspirational, rewarding experience, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Continue reading...

Friday Favorites

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone is enjoying the day! Today’s favorites come from CVB Sales Manager, Gina Damico Landeck:

It’s Favorite Friday!  As much as I want to write this, I hate to think I’ll be moving away from this wonderful city in just a few weeks. But before I leave, I have compiled a personal top ten list of random things I’ll miss about Columbia.

Bangkok Gardens:

Bangkok Gardensopens IMAGE file

Voted “Best Thai and Asian Food” by Inside Columbia Magazine for a reason. Hands down one of my favorite Thai restaurants of all times. I love sitting at the counter, eating pistachios while they cook my Phat See Eiu (Drunken Noodles, with Chicken, at a level 3 heat). They know what their customers want and they do it right.

Clip Joint South:

Being able to trust someone with your hair is very important to a lot of women. I met Staci Mains when I planned her wedding 2007 and was coloring my hair from a L’Oreal box. She told me to relax and let her do the work. She’s an Aveda color expert and I haven’t picked up another L’Oreal box since.

Tropical Liqueurs: 

Tropsopens IMAGE file

(Photo of South location)

Where else can you close your eyes and have a fruity frozen drink (other than a beach)? The downtown location’s remodel has really brightened the place up. I love to mix flavors, dine on their buttery popcorn and buy a half gallon of mix to bring home. One word: Yummy!

Columbia Mall Alterations: 

Columbia Mall Alterationsopens IMAGE file

Sue is the best kept secret in town. For us shorter folks who need a quick hem, Sue makes everything happen at a reasonable price. I first met Sue in the mall 8 years ago, near the Target wing. She has since moved across the street next to Apple Tree Quilting. Sue defines the American dream of providing for her family back in Vietnam and is proof that hard work pays off.

Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital: 

Noah's Ark Animal Hospitalopens IMAGE file

Veterinarians are some of the most respected people on the planet. They care so deeply for our loved ones, and that’s why I love the husband and wife team over at Noah’s Ark. They even offered to come to our home when we couldn’t transport our dog to their clinic and made a donation in his honor when he passed. I can never forget that generosity and compassion as long as I live.

Women’s Health Associates: 

Again, another topic women can appreciate. The doctors and nurses of this practice understand and listen to the patient. I don’t have a general doctor so they answer all my questions, even those related to the common cold. Although I’m done having children, I would recommend Dr. Kevin Jones to every woman I know.

Daniel Boone Little League:

When my husband and I moved to Columbia we lived in a subdivision called Georgetown. Our street happened to back up to this amazing ball field complex. As we had our children, I knew that’s where I wanted them to play. There’s just something about the crack of the bat and the parents’ cheering that puts a smile on my face.

Columbia Performing Arts:

Columbia Performing Artsopens IMAGE file

This favorite relates to our children, or maybe the fact that I was a dancer in my youth. I enrolled our daughter into her first dance class at the age of 6. In two years, this prestigious arts centre has grown into 12 dance studios, and they now have their own 700 seat theater. They have an award-winning competition team, and 100% of all ticket sales for their May recitals go to local charities.

True/False Film Fest: 

True False parade1 2014 Photos-3 -Elise

(Photo of 2014 True/False Parade “March March”)

I was one of the people who had heard about it but never went, UNTIL this year. Wow, did I miss out! Mark your calendars for March 5-8, 2015! These documentaries are unbelievable and raw. The producers, directors and subjects answer questions at the end of the screening, just like at the highly publicized Sundance Film Festival.  You will get a whole new perspective of certain topics, trends, beliefs and/or history.

My friends, my community:


(CVB staff members, left to right: Gina, Beth Mead, Terra Crane, Julie Ausmus)

The relationships I have made here are priceless. My co-workers past and present, my neighbors, my church family, my children’s teachers and daycare provider are just some of the people I’ll truly miss. The places are endless but the people are rare. I will treasure Columbia and visit frequently because it’s what you unexpect!

Continue reading...