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Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! And only one more week until 4th of July! Today’s favorites come from CVB Web and Communications Manager, Megan McConachie.

Favorite place to be outside: Stephens Lake Park

Stephens Lake island

(Photo courtesy of Columbia Parks and Recreation)

Just off of East Broadway, this oasis of a park boasts a beautiful lake (complete with fishing and a beach!), two fantastic walking trails and plenty of shaded spots to relax and read a book (or nap, I won’t judge). The park is also home to the Roots ‘n Blues ‘n BBQ Festival each fall, bringing in world-class musicians in genres ranging from blues to folk to gospel.

Favorite appetizer: Blue chips cheese bread at Murry’s


There’s not much out there that can beat bread with gooey cheese on it, but then Murry’s had to go ahead and add shrimp. Tucked away in the south part of town, Murry’s has been a local favorite for decades, so be sure to show up early if you want a table. Other McConachie family favorites include the chicken livers (trust us) and the tuna, pesto and feta sandwich.

Favorite pick-me-up: The Rocket Fuel at The Coffee Zone

Coffee Zone

This coffee blend means business! Whether you’re dragging on a Monday morning or pulling an all-nighter, a large Rocket Fuel does the trick. I drink mine with plenty of cream and sweetener, but if you can handle it black, then my hat’s off to you.

Favorite place to escape: Ragtag Cinema

rag tag cinema

(Photo by Jennifer McGovney)

Beer! Movies! Beer at the movies! Ragtag is Columbia’s own independent theater, and it does a bustling business year-round showing independent, documentary and international films that you won’t see anywhere else in town. Grab a beer from the bar, a snack from Uprise Bakery (the Oatmeal cookie is insane) and pick the best seat (or couch!) in the house for a few hours with your fellow film enthusiasts.

Favorite sip: The Bleu Raspberry Lemonade at Bleu

Bleu Lemonade

(Photo by Tom Plant)

The Bleu Rosemary Lemonade at Bleu combines house-made lemonade, blueberry vodka, a splash of wine and a sprig of rosemary to create this refreshing but not too sweet concoction. It’s a favorite of my mom’s, so a summer evening on Bleu’s patio should definitely be in order soon.

Favorite place to sing out loud: The Blue Note

9th Street Summerfest

(Photo by L.G. Patterson)

The Blue Note has been bringing stellar music to Columbia since 1980. Ever since my parents would let me, I’ve been going to shows in this famous venue that has attracted artists from Johnny Cash to Snoop Dogg. My favorite show there so far? Wilco (on 9th Street) or Matt Nathanson. Don’t make me choose!

Favorite place to take a visitor: Ninth St. in The District

9th & Cherry

(Photo by Jennifer McGovney)

In my opinion, no visit to Columbia is complete without a little shopping and people watching on 9th Street in The District. 9th is home to Shakespeare’s Pizza, the Missouri Theatre, Booche’s, Makes Scents, Top 10 Wines and many more stops that will round out anyone’s visit.

Favorite Fest: The True/False Film Fest

True False logo and orange tree 2014 Photos -Elise

(Photo by Elise Eimer, courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

There is only one weekend per year that I absolutely refuse to even consider leaving Columbia for any reason. That weekend is True/False weekend. This internationally-renowned documentary film festival started as the idea of two local co-conspirators and has turned into an exceptional mash up of film, music, art and ideas. Whether you see one film or 12 films, you will leave True/False changed. I know I do every year.

Favorite gift stop: Calhoun’s


Need something for a baby shower? A housewarming? For anyone and any occasion? Say hi to your new best friend, Calhoun’s. Their huge variety of housewares, jewelry, books, art and much more means you’ll leave with just the right gift…and maybe something for yourself.

Favorite dinner atmosphere: Sycamore


(Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

For local, fresh and incredible food, I simply can’t resist Sycamore. With an extensive wine and beer list and a delightfully local food menu, I have never ever had something at Sycamore I didn’t love. Not only is the food excellent, but the service and intimate feel make for a relaxing meal that you won’t soon forget.

Favorite place to wear black and gold: Memorial Stadium

Faurot Field

My dad started taking me to Mizzou Tiger football games when I was two years old and I haven’t stopped. I can think of nothing better to do on a Saturday than get up, put on my black and gold, tailgate for a bit and then cheer on my Tigers. Rain or shine or snow (yes, snow), I’m always ready for game day.

Make sure to take a break from your 4th of July plans next week to read about next week’s Friday Favorites!

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