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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Blog written by Convention and Visitors Bureau intern, Grace Bommel