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COLUMBIA, MO.

The ultimate roadtrip guide to Columbia, Missouri

Pizza Tree

At Pizza Tree, try the Instant Classic, a pepperoni pizza with pickled red onion, basil and a ranch drizzle. 

Home to The University of Missouri-Columbia and close to multiple state parks, Columbia, Missouri, makes a great spot for a weekend getaway. Our list of the city's best eateries ensures that you won't go hungry. Munch on bagels, dive into shawarma or dine on sushi in this multifaceted college town. 

Breakfast and brunch

Goldie’s Bagels

This Jewish-style deli serves breakfast and lunch grab-and-go style. The name is a nod to the eatery’s signature fare, baked fresh each morning in a variety of styles and served just as you like it: plain, or with housemade cream cheese. If you’re getting a later start to your day, don’t sleep on the lunch menu, which features pastrami sandwiches on scratch-made bread.

Goldie's Bagels, 114 S 9th St., Suite 102 Columbia, Missouri, ordergoldies.com

Ozark Mountain Biscuit & Bar

This beloved mid-Missouri brand began on wheels nearly a decade ago before opening its first brick-and-mortar restaurant, serving its iconic savory biscuit sandwiches among a smattering of Southern-style eats. Stop here for a sweet or savory breakfast – try the buttermilk pecan waffles – paired with an Ozark Coffee Co. latte or a mimosa from the well-stocked bar.

Ozark Mountain Biscuit & Bar, 1204 Hinkson Ave., Columbia, Missouri, 573.447.6547, ozarkbiscuits.com

Cafe Berlin

A quintessential Columbia brunch spot, Cafe Berlin serves a flavorful menu complete with a quirky collection of coffee mugs. Order the weekly waffle special or the Blue Pig – blue cheese creamed grits, sautéed greens and roasted patchwork pork shoulder topped with a poached egg.

Cafe Berlin, 220 N 10th St., Columbia, Missouri, 573.441.0400, cafeberlincomo.com

Lunch

Beet Box

This eatery specializes in Middle Eastern fare with a flair all its own – think sweet and savory pastries alongside shawarma. Tiff Walker of Eat. Crepe. Love., a mobile creperie based in nearby Jefferson City, says the hummus bowl is “life changing.” Road trip worthy, no doubt.

Beet Box, 602 Fay St. Columbia, Missouri, 573.999.3889, eatabeetbox.com

D Rowe's Restaurant & Bar

Owned by former Mizzou football player David Rowe, this classic American eatery is loved for its always dependable fare, especially the signature smoked wings. Dine in or preorder a catering platter to outfit your own tailgate.

D Rowe's, 1005 Club Village Dr., Columbia, Missouri, 573.443.8004, drowesrestaurant.com

Pizza Tree

Grab a slice or a whole pie to-go via the walkup window at this pizza joint. Come here early or late for the most creative pies in town – the Kimchi pie and Mac and Cheese pie are two memorable options.

Pizza Tree, 909 Cherry St., Columbia, Missouri, 573.874.9925, order.pizzatreepizza.com

Dinner

Flyover

Centered on ingredients native to the Midwest, this restaurant infuses big flavor and creativity into the fare of flyover country. Appetizers, such as the “Chicken Fried” Cauliflower – crisp fried cauliflower, smothered in smoked sweet potato purée, Crows Fork Farm’s goat cheese and chimichurri, are sure to leave an impression.

Flyover, 212 E. Green Meadows Rd., Ste. 9, Columbia, Missouri, 573.825.6036, www.flyovercomo.com

Kampai

Sushi is the star of the menu here, but don’t skip over the unique appetizers – like the octopus salad and the tuna and goat cheese plate, featuring sashimi-style tuna with Fuji apple and goat cheese in pumpkin seed oil.

Kampai, 907 Alley A. Columbia, Missouri, 573.442.2239, kampaialley.com

Pasta La Fata

This pop-up turned Italian-style deli has everything you need to make an epic Italian dinner at home, or – even better – pick up fresh and frozen options for you to eat now or later. Choose your favorite pasta and sauce pairing and get it made fresh right in front of your eyes, then take it over to the nearby Logboat Brewing Co. lawn for an al fresco meal.

Pasta La Fata, 1207 Rogers St., Suite 106, Columbia, Missouri, 573.375.8803, www.pastalafata.net (coming soon)

Drinks

Barred Owl Table and Butcher

The fare served at Barred Owl Table and Butcher’s is geared toward a whole-food, sustainable philosophy, and so are the drinks. You’ll find some of the freshest seasonal beverages here, like the Spring Dalliance: Vodka, rosemary-thyme syrup, lemon juice and Faccia Brutto Centerbe, topped with locally-pressed Waves Dry Cider.

Barred Owl, 47 E. Broadway, Columbia, Missouri, 573.442.9323, barredowlbutcher.com

Acola Coffee

This North Village Arts District shop is new to the scene but has already gained a loyal fan base. The café serves a full menu of hot or cold caffeinated beverages, using locally roasted Three Story Coffee beans. Relax in the greenhouse-esque lounge while sipping your favorite drink – with an infusion of blackberry lavender syrup, maybe – and pair it with a scratch-made pastry.

Acola Coffee, 300 N 10th St., Suite 100, Columbia Missouri, 573.447.8050, acolacoffee.com

Bud’s Classic BBQ

An ideal stop for game day, Bud’s Classic BBQ has all of your favorite drinks on tap: spicy Margaritas, Palomas or a locally brewed Logboat beer are all on draft, along with a lineup of other classic and inventive craft drinks that are turned out fast without sacrificing flavor.

Bud's Classic BBQ, 304 S 9th St., Columbia, Missouri, 573.777.1177, budsclassicbbq.com

Snacks and sweets

Wishflour Bakery

New to the North Village Arts District, this cottage bakery turned brick and mortar offers some of Columbia’s sweetest treats: cupcakes, scones – mango coconut, anyone? – and other pastry surprises are available here on weekends only.

Wishflour Bakery, 2007 S. Deeborn Circle, Columbia Missouri, 573.239.2992, wishflourbakery.com

Peggy Jean's Pies

Peggy Jean's offers a variety of classic and creative pie flavors. 

Peggy Jean’s Pies

The mother-daughter duo behind this pie shop just opened their second Columbia location, serving up a variety of your favorite fruit and custard pies. For a savory option, order the Southwestern chicken pot pie.

Peggy jean's Pies, 503 East Nifong Blvd., Suite C Columbia, MO OR 421 N Stadium Blvd., Suite 103 Columbia, Missouri, peggyjeanspies.com

Main Squeeze Market

A long time vegan oasis in downtown Columbia, Main Squeeze has recently switched up its model to a market-style venue alongside its juice and smoothie bar, offering fresh and frozen vegan treats to-go. Pick up a Tsokolate superfood bonbon sampler or a fresh-pressed juice to refresh during your downtown stroll. 

Main Squeeze Market, 28 S 9th St., Columbia, Missouri, 573.817.5616, main-squeeze.com

Shop here

Columbia Farmers Market

The award-winning Columbia Farmers Market regularly features over 60 local farmers and artisans selling ready to eat food, drinks and art alongside fresh produce, all under a covered pavilion. Shop here Saturday mornings or Wednesday evenings.

Columbia Farmers Market, 1769 W Ash St., Columbia, Missouri, columbiafarmersmarket.org

Need to get away?

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Jessica is a freelance writer based in Columbia, Missouri. She lives by the words of M.F.K. Fisher: "First we eat, then we do everything else."

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