Columbia in Missouri is first and foremost a college town, but it is undoubtedly also a foodie hotspot. With the constant influx of new students, the town’s dining establishments strike a crucial balance between keeping up with the latest food trends from across America and the world, and maintaining its iconic restaurant landmarks, some of which have stood since the late 19th century. Discover the city and its delicious culinary traditions and trends with our guide to the best places to dine.
Bringing the classic cool of the 1930s jazz clubs to Columbia since the mid-80s, Murry’s offers jazz performances five nights a week, with an a la carte menu to browse whilst you listen. The servers clearly want to create a living room atmosphere, and they have succeeded with their fine-dining version of a soul food menu that is the best of home cooking combined with gourmet flair. Murry’s boasts a family vibe that will keep you coming back for more performances and more food.
CC’s City Broiler
Based in what used to be an abandoned bus station, CC’s City Broiler took this inauspicious location and turned it into one of Columbia’s most popular steakhouses. This is achieved through great meat selection and preparation, with their USDA Prime Steaks cooked over a live oak fire to your cooking preference and served with an impressive wine list featuring over 100 wines. All this without even mentioning their superb range of seafood and the many more delicacies they have to offer.
Flat Branch Pub & Brewing
Urbanspoon labelled Flat Branch Pub and Brewing one of the top 100 restaurant bars in the country in 2013, and it is easy to see why. Housed in a late 1920s building and opened in 1994, it was the first Columbia brewery to operate in over 150 years. Since then, the bar has amassed an extensive list of home-brewed beers and a top notch Scotch list. All this is combined with their upscale take on classic bar food, often influenced by their specialty beers.
Booches has achieved that rare feat for a restaurant – it has lasted so long and is so popular that it has its own Wikipedia page. This is no surprise, as it really is an institution and has been since it opened all the way back in 1884. Previously a working class men-only hangout, it is now a place many University of Missouri students call home, with its relaxed atmosphere, pool tables and some of the best hamburgers in the county.
44 Stone Public House
This American spin on a British-themed pub has swiftly become one of the town’s most popular hangouts, with the crowds drawn in by their formidable selection of the best international imported craft beers and ever-growing whisky and wine lists. Unlike many places that call themselves twists on traditional English pubs however, 44 Stone has the menu to back it up, with a selection of favorites from across the pond (fish and chips, chicken tikka masala, welsh rarebit) sitting happily alongside American bar staples like reubens, sliders and devilled eggs.
Sycamore is a restaurant committed to using the best of its surrounding location, with ingredients, wherever possible, originating from local producers in and around the Katy Trail. This is the case not just with the food but with the cocktails, with their resident mixologist creating fun and unusual combinations totally unique to Sycamore, often including syrups and juices made on-site to perfectly complement the concise and perfectly formed menu.
The subtitle to Addison’s sign says it all – ‘Addison’s – An American Grill’. Rather than the narrow ‘burgers and beer’ definition of American food, Addison’s reflects the real America where cultures meet and mix and bring their native country’s cuisines with them. This means fascinating blends of Italian, Mexican, French, Asian and American foods, with their best dishes delivering a hefty amount of spice whilst not losing the other flavors of the dish. All the classics are there, but not quite as you know them, making for really intriguing meals.
G&D Steakhouse has been a family dining staple in Columbia since 1970, when Gus Aslanidis first opened the restaurant. Since then, he has become Grandpa Gus, with three generations of the Aslanidis family helping to run this steakhouse. The steaks are superb and are probably the best value quality steaks in the area – it is no wonder Missourians can often be seen queuing round the block for these locally famed delicacies. If you are looking for a simple, no-frills dining experience without compromising on food quality, G&D is by far your best option.
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