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Chow in Columbia, MO

  • m

I'm headed to Columbia tomorrow, from the San Francisco Bay Area, for a two month stay.

What must I absolutely eat while in Columbia?

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  1. Murray's does a decent steak and some other things, but what most regulars love are the fried green bell pepper rings sprinkled with powdered sugar.

    Now, don't go ewwwwww! At least try it. Most folks are wonderfully surprised!

    Live jazz some nights.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jane

      There's a new place on the south side of town at the corner of Nifong and Forum in the Woodrail Centre called the Savoy Chophouse and Oyster Bar. It's the former owner of Glenn's Cafe downtown's new place, so it has a distinctly New Orleans appeal and influence. Great oysters on the half shell. All the rest of their food we've tried has been excellent, too, and to-die-for desserts. Everything is ala carte, but portions are massive, and you can't walk away hungry. Very reasonably priced items as well, running the gamut from Eggplant Parmesan and Fried Grouper, each priced at $9, all the way up to the most expensive item, a Porterhouse at $32. They have ribs, chicken, lamb, pork chops, and other steaks, also, and an interesting dish called Halibut Monterey. They usually have a special in the evenings, too. Their Peacemaker (oyster po-boy) is outstanding as well. They are open for lunch M-F and in the evenings starting at 4:30 M-Sat. Enjoy!

    2. For a "bar burger" go to Boochie's downtown...excellent. Pool tables, too.

      1. Ah, Columbia! So many wonderful memories and really fantastic food. It's been a couple of years since I've been, so I don't know of the newer favorites, but this should help you out. The best gyro's ever are found at the International Cafe, within walking distance from campus in downtown (10th street, maybe) For a San Fran transplant, you will be very happy with Trattoria Strata Nova for dinner. It is located on 9th street downtown, right by the Blue Note. Ask for an herb plate when they bring the bread. You should get chopped, fresh basil, garlic, parm, and crushed red pepper. For the best pizza in the country, no kidding, head down the street to Shakespere's Pizza. You will be very pleased. My favorite: pepporoni, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and pepper cheese. If you get to Flat Branch Pub and Brewery, have the chokes and cheese appetizer. It is an excellent artichoke dip. Like the others have said, you must go to Booches for burgers. They are wonderful. Don't expect a fancy atmosphere at Booches, though. The burgers are served on peices of paper.
        If you are interested in a steak house, try CC Broilers. The jalapeno, chedder baked potato is worth the whole meal itself. They used to serve the best grilled chicken livers wrapped in bacon with cocktail sauce. I still crave those.

        Although I haven't yet been, there is a new tapas restaurant that I understand is very delicious called Sasha's. You will also be very pleased with the veggie sub at the Sub Shop. It's not healthy, but delicious.

        At Chris McD's, you must have the strip steak for dinner and the BBQ shrimp appetizers.Oh, I almost forgot the Village Wine and Cheese food shop. Great Food!!
        You are going to be pleasantly suprised at all of the great places for food in Columbia. It won't take you long at all to find your favorites. You should also know that they have a wonderful farmer's market on Saturday mornings. It's different than the big market in San Fran, but you won't be disappointed with the flowers and fruits and vegetables.

        If you want a little drive (20 minutes down Interstate 70) head to Rocheport, MO. There is a winery there and an excellent restaurant. A note of caution, the winery experience in Mid-Mo is much different from Napa/Sonoma, etc., Here the main emphasis is drinking bottles of wine and enjoying the view. There isn't the tasting that goes on.

        Please get back to me and let me know what you have discovered!!

        1. How could I forget the shrimp soup at Bangkok Garden, on 9th Street directly across from Trattoria Strada Nova. Simply the finest I've ever had. And I've had a lot. Actually, all of their food is good, but the shrimp soup is the best.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Stephanie

            Pretty sure Bangkok Garden was no more when I was last in COMO. I used to go back and forth between it and 9th street Deli depending on time when I'd go to see a show at the blue note. I used to drive in pretty often. I'll ask my friends who live there, when I see them Saturday, if they have any idea.

            1. re: bobzemuda

              Bangkok Gardens IS still open: it just moved to Cherry Street, around the corner from Ninth Street Noodles and across from the Spanish Fly. However, for another Thai option in Columbia, try the Thai Kitchen in the Regency Hotel on Broadway. It is equally as good as Bangkok Gardens, and much less noisy and crowded. Very relaxing. Also, they are not skimpy on their portions like BG.

              1. re: Christine

                I had dinner at BG several months ago and, yes, it was noisy and crowded, but in addition the meal was dreadful. I have since had several people tell me how good it is though so maybe it was just an off night.... Thai Kitchen is good too, especially since it is in the none-too-hospitable Regency Hotel.

          2. I pretty much agree with the other posts. But I must stress a few points. Don't leave Columbia without partaking in a cheeseburger and a frosty at Booches, the veggie sub on whole wheat (1/2 is plenty), extra done is appropriate, throw on extra bacon and then it isn't a veggie sub! from the SubShop (3 locations), Brock's pepper rings and a cold roast beef sandwich at Murry's, or the #8 (full country breakfast with Boone County country ham) from Ernie's, and finally a Shakespeare's pizza (any variety, now 2 locations). Avoid these places on collegiate game days or right when the students return from breaks. You don't want the crowds to diminish some excellent chow'in. PS, you can still get brains and eggs at the BullPen. They open at 5:30 am.

            1. I pretty much agree with the other posts. But I must stress a few points. Don't leave Columbia without partaking in a cheeseburger and a frosty at Booches, the veggie sub on whole wheat (1/2 is plenty), extra done is appropriate, throw on extra bacon and then it isn't a veggie sub! from the SubShop (3 locations), Brock's pepper rings and a cold roast beef sandwich at Murry's, or the #8 (full country breakfast with Boone County country ham) from Ernie's, and finally a Shakespeare's pizza (any variety, now 2 locations). Avoid these places on collegiate game days or right when the students return from breaks. You don't want the crowds to diminish some excellent chow'in. PS, you can still get brains and eggs at the BullPen. They open at 5:30 am.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                Holy shmoley, Ernie's is still around? Man, those were the best biscuits and gravy, ever...especially at $1.25 a plate.

                1. re: JBinStl

                  Late night/breakfast-Broadway Diner (now slightly off Broadway) for a Stretch. Eggs, hash browns, cheese, chili, and onions all in one dish.

                  Upscale breakfast-Cocina Sorella-the best biscuits and gravy or French toast in town. (Owned by Trattoria Strada Nova folks across the street). Ditto on the marks for Trat and Booche's.

                  Murry's garlic cheese bread a must side for the filet mignon.

                  Dali's on Southhampton with most extensive tapas menu anywhere. Co-owner Miguel is the consummate host. Great wines as well.

                  1. re: Mike Rowson

                    Tried Dali's recently. Quite good, and excellent service.

              2. G&D Pizza at Stadium and Providence (Strip mall up the hill from Wal-Mart). It's different than Shakespeare's (go with the wheat crust there, by the way), has more of a cracker crust. Not open on Sunday, when the MU cafeterias are closed, so it has more of a family atmosphere. I have made special side trips when traveling just to partake. YUM!

                1 Reply
                1. re: homesick

                  The absolutely best pizza in columbia (or anywhere for that matter) is served up at a little dive of a location downtown called Tony's Pizza Palace. It's been there since the 60's and tastes the same as it did back then (deliveries to black-light illuminated, smoky dorm rooms). Delightfully greasy and cheesy. I still drive in from St. Louis just to satisfy my cravings. Try it.

                2. For awesomely cheap and great vietnamese go to China Wok? right on broadway. They have awesom Pho and great Bun vermicelli as well as spring rolls and a standard Chinese menu. I love this place, I ate there sometimes twice a week when i lived there.

                  Also good is Carlito's on the Business loop for carnitas tacos with their own homemade hot sauce and cilantro and onions-real nice owner too.

                  A new place that I really like is Taqueria El Rodeo on Nifong in South Columbia. Real Mexican food ie: lengua, cabeza, etc....great tacos and tortas and I like their carne asada, comes sliced up on top of a bed of nopales and whole fried jalapenos.

                  Enjoy Columbia.

                  1. That's Stadium & BROADWAY for G&D Pizza. Also, the G&D Steaks at Stadium and Worley (beside Best Buy) is awesome, too. Another great Greek place for Pizza is Tony's at Walnut and 6th? Catty-corner from the PO. Been there a very long time. I think they're all related.

                    1. Is the Savoy Chophouse open anymore?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: k_d

                        No, they closed down about 2 years ago

                        1. re: Bib

                          Steve Cupp reopened Glenn's in Boonville at the restored Frederick Hotel.

                          1. re: steveb

                            How is Glenn's Version 2.0 in Booneville? Is the menu the same? I have been meaning to check it out.

                      2. We loved the Savoy Chophouse and ate there several times before it closed. We felt it was much better than the original Glenn's. Don't know why it didn't catch on; maybe the location? We are going to try Glenn's in Boonville sometime soon. When we do, I'll be sure to post our findings, although I have to say, my co-workers who live in Boonville and have tried it, have all liked it, so that's good news.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Christine

                          That's great news! My husband and I plan to make the drive to Boonville too. Glenn's was always my "birthday dinner" restaurant, so you can imagine how sad I was to see it go.

                        2. Try Buckingham's BBQ on Providence and Bus loop 70, mmmm pretty dang good barbeque, great beans and great sweet potatoes.