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What’s your perfect Columbia food day?

Do you prefer an awesome trip down memory lane or new, awesome places?


A question has been weighing heavily on me over the last few days, and I didn’t want to address it until I felt the time was officially right:

Your perfect Columbia food day. This was in response to the Post-Dispatch’s Ben Hochman posting pictures from both Shakespeares and Booches downtown before a midday Mizzou media gathering.

PowerMizzou’s Gabe Dearmond gave a pretty good answer to this question:

I’ve come to realize that you could go both completely old school and completely new school and be super happy either way. So let’s try that.

The perfect old-school Columbia food day

  • Breakfast: Agree with Gabe — you can’t really go wrong with Ernie’s. You might have to wait a while, but the pancakes are enormous.
  • Lunch: Shakespeares. I didn’t eat there a lot in college, strangely enough, because it was more expensive than other options. But the ingredients are so high-quality. It’s still tremendous.
  • Snack: I mean, if you just get one burger (or maybe two) at Booches, that’s kind of like a snack.
  • Dinner: Murry’s is still tremendous, y’all. We don’t eat there often, but every time we do, one of us says “Damn, why don’t we eat here more often?”
  • Dessert: Okay, you have to go before 5pm, and it has to be on a weekend or a summer Saturday, but Buck’s is still awesome.
  • Drinks: McNally’s, of course, home of the best (and most Rock M Nation-friendly) bartender in town.
  • Late night: Broadway Diner. Duh. Or if you want to just pick up a sandwich from Sub Shop on the way back home, that’s a good option, too. Sausage and kraut all the way.

The perfect new-school Columbia food day

  • Breakfast: Harold’s Doughnuts. For nearly 20 years, Columbia was without a truly top-notch doughnut shop. You had to drive to Jefferson City for Dunkin Donuts, and even that closed. Finally, Harold’s came to town a few years ago, and it is phenomenal. Best apple fritter in mid-Missouri and maybe the best Boston Creme I’ve had.
  • Lunch: Cafe Berlin. Lunch or brunch, your call. The apples and sausage are devine, as is basically every egg dish I’ve ever had there. And their compost pile is basically a nod to the Diner’s stretch.
  • Snack: I mean, if you only have a drink or two at Top Ten across from Booches, that’s kind of like a snack. (This isn’t all that “new school” — they’ve been around a while. But I only recently discovered them, so I’m counting it.) Otherwise, fine, Sparky’s up the street.
  • Dinner: 44 Stone. The pork belly sandwich (with the fried egg; gotta get the fried egg) might be my favorite sandwich in town. The only problem is that I’ve had it so much that I’ve almost begun to favor the roast pork reuben. Either way, get them and the disco fries, and you’re set.
  • Dessert: Since you had drinks instead of a snack earlier, go to Sparky’s now.
  • Drinks: Logboat Brewery. I don’t feel I’ve taken enough advantage of the fact that Mizzou has a true, cool brewery in town. If only they’d come while I was in college.
  • Late night: Pizza Tree is open till 2am on the weekend. I cannot tell you how good their bahn mi pizza is. Right around the corner from Harold’s, it’s another welcome addition to the downtown area. Downtown has more interesting places to eat/drink than it ever has before ... and thanks to all the new apartments, parking is harder than it’s ever been (and it’s never been easy).

I just realized I didn’t mention G&D. My parents are going to kill me.

Alright, what’s yours? Are you old school or new school?