Enjoy Classic Cuisine and Atmosphere in Columbia, Missouri

Columbia MO may not boast the culinary reputation, nor the number of foodie writeups of other city's in the Midwest - but it does have something that is attracting those in search of great food and places that add to the dining experience by being home to restaurants that supply something that is an important to the diner as the quality of the dishes on the menu - and that is lashings of atmosphere.

Located between two relatively heavyweight regional dining destinations, St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia MO is hardly a small town; it spreads over an area of 60 square miles, and 120,000 people call it home. But taking a seat at one of the well-known restaurants in the area will provide diners with a small-town feel, the ambiance of many if the restaurants in Columbia MO simply begs one to sit back and relax and enjoy great levels of hospitality.

Whether you are going to be enjoying a great burger at Booches Billiard Hall (established 1884), or an incredible steak at Ernie's Cafe & Steak House which has been around since 1934 and boasts decor which brings the 1950s to vibrant life again you will always feel that sense of comfort which is the foundation of a great eating experience.

If you want to experience dining as it should be, combining great food, excellent no-nonsense service, and a welcoming ambiance, then spend some time at a table in Columbia MO is highly recommended.

1. CC's City Broiler

CC's City Broiler is a great place to enjoy steak, ribs, or hot dogs and other delicious foods for you and your family. Featuring the city's cultural selection of foods, it a great place to visit for anyone seeking quality dining. Most people have eaten their fair share of roast meat sandwiches over the years, but you haven't lived until you've tried Columbia MO's unique spin on the dish. The best beef dishes in the city is a decade's long debate, but serving them up since the mid-'80s, CC's City Broiler claims to be the original.

The sandwich is characterized by super-thin slices of its namesake meat served in its own juices on a thick Italian roll. At CC's City Broiler, most locals take their dipped or wet, meaning that the whole thing gets dunked in the zoo. Now that is one tasty treat. Ready to serve at 1401 Forum Blvd, CC's City Broiler might be the city's famous; it's far from the only spot to score a delicious American cuisine.

2. Murry's

Another great place to try is Murry's, which has been serving up some serious competition since 1985 in 3107 Green Meadows Way. There's often a lineup out the door at this modest-looking joint, but trust us, their cold roast beef and pork tenderloin are more than worth the wait. The toppings here are particularly well-balanced and flavorful and their selection of beer and wine is always well-seasoned.

3. Flat Branch Pub

Of the meaty variety, we highly recommend Flat Branch Pub known for its mouthwatering Italian Hoagie and its delicious, hand-pulled California Chicken Club Sandwich. Open since 1994, the small, yet classy pub makes an exception to their usual casual-brawl-style lineup for their weekly beer menu, as well as their specialty barbecue-style sandwiches in their kitchen (and, of course, the famous Missouri BBQ Chicken). Flat Branch Pub & Brewing has perfected the art of corned beef, pastrami, and deserts. It's a perfect place for youngsters and gangsters to feast on the rich history and flavors.

4. Shakespeare's Pizza

Next up on our edible odyssey, consider its second lunch is one of Columbia MO's most famous and contentious dishes, pizza.
The pies coming out of Columbia MO have long inspired debate both around the world as well as locally, across America and beyond. People argue whether the city's unique deep-dish pizza is real pizza or not. Locally, however, the debate goes even deeper with the question is deep-dish pizza the pizza we should be known for? You see, while Columbia MO is synonymous with deep-dish locally, that particular preparation style is often thought of more as tourist fare and a novelty for special occasions.

Columbia MO pizza lovers in the know will tell you that thin crust tavern-style pies are actually the way to go to eat pizza like a local. We recommend you head over to Shakespeare's Pizza, founded in 1973 and slinging pies for 47 years.
The thin, crispy crust is loaded with toppings and then cut into square pieces for distinct crispy deliciousness. That, unbeknownst to most travelers, is arguably more quintessentially Columbia MO than most deep-dish pizzas.