One of the most reliably tasty and imminently affordable places in Columbia is Chinese Wok Express. It looks dingy from the outside and not much better in (the owner of another one of Columbia’s Asian restaurants loves the food at CWE but claims to eat there with eyes closed). No matter, the food is excellent. I generally order from the Vietnamese side of the menu, sticking closely to the noodle bowls (I’ve found the Chinese platters on the other side of the menu decidedly so-so). The numbers 15 and 17 are personal favorites, and come out with thin rice noodles covered with shaved beef, cucumber, mint, carrot and and lettuce, all of it bathed in a light (lemongrass?) broth. The vegetables are fresh and crunchy and wonderful. Throw a little extra chili sauce and you’ve got the makings of a perfect summer lunch – even if they’re open until 9pm every day but Sunday, when they’re closed.
422 E Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201