True/False: An Eater’s Guide (best of the rest edition)

While the lineup of restaurants sponsoring True/False this year is impressive, they simply scratch the surface of what downtown Columbia offers in the way of food. Here are some other local favorites…and please set me straight in comments.

Sycamore Restaurant – Much of the best food in town comes out of Sycamore’s kitchen. That should be enough. If you need a T/F tie-in, the place is called Sycamore (“trees/forest,” etc.). Whatever. Try: Pork, braised short ribs, salads…hell, try anything.

Chinese Wok Express – The #17 and a new bathroom? Bi-winning! Try: Anything on the Vietnamese side of the menu.

El Rancho: Delishagross “Mexican” food served to drunk people. Likely to be a line out the door late. Try: One more beer, your Spanish skills, cheese enchiladas, Tylenol.

Broadway Brewery: Reports have it that the off-menu barley wine is excellent, but I almost always think the food surpasses the brew here. Try: Peasant Platter, Polenta Plate, pizzas.

Saigon Bistro: Wait times could be a problem if you’re in a hurry and they’re packed. Still, a newcomer worth considering. Try: Pho, curry tofu, bun bo hue.

Coffee Zone: Great coffee and a nice grab-and-go-friendly menu. Try: Hummus, falafel, Rocket Fuel coffee.

Broadway Diner: It’s not actually on Broadway anymore, but this generational favorite has been serving the hungover and the soon to be hungover for decades. Try: To find them not open, the world’s worst coffee, The Stretch – the single greatest thing to happen to breakfast since eggs benedict.

C.J.’s: It’s a wings place. A lot of people like them. Try: The wings.

Sub Shop: Been around for years and the devoted following is well-earned. Try: The Vegetarian with bacon (yes), homemade chips.

9th Street Deli: A nice low-key little deli with one of Columbia’s best sandwiches. Try: The 9th Street Special.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

8 thoughts

  1. Delishagross! that is the best El Rancho description I’ve ever heard. Although, I generally prefer to order the “one last beer that doesn’t get touched because it’s CHEESE TIME”.

  2. Don’t forget Kampai Alley. It’s in the heart of the Fest and has a really great lunch deal with it’s bento boxes.

  3. Thanks Betsy. Borrow at will!

    Emily, Kampai was a sponsor so I listed them in the first post, but you’re right, they’re right in the thick of things. I’ve been happy with their food too.

  4. Just had Pho at China Wok for lunch yesterday! Also, I ALWAYS order the Veggie with bacon…great minds think alike! Thanks for this guide…but it’s more like the best of the best! 🙂

  5. One more thing…my favorite diner hot spot is Ernie’s! Have to support the underdogs…and I always get overly excited when the biscuits and gravy are available to order!

  6. Hey, just wanted you to know that I just tried for the very first time the Veggie with bacon at Sub Shop last Thursday, and you’re right, it’s delicious! Thanks for the rec. Now I’m going to try the Veggie with some other meats, like their turkey or salami… They all sound good to me! I love that the Sub Shop opened in the Parkade Center… a little TOO convenient if you know what I mean 😉

  7. I second the “Delishagross!” What a great way to put it. Thanks for giving us a new word.

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