Dining out of doors

Columbia’s not the world’s greatest outdoor dining locale. I have to think some of it is a hangover from persnickety regulations restricting tables and chairs on sidewalks. Or the absurd awning that besmirched downtown for so many years. But it’s getting better, and here are a decent number of restaurants with a) good food, and b) good patios. Setting aside for now the usual suspects (Les Bourgeois, Flat Branch), where else will you go once it stops raining (for the love of God!) and warms up a tad?


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.

13 thoughts

  1. D. Rowe’s,
    In-N-Out Burger….oh snap that was a flashback to olden times, sorry!

    …but D. Rowe’s is the only al fresco experience that comes to mind. Oh.. Old Chicago one time too.

  2. Not a lot comes to mind in Columbia proper. My own back yard, when the neighbors behave, is usually my spot of preference. 🙂

    The patio at Boone Tavern is pretty, but the crowd and food has swung wildly for me. The sunset at Chim’s on the KT trail is glorious and has a pretty winning view, despite the styrofoam-chic service.

    I second your opinion on the new kitchen store as well.

  3. What’s that Mexican place by Corporate Lake?

    (I know, “Corporate Lake” is a laughable name, and the “lake” itself is really a see-ment pond, but it IS full of water and has ducks.)

    I really liked the outdoor area at International Cafe when it was on Hitt St.

  4. 9th St. Deli is one of my favorites. Lots of good catches here. Others I came up with:

    Kampai Alley
    Uprise Bakery
    Lee Street Deli
    Cafe Berlin

    A bunch of places have shoehorned a few tables and chairs onto sidewalks as well. Thinking Billiards on Broadway and Coley’s.

  5. What about the roof at Harpos and that other thing on the roof that hangs over the street. Is it Quinton’s? It is ugly from street level, but it is a really nice setting up on top. Sky High Bar & Grill has 5 or so tables outside.

    I also really like the small space at the Wine Cellar & Bistro on Cherry Street. It is intimate. My wife and I go get wine, some bread and salads and enjoy the evening.

    Hard to beat Flat Branch and Les Bourgeois for outside.

  6. Casablanca has a nice outdoor terrace. Buckinghams is great to start or finish a weekend. Sophia’s also has a lovely outdoor area.

    La Terraza has a unique “indoor outdoor” space, a fully covered patio. Unfortunately the actually rather nicely landscaped area outside of the Panera at the mall is marred by a constant thick gathering of smokers.

    There’s outdoor sidewalk space down by the U that is shared by Chipotle, Which Wich and Ingredient. And doesn’t Upper Crust also have an outdoor area?

    I miss the old church space Abigails in Rocheport used to have. That was the best al fresco ever.

  7. Oh, and Shiloh. Not been there since it becane Shiloh, but it does have a nice area. They may allow smoking????

  8. I recently met friends at the Boone Tavern patio, which does have a nice atmosphere and we were expecting only mediocre food and service. Mediocre does not equal gross. Warning, food friends, do NOT order the avocado mexicana appetizer! We ordered several appetizers to share, and that thing was ghastly. Imagine tortilla chips accompanied by hard, unripe avocado cut into 3/4-inch cubes, slices of canned jalapenos spread about, and in the center, a magnificent tablespoon of pico de gallo. All nestled atop a soup of jalapeno can juice. Eww. It is a really pretty spot, though.

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