Experience downtown Columbia at street level

Street by street, here’s what you should know about downtown CoMo.


Shakespeare’s Pizza: Shakespeare’s Pizza is one of Columbia’s best-known businesses. Shakespeare’s is synonymous with downtown CoMo, and it’s the place to be if you want to hang out with your friends. The pizzeria moving back to its original location after spending a year on Eighth Street while the new building, a Brookside apartment complex, was being built. The pizza is great to share, and their helpings of cheesy bread are huge. And every time you get a drink, you get a free Shakespeare’s cup, which is where most off-campus students get a majority of their drinking glasses.

Harold’s: Harold’s Doughnuts offers homemade doughnuts in classic flavors, like glazed and red velvet. They make most ingredients from scratch, including their sprinkles. They also have a Love Your Craft Cooking Series where Harold’s pastry chef Melissa Poelling teaches participants how to make doughnuts.

Yellow Dog Bookshop: Yellow Dog Bookshop is the quintessential small-town bookstore. The store is cozy and charming but still organized, and the owner, Joe Chevalier, knows everything there is to know about books. You can also sell your own books for trade credit, so book lovers can trade in books to get credit toward another one.


Artlandish: Artlandish Gallery is a place where local artists sell art in a professional gallery setting. The art is a little pricey for college students, but it’s great to look through the gallery and see the incredible art people from CoMo produce. Plus, it’s surrounded by Fretboard Coffee and Root Cellar, so you can see some art and grab something to drink.

Ernie’s: Ernie’s Cafe & Steak House is one of Columbia’s best diners. They have an art deco building that feels like it’s straight out of a 20’s painting, and the food is incredible. They offer a lot of food for a great price with a great environment as the cherry on top.


West Main Pizza2: Two words: balsamic drizzle. Get it on your pizza when you go to West Main Pizza2, a create-your-own place that has every ingredient from fresh mozzarella to spinach and artichoke hearts for no additional charge. You choose every part of the pizza, and it’s a completely customizable food experience in a venue decorated with cool mirrors, wallpaper and a textured ceiling that makes the place feel like an old-school deli or your rich aunt’s house.

Seoul Taco: Seoul Taco, which is in the same building as Strange Donuts, offers Korean tacos that are to die for. The reasonably priced tacos are typically topped with fresh ingredients and an incredible Sriracha mayo, and the restaurant is in a cool brick building on the corner of Broadway and Hitt.

Absolute Vintage: One of Columbia’s many vintage stores, Absolute Vintage has great prices for the unique pieces you can pick up to add to your wardrobe. The sale rack has unbelievably good deals, and you can find that perfect item to take your wardrobe to the next hipster level.

Calhoun's: Calhoun’s is one of CoMo’s treasures. A cute little blue shop tucked in the vicinity of Hot Box Cookies, Calhoun’s has quirky gifts like Titanic-shaped ice cube makers or pocket music boxes. The store is perfect if you’re looking for a unique gift to get a friend or some home decor pieces to decorate your new res hall room.


Addison’s: Addison’s is a restaurant that seems fancy, but it actually has really great prices. The environment is perfect for taking your parents out on Family Weekend, but it won’t break the bank. They have eclectic paintings, a great atmosphere and phenomenal gourmet nachos.

Pizza Tree: Pizza Tree has unique, fun pizzas. From the Secret Margherita with fresh basil and sea salt to the Steven Cheese with garlic-herb butter and pecorino romano chips, the pizzas are like nothing you’ve ever tasted in the best kind of way.

U Knead Sweets: U Knead Sweets is a quaint pastry shop that sells great scones, among the other sweet treats on their menu, including macaroons, croissants, cakes, pies and cheesecakes. Go for the scone, stay for the quiet study spot.

Edited by Jake Chiarelli | jchiarelli@themaneater.com

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