These 2016 winners represent a decade of what makes Columbia great.

L.G. PATTERSON

Pop the corks, and let’s celebrate! It’s the 10th year ofInside Columbia magazine’s Best of Columbia readers’ choice awards.

A decade ago, Columbia had just been named the state’s very first “Creative Community” by the Missouri Arts Council and Department of Economic Development. The city’s population was rapidly approaching 100,000. The University of Missouri was posting record enrollments, prompting ambitious expansion plans.

As we look back on that first 2007 Best of Columbia issue packed with “favorite people, places and things,” we see so many familiar faces and names. That’s the sign of a vibrant community that knows how to change and grow with the times, while keeping old friends and traditions close, too.

This year’s final tally after three months of voting?

10,648 individuals cast 249,762 votes across a new high of 83 Best of Columbia categories.

The 2016 winners reflect Columbians’ long-standing loyalty to community icons, and the eager embrace of exciting newcomers.

Congratulations to all!

How Columbia Are You?
Check off how many of our winners you’ve visited in the last year (no cheating!) and add up the points to see how true-blue Columbian you are. Look for starred items for bonus points, too!

 

RESTAURANTS

Best Barbecue Restaurant
GOLD: Buckingham Smokehouse Bar-B-Q, 3804 Buttonwood Drive, 573-499-1490, www.buckinghamsmokehouse.com
Yes, let’s make it 10 years in a row for this perennial favorite! The “new” location on Buttonwood Drive opened in 2006. Although the location may have changed, the legendary barbecue is the same as what Mark Brown first brought to Columbia in 1998. The secret to being the best? “I don’t know any other way to do it,” says Brown, who spent more than 20 years on the road working for rock ’n’ roll megastars before bringing that star power to Columbia barbecue. “You use quality meats, you smoke ’em slow, you smoke ’em the old-fashioned way. You offer a good environment and atmosphere. And you get up and go to work every day to make sure it gets done the right way.”
SILVER: Como Smoke and Fire, 4600 Paris Road #102, 573-443-3473, www.comosmokeandfire.com
BRONZE: Lutz’s BBQ, 200 E. Nifong Blvd., 573-443-4227, www.lutzbbq.com

Best Place To Get A Burger
GOLD: Booches Billiard Hall, 110 S. Ninth St., 573-874-9519
“Simply put, this is the best burger on the planet,” one recent online reviewer enthused. A Columbia institution since the year Americans elected Chester A. Arthur president. Booches isn’t just about the burger. Its 112-year history makes it as iconic to generations of Columbians, students and travelers as the waxed paper Booches uses to serve the burgers.
SILVER: Billiards on Broadway, 514 E. Broadway, 573-449-0116, www.billiardsonbroadway.com
BRONZE: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com

Best Place To Get Doughnuts
GOLD: Harold’s Doughnuts, 114 S. Ninth St., 573-397-6322, www.haroldsdoughnuts.com
We have a central Missouri auto shop owner to thank for these sweets, say founders Michael and Karli Urban. Michael’s grandfather’s lifelong love of doughnuts inspires the Urbans’ inventive reimaging of these old-fashioned treats. If you’ve eaten your way through the 12 regular flavors, there are muffins, kolaches, twists, Long Johns and fritters, as well as specialty creations for holidays and events like the True/False Film Fest. Last February, Harold’s debuted new late-night weekend hours: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
SILVER: Strange Donuts, 1020 E. Broadway, 573-499-3663, www.strangedonuts.com
BRONZE: Hy-Vee, 3100 W. Broadway, 573-447-0133; 405 E. Nifong Blvd., 573-442-8595; 25 Conley Road, 573-442-7703; www.hy-vee.com

Best Place To Enjoy A Glass Of Wine
GOLD: Les Bourgeois Vineyards, Tasting Room: 12847 W. Highway BB, 573-698-2716; Blufftop Bistro: 14020 W. Highway BB, 573-698-2300; A-Frame: 573-698-3401; www.missouriwine.com
Curtis and Martha Bourgeois purchased 15 acres of Missouri River blufftop property near Rocheport some 42 years ago. With their four children, they moved from Columbia into a rustic A-frame on the property while they built a new home. From that humble beginning, the Bourgeois family developed a flourishing 35-acre enterprise that includes a vineyard, winery, fine dining restaurant, and casual picnic and wine garden area, all with stunning views of the river and the hawks and eagles that soar overhead.
SILVER: Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
BRONZE: Top Ten Wines, 111 S. Ninth St., Suite 160, 573-442-2207, www.toptenwines.net

Best Place To Get A Beer
GOLD: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com
Celebrating 22 years in Columbia, the local brew pub occupies an atmospheric 1927 brick warehouse and former Hudson car dealership with a curved, barrel-trussed roof. Fresh, inventive pub food complements a generous array of award-winning craft beers on tap.
SILVER: Logboat Brewing Co., 504 Fay St., 573-397-6786, www.logboatbrewing.com
BRONZE: 44 Stone Public House, 3910 Peachtree Drive, 573-443-2726, www.44stonepub.com

Best Local Craft Beer
GOLD:
Honey Wheat by Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com
SILVER: Shiphead by Logboat Brewing Co., 504 Fay St., 573-397-6786, www.logboatbrewing.com
BRONZE: Snapper by Logboat Brewing Co., 504 Fay St., 573-397-6786, www.logboatbrewing.com

Best Place To Enjoy A CocktailFavorite radio personalities Scotty & Cara at The Roof
GOLD: The Roof (The Broadway Hotel),1111 E. Broadway, 573-875-7000,www.thebroadwaycolumbia.com
To Bob McDonald, general property manager of The Broadway Hotel, 11Eleven and The Roof, “best means always being on stage and ready to deliver great service, great quality, great experiences to each guest every time.” Celebrating its two-year anniversary this month, The Roof is a premier entertainment hub that offers a sophisticated bar vibe with spectacular city views; an outdoor deck with fire pits; local music, art and film events; craft cocktails and inventive small plates and appetizers. Along with The Roof’s general manager, Rob Hayward, McDonald aspires to provide Columbians with “a whole different perspective on where we live and what kind of city Columbia is.” With a hospitality background in Washington, D.C., and Aspen, Colo., venues, McDonald knows how to add “that bit of upscale, bigger city sensibility that shows off what makes Columbia a top place to live, work, visit and play.”
SILVER: Tropical Liqueurs, 515 E. Broadway, 573-442-8098; 3805 S. Providence Road, 573-256-7141; www.2trops.com
BRONZE: Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.com

Best Sports Bar
GOLD: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar, 1005 Club Village Drive, 573-443-8004, www.drowesrestaurant.com
Comfortable and casual, the D. Rowe’s crew loves being just a “regular” place, famous for its giant portions that “overspill” large plates. Be sure to follow the very Columbia sports bar on Twitter to keep up with specials and to order your wings early for the big game. They always sell out quick!
SILVER: Trumans Bar & Grill, 3304 W. Broadway Business Park Court, 573-445-1669, www.trumansbar.com
BRONZE: Shiloh Bar & Grill, 402 E. Broadway, 573-875-1800, www.shilohbar.com


Best Italian Restaurant

GOLD: Sophia’s, 3915 S. Providence Road, 573-874-8009, www.sophiascomo.com
Sophia’s offers globally influenced cuisine in a casually sophisticated setting, including its outdoor patio. A wine selection of more than 100 choices ensures the perfect complement to lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch meals.
SILVER: The Pasta Factory, 3103 W. Broadway #109, 573-449-3948, www.thepastafactorymo.com
BRONZE: Babbo’s Spaghetteria, 1305 Grindstone Parkway, 573-442-9446, www.babbosspaghetteria.com

Best Asian Restaurant
GOLD: Bangkok Gardens, 811 Cherry St., 573-874-3284, www.bangkokgardens.com
This downtown mainstay has been serving authentic Thai food since it opened in its original, smaller location on Ninth Street in 1995. Co-owner John Pham delights in cultivating Columbians’ taste for spicier foods while urging them to follow his “golden rule”: chefs can always add more heat to taste, so order with caution. It’s all mouth-watering, whether you go for the milder Coconut Curry or Green Curry Lo Mein or revel in the fiery seafood soup, Thom Yum Ghung.
SILVER: ABC Chinese Cuisine, 3510 I-70 Drive S.E., 573-443-3535, www.abcchinesecuisine.com
BRONZE: House of Chow, 2101 W. Broadway, 573-445-8800, www.houseofchow-como.com

Best Sushi Restaurant
GOLD: Osaka Japanese Restaurant, 120 E. Nifong Blvd., 573-875-8588, www.osakacomo.com
SILVER: Kampai Sushi Bar & Restaurant, 907 Alley A, 573-442-2239, www.kampaialley.com
BRONZE: Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro, 2200 Forum Blvd., 573-446-5462, www.jinayoos.com

Best Mexican Restaurant
GOLD: Las Margaritas, 10 E. Southampton Drive, 573-442-7500, www.lasmargaritascolumbia.com
Owner Francisco Esquivel aims to wow diners with authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites such as the flavorful Chile Colorado steak entrée, Camarones a la Diabla shrimp dish and Tacos al Pastor — not to mention the divinely sweet dessert sopapillas. Always bustling and delightfully boisterous, “Las Margs” also has a large patio overlooking a manmade lake. Follow online to keep up with margarita and mojito specials. Salud!
SILVER: Agave Mexican Restaurant, 901 Safari Drive, 573-256-5611, www.eatagave.com
BRONZE: El Maguey, 901 E. Nifong Blvd., 573-874-3812

Best Place To Get Wings
GOLD: CJ’s in Tiger Country, 704 E. Broadway, 573-442-7777, www.cjsintigercountry.com
For more than 25 years, CJ’s has been the go-to Tiger Country tradition for its fresh wings and signature sauces — great for barbecues or home-cooked chicken wings!
SILVER: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar, 1005 Club Village Drive, 573-443-8004, www.drowesrestaurant.com
BRONZE: The Heidelberg, 410 S. Ninth St., 573-449-6927, www.theheidelberg.com

Best Breakfast Place
GOLD: Café Berlin, 220 N. 10th St., 573-441-0400, www.cafeberlincomo.com
Good food takes time, and Café Berlin takes pains to produce breakfast and “lunchish” fare with personality, using farm fresh, local ingredients. By night, this homey café transforms into a venue for eclectic and cutting-edge live music. Adult beverages, including beer and craft drinks like the Flapjack (Belleit bourbon, maple, fresh OJ, bacon) accompany the shows.
SILVER: Ernie’s Café & Steakhouse, 1005 E. Walnut St., 573-874-7804, www.erniescolumbia.com
BRONZE: Broadway Diner, 22 S. Fourth St., 573-875-1173

Best Place To Get A Cup Of Coffee
GOLD: Kaldi’s Coffee, 29 S. Ninth St., Suite 1, 573-874-2566, www.kaldiscoffee.com
SILVER: Lakota Coffee Company and Roasters, 24 S. Ninth St., 573-874-2852, www.lakotacoffee.com
BRONZE: Coffee Zone, 11 N. Ninth St., 573-449-8215, www.columbiacoffeezone.mobi

Best Food Truck
GOLD: Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co., 573-999-9323, www.ozarkmountainbiscuits.com
When Bryan Maness drove a food truck into Columbia’s culinary scene in August 2013, he made a commitment to make the food for Columbians that five generations of his family had grown up on and loved. For updated refinements of traditional recipes, Maness uses local ingredients whenever possible and sources only from sustainable humane farms. “To us, best means fast food that’s all from scratch, fresh and locally source,” he says. “It’s not worth doing it if it’s a product I can’t be really proud of — not just in how it tastes, but in what goes into it, and how it’s produced.”
SILVER: Jamaican Jerk Hut, 573-694-6086 or 573-353-3664
BRONZE: Pepe’s of Columbia, 573-268-4503, www.pepesofcolumbia.com

Best Ice Cream/Custard/Frozen Yogurt Shop
GOLD: Andy’s Frozen Custard, 610 Cooper Drive N., 573-442-8866, www.eatandys.com
SILVER: Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream, 21 S. Ninth St., 573-443-7400
BRONZE: Central Dairy, 610 Madison St. Jefferson City, 573-635-6148, www.centraldairy.biz

Best Place To Get Gyros
GOLD: G&D Pizzaria, 2101 W. Broadway, 573-445-8336, www.gdpizzasteak.com
SILVER: G&D Steakhouse, 2001 W. Worley St., 573-445-3504
BRONZE: International Café, 26 S. Ninth St., 573-449-4560

Best Late Night Restaurant
GOLD: Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
Murry’s almost ended up with the name Miles, in honor of Miles Davis, the iconic trumpeter from Alton, Ill., across the river from near where co-owner Gary Moore grew up. It’s too involved to explain here why that name didn’t prevail. What’s easy to explain is this jazz club/restaurant’s perennial success. It’s a simple equation: good food + good jazz + good people = excellence. For more than 30 years, Murry’s has been the go-to destination to hear emerging and seasoned local, and renowned touring, jazz artists in an intimate “living room” setting. An a la carte menu, available from 11 a.m. until the kitchen closes at midnight, gives diners the chance to improvise when creating a great meal.
SILVER: Broadway Diner, 22 S. Fourth St., 573-875-1173
BRONZE: El Rancho, 1014 E. Broadway, 573-875-2121, www.columbiamomexicanfood.com

Best New Restaurant Opened In 2015
GOLD: 44 Canteen, 21 N. Ninth St., 573-777-8730, www.44canteen.com
This downtown newcomer has no need to stand in the shadow of 44 Stone, its older sibling on the south side of town. Like most savvy parents, proprietor and co-chef Mark Sulltrop cultivates the unique qualities of each “baby.” With 44 Canteen, “I was looking to fill a growing demand to serve the younger business professionals who frequent downtown. We wanted to create a casual, contemporary setting with gourmet quality street food,” Sulltrop says. Craft beers and cocktails complement Sulltrop’s and chef Chris Dignan’s Asian to Latin dishes with contemporary twists, such as the popular Korean Burger or spicy “hop-a-peños” that include Logboat Beer’s Snapper IPA in its pickling recipe.
SILVER: Seoul Taco, 1020 E. Broadway, 573-441-TACO (8226), www.seoultaco.com
BRONZE: Broil, 4603 John Garry Drive #3, 573-442-6373

Best Outdoor Dining Area
GOLD:
Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com
SILVER: The Roof (The Broadway Hotel), 1111 E. Broadway, 573-875-7000, www.thebroadwaycolumbia.com
BRONZE: Les Bourgeois Vineyards A-Frame, 14020 W. Highway BB, 573-698-3401, www.missouriwine.com

Best Overall Restaurant
GOLD:
Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
SILVER: CC’s City Broiler, 1401 Forum Blvd., 573-875-2282, www.ccscitybroiler.com
BRONZE: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com

Most Romantic Restaurant
GOLD: CC’s City Broiler, 1401 Forum Blvd., 573-875-2282, www.ccscitybroiler.com
CC’s aims to replicate the same easy and gracious elegance that diners enjoy at premier steakhouses in New York and Chicago: burnished woods, cozy brick, white linen, warm candlelight, excellent food and topnotch service — it’s all there. “Our biggest thing is to make the whole experience for our guests something truly memorable every time,” says owner Scott Cleeton. “It’s truly our honor to be a part of our guests’ lives and share time with them in this way. We relish every relationship, whether it’s someone visiting us for a one-time special occasion or our many regulars who visit us often.”
SILVER: Les Bourgeois Vineyards Blufftop Bistro, 14020 W. Highway BB, 573-698-2300, www.missouriwine.com
BRONZE: Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net

Best Place To Get Pizza
GOLD: Shakespeare’s Pizza, 220 S. Eighth St. (temporary location until August 2016, then it’s back to 225 S. Ninth St.), 573-449-2454; 3304 Broadway Business Park Court, 573-447-1202; 3911 Peachtree Drive, 573-447-7435; www.shakespeares.com
SILVER: Pizza Tree, 909 Cherry St., 573-874-9925, www.pizzatreepizza.com
BRONZE: G&D Pizzaria, 2010 W. Broadway, 573-445-8336, www.gdpizzasteak.com

Best Happy Hour
GOLD: The Heidelberg, 410 S. Ninth St., 573-449-6927, www.theheidelberg.com
SILVER: Houlihan’s, 2541 Broadway Bluffs Drive, 573-815-7210
BRONZE: Tropical Liqueurs, 515 E. Broadway, 573-442-8098; 3805 S. Providence Road, 573-256-7141; www.2trops.com

Best Sandwich Shop
GOLD: Sub Shop, 209 S. Eighth St.; 601 Business Loop 70 W., Suite 203; 212 E. Green Meadows Road; 2105 W. Worley St.; 573-449-1919, www.subshopinc.com
SILVER: Pickleman’s Gourmet Café, 1106 E. Broadway, 573-875-2400; 2513 Old 63 S., 573-886-2300; 3103 W. Broadway, Suite 105; 573-875-0400, www.picklemans.com
BRONZE: Honey Baked Ham, 510 E. Green Meadows Road #107, 573-256-4267, www.honeybaked.com

Best Sandwich
GOLD:
The Veggie at Sub Shop, 209 S. Eighth St.; 601 Business Loop 70 W., Suite 203; 212 E. Green Meadows Road; 2105 W. Worley St.; 573-449-1919, www.subshopinc.com
SILVER: Brisket Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese at Como Smoke and Fire, 4600 Paris Road #102, www.comosmokeandfire.com
BRONZE: Smoked Berkshire Pork Belly, 44 Stone Public House, 3910 Peachtree Drive, 573-443-2726,www.44stonepub.com

Best Local Dive
GOLD:
Booches Billiard Hall, 110 S. Ninth St., 573-874-9519
SILVER: Mugs Up Drive-In, 603 Orange St., 573-443-7238
BRONZE: Shakespeare’s Pizza, 220 S. Eighth St. (temporary location until August 2016, then it’s back to 225 S. Ninth St.), 573-449-2454; 3304 Broadway Business Park Court, 573-447-1202; 3911 Peachtree Drive, 573-447-7435, www.shakespeares.com

Best Homestyle Cooking
GOLD: Ernie’s Café & Steakhouse, 1005 E. Walnut St., 573-874-7804, www.erniescolumbia.com
SILVER: Broadway Diner, 22 S. Fourth St., 573-875-1173
BRONZE: Hoss’s Market & Rotisserie, 1010A Club Village Drive, 573-815-9711, www.hosssmarket.com

Best Place For Brunch
GOLD:
Café Berlin, 220 N. 10th St., 573-441-0400, www.cafeberlincomo.com
SILVER: 44 Stone Public House, 3910 Peachtree Drive, 573-443-2726, www.44stonepub.com
BRONZE: Sophia’s, 3915 S. Providence Road, 573-874-8009, www.sophiascomo.com

Best Takeout
GOLD:
Buckingham Smokehouse Bar-B-Q, 3804 Buttonwood Drive, 573-499-1490, www.buckinghamsmokehouse.com
SILVER: Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.com
BRONZE: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar, 1005 Club Village Drive, 573-443-8004, www.drowesrestaurant.com

Best Place For A Business Lunch
GOLD:
Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com
SILVER: Addison’s, 709 Cherry St., 573-256-1995, www.addisonsgrill.com
BRONZE: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar, 1005 Club Village Drive, 573-443-8004, www.drowesrestaurant.com

 

THE ULTIMATE COLUMBIA MEAL

Brock’s Green Pepper Rings courtesy of Murry’s
House Salad courtesy of CC’s City Broiler
Tomato Basil Bisque courtesy of Pickleman’s Gourmet Café
Filet Mignon courtesy of CC’s City Broiler
Ancient Grain Boule courtesy of Uprise Bakery
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries courtesy of The Candy Factory
Wine courtesy of Les Bourgeois Vineyards
Table setting courtesy of Tallulahs
Flowers courtesy of Helmi’s Gardens

The Ultimate Columbia Meal
Give yourself a bonus point for every Gold dish you’ve tried.

Best Appetizer
GOLD: Brock’s Green Pepper Rings at Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
SILVER: Nachos Bianco at Addison’s, 709 Cherry St., 573-256-1995, www.addisonsgrill.com
BRONZE: Chokes ’n Cheese at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com

Best Salad
GOLD: House Salad at CC’s City Broiler, 1401 Forum Blvd., 573-875-2282, www.ccscitybroiler.com
SILVER: House Salad at Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
BRONZE: Southwest Chicken Taco Salad at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, 115 S. Fifth St., 573-499-0400, www.flatbranch.com

Best Soup
GOLD: Lobster Bisque at CC’s City Broiler, 1401 Forum Blvd., 573-875-2282, www.ccscitybroiler.com
SILVER: Tomato Basil Bisque at Pickleman’s Gourmet Café, 1106 E. Broadway, 573-875-2400; 2513 Old 63 S., 573-886-2300; 3103 W. Broadway, Suite 105; 573-875-0400, www.picklemans.com
BRONZE: Smoked Butternut Squash at Uprise Bakery, 10 Hitt St., 573-256-2265, www.uprisebakery.com

Best Entree
GOLD: Filet Mignon at CC’s City Broiler,1401 Forum Blvd., 573-875-2282, www.ccscitybroiler.com
SILVER: Steak Sandwich at Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
BRONZE: Chicken a la Mer at Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, 217 N. Stadium Blvd., 573-443-5299, www.medmo.jazzkitchens.com

Best Dessert
GOLD: Gooey Butter Cake at Murry’s,3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
SILVER: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries at The Candy Factory, 701 Cherry St., 573-443-8222, www.thecandyfactory.biz
BRONZE: Death By Chocolate at Murry’s,3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net

 

SHOPPING & SERVICES

Best Women’s Apparel Shop
GOLD: Elly’s Couture, 914 E. Broadway, 573-499-4401, www.ellyscouture.com
SILVER: Upscale Resale, 1729 W. Broadway, 573-445-4803
BRONZE: Alpine Shop, 1102 E. Broadway, 573-817-2955, www.alpineshop.com

Best Men’s Apparel Shop
GOLD: Binghams Clothing, 827 E. Broadway, 573-442-6397, www.binghamsclothing.com
This downtown men’s clothing mainstay since 1981 has been the consistent champion of men dressing well. It offers made-to-measure and expert tailoring services, wardrobe consultations and a selection of high-quality men’s clothing that is as timeless as it is distinguished and dashing.
SILVER: Alpine Shop, 1102 E. Broadway, 573-817-2955, www.alpineshop.com
BRONZE: Woody’s Gentlemen’s Clothiers, 111 S. Ninth St., Suite 140, 573-886-0265, www.woodysclothiers.com

Best Place To Buy A Gift
GOLD: Poppy, 920 E. Broadway, 866-92-POPPY (927-6779), www.poppyarts.com
A downtown mainstay since 2004, Poppy celebrates 10 years at its current location this year. With its artfully curated selection of handmade and handcrafted paper goods, jewelry, artwork, children’s and baby items, and other gems, Poppy offers inspiration to the savvy and selective shopper. Owner Liz Tucker says that for her, “best means that we love our customers and our artists, and we love coming to the shop in downtown CoMo every day! It also means that our customers and our artists love us right back!” Who could ask for more?
SILVER: The Candy Factory, 701 Cherry St., 573-443-8222, www.thecandyfactory.com
BRONZE: Bluestem Missouri Crafts, 13 S. Ninth St., 573-442-0211, www.bluestemcrafts.com
Best Veterinarian Dr. Greg Chapman at Lizzi & Rocco'sBest Place To Buy Something For Your Pet
GOLD: Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market, 1610 I-70 Drive S.W., 573-445-8249; 503 E. Nifong Blvd., Suite J, 573-875-2288; www.lizziandroccos.com
SILVER: Treats Unleashed, 1400 Forum Blvd., 573-234-2275, www.treats-unleashed.com
BRONZE: Columbia Pet Center, 407 Business Loop 70 E., 573-499-4536, www.columbiapetcenter.weebly.com

Best Place To Buy Something For Your Home
GOLD: Tallulahs, 812 E. Broadway, 573-442-9550, www.tallulahsstore.com
Melissa Alabach and Mary Stauffer share a love for cooking and entertaining, so they brought their combined, refined aesthetic together to create a kitchen specialty shop in the heart of The District. You’ll find everything from exquisite imported linens, tableware and stemware to quirky napkins and kitchen gadgets — you’ll wonder how you ever did without.
SILVER: Plume, 165 E. Hoe Down Drive, 573-823-9654, www.somethingplume.com
BRONZE: McAdams’ Ltd., 1501 Old 63 S., 573-442-3151, www.mcadamsltd.com

Best Place To Buy Handcrafted Items
GOLD: Bluestem Missouri Crafts, 13 S. Ninth St., 573-442-0211, www.bluestemcrafts.com
SILVER: Poppy, 920 E. Broadway, 866-92-POPPY (927-6779), www.poppyarts.com
BRONZE: Plume, 165 E. Hoe Down Drive, 573-823-9654, www.somethingplume.com

Best Place To Buy Antiques
GOLD: Artichoke Annie’s Antique Mall, 1781 Lindberg Drive, 573-474-2056, www.artichokeannies.com/artichoke
SILVER: Midway Antique Mall, 6401 U.S. 40, 573-445-0042, www.midwayantiques.net
BRONZE: McAdams’ Ltd., 1501 Old 63 S., 573-442-3151, www.mcadamsltd.com

Best Gym/ Fitness Center
GOLD: Wilson’s Fitness, 2902 Forum Blvd. #100, 573-446-3232; 2601 Range Line St., 573-443-4242; 111 Orr St., 573-777-6700; www.wilsonsfitness.com
SILVER: The ARC (Activity & Recreation Center), 1701 W. Ash St., 573-874-7700, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/ARC
BRONZE: MKT Trail, corner of Fourth and Cherry streets, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks/MKT_Trail

Best Place To Get Some Pampering
GOLD: Riversong Spa & Salon, 1101 Club Village Drive, Suite 101, 573-447-1772, www.riversongspa.com
SILVER: Massage Envy, 2703 E. Broadway #131, 573-446-3689, www.massageenvy.com
BRONZE: Back Space Therapeutic Massage, 2100 Forum Blvd., Suite C, 573-397-7031, www.backspacemassage.com

Best Place To Play A Round Of Golf
GOLD: The Club at Old Hawthorne, 6221 E. Broadway, 573-442-5280, www.oldhawthorne.com
SILVER: Columbia Country Club, 2210 Country Club Drive, 573-449-4115, www.columbiacc.net
BRONZE: Eagle Knoll Golf Course, 5757 E. Eagle Knoll Drive, Hartsburg, 573-761-4653, www.eagleknoll.com

 

PEOPLE
Give yourself a bonus point for every Gold winner you’ve watched, read, listened to, or visited.

Best Athlete
GOLD: Sophie Cunningham, Mizzou Basketball, @sophaller
Let’s face it, this Columbia native and Rock Bridge High School graduate has captured our collective hearts, right? Affirming her spectacular performance on the collegiate-level courts, Cunningham was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches, after tallying an SEC record six Freshman of the Week awards this season. Those who know Cunningham say that she’s an even better person than athlete, as evidenced by her response when learning of her Best of Columbia win: “It’s really an award for my mom, dad, sister, family, coaches and teammates because all those people have truly believed in me and kept me on the right track of working hard and staying humble.”
SILVER: Carl Edwards, NASCAR, www.carledwards.com
BRONZE: J’den Cox, Mizzou Wrestling, @SuperstarW14T

Best Author
GOLD: Laura McHugh, The Weight of Blood, @LauraSMcHugh, www.weightofblood.com
SILVER: Col. Jimmie Dean Coy, A Gathering of Eagles, www.agatheringofeagles.com
BRONZE: Peter Hessler, River Town, www.peterhessler.net

Best Band leader Norm Ruebling poses for Best Artist David SpearBest Band
GOLD: Norm Ruebling Band,www.normrueblingband.com
No, you’re not dreaming. This man and his band really do pop up everywhere. He’s always where the action is, rocking weddings, anniversaries, conventions, special occasions and more, making sure everyone’s having fun whether they’re sitting back sipping cocktails or tearing up the dance floor.
SILVER: The Flood Brothers,www.reverbnation.com/thefloodbrothers
BRONZE: Man in the Ring,www.maninthering.com

Solo Musical Act
GOLD: Tom Andes, jazz pianist of the Tom Andes Trio,
SILVER: Laura Rowe, @laurarowe95
BRONZE: Clay Cumbie, www.reverbnation.com/claycumbie

Best Visual Artist
GOLD: David Spear, 2607 Burrwood Drive, 573-489-0469, www.alleywayarts.com
David Spear started working as a bartender at Addison’s when he returned to Columbia in 2000.

“I looked at the big blank walls and said, ‘I can take care of those for you,’ ” he recalls. His most recognizable paintings are an essential part of the dining experience, not only at downtown Addison’s but also its sister restaurant, Sophia’s. Influenced by Midwest regionalists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Spear takes inspiration from Mexican muralists and Wayne Thibeau, too. Visit his online gallery, Alleyway Arts, www.alleywayarts.com, for more information.
SILVER: Monty Murphy, Paint the Town, 2703 E. Broadway #127, 573-777-7795, www.paintthetowncolumbia.com
BRONZE: Stephanie Hall, The Canvas on Broadway, 706 E. Broadway #100, 573-443-2222, www.thecanvasonbroadway.com

Best Bartender
GOLD:
Kenny Townsend, McNally’s, 7 N. Sixth St., 573-441-1284, www.mcnallys.biz
SILVER: Cory McKernan, Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, 573-442-4969, www.murrysrestaurant.net
BRONZE: Emily Pieper, Trumans Bar & Grill, 3304 W. Broadway Business Park Court, 573-445-1669, www.trumansbar.com

Best Chef
GOLD:
Scott Cleeton, CC’s City Broiler, 1401 Forum Blvd., 573-875-2282, www.ccscitybroiler.com
SILVER: Chris McDonnell, Chris McD’s, 1400 Forum Blvd., 573-446-6237, www.chrismcds.com
BRONZE: Mike Odette, Sycamore, 800 E. Broadway, 573-874-8090, www.sycamorerestaurant.com

Best College Coach
GOLD:
Gary Pinkel, Mizzou Football, www.garypinkel.com
SILVER: Robin Pingeton, Mizzou Women’s Basketball, www.mutigers.com
BRONZE: Bob Burchard, Columbia College Men’s Basketball, www.columbiacougars.com

Best High School Coach
GOLD:
Justin Conyers, Battle High School Football, www.battlespartans.com
SILVER: Jill Nagel, Rock Bridge High School Girl’s Basketball, www.bruinathletics.com
BRONZE: A.J. Ofodile, Rock Bridge High School Football, www.bruinathletics.com

Best Youth Coach
GOLD:
Kelly Eagle, Eagle Elite Cheerleading, 3605 S. Providence Road, Suite 7, 573-397-6114, www.eagleelitecheer.com
SILVER: Chris Widmer, Our Lady of Lourdes, 903 Bernadette Drive, 573-445-7915, www.ollisk8.org
BRONZE: Samantha Baker, Academy of Fine Dance Studio, 3210 S. Providence Road, 573-875-7188, www.academydancers.com

Best Entrepreneur
GOLD:
Joe and Kelly Eagle, Eagle Elite Cheerleading, 3605 S. Providence Road, Suite 7, 573-397-6114, www.eagleelitecheer.com
SILVER: David Rowe, D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar, 1005 Club Village Drive, 573-443-8004, www.drowesrestaurant.com
BRONZE: Rebecca Miller & Jeanne Plumley, Peggy Jean’s Pies, 3601 Buttonwood Drive Suite E, 573-447-PIES (7437), pjpies.com

Best Boss
GOLD:
David Rowe, D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar, 1005 Club Village Drive, 573-443-8004, www.drowesrestaurant.com
SILVER: Joe and Kelly Eagle, Eagle Elite Cheerleading, 3605 S. Providence Road, Suite 7, 573-397-6114, www.eagleelitecheer.com
BRONZE: Jessica & Kyle Schlosser, Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market, 503 E. Nifong Blvd., Suite J, 573-875-2288; 1610 I-70 Drive S.W., 573-445-8249; www.lizziandroccos.com

Best Radio Personality
GOLD:
Uncle Scotty (Scotty Cox), Clear 99, KCLR-FM 99.3, 573-449-KCLR (5257), www.clear99.com
SILVER: Cosmo, Y107, KTXY-FM 106.9, 573-875-1099, www.y107.com
BRONZE: Simon Rose, KBXR-FM 102.3, 573-449-4141, www.bxr.com
Best Radio Team
GOLD: Scotty & Cara, Clear 99, KCLR-FM 99.3, 573-449-KCLR (5257), www.clear99.com
Since 2012, Columbia has been waking up to Scotty & Cara’s “Clear Country Morning Show,and catching up on the latest country music news and tunes on KCLR-FM 99.3 during the morning commute. “Having a successful morning radio show is simple,” Scotty says. “Do it on an already successful station. We very obviously benefit from the many years of service to the community already put in by our company and the folks who came before us. We just try to carry on that tradition!”
SILVER: Cosmo & Mike, Y107, KTXY-FM 106.9, 573-875-1099, www.y107.com
BRONZE: Tom Bradley, Carrie Edwards & Aaron Fox, JackFM, KWJK-FM 93.1, 573-777-TALK (8255),www.931jack.fm

Best School Principal
GOLD:
Elaine Hassemer, Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School, 903 Bernadette Drive, 573-445-7915,www.ollisk8.org
SILVER: Eric Johnson, Hickman High School, 1104 N. Providence Road, 573-214-3000, www.cpsk12.org/domain/19
BRONZE: Jennifer Rukstad, Rock Bridge High School, 4303 S. Providence Road, 573-214-3100, www.cspk12.org/rbhs

Best Morning TV News Team
GOLD:
KOMU-TV 8, 5550 Highway 63 S., 573-884-6397, www.komu.com
SILVER: KMIZ-TV 17, 501 Business Loop 70 E., 573-449-1700, www.abc17news.com
BRONZE: KRCG-TV 13, 10188 Old Highway 54 N., 573-896-5144, www.krcgtv.com

Best Evening TV News Team
GOLD:
KOMU-TV 8, 5550 Highway 63 S., 573-884-6397, www.komu.com
SILVER: KMIZ-TV 17, 501 Business Loop 70 E., 573-449-1700, www.abc17news.com
BRONZE: KRCG-TV 13, 10188 Old Highway 54 N., 573-896-5144, www.krcgtv.com
Sharon Ray, Angie Bailey & Chris Gervino at BoochesBest TV News Anchor
GOLD: Angie Bailey, KOMU-TV 8,@komuAngie
Self-described on Facebook as “Mom/wife & bargain hunter the other hrs of the day … Sarcastic type A & bad speller who is ever seeking more space,” Angie Bailey has been part of the KOMU-TV newsroom since 2005. The “newslady for KOMU8 News Today” says that when it comes to work, “best would represent [being] the most credible and reliable. In the context of the Best of Columbia TV Personalities, I’m hoping older, mouthiest and least likely to publicly shame oneself also played into the equation.”
SILVER: Marissa Hollowed, KMIZ-TV 17, @MarissaABC17
BRONZE: Jim Riek, KOMU-TV 8, @komuJim

Best TV Weathercaster
GOLD: Sharon Ray, KMIZ-TV 17, @SharonABC17
SILVER: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU-TV 8, @KentonGewecke
BRONZE: Brittany Beggs, KMIZ-TV 17, @BrittanyABC17

Best TV Sportscaster
GOLD: Chris Gervino, KOMU-TV 8, @KOMUChrisG
SILVER: Austin Kim, KMIZ-TV 17, @AustinKKim
BRONZE: Rod Smith, KRCG-TV 13, @RodKRCG13

Best News Columnist or Reporter
GOLD: Bill Clark, Columbia Daily Tribune, www.columbiatribune.com
SILVER: Mark Slavit, KRCG-TV 13, @MSlavitKRCG13
BRONZE: Lorry Myers, Columbia Daily Tribune, www.columbiatribune.com

Best Firefighter
GOLD:
Danny Spry Jr., @CoMoDebo
SILVER: Gale Blomenkamp, @GBlomenkamp
BRONZE: Rachel Smith

Best Police Officer
GOLD:
Gary Gundy, Missouri State Highway Patrol
SILVER: Mike Parsons, Columbia Police Department
BRONZE: Brian Weimer, MU Police Department

Best Veterinarian
GOLD:
Dr. Greg Chapman, Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital & Bird Clinic, 1003 N. Fairview Road, 573-445-1388, www.noahsarkanimalhospitalmo.com
SILVER: Dr. Michael Meyers, Horton Animal Hospital – Paris Road, 2608 Paris Road, 573-474-9508, www.hortonne.com
BRONZE: Dr. Suzan Sczepanski, Horton Animal Hospital – Chapel Hill, 2200 Chapel Plaza Court, 573-446-3227, www.hortonforum.com

 

BEST OF THE REST


Best Neighborhood
GOLD:
Old Southwest
SILVER: The Village of Cherry Hill, www.villageofcherryhill.com
BRONZE: Benton-Stephens

Best Local Charity
GOLD:
Central Missouri Honor Flight, 1400 Forum Blvd. Suite 1-C, 573-256-1930, www.centralmissourihonorflight.com
Since its founding in 2009, this nonprofit group has transported more than 1,900 veterans from throughout central Missouri to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their wartime memorial. With its focus on World War II survivors and veterans of Korea and Vietnam who may be terminally ill, it’s a special way of saying “thank you” to these veterans for their service.
SILVER: Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri, 2101 Vandiver Drive, 573-474-1020, www.sharefoodbringhope.org
BRONZE: Second Chance, 24687 Highway 179, Boonville, 660-882-5050, www.columbia2ndchance.org

Best Festival
GOLD: Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival, www.rootsnbluesnbbq.com
SILVER: True/False Film Fest, www.truefalse.org
BRONZE: Art In The Park, www.artintheparkcolumbia.org

Best Sunday Drive Destination
GOLD:
Rocheport, www.rocheport.com
SILVER: Hermann, www.visithermann.com
BRONZE: Coopers Landing, www.cooperslanding.net
Best Place For A Family Fun Day
GOLD: Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, www.mostateparks.com/park/rock-bridge-memorial-state-park This state park offers popular natural attractions such as a rock bridge, sinkholes, Devil’s Icebox underground spring and Connor’s Cave. Less known is the solitude easily found while hiking in the adjacent Gans Creek Wild Area. Even on the busiest days, when the parking lots are full and cars line the entrance roads, you’ll have the paths to yourself if you’re willing to walk out past the popular attractions and picnic areas.
SILVER: Stephens Lake Park, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks/Stephens_Lake
BRONZE: MKT Trail, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks/MKT_Trail

Best Athlete Sophie Cunningham at the Mizzou ColumnsBest Columbia Icon
GOLD: The Columns at Mizzou
SILVER: Shakespeare’s Pizza, 220 S. Eighth St. (temporary location until August 2016, then it’s back to 225 S. Ninth St.), 573-449-2454; 3304 Broadway Business Park Court, 573-447-1202; 3911 Peachtree Drive, 573-447-7435;www.shakespeares.com
BRONZE: The Big Tree in McBaine,www.bigburoak.tumblr.com

Best City Park
GOLD: Stephens Lake Park,www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks/Stephens_Lake
This 116-acre park in the heart of the city is the crown jewel of Columbia’s park system, with a storied history, dating to the 1800s. The public park features spraygrounds, a waterfall, an outdoor amphitheater, walking trails and an indoor pavilion, all offering space for quiet walks, family picnics and free events throughout the year.
SILVER: Cosmo Park, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks?Cosmo_Park
BRONZE: MKT Trail, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks/MKT_Trail

Best Hiking Trail
GOLD: MKT Trail, www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/Parks/MKT_Trail
SILVER: Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, www.mostateparks.com/park/rock-bridge-memorial-state-park
BRONZE: The Pinnacles, www.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places-go/natural-areas/pinnacles

Best Local Landmark To Photograph
GOLD:
The Columns at Mizzou
SILVER: The Big Tree in McBaine, www.bigburoak.tumblr.com
BRONZE: The Magic Tree in The Village of Cherry Hill, www.magic-tree.org

Best Place To Worship
GOLD:
The Crossing, 3615 Southland Drive, 573-256-4410, www.thecrossingchurch.com
SILVER: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 903 Bernadette Drive, 573-445-7915, www.ourladyofloudres.org
BRONZE: Woodcrest Chapel, 2201 W. Nifong Blvd., 573-445-1311, www.woodcrest.org

Best Private School
GOLD:
Father Tolton Catholic High School, 3351 E. Gans Road, 573-445-7700, www.toltoncatholic.org
SILVER: Columbia College, 1001 Rogers St., 573-875-8700, www.ccis.edu
BRONZE: Our Lady Of Lourdes Interparish School, 903 Bernadette Drive, 573-445-7915, www.ollisk8.org

Best High School Marcot -- the Kewpie -- at the Best Food Truck -- Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co.Best High School Mascot
GOLD:
Hickman Kewpies, 1104 N. Providence Road, 573-214-3000, www.cpsk12.org/domain/19
If you’re new to Columbia, you’re as perplexed as anyone about the Kewpie. Though its origins are debatable, it’s probably safe to say that Hickman High School is the only school in the country with a naked baby mascot. And that’s probably as good a segue as any into contemplating what makes anything uniquely the “best.” Here’s what Hickman Principal Eric Johnson has to say: “Being the best begins with an understanding that you’re always striving to get better. Complacency is the enemy of greatness. Being the best means you have an obligation to continue raising the bar higher as you continue to objectively compare yourself to other contenders … You have to learn to compete with and challenge yourself … Being the best means you have an obligation to serve others in that same arena” in which you aspire to be the best.
SILVER: Rock Bridge Bruins, 4303 S. Providence Road, 573-214-3100, www.cspk12.org/rbhs
BRONZE: Battle Spartans, 7575 E. St. Charles Road, 573-214-3300, www.cpsk12.org/bhs

How Columbia Are You?
54-36:
You get the gold Best Columbia crown!
35-17: Good start, but you’ve got so much more to explore!
16-0: Have you ever been here?