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Best of Columbia 2023

By Inside Columbia
Club Car Wash

Photos by L.G. Patterson

The results are finally in! After thousands (and thousands!) of nominations and votes, we are ready to present the very Best of Columbia. Below, you’ll find the winners in a wide variety of categories, from Best Burger to Best Festival or Annual Event.

This year, thanks to readers like you, we received more than 152,000 nominations, the most we’ve ever received for Best of Columbia. And after more than 236,000 votes, we can’t thank you enough for your support as we wrap up our 17th year of awards. We hope you will not only continue to support the Best of Columbia, but all of the small businesses that help make our community so incredible.

Now it’s time to meet the winners of Best of Columbia!

FOOD & DRINK

BEST BARBECUE
GOLD: Como Smoke & Fire
SILVER: Big Daddy’s BBQ
BRONZE: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar

BEST BURGER
GOLD: Just Jeff’s Burgers and Dogs
SILVER: Booches Billiard Hall
BRONZE: Billiards on Broadway

BEST BREAKFAST
GOLD: Big Mama’s Café
SILVER: Ernie’s Café & Steakhouse
BRONZE: Cafe Berlin

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT
GOLD: Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
SILVER: Casa Maria’s Mexican Cantina
BRONZE: Delia’s Mexican Grill

Las Margaritas
No matter which Columbia location you choose, Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant will always deliver the best, as proven by the business’ 10th consecutive gold win for Best Mexican Restaurant and a gold win for Best Margarita this year.

BEST ICE CREAM/FROZEN YOGURT
GOLD: Andy’s Frozen Custard
SILVER: Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream
BRONZE: Randy’s Frozen Custard

BEST LOCAL WATERING HOLE
GOLD: Logboat Brewing Co.
SILVER: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing
BRONZE: Dive Bar

BEST STEAK
GOLD: CC’s City Broiler
SILVER: G&D Steakhouse
BRONZE: Murry’s

CC's City Broiler
You’re always in for a great experience at CC’s City Broiler, where you can find the gold winner for Best Steak, the gold winning crew for Best Wait Staff and the gold winner for Best Chef, Dustin Norem.

BEST ASIAN RESTAURANT
GOLD: Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro
SILVER: House of Chow
BRONZE: Bangkok Gardens

BEST VEGAN/VEGETARIAN
GOLD: Cafe Berlin
SILVER: Beet Box
BRONZE: Nourish Café & Market

BEST COCKTAIL MENU
GOLD: Barred Owl Butcher & Table
SILVER: Flyover
BRONZE: Tellers Gallery & Bar

BEST CURBSIDE TAKEOUT
GOLD: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar
SILVER: Pasta La Fata
BRONZE: Addison’s

BEST COOKIE
GOLD: Hot Box Cookies
SILVER: Crumbl Cookies
BRONZE: Jenna March Home Bakery

BEST FOOD TRUCK
GOLD: Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co.
SILVER: Mr. Murphy’s Stuffed Potatoes
BRONZE: Lily’s Cantina

BEST COFFEE
GOLD: Love Coffee
SILVER: Lakota Coffee Company
BRONZE: The Grind Coffee House

BEST MARGARITA
GOLD: Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
SILVER: Casa Maria’s Mexican Cantina
BRONZE: Delia’s Mexican Grill

BEST SANDWICH
GOLD: Murry’s
SILVER: Sub Shop
BRONZE: Pickleman’s

BEST SUSHI
GOLD: Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro
SILVER: Love Sushi
BRONZE: Kampai Alley

Jina Yoo's Asian Bistro
As the gold winner for Best Asian Restaurant and Best Sushi, Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro is always serving up the tastiest delights.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT
GOLD: Pasta La Fata
SILVER: Old Neighborhood Café
BRONZE: Goldie’s Bagels

BEST OUTDOOR DINING
GOLD: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing
SILVER: The Bistro at Les Bourgeois Vineyards
BRONZE: Ozark Mountain Biscuit & Bar

BEST APPETIZER
GOLD: Murry’s
SILVER: D. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bar
BRONZE: Addison’s

BEST PIZZA
GOLD: G&D Pizzaria
SILVER: Shakespeare’s Pizza
BRONZE: Pizza Tree

G&D Pizzaria


EDITOR’S CHOICE: BEST WAY TO ORDER G&D PIZZA

As the gold winner for Best Pizza, G&D Pizzaria knows how to make a delicious slice. But one of our favorite ways to enjoy G&D is with their special feta, no sauce pizza. At any staff event, it’s always on the menu, courtesy of marketing representative Nick Rasmussen. Is it more of a pizza or really just cheesy bread? We don’t know and we don’t care. It’s delicious.

PEOPLE

BEST CHEF
GOLD: Dustin Norem – CC’s City Broiler
SILVER: Michelle La Fata – Pasta La Fata
BRONZE: Jina Yoo – Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro

BEST RADIO PERSONALITY
GOLD: Scotty Cox – 99.3 Clear99
SILVER: Shags – 96.7 KCMQ
BRONZE: Cosmo – 106.9 Y107

BEST LOCAL TV PERSONALITY
GOLD: Emily Spain – KOMU
SILVER: Matt Beckwith – KOMU
BRONZE: Chanel Porter – KMIZ

Emily Spain at Fringe Western Wear
Gold winner for Best Local TV Personality Emily Spain of KOMU embraces her country side at Fringe Western Wear, gold winner for Best Local Clothing Store.

BEST VOLUNTEER/COMMUNITY INFLUENCER
GOLD: Ashley Emel – True North of Columbia
SILVER: Sue Culwell – Missouri Cancer Associates
BRONZE: Anthony Plogger – Nclusion Plus

BEST BARTENDER
GOLD: Jacob De Vries – Tellers Gallery & Bar
SILVER: Carter Grimes – Bur Oak Brewing Company
BRONZE: Miranda Martin – DogMaster Distillery

BEST TATTOO ARTIST
GOLD: Cassandra Stokes – Stone Crow
SILVER: Trent Tucker – Living Canvas
BRONZE: Colby Morton – Iron Tiger

BEST ATTORNEY
GOLD: Tyson Mutrux – Mutrux Law Firm
SILVER: Jessica Caldera – Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer
BRONZE: Ben Faber – Faber Law Firm

BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR
GOLD: Stephanie Goans – Edward Jones
SILVER: Trent Helton – Central Investment Advisors
BRONZE: John Bailey – Central Trust

Jacob De Vries and Betz Jewelers
Gold winner for Best Bartender, Jacob De Vries of Tellers Gallery & Bar holds up a glass of champagne hiding a gorgeous ring from Betz Jewelers, gold winner for Best Place to Buy Jewelry.

BEST REALTOR
GOLD: Dustin March – Dustin March Real Estate LLC-eXp Realty
SILVER: Izzy Smith – RE/MAX Boone Realty
BRONZE: Wendy Swetz – The Company, Wendy C. Swetz Real Estate

BEST FITNESS INSTRUCTOR/ PERSONAL TRAINER
GOLD: Jen Loganbill – Jen’s Get Fit Group
SILVER: Kinsley Judd – BLUSH Boot Camp
BRONZE: Mackenzie Wells – Mackenzie Wells Fitness

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER
GOLD: Schaefer Photography
SILVER: Casey Buckman Photography
BRONZE: Holly J Greenup Photography

BEST CEO
GOLD: Nate Long – Veteran United Home Loans
SILVER: Steve Hotsenpiller – Steve’s Pest Control
BRONZE: Jabbok Schlacks – EquipmentShare

BEST INSURANCE AGENT
GOLD: Zachary Canote – Goosehead Insurance
SILVER: Phyllis Nichols – State Farm Insurance
BRONZE: Valerie Ninichuck – Shelter Insurance

Pickleball court

EDITOR’S CHOICE: BEST NEW HOBBY TO TRY

If you haven’t given pickleball a try, this summer is the perfect opportunity. This fun way to get active was one of our late publisher Melody Parry’s favorite activities to enjoy on her days off, and we know she’d love to see more people take up a paddle and give it a try!

SERVICES

BEST TOWING COMPANY
GOLD: Doug Perry Towing
SILVER: Tiger Towing
BRONZE: I-70 Towing & Recovery/Slate Towing & Performance

BEST LAWN CARE
GOLD: Columbia Lawn Guys
SILVER: Salter Lawn Service
BRONZE: Rost Landscaping

BEST AUTO REPAIR
GOLD: Mutrux Automotive
SILVER: Plaza Tire Service
BRONZE: Como Auto Repair

BEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
GOLD: Coil Construction
SILVER: Hemme Construction
BRONZE: New Beginnings Construction & Remodeling

BEST PET DAY CARE/BOARDING
GOLD: Creekside Pet Center
SILVER: Woof’s Play & Stay
BRONZE: Dog Daze Playcare

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
GOLD: Mutrux Automotive
SILVER: Fleet Feet Columbia
BRONZE: Bronze by Design

BEST HOME REMODELING
GOLD: TrueSon Exteriors & Interiors
SILVER: Heartland Homes Remodeling and Roofing
BRONZE: A & B Painting LLC

BEST CATERER
GOLD: Sara Fougere Catering
SILVER: Peachtree Catering
BRONZE: Bush’s Catering

Sara Fougere Catering at Rusty Drewing Dealerships
As gold winner for Best Caterer, Sara Fougere of Sara Fougere Catering knows how to feed a crowd, like the hungry staff at Rusty Drewing Dealerships, gold winner for Best Place to Buy a Car.

BEST CAR WASH
GOLD: Club Car Wash
SILVER: Gaines Car Detailing
BRONZE: PLSM Customization

BEST PEST CONTROL
GOLD: Steve’s Pest Control
SILVER: Wingate Pest and Lawn
BRONZE: Otto’s Exterminators

BEST INSURANCE AGENCY/GROUP
GOLD: Shelter Insurance
SILVER: State Farm Insurance Agency
BRONZE: Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance

BEST HOME REPAIR
GOLD: ServiceMaster of Columbia
SILVER: Limitless Deck Repair
BRONZE: 911 Restoration of Central Missouri

BEST PET SUPPLIES/GROOMER
GOLD: Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market
SILVER: Treats Unleashed
BRONZE: The Basement Reef

BEST WAIT STAFF
GOLD: CC’s City Broiler
SILVER: Murry’s
BRONZE: Barred Owl Butcher & Table

BEST VETERINARY PRACTICE
GOLD: Horton Animal Hospital
SILVER: Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital & Bird Clinic
BRONZE: Rolling Hills Veterinary Hospital

BEST CLEANING SERVICE
GOLD: Columbia House Washing
SILVER: The Cleanest, LLC
BRONZE: Sudz Up Cleaning Company

BEST PLUMBING COMPANY
GOLD: Brian Wear Plumbing
SILVER: MasterTech Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
BRONZE: Adam’s Plumbing

Brian Wear eats Just Jeff's.
Gold winner for Best Plumber Brian Wear of Brian Wear Plumbing enjoys a bite from Just Jeff’s, gold winner for Best Burger.

BEST HVAC COMPANY
GOLD: Chapman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing
SILVER: Aire Serv of Columbia
BRONZE: Star Heating & Air Conditioning Co.

WELLNESS

BEST CHIROPRACTIC OFFICE
GOLD: Restoration Chiropractic
SILVER: Compass Chiropractic & Wellness
BRONZE: Achieve Balance Chiropractic

BEST HAIR STYLIST
GOLD: Jenna Sutton – The Clip Joint Salon & Spa
SILVER: Angela Mechlin – Hair Therapy Salon & Day Spa
BRONZE: Samantha Woolridge – Regeneration Salon & Spa

Jenna Sutton at Barred Owl Butcher & Table
Gold winner for Best Hair Stylist Jenna Sutton enjoys a drink at Barred Owl Butcher & Table, gold winner for Best Cocktail Menu.

BEST MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCE
GOLD: Burrell Behavioral Health
SILVER: Anxiety & Depression Clinic of Columbia
BRONZE: Counseling Associates

BEST DENTIST/ORTHODONTIST
GOLD: All American Dental
SILVER: 32 Dental Urgent Care
BRONZE: Central Missouri Orthodontics

BEST SPECIALTY HEALTH CARE
GOLD: Columbia Orthopaedic Group
SILVER: Missouri Heart Center
BRONZE: Missouri Ear, Nose & Throat

BEST PLACE TO GET EYE CARE
GOLD: Missouri Eye Consultants
SILVER: Andrew Stone Optometry
BRONZE: Family Focus Eyecare

BEST DISPENSARY/CBD
GOLD: Shangri-La Marijuana Dispensary
SILVER: Green Releaf Marijuana Dispensary
BRONZE: 3Fifteen Primo Cannabis Columbia

BEST SPA
GOLD: Riversong Spa & Salon
SILVER: Hair Therapy Salon & Day Spa
BRONZE: Regeneration Salon & Spa

BEST NAIL SALON
GOLD: Regeneration Salon & Spa
SILVER: Polished Nail Spa & Esthetics
BRONZE: Lux Nail Bar

LOCAL FAVORITES

BEST LOCAL RADIO SHOW
GOLD: Liz and Scotty in the Morning
SILVER: The Morning Shag with Shags & Trevor
BRONZE: Y107’s Cosmo and Kat Show

Liz and Scotty at Regeneration Salon & Spa
Scotty Cox and Liz of Clear99’s Liz and Scotty in the Morning, gold winner for Best Local Radio Show, can have a fun chat with anyone anywhere, even while getting their nails done at Regeneration Salon & Spa, gold winner for Best Nail Salon. Scotty Cox also took gold for Best Radio Personality.

BEST PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC
GOLD: Cooper’s Landing
SILVER: The Blue Note
BRONZE: Rose Music Hall

BEST OUTDOOR PARK/RECREATION SPOT
GOLD: Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
SILVER: Stephen’s Lake Park
BRONZE: Cosmo Park

BEST LOCAL CLOTHING STORE
GOLD: Fringe Western Wear
SILVER: My Sister’s Circus
BRONZE: The Southern Rose

BEST PLACE TO BUY HOME GOODS & GIFTS
GOLD: Plume
SILVER: Tallulah’s
BRONZE: The Tin Roof Monogram & Gift

BEST PLACE TO BUY SHOES
GOLD: Dryer’s Shoe Store
SILVER: Fleet Feet
BRONZE: American Shoe

BEST PLACE TO BUY JEWELRY
GOLD: Betz Jewelers
SILVER: Buchroeders Jewelers
BRONZE: Poppy

BEST PLACE TO BUY WEDDING ATTIRE
GOLD: Breeze Boutique
SILVER: Vows Bridal & Formal
BRONZE: Binghams Traditional Clothing

BEST FESTIVAL OR ANNUAL EVENT
GOLD: Art in the Park
SILVER: True/False Film Fest
BRONZE: Treeline Music Fest (formerly Roots N Blues)

Art in the Park
Children and adults alike can find fun and more each year in June at Art in the Park, gold winner for Best Festival or Annual Event.

BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY DESTINATION
GOLD: Midway Golf and Games
SILVER: Level Up Entertainment
BRONZE: Sky Zone

BEST PLACE TO BUY A CAR
GOLD: Rusty Drewing Dealerships
SILVER: University Subaru
BRONZE: Machens Automotive

BEST PLACE TO WORK
GOLD: Veterans United Home Loans
SILVER: Mutrux Automotive
BRONZE: Missouri Ear, Nose & Throat Center

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY SPOT
GOLD: Lake of the Ozarks
SILVER: Hermann
BRONZE: Branson

BEST NONPROFIT
GOLD: Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue
SILVER: Love Columbia
BRONZE: Central Missouri Honor Flight

BEST WEDDING VENUE
GOLD: Cooper’s Ridge Event Venue
SILVER: The Blufftop at Rocheport
BRONZE: Columbia Country Club

Fireside Apartments sculpture

EDITOR’S CHOICE: BEST AREA SCULPTURE

Anyone who has driven down Green Meadows Road in south Columbia should be familiar with the dinosaur sculptures that appear around Fireside Apartments. The property owner had the sculptures made by artists he met in Mexico, who make the pieces from scrap metal. The tenants of the complex have always loved the sculptures and take pride in decorating them for different seasons and holidays. Make sure to check them out next time you’re heading to Murry’s!

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