Photos by L.G. Patterson
Who doesn’t love a good day spent by the river? Whether you’re planning to swim, kayak, fish or just enjoy the scenery, one of the joys of living in central Missouri is the easy access to the Missouri River.
And when you’re out and about on a river adventure, it’s always fun to find a good spot to stop and enjoy something delicious. That’s why we’ve highlighted a few perfect places to enjoy something special near the river. We hope you’ll take time this fall, while the weather is still cooperative, to connect with the river and find a new favorite spot along the way.
Rolling Pin Bakery
About an hour northwest of Columbia is the small river city of Glasgow. This place of roughly 1,100 inhabitants is the home of Rolling Pin Bakery, which is celebrating 18 years in business in October. The Rolling Pin serves breakfast pastries like cinnamon rolls and danishes, as well as a breakfast burrito for those craving something a little more savory. And for lunch, they have a variety of sandwiches, both hot and cold, as well as homemade soups served every fall and winter.
When it comes to dessert, you can’t go wrong. Homemade cookies, cakes and cheesecakes are sure to tempt you. But what Rolling Pin is really known for is the pies, says owner Jeremy Sayler. “People definitely come here for the pie,” he says. The coconut cream pie is a favorite of many regulars, he says, and the strawberry rhubarb and cherry are some of the most popular fruit pies.
Mount Nebo Inn
If you fancy yourself a wine connoisseur, then you’ll want to make sure you stop at the Mount Nebo Inn in Rocheport. This small inn on the Katy Trail has been slowly transitioning into a unique wine bar under the ownership of certified sommelier Drew Lemberger, who purchased the property about four years ago. The transition began early this year and he has further plans to expand that focus over the fall. Mount Nebo houses an extensive private collection of international wines, some of which are quite unique and not things you could simply find at the store, Lemberger says. Plus, just behind the inn is the Rocheport Winery, another of Lemberger’s ventures, which is focused on producing premium sparkling wine from locally sourced grapes.
While he plans to expand the culinary options over the next few months with additions like that of a wood-fired oven, over the summer the spot hosted pasta nights every Monday from 5-8 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Learn more at mountneboinn.com.
There’s no better spot in Columbia to watch the sun set over the Missouri River than Cooper’s Landing. While many places can boast being close to the river, Cooper’s Landing is pretty much on it, offering a beautiful location to enjoy food, drinks and spectacular river views. The General Store offers hot and cold sandwiches, as well as a variety of beer, wine, cider and other drinks in the fall. But it also frequently hosts a wide variety of food trucks to widen the selection available to patrons and allows people to bring their own food. (The Mia Taco Truck is just one of the vendors that plans to be at Cooper’s Landing throughout September and October.) Plus, there’s always live music to enjoy from many different local bands, including the Fried Crawdaddies, the Norm Ruebling Band and Meredith Shaw.
Learn more at cooperslandingmo.com.
Tucked away less than 10 minutes off of U.S. 63, between the Hartsburg exit and Jefferson City, lies a homey, rustic spot in the Claysville Store. Owners Mark and Laura Hooibrink opened the restaurant in 1998, five years after starting the remodel of the former general store in the wake of the flood of 1993. While the first few years saw a few menu changes, in 2002, the couple began serving fried chicken plates and haven’t strayed much since. The menu consists of fried chicken and ham plates, as well as a delicious selection of pies and cobblers, all of which can be served with a scoop of ice cream. Sometimes, there will be a special offering under Mark’s Choice, which gives him a chance to be more creative. Laura says he has done pork steak, ribs and brisket, among other specials.
Before you plan your trip, be sure to be prepared: the Claysville Store only accepts cash and personal checks.
Holzhauser’s Bar & Grill
About an hour southeast of Columbia is the small unincorporated area of Portland. This river community sits between Jefferson City and Hermann, and is home to Holzhauser’s Bar & Grill, which has been serving up drinks and food in Portland for more than 100 years. The establishment is now owned by Shannon Holzhauser, whose grandfather first opened it in the early 1900s. In fact, according to the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, the Holzhausers helped to settle Portland in the mid-1800s.
Today, the spot remains a favorite, not only among the locals of Portland, but for many who travel the Katy Trail or the Missouri River right into the area. And its most popular item is hands down the burger, which is credited back to a well-used and seasoned grill.