If you want a change from campus dining but don’t want to break the bank eating out, plenty of places on or around campus sell food and supplies.
From staples such as bread and pasta to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and more exotic international fare, Columbia offers an eclectic assortment of affordable grocery stores.
909 Hitt St., Brady Commons and Clark Hall
There are three Mizzou Markets on campus, serving as convenience stalls that sell almost everything — magazines, food, toiletries and more.
Brightly lit with jam-packed shelves, there is a good selection of grocery items, as well as a tempting selection of chocolate and candy.
The Hitt Street store is open 24 hours daily during the semester.
Mizzou Meat Market
147 Eckles Hall (corner of Rollins Road and East Campus Road), 882-0591
Open from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday
The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources runs the market on the east side of the MU campus.
Twice weekly, in a room off the Don Naumann Muscle Foods Processing Laboratory, you can choose from a large selection of high-quality pork, lamb and beef at bargain prices.
The meat primarily comes from animals that have been used in nutritional studies at the teaching farm, said Rick Disselhorst, manager of the market. The laboratory is part of the learning experience for students of food science and animal science programs at MU.
The laboratory has been inspected to make sure it meets USDA regulatory standards for commercial butchers, and all the meat is safe to eat, Disselhorst said.
To find out more about the market, including prices and available cuts, go to mizzoumeat.missouri.edu.
The Root Cellar
814A E. Broadway, 443-5055
Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
The Root Cellar is riding the “crest of a wave" that is drawing shoppers to support their local community and the environment by buying local, said employee Bobette Rose.
The store, a bright and airy space with a window full of fresh fruits and vegetables, specializes in seasonal produce from the region. About 80 percent of all the stock is made or produced in Missouri, and the store has the largest inventory of fresh produce available in the downtown area, Rose said.
An in-store deli sells ready-to-eat goods such as sauces, soups and salsas handmade from produce from area farms.
For more information, go to graphic-illusions.com/rootcellar.
Chong’s Oriental Market
701 Locust St., 443-1977
Open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Tucked away along one side of a parking lot at the corner of Locust and Seventh streets, inside a plain red brick building, Chong’s Oriental Market has a wide selection of Asian groceries.
Apart from specialties such as Korean ramen and Japanese rice snacks, you can also find the usual grocery items. The store also supplies a variety of in-season fruits and vegetables.
Campus Eastern Foods
408B E. Locust St., 875-8724
Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday
The shop is dim and cramped, but it smells of Middle Eastern spices. The narrow aisles are lined with shelves of goods you would be hard-pressed to find in your average supermarket.
However, even if you are not feeling courageous enough to try hummus or curry, you can find everyday grocery items such as tea, coffee and rice tucked between the more exotic foods.
711 Business Loop 70 E.
Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
ALDI is a supermarket chain based in Europe that is known for its very low prices. It stocks an assortment of food items, often in bulk, within a limited number of discount brands. Customers bag groceries themselves, and only cash and debit cards are accepted.
It is about a 30-minute walk north of downtown or a five-minute drive. You can also catch a Columbia Transit bus on route 101N to the corner of Providence Road and Business Loop 70 East, by Hickman High School and walk a few minutes down the road to the store.
For details about weekly specials, go to aldi.us.
1201 Grindstone Parkway, 415 Conley Road and 3001 W. Broadway,
Open 24 hours daily
There are three Walmart Supercenters in Columbia. The giant retail chain stores have a large section for groceries including fresh food and vegetables and all kinds of meat. The prices are comparatively low.
The best way to get there is by car. The closest Walmart Supercenter to campus is the store on Grindstone Parkway, about a 10-minute drive.