Here's where to find good pizza, burgers, sushi, pasta and more

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:17 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 25, 2013
Sparky's manager Ashley Nagel shows her mother, Debbie, a batch of cicada ice cream in the store in the summer of 2011. Ashley said the bug filled, brown sugar and butter based creation "tastes like peanuts."

COLUMBIA — Downtown Columbia features endless options for hungry patrons and students who have tired of routine meals at campus dining locations.

Here's where students can find great pizza, burgers, sushi, pasta, fresh cookies and more. 


Shakespeare's Pizza

A local favorite, Shakespeare's has served up 16-inch creations since 1973. The Masterpiece is exactly that and can feed up to four or five people with about five pounds of pizza. For starving students, leftovers could mean meals for the days following. 

Price range: $5.25 to $31.25

Wise Guys Pizza

Tucked away inside McNally's Irish Pub, this delivery and pickup counter offers Chicago-style deep dishes stuffed with gobs of cheese. A real pie, it needs to be eaten with a fork. 

Price range: $6.99 to$19.99

Broadway Brewery

Broadway Brewery provides a moody, dark atmosphere where customers can order sophisticated plates while enjoying intellectual chatter and viewing an art gallery created by local artists. The pizza, much like the rest of the menu, is decadent and paired with one of the restaurant's brews. 

Price range: $13 to $16


Flat Branch Pub and Brewing

Flat Branch Pub and Brewing is a well-known landmark in Columbia and serves up tasty dishes with an artisan touch. This eatery offers up half-pound burgers that are sure to leave patrons stuffed.

Price range: $6.99 to $10.99


Geisha Sushi Bar

For raw fish and and seaweed salad lovers, Geisha offers up a variety of selections that offer hearty and crisp tastes. Customers can choose orders of sushi rolls or bowls which features more food for hungry patrons. Geisha also provides plates for large groups. 

Price range: $3.99 to $75.99

Taj Mahal India Cuisine

The Taj Mahal is home to a quiet atmosphere complete with the comforting curls of curried steam, both spicy and sweet. For students who find curry a diet staple and others who haven't had authentic Indian food can stop the search. Authentic Indian cuisine is just around the corner. 

Price range: $2.95 to $35.95, the restaurant's Feast for Two


For Chinese fanatics, Jingo's offers a wide range of Chinese favorites. Students can dine in, carry out or get delivery. Portions are large, so leftovers are likely, making Jingo's popular with college students who don't have time or the desire to cook a flavorful meal. 

Price range: $1.15 to $12.95

Olive Café

The Olive Café is both a sit-down restaurant and a grocery. Customers with an appetite for shawarma or gyros can satisfy cravings at this dining option downtown. While waiting for service, patrons can peruse the shelves featuring different international ingredients and get inspired to make some dishes of their own. 

Price range: $1.49 to $12.95

The Heidelberg

The Heidelberg caters to the college crowd looking for a pub-style dining option. Often referred to as "The Berg," the restaurant offers many American favorites but also provides a wurst plate for German-food enthusiasts. 

Price range: $2.79 to $11.99

The Rome

The Rome is an Italian restaurant that provides a classy dining experience. Dinner typically isn't a black-tie affair, but for students looking for a more polished dining option, it can be found at The Rome. The restaurant also caters to those who wish to dine gluten-free. *The Rome closed for renovations at the beginning of July, and it is unclear how long the restaurant will be closed.

Price range: $2.50 to $24.50



Sparky's is hard to miss with its recognizable bulldog statue which sits outside chained to a tree and bright storefront. The ice cream parlor is no stranger to testing new flavors on customers. The shop sold out of its one batch of cicada ice cream in a matter of hours. It's a hot spot for those daring enough to taste unconventional but delicious scoops from this Columbia favorite. 

Price range: $1 to $8.25 (for a quart), $25 (for a gallon)

Hot Box Cookies

For downtown visitors who don't have an acquired taste for ice cream try a visit to Hot Box Cookies for freshly baked, mouthwatering cookies. The shop also sells shakes and cookie cakes to those looking for a bigger sweet. Hot Box Cookies also makes deliveries to those who have already poured a glass of milk at home. 

Price range: $1 to $29.95


Broadway Diner

The diner caters to college kids who find themselves out and hungry after 11 p.m. and patrons who prefer to eat with the sunrise. The small eatery provides kind, quick service and finger-licking breakfast plates that remind patrons of long road-trips. 

Price range: $3 to $14

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