In a college town like Columbia, Missouri, you may think there’s nothing to do than watch a Mizzou football game or dodge some wild college kids. But I’ve found Columbia to be a charming small city with a good number of eats and sips, including its coffee scene. If you’re looking for the best coffee shops in Columbia, MO, you’re in the right spot. Whether you’re searching for a new study spot or place to catch up with pals, here are my top spots.
I’m honestly shook that Uprise didn’t charge me rent considering how much time I spent at this spot during my four years. This bakery-meets-bar functions as a coffeehouse during the day, but come night, the lights dim for a chill bar vibe with board games. Uprise also rotates artwork on its walls and is connected to Ragtag, an indie movie theater. If you’re looking for a cozy place to catch up with friends, this is the place to be.
As far as taste goes, The Grind is my favorite coffee shop in Columbia. I like that it’s a good drive from campus and has ample parking, which is a major plus. Whenever I needed to grind out some serious studying, this is where I’d set up shop. And bonus: they have a great rewards system and plenty of space to spread out.
With its flagship location sitting on 9th street, Lakota is conveniently placed and is reminiscent of a ski lodge. Be sure to grab one of the tables tucked away in the window alcoves at the storefront. Personally, I prefer its newer south side location, which has a drive-thru and more room to spread out and study.
One thing I love about Columbia is its support for local businesses, and Kaldi’s was started by Mizzou alum. I’ve had several business meetings here and love its convenient downtown location. This company is big into fair trade and has a food menu in addition to its coffee menu. My all-time favorite roast: Highlander Grogg with its maple notes.
Once I walked down Alley A and into Shortwave, I immediately sensed a tavern-like atmosphere with the dim lighting and low ceilings. (I promise you won’t hit your head!) A large cherry wood bar, suspended lights and walls collaged with wooden pieces decorate this quaint coffeeshop. I ordered the vanilla Gateway latte, and I don’t mean to sound like a Care Bear when I say that one sip felt like a warm hug on my lips. I can’t get the thick, creamy coffee out of my head.
This coffee shop opened not long before I graduated, and I’m sad I didn’t get more time with this cozy nook. This modern coffee spot is filled with greenery and large windows.
The best word to describe this hidden coffeeshop is alternative. It’s connected to an art gallery and regularly participates in the city’s First Fridays, a monthly event featuring art galleries and live music across downtown. Don’t forget to ask for the coffee ice cubes and to enjoy the back patio.
Tell me about your favorites at these best coffee shops in Columbia, MO.