Explore the world through these 5 Columbia restaurants

One of the best ways to explore a country is through its cuisine, and Columbia’s diverse range of restaurants makes it easy to do so. Whether you’re setting off somewhere new (or not) this summer, there’s no doubt you can have a global taste in Columbia.
Vox rounded up some of Columbia's international restaurants to make you feel like you're traveling for the summer.


The small, family-owned restaurant is famous for its Polish specialties and a wide selection of pierogies. Stop in and try Golabki– stuffed cabbage rolls or Lecho – a spicy bell pepper stew served with potatoes and sausage. Other menu favorites include traditional Goulash – a pork stew with noodles and Borscht, a popular sour soup served in many Eastern European countries. Finish off your meal with a dessert crepe, fruit shake or a hot coffee.
The pierogies, coffee and blueberry juice are especially appealing for MU senior Sara-Jessica Dilks. “I would definitely recommend Cafe Poland to students who are interested in Eastern European culture or just want some beautiful food,” she says.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; Closed Sundays
Where: 807 Locust St.


If you’re in a hurry, you can also try Curries Kitchen ToGo on Business Loop for an Indian takeout of curry, chicken tikka or a selection of naan bread. Each order is specially made for each customer, which means anyone with dietary concerns can safely try Curries' various dishes.
Hours: 4–8 p.m. Tues.–Sun.; Closed Mondays
Where: 2518 Business Loop 70 East


Just a short walk from Cafe Poland lies this Mediterranean hub. The eatery offers a variety of Greek specialities like chicken or lamb gyrosserved in a flatbread with hummus or zesty cucumber tzatziki sauce and grilled shish kabobs served with pita bread. If you’re looking for a meat-free dish, go for falafel – deep fried chickpeas - instead of a kabob or a filled spinach or cheese pie served in a flaky crust. End your meal with Baklava, a layered, nutty pastry topped with honey or syrup.
Hours: 10:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; Closed Sundays
Where: 26 S 8th St.


Columbia also has less known restaurants like Pho Quan Viet Cuisine, a great introduction to the world of Vietnamese cuisine particularly pho, a brothy noodle dish with herbs and meat. Being one of only three restaurants with Vietnamese food, you can't miss out on exploring this part of the world.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; Closed Sundays
Where: 1301 Vandiver Drive, Ste. J


Choose from dozens of meat and seafood options cooked on a traditional hibachi heating device by skilled chefs. Fusion food is also on the menu including meat, seafood or vegetable tempura  — meaning it’s been battered or deep-fried and more authentic Japanese meals like an assortment of katsu – breaded and deep-fried chicken, beef or fish cutlets. There’s also dozens of sushi options whether you want California rolls or sashimi. Complete your experience with red bean or green tea ice cream or a slice of New York cheesecake.
Marissa McElwain is a regular customer at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and says Columbia’s food scene succeeds at catering to international cuisine. "Trying new food from a different culture can help you learn more about them without having to actually travel to that country."
Hours: 11:30 a.m.to2:30 p.m. every day; 4:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Sun.–Thurs.; 4 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat.
Where: 2531 Broadway Bluffs Drive
Originally published by Vox Magazine on June 6, 2017


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