In the heart of the country lies Columbia, Missouri and in September the city comes alive with a sea of black and gold to cheer on the Missouri Tigers. Students, alumni and fans greet one another with a cheerful M-I-Z and an echoed Z-O-U. A game weekend in Columbia is an event that you’ll be sorry you didn’t experience sooner, especially if you find yourself at any of these local favorites.
Penguin Piano Bar
If you find yourself in Columbia the Friday before a game, The Penguin is where you’ll want to be. Get there earlier to grab a seat, and stay late singing along with the always entertaining dueling pianos. At The Penguin, you’ll get the treat of experiencing a great Mizzou tradition. Marching Mizzou is notorious for making an appearance and there’s nothing quite like joining arms with friends and strangers to sing the Mizzou fight song and Missouri Waltz for all the visiting team’s fans.
A trip to Columbia is not complete without a visit to Trops. Think grown up slurpees, but even better than you imagined. Before you head out to tailgate, swing by Trops and grab one of their famous frozen cocktails. Favorites include Tiger Paw, Sweet Tart, Raspberry Lemonade and Brain Freeze. If you’re feeling extra brave, mix your favorite flavor with Silver Bullet; 190 proof grain alcohol, lemonade, & Sprite.
If you’re familiar with Shakespeare’s you know that they’ve temporarily moved locations, but Tempspeare’s is just as great. They should be back to the original location in 2016, but don’t let that stop you from grabbing a greasy slice for lunch and wiping your hands with a towel before hitting up a bar to watch the game.
If you didn’t grab tickets to the game, head to Bengals to watch on one of their 30 plus HD flat screen TVs. On game days, they set up a giant screen outside for the ultimate tailgate party including food, drinks and live music to get you ready for kickoff. Although the space inside is limited, their outdoor patio and parking lot tailgate parties make this place your game day bar.
Another Columbia favorite, Harpo’s was opened in 1971 by a Mizzou grad and has since become a Mizzou trademark. Walking around Columbia, you’ll probably see more than a few famous Harpos stickers on fans’ shirts. It’s not a game day without a Harpo’s sticker or two. This bar is great before, during or after a game. They also have some pretty fantastic bloody mary’s to help you recover on Sunday morning.
If eleven o’clock rolls around and your night is still going, Tonic is always a fun place to cap off a great game day experience with some dancing. You can guarantee a good mix of old school favorites with songs that will makes you feel like you’re in Vegas. You can’t beat $1 shots either.
Mizzou Hot Dogs
We all get hungry after the bars and you can’t beat a hot dog from the Mizzou hot dog stand. To find out where they’ll be, follow @MizzouHotdogs on Twitter. They set up outside of different bar each night, but you can’t beat a chili cheese dog or brat. It’s worth checking in to see where they are.
About the Author
Annica is a Mizzou graduate currently living in Kansas City. An avid traveler, lover of food and self-proclaimed wino, you can usually find her writing about all those things and life as a 20-something on her blog Life Modifier.