MOVE’s guide to dodge the Homecoming crowds downtown

After an early football game, visit these lower-key locations.

Homecoming weekend means that thousands of people will be flooding into Columbia and will want to hit all the classic downtown hotspots. Diners and grills will be packed, as will community staples such as Shakespeare’s and Harold’s. While these places are undeniably great, not everyone is willing to wait so long for food, and some may seek new places to get away from the hectic nature of Homecoming weekend. Here are some places to check out:


If you are in the mood for pizza but don’t feel inclined to wait at Shakespeare’s, there are many other places throughout Columbia where you can get a good slice.

  1. MidiCi on Broadway and Tenth is great for new pizza variations as well as the classics, and its swanky decor and relaxed atmosphere make for a great alternative.

  2. Pizza Tree is another pizza staple that is lower-key than Shakespeare’s and has many creative options, like a Bánh Mì pizza, as well as the classics.

  3. West Main Pizza on Broadway is similar in style to Chipotle. Pick your crust, sauce, cheese and toppings and enjoy in a quaint setting full of Mizzou colors.

There are countless places aside from pizza spots to get away from lines as well.

  1. Main Squeeze is Columbia’s hub for vegetarian and vegan foods. This place is no secret, but on a weekend like Homecoming it will have a slightly more relaxed environment.

  2. Kaldi’s Coffee is across from Main Squeeze on Ninth Street. It may seem like just a coffee shop at first glance, but it has a wide array of sandwiches and salads and a cozy atmosphere that creates a great place to relax and eat.

  3. Nourish is a great option for brunch if you don’t want to wait in line at Cafe Berlin. The menu is completely free of gluten, refined sugars, soy and corn. It uses ingredients that are organic, locally sourced and sure to make you feel great.

  4. Cafe Poland is a great option if your brunch tastes involve pierogies or crepes. Stop by for an authentic — and preservative-free — Polish meal.


If you’re interested in more than just Homecoming, there are music events this weekend as well.

  1. Snail Mail’s show at Cafe Berlin on Friday will be a low-key but impressive night of indie rock.

  2. The late Tom Petty’s annual birthday celebration will take place at Rose Music Hall on Friday. Before that, the venue has its donation-based, weekly happy hour.

  3. Yappy Hour, which is essentially happy hour with dogs, will take place at Rose on Saturday, followed by a performance from Making Movies.

Homecoming is fun and the classic Columbia spots will always be amazing, but when you don’t want to wait in lines for food or you want to try something new, there are plenty of options. And your day doesn’t have to end when the football game ends — downtown Columbia has more events to keep you entertained.

Edited by Brooke Collier |

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