Three Story Coffee patio

Even with its outdoor seating options, Three Story Coffee still works to keep guests six feet apart.

With the pandemic still around, outdoor dining is more important and enjoyable than ever before. 

As COVID-19 continues to put many at risk, outdoor dining can be a nice alternative to eating indoors where germs may spread more easily. Vox has compiled a list of favorite patios before, but the rules are changing. Here are some of our picks for outdoor dining that has been adjusted to fit COVID-19 guidelines.

Sit in the sunshine 

Glenn’s Café

Location: 29 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201

Hours: Sunday through Monday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to midnight

What you’ll spend: $11 to $30

A longtime favorite for Cajun-Creole and Southern cooking, Glenn’s Café offers a patio with a view of both downtown and MU’s campus. To provide a safer experience for patrons, Glenn’s promotes social distancing with a 50% capacity limit and mask mandate in the restaurant. There are no reservations for the patio, and dogs are welcome.

Glenn's Cafe patio

Glenn's Café is located right next to The Tiger Hotel in downtown. 

Relax in the shade

Flat Branch Pub & Brewing

Location: 115 S. Fifth St., Columbia, MO 65201

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What you’ll spend: $15 to $20

If you’re looking to cool off in the shade, look no further than this longtime Vox favorite. A staple patio in Columbia, Flat Branch has spaced out their tables to be six feet apart and only allows parties of eight or less to dine. Diners should keep in mind that there are currently 12 tables available outdoors and tables cannot be combined.

A lively atmosphere

Fretboard Coffee

Location: 1013 E. Walnut St., Columbia, MO, 65201

Hours: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What you’ll spend: $5 to $10

Although the inside of Fretboard is closed, the outside makes up for it. Customers can get their drinks via pick-up window and sit down at the eight to nine socially-distanced tables in the open air. If health conditions permit, there may also be open-mic nights and other entertainment events hosted at Fretboard in the near future.

Look over downtown

Three Story Coffee

Location: 300 N. Tenth St., Suite 100, Columbia, MO 65201

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What you’ll spend: $5 to $10

Another good stop for coffee, Three Story takes things up a notch — or level, rather — with a rooftop balcony for customers to enjoy. People are able to safely enjoy this view while distanced six feet apart from one another.

Chill among the plants

Beet Box 

Location: 602 Fay St., Columbia, MO 65201

Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What you’ll spend: $11 to $30

Tucked away from downtown, Beet Box provides a calmer outdoor space to enjoy innovative Middle Eastern cuisine. With reduced indoor seating, the patio is a great space to take in what Beet Box has to offer. There are also plenty of plants around, so diners can feel a bit more comfortable after what has been an extremely isolating time.

An outdoor Columbia classic

Las Margaritas

Location: 10 Southampton Drive, Columbia, MO 65203

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

What you’ll spend: $14 to $17

Another staple from Vox’s favorite patios, Las Margaritas Corporate Lake offers an unbeatable view of, well, a lake right from their patio. Customers don't need to worry as the restaurant will only be offering limited seating and asks all patrons to follow social distancing guidelines while visiting.

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Emma Boyle is a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying journalism and international studies. You can reach her at

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