When you’re driving down the Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City, it’s easy for your eyes to bounce like they’re watching a game of Pong, side to side across five lanes, at the high-fly neon signs. This is, after all, the city’s busiest street. 

The Missouri Boulevard is home to many local places to shop, dine, and live, whether they’re tucked inside brick-and-mortar facades of a shopping mall, share space with a gas station, or stand alone. These are a few of my favorites. 

Tony Miriani
Tony Miriani

If you know where to look and you’re not afraid to step out of your comfort zone, the dining experience on the Missouri Boulevard can take you around the world. If you’re in the mood to have sushi for the first time or one-thousandth time, Love Sushi has been doing it right since 2002. 

For the longest time, I wasn’t on board to eat sushi, but my wife has mastered the power of persuasion; I tried it once and I was hooked. The atmosphere, camaraderie, and super-hyped birthday music (just trust me) make Love Sushi a special place. I recommend the Tarantula Roll. 

If you’re not feeling sushi, then slide down a block to Manuel’s Taqueria. Manuel’s is authentic and reasonably priced, and the portions are huge. The restaurant easily allows you to sit and eat or take out. Manuel’s keeps it simple with a small menu, but what they do, they do right.

Just two miles west of Manuel’s is a spot listed in my top five eateries of Jefferson City, Lutz’s BBQ. Lutz’s has been operating in Jeff City since 2000 and required a lot of trial and tribulation to get to where it is today. Operating out of a tent before moving to a barbecue trailer and then to the storefront is not your simple overnight success story, and yet here they are. Lutz’s does everything right: good food, good people, and hey, any place that can use a drill to pigtail cut a full russet potato into chips is doing right by me. 

After filling up on any of the eclectic foodie options, take a drive to one of the Boulevard’s better places to shop, Dogwood Vintiques (formerly the Missouri Boulevard Antique Mall). Earlier this year, the antique mall was on the verge of closing, but thanks to new owners, the 25-year-old establishment was not only saved, but revived. 

Drone shot of Missouri Boulevard.
Missouri Boulevard by Photographer Levi Willis

Operating under a new name but similar business model, Dogwood Vintiques is not only providing an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to operate with little risk, but they’re also offering warm and practical décor that is representative of the Show-Me State with their “Missouri Made” line. 

Once you’ve eaten to your heart’s content and shopped till you drop, consider lacing up your skates at the Washington Park Ice Arena or take in a Jefferson City Renegades game at Vivon Field. Not a sports fan? Grab your bike and hit the Greenway Bike Trail. Do you want to see some art? Look no further than the gallery at Capital Arts. And, if all else fails, well at least you tried. Reward yourself with a rainbow snow cone from Sno Biz.

While you’re in the area


Dogwood Vintiques
1415 Missouri Blvd.

Love Sushi
2201 Missouri Blvd.

Capital Arts
1203 Missouri Blvd.