Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse: A Culinary Landmark’s 90th Anniversary

Estimated read time 3 min read

Right in the middle of Columbia, Missouri sits Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse which is now celebrating 90 years. Founded back in 1934 by a guy named Ernie Lewis, this fancy Art Deco-style joint has gone from being a dinner haunt to a beloved place where folks can score steaks for breakfast or lunch.

A Look Back

Ernie’s isn’t just about classic diner vibes; it’s also rocking an eye-catching Art Deco look outside. What sets it apart is its collection of Chester Gould art – yeah, the dude who came up with Dick Tracy. This neat slice of American pop culture kicked off when Gould’s daughter was at Stephens College in the ’40s and he started hanging out at the diner, even giving them some of his artwork.

The Magic of Ernie’s

With years rolling by, Ernie’s still holds onto its old-school diner feel and snazzy Art Deco facade. Plus, it’s got those cool pieces from Chester Gould of Dick Tracy fame, making the inside pretty historically snazzy too.

Dish Lineup

As time’s passed, Ernie’s has beefed up its menu to throw in a bunch of yummy breakfast and lunch stuff. They’ve got their famous:

  • Waffles
  • Local Boone County Ham
  • “Chopped Cow” Burgers

This lineup shows how much they dig serving solid American chow, focusing on good quality and local nosh.

When They’re Open

You can hit them up every day between 6:30 am and 2:30 pm over at 1005 East Walnut Street in Columbia, Missouri.

User Opinions and Shout Outs

Folks really have taken to Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse, pouring out the love on all the big-time review sites:

Platform Rating Number of Reviews
Facebook 4.5 669
Tripadvisor 4.0 109
Yelp 4.0 136

Town Talks

Ernie’s has become more than a place to eat; it’s a local treasure where folks from all walks of life can appreciate a bit of Columbia’s past with their food. It has boosted tourism and helped keep the city’s cultural roots alive.

Awards and Recognition

Since 2008, locals have continually named Ernie’s the top breakfast spot in Columbia. This streak showcases the diner’s lasting charm and dedication to quality. The awards mirror Ernie’s success in keeping up fantastic food, service, and atmosphere year after year.

User Experiences

Patrons can’t get enough of the traditional diner fare, standout service, and welcoming vibe. Top reviews often praise the savory steak and eggs, homemade meals, and the speedy, affable staff.

Negative Reviews

Despite tons of rave reviews, Ernie’s has taken some flak about how they handle service and customer feedback. A handful of folks weren’t thrilled with the customer care or the way management dealt with their concerns.

Addressing Challenges

No restaurant is perfect, and Ernie’s has had its rough patches, like dealing with changes in ownership and customer critiques. Even when they’ve been knocked for their service, the bosses have buckled down to raise the bar and keep Ernie’s among the city’s favorites.

Looking to the Future

Heading into its 90s, Ernie’s Cafe an Steakhouse embodies the strength of tradition, community ties, and sheer deliciousness. They plan to stick to dishing out fan favorites and maybe whip up some new ones. Ernie’s is ready to open its doors to loyal and fresh faces alike, aiming to secure its spot in Columbia’s food scene for many more years.


Even with some occasional negative feedback, Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse continues to be a cherished spot in Columbia for dining. It provides both a taste of history and yummy food.

If you want to know more, check out Ernie’s Cafe and Steakhouse on Facebook or come visit at 1005 East Walnut Street, Columbia, Missouri.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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