Ask any college kid at Mizzou where the best place to eat breakfast in Columbia is, and he or she will probably answer Ernie’s Cafe or Cafe Berlin. Although these greasy spoons are great, neither has the same feel or soul as the lesser-known gem, JJ’s Cafe.
This tiny hole-in-the-wall can be located on the west end of the Business Loop, seemingly off the beaten path for most Mizzou students and thus only treasured by CoMo locals. As soon as you walk in, the décor reminds you more of your grandma’s house than it would your typical diner. You will know it’ll be something out of this world, particularly because of the folks dining there. You’ll likely be surrounded by patrons who have at least 50 years on you, which is the most ironclad way to determine whether a breakfast joint is up to snuff.
As any self-respecting breakfast lover knows, the first thing you look for in a diner is made-from-scratch everything. JJ’s Cafe does not disappoint with homemade pastries and desserts that some may say could stretch a quarter, but what really makes the cows come home is the sweet, succulent cinnamon roll.
This bad boy is the size of an average man’s face and covered in enough icing to give a lesser individual diabetes, but in the best way possible. The cinnamon roll is covered top to bottom in a finger-licking cinnamon-sugar mixture, forcing every other turnover, cake and pie in the pastry case to eat its heart out. The cinnamon roll is flaky yet moist, melting in your mouth the same way cotton candy does at the county fair.
What sets the JJ’s Cafe cinnamon roll apart from all others, however, is upon ordering when the waitress sings the sweet words, “Do you want it topped with butter?”
At this point you’ll probably begin to convulse, losing control over your body and your mind, but that’s OK. Stop thinking and simply answer with a wholehearted “Yes, please!” despite your uncertainty of what’s in store. Take this piece of advice from Paula Deen by truly believing in your heart and soul that “EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BUTTER, BABY!”
The cinnamon roll will come out glistening with melted margarine from the gods. Once that first bite enters your mouth, all you’ll know is life before and after tasting a cinnamon roll this beautiful. The way the rich, creamy frosting and salty, fatty butter meld together is the most perfect marriage since Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.
Have you dropped everything and are already speeding across Interstate 70? When you find yourself in Columbia in need of a sugar hit at breakfast, JJ’s Cafe will give you the goods.
If You Go …
600 Business Loop 70 West
Columbia, MO 65203