Restaurant Guide–Nebraska

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Bellevue

IPho #1–2403 Towne Center Dr. (Vietnamese) Open until 7 pm (closed Sun).  Some say it is excellent, and some say the quality and menu choices are excellent but some items are lacking in the Vietnamese herbs and flavoring they should have. Still, though, it is inexpensive and good. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Korean Grill–1408 Harlan Dr. (Korean) Closed Sun & Mon.  Reviewers say it has a true Korean taste. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Ono Pinay Kitchen–2221 Madison St. (Filipino & Hawaiian) Lunch Tue-Fri (serving Filipino food); dinner Fri (Filipino & Hawaiian food); pop-up one Sat per month.  Those who seem to know say the Filipino food is authentic. Also had a few Hawaiian plate lunch dishes (I think after the pandemic this has been discontinued or cut down). Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Broken Bow

City Cafe–423 S. 9th Ave. (American) Open 6 am to 2 pm (closed Sat & Sun).  Reviewers say it is a diner with home style food. Cheeseburgers and breakfast items are the most popular. Map (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Columbus

Bistro on the Loup–265 33rd Ave. (American) Open daily except Sun lunch (closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say the food is fresh and not greasy (unlike much of what you find in the Midwest). Burger, patty melt, and salad are especially recommended. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

El Mezcal–1012 23rd St. E. (Mexican) Open Daily.  I am not sure if it authentic, but it serves plate dinners (not just tacos, etc.) and reviews are good. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Taqueria Vallarta–1520 17th St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  This seems to be the most authentic Mexican restaurant in town, but it only serves tacos, tortas, etc. (not plate or combination dinners). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Cozad

242 House–242 E. 8th St. (New American) Closed Sun-Tue; closed Wed lunch.  Farm to table restaurant that is notable for its freshness. Has out of the ordinary items such as hummus (in addition to the standard items). Map (Temporarily closed 1-13-22)

Dodge

Eat Restaurant–327 2nd St. (American).  In an old bank. American food that is a little upscale in both the food and the setting (but still casual enough to just drop in). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Dwight

Cy’s Cafe–151 2nd St. (American & Czech).  Small town cafe where reviewers say the food tastes home cooked. They also have Czech food specials (Wed. lunch is pork roast with sauerkraut but this is the only one mentioned in the reviews). Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Fremont

Huey’s Smokehouse BBQ–2204 N. Bell St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  One of the best barbecue restaurants in Nebraska–a good place to experience Nebraska style BBQ (which I think is close to Kansas City style). Brisket, turkey, ribs, and pulled pork all get excellent reviews. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Tortilleria Anita Y Taqueria–207 S. Bell St. (El Salvadorian) Open 10 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Has food from El Salvador that reviewers like. Pupusas and steak burritos are recommended. Has a chimichanga that looks good from the photos. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Gering

Gering Bakery–1446 10th St. (Bakery) Open 5:30 am to 5:30 pm–5:30 to 1 pm on Sat (closed Sun). Michael Stern from Roadfood discovered this place that served “cabbage burgers” that he thought was worthy of proclaiming it the Nebraska version of “The One Must-Eat Food in Each State.” He says the cabbage burger is a runza, but Runza is a trademarked name of a fast food burger chain, and he wanted to point people to this independent restaurant. Gering Bakery’s burgers are “bread pockets stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, and spice” that he said was delicious. Map (Dining room is open–Reviewers say they haven’t had burgers since Covid hit but donuts are very good 12-6-21)

Gothenburg

Lisa’s Kitchen–516 Lake Ave. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.  Seems to be more than the average Americanized Chinese restaurant with Chinese & freshly grown vegetables and sauces that are better than most. Because everything is made from scratch, I think she can make special orders (provided she has the ingredients). Seems to be one of the better Chinese restaurants not just in rural Nebraska, but anywhere. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Grand Island

Farmer’s Daughter–105 N. Walnut St. (American) Breakfast & Mon-Sat; lunch Mon-Fri (closed Sat in winter).  Described as food that a person’s grandmother would have made. Popular for breakfast, but lunch is said to be equally good. Hot beef sandwich is especially recommended. Reviews from 2019 and later, though, indicate that they frequently run out of the daily special and/or items that the reviewers wanted to try unless you get there at noon or shortly thereafter. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Noodle House–2004 N. Broadwell Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Good reviews, but some indicate that the flavor might be adjusted slightly for American tastes (still very good, though). Has pho and vermicelli dishes. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Hastings

Back Alley Bakery & Restaurant–609 W. 2nd St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (open Wed-Sat only).  The most notable item here is the cinnamon roll (definitely recommended). The regular menu changes daily and includes such items as quiche, panini, potato leek soup, Asian tuna salad sandwich, and a long list of desserts. (Dining room is open 8-30-21)

Hunan–2727 W. 2nd St. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 4:30 pm).  Americanized Chinese that reviewers say is the best in this part of Nebraska. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Odyssey–521 W. 2nd St. (American) Closed Sun & Mon.  Has the best reviews in Hastings on Yelp. Steaks and hamburgers seem to be the most popular items, but menu has a lot of other choices. (Dining room is open 8-30-21)

Kearney

A Flippin Sweet Pizzeria–3905 2nd Ave. (Pizza) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Sat &Sun.  This seems to be the most popular restaurant in town with locals, because they say it actually has flavor (as opposed to what passes too often for good food in Nebraska). (Dining room is open 8-30-21)

Suwannee Thai–1420 W. 24th St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon.  Good food with fresh vegetables. Most don’t seem to want food spicy or order it that way, so I don’t know if those who want it Thai spicy can get it. Many say, though, that this may be the best Thai in Nebraska. The problem here seems to be one person in the kitchen turning out orders when there are often more customers than the kitchen can handle. (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Lexington

Maandeeq–N. Washington St. (Somali) Open daily 9 am to 9 pm.  People say the food is delicious–has Somali and other African dishes (is a halal restaurant). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

New Moon–624 N. Washington St. (Vietnamese) Lunch only; lunch & dinner on Sun (closed Wed).  Reviewers say pho has good quality meat, good flavor, and a rich broth. Also has noodle dishes. Has drinks such as iced coffee. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Lincoln

Daffodil Mediterranean–5500 Old Cheney Rd. (Persian) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Serves Persian food, and not just kabobs (the plate dinners look very good from the photos). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Hub Cafe–250 N. 21st St. (New American) Open 7:30 am to 2:30 pm (closed Mon).  This is a “Farm to Fork” restaurant with both higher prices and higher quality than most other places. Has some interesting items such as Moroccan mint tea, avocado and preserved lemon toast for breakfast, gyros, huevos rancheros. Breakfast is served all day; lunch available after 11 am; brunch on Sat & Sun. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Imperial Palace–701 N. 27th St. (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch (closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Has a “secret” menu with authentic Chinese food (just ask for the Chinese menu). Seems to specialize in spicy food (northern Chinese and Sichuan style). Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Lan House–1226 P St. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Home of authentic lanzhou (hand pulled) noodles. Noodle dish is served with a very overwhelming amount of chile oil, but it is not overwhelmingly spicy, just oily (much as I have found authentic Sichuanese food to be). A Journal-Star article recommends the soup instead of the noodle plate (it is not covered in chile oil). Has many other items besides its specialty noodle dishes, and these are said to be very good as well. Map (Temporarily closed 3-6-22)

Mr. Hui’s–3255 Cornhusker Hwy. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Said to be mostly real-deal Chinese and Taiwanese food (Chinese food is mostly spicy Sichuan style). Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Mughil’s Indian Cuisine–1501 Pine Lake Dr. (Indian) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Much of the menu is standard Indian (tikka masala, korma, etc.) but also has South Indian dishes including about 15 kinds of dosa. Is now “temporarily closed” on Mon. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Sebastian’s Table–8340 Glynoaks Dr. (Tapas) Dinner only (closed Mon).  The main theme here is Spanish style tapas, with upscale food on small plates. Albondigas (meatballs) seems to be the most popular dish. Also has regular dinners including steak (but the toppings and seasonings are Spanish style). Has paella. I think there are limited items here that would fit into my normal price range for being on this list. Map (Restaurant is closed but they are planning to change the concept and reopen 3-6-22)

Stur 22 Lounge–2110 Winthrop Rd. (African & Caribbean) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Doesn’t just offer some of the well known Caribbean dishes, but has a wide choice of Caribbean and African dishes (and people say they are glad they tried them). African stew is recommended. (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

The Oven–101 Pioneer Woods Dr. (Indian) Closed Sun lunch & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  This is not a buffet restaurant–you order from the menu, and they emphasize quality over quantity. Has specialties from Bhutan as well as Indian food (Bhutanese food is said to be more milk or cream based than the regular Indian curry based food). Malai kofta has good reviews. Several reviewers recommend the vegetarian Thali (sampler plate). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Virginia’s Cafe–3820 Cornhusker Hwy. (American) Open daily except Sat dinner and Sun dinner (serves breakfast).  This is an old fashioned neighborhood diner with good reviews for the food but sometimes not for the service and the fact that they many times run out of items later in the day. Roast beef is popular for lunch & dinner. For breakfast pancakes and biscuits & gravy are popular, and they also have kielbasa (and may have other Czech food but I can’t find the menu on line).  Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Vung Tau–2708 Y St. (Vietnamese) Open 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sun)–closed Mon.  Reviewers say the pho is better than in Omaha. Also serves vermicelli bowls, and apparently has other items (but I could not find a menu on line to verify this). Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Norfolk

El Rodeo–107 W. Norfolk Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.  Serves authentic Mexican street tacos. This and burritos are the most popular items. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

North Platte

Merricks Ranch House–1220 E. 4th St. (American) Closed Mon.  This is a diner with home cooked style food. Some of it is a hit with reviewers and some isn’t, but overall people like it. With items such as BLT getting good reviews, it indicates that it is the basic, simple items that they do the best. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Tempura–221 E. 6th St. (Japanese) Closed Mon.  Sushi restaurant that also serves Bento boxes and Chinese food. All have good reviews, but the Chinese food is made to American tastes. (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Ogallala

Golden Village–405 E. 1st St. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  A post on Chowhound indicated that there was a Chinese restaurant in town that served authentic Chinese food if you requested it (it may not be on the menu). There was no name given, but it is the one “on the east side of town.” If it is not this restaurant then I think it is Peking a couple of blocks away at 112 E. A St. (also on the east side). However I think it is Golden Village (reviews indicate that everything is cooked from scratch so it would be easy for the owner/chef to modify the recipe). Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Omaha

American GI Forum–2002 N St. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon (and closes 7 pm on Tue & Wed). This is a non-profit veteran organization that serves either authentic Mexican food or very good Tex-Mex (according to different reviewers), but in any case they say it is very good, tastes homemade, and is cheap. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen–721 S. 72nd St. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 4:30 weekdays).  Authentic Chinese food (the authentic food is Sichuan style). I don’t see any comments about how spicy it is, so I imagine if you want it spicy you have to ask for it. Has daily specials written on a board. There is an Americanized menu if you want it, but Sichuanese food is what they do well. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Brazen Head Irish Pub–319 N. 78th St. (Irish) Open Daily.  Irish pub that looks as if they also pay attention to having good food and offering a variety of dishes. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

China Garden–8441 W. Center Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  One of the three supposedly authentic Chinese restaurants in the city. This one is Sichuan style (like Blue & Fly), but apparently you have to ask for the Sichuan menu or you will get Americanized food. For those who know the system, though, it gets good reviews. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Crystal Jade–7255 Cedar St. (Malaysian) Closed Tue.  Serves several Asian cuisines, but Malaysian food is the specialty. Good dishes include amazing chicken and lemak. Has pad thai which sounds different from the Thai version, but it does not have great reviews. Popular with vegetarians because it has quite a few menu choices. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Laos Thai–4520 S. 24th St. (Lao) Closed Mon.  Cash only, but has very low prices. Has several types of curry and has a few dishes not found in many Thai or Lao restaurants in the US. Reviewers say some of the curries are more like a thin soup (I think it is because they have different types of curry, and probably some without coconut milk). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Lithuanian Bakery–5217 S. 33rd Ave. (Bakery) Open 11 am to 5 pm (4 pm on Sat); closed Sun.  Popular for their sweets, but also serves sandwiches and other lunch items. The Napoleonas torte is their specialty. Map (Takeout only–also has started taking on-line orders through Goldbelly 12-6-21)

Lithuanian Bakery & Kafe–7427 Pacific St. (Lithuanian) Open 8 am to 6 pm–8 to 4 on Sat (closed Sun).  Has German food and Lithuanian baked goods. Torte is the most popular item. Sausages apparently are very good. Restaurant open until 2:30 pm. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Mercy Thai–4741 S. 96th St. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say it is hard to find real Thai food in the Midwest, but this one is. Furthermore, it follows the real Thai spicy scale. Most popular dish seems to be the drunken noodles (some others may be just as good but I don’t see reviews for them). Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

New Gold Mountain–6750 Mercy Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Has authentic Cantonese style food, and apparently you are handed an authentic menu without having to ask for it. They have dim sum which is very popular at lunch time, but I cannot tell which days it is served–dim sum is made in house and there is a good variety. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Persis Indian Grill–2012 N. 117th Ave. (Indian) Closed Tue (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Serves South Indian food. Can order each item at the spice level you want (order 3 out of 10 or less unless you really like spicy food). Has Indo-Chinese dishes. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

The Drover–2121 S. 73rd St. (Steaks) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch (closed from 2 to 5 pm).  This is a popular old-school Omaha steakhouse with good reviews. Whiskey steak is the specialty (most people say it is very good, and enhances the flavor). Down sides for some people are the service, prices, and side dishes. The salad bar somewhat makes up for the side dishes, though. Steaks run about $45 (filet is less expensive). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Upstream Brewing–514 S. 11th St. (American) Open daily (open until 11 pm Fri & Sat).  Some say that if there is such a thing as typical Nebraska food, this is the place to find it. Pot roast, meat loaf, beer cheese soup, burgers, and steak with mushroom sauce are popular. One reviewer, though, says they have too many things on the menu to do anything really well. (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Prague

Kolache Korner Cafe–321 Center Ave. (American & Czech). Apparently there is no Czech food on the menu except kolaches, but the Czech food is served as daily specials such as duck and dumplings on Sunday (this is the one that most reviewers mention). Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Scottsbluff

El Molcajete–1013 E. Overland (Mexican) Open Daily (open for breakfast).  Reviewers say it has good food with red and green sauces (not Tex-Mex). I’m not sure it is completely authentic, but it certainly seems to be the closest you will find within a number of miles in NE and WY. Reviewers also say the food tastes home made. (Dining room is open 6-18-21)

Wonderful House–829 Ferdinand Plaza (Chinese) Open Daily.  American style Chinese food that seems to have a few items that may have at least a few elements of being authentic (such as hot pot dishes). People like the freshness and flavor, and the fact that they serve hot tea seems to set them apart from other restaurants in this part of the country. (Dining room is open 6-18-21)

South Sioux City

Mi Rancherita–1512 Dakota Ave. (Mexican) Closed Wed.  Reviewers say it is authentic with dishes such as mole verde, pozole, etc. Drinks are excellent as well (horchata, fruit drinks, Mexican Coke). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Wilber

Fox Hole Tavern–117 W. 3rd St. (Bar) Closed Sat lunch & Sun.  Information is not clear–apparently they only serve Czech food during the Czech Days celebration. However they open at 5:30 am and serve breakfast (including Mexican burritos). Apparently they also serve Polish sausage for lunch & dinner. Condé Nast listed it as a place to get Czech food but they did not give details. Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Note: I once spent several days in Wilber visiting friends and being introduced to the local cuisine. One of the highlights was a local sausage that was sold in town but not marketed regionally or nationally (because it was made in small quantities) The following are local markets where you can get sausage and other local products:

    • Food Mesto Grocery Store–319 W. 3rd St. Map Open Daily (11-10-21)
    • Frank’s Smokehouse–217 W. 3rd St. Map Open Daily (11-10-21)
    • Karpisek’s Market–119 W. 3rd St. Map Closed Sat afternoon & Sun (11-10-21)

  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Nebraska it is Czech Cuisine, noting that Nebraska has more citizens of Czech heritage than any other state. They note that Omaha is home today to the Czech and Slovak Educational Center and Cultural Museum and that the Czech immigrants created an enclave known as Little Bohemia, now one of Omaha’s trendiest areas.

The article says the Infusion Little Bohemia Beer Hall in Omaha continues the old traditions of the former Bohemian Cafe with Czech dinner events and even the occasional polka band. They also say you can get notable Czech food at Kolache Korner Cafe in Prague (kolache, potato dumplings, roast duck, and sauerkraut) and the Foxhole Tavern in Wilber.


Sources:

Chowhound (Nebraska)

Google Maps

Lincoln Journal-Star (15 Best Asian, African, and South/Central American Restaurants)

Roadfood “The One Must-Eat Food in Each State, and Where to Get It”

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Nebraska)

Zomato (Omaha)

 

Restaurant Guide–St Louis

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Illinois | Missouri


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Alton, IL

Morrison’s Irish Pub–200 State St. (Irish) Open Thu-Sun.  An Irish pub that puts as much emphasis on the food as it does the drinks (has a very interesting menu selection). Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Belleville, IL

Papa Vito’s–318 E. Washington St. (Pizza and American food) Closed Mon.  Pizza seems to be pretty good for the area, but the best reviews are for items like Philly cheesesteak sandwich, french dip, salad, and wings. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Saigon–1636 Lebanon Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say this is some of the best Vietnamese food in the SL metro. Banh xeo and bun bo hue are recommended. Chicken soup is also said to be very good (this is not pho, but the other type of Vietnamese soup). Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Chesterfield, MO

Thai Sawadee–171 Hilltown Village Center (Thai) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  Extensive menu–has items I do not see at most Thai restaurants. Food seems to be upscale. I would only go at lunch because of the prices of the dinner menu, but dinner may be good for a  special occasion (and may be upscale enough to be worth the price). Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

YaYa’s Euro Bistro–15601 Olive Blvd. (Italian) Open Daily. This is mainly Italian food but it is not “red sauce” food, but is more upscale. I’m taking a chance listing it because it is part of a chain, but the food seems to be good. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Crestwood, MO

Zen Thai & Japanese Cuisine–9250 Watson Rd. (Thai) Closed Tue (and closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  Good reviews, and menu looks good. Has pad ped, ginger stir fry, Chiang Mai noodles, and other dishes (and at reasonable prices). Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Creve Coeur, MO

Anis Hyderabad House–12637 Olive Blvd. (Indian) Closed Tue.  Said to have very good and authentic south Indian food with. Menu has a very large number of items. There are some negative comments about the biryani. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

East Saint Louis, IL

Eastside Express–1950 State St. (American) Open 1 pm to 8 pm Thu-Sun only.  Reviewers say this is a healthy alternative to the other restaurants in the area. Some items reviewers like are stir fried vegetables, fried fish, okra, and black bean burger. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Edwardsville, IL

Bann Thai–4 Club Centre Ct. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Probably what makes it stand out is that they have many good dishes that are not on the menu of most Thai restaurants (so it is a good place to experiment with new dishes). Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Cleveland-Heath–106 N. Main St. (New American) Closed Sun.  Serves locally sourced food. Some dishes are Asian (ginger tofu, etc) and Mexican (tacos, etc). The Asian dishes get better reviews, though. Everything here is healthy and good (at least if you appreciate fresh flavors as opposed to things being highly salted or spiced). Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Ellisville, MO

Asian House–1374 Clarkson Clayton Center (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch (and closed from 2:30 to 4 pm).  Has Americanized Chinese food, but also seems to have a pretty good selection of authentic Chinese dishes. Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Eureka, MO

Super Smokers BBQ–601 Stockell Dr. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 7 pm.  Gil recommends this is one of the best he has tried. Ribs, pulled pork, and brisket are all said to be among the best anywhere. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Ferguson, MO

Ofure Palace–103 N. Harvey Ave. (Nigerian) Open 11:30 am to 8 pm Thu-Sat only.  Has Nigerian and American food–the Nigerian food is said to be very spicy. They offer samples before you order a whole plate of anything. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Florissant, MO

House of Jollof–503 Paul Ave. (Nigerian) Open 11 am to 7 pm–11 to 9 on Fri & Sat (closed Mon & Tue).  Has the same good ratings as Ofure Palace in Ferguson but also has east African food (so I think there are more menu choices). Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Kirkwood, MO

Sweetie Cup–2961 Dougherty Ferry Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 4 pm).  One of the highest rated Thai restaurants in the SL area. Pad thai, yellow and green curry, and spicy basil are recommended by reviewers. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Madison, IL

Marko’s Fish House–820 Madison Ave. (Seafood) Lunch only (Tue-Fri only).  Serves fried fish, and this is the main reason people come. Sandwich is described as “cod on cream bread” (it is a special bread). Also has chicken strips, potato salad, and some other items. Some say it is greasy, though (but even these people say it tastes good). Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Maplewood, MO

The Blue Duck–2661 Sutton Blvd. (American) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Executive chef Trenton Garvey won the Hell’s Kitchen Young Guns competition in 2021, so I figure it must have good food (and reviewers of the restaurant confirm this). The food is described as made from scratch, elevated comfort food. Eggs bene-duck and burger with pork belly are popular. I think any item with the word “duck” in it actually has duck meat. I assume the food will stay the same now that Chef Garvey is working at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in Las Vegas Map. (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Thai Table–7403 Manchester Rd. (Thai) Open 4 pm to 9 pm (closed Tue).  Rating is not as high as some other Thai restaurants, but apparently this is more authentic than others and people may not be used to this type of food. Green curry & nam tok are recommended (but I think some of the less popular dishes may be very good as well). I think it has an extremely interesting menu that looks like something from southern California. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

O’Fallon, MO

Asian Cafe–1260 Bryan Rd. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Tue).  For those looking for authentic Vietnamese, this is a good find for those in the suburbs. Map (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Sugarfire Smokehouse–9955 Winghaven Blvd. (BBQ) Open Daily 11am to 9pm.  Seems to be one of the best bets for barbecue in the St. Louis area. Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and turkey are recommended. Note: there are other locations in the metro area, but this is one of the ones with the best reviews. Map (Dining room is open 7-14-21)

Thai Kitchen–8632 Mexico Rd. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Authentic flavors and spice level. Ginger stir fry is one of the recommended dishes. Some reviewers say this is the best Thai in the St. Louis area, or even the state. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Olivette, MO

Sugarfire Smokehouse–9200 Olive Blvd. (BBQ) Open 11 am until sold out (estimated 7 to 8 pm).  One of the top barbecue restaurants in STL, but the reviews are more inconsistent than some of the other restaurants. Pulled pork and brisket have good reviews (and many like the smoked turkey). Many say the sauces are one of the big draws, and desserts are a must. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Tai Ke–9626 Olive Blvd. (Taiwanese) Closed Tue (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say this is the real deal. It has cheap prices and a large menu. Dishes are a little different from those in most Chinese restaurants, but they have many “safe” dishes along with the more adventurous ones. Web site says this is Taiwanese street food. Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Overland, MO

Chef Ma’s–10440 Page Ave. (Chinese) Closed Wed.  Started out as a small restaurant in an old Taco Bell with a short menu of the owner’s special dishes (mostly Hong Kong and Cantonese style)–now moved to a new location. Braised tofu is popular. Prices are very cheap (probably the cheapest in St. Louis for authentic Chinese food). Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Haveili Indian–9720 Page Ave. (Indian) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 4 pm).  Probably the most authentic Indian restaurant in town, based on the reviews of people from Indian. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Sides of Seoul–10084 Page Ave. (Korean) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say this is one of the best Korean restaurants in the Midwest. Small place where you order at the counter. Map (Takeout only 11-30-21)

St. Charles, MO

Big Woody’s BBQ–1821 Zumbehl Rd. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  This is apparently one of the best rated BBQ places in the SL area, but is a little bit off the radar of most people. Ribs and pulled pork are recommended. People are also complimentary of the side dishes. Map (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Hendricks BBQ–1200 S. Main St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  This is considered one of the top barbecue restaurants in SL, but Yelp reviews are not quite as high as some others. It is still very good, though. The strength here is that you don’t just go for the BBQ–it is a family restaurant and the total meal (with sides and dessert) is a very good dining experience. Map (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Jafra–3551 Veterans Memorial Pkwy. (Middle Eastern) Closed Mon & closed Wed lunch.  Looks like a very good restaurant with more menu items than are found at most Middle Eastern restaurants. Prices look very good as well. Food is from Lebanon, Syria, & Palestine (which may be why they have more items than other restaurants that are only for one country. Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Spiro’s–2275 Bluestone Dr. (Greek) Open 4 pm to 10 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Upscale restaurant with Mediterranean food, but the most popular items are Greek (such as the saganaki). I think you have a choice of very expensive dinners or more moderate (but still good) ones. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Tango’s–2418 W. Clay St. (Argentinian) Closed Sun & Mon.  Empanadas are the specialty. Popular because the food is “fresh and flavorful with a large variety.” Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

St John, MO

El Comal–8724 St. Charles Rock Rd. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Owner is from Oaxaca and has a few Oaxacan items on the menu, but can prepare a few others by special request (reviewers say they were very happy with this food). Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

St. Louis, MO

Anthonino’s Taverna–2225 Macklind Ave. (Greek & Italian) Closed Sun.  Serves both Greek and Italian food, and reviewers say both are excellent. Most go for the Italian food, though, because there are more menu items and many say this is some of the best Italian food they’ve ever had (pizza is the most recommended item). Greek menu is limited. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Blues City Deli–2438 McNair Ave. (Sandwiches) Open 10:30 am to 3 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Said to have very good sandwiches that would bring you here just for that, but it has the added attraction of live blues music Sat. and on Thursday evening. Map (Dining room is open and now has “occasional live music” 1-7-22)

Bulrush–3307 Washington Blvd. (New American) Open 5 pm to 10 pm (Thu-Sun only).  Owner formerly had the Curious Kumquat in Silver City, NM. Has a seasonal menu. Food is said to be a home cooking style “Ozark” cuisine. Food is very highly rated by reviewers (so it may be hard to get a table here). Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Dao Tien–820 Olive Blvd. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon (and closed between 2 and 5 pm).  Broken rice with pork chop is the favorite. Large menu. Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Grbic–4071 Keokuk St. (Bosnian) Dinner Fri-Sun; lunch Sat & Sun.  Uses European recipes & Missouri grass fed beef. Specialty is Bosnian food including klepe (minced meat dumplings) and sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls). Also has food from Italy, Germany, and Austria. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Italian on the Hill (these are some of the most famous Italian restaurants in the city):

  • Cunetto House of Pasta–5453 Magnolia Ave. Closed Mon & Tue; closed Sat & Sun lunch. Best known for its chicken spedini (but locals order quite a few other dishes). The house salad is very highly acclaimed. Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)
  • Guido’s–5046 Shaw Ave. Closed Mon & Tue. Best known for its pizza. People also recommend their tapas and the salad. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)
  • Lorenzo’s–1933 Edwards St. Closed Mon (dinner only).  Northern Italian style. Risotto, penne with eggplant, and gnocchi are some of the specialties. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)
  • Trattoria Marcella–3600 Watson Rd. Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Menu is very representative of “St. Louis style” Italian food. The popular dishes here are the Italian standards–lasagna, ravioli, rigatoni, etc. Map (Dining room and patio are open 1-7-21)

Meskerem Ethiopian–3210 S. Grand Blvd. (Ethiopian) Open Daily.  Combo (sampler) plates are popular in order to try the food. From my experience in OKC I would definitely go for the vegetarian plate. I think this is a lot less spicy than Nigerian food (and probably closer to the spice level of Middle Eastern food). I found this type of food to be tangy with a good flavor, though. Reviewers seem to think that Meskerem is the best place for Ethiopian food in SL. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Nixta–1621 Tower Grove Ave. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviewers really like the mole negro, and everything else seems to be good as well. Alta cocina food that is authentic in the “modern” tradition of Mexican food. The menu on Yelp showed the mole as costing $29, but a lot of other dishes are considerably less expensive. Map (Dining room and patio are open 1-7-21)

Onesto Pizza–5401 Finkman St. (Italian) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Has a full menu, but it’s best known for its east coast style pizza. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Pappy’s Smokehouse–3106 Olive St. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Mon & Tue).  World class BBQ, especially the ribs and burnt ends (according to reviewers). Line is long but customers say don’t panic–you will get a table. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Sidney Street Cafe–2000 Sidney St. (Fine Dining) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Excellent food at expensive prices. The owner is the grandson of the couple who opened La Tertulia in Santa Fe (the best New Mexican food I have ever experienced). Some sources say the restaurant serves some of the dishes from La Tertulia, but there are none listed on the Feb. 2019 menu  (but a possibility would be the chef’s tasting menu). Still, I’m listing the restaurant in case they have other choices on other menus. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Taft Street Restaurant & Bar–4457 Gravois Ave. (Bosnian) Open daily (open late night).  Cevapi is a specialty (grilled over wood with 5 or 10 per order and stuffed inside pita bread with kajmak cheese). This is a high end restaurant and also has steak. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

The Shaved Duck–2900 Virginia Ave. (Soul Food) Dinner Tue-Sat; Lunch Fri & Sat.  This appears to be a very upscale restaurant but does not have “fine dining” prices. Meatloaf and BBQ (ribs, pulled chicken, etc.) are some of the most popular entrees. Cornbread, mac & cheese, and smothered fries are recommended side dishes. There is not a dish to avoid, but some say the burnt ends are not up to KC standards. In 2019 this was the number 1 rated restaurant on Yelp in the St. Louis area. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Wei Hong–3175 S. Grand Blvd. (Chinese) Open 10 am to 8:30 pm (closed Tue).  Cantonese food (has authentic Chinese menu). Reviewers recommend the dim sum. (Dining room is open 9-23-21)

University City, MO

Cate Zone–8148 Olive Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Sichuan style food that can be fiery hot (ask about it if you’re not sure). Reviewers say the food is excellent. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Merhaba–6665 Olive Blvd. (Eritrean) Open 4 pm to 12 am (closed Mon). Food is similar to Ethiopian but Eritrea has its own take on some items. Reviews are good, and commenters say the food is fresh. (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Private Kitchen–8106 Olive Blvd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Some call this upscale, but it is mainly because they have some upscale dishes such as Peking duck. It specializes in Shanghai style food, though, so a good choice is the Lion’s Head soup or the soup dumplings. One diner also mentioned the baby pork rib in plum sauce. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Ranoush–6501 Delmar Blvd. (Syrian) Dinner daily; Lunch Sat & Sun.  Seems to be one of the best restaurants for Middle Eastern food (Jafra in St. Charles looks like another one). Shawarma is a popular item at Ranoush. (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Salt + Smoke–6525 Delmar Blvd. (BBQ) Open Daily.  One of the top barbecue restaurants in SL. Probably the biggest strength here is that all meats are good, so order something you normally would not choose at other restaurants. (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Wei Hong Seafood Restaurant–7740 Olive Blvd. (Chinese) Open 10 am to 8:30 pm (closed Tue).  Authentic Cantonese food. Has dim sum, but reviews seem to indicate that the St. Louis location has better dim sum. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Webster Groves, MO

Balkan Treat Box–8103 Big Bend Blvd. (Bosnian) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  Has the best reviews out of the several Bosnian restaurants in the SL area. Food seems to be a mixture of authentic food and Balkan fusion food (such as a Balkan burger topped by a red pepper relish). Reviewers think this is one of the best restaurants in St. Louis (I don’t think it is upscale and pricey–just good). Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Guerilla Street Food–43 S. Old Orchard Ave. (Filipino) Open 11 am to 8 pm Tue-Sat.  Very good reviews. Good selection of items. (Takeout only 10-10-21)

Wentzville, MO

Chillax Tap & Co–714 W. Pearce Blvd. (Beer Hall) Open 4-10 pm Tue-Thu; 2-11 Fri; noon-11 Sat (closed Sun & Mon).  Chillax only sells beer (I think most of it is on tap). There are food trucks for food or you can bring your own. It is family friendly and gets good reviews. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Dukes BBQ Shack–100 Ash St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & closed Mon evening).  There is a Sugarfire in Wentzville but a local place might be more interesting such as this one (that gets good reviews). Popular with people who do not like St. Louis style BBQ (I think this might be more Memphis style). Brisket, chicken, and pulled pork are recommended (not many mentions of the ribs). Map (Dining room is open 9-23-21)

Wildwood, MO

Thai Bistro–2436 Taylor Rd. (Thai & Lao) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  People say the food is flavorful and owner talks to customers to see if they want anything specially prepared. Reviewers say the pad thai is especially good (I see this a lot for restaurants which serve Lao food). Map (Takeout only 11-21-21)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Missouri it was Bosnian cuisine centered in the Bevo Mill area of St. Louis (an area of resettlement for refugees of the Bosnian war in the 1990s).

In Bevo Mill are Taft Street Restaurant & Bar and Grbic Restaurants. Balkan Treat Box in Webster Groves mixes Bosnian recipes with the American backyard barbecue style of cooking. The Grbic family has also opened Lemmons, where American style smoked hot wings are glazed in a Balkan brandy.


Sources:

Chowhound (St. Louis)

Condé Nast Traveler (50 States, 50 Cuisines: The Food Worth Traveling For in Every State)

Gil’s Thrilling (and filling) Blog

Google Maps

St. Louis Magazine (St. Louis Italian Food)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (St. Louis)

Zomato (St. Louis)

 

 

Restaurant Guide–Missouri

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Kansas City | Saint Louis


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Branson

Black Oak Grill–601 Branson Landing Blvd. (American) Open Daily.  Locally sourced meat makes this a good choice, according to reviewers. Pot roast and chicken fried steak are favorites. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Botanas–3515 W. Hwy 76 (Mexican) Open Daily.  Flavorful Mexican food that emphasizes authentic recipes (this is not a Tex-Mex restaurant). Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Farmhouse–119 W. Main St. (American) Open daily 7 am to 8 pm.  Popular for a traditional American style breakfast or for items such as chicken fried steak, pork loin, etc. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Gettin’ Basted–2845 W. Hwy 76 (BBQ) Open Daily.  Said to be good for St. Louis ribs and burnt ends. Some say the sauce is too sweet and the sides are not very good (corn brulee is said to be good, though). Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

India Clay Oven–2005 W. Hwy 76 (Indian) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5:00pm).  Some think the food is a little bland, but most agree it is good and by far one of the best restaurants in Branson. Some also comment that the flavor is improving (not as bland as when it first opened). Map (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen–545 Branson Landing Blvd. (Southern) Open Daily.  Reviews tend to range from the food being very good to food that is ordinary, but most seem to like it. Sometimes there is a long wait to get in, and the price seems to be a little high. Based on the reviews I would say the best dish is the chicken and dumplings. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Thai Thai–1615 W. Hwy 76 (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  The best recommendation for this restaurant comes from the many reviewers who say it is “good” and not just “good for Branson” (some have even been to Thailand and say the food here is good). The dish with the most negative reviews, though, seems to be the pad thai. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Vasken’s Deli–3200 Gretna Rd. (Mediterranean) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.  A healthy alternative to many of Branson’s restaurants. Specializes in wraps and Middle Eastern style sandwiches (gyros, Italian beef, etc.) but also has more American style sandwiches such as reuben and pastrami. Side dishes such as hummus, tabouli, etc. are available. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Cabool

Shetler’s Cafe–200 Industrial Park Rd. (American) Tue & Wed 11 am to 2 pm; Thu-Sat 11-8.  I am sure there are dozens of good country cafes but this stood out because of the ratings. It has the usual fried food but non-fried items also get good reviews (BLT, BBQ brisket, baked potato, soup, etc.) Has a buffet all day Tue, Fri & Sat. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Cape Girardeau

Chan’s–1159 N. Kingshighway St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Popular because it has an authentic Chinese menu (people say the Americanized menu is nothing special). Authentic food includes spicy dishes such as ma po tofu. Map (Dining room is open 12-19-21)

Katy O’Ferrell’s–300 Broadway St. (Irish) Closed Sun.  Irish pub with good food (the usual Irish favorites). Map (Dining room is open 12-19-21)

Little Kitchen–1036 N. Sprigg St. (Chinese) Closed Sun.  Serves authentic Chinese food (apparently is Cantonese style). Seems very good, but there are so few reviews I can’t confirm this. Map (Dining room is open 12-19-21)

Rice Noodle Cai–1017 Independence St. (Chinese) Closed Sun.  Has several styles of authentic Asian noodles, as well as some not so authentic non-noodle dishes (General Tso’s chicken, etc.). Noodles are cheap, and seem to give a good taste of Chinese comfort food. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Note: Some restaurants seem to have excellent food but are in a higher price range. These include 36 Restaurant and Bar (New American) and Celebrations (Regional and seasonal food). (6-19-21)

Carthage

El Quetzal–129 S. Main St. (Guatemalan) Closed Sun.  The “core” cuisine is Guatemalan, but also serves food from Mexico and El Salvador (pupusas, etc.). Very good reviews by people who seem to know the difference between authentic and Americanized food. Also has a bakery (pan dulce, etc.). Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Caruthersville

Cole Moma’s–2521 County Rd. D (American).  Located in the countryside south of Caruthersville, it has few reviews but they all speak highly of the food. Serves steak, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, and shish kabobs (and has breakfast). Most people go for the catfish, though (i don’t think it is available all the time but is always served on Fri night). Note: for a similar but more “mainstream” restaurant you can check out Mama’s Boys Restaurant in Caruthersville. Map (Dining room is open 12-2-21)

Chillicothe

El Toro–108 Washington St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Serves Mexican food with real red and green sauce (not American style). People love the flavors, and say the steak burrito and the chicken are good choices. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Nico’Z–612 2nd St. (New American) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Fri only.  The menu doesn’t sound like anything special, but reviewers say it is the way the food is prepared that makes it popular. Mostly serves sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Friday night dinner is more upscale and reservations are required. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Clinton

Shawnee Mound BBQ–112 W. Rives Rd. (BBQ) Lunch Wed-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat.  Customers say it is great barbecue in a little shack. Pulled pork, sloppy joe, brisket, and ribs are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Smiths Restaurant–1719 E. Ohio St. (American) Open 11 am to 3 pm (closed Tue).  Serves typical Midwestern food, mostly fried (pork tenderloin sandwich and chicken are popular). Serves BBQ but it’s not as popular as the regular food. Pie is what people like best here. Also has frozen custard. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Columbia

Bamboo Terrace–3101 W. Broadway (Chinese) Closed Tue (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm weekdays).  Apparently it has some authentic dishes (reviewers say it has an authentic Chinese menu). Apparently a lot of Chinese students eat here. Some say the seafood is not fresh, though. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Bangkok Gardens–811 Cherry St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  It is said to have the complex flavors found in good Thai food. Some say skip the pad thai and try the curries. Some also say the spice level is not quite there if you get the default version. Map (Dining room is open 12-19-21)

Cafe Poland–807 Locust St. (Polish) Closed Mon & Tue; closed Wed evening.  Pierogi are popular, but has all the popular Polish dishes. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

FlyOver–212 E. Green Meadows Rd. (New American) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Small plate restaurant that has its own recipes for dishes (mac & cheese, country fried steak, etc). It looks as if it is a unique experience that people enjoy. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Nourish Cafe–1201 E. Broadway (Health Food & Smoothies) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only).  Organic and locally sourced food. Some items are a little pricey but reviewers say it is fresh and delicious. Both breakfast and lunch menus are served all day. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Pho Quan–1301 Vandiver Dr. (Vietnamese) Closed Sat & Sun (and closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Some say the pho does not have the depth of flavor found in big city restaurants, but other items on the menu are generally better. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Seoul Taco–1020 E. Broadway (Korean) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Supposedly it has both traditional Korean food and Korean fusion (such as the taco). The gogi bowl is the most Korean dish served, but tacos and burritos with Korean flavors are also offered. Map (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Fulton

China Palace–512 Court St. (Chinese) Closed Sun.  Food is American style, but reviewers say it has a very good flavor. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

Fontenot’s Po’boys–600 Commons Dr. (Cajun) Closed Sun & Mon; closed Sat lunch.  Reviewers like the food and say it very good for Cajun food this far north. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Fulton Cafe–529 Court St. (Cuban) Lunch only (closed Sat & Sun).  Voted a readers’ choice for rural Missouri restaurants. From photos food looks very fresh (not fried or fast food style). Map (Dining room is open 12-19-21)

Hannibal

Jet’s Palace–2905 Palmyra Rd. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Mon).  Americanized Chinese food, but reviewers think the twice cooked pork is as good as authentic food. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

LaBinnah Bistro–207 N. 5th St. (Mediterranean) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  The name is Hannibal spelled backwards, and the menu seems hard to categorize but reviewers say the food is very good. Has steaks, seafood, African, Turkish, and other types of food. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

Wayne BBQ–218 N. Main St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Customers say brisket is the specialty and is very good. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Harrisonville

Thai Pepper–2010 N. Hwy 291 (Thai) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say the default food is Americanized and too sweet, but ask for it spicy (and Thai style if you want) and it will be good. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

Jamesport

Gingerich Dutch Pantry–118 S. Broadway St. (Mennonite) Lunch only; Breakfast on Sat (closed Sun)–in summer has dinner on Mon & Fri.  Amish style home cooked food. Has several buffets for breakfast, lunch, (and dinner in summer), but the menu includes a large choice of items (also serves daily specials). Mon evening in summer serves Mexican food. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Jefferson City

Das Stein Haus–1436 Southridge Dr. (German) Dinner only (closed Sun).  The menu is limited but the Wienerschnitzel, Jagerschnitzel, and cabbage roll are recommended. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Paddy Malone’s–700 W. Main St. (Irish) Dinner only (Closed Sun & Mon).  Popular Irish pub–fish and chips are said to be very good. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Sawaddee Thai–2215 Missouri Blvd. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it has good food, but it is not anywhere close to Thai spicy (they still enjoy the flavor though). Some on Urbanspoon said it has big city quality Thai food. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Joplin

Carmine’s Wood Fired Pizza–524 S. Joplin Ave. (Pizza) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Fri & Sat. Reviewers say it is true Neapolitan style pizza. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

MEs Place–1203 Broadway St. (Soul Food).  While this is not an upscale restaurant, the setting is very nice and reviewers say the food is better than is typically found with this type of restaurant. Fried chicken and ham are the most recommended items. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Mythos–1306 S. Range Line Rd. (Greek) Closed Sun.  A Greek restaurant that has traditional dinners such as moussaka and kabobs (not just a gyro place). Note: M&M Bistro has similar food and gets similar reviews (but specializes in Middle Eastern food in general and is not a Greek restaurant). Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Thai Time–1804 E. 32nd St. (Thai) Closed Tue (and closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Looks good. Reviews don’t say it uses MSG (but they point out that other Thai restaurants in town do). Pad ga-prao, pumpkin curry, mango curry. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Kirksville

Kababesh Grill–1101 E. Normal Ave. (Indian) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Serves Indian and Pakistani food. Has a buffet, and apparently you can only get the buffet and can’t order from the menu. Reviewers say the food is good, it is well priced, and some of it is spicy (something not available at any other restaurant in the area). Has another restaurant in Overland Park, KS, so it sounds as if it is big city quality. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Mi Casa–512 S. Baltimore St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Reviewers say this is the only restaurant in the area where the food tastes as if it is actually Mexican. Has red and green sauce, and serves a pork soft taco with onions and cilantro (seems to be the way street tacos are made). Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Lebanon

Bandana’s BBQ–1015 S. Jefferson Ave. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Reviewers say it has good BBQ (up to Kansas City standards). Ribs, brisket and chicken are good. Note: Several locations throughout Missouri. Map (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

Sushi House–747 S. Jefferson Ave. (Japanese) Closed Sun.  This seems to be the best Asian restaurant in town. Sushi and bento boxes are both popular. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Lincoln

Charley’s Buffet–23785 County Rd. B (Mennonite) Open 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm Fri & Sat only.  Amish home cooked style food served in a buffet (so bring an appetite!). Save room for dessert–cake, pie, cookies, cinnamon rolls, etc. Lincoln is located south of Sedalia on US 65. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Neosho

Pad Thai–204 N. Neosho Blvd. (Thai) Closed Sat, closed Sun dinner.  This seems to cater to local tastes but those who like “real” Thai food say that the food is very healthy although lacking in flavor. I think this can be partially or wholly remedied, though, by asking for the food to be more Thai style, and especially that they make it more spicy. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

The Bar B Q Joint–410 S. Neosho Blvd. (BBQ) Open Mon-Fri 11am to 3pm.  Reviewers say this is a “destination” restaurant for BBQ in SW Missouri. Brisket and ribs are said to be the best items (with pulled pork getting some people’s votes). They many times run out of one or more of the BBQ items before closing time. Seating inside the restaurant is limited. Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Nevada

White Grill–200 N. Commercial St. (American) Open daily except Sun evening (serves breakfast).  This was the No. 1 rated diner in Missouri on Urbanspoon. Ingredients are fresh. Onion burgers are popular. People also like the vanilla Coke. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Nixa

Morning Day Cafe–105 S. Main St. (American) Open daily 7 am to 4 pm.  This is really a breakfast restaurant but is open until 4 pm. Recipes are unique (the way they make pancakes, muffins, etc.) and is said to be very good. Also has drinks (mimosa, Bloody Mary, etc.). Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Yi’s–312 N. Massey Blvd. (Korean) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun).  Small eatery that gives a good taste of Korean food. I don’t see that they have all the side dishes I normally see in Korean restaurants, but food here seems to be good. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Ozark

Lambert’s–1800 W. County Rd. J (American) Open Daily.  Touristy place with home cooking style food (I don’t see many raves for the food but they say it is solid). Barbecue is one of the options for meat (others are chicken fried steak, chicken and dumplings, etc). It is geared for people who want all you can eat (including their Pass Arounds). Smaller meals are available but may not be worth it. Used to have breakfast, but discontinued after the pandemic. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Mundos Latin Kitchen–5493 N. 17th St. (Puerto Rican) Open daily except Sun dinner.  Serves Puerto Rican food and Mexican items (including chips and salsa that come with meals). Mofongo is very popular on the Puerto Rican side, and street tacos on the Mexican side. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Point Lookout

The Keeter Center–1 Opportunity Ave. (American) 10:30 am to 8 pm Mon-Sat; 10 am to 2 pm Sun.  Located just s. of Branson off of US 65. Michael Stern of Roadfood said that it was sophisticated country fare served with expertise and enthusiastic hospitality. He recommended the peachy pig (pork and ham in peach glaze) and of course the desserts. Food is served by students from the College of the Ozarks (where the restaurant is located). The restaurant’s web site says you can have “a casual lunch” or “an intimate dinner” (this probably means dinner is more expensive). It can’t be too expensive or the Sterns would not have put it on Roadfood (or else they went for lunch). (Dining room is open 10-23-21)

Poplar Bluff

Bread+Butter–2586 N. Westwood Blvd. (New American) Closed Sun.  Food is fresh and healthy (bread is freshly baked). The bacon is said to be thick cut and much better than average. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Hanuman Express–111 S. 5th St. (Thai) Open 10 am to 4 pm (closed Sat & Sun).  Small restaurant with some Thai dishes that look good (such as prik king and laab salad) and I think some Americanized ones as well. Good reviews (I’m not including it on the list just because it is Asian). (Dining room is open 10-23-21)

The Wine Rack–1212 N. Westwood Blvd. (New American) Closed Sun.  Has items such as veggie burgers and Tuscan herb chicken. Has a good selection of drinks (wine, coffee, etc). (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Republic

Village Pottery Cafe–127 S. Walnut Ave. (American) Lunch only (open Wed-Sat).  Good place to eat if you want something healthy and are tired of fried food (wraps are popular). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Saint Joseph

Il Lazzarone–1628 Frederick Ave. (Pizza) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Wood fired pizza– many think it’s worth a drive from KC or Omaha to eat here (although there is another Il Lazzarone in KC). The pizza is certified by VPN as being authentic Neapolitan pizza, so it really is one of the best. Map (Dining room is open 12-2-21)

The Cabbage Roll–2641 Lafayette (German) Lunch only (closed Sat & Sun).  Apparently they serve very authentic German food with some Polish items between 11 am to 2 pm weekdays. Friday evening there is apparently a buffet which is the most popular time with customers (they request reservations since the food is fresh and they need to know how much to cook). Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Saint Robert

Bulgogi House–1018 Missouri Ave. (Korean) Closed Sun.  There are several Korean restaurants around Fort Leonard Wood, but this one seems to be the most authentic and the favorite of Korean people. Suggestions include champong (their specialty dish), soft tofu soup, chajangmyung, bulgogi. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

Ichiban–240 Marshall Dr. (Japanese) Closed Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Mostly known for sushi, but cooked dishes are good as well. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Mama Mia’s–101 Comfort Inn Blvd. (Mediterranean) Closed Sun.  Good food with authentic Mediterranean flavor (according to reviews). Gyro and chicken gyro are popular. (This is mostly a Greek restaurant) (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

The Hub–106 VFW Rd. (German) Lunch Wed-Fri; dinner Wed-Mon.  My take from the reviews is that it is not a place to find out how food tastes in Germany, but enough people like it that I’m confident the food is good. (This restaurant serves full meals, in contrast to Ursula’s in Waynesville that is a German sandwich/ deli restaurant). Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Sedalia

Ivory Grille–317 S. Ohio Ave. (American) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  This has the best reviews of any place in town. Fine dining restaurant (serves steaks, fish, seafood, stuffed chicken breast, etc.). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Sikeston

Lambert’s Cafe–2305 E. Malone Ave. (American) Open daily 10:30 am to 9 pm.  Recommended by Roadfood as having freshly made and good tasting food (so good that buses frequently stop here, putting a further strain on a frequently crowded restaurant). Some recommended items are catfish, chicken fried steak, and pork chops. Has “pass-arounds” including rolls, okra, and fried potatoes. They do not accept credit cards (but do take checks). Map (Dining room is open 12-2-21)

Springfield

Asia Express–2462 S. Campbell Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  They start cooking the pho at 5:30 am, and reviewers say it makes a difference in the flavor (tofu pho is also recommended). Vermicelli bowls are also popular. Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Bao Bao–2101 W. Chesterfield Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Sun evening and Mon.  Said to have authentic Chinese food (with a Chinese menu and a regular menu). One recent reviewer, though, said the chef has changed and some of the food is not the same. Now has both five star and one star reviews, so I think the food is the same but the execution is inconsistent, so in that sense it is not always the same as before. Map (Dining room is open 12-9-21)

Buckingham BBQ–2002 S. Campbell Ave. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Reviewers say the barbecue is excellent (much more than just good for Springfield). Burnt ends are especially recommended. Baked beans are the most recommended side item. There are several locations throughout Missouri. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Cafe Cusco–234 E. Commercial St. (Peruvian) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Good reviews. They seem to have food that people consider to be delicious and authentic. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Casper’s–601 W. Walnut St. (American) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Chili, milk shake (this is a diner from the 1960’s). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

City Butcher and Barbecue–3650 S. Campbell Ave. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 7 pm.  This may be the best BBQ in town, and some say it is the best in the state. Food is served on butcher paper. Recommended that you go early because they run out of items. Burnt ends and brisket are recommended. Apple pie is a must try. This is a Central Texas style BBQ place. (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

Farmers Gastropub–2620 S. Glenstone Ave. (Gastropub) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  This looks like a good healthy alternative to the predominant fried and country style food. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Hong Yen–2922 S. Campbell Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Wed.  This seems to be the place to come for a greatly expanded Vietnamese menu (has bun bo hue). Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Karai Ramen–640 W. Republic Rd. (Japanese) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 4:30 pm).  Reviewers say it is both authentic and delicious. It looks as if it is worth a try. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Leong’s Asian Diner–1540 W. Republic Rd. (Chinese) Closed Sun evening.  This is the original place for Springfield cashew chicken, and according to the web site the family still operates the restaurant. From what I can see of the menu, though, there is nothing I would call authentic Cantonese. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Pho Kim–3433 S. Campbell Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue & closed Sun evening.  Recommended place for pho and banh mi. Like Hong Yen, said to be very authentic with a wide choice of menu items. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Thai Express–948 S. Glenstone Ave. (Thai) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun).  People who are concerned about authenticity as well as flavor seem to think this is possibly the best Thai restaurant in the city. This is a small restaurant with low prices (this is a bonus, but the food is the real attraction). Map (Dining room is open 12-19-21)

That Lebanese Place–338 E. Commercial St. (Lebanese) Dinner only Tue-Sat; Sun 11 am to 3 pm.  Has all the standard dishes, but also serves Lebanese “street food” (Pepper Joe, made with ground beef and veggies on pita). Falafel is apparently very authentic. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Tortilleria Perches–1601 W. Sunshine St. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Authentic Mexican food (or at least the closest you will probably find in Springfield). Some comment that some dishes are spicy (implying that the other restaurants do not have any spicy dishes). Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Triple Eight’s–1710 S. Kansas Expwy. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9:30 pm (closed Mon).  Has an authentic menu, and this seems to be the place where the Chinese university students frequent to get food from home. Xiao long bao is recommended. Specializes in Taiwanese and Sichuan cuisine. Map (Dining room is open 12-2-21)

Strafford

Wildseed–305 E. Chestnut St. (American) Closed Sun & Mon.  Located just e. of Springfield at the I-44 interchange, this looks interesting because it is upscale food without the upscale setting (so you don’t get high prices). Reviewers mention the strawberry salad, buffalo (spicy) chicken, Route 66 burger, meatloaf, and the chicken curry (a family recipe). They have several spicy items if you want it that way, but the curry seems to be the best. Has steaks and very good looking salads. Is family friendly with seemingly good prices for the quality you are getting. Apparently the eclectic menu is because it has three owners who all contribute their type of cooking to the menu. Map (Dining room is open 12-2-21)

Washington

Sugarfire Smoke House–512 W. Front St. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  This is a branch of one of St. Louis’ premier barbecue restaurants. Pulled pork and ribs are recommended at this location. Sides are said to be some of the best in the BBQ world. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Waynesville

Purn’s Thai–304 US Route 66 (Thai) Dinner only (Wed-Sat only).  Reviewers like everything here, including the curry. I think the only problem here is the limited hours. I think when reviewers say the food is delicious that this is really true. Map (Dining room is open 12-26-21)

Ursula’s Schnitzelhaus–311 North St. (German) Open 9 am to 5 pm (closed Sun).  Deli and sandwich shop specializing in schnitzels and German side dishes. Note: The Hub in St. Robert serves full German meals. (Takeout only 9-22-21)

West Plains

Ozark Cafe–662 Missouri Ave. (American) Open 6 am to 7 pm; 6-3 Sat (Closed Sun).  Seems to be all the typical food that is not particularly healthy but tastes very good. Breakfast looks particularly good (reviewers say not to miss the biscuits). Map (Dining room is open 2-2-22)

Sapz Thai Kitchen–929 Preacher Roe Blvd. (Thai) Closed Sun dinner & Mon.  Said to have fresh flavors and no MSG. Soup is recommended by several people (including coconut soup). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Sources:

Branson Shows (Branson Landing Restaurants)

Chowhound (Missouri)

Culture Trip (Top 10 Restaurants in Cape Girardeau)

Egullet

Google Maps

Roadfood (Missouri)

Trip Advisor (Springfield)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

VPN Americas (Missouri)

Yelp (Missouri)

Zomato (Springfield)