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 (see bottom of page for further explanation)

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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

Botanas–3515 W. Hwy 76 (Mexican) Open Daily.  Flavorful Mexican food that emphasizes authentic recipes (this is not a Tex-Mex restaurant). (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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). (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

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). (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. (Dining room is open 7-19-20)

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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Katy O’Ferrell’s–300 Broadway St. (Irish) Closed Sun.  Irish pub with good food (the usual Irish favorites). (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

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. (Drive through and delivery only 6-19-21)

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. (Takeout only 9-22-21)

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) Open daily except Sun evening.  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.). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

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) Dinner Wed-Mon; Lunch Sat & Sun (closed Tue).  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. (Takeout only 9-13-21)

Bangkok Gardens–811 Cherry St. (Thai) Closed Sat lunch, 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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

Cafe Poland–807 Locust St. (Polish) Closed Mon & Tue.  Pierogi are popular, but has all the popular Polish dishes. (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-19-20)

Nourish Cafe–1201 E. Broadway (Health Food & Smoothies) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only).  Healthy food and drinks. Some items are a little pricey but reviewers say it is fresh and delicious. (Dining room is open 7-19-20)

Pho Quan–1301 Vandiver Dr. (Vietnamese) Closed Sat & Sun (and closed from 3 to 4:30 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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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.  (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). (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

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; Dinner on Mon & Fri; Breakfast on Sat (closed Sun).  Amish style home cooked food. Has several buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the menu includes a large choice of items (also serves daily specials). Serves Mexican food Mon. evenings. (Dining room is open 9-13-21)

Jefferson City

Das Stein Haus–1436 Southridge Dr. (German) Open daily (dinner only).  The menu is limited but the Wienerschnitzel, Jagerschnitzel, and cabbage roll are recommended. (No information about whether the dining room is open 6-29-20)

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. (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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. (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

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). (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

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. (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. (Takeout only 9-13-21)

Lincoln

Charley’s Buffet–23785 Hwy 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. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

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. (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. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

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.). (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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. (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

Ozark

Lambert’s–1800 W. Hwy. J (American) Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.  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. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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)

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.  Wood fired pizza– many think it’s worth a drive from KC or Omaha to eat here. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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). (Dining room is open 7-27-21)

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). (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

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)

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. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

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. It still has good reviews, but I want to give this caution just in case the authentic food is no longer available. (Dining room is open 6-29-20)

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). (Dining room is open 7-21-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-19-20)

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). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

That Lebanese Place–338 E. Commercial St. (Lebanese) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  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. (Dining room is open 7-19-20)

Tortilleria Perches–1601 W. Sunshine St. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & closed 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). (Dining room is open 7-19-20)

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. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

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 (closed Sun-Tue).  Reviewers like everything here, including the curry. I think the only problem here is the limited hours. (Dining room is open 8-10-21)

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

Bootleggers BBQ–1464 Gibson St. (BBQ) Closed Sun & Mon.  A barbecue place you will probably want to try if you are in the area. Brisket and pulled pork are recommended. Has three sauces: house, KC sweet, Memphis heat. (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

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). (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

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)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

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

Roadfood

Trip Advisor (Springfield)

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

Yelp (Missouri)

Zomato (Springfield)

 

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