Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri merges the best Southern Dishes with the Best Midwestern Dishes for a culinary extravaganza. There’s a saying, “You won’t go hungry when you go to Branson.” They’re right! On a recent trip to Branson, I felt like I literally spent all my time eating! Between the generous portions and wide variety, it’s easy to find something for every appetite. Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack this Dining Guide to Branson, Missouri will help you find the perfect meal.
Dining Guide to Branson, Missouri
1. Farmhouse Restaurant– A Branson landmark, this restaurant is located on West Main Street in the Downtown district. I could tell the food would be good from the crowds of people inside and waiting outside each time we passed by. The decor is classic Farmhouse chic, from the gingham covered tablecloths to the folksy decor. The waitresses are friendly; greeting the customers with sunny smiles, and the food is plentiful. I ordered the Two Eggs any Style breakfast, served with a choice of country potatoes, dollar pancakes, or grits, and a biscuit. A choice of ham, bacon, and sausage could be added for an additional fee.
The food is not fancy. Instead, it’s classic comfort foods; tasty fare with heaping portions that will remind you of a visit to Grandma’s. Their specialty is blackberry cobbler and who says you can’t enjoy dessert with any meal, even breakfast? Note: Reservations are not accepted. Guests are served on a first come, first serve basis, so go early to make sure you don’t have to wait, especially on weekends. The restaurant opens daily at 7:00 AM.
2. Clocker’s Cafe– Located in Historic Downtown Branson, Clocker’s Cafe has been dishing up breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 34 years. Breakfast is classic comfort food; pancakes, omelets, biscuits and sausage gravy, and more. I couldn’t resist the lure of French Toast so I chose the Perfect Platter. It was served with 2 eggs any style, either French Toast or Perfect Pancakes and a choice of sausage or bacon. I rarely have the luxury of having French Toast and this really was perfect. One of my traveling companions had the cinnamon roll which I kept eyeing the entire time she was eating. She declared it delicious and it must have been as she finished off every crumb!
The diner is fairly small and had a bustling business, but we were seated and served quickly. Clocker’s is a perfect choice for the family. It’s cozy and laid back with plenty of choices for the kids. The restaurant opens daily at 6:00 AM.
Lunch and Dinner Options
3. Gettin’ Basted– Newly opened in March 2017, this award-winning Barbeque restaurant is located in the Starlite Theater. You’ll want to start the meal with a bowl of their delicious pimento cheese, a blend of extra sharp cheddar, freshly roasted peppers, and other ingredients. It’s homemade daily and you can taste the freshness. The menu features burgers, sandwiches, salads, three specialty plates and barbeque. Lots of barbeque. If you’re a fan of barbeque, head straight for the “Just the Q” section of the menu. I recommend the burnt ends. And don’t forget the sides! I made my own meal of three sides; the Baked Mac N Cheese, the Poblano Cream Corn Brulee, and the Onionpeno straws. I had enough sides to share with the rest of my companions. We agreed it was all good, but the Baked Mac N Cheese was a hands down favorite. If you order a soft drink, you’ll be able to take home your very own plastic Gettin’ Basted cup!
4. White River Fish House– The restaurant division of Bass Pro Shops, the White River Fish House is actually a floating barge on Lake Taneycomo. Not only can you enjoy a variety of seafood dishes, you’ll have a lovely view of the surrounding lake. I wanted to try a local specialty so I ordered their signature Ozarks Trout Almondine with a crunchy almond crust and a dash of creamy almond butter. The trout was served with portabella rice pilaf and a fresh vegetable of the day. Before dinner, we are served small skillets of cornbread. This piping hot cornbread was a treat in itself. Almost everyone at the table kept reaching for the knife to cut “just a small slice more.” Not a seafood fan? Sandwiches and burgers are available, along with an “On Dry Land” section featuring chicken, steak and ribs.
5. Cantina Laredo– Craving the “modern side of Mexican food?” Cantina Laredo is the place to be. Located on Branson Landing, the restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating. If the weather is nice be sure to sit on the patio overlooking Lake Taneycomo. You’ll also be able to see the Fountain Water show that occurs hourly, beginning at noon until 10 PM. Be sure to ask for guacamole. The server prepares it fresh tableside. Cantina Laredo serves brunch, lunch and dinner. A kid’s menu is available.
6. Andy’s Frozen Custard– As far as I can tell, Frozen Custard is a Midwest Tradition. In other words, I’ve never found it in any other part of the US. I’ve learned the difference between Frozen Custard and Ice Cream is custard is made from milk, cream, and egg yolks. It’s also denser than traditional ice cream. Whatever the difference, I’m never adverse to having a Concrete. This delectable delight is similar to a Blizzard. It’s Frozen Custard mixed with toppings, but so dense it can be turned upside down without drips or spills when it is first served. I tried the Rico Sauve Jackhammer; Oreos, roasted pecans, and hot fudge mixed into vanilla custard, but I hear their seasonal flavors-especially the Pumpkin Pie Concretes- are amazing. If you’re looking for a wonderful way to end the day, stop by and purchase a concrete and then stroll over to the Branson Ferris Wheel to watch the light show.
Photo Credit of Peanut Butter Jackhammer from Andy’s Frozen Custard.
Options For Everyone
7. Silver Dollar City– No matter what you have a taste for, you’ll probably find it at Silver Dollar City. With over 25 restaurants and snack bars, no one in the family will go hungry. Start the day at Eva & Delilah’s Bakery for massive pastries, prepared before your eyes. You’ll be able to smell the enticing aroma long before you enter! We enjoyed a sampling of the danishes and cinnamon rolls. I’d be hard-pressed to decide on a favorite, but the classic cinnamon roll is melt in your mouth good.
One of my personal favorites was the Lumbercamp Falls Skillet. Different varieties of succotash are prepared in a giant skillet. There are a savory Sausage Medley and a delicious Campfire Chicken skillet, which was a favorite of my companions. If you are a fan of cooking classes, the Silver Dollar City’s Midwest Living® Culinary & Craft School is the place to be! Classes are led by Debbie Ulrig, who has mastered the art of making participants feel if they are joining her in her kitchen for a chat. She offers tips designed to help anyone from beginners to experienced cooks. She even offered me suggestions to help adapt the recipe to a gluten-free version! You’ll also be able to try the fruits of her labors during the class. Cooking classes are offered for an additional fee. My suggestion: Try to sample as many of the different foods as you can! You might need to purchase a season pass to try everything.
Have you visited Branson? What are your favorite dining options?