With, roughly, 7.5 million tourists a year, Branson needs to have every type of food imaginable. These tourists come from all over the country and the world, so Branson must make sure to accommodate 7.5 million different food cravings. Easy, right?
As a tourist in Branson, it can be difficult to decide where to eat so we’ve got the scoop for you! Below you will find a list of the best restaurants to eat around the city.
If you are into homecooked meals, McFarlain’s is your place. Here you can get a delicious, hearty “home-cooked” breakfast. I have visited McFarlain’s several times, each time getting something different and have yet to be disappointed! The pancakes are fluffy, the eggs are cooked-to-order and the coffee is tasty. Besides the breakfast menu, they also have a stacked lunch and dinner menu. They also have homemade cobblers, pies and several other desserts. The dining environment will also make you feel right at home. Their website describes that McFarlain’s “is like going home with decorations from a ‘simpler time’.” The staff is also super sweet and accommodating.
Because I am from Kansas City, finding a barbecue restaurant outside of KC, that I enjoy, is difficult. I don’t want to say I’m a barbecue snob… but it’s possible. That being said, Gettin’ Basted was uber tasty! Gettin’ Basted started as a food truck in the Ozarks but was so popular they were eventually able to make themselves into a restaurant. Their barbecue is so tasty, they compete in competitions and win prizes for their scrumptious food! The menu can seem overwhelming because every item sounds good but my team swore by the burnt ends. I like their barbecue sauce because it wasn’t too sweet and not too spicy. I hate when my sauce is so spicy I can’t taste the meat. Not the case at Gettin’ Basted! Their sauce is, dare I say it, one of the better sauces I’ve had. If you venture to Gettin’ Basted, you should also try their appetizer of nachos. (You’ll have to see why for yourself 😉 )
If you need another great breakfast spot, BillyGail’s Cafe is the answer. I have eaten at BillyGail’s multiple times in a single Branson trip. You go hungry and leave happy and super full. I enjoy BillyGail’s because the staff treats you as if you are in the same family and have known each other forever. They have that midwestern charm you always hear about. Apparently I am not the only one who loves BillyGail’s Cafe because if you don’t arrive at the appropriate time, you will be waiting for a seat for quite some time. So, come hungry, come early and come ready for great food!
Another home-style favorite of Branson is the Farmhouse Restaurant in downtown Branson. They’re well-known for their fried chicken platters, country fried steak and their smooth, buttery mashed potatoes. We also got blackberry cobbler while visiting the Farmhouse. If you have room after your main meal, absolutely splurge and get the cobbler! You won’t be disappointed. Topped with ice cream, the blackberry cobbler is a heaping helping of cobbler, warmed and ready to be eaten. I would travel to Branson simply for the cobbler!
Branson Center Stage Grille & Bar
The Branson Center Stage Grille & Bar makes my list because they have live music that is actually good live music! Almost everything on the menu is homemade and it is apparent when your food arrives. It tastes like you’re in your home kitchen and just cooked the food yourself. Every server is friendly and accommodating, no matter how large your party is. If you want to cross something off your bucket list, try their smoked bologna bites. They sound interesting but are very good! Also, if you’re needing a restaurant that has a little something for everyone, Branson Center Stage Grille & Bar is your place. The menu has so many options, it gets hard to pick!
The Keeter Center at College of The Ozarks
My team and I had Sunday brunch at the Keeter Center and let me tell you, I have never eaten so much in my life! Everything was delicious. They had brunch foods like waffles, made-to-order omelets, biscuits, gravy, etc. They also had lunch and dinner foods. One of my favorite things was the pasta bar. All the pasta choices you can choose from are made at the College of the Ozarks. Once you pick, the student chef creates your pasta dish right in front of your eyes. Being a self-proclaimed pasta connoisseur, I stand by the college-made pasta noodles. They tasted yummy and fresh! Besides the wide variety of foods to choose from, the college employs its students and they do an excellent job. They are the ones checking in guests, make omelets, taking phone calls and much more. If you go to the Keeter Center for brunch, think about touring the college and learning all about its history.
There is a saying that goes something like “If you leave Branson hungry, you did something wrong.” I absolutely agree! Take your stretchy pants and prepare to eat the best foods. Branson has something for everyone when it comes to the food department and, if you do it right, you won’t be disappointed!