The 12 Best Restaurants in Branson Missouri

Jul 28, 2020

The 12 Best Restaurants in Branson Missouri
By N. Huggins

12 Best Restaurants in Branson Missouri

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." – Virginia Wolf

Branson, MO is one of those surprising vacation spots that offers a little of everything. Known for its attractions, outdoor adventures, shopping, and live entertainment with shows that cover every genre of music you can imagine, it offers plenty to do with something to satisfy just about every interest.

No visit can be complete without a trip to Silver Dollar City and Branson Strip, hike or horseback ride along the Ozarks, water sports, fishing on Table Rock Lake, and outdoor shopping at Branson Landing. But also remarkable is the delectable mix of dining options Branson offers. Whether comfort food, or its famous barbecue, Italian or Asian inspired menus, grab and go chains, exceptional pies, down-home restaurants or juicy burger joints, Branson offers an unmistakable selection of culinary experiences that deserve their own list.

The Best Branson Restaurants

To help you build your Branson itinerary and point you in the right direction, here are 12 of the best restaurants in Branson, Missouri.


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1 | Paddle Wheel | Dining at the Paddle Wheel comes with stunning views of Lake Taneycomo, eclipsed only by the picturesque Ozark Mountains. It offers a distinctive home-like atmosphere, laid-back vibe and décor that can be best described as a ship-pub-style design with wooden walls and floors and a ship’s wheel that kids can spin as they wait to be seated.

You can sit inside on the ground floor, upstairs on the upper deck, or on the outside patio that overlooks the lake. The upstairs dining room is cozy, spacious enough to accommodate large groups, and provides an incredible waterfront view.

The menu offers generous servings of grab and go meals like chicken sandwiches, Angus Beef Cheeseburgers, Pub Fish & Chips, Baja Fish Tacos, and French Dip. To wash it all down and satisfy the sweet tooth, enjoy soft drinks, root beer floats, shakes, ice cream, frozen yogurt, milk & cookies, snow cones, beer, wine and bar beverages.

On most weekdays and every weekend night, Paddle Wheel is transformed into Rock the Dock, Branson’s largest nightclub, featuring the best bands, DJs, and entertainers in the region. This is when the dance floor opens all night long and Lake Taneycomo comes to life!

WHERE: 9 South Boardwalk, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-239-1324


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2 | Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que | There are plenty of great restaurants in Branson, but Famous Dave’s tops the list for super delicious barbecue. Named after its owner, Dave Anderson, the award-winning restaurant serves up authentic barbecue meals cooked in a live-wood smoker with real hickory logs. Meats are hand-rubbed and marinated with a custom blend of spices that make them flavorful with a distinct chargrilled sweetness and smoky flavor. Famous Dave also makes its own sauces such as Rich & Sassy®, Sweet & Zesty®, and Pineapple Rage® to name a few.

The atmosphere and décor are charming with an artsy southern vibe. You can sit inside the dining room, bar area, or outside on the patio which overlooks the river.

Menu items include Dave Sampler Platter with rib tips, chicken strips, catfish fingers and boneless wings, Saint Louise-Style Spareribs, All American BBQ Feast®, The Manhandler with Texas beef brisket or Georgia Chopped Pork piled high with hotlink sausage and hell-fire pickles.

WHERE: 1201 Branson Landing Boulevard, Branson, MO 65616-2384 | WHO: 417-334-4858


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3 | Pasghettis Italian Restaurant | There is a long list of Italian restaurants in Branson, MO but what sets Pasghettis apart are the exceptional dishes, themed “Days Gone By” dining rooms, a ferris wheel, and game room inside the restaurant. In fact, the minute you pull into the parking lot and see the iconic meatball and fork, you know you are in for a unique experience!

The décor and atmosphere are both thought provoking and memorable. The layout features street names and storefronts that make you feel like you’re dining on an avenue in the middle of a city. This coupled with soft lighting creates a calm and relaxing feel.

The family-owned restaurant serves freshly made meals from locally sourced ingredients. Pasta is the main dish - naturally! The menu is filled with many traditional dishes like Toasted Cheese Ravioli, Lasagna, Pasghetti and Meatball with Marinara Sauce, Penne A La Vodka with juicy chicken, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes and vodka sauce, Willows Grilled Salmon topped with Lemon Pistachio Wine Sauce and luscious servings of mashed potatoes. Wine, cocktail, beer, and drinks in mason jars are also available and serve as the perfect complement to any meal.

WHERE: 3129 W State Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616-8339 | WHO: 417-335-0690


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4 | McFarlain’s Family Restaurant | McFarlain’s is one of those restaurants you go to when you’re looking for great food and excellent entertainment in one spot. Both locals and tourists flock to the down-home restaurant conveniently located at Branson’s Imax Entertainment Complex for its dinner- and-a-movie vibe, down-home Ozarks cuisine and delicious homemade pies.

The décor can be summed up in one word, nostalgic! This feeling comes from the black and white photos from the Branson Historical Society that feature people and stunning scenery, and relics from a ‘simpler time’ in Branson’s history. Coupled with the laid-back friendly atmosphere, you feel like family.

The menu offers delicious comfort food. Start with freshly made homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches. The signature pot roast, liver and onions, chicken and steak are also popular items on the menu. To get the full experience, try McFarlain’s Special that comes with slow-cooked pot roast, bread, gravy and mashed potatoes for the best comfort food you can imagine. And even if you’re stuffed, you’ll still make room for the irresistible cobblers and homemade fruit and cream pies made from scratch.

If you want to enjoy a meal, then watch a live show at the Little Opry Theater nearby, movie at the Imax Theater, or enjoy shopping at the trendy outlets, McFarlain’s is the perfect eating spot!

WHERE: IMAX Entertainment Complex, 3562 Shepherd of the Hills Expy, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417- 336-4680


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5 | Mellow Mushroom | If you’re craving a delicious pizza with everything on it, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better than the stone baked creations served at the Mellow Mushroom. The décor has all the hallmarks of the funky 70s era. From the green brick walls with bold tie dye splashes of color to flowing murals that cover the walls, there’s an unmistakably fun atmosphere that grips the imagination.

The pizza menu comes with your usual old-fashioned cheese pizza, a build your own option with a selection of cheeses, and a long list of toppings to add. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, there are salads, sandwiches, burgers, and a delicious selection of desserts to satisfy any craving. Mellow Mushroom does not disappoint with its drinks; there is a selection of 24 cold draft beers and delicious cocktails to quench your thirst.

WHERE: 333 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson MO 65616 | WHO: 417-320-5082


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6 | Wakyoto Japanese Steak & Sushi | There’s sushi and there’s Wakyoto Japanese Steak & Sushi!

If you are a sushi lover, this establishment does everything to satisfy your appetite. The staff is accommodating, and the food is beautifully presented. The atmosphere is quiet, relaxing, and adds to the authenticity of the Japanese culture you feel - you’re even greeted with a bow as you enter the door.

The menu boasts traditional starters like Miso Soup, salad and delightful appetizers. If you love house rolls, the selection is categorized into cooked, fried, deep fried, spicy, and fresh to satisfy different preferences and taste buds. Popular favorites like the Firecracker, Fire Viking Roll, Eagle Eye and Awesome Lobster Roll, Wakyoto, Raw Boat, Dragon Roll, noodles and sashimi combinations are all prepared before your eyes. There are also options for non-sushi lovers. Whether Chicken, Vegetarian and Shrimp Teriyaki, Rib Eye Steak, Egg and Spring Rolls, desserts like Green Tea Ice Cream, and New York Style Cheesecake, there are choices for everyone!

WHERE: 2005 W 76 Country Blvd Ste 201, Branson, MO 65616-2274 | WHO: 417-336-1177


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7 | El Lago Mexican Restaurant | There aren’t many Mexican restaurants in Branson, MO, but El Lago does a great job of capturing the rich authentic Latin flavors in each dish. Whatever your pick from the menu, you will be treated to large servings with loads of mouthwatering food. Appetizers include Guacamole Mexicana, Mexicana Sampler, Chori Queso and Nachos with Chicken. Fajitas, Tacos, and Enchiladas come with chicken, steaks, and seafood. The Fajita Chimichanga, paper thin Nachos, and Blazing Hot Sauce are also widely popular. If you prefer vegetarian options, Quesadilla, Burrito, and Chipas are customized as meatless alternatives.

WHERE: 18942 Business 13, Branson West, Branson, MO 65737-9747 | WHO: 417-272-8910


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8 | Mel’s Hard Luck Diner | It could be the singing waiters, waitresses, and sometimes cooks and bus staff who serenade guests throughout their visit or the authentic 50s diner atmosphere that makes Mel’s Hard Luck Diner one of the best eateries in Branson. If you are looking for something different to try, you will be in for a treat from the talented crew of professional singers, songwriters, musicians, and award-winning entertainers who keep the vibe fun and bubbly in this 50s hangout.

Whether you’re a child of the rotary phone and bobby socks era or connoisseur of pop culture from that era, you will appreciate the level of detail Mel’s Hard Diner fuses with the brand. From the pastel colors and 50s inspired artwork that cover the walls, to the seating and memorabilia throughout the restaurant, you get a nostalgic feel that makes dining here a unique experience.

Classic diner meals and comfort food like Burgers, Chili Dogs and Chili Cheese Fries, Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Chicken Wraps, Cheeseburgers, Chili Burgers, Hot Dogs, Patty Melts, Grilled Chicken and Chicken Croissants are served fresh. To top it all off, a full-service soda fountain makes old-fashioned shakes, sodas, ice creams sundaes, banana splits and other delicious treats made popular in the 1950s.

WHERE: 2800 W 76 County Boulevard, Branson, MO 6561 | WHO: 417-332-0150


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9 | Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar | Welcome to decadent sushi with an innovative twist! Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar sets the standard for one-of-a-kind sushi, sauces and desserts. Each expertly crafted made-to-order meal comes from fresh high-quality ingredients and does not contain MSG, artificial coloring and preservatives.

The décor fuses Japanese history and culture with a modern design. The delicate wall coloring, ceiling and wall art, and soft lighting create a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere with a low keyed yet upscale look.

Popular items on the menu include signature California Rolls, Spicy Crab, Vegetarian Rolls, and Nigiri such as fresh, albacore and white tuna and many more delicious items. The non-sushi menu offers Duck in Black Cherry Sauce, Balsamic Steak, Vermouth-Saffron Sea Bass or Grouper, Salmon, Shrimp, Teriyaki and an interesting mix of salads.

WHERE: 1819 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-336-1819


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10 | Farmhouse Restaurant | If you’re in the mood for hearty, down home-style cooked favorites, you must visit Farmhouse Restaurant in the historic downtown Branson area. From its picturesque location in the heart of downtown, to the country feel the atmosphere brings, this hidden gem packs a punch with its delectable eats.

Whether you sit down for a hearty breakfast of eggs served with fresh biscuit, country fried potatoes, or dollar pancakes, biscuits and gravy - or enjoy generous helpings of Fried Chicken Breast, Pork Tenderloin or Grilled Cheese, Country-Fried Steak with delicious Mashed Potatoes or another treat from the menu, you’ll never be ready to leave. And it doesn’t get better than the signature Blackberry Cobbler, homemade with fresh blackberries with ice cream on top - locals and tourists alike flock to this spot!

WHERE: 119 W. Main Street, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-334-9701


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11 | White River Fish House | Even before the first bite, you will be impressed by the historic floating eatery along the shore of Lake Taneycomo and the famous White River of the Ozarks. It is easy to understand why White River Fish House is one of the best seafood restaurants in Branson, MO and was voted “Best Overall Restaurant.” Many locals arrive for dinner and drinks by boat, so depending on the weather, you can sit outside to watch the spectacle of boaters and kayakers on the water, or enjoy the dramatic water views that add to the experience.

The décor follows a rugged nautical theme. The inside is rustic and reminiscent of a hunter’s cabin with the heads of animals and vintage relics related to fishing on the weathered looking wooden walls.

The menu authentically captures the lip-smacking flavors of the Ozarks. Appetizers include tenderized Alligator with Sweet Jalapeno Cream Sauce, Salt and Pepper Calamari and New England Clam Chowder. If you’re in the mood for a sandwich or burger, the Brisket Sandwich, World Famous Islamorada Fish Sandwich or a Build your own Burger are popular favorites. From Shrimp Bonetti, Fish and Chips, and Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon to Fall Off the Bone BBQ Ribs, Genny Morris Fried Chicken, the dinner menu has a little bit of everything! Memorable desserts like Fruit Cobbler, Key Lime Pie and Smore’s Cookie Skillet will complete the experience.

Save some bread and feed the ducks as you exit the pier!

WHERE: 5 Bass Pro Dr, Branson, MO 65616-2096 | WHO: 417-243-5100


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12 | Grandma Ruth’s Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls | No list can be complete without paying homage to the best old-fashioned cinnamon rolls in Branson! The charming family run bakery is a great option for breakfast or lunch. The irresistibly sweet, tender and deliciously gooey rolls freshly handmade from scratch by grandma and her sons are served in this bistro-style setting. The atmosphere is casual, laid back and has a hometown feel – and the conversation with the friendly staff is just as enticing as the treats.

The cinnamon rolls are huge and come in different flavors. Home-baked sugar cookies, bread pudding and bread kneaded from cinnamon rolls are also part of the menu. Everything is served fresh from the oven and limited due to high demand, so if you want to experience the scrumptiousness everyone talks about, get there before 1pm before closing time at 2!

WHERE: 3000 Green Mountain Drive Suite 108, Branson, MO 65616-8168 | WHO: 417-59-3206


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Chart your Course with this Handy Map of Restaurants in Branson, MO.


Final Thoughts

Branson, Missouri is best known for its live entertainment that draws millions of tourists each year, and an added bonus is the down-home food, country style barbecue and biscuits, and friendly atmosphere that make you feel like family. When you’re done exploring the beautiful lakes and attractions, or if a different type of destination is more your taste, check out RV rentals in Orlando, 51 things to do in Florida, outdoor attractions in Las Vegas , the best family friendly hotels in the country, and other great tips in the Westgate Travel Blog.


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At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your Branson vacation awaits! Explore our Branson resorts today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.