Feast Like a Local at These 12 Hidden-Gem Restaurants in Branson, MO

Jun 14, 2024

Feast Like a Local at These 12 Hidden-Gem Restaurants in Branson, MO
By Westgate Resorts

Feast Like a Local at These 12 Hidden-Gem Restaurants in Branson, MO

Surrounded by breathtaking nature and famous for its live entertainment shows, Branson, Missouri is one of the top destinations in the U.S. It attracts more than 7 million domestic and international guests every year.

This bustling, picturesque town also has a vibrant food scene with over 400 restaurants catering to its visitors’ every culinary whim. To help you find authentic places where you’ll eat the best food served with genuine Southern hospitality, we’ve made a list of hidden-gem restaurants in Branson, MO. Check out these venues and get ready for some finger-lickin’ good food.

12 Hidden-Gem Restaurants in Branson, MO

  1. Cordovano Joe’s Pizza

  2. Danna’s BBQ & Burger Shop

  3. Local Flavor

  4. Downing Street Pour House

  5. White River Fish House

  6. Sugar Leaf Bakery

  7. HEROES Tastes + Taps

  8. Mr Gilberti’s Place

  9. Cantina Laredo

  10. Landry’s Seafood House

  11. Black Oak Grill

  12. Crazy Craig’s Cheeky Monkey Bar

Whether you’re looking for that well-known Southern hospitality or prefer something a bit fancier, you can find it all in Branson, MO. Keep reading this guide to discover places with great ambiance and even better food that will make your stay truly memorable!

1. | Cordovano Joe’s Pizza |

This place is hidden inside the Westgate Branson Woods Resort. Located in the heart of the Ozarks, amidst 145 wooded acres, the resort offers access to stunning lakes, spectacular golf courses, and this charming restaurant, serving some of the best pizza in the county.

The restaurant’s specialty pizzas, like Extreme Pepperoni or Italian Trio Classico, are to die for, but you can also get a lighter meal like the delicious Italian Garden Salad. The place is ideal for a laid-back family breakfast or lunch. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, exciting outdoor activities, and fantastic amenities (indoor heated pool, seasonal outdoor pools), and have your favorite pizza delivered straight to your villa for a cozy, private meal.

WHERE: 2201 Roark Valley Road, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 888-794-5326



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2. | Danna’s BBQ & Burger Shop |

Once in Branson, eat like a local! There’s no better place to start than Danna’s BBQ & Burger Shop, a small family-owned establishment with lovely staff, generous portions, and excellent price-quality ratio.

You’ll find all the delicious classics like pulled pork, chopped beef, ribs, and fried catfish, served with that famous Southern generosity. Should you decide to mix and match, go for the Smoked Pit Plate or the Combo Plate—you won’t regret it. To top your meal, we suggest ordering Danna’s pecan pie, which has a subtle dash of bourbon. It’s so good that you’ll probably take an extra slice to go.

Besides food, Danna’s boasts an incredible atmosphere with local vibes, making you feel welcome the moment you step in. The venue is popular among Branson residents and will most likely be packed even during the off-season.

WHERE: 963 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-337-5527


3. | Local Flavor |

To dig deeper into that Southern comfort food, visit Local Flavor, a cozy family-run restaurant that serves all the local delicacies. The vibes are good, the staff is helpful and friendly, and the food is exquisite in both taste and presentation.

We suggest you start with fried green tomatoes with Local Flavor’s homemade jalapeno dipping sauce or fried spinach tossed in lemon juice. The mains are just as spectacular, with chicken steak in buttermilk and pork tenderloin dinner standing out.

If you’re into burgers, don’t skip the Bison Burger made with fresh buffalo meat or the Hilton boosted with their homemade bourbon sauce (yes, bourbon is a thing in Branson). The desserts are equally tasty, and daily specials will lure you to this place more than once.

WHERE: 2830 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-464-6020


4. | Downing Street Pour House |

While exploring downtown Hollister, don’t pass on the opportunity to visit Downing Street Pour House. From the owners of Branson’s super popular Gettin’ Basted restaurant comes a stylish yet modern eatery that combines the Old World charm of a classic English pub with hearty flavors of the American South.

Restored Old English Inn is now a vibrant coal-fired comfort food place where locals and visitors enjoy wagyu burgers and traditional pub favorites. You shouldn’t miss “D” Street with arugula and goat cheese or H.A.F.B. with sriracha mayo and smoked gouda. If you’re into pub treats, opt for the shepherd’s pie or fish & chips—they’re equally delicious.

Pour House’s daily specials depend on the season because the team is focused on high-quality, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Regardless of the time of year, these specialties are always fantastic.

WHERE: 24 Downing Street, Hollister, MO 65672 │WHO: 417-320-6106


5. | White River Fish House |

To enjoy breathtaking sceneries while savoring your fish and seafood, head over to White River Fish House. Overlooking the beautiful Lake Taneycomo, this floating barge serves local fishermen and visitors who want to bask in stunning views of one of the oldest routes that took settlers to the unexplored west.

Don’t miss brown-sugar-glazed salmon or Ozarks Trout Almondine, cooked in almond butter and served with fresh vegetables. If you have a sweet tooth, key lime pie with its buttery cracker crust is a must. Chocolate fans will love the triple chocolate brownie skillet.

Cocktails and wines are equally good, so have a spicy pineapple margarita or a glass of local wine to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

WHERE: 5 Bass Pro Drive Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-243-5100


6. | Sugar Leaf Bakery, Cafe & Espresso Room |

If you like buffet and brunch-style food during the working week, Sugar Leaf Bakery is the place to visit. This charming bakery and cafe will sweep you off your feet with its garden-like interior, cozy atmosphere, and polite staff.

The menu consists of pastries, sandwiches, paninis, breakfast dishes, soups, salads, and sides, so it’s perfect if you need a snack or light lunch while sightseeing in Branson. Grab a country ham sandwich on fabulous focaccia or one of the paninis (Cuban or Tuscan Veggie), and you won't regret it. The pastry is equally tasty. Whether you choose homemade cookies, cakes, or pies, you’re in for a treat.

When at Sugar Leaf, don’t miss out on their fantastic specialty coffees, from fragrant ristretto to trendy frappes. The modern espresso room smells of freshly brewed beans, which will re-energize you for the rest of the day.

WHERE: 2800 W 76 Country Blvd Ste 211, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-336-6618



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7. | HEROES Tastes + Taps |

HEROES is a special place that shows how Branson and Missouri honor American heroes from every walk of life, including soldiers, firefighters, teachers, doctors, nurses, first responders, police officers, and many others.

The restaurant explores New American cuisine, so you can enjoy traditional favorites together with trendy dishes. The menu is organized into specific sections called First Responders, Inspirational Educators, Doctor’s Orders, Essential Workers, and Armed Forces. Reserve’s Rustic Barbecue Ribs are fantastic, but you might also want to get a taste of Schoolteacher’s Strawberry Salad because it will make your day—or night.

The beer menu is equally impressive, with more than 20 craft beers from the U.S., India, Bavaria, and Belgium. There’s a happy hour during working days, a perfect occasion for an afternoon buzz.

WHERE: 3225 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-334-2766



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8. | Mr Gilberti’s Place |

Originating from Chicago, Mr Gilberti brings both Chicago-style and thin-crust pizza to Branson. Old-school recipes and high-quality ingredients make this cute Italian restaurant a favorite among locals and visitors.

Italian sausage and beef, black olives, pepperoni, and some creamy cheese will tickle your taste buds regardless of the pizza type. You should also try crab bites, eggplant parmigiana, and cannelloni.

Keep in mind that this place is off the beaten path and can be pretty busy, so book a table in advance to avoid long waiting times. And keep your eyes open when you get close because it’s a bit inconspicuous, and you might miss it.

WHERE: 1451 Acacia Club Rd, Hollister, MO 65672 │WHO: 417-334-9322


9. | Cantina Laredo |

To get some spectacular, authentic Mexican food, head to Cantina Laredo. This upscale eatery with an impressive menu inspired by Mexico City cuisine offers a full fine dining experience. The interior is elegant and pleasant, but nothing beats enjoying your meal on the restaurant's beautiful terrace on a sunny day.

Ceviche takes you straight to the Mayan Riviera, but you’ll be back in Ciudad de Mexico once you taste their fir-charred skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. Should you opt for cochinita pibil, braised pork with achiote sauce, you will feel like you’ve been transported to the heart of Yucatan.

If you want a treat after these spicy delights, try flan, Mexican custard with caramel and a dash of Cointreau or our favorite, mango tres leches. To get the full vibe, order some margaritas—they are to die for.

WHERE: 1001 Branson Landing, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-334-6062


10. | Landry’s Seafood House |

Family-oriented and laid-back, Landry’s offers fantastic seafood in the best Gulf Coast tradition. If you want to eat out with your family and friends, this place won’t disappoint you—the food is tasty, the staff is friendly, and it’s always lively.

Lobster bisque and New England clam chowder are excellent. After that, try Snapper Hemingway, lump crab meat encrusted with parmesan and served with asparagus. You can also keep it simple with daily fresh fish (salmon, mahi, redfish, or snapper). In case you’re not in the mood for seafood, Landry’s culinary team cooks a mean filet mignon and an even meaner bone-in ribeye.

What you shouldn’t skip is Landry’s famous key lime pie and bread pudding for dessert. The chocolate cake is also great, especially if you like some coffee after your meal because these tastes complement each other perfectly.

WHERE: 2900 W Missouri Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-339-1010



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11. | Black Oak Grill |

Barn-meets-modern decor and hearty American dishes with a new twist make Black Oak Grill stand out on Branson’s culinary scene. If you want a fun night out at an elegant eatery on Branson Landing, this restaurant is a perfect choice.

Start your feast with spinach in a five-cheese dip or fried goat cheese, but don’t overdo it. Save yourself for Black Oak’s famous Ozark Burger or one of the specialties like pot roast, baby back ribs, or center-cut sirloin.

Once the main courses settle, we suggest moving on to New York-style cheesecake or yummy carrot cake. Top it all off with Black Oak’s incredible cocktails, including Frozen Jack’N Coke and Ozark Martini.

WHERE: 601 Branson Landing, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-239-0063


12. | Crazy Craig’s Cheeky Monkey Bar |

If you like dive bar vibes, Crazy Craig’s Cheeky Monkey Bar will do the trick. The decor is fun, the drinks are affordable, and the atmosphere can get pretty hot, especially in the evening. That’s when you should visit this establishment. It has live music or DJs almost every night. Keep in mind that the place becomes adult-only after 10 p.m.

The restaurant mostly serves bar-style and finger food, but whatever you order will be delicious. BBQ platters, party buckets, Monkey bites, and other treats go perfectly with shots, beers, and cocktails, so you can let loose with no fear of a nasty hangover the following day.

Even though it shines the brightest in the evenings, Crazy Craig’s afternoons are also fun. You can shoot pool for free while sipping a craft beer.

WHERE: 120 Montgomery Dr, Branson, MO 65616 │WHO: 417-335-2620



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If you want to explore Branson’s seafood scene beyond Landry’s and White River, visit Level Two Steak House. Don’t let the name fool you. This venue offers awesome crispy calamari, lobster bisque, shrimp cocktails, and pan-seared scallops. Another place you shouldn’t miss is Joe’s Crab Shack, where you can indulge in crab legs.

Besides Sugar Leaf, you should check out Transylvania Bakery & Cafe for mouth-watering Danish pastries and moist cakes, as well as Simply Baked by Chandler for delicious cookies, pies, and cupcakes. If you are a fan of cinnamon rolls and ice cream, head over to Grandma Ruth’s Cinnamon Rolls & Ice Crwam for some homemade delights.

Branson eateries are not all about meat. You can get vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian options in most restaurants. We suggest trying some vegetarian Mexican dishes in Botanas Premier or Qdoba. For a quick, meat-free snack drop by Panera Bread for sea salt focaccia, black bean soup, blueberry bagels, or oatmeal with strawberries and pecan nuts.

Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show offers an unforgettable experience because you get to see a spectacular live show and enjoy a four-course feast. You can also get vegetarian and gluten-free options on request.

In case you want to have a proper all-nighter, Peak Nightclub is your go-to place. The dancefloor can get pretty crowded as visitors and locals enjoy Top 40 hits and the latest R&B and dance releases. For a more laid-back atmosphere, check out Clear Lounge or Whisket Tango, where you can chat with friends, see a live show, and have some tasty snacks.

You can easily get a late meal in Branson because most bars and pubs offer fantastic finger food or even proper meals. There are even a few classic restaurants that open till late, so rest assured you won’t stay hungry.

Branson—More Than the Live Entertainment Capital

Branson is becoming famous for its food scene as much as its fantastic theaters and live music shows. Even if you’re not a fan of live entertainment, you can explore the surrounding natural sites offering stunning photo ops and enjoy some of the finest food in the U.S. For more information on Branson hotels and attractions, visit the Westgate Resorts 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.

* Aside from Cordovano Joe’s Pizza, 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.

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