With over 300 restaurants offering a wide variety of dining options, you may have a hard time choosing where to eat in Branson, Missouri. For some tasty and reasonably-priced down-home food and a welcoming atmosphere, try these 7 unique restaurants in the "live music show capital of the world."
1. Branson Cafe
In downtown Branson, you'll find historic buildings, Victorian lampposts and Branson's oldest restaurant. The Branson Cafe first opened in 1910 and has been operating in its current location since the 1920s. Its menu features breakfast dishes, sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads and homestyle entrees such as fried chicken and country fried steak.
Stop by this no-frills diner for a hearty breakfast, for coffee and a bakery treat (warning: their fresh cinnamon rolls and Danish pastries sell out quickly) or for a satisfying comfort food lunch. Save room for pie. Branson Cafe's homemade pies have been featured on the Today show.
2. Farmhouse Restaurant
Also located in Branson's historic downtown, the family owned and operated Farmhouse Restaurant serves hearty food made in a real country kitchen. Their menu includes soup, salads, sandwiches and a variety of dinner specialties, including chicken and dumplings, chicken fried steak and a Bar-B-Que plate. Chicken fried chicken and lightly breaded catfish are signature dishes. You won't want to miss their house dessert either -- blueberry cobbler.
The Farmhouse Restaurant is a cheerful place with friendly staff. It is a favorite with locals and tourists alike.
3. Mel's Hard Luck Diner
For a fun dining experience, head to the 1950s-themed Mel's Hard Luck Diner, conveniently located on the Branson Strip, for traditional American fare with a side of music. Singing waiters and waitresses serenade diners with their favorite songs as they serve. Sometimes cooks and bus staff join in too. Many of the singing staff members have been or are currently appearing in Branson's popular productions. A couple have become American Idol contestants.
Burgers, shakes, fried steak, battered cod, chicken fingers, sandwiches, wraps, soup, and salad are a sampling of what's on the menu at the diner where "we sing for your supper."
4. Billy Bob's Dairyland
Billy Bob's Dairyland is a Branson dining legend. Located along the Branson Strip, this old-time burger joint is known as THE place in Branson for burgers. In addition to its famous burgers, Billy Bob's serves hot dogs, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, chili, BLTs and Frito pie, a dish made with Frito chips topped with chili, cheese, and onions. Accompany your burger or other order with fries, onions rings, a milk shake or a malt. Cobblers, fried pies, sundaes, and soft serve or hand-dipped ice cream are available for dessert.
The décor is 1950s retro and the prices are reasonable. Bring cash. Billy Bob's doesn't accept credit cards.
5. BillyGail's Café
For a hearty breakfast or lunch, head to BillyGail's Café. The restaurant, housed in a former gas station and log cabin, is a little off the beaten path on state Highway 265, a short distance off bustling Highway 76. Vintage flea market finds decorate rooms inside the cabin. An attached country store offers crafts and souvenirs for sale.
BillyGail's Café consistently makes the list of the best places for breakfast in Branson. It is known for its extra large pancakes, hanging over plate edges. Other all-day breakfast options include biscuits and gravy, French toast, omelettes, and French cakes. French cakes are a Billy Gail's creation. They are pancakes dipped in egg batter and fried on the griddle to create a combination of pancake and French toast flavors. Lunch menu items include burgers, sandwiches and homemade soup.
BillyGail's is only open from 7 am to 2 pm and is a "cash only" restaurant.
6. White River Fish House
The White River Fish House is actually a floating barge with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Taneycomo, a lake created in 1913 by a dam on the river the restaurant was named after. Owned by Bass Pro Shops, the restaurant is located next to the Bass Pro Shop along the promenade in the Branson Landing shopping and entertainment district. A short walk along a wooden pier takes you onto the barge. There are also spots for boaters to dock.
Inside, canoes hang from the wooden rafters. Old photographs, moose and deer heads, snowshoes, lanterns and vintage accessories decorate the rustic wood walls. White River Fish House serves pasta, burgers, chicken, ribs, steak and a large variety of fish dishes. Signature seafood dishes are brown sugar glazed salmon, Ozarks trout almondine, pan seared halibut and crab topped redfish.
7. Danna's BBQ and Burger Shop
Visit one of Danna's BBQ and Burger Shop's two locations for tender pulled pork, homemade burgers, smoked meat, fall-off-the-bone ribs, BBQ nachos, burgers, chicken and more. Get a side of Memphis rolls, fried sour dough rolls with melted butter centers.
This family-owned restaurant makes their own barbecue rub and barbecue sauces. Beef and pork are smoked for 12 to 14 hours each day over hickory wood. Ribs, chicken and sausages are smoked for 4 hours twice a day.
There you have it: 7 great places to get home cooking at fair prices in the great city of Branson. We hope you get your fill!