The 5 Best Restaurants in Branson

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Branson Missouri is one of the top family vacation destinations in the country. Offering entertaining shows, attractions, shopping, golfing and amazing outdoor recreational activities, it’s a popular vacation and vacation home destination. However, when the day turns to evening and stomachs are growling, Branson also delivers endless dining possibilities! With something for everyone, the best restaurants in Branson have a wide array of options for every palette.

The vast majority of dining establishments in Branson are family friendly and casual, meaning you can go straight from the show, or straight from the lake, and grab a bite to eat without worrying about dress codes. Branson has perfected the art of the family vacation and some of the establishments below even provide free live entertainment that the whole family will enjoy!

Highest Ranked Restaurants in Branson

The following list comprises some of the highest ranked restaurants in Branson, based on traveler reviews and comments. During high tourist seasons, such as summer and Christmas, wait times can be high, so be sure and call ahead for reservations.

1. Mel’s Hard Luck Diner


Home of Branson’s original singing servers. Mel’s Hard Luck Diner is A 50s themed diner offering music from the 1950s and 1960s up to today’s popular hits. You’ll hear a variety of singing styles while you eat including, pop, rock, showtunes, opera, gospel, country, etc. Food offerings include burgers, sandwiches, great salads, blue plate specials and some of the best and biggest desserts to be found in the Ozark Mountains! This is a favorite of all ages and is definitely one of the most popular restaurants in Branson.

2. The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks

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The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks is absolutely one of the best restaurants in Branson. Situated on the campus at College of the Ozarks, the dining room at the Keeter Center is beautiful and serene. A perennial favorite of locals, this is a dining establishment that requires advanced reservations, so be sure to make those early on in your vacation. Weekend brunches here are spectacular, and holidays are always big affairs at the Keeter Center. Many of the dishes are made with food that is grown by the college itself. Students serve as wait staff, and are friendly and personable. College of the Ozarks is known as Hard Work U, and all of the students work part time in exchange for free tuition. Dishes here are delicious with a touch of elegance, and the desserts are to die for. There’s even an ice cream shop in the lobby… if your stomach still has room to spare.

3. Smith Creek Moonshine Distillery

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When in Rome, err, the Ozarks, do as the locals do and taste the Moonshine! Moonshine is a staple round’ these parts, and Smith Creek Moonshine Distillery is the place to wet your whistle with this southern staple. Smith Creek is a moonshine tasting destination with two locations in Branson; Branson Landing and the Tanger Outlet mall. If you’re hungry for one of their highly rated juicy burgers, The Landing is the location you’ll want. If you’d just like to purchase the “good stuff” their Tanger location can fix you right up. Both locations allow moonshine tasting, and with flavors ranging from classic apple pie to salted caramel, what are you waiting for? It’s really not a surprise that this unique establishment is one of the highest rated restaurants in Branson. Thousands of moonshine connoisseurs can’t be wrong can they?

4. St. James Winery and Restaurant 

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If you’re more of a wine person than a moonshine person, you’re in luck, because Branson has a place for you too! St. James Winery and Restaurant is a sophisticated, yet laid back destination, where you’ll find some of the best wine and food in all of the Ozarks. Their story is as unique as their wines. “Italian immigrants settled in the St. James area of the Meramec Highlands in the late 1800s. The railroad carried them to new and inexpensive land where the immigrants built a life and eventually began to use their agricultural knowledge to grow high-quality Concord grapes. This community of wine makers helped make Missouri the second largest wine producing state in the U.S. until prohibition wiped out the family wineries that had come to define the region. As Missouri wines began to come back in the 1960s, Jim and Pat Hofherr decided to re-establish the craft of wine making in St. James. They used the same grapes and similar wines that made the region world famous a half-century before, and created the now-famous Velvet Red and Velvet White that remain a hallmark of the St. James Winery lineup. It’s been nearly 50 years since the Hofherr family began making wine. In that time, St. James Winery has helped put Missouri wines back on the national stage. People throughout our state and across the country seek out our wine, and we have expanded to meet their demand. St. James Winery now produces 500,000 gallons of wine per year and is available for purchase in 16 different states.”
The St. James location in Branson offers wine tasting, bottles for purchase, and an amazing menu that includes salads, appetizers, and delicious entrees. This is Missouri’s largest and most awarded winery, so you know it’s going to be good.

5. Hook and Ladder Pizza Co.

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You don’t REALLY know a town, until you know the best pizza place around. And in Branson, the best pizza is actually found in a smaller town a stone’s throw away, along the banks of Lake Taneycomo. When you drive over the bridge into Hollister, just past Branson Landing, you might notice that the landscape changes slightly. That’s because Hollister is nestled on the edge of Branson, but the pace of life is just a little bit slower here; the perfect escape from the busy tourist traffic on Country Music Blvd.

Hook and Ladder Pizza Co is definitely a local favorite. Eat inside the restaurant or pick up a pie to go. One of the best things about Hook and Ladder is their support of local fire departments. Take a moment to look around at the wonderful photos on the walls. There’s lots of history to be found here. Hook and Ladder Pizza Co is definitely one of the best restaurants in Branson, even if it’s not QUITE in Branson

Grocery Concierge Services

Eating out is one of the best things about being on vacation, but sometimes you just want to put your feet up, have dinner at home and spend a night in. When you’ve bought your very own Branson vacation home, Lake Home Help can keep your fridge fully stocked and at the ready. It’s as easy as sending us your list so we can do the shopping! Our employees are licensed, bonded and insured, which means every egg will be handled with care, and every order will be meticulously waiting for you when you arrive. Your groceries will come from local stores, ensuring the freshest foods and best cuts of meat will be waiting for your family and guests. Grocery shopping shouldn’t be the first thing you worry about when you arrive at your vacation home. With a fully stocked fridge and pantry, your family will have time to do what they do best, relax and make memories in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks, even on the nights you stay in!

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