Let’s face facts: It’s hard to beat a great meal – the kind where you have to literally push your chair back from the table to make yourself stop eating. Missouri restaurants offer the opportunity to enjoy a great meal and to experience welcoming surroundings, fun dishes and taste-bud-pleasing craft brews. On second thought, you may not want to push away from that table.
Located 16 miles southeast of Hermann, along the Missouri River, the city of New Haven is home to one of Missouri’s true hidden gems: Cedar Creek, a resort and meeting venue. One of the best ways to enjoy time at Cedar Creek is with a meal at Town Hall, located in Cedar Creek’s Western Town section. The restaurant is open Saturdays and Sundays, noon-7 p.m., serving a menu that varies from weekend to weekend; recent choices ranged from a shrimper’s salad to a pulled-pork sandwich. The adjacent Western Town Saloon offers tasting of 2nd Shift Brewery’s lineup of brews, plus other drinks and wines by the glass. The beer production facility is on-site – they even grow their own hops on the property – brewing choices with fun names such as Cat Spit Stout.
Speaking of brews, a great selection is available in downtown Cape Girardeau at the Broadway Biergarten. Although they tend to lean toward imports – particularly from Germany – Broadway Biergarten offers a handful of made-in-Missouri brews, plus snack foods such as their locally-famous wings and a one-pound Bavarian pretzel.
Okay, back t o the restaurants. When was the last time you feasted on that southern favorite, fried chicken and waffles? Never? Well, get ready to tick one off your bucket list, thanks to Gram and Dun Gastropub on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. The sweet-hot combination of waffles with maple syrup with fried chicken dunked in Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce is a meal you won’t soon forget. If you get thirsty, Gram and Dun serves a wide selection of drinks, including locally-crafted brews from Boulevard Brewing Company (which, FYI, is open for tours Wednesdays through Sundays).
The next time you visit Springfield, take a trip to Italy. Well, at least metaphorically. Bruno’s Italian Restaurant, in downtown Springfield, brings a taste of the Old Country to southwest Missouri. Among their many popular menu choices is the Ravioli Con Aragosta Capesante E Gamberoni (that’s a mouthful itself), a combination of lobster, scallop and shrimp ravioli in a tomato and lobster bisque. Save room for Bruno’s fabulous Key Lime Pie and don’t skip an opportunity to sample Bruno’s own, private-label wines, made using grapes from his vineyard in Sicily.
On a warm summer evening, there’s no better experience than outdoor dining – paired with a fresh brew – at Flat Branch Pub and Brewing in Columbia. The reigning champion of Inside Columbia magazine’s “best overall restaurant” for the past five years straight, Flat Branch offers a menu to please everyone, from burgers and brick-oven pizzas to a good sirloin and salmon. Of their many varieties of craft beers, there are always at least 10 Flat Branch brews on tap daily. For dessert, save room for an ice-cream float featuring Arbuckles ice cream (made on campus at the University of Missouri-Columbia) and one of Flat Branch’s made-on-site soft drinks: root beer and cream soda.
Now that you know where to get some of Missouri’s best food and drink, start planning your dining-focused adventure today, at VisitMO.com.