A great restaurant provides far more than a delicious meal. The places we really remember offer character, ambiance and certain special touches that separate them from the rest of the pack. Read ahead for three types of dining experiences.
Like Mom Used to Make: Dig Into Down-Home Favorites
Mizzou students and Columbia visitors alike flock to Booche’s Billiard Hall for some of Missouri's most famous cheeseburgers. Enjoy a fresh-off-the-griddle burger (or more), then challenge your dining companions to a game of pool. Whether you win or lose, you'll be part of a beloved Columbia tradition—lunch at Booche’s just might make you feel like a Mizzou Tiger.
In Independence, the friendly staff at Englewood Café definitely makes you feel like part of the family. Delicious, down-home dishes include chicken-fried steak and fried catfish; plus, breakfast choices are served all day. Be sure to save some room for a slice of pie – made fresh at the cafe each day.
In Boonville, Glenn's Café serves spicy and not-so-spicy Creole and Cajun cuisine—with a side of history and an unbeatable view from the patio. Glenn's is located inside the historic Hotel Frederick, overlooking the Missouri River. Be sure to stop by the bar for fresh, hand-shucked oysters.
Fit for Foodies: Elegant Dining in Missouri
Warm up on a wintry night with hearty fare at Grünauer, a fantastic, authentic Austrian restaurant in Kansas City. Vienna native Peter Grünauer cooks classic dishes, crafted with care, prepared simply, served in generous portions. Specialties include Szegediner (beef and pork goulash), Schweinebraten (roast pork), and several sausages.
On the other side of the Show-Me State, in the St. Louis suburb of Frontenac, Cardwell's at the Plaza offers the perfect atmosphere for a romantic dinner. Chef Bill Cardwell creates dishes as beautiful as they are delicious. Favorites include a savory goat-cheese torte, and a filet mignon with crispy onions and roasted-garlic mashed potatoes.
At the Lake of the Ozarks, in central Missouri, you can always find a fantastic meal and an incredible view at JB Hook’s, perched atop a bluff overlooking the lake. JB Hook’s is well known for superbly prepared ocean and fresh-water fish — Australian lobster tail is a specialty — hand-carved steaks, and tantalizing daily specials. Don’t overlook the shrimp and oyster bar in the lounge. Open year-round.
At Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant, pair a gorgeous river view with a wonderful meal. This restaurant specializes in prime rib, hickory-smoked barbecue and catfish. Take some time to explore the building, dating back more than 170 years. According to local lore, General Ulysses S. Grant used the building as his headquarters.
Cheers for Beer: Sample The Fare at these Brewpubs
In the historic neighborhood of Lafayette Square, in St. Louis, the Square One Brewery & Distillery serves hand-crafted beers and a multi-cultural menu. Try a Park Avenue Pale Ale (named after the lovely street where Square One is located) with pulled BBQ pork or jerk chicken sandwiches.
You'll find top-notch dining on tap at Springfield Brewing Company. Take a tour of the brewing facilities, and then enjoy a microbrew and a delicious meal from their expansive menu. Enjoy your repast on the outdoor patio—when the weather is right.
Aurora is home to a unique brewpub. Bootleggers Brewery Restaurant is housed in a restored 1888 bank; the old bank vault is where the beer is brewed. House specialties include: baby back ribs; fried alligator; beer-battered walleye; and a 20-oz, bone-in, cowboy ribeye steak.