Dining Day Trips

These restaurants and eight others are the hidden gems of 417-land’s dining scene, and they’re located all over our corner of the state.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 11 of 11)

Rock your Face Off

Undercliff Bar and Grill has a rock-wall that gives the place an unusual feel. And built into a cave, The Cave Restaurant allows people to eat underground. But which one makes for a better cave-like dining experience? We visited them both to compare.

Undercliff Bar & Grill

6385 Old Hwy. 71, Joplin, MO  417-623-8382, undercliff.net
Undercliff Bar & Grill in Joplin, MO

Mike Winn opened Undercliff Bar & Grill in 1995 on his father-in-law's property. "He said, 'I'd finish the building if someone would do something with it, '" Winn says. "I said, 'If you'd add eight feet on the right side, I'll make it a restaurant and gill." Today, the restaurant, built into the side of a cliff, is one of the area's hottest spots to eat.

The Cave Restaurant

26880 Rochester Rd., Richland, MO 573-765-4554, thecaverestaurantandresort.com
The Cave Restaurant in Richland, MO

The Cave Restaurant originally opened in the 1920s, when it was a speakeasy. After some expanding and renovations, the restaurant opened in 1994, and a little more than two years ago, Gary Dyer purchased the property and transformed it into The Cave Restaurant and Resort. The restaurant is built into a cave and sits 30 feet off the ground and 100 feet from the Gasconade river. A little more than two years ago, Gary Dyer purchased the restaurant and surrounding property, which offers guests cabins, float trips and fishing.

The Face Off:

The following items were judged on a scale of 1 to 5 starts, with 5 being awesome and 1 being mediocre.

How was the wait time?

Undercliff Bar & Grill: 5 stars (This place has a neighboring joint called The Hangar, where you can grab drinks and appetizers while you wait)

The Cave: 4 stars

How bat like did it feel?

Undercliff Bar & Grill: 3 stars

The Cave: 5 stars (This is really a cave, people!)

How tasty was the food?

Undercliff Bar & Grill:
5 stars

The Cave: 4 stars

How was the service?

Undercliff Bar & Grill: 4 stars

The Cave: 5 stars

How quirky was the decor?

Undercliff Bar & Grill
: 5 stars (There's a life-size James Dean cutout in the bathroom, and stuffed animal heads in the dining area.)

The Cave: 5 stars (Dining area decor includes a stuffed cougar that watches you eat, a Christmas tree and an old bee hive.)

It was a very close race for the best cave-like dining experience. But it looks like The Cave wins by 1 point!!!
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