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.

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The Pie Purveyor: Cooky's Cafe

517 Main St., Golden City, MO; 417-537-4741
Cookys Cafe in Golden City, MO

Cooky’s Café is one of Golden City’s most happening spots. Located on the city’s Main Street, the restaurant has been a town favorite since 1942 when it was opened by Cecil Cooky Ambler. “My grandma worked for him,” says Greg Eldred, whose family has owned the restaurant for 35 years. Most of the menu is the same as the day it opened. “We did add hamburgers, though,” Eldred says. “They wouldn’t sell them. It was the strangest thing.”

The restaurant is known for its great home-cooking, with baked ham being one of the most popular menu items. “We go through two to three large hams every day,” Eldred says. And desserts, particularly pies, are what the place is really known for. “We make about 45 different kinds of pie,” Eldred says.

What I Ordered
I decided to try the ham dinner with mashed potatoes, salad and green beans ($7). The ham is baked fresh daily, then it’s grilled before it’s served. The homemade mashed potatoes come covered in brown gravy made from brisket drippings. For dessert, I tried the lemon pie. The crust was perfectly flaky and buttery, what I would call superb in the world of pie crusts. In fact, I could have eaten it without anything in it. But the lemon filling and light meringue gave the meal a refreshing, light finish.

Photo by Kevin O'Riley

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