Dining in the Sun

Once you’re at the lake, it’s time to scope out restaurants, coves and marinas that will soon become your favorite go-tos where you’re likely to meet a whole new community of lake-loving companions.

By Ettie Berneking and Trinh Nguyen

Apr 2018

Vino Cellars at the Lake
Photo by Kevin O'RileyVino Cellars at the Lake

Floating Cafe

3443 Indian Point Road, Branson, 417-338-2891 

This two-story restaurant was the first floating cafe on Table Rock. Along with live entertainment on Saturday nights during the summer, the marina rents boat slips and water crafts plus diving gear. It also serves some fantastic home-cooked food including burgers, hand-cut fries, seafood and dessert. If you’re an early riser, you can catch the sunrise and then boat over for breakfast, which starts at 7 a.m.

Just Jackie’s at Pontiac Cove Marina

563 Pontiac Cove Road, Pontiac, 417-679-2593

At Just Jackie’s, the most popular dishes are homemade pizza and hand-pattied burgers. This dining mainstay is situated on the shores of Bull Shoals Lake, so you can drive in or boat up. Just dock in one of the eight boat stalls available, grab a seat on the dock and enjoy the views of the lake. 

Coombs Ferry

Near Indian Point on the east side of Table Rock

This popular tie-up fills with ski boats and cruisers when the weather is especially tempting. The real draw is the sandy shore, which keeps anchors from snagging on sunken trees. With several peninsulas that jut into the water, the spot is home to a scenic campground.

Photo by Brandon AlmsJust Jackie’s is known for its crispy garlic butter wings, as well as its thin-crust pizza and hand-pattied burgers.

Coyote’s Dockside Cafe and Pub

344 Nautical Circle, Kimberling City, 417-739-4695

This boat-up cafe is one of Kimberling City’s main attractions. The dock puts on live music and serves shrimp scampi, burgers, catfish and salads, all of which you can enjoy from the comfort of the dock. The outdoor seating is ideal almost all summer long. Even on the hottest days, you can take shelter in the shade and enjoy a quick lunch.

Vino Cellars at the Lake

15038 Business Highway 13, Branson West, 417-739-1985

Although you can’t boat up to this cafe and wine shop, it’s just a quick drive into Branson West. Set up on the spacious back patio and enjoy the view or stop in for one of the weekly happy hours or wine club nights. Before heading home, stock up on spirits including a wide selection of canned vino. Who says you have to stock the cooler with beer?

Devil’s Pool Restaurant at Big Cedar

190 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale, 417-335-2777

Southern homestyle cuisine is the name of the game at Devil’s Pool. And served alongside plates of fried fish and pork chops is an abundance of rustic, elegant charm. This woodsy escape is housed inside a century-old log cabin. If you’re looking to soak in some extra sun, grab a seat on the spacious back patio. The views of the Ozarks forest and nearby lake are totally worth applying a little extra sunscreen.

Flat Creek Restaurant

7847 Missouri 173, Cape Fair,  417-538-4802

Ask around and you’ll discover Flat Creek has the reputation for the best fried catfish in the Ozarks. It’s also a great spot to sip an ice cold margarita or dive into a basket of crab cakes or a bowl of seafood bisque. Its scenic location on an arm of Table Rock Lake becomes an ideal dining area for family vacations, special events or gatherings. 

Flat Creek Restaurant
Photo by Brandon Alms

The home-cooked grub at Flat Creek Restaurant is a staple at the lake. The Broasted Chicken Dinner includes coleslaw, mashed potatoes, green beans and a biscuit. The Flat Creek Trio boasts ribs, brisket, catfish, baked beans and sweet potato fries. There are even homemade cherry hand pies.

Prime rib nachos Chateau Grill
Photo by Brandon Alms

Order the prime rib nachos at Chateau Grill and feast on a mound of tortilla chips, shredded cheese, shaved slow roasted prime rib, black beans, diced tomatoes, onion and cilantro sour cream drizzle.

Chateau Grill at Chateau on the Lake

415 N. State Highway 265, Branson, 417-243-1777 

It’s not just the elegant setting and stellar view that amaze customers. The wide range of cuisines and extensive wine list are just as rave-worthy. The hearty breakfast menu includes your choice of must-have egg omelets, French toast and filling pancakes, while the dinner menu features seared filet mignon, juicy bison New York strip steak and seafood. Arrive on Friday and Saturday nights for live music, which sets the perfect mood for dining while you watch the sun set over Table Rock Lake through the window.

White River Fish House at Branson Landing

5 Bass Pro Drive, Branson, 417-243-5100 

From the floor to the ceiling, every surface in the dining area is decorated with fishing memorabilia. There are even boats mounted to the walls. The festive slice of Americana is just part of the appeal. The real draw is the menu with the popular fish and chips––flaky beer-battered cod and jalapeño corn bread. Here, you have the chance to literally dine on the lake because this scenic restaurant is actually a floating barge, where you can park your boat along the pier to walk into the restaurant. 

Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock

150 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale, 417-335-2777

From the iron chandelier hanging from the ceiling to the wood floors, rich leathers, tapestries and artwork, Osage represents the spirit of Native Americans who once lived in the Ozark Mountains. Inspiring American cuisine and a stunning view of Table Rock Lake from the Top of the Rock leave you with an exceptional dining experience. Stick around and you can witness the restaurant’s nightly sunset ceremony to appreciate the magical beauty of the Ozarks. 

Boathouse BBQ

5272 State Park Marina Road, Branson, 417-336-5341

American fare, barbecue and hand-dipped ice cream treats are just a sampling of what you can order from Boathouse BBQ. This outdoor dining retreat is situated on the lake and connected to the shore by a bridge. Grab a seat at one of the picnic tables, and enjoy the views. This outdoor dining setting is only open Memorial Day through Labor Day at the marina.

HK’s Restaurant & Bar at The Lodge of Four Seasons

315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake of the Ozarks, 573-365-8509

Reserve a fancy night to try out modern American cuisine, high-quality steak, seafood specialties, pasta choices and cocktails. Inside the restaurant has a relaxing, elegant atmosphere, and outside is a breathtaking view of the Lake of the Ozarks, a cozy fire pit and the resort’s Japanese garden.

JB Hook’s Restaurant 

2260 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake of the Ozarks, 573-365-3255

If your plans are to watch the sunset in a panoramic view and the boats on the main channel while enjoying steak and seafood, JB Hook’s is the place for you. With a shrimp and oyster bar, a variety of ocean and freshwater fish and hand-carved steak, the restaurant offers fine dining in a romantic setting. The sunset view over the water is second to none at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Ruthie D’s Dining and Spirits

4466 Horseshoe Bend Road, Lake of the Ozarks, 573-964-6448

This casual dining spot offers a variety of signature entrees including pasta, pork, seafood, fowl and hand-cut Angus steak. With the atmosphere of an elegant French manor house and an open-air dining area, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the lake from a screened deck.

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