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Branson’s Hidden Food Gems

By: Michael Ayo

From steakhouses and barbecue to pizza and Mexican food, there’s no shortage of dining establishments to go along with the variety of live entertainment in Branson. Several places in town are popular among tourists, especially the unique ones like Mel’s Hard Luck Diner or the ones associated with shows such as the Grand Country Buffet and the Baldknobbers Country Restaurant. However, these places can get pretty crowded at the height of show season, so check out these hidden gems that offer some of the best food in Branson.

East Coast Subs

A definitive favorite among locals in Branson, East Coast Subs is a great place to find some of the best sandwiches in town. Located on Highway 248, roughly a mile away from the Branson RecPlex, East Coast Subs is open until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is perfect for a Reuben or baked Italian sub lunch date. Since this place is popular among Branson residents, it can get fairly busy from time to time. We highly recommend stopping by to pick up a menu and calling ahead to place your order.

Billy Bob’s Dairyland

There are several places in Branson to get a burger and fries, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than what is served up at Billy Bob’s Dairyland on Highway 76. You can order a normal hamburger, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can add a few more patties and some cheese to that order. Billy Bob’s also serves hot dogs, corn dogs, salads and other delicious options. After you’ve enjoyed your meal, be sure to stick around to try one of their tasty desserts. A favorite among visitors tends to be the peanut butter milkshake. 

NOTE: Billy Bob's only accepts cash as payment, so be sure to stop by the ATM before you go.

Mr. Gilberti’s Place

It’s almost a custom that one vacation meal involve pizza. If you’re looking for a friendly and unique atmosphere paired with delicious Chicago-style pizza, make the short trip to Hollister for Mr. Gilberti’s Place. Here you can find pizza unlike anything you’ve tried before along with salads, sandwiches and pasta. Located a few minutes from the College of the Ozarks campus, Mr. Gilberti’s is great after a day of fishing on Lake Taneycomo or if you’re just wanting to escape the city for a little while.

Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar

Everyone should strive to try something new while on vacation. Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar on Highway 76 near the Apple Tree Mall can be that “something new” on your trip to Branson. With its modern look and city-like atmosphere, Mitsu Neko is great for a dining experience you’re sure to remember. All their ingredients are healthy, fresh and natural, and you can order anything from steak and duck to smoked salmon and tuna sushi.

Grandma Ruth’s

Whether you want breakfast or just trying to satisfy your sweet tooth, Grandma Ruth’s has exactly what you need. Located in the Victorian Village off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Grandma Ruth’s has some of the best cinnamon rolls around and delicious sugar cookies made from scratch. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so be sure to stop in while you’re in town.


Popular dessert places in Branson such as Andy’s Frozen Custard can get extremely busy during peak season. When that happens, you’ll want to make the trip to Scoops in nearby Hollister. You can enjoy your choice of ice cream cones, shakes, sundaes, banana splits and various other sugary treats along with a scenic overlook of the Ozarks. Located on Highway 165, a few miles southwest of the College of the Ozarks campus, Scoops is a great way to beat the heat during the summer months.

Yeti’s Shaved Ice and Ice Cream

Another great place to go to cool off during the summer months is Yeti’s Shaved Ice and Ice Cream. This place takes shaved ice to the next level with their unique flavors and ways of preparing them. Enjoy flavors such as banana split, blueberry cobbler and cherry cheesecake, or expand your taste buds with flavors such as the Iron Man and Lu’s Luau. Located in the parking lot of Sunfest Market on the east side of Lake Taneycomo, passed Mount Branson and near Ozarks Memorial Park, the family is sure to love digging into one of these sweet treats.

Whether you just got out of a show and looking for a good place to eat or in the mood to try something different, this list of hidden gems will certainly provide you with a few great meals. From sandwiches and burgers to sushi and ice cream, anything you order from these places will leave you wanting more after you return home.

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