I’ve heard Missouri referred to as a midwestern “flyover” state.
Concerning food, many people’s first thoughts run to those generally associated with a style of barbecue, either St. Louis or Kansas City.
Or, perhaps to one of the other classic dishes Missouri is known for, like toasted ravioli, St. Paul sandwich, or the gooey butter cake.
On a recent trip to Lake of the Ozarks, I was pleasantly surprised and quite impressed by the wide variety of offerings for tourists and locals alike.
As Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than the Pacific Coast of California, you can imagine there are hundreds of food and beverage establishments from which to choose. Some I found on the recommendation of a colleague, others I stumbled upon by chance. All were well worth my time.
- 19 Best Lake Of The Ozarks Restaurants
- On The Rise Restaurant
- Bend Grill & Bar
- TAVERN on the bend
- Rojas fusion tacos
- H. Toad’s Bar & Grill
- MaMa CiTa’s Mexican Cantina
- Taqueria La Tapatia
- Lambert’s Café
- Wobbly Boots Roadhouse
- Domenico’s Italian Restaurant
- Bobber’s Restaurant
- Rusty Rooster Cafe
- ROYAL Fine Dining
- Lil’ Rizzo’s
- Stewart’s on the Strip
- Tucker’s Shuckers Oyster & Tap
- 1932 Reserve Restaurant
- Frankie & Louie’s
- Lake of Ozarks Restaurants: Wrap Up
19 Best Lake Of The Ozarks Restaurants
5439 Osage Beach Parkway // 573-348-4224
This unique restaurant bills itself as a brunch restaurant, but they serve from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Days of operation vary between peak and off-season, so it’s a good idea to always check their website for the most updated hours. They offer a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items, as well as a luscious bakery area.
They have a great, catchy menu. Categories of items include Friends with Benedicts (poached eggs offered many ways), Between the Slices (sandwich choices), and Grown-up Coffee (containing alcohol). On The Rise offers beignets to rival those found in other parts of the country, omelets and scrambles, salads and flatbreads, and some exciting beverage offerings.
If you’re a chocolate fan, you will undoubtedly enjoy the Ghirardelli Chocolate Milk with whipped crème. Perhaps the Monkey Juice, a frozen blend of bananas, strawberries, and orange juice, better suits your needs. Maybe just settle for a variety of their coffee.
Are you a real foodie? I’ve compiled a list of the best foodie gifts you can get for yourself and your closest ones. Cheese, meat and sweets subscriptions, and some classic must-have foodie gadgets.
One item that caught my eye from the menu was the Pan-Fried Chicken Schnitzel. Served with capers, caramelized lemon, breakfast potatoes, fried egg, and crispy pancetta, it was not a dish I had ever tried, anywhere. Perhaps next time! A nearby patron assured me that I had missed out on a fabulous dish.
The restaurant offers stunning views of the lake, very tidy, beautiful, high-end eating experience. It was a pleasant evening sitting on the patio, looking out over the lake and neighborhood. It has a great view and is rather uncrowded.
Our server was quite pleasant and well-behaved. She quickly accepted our order and followed up with us after delivering the food. Other waiters came by as well. They appeared to be truly concerned about how we felt.
My friend raved over the blackened chicken Caesar salad. The various ingredients were organized in the four corners, with a large amount of protein in the center. It was a simple and tasty dish.
I enjoyed a perfectly prepared prime rib. Another great beverage that I sipped on was a Bullet Rye Old Fashioned. They give a generous portion, more than enough for two meals. The garlic mashes had a deft flavor. In some cases, garlic can be too overpowering, but not in this instance.
Finally, it had the most amazing gravy. It was great for dipping ribs in and is known as mushroom Demi glacé. Even though I don’t like mushrooms, I liked this. Try this place out!
Tavern on the Bend is undoubtedly the greatest new fine-dining restaurant on the lake. The meal was wonderful, the service was outstanding, and the ambiance was fantastic. It’s a terrific spot to gather with friends and family to celebrate any event.
The space was nicely designed and felt more like a Montana luxury hunting lodge than a lakeside restaurant, which was a refreshing change.
My friend and I then split the sea bass and a ribeye, both of us having a baked potato. This was one of the best sea bass dishes I have ever tasted. The sauce they served with it was fantastic.
The ribeye was tender enough to cut with a fork. Excellent piece of meat prepared exactly to order.
My only complaint would be that it didn’t have my seasoning on it, which would be impossible, but it was still a very good cut of meat, prepared well, and combined with the sea bass entree, it was a very pleasant meal.
The service was flawless. I’ve never had to ask for a refill of water or a soft drink if I’m having one- the glass goes low and they immediately replenish- it’s a minor thing but it’s noticeable.
1375 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO 65049, the United States // +1 573-552-8484
Rojas Fusion Tacos is a pleasant little hidden treasure in Lake Ozark. This type of food is not typically found in the center of Lake Ozark, especially if you are a resident or an outsider.
One bite into Rojas’ hot-off-the-grill tacos, and you’ll understand why I say they’re among the best in the area.
We were blown away from the moment we stepped foot in Rojas. It has a trendy and cool feeling while still maintaining a cozy sense. What’s more, their cuisine is fantastic!
We tried the Al Pastor tacos, which featured pork marinated in Mexican peppers and spices, which were delicious! We also had delicious birria tacos. They were amazing!
This is the place to go if you’re looking for authentic Mexican food!
at Camden on the Lake Resort
2325 Bittersweet Road // 573-365-5620
From its name alone, which is short for Horny Toad, you are entering a place with a sense of humor. H. Toad’s is a very casual and easy-going restaurant, bar, and grill. Here you can sit inside or out, enjoying a terrific view of the Lake. The Toad Cove Entertainment Complex is right next door and offers some of the best entertainment in Lake of the Ozarks.
H. Toad’s is also adjacent to Camden on the Lake Resort. Not only can you stay in deluxe accommodations, but you can enjoy some of the area’s finest entertainment. Are you having a day on the Lake? No problem, pull your boat right in. They offer marina services along with a swim-up bar and swimming pool.
Depending on your preference, you can order from the Toad Island Menu, which offers casual fare (think dips, wings, pizza,and burgers) or their full dining menu. I recommend the salmon, served with smashed potatoes, squash, zucchini, and red pepper jam.
Are you thinking more pasta? No problem. Try the Alfredo Penne Pasta with garlic cream sauce and Parmesan.
Whatever dish you choose, the scenery in front of you will enhance your meal.
939 Chef St, Osage Beach, MO 65065, the United States // +15736939946
For lunch, we had a wonderful time there! A young waiter with a great attitude who asked all the correct questions and gave knowledgeable recommendations based on our preferences then took our seats when the hostess had seated us. He suggested some amazing, expertly cooked, and utterly delectable cuisine.
The quality of the salsa, margaritas, and meals is how I always evaluate a Mexican restaurant. This location unquestionably meets all requirements and some more!
I had the most delicious, freshly made margarita. The ceviche starter was flavorful and fresh, and the serving size was perfect for sharing. The homemade tortillas and the shrimp tacos were excellent and flavorful.
The waiter was quite helpful in recommending places to see in town. You won’t be sorry if you dine here on any occasion.
3100 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO 65049, the United States // +15733655301
Bentley’s is a Lake Ozark hidden gem. It has fantastic cuisine and a fantastic environment. The dinner was so amazing that I returned twice in a row! When I say this eatery offers the greatest seafood in Missouri, I’m not kidding.
They feature a wide variety of menu items and seafood you won’t find anywhere else.
Our meal was incredible! It was the best French Onion Soup we had ever tasted. My friend ordered the King-cut prime rib, which they are famous for. I ordered scallops gratin.
Each course was complemented by a delectably fresh salad of baby greens dressed with the original, housemade “Mayfair” dressing. Fresh hot rolls continued to arrive. Margaritas were well-seasoned and delivered quickly after being ordered.
Unfortunately, we did not order dessert, but we were quite tempted. It is an incredible location that should be visited!
5838 Osage Beach Pkwy, Osage Beach, MO 65065, the United States // +15733481161
Taqueria La Tapatia is a must-visit if you enjoy Mexican cuisine. This restaurant’s ambiance is significantly distinct from that of other Mexican restaurants; its decor is magnificent and sophisticated. The meal provided here is among the greatest I’ve ever had.
We ordered a massive beef burrito plate, which was delicious. The tortilla was thin and excellent, the meat tender and perfect, and the salsa verde and creme’ on top were delectable.
It came with beans and rice. The beans were fresh, handmade, and excellent. It was the greatest we’d eaten in a long time. We also had the queso fundido, which was delicious. The chorizo was hot and spicy but also had a pleasant, lasting nutmeg taste. It was fantastic.
So I poured some over my burrito, and it was amazing. It was hard for me to finish the burrito and rice because of their filling nature.
Bottled beverages were available, and I had some type of Mexican club soda, while my friend was delighted to get Mexican Coke. We ate at a picnic table in front of the restaurant.
If you prefer Mexican food and don’t mind not having a fancy spot to sit, come here – you won’t be disappointed!
1800 W State Hwy J, Ozark, MO 65721, the United States // +14175817655
Lambert’s Café offers such a great dining experience. It’s a local family-owned and operated restaurant located in the heart of Lake Ozark.
Full of charm, with great service and delicious food, Lambert’s Café is the perfect place to dine with friends or by yourself. Their menu has everything from breakfast to lunch and dinner, so you will surely find something that appeals to your palate!
The menu was filled with comfort foods that tasted just like granny’s. I had the chicken pot pie, while my companion had the hog jowls.
The portions were proportionate to the money we paid, and it was well worth it. Servers frequently stopped by with free scoops of fried potatoes, fried okra, Mac & cheese, sweet desserts, and enormous fluffy rolls!
Visit Lambert’s if you want to experience a little bit of “normal” with a nice throng of people laughing, smiling, and having fun (how it should be).
4717 Osage Beach Parkway // 573-348-2277
Being in the Midwest, there has to be mention of good barbeque. For over 20 years, they have prided themselves with offering exceptional Ozark BBQ here. Voted #1 BBQ for six years running, Wobbly Boots has also won several prominent national awards; The American Royal, Memphis in May, and Iowa BarbeQlossal, to name a few.
The restaurant is very casual with a penchant for sports. You can watch your favorite team on the big screen, all while enjoying outstanding food and cold refreshments.
They have an impressive menu. My suggestion would be to start with the fried pickles or the ribbies and wings (pork spare ribs and chicken wings). Maybe you’re in the mood for both!
From there, you can move on BBQ plates or sandwiches, steaks, seafood, or burgers. The Southern sandwich of hand-pulled pork and coleslaw is delish!
Throwing a party but don’t want to cook? Your guests will love it if you have it catered by Wobbly Boots!
What an excellent Italian restaurant. This restaurant’s food was delicious. The restaurant was exquisitely designed and had a serene and romantic atmosphere.
The staff was fantastic, extremely kind and sweet, and the meal was delicious. The lunch was absolutely fantastic and satisfying. After dining here, my stomach felt overjoyed.
I had the Veal Parmigiana over pasta with meat sauce instead of marinara sauce, which was delicious.
Because I didn’t order a salad, I opted for the soup of the day, clam chowder. Everything was ideal. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Osage Beach!
at Alhonna Resort
677 Outer Drive // 573-365-2634
Located at the family-friendly Alhonna Resort, Bobber’s is the epitome of convenience for those guests staying at the resort.
However, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant. Due to the seasonality of the resort, it’s always best to check the website for the most current hours of operation.
Bobber’s serves standard breakfast items such as eggs, breakfast sandwiches, and sweets. Adult beverages are also offered to complement your brunch.
Consider drinks like a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or Tequila Sunrise to accompany your meal. For lunch or dinner, there are appetizers and burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pizza.
One of the unique menu items is the Gator Bites.
Yes, that’s correct, alligator lightly breaded and deep-fried, served with a Thai chili sauce. My choice was the White Cheddar Cheese Curds. They were delicious!
Along with your food and cocktails, you can enjoy a round of darts, a game of pool, some music on the jukebox, or simply staring out the window taking in the incredible view of the lake.
3247 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO 65049, the United States // +15736931778
You should go to this location if you’re in the Osage/Lake of the Ozarks region! Although friendly, the personnel is also competent. The cuisine is top-notch, and the pricing is extremely fair.
We enjoyed a delicious home-cooked breakfast buffet. Fantastic farm-to-table cuisine that is always quickly and freshly provided!
The Eggs Benedict with crab cakes was one of the greatest breakfasts I’ve ever had… period. Also delicious is the stuffed French toast. Their bloody Mary is a must.
Stop by for a wonderful breakfast or lunch in a welcoming environment that will fill you up!
250 Racquet Club Dr, Lake Ozark, MO 65049, the United States // +15737233000
This hotel is a well-kept secret in Lake of the Ozarks. Last night, we enjoyed supper with friends at the Royal. The food was delicious. Each of us had a different entree.
They were expertly made, delicious, and served on time. Our waiter was friendly and helpful.
Let me also share the atmosphere. White tablecloths, stunning waterfall walls, clean surroundings (essential at the Lake), and excellent lighting. There was some background music, which was a nice touch and didn’t interfere with our chat.
The wine list was fantastic, not your typical Lake of the Ozarks grocery store fare found at other Lake of the Ozarks places.
Everything was delicious, including the steak, salmon, shrimp, and grits. Excellent appetizers and desserts.
The other best-kept secret is concealed behind the elegant wooden door in the passageway behind the Royal, 1899 Bourbon and Cigar Bar glass walls. A must-try for sure!
2146 Horseshoe Bend Parkway // 573-365-3003
Voted “Best Italian Food at the Lake”, Lil’ Rizzo’s is known for their thin crust pizza, fresh vegetables, and highly guarded hand-crafted recipes. They make fresh dough daily and believe that is what makes their pizza exceptional.
Their location is convenient for the vacationers in the area, but they take care of their locals.
They offer weekly wing and draft beer specials as well as loyalty cards. The atmosphere is friendly and downhome, with the attire referred to as “Lake Casual.”
Might I recommend you try the Chicken Parmesan with their phenomenal House Salad or the Fettucine with Shrimp, served with Ciabatta bread?
The House Salad could almost be a meal in itself. It consisted of a delicious mix of fresh lettuce, diced red peppers, green onions, and Provel cheese.
The creamy Italian dressing was a red wine vinegar base with some Parmesan cheese thrown in for good measure.
You can taste the difference that quality ingredients have when making a sauce, especially fresh herbs. The food was remarkable and lived up to their “Best Italian Food” claim. Their portions were very generous and well worth the accolades.
1151 Bagnell Dam Strip // 573-365-2400
Stewart’s has been a staple on the Strip since 1953. It is a bustling place, servicing a mixture of both visitors and locals, business people and vacationers. It’s pretty likely you may have to wait in line for a table, depending on your time of arrival.
Here you will find the epitome of a hometown, local diner. Stewart’s serves breakfast and lunch in substantial portions.
The traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon/sausage, toast, and hash browns is terrific, but they have so many other choices as well—items such as French toast, biscuits and gravy, or hotcakes and grits.
You can have sandwiches, burgers, or platters of country-fried steaks or fish and chips for lunch. All are served with a smile and some cheerful conversation.
One dish Stewart’s is widely known for is simply the largest cinnamon roll I think I’ve ever seen.
They make them fresh each day, and the roll can seriously serve four or more people with all its gooey goodness.
The server generally leaves the take-home container, knowing that there is a high possibility of leftovers unless you’re a party of ten people. This item is a definite must-have when you visit.
1339 Bagnell Dam Blvd. // 573-365-9769
When you think of mid-Missouri, the availability of fresh oysters isn’t generally very prevalent. Tucker’s Shuckers has broken this stereotype.
They have fresh oysters shipped in daily, and along with a host of other dining options, they have refined a great dining concept.
Located along the lively Bagnell Dam Strip, you will find a casual, friendly, and incredible restaurant.
While their tap serves a variety of beers and spirits, including some IPA’s, their menu is just as diverse. Oysters are done on the half shell, either raw or steamed. You can also get them charbroiled, barbequed, or as oyster shooters.
Appetizers range from wings and dips, thick New England clam chowder, to escargot and steak fondue (which is delicious!).
If oysters are not for you, they have steaks, burgers, salads, and sandwiches.
I would highly recommend the French Dip – thinly sliced prime rib topped with provolone and served with au jus. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention dessert.
While there was little room after the meal, I could not resist the Crème Brulee. Served with a mixed berry sauce of cranberries and raspberries, along with whipped cream, it was the perfect ending to an outstanding meal.
1202 Proctor Drive // 573-693-9197
If upscale fine dining is what you crave, look no further than 1932 Reserve. Here you find a farm-to-table restaurant overlooking the lake in sumptuous surroundings.
Located in Osage Beach’s oldest hotel and tavern, the building dates to 1932. It has been renovated and refurbished utilizing original materials from that time to become the lavish lodging and dining it is today.
The Reserve Lofts are directly above the restaurant, affording the guests convenient access to the restaurant. Since its renovation, it is said that being in the 1932 Reserve is like being in a ‘luxurious speakeasy”.
One of the notable items on their menu is the charcuterie board, which has a variety of cheeses, meats, honey, nuts, and crackers. Another I found interesting is the beet salad. This item consists of roasted beets, candied pecans, green onions, goat cheese, and figs covered with a white balsamic vinaigrette.
For an entree, you can get the huge 18 oz. Cowboy Ribeye steak if you are so inclined. The question you must ask is, how hungry am I?
1028 Deer Valley Road // 573-374-5750
One of the most enjoyable times I had on my visit to Lake of the Ozarks was having lunch at Frankie & Louie’s.
Here you will find the ultimate beachfront restaurant and bar in an unexpected place – tucked away in a small cove of the Lake. Billed as “Key West in the Midwest,” complete with beach volleyball and a Tiki bar.
Frankie & Louie’s is more than just a restaurant. It is kind of like a casual beach compound with a great view. Beach casual at its finest, you have a white sand beach swimming area at the edge of restaurant seating.
There is an RV campground behind the facility, so multitudes of families come to play at the beach and have some food while they are there.
There is an arcade, gift shop, ice cream shop, and boat rentals. In the evenings, it is often the place for live music and entertainment during the season.
The menu is considerably more varied than you might expect. You can start with an appetizer such as filet mignon tips and move on to a basket of battered grouper.
Salads, sandwiches, and specialty burgers are also offered, including entrees like spicy shrimp and grits and New Orleans jambalaya. In addition, they can make you a pizza of any kind you might like.
I stayed traditional with the fried mozzarella bites but went Caribbean with the Beach Bird sandwich. It was a grilled chicken breast sandwich topped with shaved ham, bacon, pineapple, Pepper jack cheese, and bourbon teriyaki glaze on a toasted brioche bun.
It was served with coleslaw mixed with small mandarin oranges. Did I mention it was fabulous? The mixture of all the different ingredients, along with the beach vibe, was just what the day needed.
Which restaurants are popular in Lake of the Ozarks?
Tucker’s Shuckers Oyster & Tap, Bentley’s Restaurant & Pub, Lil’ Rizzo’s
Lake of the Ozarks is known for what?
The lake is a popular vacation and resort location, including fishing and water sports facilities. Several limestone caves are nearby. The Ozarks State Park Lake encompasses most of the lake’s Grand Glaize arm, with 90 miles (145 kilometers) of shoreline.
What is the best part of Lake of the Ozarks?
Osage Beach Area
It is considered the heart of the Lake of the Ozarks and borders the city of Lake Ozark on its way to the city of Camdenton. Osage Beach is home to the Osage Beach Outlet Marketplace as well as numerous other Lake Region Attractions, Restaurants, Nightlife, and Boat Rentals, and is a popular area of The Lake.
Lake of Ozarks Restaurants: Wrap Up
Geographically, Lake of the Ozarks covers 54,000 acres of land, has 1,150 miles of shoreline, and holds roughly 600 billion gallons of water, thanks to the construction of the Bagnell Dam on the Osage River.
The food and beverage options range in the hundreds for the area. Whatever type of food you are longing for can likely be found somewhere around the Lake. But don’t be afraid to try something new or off the beaten path. Sometimes that’s where you make the most significant discoveries.
Visiting other destinations in Missouri? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 8 Best Restaurants On The KCK Taco Trail
- 5 Best Things To Do In Kansas City, Kansas
- 8 Must-Try Restaurants in Springfield Missouri
- 8 Best Columbia MO Restaurants
- 7 Best Things To Do In Bentonville AR
- 5 Best Things To Do In Columbia MO This Weekend
- 5 Must-Try Fulton Restaurants
- 20 Best Restaurants In St Louis
- 10 Fun Things To Do In St. Louis MO
- 8 Best Restaurants In St Charles MO
Which of these Lake of the Ozarks restaurants do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Lisa Evans is a freelance travel writer and photographer. She has always enjoyed the outdoors and nature and often includes them in her writing and photography. History is another passion. Every place has a story to tell if only you find it.