Is one of these non-Big 3 Branson restaurants your favorite?

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Shorty Small’s, a popular Branson Restaurant.

“No matter where or when we vacation, there is one thing we all do and that is eat! For many, it’s an important part of the vacation,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. The good news for Branson visitors is that there are plenty of places here, from national chains to quaint local eateries, offering a variety of food for every taste and budget,” she continued.

Recently, the Branson Tourism Center asked those interacting with them on their Facebook Page,, about their favorite, locally-owned and operated, non-national chain, restaurant. The comments, while covering a wide range of restaurants, centered around three, which we have appropriately dubbed, “The Big 3,” Billy Bob’s, Danna’s, and Billy Gail’s. Along with two of our favorite local restaurants, they were featured in an article entitled, Five great local non-national chain restaurants to try on your next Branson trip.

We wondered what would happen if we excluded the Big 3 and asked about all Branson restaurants without the “locally owned and operated, non-national chain, restaurant” condition placed on the question. On February 27, 2016, we posed the following question on our Facebook page; “Outside of the ‘Big 3,’ Billy Bob’s, Danna’s & Billy Gail’s, what is your favorite Branson restaurant?”

As the comments came in, we interacted with those who commented and asked them to name their favorite menu item at the restaurant. The result is a collection of not only some of the more popular restaurants in Branson, but people’s favorite menu item at those restaurants. The following is a list of the six places that received the majority of the recommendations, sorted alphabetically, with one pertinent comment on a favorite menu item, and a link to more information such as location, hours of operation, description, and average prices:


Barbara M…Love Cracker Barrel…We are there during most Thanksgiving holidays, and it is a great place for a “home cooked” Thanksgiving dinner. Always lots of diners there on Thanksgiving and there are no dishes to wash! My fav thing to order at other times is the sampler plate – samples of meat loaf, ham, and chicken and dumplings with three sides – can’t beat hash brown casserole as a fav side. Okay, now I’m hungry! Lol.


Tim L: Definitely ribs!


As is the case with most lists of favorite places that Branson diners like most, the Grand Country Buffet was well ahead of any other buffet by a large margin. We did not ask for a favorite menu item.


Jessica R: They have the best meat loaf! And of course cornbread! And French fries. I’m too full to eat pie! I plan on getting one next time we make it up.


Kathey H: Cheeseburgers are great! The singing servers are so talented and so friendly!! Never come to Branson that we don’t at least eat there once!!


Robert K: Shorty Smalls has the best chicken fried steak! Yum!

A rising new name on the Branson dining scene also appeared, and it’s mentioned here because of its growing great reputation and developing following due to its menu and entertainment format:


Pat C: Bill is a magician in the kitchen… try the schnitzel! I’m a purist and prefer the Wiener Schnitzel. The Jager Schnitzel also looked good. We usually go on Sunday after church, and I’m planning on the Coquilles St. Jacques scallops tomorrow.

With the variety and quality of Branson’s restaurants available, one could almost write a book, but no sooner would it be written than it would change. “Word of mouth” is generally a reliable and current source of information, but Branson Tourism Center’s Wood suggests that two convenient sources of current dining information would be the Branson Dining Forum at, Branson’s largest message board, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson-based Travel Planners, the same people who can also help you with Branson show, attraction and lodging information and reservations. She also points out that www.Branson.Com has a list of over 200 Branson Restaurants with contact info, hours of operation and other information.


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