5 Best Restaurants the Locals in Missouri Love
Who’s Hungry? 5 Best Restaurants the Locals in Missouri Love
Looking to book an unforgettable family getaway? Look no further than Independence, Missouri.
Rich in history and steeped in tradition, it’s replete with museums, walking trails and other cultural sites. It’s also home to some of the best sporting sports and recreation facilities around, as well as world-class arts and entertainment events.
Yet, with all that sightseeing on the agenda, you may be looking forward to the dining options most of all!
That’s why today, we’re sharing the five best restaurants in the city that locals adore. You won’t find any chains or fast-food joints on this list, but you will discover lots of homegrown flavors.
Ready to learn more? Pull up a seat and let’s dig in!
1. Courthouse Exchange
You know a burger spot is good if it’s been around 120 years.
That’s the claim to fame that Courthouse Exchange can boast about.
You’ll know you’re somewhere special the moment you enter, stepping down into the subterranean restaurant, which lies below street level.
Come for the unique rock-walled interior and cozy wooden bar. Stay for the out-of-this-world burgers and comforting classics like chicken fried chicken, fish n’ chips, and meatloaf.
Want a true taste of the west? Try “The Oregon Trail” burger. Loaded with nacho cheese, pulled pork, coleslaw, and fried pickles, it’s love at first bite.
Those looking to take the party outside can enjoy the establishment’s spacious patio area. There is also a banquet facility inside that can seat up to 50 guests.
Call your friends and tell them to meet you here for a meal you won’t forget. Or, download the to-go menu and keep it handy for the next time you get a craving for their infamous loaded nachos.
2. Ophelia’s Restaurant and Inn
Want an upscale establishment with a down-home heart that’s the ultimate crowd pleaser?
Ophelia’s Restaurant and Inn delivers.
Constructed in Independence Square in 1907 as the Hillsbrothers Hardware store, this is a building that’s seen its fair share of incredible transformation. Renovated in 1948 to make room for the Katz Drugstore, it became the go-to pharmacy in town, with a hidden gem to boot: A full-service snack bar and soda fountain!
Katz closed down in 1974 and after 25 years of vacancy, Ken and Cindy McClain purchased it in 1999.
Now, it’s still the go-to spot in town. Only this time, locals and visitors alike are flocking there for the mouthwatering steaks, seafood, duck and lamb.
Go for dinner and indulge in a house specialty, such as the maple plank salmon or chateaubriand. Or, turn your lunch break into a dining adventure with the shrimp n’ grits or bison meatloaf burger!
Once you’ve stuffed your belly, you don’t even need to worry about getting home. The Inn at Ophelia’s is a comfortable and tasteful place to stay, and staff members can even arrange for spa and entertainment services from nearby vendors!
3. A Little BBQ Joint
How does a chocolate muffin sound? What about one topped with crispy bacon crumbles and served warm with a giant scoop of ice cream?
Drooling yet? Head over to A Little BBQ Joint to get your fill of everything saucy, smoky and spiced.
This family-owned restaurant is revered around town for the unique spin it takes on traditional classics. Here, you’ll find plenty of barbecue, along with some special new creations.
That pulled pork sandwich you’re used to? Mix it up! Try ordering “The Harry S” version instead.
Topped with house-made Polish kielbasa and decadent pepper jack cheese, it just became your new favorite menu item.
The best part? A Little BBQ Joint caters! A basic order available through the Smoke Life Catering Company includes:
- Two meats
- Two sides
- All three of the restaurant’s homemade sauces
Insider tip: Don’t skip the cheesy corn!
Independence Square is an ideal place to spend an afternoon. In fact, with so many galleries, shops and events at your fingertips, you may not want to stop for a long meal.
Yet, you need fuel to keep exploring, so duck into Updog for a quick bite.
This isn’t an ordinary hot dog shop. Rather, Updog features specialty hot dogs that feature creative, fresh and delectable toppings.
Take the Chorizo Dog, for instance. Topped with chorizo, sauteed onions, mozzarella cheese, and mustard, it’s a crowd favorite for a reason. Or, branch out with a Breakfast Dog, which comes complete with bacon, egg and cheddar cheese!
Planning your trip? Try to hit Updog on a Tuesday! All mini-dogs are $2.00, all day.
Stack up the toppings and go back for seconds. Then, resume your shopping spree, full and satisfied!
5. Cafe Verona
Want to wow your guests? Take them for a night on the town at Cafe Verona.
Start with a glass of wine from the bar, then try the pistachio salmon or filet with macaroni and cheese! Top off your evening with a classic Italian gelato.
Whether you’re craving a small plate full of bold flavor or a hearty pasta dish, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. It’s a luxe spot for a nightcap, a great place to brunch and a romantic date night locale. With a beautiful loft and spacious dining room, it’s also the perfect place to host your next banquet.
If you’re visiting Updog on Tuesday, plan to duck into Cafe Verona the next day. Every Wednesday is half-priced wine night!
Try Some of These Best Restaurants in Missouri
One of the most exciting parts about visiting a new city is discovering all it has to offer in terms of dining. Use this list of the best restaurants that locals love to help guide your journey!
From laidback barbecue joints to fancy wine bars, Independence has everything. The only hard part is finding time to squeeze in all the incredible meals you want to experience!
Need a little inspiration as you plan your trip to visit us? We’d love to help.
We have the inside scoop on everything going on in the city, including the things to do, meals to eat and place to stay. Start by checking out our event calendar to see what’s going on during your time here!
If questions arise, feel free to contact us. We’re well-versed in everything Independence and we’d love to help you make the most of your time here, one bite at a time.