Six Must-Try Mom & Pop Restaurants in the Missouri Ozarks

Legendary road trips and one-of-a-kind Mom & Pop restaurants go together like bacon & eggs! From A-to-Z, Pulaski County’s stretch of Route 66 in the Missouri Ozarks has a surprising variety of delicious, unique eateries that will fit any budget and tastes. For more dining inspiration check out these Seven Yummy Mom & Pop Restaurants Near Fort Leonard Wood or visit https://visitpulaskicounty.org/dining/.

A Taste of St. Louis

Image via Andy’s Pizza

Only one mile south of historic Route 66, Andy’s Pizza (690 Missouri Avenue, Suite 5, Saint Robert, 573-451-2288) brings St. Louis-style pizza to the Fort Leonard Wood area.  White Cheddar, Swiss, and Provolone cheeses combine to create gooey, buttery Provel cheese. Along with a cracker-thin crust, Provel is a mainstay of St. Louis-style pizzas. Other signatures of Saint Louis-style pizza are the tavern cut and a sweetness to the sauce. 

“So yummy!! They have a super thin crust, Saint Louis style. This allows the flavors to be center stage here. There was such a crunchy and yet flaky delicate crust. This pizza is absolutely perfect for when you want FLAVOR and not something heavy and bready.”

Savannah J. via Yelp

Authentic Mexican Flavors

Image via El Cabrito Mexican Restaurant

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays in Pulaski County, Missouri! El Cabrito Mexican Restaurant’s (560 Old Route 66, Saint Robert, 573-336-4373) enthusiastic fan base has taken off since they first opened their doors in 2016 in Saint Robert. El Cabrito serves a delicious take on the staples that you expect from your favorite Mexican restaurants- quesadillas, burritos, fajitas and more. Adventurous eaters should try Tacos de Lengua. These beef tongue tacos have been described as “perfect” and “heaven.”

“I have a new favorite Mexican restaurant!!! Everything was super good- food, margaritas, service & price! We will be back!”

Jinnie A. via Facebook

Neighborhood Global Pub

Image via Hoppers Pub

When your neighborhood pub is on Route 66 in downtown Waynesville it becomes a tavern with global appeal. Hoppers Pub (318 Historic 66 East, Waynesville, 573-774-0135) has the spirit of the Mother Road packed into every corner. Proprietress Ursula Lebioda and the Hoppers crew have been dishing up classic pub grub and serving 66 beers on tap since opening in 2014. The Hoppers Burger is topped with pepperjack cheese, jalapeno poppers, bacon, and a fried pickle. For a unique twist order the Frog Legs.

“The best place in town for a cold pint and great food. Their customer service is top-notch! You will feel right at home in this historic Route 66 pub- a must stop if driving through or staying in town!”

Enrique W. via Google

A Taste of the Ozarks

Image by Michael Buck via Google

Sweetwater Bar-B-Que’s (14076 Highway Z, Saint Robert, 573-336-8830) mouthwatering barbecue has been winning new fans since 1999. Order your ribs, pulled pork, chopped beef brisket, boneless chicken, ham, turkey, or sausage by the pound, as part of a dinner, or on a sandwich. Don’t skip the savory “fixin’s” and sweet desserts! The joint isn’t hard to find- just roll down your windows as you approach Interstate 44 Exit 163. The savory aroma will guide you into the parking lot.

“Oh My Gosh! You have to eat here. Best BBQ chicken ever. So delicious. Just go if you ever have the chance. It smells divine in there!”

Cindy S. via Google

A Taste of Bavaria

Image by David S. via Yelp

Ursula’s Schnitzelhaus & Paradise Delicatessen (311 North Street, Waynesville, 573-774-8422) brings an authentic taste of Bavaria, Germany to downtown Waynesville, Missouri. Ursula and her family dish up sausages and schnitzels that taste like Oktoberfest year-round! Save room for German Cheesecake or Apple Strudel!

“Tucked away one block north of historic Route 66 in downtown Waynesville. Authentic German food served up by a genuine family with a quirkiness that will endear them as characters on the Mother Road. Their schnitzel sandwich was exactly what I was expecting and hoping for.”

Laura H. via Facebook

Distinctive Contemporary Atmosphere

Image via Z Loft Hotel, Bar, & Grill

Just off Route 66, tucked into an Ozarks “holler”, Z Loft first opened its doors to the public in 2013. The Farris family envisioned an “eat, play, stay” concept between Saint Louis and Springfield, Missouri- and they succeeded. The family combined their culinary roots with their hotelier skills and Z Loft was born. Z Loft Bar & Grill promises “innovative twists on classic, flavorful cuisine” and “expertly crafted cocktails served in just the right glass.”

“Wonderful grill with beautiful outdoor dining patio, gracious service, and delicious hand-tossed wood-fired pizzas, calzones, and quesadillas.”

KingFarmer via Trip Advisor

Some reviews have been edited for clarity and length.