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Branson Loves Barbecue - These 8 Places Prove It!

by  |  Restaurants & Dining
Branson Loves Barbecue - These 8 Places Prove It!

Branson may be the home of live entertainment, but more and more people are discovering that there’s great food to be had here!  And speaking of great food, nothing gets your mouth watering like the prospect of a big platter of barbecued meat treats! Easily one of the best types of food you’ll find in Branson is barbecue - or BBQ - or matter how you spell it, a growing number of sensational barbecue joints have been popping up around town, including several boasting an impressive list of awards. You’ll discover restaurants doing their own, on-site meat smoking...little portable trailers that slow-roast or smoke everything from whole chickens to slabs of ribs...popular regional or national chains with great locations, and just about every style of secret-recipe sauce you can imagine.

Now that we have you hankerin’ for some sauce-slathered ribs, or maybe some tasty hot sausage, or finger-licken’ wings, here’s a list of eight great places to find barbecue that best hits your hungry spot - along with an abbreviated list of all the great eats each place offers, organized alphabetically and sorted by “locally based” versus “regional/national chain.”

Locally-Based BBQ

1.  Big D’s Open Fire BBQ:  Currently housed in a mobile unit, Big D’s is a relatively new addition to the local “Q” scene, but it’s already catching fire - so to speak - with locals and Branson guests alike!  It became popular so quickly, it was voted Best Of Branson for 2018, and is currently working on a brick-n-mortar location.

Serving:  pulled pork - brisket sandwich - Texas-style Angus brisket - smoked chicken - smoked ribs - homemade sausage

Location:  1550 State Highway 248 (currently housed in a food truck, but working on building that once housed the KFC at this address)

Schedule:  open for lunch year-round (for the most part - may be weather dependent)

2.  Charlie’s Ribs, Steak & Ale:  A long-time Branson “hang” for locals, Charlie’s has scaled back to focus on just the one Branson location, delivering great BBQ and steaks to hungry diners!  Although Charlie’s enjoys a convenient Strip address, it can be hard to find - when you see the Hall of Fame Inn, just look uphill behind it!

Serving:  BBQ brisket - baby back ribs - several premium cuts of steak - French dip

Location:  3009 West Highway 76 (behind the Hall of Fame Inn)

Schedule:  open year-round for lunch and dinner

3.  Danna’s Bar-B-Que & Burger Shop:  If you want some great barbecue or one incredibly juicy burger...a local might whisper their best-kept-secret to you - “ssshhhh, don’t tell everyone, but it’s Danna’s!”  Yep, it’s that good - people want to keep it for themselves! And the goodness doesn’t end with meat - the sides are amazing, too!

Serving:  BBQ pulled beef and pork - BBQ nachos - smoked chicken - burgers - Memphis rolls

Location:  963 State Highway 165 (there’s a second location in nearby Branson West)

Schedule:  Open year-round for lunch and dinner (closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving day, and Christmas day)

4.  Gettin’ Basted:  Still just a few short years in business, this youngster in the barbecue family has already rib-racked up an impressive pile of awards and accolades!  So incredibly popular, they quickly outgrew their food truck and small location within a music theatre, and now occupy a generously sized restaurant, much to the delight of food fans spending time in Branson!

Serving:   wings - smoked bologna - savory sandwiches served in the style of your fave Q city, like Austin, Memphis, & St. Louis

Location:  2845 West Highway 76

Schedule:  open year-round

5.  In-N-Out Smokehouse:  A rare find - a small portable eatery where the owner is likely to be the one both preparing and serving your barbecue!  Several meats are slow-roasted and smoked on sight, and specialty items like sausage are handmade. No grocery store imposters found here!

Serving:  ribs - pork steak - chicken wings - that homemade sausage, of course!

Location:  3682 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway

Schedule:  seasonal - closed during cooler fall and winter weather months (open now)

Regional & National Favorites

6.  Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que:  A multi-award-winning national chain, Famous Dave’s manages to make both the food and the service feel like a neighborhood Q hang.  For their Branson restaurant, folks enjoy everything Branson Landing has to offer in addition to the great lake-side location of their favorite barbecue spot!

Serving:  St. Louis style ribs - Texas beef brisket - burnt ends - Georgia chopped pork

Location:  1201 Branson Landing Boulevard

Schedule:  open year-round

7.  Rib Crib:  With several locations throughout the center of the country, this chain favorite may be as popular for its tasty sides, like fried okra and corn on the cob, as it is for some of the best tastin’ barbecue you’ll find anywhere!  With an easy-to-find location, Rib Crib is a convenient stop along Branson’s famous Strip!

Serving:  chicken - St. Louis ribs - pulled pork - hot links - burgers

Location:  1855 West Highway 76

Schedule:  open year-round

8.  Shorty Smalls:  With only three locations, Shorty’s nearly qualifies as a local-only spot, and the food and friendly service certainly feel homey enough!  They also boast a very cool restaurant with a popular “hang” bar in the center that’s well-stocked with your favorite spirits!

Serving:  ribs - chicken - pulled pork - chicken - catfish

Location:  2600 West Highway 76

Schedule:  open year-round

There you have it, now get busy making your list of how many of these fantastic BBQ joints you’ll tackle on your next Branson visit!  And remember, this isn’t all the “Q” you’ll find here - lots of great buffets, bars, burger joints, and other restaurants offer up some tasty barbecue specialties, so the real list is endless.  Next time you’re the kind of hungry that only a tender, tasty meat can treat, get to Branson and get sauced at all the best barbecue spots! (After you have your fill of barbecue, check out all the sensational Mexican restaurants Branson has to offer:  “Branson Dining - Delicious Mexican Cuisine in the Music City!”)