Great Comfort Food Spots in Missouri

How do you define comfort food?

For some, comfort food is a connection to the past.

Perhaps you’re searching for a fried chicken recipe that turns out like Grandma’s. Or maybe you’re waking up early on weekends to make biscuits and gravy for the kids, just like Mom did for you when you were little.

For others, comfort food is sought in times of stress.

It might be a larger order of French fries, some tater tots, a bag of chips, a bowl of macaroni or sweet treats. There’s really no “wrong” answer.

Well, maybe kale. Kale is always wrong.

Anyway, for me, comfort food isn’t so much about the past as it is the present. My grandmother had a knack for turning dinner rolls into hockey pucks, and while Mom was a pretty good cook, her culinary skills weren’t always appreciated.

So when seeking a little comfort – maybe because a loathsome team has just won a major sports championship – I do what a lot of folks around here do. I turn to barbecue.

And pizza.

And cornbread.

And cheeseburgers.

So here’s a quick look at a few of my favorite comfort food spots in Missouri:

Pulled pork sandwich, at Pappy's.



Barbecue: The ribs at Pappy’s in St. Louis are incredible and the brisket at Salt+Smoke literally made my knees buckle. The pulled-pork sandwiches at Plowboys in Blue Springs, Wabash Barbecue in Chillicothe and Danna’s Bar-B-Que in Branson are first-rate. MoJo’s BBQ & Grill is a new barbecue joint in Fulton. The house-made chips are an excellent complement to any main dish.



Pizza: When it comes to pizza, for me, all conversations begin and end with Shakespeare’s in Columbia. Sure, there are other pizza joints out there with equally delightful pies, but Shakespeare’s is and always will be my go-to. Their sausage and green pepper pizza is undefeated.


Cornbread: After my first meal at The Blue Skillet in Jefferson City, I got a six-pack for the road. A six-pack of cornbread, that is. Light, moist and flavorful, their cornbread is awesome. The cornbread at McFarlain’s Family Restaurant in Branson also is top-shelf. Just order a slice of cornbread and a glass of milk and treat it like a meal. You won’t be sorry.

Black Sheep Burgers_Ettie Berneking1

Cheeseburgers: When pigging out is on the menu, cheeseburgers are a top choice for me. Some of the biggest and best come from Lambert’s in Sikeston. Huge and flavorful, they’ll leave you full for hours. For a great burger joint, visit Billy Bob’s Dairyland in Branson. If you enjoy a fresh, juicy burger, you don’t want to overlook this little spot on the Highway 76 Strip.

So there’s a look at a few of my favorite comfort food spots in the Show-Me State. What are some of yours?

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