The Best Restaurants In St. Joseph, Missouri

St Josephs Oratory
St Joseph's Oratory | Photo by Ahmed Neji on Unsplash
Anahit Behrooz

Used largely as a stopping point in the 19th century for those heading to Oregon Territory, St Joseph became a bustling city where pioneers could rest and gather supplies before continuing on their journey. Now one of the largest cities in Missouri, St Joseph has retained this busy community feel, and boasts some of the best locally owned restaurants in the area. Here we list the 10 best independent dining establishments in the city.

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Betty’s Café

A charming local diner, Betty’s Café provides delicious home cooked food in a cheerful, familiar environment that remains largely unchanged since the cafe first opened. The establishment is perhaps best known in the local area for its excellent breakfast menu, offering an array of delicious breakfast items to suit all palates, from the savory, such as their famed biscuits and gravy served with optional eggs and bacon, to the sweet, including a number of different pancake options. Frequented by locals and filled with regulars for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Betty’s Café is the perfect place to people watch and soak in the local town culture.

The Cabbage Roll

The Cabbage Roll serves authentic German cuisine in a quaint, cozy environment. The small, intimate restaurant has a buzzing, laid-back cafe atmosphere, with a number of charming German knick knacks and souvenirs decorating the walls, and flags of Europe hung up behind the counter. Where The Cabbage Roll truly excels, however, is in its cuisine. The eponymous cabbage rolls, made according to a traditional family recipe, are delicious, full of flavor, and the perfect meal when served alongside German fried potatoes. Other highlights from the menu include the meatloaf sandwich, the jäger schnitzel and the hamburger and fries served in the first week of every month. The Cabbage Roll also has a well-stocked dessert counter filled with cakes, pies and other tasty treats.

The Cabbage Roll

The Cabbage Roll serves authentic German cuisine in a quaint, cozy environment. The small, intimate restaurant has a buzzing, laid-back cafe atmosphere, with a number of charming German knick knacks and souvenirs decorating the walls, and flags of Europe hung up behind the counter. Where The Cabbage Roll truly excels, however, is in its cuisine. The eponymous cabbage rolls, made according to a traditional family recipe, are delicious, full of flavor, and the perfect meal when served alongside German fried potatoes. Other highlights from the menu include the meatloaf sandwich, the jäger schnitzel and the hamburger and fries served in the first week of every month. The Cabbage Roll also has a well-stocked dessert counter filled with cakes, pies and other tasty treats.

Crumbly Burger

For a unique take on classic American cuisine in a nostalgic 1950s environment, look no further than Crumbly Burger – St Joseph’s most unusual burger spot. As simple and delicious as it sounds, the restaurant specializes in ‘crumbly burgers’: ground beef seasoned and mixed with fried onions, and served with melted cheese and pickles between two bread buns. Burgers can be ordered with a side of thick-cut, crispy French fries, either classic and plain, or topped with chili, bacon, and cheese. For those who fancy something different, Crumbly Burger also has a number of non-burger options, such as their soft tacos and nachos. For the true 1950s diner experience, top off the meal with an extra-thick foamy milkshake or an ice-cream sundae.

First Ward House

Reportedly the oldest saloon still surviving west of the Mississippi, First Ward House is brimming with local historical culture, a lively atmosphere, and excellent food. Boasting wood floors and a unique, old-fashioned bar, First Ward House manages to retain the old-world Western charm which makes it so popular, while still remaining very much up-to-date. The bar runs regular open mic and music nights, making it a great place to relax over a drink and some food with friends, and simply soak up the local atmosphere. The bar is well-stocked, with dozens of different bottled beers from various breweries; try a beer with the bar’s famed spicy smoked wings or a juicy burger.

Il Lazzarone

Il Lazzarone | Courtesy of Il Lazzarone
One of the newest additions to St Joseph’s dining scene, Il Lazzarone has nevertheless quickly made a name for itself. The restaurant is the only pizzeria in the area to be certified as authentically Neapolitan by the American Delegation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, a distinction that shines through in its crisp pizza bases, slightly charred crusts and fresh toppings. Il Lazzarone puts great emphasis on the process behind the finished product; all ingredients are freshly prepared and, when possible, sourced locally, while the restaurant features an open-plan kitchen where customers can watch their pizza being prepared. The mouthwatering menu, combined with the restaurant’s industrial yet warm decor, makes Il Lazzarone the perfect spot for a laid back yet special evening.

J C Wyatt House

Located in a historic home dating back to 1891, J C Wyatt House is a feast for the senses. The interior features sumptuous decor; decadent chandeliers, richly hued Persian carpets and deep reds and golds abound, giving the restaurant an air of luxury and comfort. The cuisine adds to the fine-dining experience; the menu is changed four times a year to feature fresh seasonal choices made with the finest ingredients, resulting in delicious gourmet dishes to satisfy even the strictest gastronome. J C Wyatt house encourages guests to truly enjoy their food; reservations are mandatory and entrée selections must be made in advance, allowing guests to linger over and appreciate their meal instead of worrying over the menu.

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