Named after Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri. A beautiful small town set along the Missouri River, the area is also steeped in history, and it’s not short of culinary treats either. From Greek to Middle Eastern to German and more, Jefferson City has many delicious restaurants waiting to be discovered. We list ten of the best in town.
Opened in 1961 by Greek native Arris Pardalos, Arris’ Pizza is a culinary landmark in Jefferson City, specializing in Greek, Italian and American delicacies. A family-friendly establishment, it has a menu of dishes that will satisfy everyone, including diners seeking something gluten-free. Known for their Greek pizza, one of the most popular versions is topped with hummus, marinated chicken, roma tomatoes and green onions.
Capitol City CORK & Provisions
Das Stein Haus
Part of Jefferson City’s culinary scene since 1981, Das Stein Haus is a beloved restaurant serving authentic German delicacies. Within a Bavarian-styled interior, guests are presented with a varied menu featuring everything from appetizers to tantalizing desserts; the black forest cake with cherry liqueur is a highlight. Diners can savor classic German dishes, such as wiener schnitzel, beef rouladen, and the grilled bratwurst dinner. Or choose French cuisine, including filet pepper steak flambé served with sauce bordelaise. A great selection of German beers and wines is on hand to wash it all down.
The building in the Old Munichburg area of Jefferson City that ECCO Lounge calls home has been a bar or grill since it was built in 1860. Within the latest inviting space, complete with exposed brick walls, a patterned tin ceiling and eclectic decoration, guests can enjoy a variety of dishes from burgers to entrées featuring steak, seafood and chicken. The famous Ecco burger, topped with blue cheese, pairs wonderfully with the beer-battered onion rings and is a definite must-try for any burger lover.
The Grand Cafe
Located in the historic downtown area, The Grand Cafe specializes in contemporary American cuisine with a French twist. Opened in 2012, the space has interesting custom-built features, including its bar, and an original tin ceiling. The kitchen, however, is focused on fresh ingredients and big flavors, including potato-crusted salmon with a roma tomato sauce and the seasonal pasta with feather-light fettuccini made in-house and served with seasonal vegetables.
Lutz’s Famous BBQ
Founded in 2000 by Burl Lutz, the eponymous Lutz’s Famous BBQ is a family-owned and run barbecue restaurant and meat lover’s paradise. The menu offers a variety from pork to beef to poultry with award-winning rubs and BBQ sauces. Highlights include the baby back ribs, beef brisket, and pulled chicken. Complementary side dishes, include mac ‘n’cheese, sweet potato fries, and homemade chips served with a choice of seasoning, from spicy Cajun to parmesan.
Madison’s Cafe has a loyal clientele who come for its delicious northern Italian cuisine and the warm ambience of its wood and antique-filled space. The varied menu is updated frequently to reflect seasonal ingredients; try the wild mushroom and veal stuffed ravioli in brown butter sauce with basil, pine nuts and Fontinella cheese or the filet mignon topped with garlic steak butter. If you’ve got space, homemade desserts include crème brûlée or bread pudding, drizzled in whiskey sauce. The café also has a full bar, with a wine cellar, and specialist Martini and spirit menus. Al fresco dining is available in spring, fall and summer.
Paddy Malone’s Irish Pub
Located inside a historic 19th century building, Paddy Malone’s Irish Pub features a great selection of draughts on tap alongside one of the area’s best collections of Irish whiskey. Food is served Tuesday through Saturday with a solid menu of tasty options, including the signature ‘boo boo burger’ made with fresh ground beef and topped with strips of hickory smoked bacon and Guinness cheese sauce. Simple sandwiches and other entrées, including bangers and mash, are listed on the menu as well.
Situated on the historic east side of Jefferson City, two blocks away from the old Missouri State Penitentiary, Prison Brews is tucked inside a 19th century building and decorated with a prison theme, including jail bars and brick walls. With seven beers on tap and a diverse menu, there’s plenty to satisfy the tastebuds. Start with a cold Guinness to wash down rustic bear bread and cheese followed by the smoked brisket sandwich topped with chipotle pineapple BBQ sauce, cheddar and slaw.
Yanis Coffee Zone
Located downtown, Yanis Coffee Zone is a delightful coffee house that also serves flavorful Middle Eastern cuisine. Known as the ‘Home of Rocket Fuel,’ due to their strong straight house coffee, the café also serves an array of espresso drinks plus non-coffee beverages, such as smoothies, teas, and hot chocolates. Open Monday through Saturday, Yanis’ also offers breakfast and lunch dishes plus baked goods. Highlights include the feta omelet with two eggs, onion, parsley and feta, the gyro with grilled lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion and tanziki sauce, and the spinach pie plate, a house specialty, with choice of side.
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