There are many choices of places you can dine that will coincide with any budget!
Let me first say "Erc", really has a great point! The first week in December is a wonderful time to enjoy The Christmas "Spirit" with reduced crowds, traffic, and some prices. Likewise, I was told that Southwest Airlines is going to start flying into Branson. That should make travel easier for distant travelers. I would hope this means no more "Fog" problems like Pluto encountered.
As to dining, you will have all of your "Chain" dining that range from McDonald's to Texas Roadhouse. You will have a lot of choices and I enjoyed a Montana Mike's Steakhouse meal. One place that is really worth seeing and if one fine meal is in your budget, try "The Chateau on The Lake"! Here are some photo's, you may enjoy:
An impressive "Chateau", it overlooks Table Rock Lake, and is beautiful inside, but at twice the price of The R.I. is not for a lot of peoples budget. Parking and visiting is FREE!
View of Table Rock Lake and Dam.
The lobby is modeled after a European Resort! Note the "Gingerbread Houses"!
Santa Claus is "Coming down the rope", in the center of the atrium!
Wonderful Nativity Scene, note, the birdcages are housed with real parrots!
View of lake from Dining Room table at Sunset!
A grilled Caesar Salad, as well as other dishes was well done! The picture does not do the salad justice! Prices run around $35 pp.
Bon Appetit' in Branson!
I have to think that the Branson Airport would have to now have IFR before Southwest would off service to Branson.
Will shortly post activities and other attractions on a new post.
Angie, who is a front desk manager at The RI, told me she is flying out of Springfield to Las Vegas on Allegiant Air for something like $125 each way. I have never flown Allegiant Air, so I don't know much about them!
Thanks for your comment!
Hi Jerry, I didn't think about that. I'm sure you are right! I've flown Allegiant Air to Las Vegas. Perfectly good airline. What I found is that while tickets can be very inexpensive (I've flown from Fresno to LV for $29-$39 each way), beware of add on expenses. For instance, I can fly to Vegas for $35 each way. Sounds good right? Add on $43 for taxes, carrier charges and govt. fees, so now I'm up to $94.60 RT, if I use a debit card ($102.60 for credit card). Now. Do you want to pick your seats (flying w/someone and want to sit together?) $14 for each leg of journey, so for a round trip 1-stop flight, add on $56/person. Carry on bags? Anything that will fit under the seat is free. A standard carryon bag for my hypothetical Fresno-Vegas flight ups the anty by $26/leg, so $52 round trip for non-stops, or $104 round trip for 1-stop flights! Checked bags are $39/leg. So the fees can really add up and therefore can end up not being a good deal. But if anyone is looking to fly really cheap, and doesn't mind where they sit (esp. for short flights, not really a problem), and can pack exceptionally light, it's a great deal and a perfectly good airline. For me, it costs $140 (in gas) and 7 hours driving time one way to drive to Vegas. That makes flying round trip for $94.60 a pretty good deal!
Between the shows, the holiday lights, and the meals, we had a terrific time in Branson. As I have written previously, I can eat four meals a day when I've got the holiday/travel spirit and Branson fit the bill. Here are some of the spots that we enjoyed (grab hold of the innumerable coupon books all around town);
Andy William's Moon River Grill - Our trip to Branson last year was motivated by the opportunity to watch Andy Williams' Christmas Show. Sadly a week before we arrived, they wrote us telling us he would be unable to go on. We dined here out of tribute to a great performer who provided us tremendous holiday memories. Quite frankly, I can't recall if we had a marvelous time here due to the nostalgic feeling, the food, or both, but we were so glad we went.
Florentina's (bogo) - Excellent Italian dishes - pretty artwork
Jackie B. Goodes - The friendliness of Branson was demonstrated here as we had a good buffet breakfast while watching (and talking to during the breaks) the talented Jackson Haney perform his guitar solo from Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock. Any eggs taste great with entertainment like this.
Landry's Seafood - Yes, this is a chain, but the food was delicious (as we have observed in several other cities).They offered a happy hour meal special in the lounge (comfortable booth seating) where the exact same food was offered at a half price discount (we know it was the same, because we ate separate nights in both rooms).
Mel's Hard Luck Diner - Mel Tillis' restaurant was a blast. We had a fine lunch with tasty desserts, while being serenaded by very talented singers - a great time. This is what Branson is all about, great food, terrific performers, and friendly warmth with no stuffiness whatsoever.
There were several other places that we dined at (like the Rowdy Beaver Tavern - great t-shirts!) but in my opinion, you can hardly go wrong - pick out what looks interesting and enjoy.
Thanks so much for sharing the details of some of the interesting places to dine in Branson! I forgot all of the "Coupons" available for shows and entertainment. The RI has it's share and offers good advice on shows and dining. They have their own "Go to Guy" for entertainment tickets. He works exclusively with The RI, and does not cost any more, but the tickets are actually delivered to the hotel. Saves you a lot of time and trouble!
erc, here is some other information:
Florentina's: Is located near The RI, and is a colorful place to dine, but try to get reservations, especially on week-ends.
Mel's Hard Luck Diner, is a "Hoot", located across the walk from the Christmas Store. There is also a wonderful "Gourmet Food Shop" a few doors down in this nice group of specialty stores.
I am sure we will hear of more appropriate places to dine in Branson!
One way I keep my "Travel Stress" down, is try to avoid the overly crowded places to dine, and get carry-out. Especially, when you have a dining room. Florentina's is located about 1/2 way from both The RI, FF, and Marriott time share. I also like to get carry-out from Texas Roadhouse. We can actually get a single order and split it, so a $10 entree can go a long way!
Lastly, erc is really got a great point on using the "Dining coupons"!
BTW, this is what you want to avoid, or get their early, and that is "Gridlock", crowds and "Lost drivers".
This photo was taken from my car last Saturday in Downtown Branson. This is what Main Street looks like in front of the "The Branson Diner" Enjoy!
Aah jerry my man, you've revved up my memories of the great time I
had in Branson, thanks for the efforts. I'll call your Chateau on the Lake (and
it was, like you described, lovely) and raise you a Grand Village Shops photo
with my most favorite person in the world (don't try this at home, we're
trained professionals on a closed course).
Once again your expertise is confirmed, the Mulberry Mill was a fascinating
shop of goodies. We bought some cheeseballs (including but not limited to,
white chocolate cranberry and white chocolate amaretto - notice a theme?) to go
with our Stone Hill Winery (right there in town) wines and had a great happy
hour in the room.
What a great picture!
I could not remember the name of "Mulberry Mill", but that is a "Must" for just having the "Free food Samples"! I travel a lot and carry some food from there just about everyday. I am looking at two items I purchased there this week-end:
Dillman Farm makes "Cherry Amaretto Preserves", that I have on toast most mornings.
Dillman Farm, "Sweet Pickle Relish", for my hot dogs, brats, it's a must!
You might remember this:
The menu at The Grille is diverse and quite good. (This is hard to see and they are hard to shoot because of the glare)
Could not resist, "Getting in the picture"! erc, thanks for the comments!
It might take me all evening here. I would take forever trying to decide which one I wanted to order. You're always afraid to miss something when you have to narrow it down to one or two choices! I love a LOT of their menu items, and would love to try a lot that I've never had, just by reading the descriptions. Thanks!
When I clicked on the menu to open it, it was too big and I could only pan over to about 2/3 of the menu. I found that if I clicked on it and specified to "open in new window", it was a lot smaller and I could zoom into just the level I wanted to read, and control it better that way. This was using Chrome browser, but you might try that to see if it you can see it better that way.
You are right The Chateu on the Lake is an excellent place to visit and dine while in Branson. The views are really nice there and the food is really good. I would also recommend the Branson Landing Dinner Cruises. Great scenery and food. At the end of the cruise you get a great view of a fountain & light show that takes place at the Branson Landing development.
Southwest which now owns Airtran is replacing the Airtran service with Southwest Service in early 2013.