Route 66 and great food go together like two peas in a pod. “Roadies” yearn for the heyday of the Mother Road when Mom & Pop diners dished out platters of handmade deliciousness to hungry and road weary travelers- and still seek out these hidden gems along the route.
We have picked out four of our favorite places to stuff our faces along the Mother Road on Pulaski County’s 33 miles of Route 66. Grab your road trip buddies and bring along your taste buds!
Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ Pit, 21050 Teardrop Road, Devils Elbow
For many, the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ Pit needs no introduction. This joint is known all around the world and dates back to the early 1930’s when it was opened as the Munger- Moss Sandwich Shop. During your meal here you might come across diners who rode in for bike night, have kayaked the Big Piney and stopped in for a PBR, or Japanese tourists- maybe even a film crew. One thing that you can always count on at “The Elbow” is amazing wood smoked BBQ served up with laughter floating around the room. It’s very hard to have a bad time at this roadhouse!
Jitters Eatery & Drinkery, 948 Old Route 66, Saint Robert
In many places across the United States it would seem odd to find a hidden gem that has both authentic Korean bulgogi and fresh burgers with perfectly cooked fries and an ice cold beer. Luckily, that isn’t the case in Saint Robert, MO, thanks to the international influences that Fort Leonard Wood has brought to the area. If Guy Fieri ever discovers Jitters he would proclaim it as “off the hook”!
Hoppers Pub, 318 Historic 66 East, Waynesville
Across from the historic Route 66 courthouse, Hoppers has become an anticipated stop for Czech Route 66 Association (Česká asociace Route 66) as they travel across Missouri’s Route 66. Hoppers is most famous for their selection of 66 beers on tap- including the house favorite, Frog Drool IPA. Don’t overlook the food menu though. Their burgers are a best seller. The Jam Burger features Hoppers very own signature sweet and spicy jam that turns the flavor knob up to 10!
Nona’s Kitchen, 103 North Benton Street, Waynesville
The newest location on our list has been a popular stop on the road before Missouri State Highway 14 was designated as Route 66. Nona’s Kitchen is housed in the iconic Rigsby House which was the living quarters for the Rigsby family who owned and operated Rigsby’s Standard Service Station. The home has been lovingly converted into Nona’s Kitchen, complete with an outdoor patio where the gasoline pumps once stood. Chef Julie creates comfort food fit for a king in her kitchen. The menu varies by the month but normally includes plates of stick to your ribs favorites like meatloaf, steak chili, smoked pork loin- even bangers and mash. If Nona’s Kitchen had been serving in the 1960’s it surely would have been Tod and Buz’s favorite place for home cooking in the Ozarks!