With over 200 restaurants and nightspots, there is no shortage of options for great places to eat at the Lake of the Ozarks. However, one of the most memorable ways to enjoy a meal is dining lakeside, where the views are as spectacular as the food.

With over 200 restaurants and nightspots, there is no shortage of options for great places to eat at the Lake of the Ozarks. However, one of the most memorable ways to enjoy a meal is dining lakeside, where the views are as spectacular as the food.

Named by Boating magazine as one of the top five destinations in the country to "dock and dine," Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks features over 60 restaurants that are situated lakeside, either with a stunning view of the water or with convenient marinas where boaters can tie up their vessels, step off their boats and onto the dock and walk up to the restaurant to enjoy their meal.

Some of the most popular "dock and dine" restaurants at the Lake offer a variety of fare, ranging from Cajun cooking to classic American cuisine and beyond. And, most feature live musical entertainment and each has its own unique amenities and experiences as well. Although arriving to dinner by water is arguably a lot more fun, having a boat is not necessary to enjoy these great lakeside dining options - all of the restaurants are also accessible by land.

Captain Ron's Bar and Grill, located at the 34.5 Mile Marker (MM) or by land at 82 Aloha Lane in Sunrise Beach, is a pirate-themed dining and entertainment complex  featuring two sandy beaches, four Tiki bars and Captain Ron's very own pirate ship, the Gypsy Rose. Customers can appreciate the diverse menu options, including handmade pizzas, grouper dinners or a "B-Lob-T" (bacon, lobster and tomato) sandwich while choosing to dine inside or outside on the expansive patio. Captain Ron's also hosts the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, the largest unsanctioned boat racing event in the nation every August.

Coconuts Caribbean Beachside Bar and Grill, on the 7 MM of the Gravois Arm of the Lake or by land at 15208 Red Hollow Road in Gravois Mills, brings a tropical paradise to central Missouri. Artificial palm trees, a sandy beach, multiple swimming pools and a swim-up pool bar are prominent features of this Caribbean-themed bar and grill. The restaurant's popular menu items include its Caribbean Rice Bowls, tropical salads, crab legs, fish tacos and other tropical-inspired dishes.

Dog Days Bar and Grill, at the 19 MM or at 1232 Jeffries Roadin Osage Beach, has been named one of the top 10 "performance boating watering holes in the nation" by Powerboat magazine. Dog Days features gourmet burgers, tasty appetizers as well as steaks, seafood and pasta and a wide array of popular frozen cocktails. Dog Days has multiple swimming pools and a swim-up bar. It's also is the host of two of the Lake's most popular events: the Canine Cannonball, an Olympic-style competition for dogs, and AquaPalooza, the area's largest on-the-water music festival.

Redhead Lakeside Grill, at the 21 MM or 1700 Yacht Club Drive in Osage Beach, is one of the Lake's newest dockside eateries and has wasted no time in earning plaudits from the local community. Redhead was voted the best at the Lake in multiple categories in Lake Lifestyles magazine's 2018 readers poll: Best Bar and Grill, Best Dining on the Water, as well as having the Best Chef at the Lake. Redhead features two stories of dining and entertainment space, a swimming pool with a swim-up bar, a Tiki bar as well as the largest TV at the Lake of the Ozarks. Redhead's menu boasts brick oven pizzas, burgers, tacos and other delicious specialties.

Shorty Pants Lounge, at the 21 MM or 1681 Autumn Lane in Osage Beach, features a creole-inspired menu and a massive outdoor dining deck overlooking the water. Voted the "Best Cajun" food at the Lake by readers of Lake Lifestyles magazine, the New Orleans-inspired menu offers spices from Louisiana, "world famous" crab cakes, beignets, étouffée and po'boy sandwiches that might have customers thinking they're eating in the French Quarter. The outdoor Tiki bar serves many popular cocktails like Shorty Pants' muddled Mojitos and its signature Cajun Bloody Mary.

Aside from standalone establishments, other popular "dock and dining" spots include some of the most celebrated resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks including Bobber’s at Alhonna Resort, Bear Bottom Resort, H. Toad’s at Camden on the Lake Resort, Breezes at The Lodge of Four Seasons and Windrose 26 Marker Lakeside Dining, Frank & Lola’s Pizzeria and Billiards at Tan-Tar-A Resort.