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“Quaint” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Cave

The Cave
26880 Rochester Rd., Richland, MO 65556
(573) 765-4554
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Ranked #1 of 6 Restaurants in Richland
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Crocker, Missouri
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

Too pricey for mediocre quality, I expected more since it is somewhat remotely located, and inconvenient. I am a local and I would have trouble recommending , say, some one on I-44 go there unless they were going Highway 7 anyway.

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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lake Ozark, Missouri
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Good food! Neat place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

So much fun - took my relatives from Canada and it was quite the experience. We really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was delicious - you get big portions and the server did a great job!

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bunker Hill, Illinois
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, very good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

We were looking to take a day long road trip during Labor Day weekend. Family recommended The Cave Restaurant, so we loaded up and drove nearly 200 miles. Yes, you read that right, we drove about 200 miles to try this place. It's not the most accessible restaurant, but being from rural IL, we're used to that kind of thing. Once you get off Highway 7 onto the county road, it's mostly rock & dirt/mud with some pavement. You park in their lot and a van (shuttle) will take you up the hill to the restaurant. The rock access road is very bumpy, but the driver does warn you of this. He was also very informative on the history of the property. I fully understand that such rough conditions are hard on their shuttle vehicle all day, every day, but first impressions do go a long way and the van could stand a thorough cleaning inside.

The driver drops you off at the gifts shops, which are located on ground level below the restaurant. We couldn't go into the shops after we ate, so I can't comment. One was locked (the employee stepped away) and the young lady running the candy/candle shop wouldn't let us in because she said she was "spring cleaning." The restaurant doesn't open until 11:30, they should have cleaned before opening, but from what family told us, we didn't miss anything. The cave restaurant entrance is about 30 ft. off the ground, so you either take stairs or an elevator...we tried both. The grease bin holding the old, used cooking grease is placed right under the stairs, so once you reach above it, it smells horrible.

Once inside it's like no other restaurant you've ever seen. If you're expecting a cold cave, don't worry, the temperature is quite comfortable. Its rustic decor consists of several taxidermy animals and equipment used by the original owners to excavate the cave, as well as old photos documenting their progress. Our waitress, Debbie, was phenomenal. She's sweet, personable, informative about the location, and funny. All the girls there at that time seemed very nice. We wish Debbie luck on her upcoming knee surgery. Our food was very good. The chicken fried steak was large and the gravy on it & the mashed potatoes was great. My family had chicken strips and the tilapia, which they really enjoyed. The price is high...we paid $50 for a meal we probably could have gotten at a place like Applebee's for around $35, but let's face it, you're here for the novelty of eating in a cave. The unique atmosphere accounts for higher prices. Good food, a great atmosphere, and one of the nicest waitresses we've ever met made our 200 mile trip well worth the journey. We may not make the long drive just to eat here again, but we do vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks often, so if we're ever in the area, we'll definitely return.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Cadiz, Kentucky
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Great Dinner at the Cave”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Like the other reviewers have commented, this restaurant is definitely set in a more "rustic" environment. We're locals and are somewhat used to the middle of nowhere feeling of the Cave. Richland itself is not a hopping town and if you haven't read the TripAdvisor reviews, you may think that you missed the restaurant because it's down a dirt road. If you're driving at night, heed caution and if you go during the winter and it's icy, you may want to go another day. As the other reviewers mentioned, you park your car in their gravel parking lot and wait for one of their routinely running mini-van "shuttles" to take you to the cave. It's not a place to get dressed up to go to, but there was another couple in the van with us and the girl wore high heels; which didn't bode well for her.

The restaurant itself is nothing less than wonderful. After 6 months eating at the same old crap in the Waynesville area, going to the Cave Restaurant provided a variety menu with nearly limitless options. There are a lot of people who come to the area for the experience; the table behind us was from New Zealand. I got a ribeye since they were sold out of the Prime Rib Special. The Ribeye was nothing special and needed some improvement on the seasoning. The potato wedges were AWESOME and we really liked their homemade dressings. Everything served at the cave seemed homemade. My wife got a chicken dish with mashed potatoes and bread-stuffing; which she thoroughly enjoyed and the servings were very generous. We didn't get dessert, but next time we're going to try the homemade bread pudding. Service at the restaurant was great, even though it was one of their busiest nights in months. My wife and I visited the candy shop at the end of the evening and took home fun dip candy and a Clark bar (to give you an idea of what they sell). Overall, it was a great evening. The prices were fair if you consider what it takes to get the food to their restaurant and prepare the homemade items. We'd strongly recommend it and hope to go sometime during the Christmas season. We will surely bring out of town guests there to entertain.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Niceville, Florida, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Awesome experience! OK food. Ignore other review about being a waste of money. We LOVED it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

If you don't have a sense of adventure and would prefer the Holiday Inn to the history & charm of rustic cabins cabins from the 1920's ....then keep your uptight butts away from this place and go eat at Applebees!

Here's what you should come expecting: expect a scenic drive to get there, an old van to take you past rustic cabins, OK food, and A CAVE!!!! and you won't be disappointed. : ) No. It's not a 5-star restaurant. But if you have a sense of adventure and love trying new things: this is the place for you!

We LOVED the experience. I did a little research (and yes....read the reviews) so I was prepared for the drive into the middle of "nowhere". Which really wasn't that bad and honestly...pretty fun. It was scenic! The parking lot is gravel and there is a "waiting area" where a mini van will come pick you up. Sure the vans are crappy --- WHO CARES? They drive up and down a muddy / dirty hill all day. If you don't like riding in taxis then don't take the shuttle and bring some tennis shoes so you can take the 10 minute "hike" up the road. HOWEVER: that being said we took the van. The driver was very friendly and knowledgeable and gave us some excellent history of the place that I found fascinating. The cabins were built in the 1920's so yes -- they are "rustic" but not creepy! 2 of them were under renovation and there were also people staying in at least 2 other cabins and they looked like they were enjoying themselves! The scenery is beautiful. Now: onto "The Cave"

When you get dropped off by the shuttle there are a couple shops off of a wooden "boardwalk" (a Sweets Shop for candies and it's all lit up and beautiful at sunset) and then a craft shop that also has Yankee Candles and handmade jewelry. You can choose to take the "stairs" (which are actually metal grates...dislike. If you don't like heights: TAKE THE ELEVATOR!!!!!! I recommend elevator which you can find by walking past the stairs and going to the right). The cave has Christmas lights all over which gives it a beautiful glow. If you choose to sit at the bar you have a full look down over the river. You can also add pins to a map so people can see where you're from (it's neat!) There's a fish pond, pictures of the history of the place, and just a really neat atmosphere. THERE IS NO SMELL. Especially nothing "rancid".I have no idea what other people were expecting for decor...there's a mountain lion (obviously...because mountain lions live in caves) and there are old-time lanterns (that were used for cave exploration) etc. So --- personally? The decor fits perfectly.

Now to the food: I would not order the calamari again. For amount you get it's not worth it! That being said if you DO choose to order it -- it's average in taste. (We just moved here from FL and are used to fresh calamari....so nothing will ever compare to that!) But this was OK. The steak was average. (Good - but not the best we've ever had). The potato wedges I was pleasantly surprised with because they looked like they were fresh cut and baked with hardly any extra seasoning. But if you're a person that loads on salt everything you probably won't like them and will want to order dipping sauce -- in which case I recommend the bleu cheese dressing because it's homemade and delicious! We were very pleased with them! I had a side salad that was average (tomatoes, onions, and iceburg lettuce) and had bleu cheese dressing on it and YUM! The cave chili was on the spicier side but definitely delicious. Would NOT recommend the orange juice (I'm picky about it and I didn't like this) Hot chocolate was such a nice touch for a cave, though : ) I absolutely cannot wait to go back during the holidays when the place is all lit up with christmas lights!!!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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