Photo by Lake Shots Photography

Swim in a cave, and sink your feet in the sand at the Lake’s newest, hottest (& coolest!) hotspot!

Opened in 2022, The Cave — located on the 4 MM of the Niangua Arm, next to the Niangua Bridge — immediately became one of Lake of the Ozarks’ most popular waterfront spots.

The layout is brilliant. Rather than a large, squarish pool, The Cave’s pool winds along the landscape in long stretches, working with the natural cliffside setting. Everywhere you go here, there’s a rugged, stark cliff aesthetic on one side, and the sprawling Niangua Arm of Lake of the Ozarks on the other. Stretching along the lakefront? Soft, shimmering white sand, brought in from local sand quarry Shawnee Bend Sand. An indisputably Caribbean vibe.

Photo by Lake Shots Photography

The Cave really does have a cave, and it’s phenomenal. No mere outcropping in the cliff, this thing goes way back, with room for a pool (the same pool that extends outside through the main dining area) and sitting area. It’s a cool, shaded, unique retreat from the summer sun.

When you go to The Cave, arrive early: the plentiful dock slips are nonetheless nearly full by the time they open.

To Eat

Spicy Italian Sandwich

Photo by Lake Shots Photography

So loaded with flavor, and so many contributors to the spiciness, this grotto-style sandwich on a ciabatta-style bun is loaded with deliciousness! The bread — so often an afterthought — is absolutely key to this sandwich. Soft and light on the inside with a perfect not-too-toasted crunch on the outside.

Breakfast Sandwich

Photo by Lake Shots Photography

A grand sandwich, the fried egg and bacon on this one are accompanied by mild provolone and red pepper jam to give a little sweetness and a little kick.

Why a breakfast sandwich at a lakefront restaurant/bar? Well, because at 10:30, 30 minutes before they even opened, this place is hopping. By opening at 11, tables are often filling up. By 11:30, good luck finding one!

Pork Chop

Photo by Lake Shots Photography

For when you’re at The Cave, craving a delicious and elegant dish. Tender and savory, this bone-in pork chop would dominate the plate… were it not for the succotash! Now, this succotash is spicy, thanks in part to the jalapeño jam drizzled across. So proceed with caution. But proceed indeed. Richly seasoned, aesthetically brilliant, this dish is a delightfully elegant surprise on an otherwise very casual menu.

To Drink

Pain In The Ass

Photo by Lake Shots Photography

Smooth, creamy and sweet, tropical and not overpowering. If you like frozens, you’ll like this, and it’s a PERFECT sipper poolside. Tropical drink in hand, feet in tropical sand. This drink brings the Caribbean to the Midwest. Be careful with this one though! It’s got plenty of booze hiding in the frozen sweetness.

Redhead Rum Punch

Photo by Lake Shots Photography

Cruzan Banana and Cruzan Mango rums, blended with orange and pineapple juices and sparkling black raspberry Ice, this specialty cocktail is bubbly, fruity, and fun to sip.