Several historical events in the United States have taken place in Springfield, Missouri. The Cherokee tribe walked through this region on the Trail of Tears. In addition, numerous key Civil War engagements were fought in the nearby region. Wilsons Creek National Battlefield, located 13 miles southwest of the city, is the location of one such significant fight. Once the war came to a conclusion, the wild west emerged. The classic firefight that cemented Wild Bill Hickok’s renowned marksmanship took place in Springfield. Subsequently, Springfield leaders were instrumental in the building of Route 66.
With this rich legacy behind it, the city is looking forward to developing and rejuvenating in order to satisfy the demands of its residents. It is home to a number of institutions and universities. It also houses the outdoor enthusiast’s favorite shop. This is the Granddaddy of all Bass Pro Shops, measuring well under 500,000 square feet and definitely worth a visit.
Springfield also has a thriving food culture. These are a couple that I came upon last month.
When in Springfield, don’t miss out on the following activities that will help you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):
- History Tour of Pythian Castle in Springfield Missouri
- Night Ghost Tour of Pythian Castle in Springfield Missouri
- 1 Hour of Axe Throwing Knives and More
- Trolley Bike – Public Tour
Visiting other places in Missouri? Check out our other tasty guides:
- 8 Best Restaurants On The KCK Taco Trail
- 9 Best Lake Of The Ozarks Restaurants
- 8 Best Columbia MO Restaurants
- 7 Best Things To Do In Bentonville AR
- 5 Best Things To Do In Columbia MO This Weekend
- 5 Must-Try Fulton Restaurants
- 20 Best Restaurants In St Louis
- 10 Fun Things To Do In St. Louis MO
- 1 8 Must-Try Springfield, Missouri Restaurants
- 2 Conclusion
8 Must-Try Springfield, Missouri Restaurants
Gourmet Pasty Company in London
2825 Glenstone Ave, 417-705-6000
Confession: I seldom eat in mall food courts. Most are chain eateries, which do not appeal to me. But, after investigating Springfield eateries and reading multiple reviews in different sources, one establishment kept showing up. It was described as “surprisingly nice” by one critic. Yeah, it piqued my interest. So we headed to the Battlefield Mall to try it out.
You may be wondering what a pasty (pronounced pass-tee) is. It’s a buttery, flakey shell filled with a variety of fillings. Essentially, a pot pie on a stick. In the 1800s, Cornish miners would eat them for lunch. Since their hands were often coated with arsenic dust, the miners utilized the crimped edges as a handle. As a result, they could keep the pasty and then discard the edge when finished.
Neil Gomme, one of the co-owners, was born in the United Kingdom. His American sister-in-law, Carrie Mitchell, and he wanted to introduce a piece of British tradition to Springfield. They started in a double-decker bus that operated as a food truck. They now operate from the Battlefield Mall. They also have a spot where you can get take and bake.
I had the Originaltender chunks of steak in the distinctive crust with onions, potatoes, and rutabagas. I topped it with Guinness Gravya thick, rich gravy made with Guinness and sirloin bits. It was the ideal compliment to the meaty pasty, in my opinion. My hubby chose the Shepherd’s Pie. Rich gravy and whipped mashed potatoes topped this delectable meal of ground beef, peas, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. My spouse loved everything, and he also had one of their beer options with his dinner.
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These pasties are handcrafted everyday and come in a variety of fillings such as bacon cheeseburger, potato au gratin, bangers and mash, and cheesy chicken and bacon, to mention a few. They also have a Stilton Coleslaw, which I want to try the next time I visit. The description of cabbage and carrots in a honey mayo sauce with blue cheese on top sounded quite appealing. Of course, they also provide fish and chips.
This inventive eatery definitely altered my perception of what may be offered in mall food courts. And if I lived in Springfield, I would frequent the take and bake facility.
Burgers from Black Sheep
417-319-5905209 E. Walnut Street
As you come through the door and are greeted with a cheerful greeting by the bartender, you know you’re in for a wonderful time. The decor is perfect for this downtown Springfield burger business. The exposed brick walls and open ceiling with reclaimed wood planks supporting the warm lights make a comfortable setting for lunch or supper. Vibrant music and a good beer variety, including numerous craft brews, contribute to the enjoyable atmosphere.
Its claim to fame is their burgers, which are made from custom-blended 100% natural beef. They have a sizable fan base, as indicated by their Readers Choice Award as 2021’s Best Burger in 417 Magazine (the local southwest Missouri area magazine).
My spouse couldn’t stop himself from ordering the Don’t Go Bacon My Heart burger. What’s not to love about a 4-ounce patty topped with applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar, a smoky garlic mayo, and all the fixings?
But, I chose the Crazy for You salad to be on the lighter side. A succulent Wagyu patty over a slice of butter lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, bacon, and spicy chipotle ranch dressing. Is there anything better than a salad?
All of their burger options are appealing, as are the many fries options, which range from standard to sweet potato to truffle and parmesan. Finally, to round off your meal, add a smoothie or specialty drink.
Springfield Brewing Company is a brewery in Springfield, Missouri.
417-832-8277305 S. Market Street
This locally owned enterprise has been making its own beers and manufacturing its own beverages since 1997. The stainless-steel brewing tanks, the onsite distillery, and a restaurant with a live music venue are all housed in a renovated historic downtown Springfield building.
Their artisan beers have received several national and international honors, including bronze, silver, and gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and silver and gold medals at the World Beer Cup. With so many options on tap, try a beer flight. The Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Rum from their basement distillery series won me over. The bartender was entertaining, engaged, and well knowledgable.
The beer pretzels with a delicious Blue Canoe Pale Ale beer mustard and the 417 Lager smoked cheddar fondue were excellent accompaniments to the beverages. You may also order nachos, wings, or pizza. The menu’s diversity will fulfill any degree of hunger.
417-851-5299305 East Walnut Street
Springfield, Missouri, currently features a modern boutique hotel in its downtown area called the Hotel Vandivort. The structure was initially constructed in 1906 as a Masonic Temple. The hotel refurbished the structure, creating a contemporary ambience while retaining its original charm. The Vandivort Hotel is presently on the National Register of Historic Places.
Once you go through the large V doors, look to your left for a truly hidden treasure of a restaurant called The Order. The environment is bright, and the mood is laid-back. The chef prepares cuisine that is both flavorful and visually appealing. The meat, cheese, chocolate, bread, and even a custom-blended creamy coffee are all obtained locally.
We began supper with grilled carrots. The look was stunning, but the taste combination of sassafras butter, cranberries, and walnuts was delectable.
The evening’s special was grilled swordfish. The mild yet meaty swordfish was cooked to perfection and served with artichoke hearts, olives, and other Greek vegetables. The chef drizzled a tasty roasted red pepper chutney on top. I don’t recall ever enjoying a swordfish dish more.
My husband ordered the flawlessly pan-seared filet with pomme puree and smoked tomato relish from Bistro Steaka. That was a lovely combination of tastes and fragrances.
I confess that I don’t usually eat dessert, but how can you resist Gooey Butter Cake Crème Brul or Hurts Donut Bread Pudding (Hurts Donuts is a local company)? I did not object and do not regret my choice. These were really delicious.
Pro Tip: To round off your evening, go up to The Vantage Rooftop Bar and Conservatory, which is located above the hotel. Come in time to see a spectacular sunset over Springfield. Raise a glass of your favorite beverage as they toll the bell and salute the evening.
If the weather does not permit sitting outdoors, the glass conservatory is a beautiful alternative.
I highly propose staying in one of the Hotel Vandivort’s big rooms. The rooms are beautifully equipped, and the staff is kind, helpful, and engaging.
31 S. Jefferson Ave. 417-942-0958431 S. Jefferson Ave.
Stop by the 417 Taphouse in downtown Springfield for a change of pace and a great environment. I think this is the only self-service bar I’ve ever seen. There are eleven beers on tap at the self-service bar. Yet, the choices does not stop there. Additional excellent options are available on tap behind the bar, as well as in cans and bottles.
Appetizers such as deep-fried bacon, pretzel sticks, twisted fries, and others will satisfy your appetite. Instead, get the chicken and waffles.
If you’re searching for a fun group activity, book the 417 Pedal Tour, which allows your party to explore downtown Springfield while drinking and spinning aboard their 14-passenger pedal vehicle. It comes equipped with Taphouse libations.
Blue Water Caf Hemingway
417-891-51001935 South Campbell Ave.
Ernest Hemingway enjoyed big game fishing and was an active sportsman. This restaurant is situated in the Bass Pro Shop complex and pays tribute to the great writer and outdoorsman’s inspiration.
When sitting at the nicely decorated bar, one is practically entranced by the magnificent colors and diversity of fish in the tanks behind the bar. It’s a nice location to unwind before returning to shopping or visiting the complex’s aquarium and animal exhibit.
Soups, salads, seafood options, sandwiches, and desserts are available at the restaurant. We drank the Islamorada Portofino together. Blackened mahi-mahi and shrimp are covered with a lobster cream sauce, which is a combo of two of my favorite seafood foods. This was flawless. It was accompanied by mashed potatoes and fresh veggies. My spouse and I were delighted we had shared this filling meal.
Pro tip: I recommend spending the full day at this facility. Apart from the Bass Pro Shop, the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium is a must-see for both kids and adults. The 350,000 square feet and 1.5 miles of paths will both educate and delight you. The aquarium takes you on a tour to see fish in ocean, lake, and stream habitats, while the interactive wildlife museum examines the world’s animal settings.
417-889-49512931 East Battlefield Street
The restaurant bills itself as a celebration of gourmet eating. We could tell as soon as we came in the door. Staff and waitresses greeted customers by name, and other customers recognized them as well.
The chef is continuously changing his menu options and sourcing both local and international delicacies. The wine list is wide.
Our server was incredibly interesting and entertaining. He suggested we start with the Flash Fried Spinach? We’d never heard of it before, but oh my. We were relieved that we followed his advice. That was incredible. The crunchy baby spinach melts in your lips. We were also grateful that he suggested a half order for the two of us since it was a great portion.
It’s tough to chose from the menu since there are so many delicious-sounding options. I don’t think you can go wrong with the salmon, steaks, vegan alternatives, or several types of pasta. So we went with the Famous Molina. Our waitress said that this is Cardinal Yadier Molina’s favorite meal, which he always orders. We have finally agreed with him. It’s a tenderloin that’s been expertly grilled and topped with a cilantro lemon bearnaise crab cake. It’s served with smoked salmon and prosciutto mac and cheese. My husband and I divided this meal since it was so filling. These tastes can only be described as wonderful.
This 25-year-old eatery is a must-visit if you’re in Springfield. The owner started as a dishwasher for the previous owner. He rose through the ranks and finally purchased the restaurant. These anecdotes make me enjoy the eating experience even more. He is very engaged in the restaurant’s operations and was there the night we were there. He even welcomed us when he delivered our main entrée to the table. We were amazed by everything about this restaurant, from the atmosphere to the service and the delicious food.
417-866-5500220 Walnut E.
This cafe has a large following in the Springfield region because to its historic past as a fountain pharmacy. It is situated downtown, just across from the Hotel Vandivort. It is a local breakfast favorite.
There are several breakfast options, including omelets, home cook skillet dishes, pancakes, waffles, and trademark favorites. The sweet potato hash browns are a local favorite.
I chose the avocado toast since it was a healthy choice. Over marble rye, fresh avocado was smeared and topped with tomato and feta cheese. It comes with two eggs fried to your liking.
My spouse is a conventional breakfast-style person who had bacon, eggs, potatoes, and bread for breakfast.
It’s a charming little corner eatery. In the mornings, while you dine and drink your coffee, you can see downtown Springfield come to life.
Don’t pass on Springfield, Missouri as a pleasant weekend getaway. The city is clean, simple to navigate, pleasant, and has a lot to offer. The Bass Pro Shop and the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium provide an unforgettable experience. Gardens, a sports weapons museum, a Route 66 vehicle museum, and civil war battlefields are all available in the city. There is a lot to see and do, as well as numerous places to try.
Please keep in mind that, as usual, it is preferable to contact beforehand to confirm any safety or needed measures that may be in force.