Though Springfield is smack dab in the middle of the United States — and the center of the universe according to some — you can take a culinary trip around the world without leaving the city. Amazing dining options abound in Springfield, including chef-owned restaurants serving cuisine that you’ll find around the globe.
Here are seven dining wonders of the world to get you started on your trip. But don’t think these are the only options available! Throughout the city, you’ll find cuisine from nearly every continent offering everything from Americanized versions to authentic dishes just like they’re made where they originated.
America the Beautiful
Steve Williams holds a slab of ribs, fresh from the smoker, at Crosstown Barbeque in Springfield, Missouri.
There’s nothing like a mouthwatering plate of ribs, baked beans and coleslaw made the way Steve Williams does it at Crosstown Barbecue — the restaurant his family has owned for more than 40 years. If ribs don’t tickle your fancy, try a sandwich of tender smoked pulled pork, a slaw dog or a salad. There’s plenty to choose from on the menu. Be sure to get an order of fries. They’re as American as fries can get, made the way grandma used to make them! Family ownership, downhome atmosphere and savory food make Crosstown Barbeque an all-American classic.
Viva la Mexico!
Maria's Mexican Restaurant is owned by a family that believes food isn't just sustenance, it’s a means for celebration. This is fitting considering the fiesta in your mouth when you eat at Maria's. The party begins with fresh, zesty salsa and crispy homemade chips, then you can order everything from fish tacos made with perfectly seasoned grilled tilapia and Mexican coleslaw to authentic Mexican foods such as beef tacos, fajitas and carne asada made with recipes handed down from generation-to-generation. Maria’s also is known for its huge selection of Mexican beers and more than 200 tequilas for perfect margaritas. You’ll definitely get an authentic south of the border experience at Maria’s! From Peru to You
Peruvian cuisine at Cafe Cusco.
Cafe Cusco brought Peru to Springfield via the country’s food and culture. Warm South American music along with an aromatic medley of spices and herbs blend into the perfect atmosphere to take you south of the equator. Enjoy Arroz Con Pollo, a chicken and rice dish sauteed with white wine, aji verde and all the freshness you can imagine. Also try the Fritas a la Huancaina, sweet potato, yucca and steak fries drenched in a zesty cheese sauce. The list goes on! Black Bean Quinoa Burger, Goat Sanguchon, Puca Picante (an ancient Incan recipe) and so much more. If you’re a tea drinker, be sure to try the iced Yerba Mate, a naturally sweet beverage with a unique earthy taste that will have you asking for more. Good thing the refills are free!
Now that we’ve traveled south, it’s time to cross the big pond where we’ll start our dining excursion in Italy at Gilardi’s Ristorante. Pasta, its nemesis antipasti, and all your Italian favorites like never before are at Gilardi's where a long-standing and proud tradition of crafting authentic cuisine incorporates fresh, local ingredients many of which are grown right there at the restaurant. You’ll find everything you expect — but better — including, pasta primavera, lasagna, tortellini and more.
A world-class wine selection is the perfect companion to your Italian meal.
It's All Very British
A pasty from London Calling Pasty Company in Springfield, Missouri.
From Italy, head northwest and cross the English Channel to London — London Calling Pasty Co. that is. A pasty (pronounced pas-tee) is a pastry stuffed with meat, potatoes and veggies — a potpie you can hold in your hand. Devour your newfound favorite on a double decker bus where you can use your best British accent and pretend you’re touring the streets of London. Try the Traditional (Oggie), an English pasty featuring steak, potato, rutabaga and onion steamed together and served inside a golden crust. Domo Arigato
Sample sushi at Nakato Japanese Steakhouse in Springfield, Missouri.
Nakato Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is a true Japanese experience with authentic hibachi grills and a sushi bar.
Enjoy Americanized sushi, such as classic California rolls, to traditional Asian delicacies, including tako (octopus) nigiri. One of the best parts of eating at the sushi bar is getting to see everything made right in front of you.
The Springfield area boasts nearly 1,000 restaurants from the tried and true to epicurean delights. We invite you to visit the dining section at springfieldmo.org to find the places that appeal to you.