Springfield is known around the world as the birthplace of Springfield-style cashew chicken so we asked our followers on social media to share their favorite spot in town to get the beloved dish. We tallied the votes and here are some of the most popular restaurants to get cashew chicken in Springfield brought to you by those who know it best — locals!
Leong's Asian Diner
The Leong Family
The one that started it all made the list easily. Cashew chicken was born in 1963 when Leong's Tea House opened its doors and owner David Leong struggled to gain acceptance for the foods of his homeland in China. He came up with the dish and it became a huge hit. Though Leong's Tea House closed in 1997, Springfield-style cashew chicken, cooked the way David Leong intended, is still available at Leong’s Asian Diner, a restaurant opened by David Leong’s family in 2010. — Leong's Asian Diner on Facebook.
Simply put, Canton Inn's cashew chicken is just good: quality chicken with quality sauce. Add an egg roll and two wontons to that for just a couple more bucks and you got yourself a real meal deal. Despite its unassuming appearance, Canton Inn secures its place on Springfield's top 10 list with its inexpensive and tasty cashew chicken. — @nickjshannon on Instagram
@lyndseykhamilton (and bro)
My parents ate at China Star when they were dating. Now, it's a family tradition, and the only place in Springfield we go for cashew chicken. The husband and wife that run the place are wonderful, and other dishes like their shrimp chop suey make the decision even harder. So when my brother orders the cashew chicken, I typically steal a bite or two! We visit about three times (at least) a month! — @lyndseykhamilton on Instagram
Growing up in Springfield, there's no shortage of restaurants, especially cashew chicken restaurants. I travel a lot for work which means I eat out quite often. So on my days off it's nice to have a home cooked meal, but China Wok is one of those places that I could honestly eat every day and not get tired of it. The quality of the food is second to none, the flavor is amazing, and the staff is always friendly. China Wok is definitely the best cashew chicken hands down! — @benjaminbagwell on Instagram
@rhianonsuee (and panda)
Why did I vote for Chinese Chef as the best place in Springfield to get cashew chicken? It's not only because of the perfectly golden brown fried pieces of all-white meat chicken. Or the copious amount of whole cashews poured on top. Or the fact that they use NO MSGs. I love getting cashew chicken at Chinese Chef because of the amazing company. I mean where else can you eat chicken and rice with a panda?? All the rest is just the oyster sauce on top. — @rhianonsuee on Instagram
Hong Kong Inn
Today I had a craving for my favorite cashew chicken dish. So, I stopped for some takeout at Hong Kong Inn, on East Sunshine. It simply is the best. What a yummy way to spend the ice-pocolypse!!! — @liftitupbuttercup on Instagram.
Lucy's Chinese Food
Eliot, enthusiastic consumer of cashew chicken via @smd686s
A family tradition. Lucy's cashew chicken has been Eliot's favorite since he was big enough to eat it. — @smd686s on Instagram.
Springfield's hidden gem, The Riksha. They may only take cash, but you will always leave happily full. The cashew chicken is the best in town. A satisfying taste as it hits your tongue, and a delightful hint of peppery after taste. If it's a fancy place you want to go...you might look more. But a simple family business that knows how to do it right...you're in luck! — @bigfishtees on Instagram.
I've been going to Shanghai Inn for nearly 20 years. It's a cozy joint with the best Chinese in town. I'll alternate between cashew chicken and sesame chicken depending on whether I'm in the mood for salty or sweet. Both are excellent choices. I've tried several other places in Springfield, including many Northsiders' favorite Hong Kong Inn, but Shanghai wins out on flavor for me. If you stop in, you might notice John Ashcroft's picture on the wall. I'm told he still comes in from time to time. — @martonian on Instagram.
Yum Yum Bowl
Homemade cashew chicken (left) and fan, Lilah, cleaning her plate at Yum Yum Bowl (right) via @kasarahferrell
When we found out we had to move away from Springfield, I knew one of the things we would miss the most is cashew chicken from Yum Yum Bowl! This tiny restaurant has put a big mark on my favorite dish. I love it so much I've even blogged about it and love to make it at home! It's also my daughter, Lilah's, favorite place to eat! — @kasarahferrell on Instagram.
Springfield Sports Commission Pick: Yoshi Jen
Lance Kettering, Springfield Sports Commission
We've been going to Yoshi Jen ever since it opened about two years ago and we love it! Their cashew chicken is different than any other you'll find it Springfield. The sauce is a little sweeter than most. My son loves it as much as I do and it's become our go-to spot after a hockey or baseball game. — Lance Kettering, Springfield Sports Commission