True to Life. True to Us.

There are so many reasons why people love Springfield — its small town charm with a big city vibe, its famous local cuisine, its thriving sports scene and prospering local business community — just to name a few. In this “True Talk” video series, Springfield business owners/managers and residents talk about why they love Springfield — and why you will too.

Dickerson Park Zoo

Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo opened its doors in 1922 and has remained true to its roots ever since. Zookeepers here make it a point to interact with the public and ensure a memorable experience. It’s an intimate zoo complete with behind the scenes tours, animal paintings and even tiger and giraffe feedings — a zoo with opportunities like nowhere else.

Elle's Patisserie

Elle’s Patisserie is quintessential Springfield — inspired locally and prospering. Elle started by creating delicious specialty chocolates, candies and cookies and giving them away. Now, she sells them to locals and visitors alike and is proud to call Springfield home.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks

Farmers Market of the Ozarks is unique to Springfield, drawing vendors to the Queen City from a 150 mile radius of town, covering the entire Ozarks region. It’s the only market in town where you can grab a Bloody Mary from an Ozarks distillery, sip a cup of local coffee and purchase local produce all in one place.

Gilardi's Ristorante

Gilardi’s Ristorante is a downtown Springfield icon 18 years and counting. By sourcing their food locally, they provide fresh Italian meals and support local farmers at the same time. Gilardi’s adds to a bustling downtown complete with similar restaurants, a boutique hotel and exciting night spots.

Leong's Asian Diner

The one that started it all — Leong’s Asian Diner — invented the now famous Springfield-style Cashew Chicken here decades ago. David Leong, the creator of the original recipe has been called the godfather of Cashew Chicken. The Leong family says they are proud to call Springfield home.

Crosstown Barbecue

Crosstown Barbecue is unique to Springfield because it’s really the only Kansas City-style barbecue in town. You’re not going to find another restaurant in town that can match the atmosphere at Crosstown. It’s about friendship, love and good food.

Springfield Cardinal's Baseball

The Springfield Cardinals say they have the best fans in minor league baseball. There’s such a pride in Springfield for Cardinals baseball and they only add to the fact that Springfield is a fun place to work and play.

Big Momma's Coffee & Espresso Bar

Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar is anyones home-away-from-home on Springfield’s historic Commercial Street (C-Street). A staple on C-Street for almost a decade, Big Momma’s represents everything that is interesting and unique about Springfield’s booming small business community. Built on family, friends, good food and excellent coffee, Big Momma’s is the perfect compliment to the relaxed, slower-paced atmosphere the city has to offer.

London Calling Pasty Company

London Calling Pasty Company brings a taste of London to the heart of the Ozarks. As the food truck craze has taken hold in Springfield, London Calling is making its mark as something different, and quite British, on Springfield’s food scene. A British pasty — It’s not just what’s on the outside that counts.

Mother's Brewing Company

A nice beer makes the occasion better — that thought alone brought the first craft brewery to the Queen City of the Ozarks. Mother’s Brewing Company in downtown Springfield produces brews that are now well-known across the region and has helped make the downtown area a vibrant, modern city-within-a-city.


Rebekah Polly is a member of Springfield’s vibrant creative community. She founded Artivities as an interactive art studio specializing in creative classes for all ages and skill levels.

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