In our 3 years of living in Fort Leonard Wood, I am completely embarrassed to say that we did not take full advantage of all Missouri had to offer. I speak briefly about this in “Mistakes You Will Make as A New Military Spouse” when I mentioned not taking advantage of your duty station . It wasn’t until we left Missouri that I realized how much of it I hadn’t explored. Sure, we went to Springfield… A LOT. In fact, we spent most weekends there and I walked for hours in Battlefield Mall trying to induce my labor (BTW IT WORKED!). But, we never went past the mall and chain restaurants! Last month, we were able to visit Springfield, Missouri for 4 days and got to experience a completely different side of the CHARMING little city. If you’re headed to Springfield any time soon or planning your next “out of the box” travel destination, this is the perfect post for you. Find out where to Eat and Stay in Springfield, Missouri.
When you hear about Missouri, most people are quick to mention Saint Louis (Which happens to be my favorite City). However, Missouri truly has a lot to offer with all its big town/small feel cities. Springfield happens to be one of them. What makes Springfield so charming is the fact that it has a hometown feeling. Everywhere you go, the people are welcoming and the environment is very laid back regardless of the time of day! I think this is in large part thanks to the fact that Springfield is a college town. Because Springfield, Missouri hosts thousands of college age students, it has a lot of offer especially for the young adult demographic. Really, it is the perfect mix of historical, nature, leisure and sports attractions.
Unfortunately, on our last visit to Springfield it was a frigid 20 degrees outside so we didn’t get to take full advantage of all the activities Springfield had to offer. However, our stay was WONDERFUL at the University Plaza Hotel. Click HERE to read my full University Plaza Hotel Review!
Stay in Springfield
University Plaza Hotel
Disclaimer – I was able to explore and enjoy University Plaza Hotel on a comped 3 night stay in exchange for my honest review of the renovations and the future referral of my readers. However, my opinions are truthfully my own!
University Plaza was an awesome choice of a hotel to stay at for several reasons. First is location. University Plaza Hotel can be found in the heart of downtown Springfield. This means that all the best food, Indi shops and most attractions are in close proximity. I don’t know about you, but when I am on vacation, I am not a fan of spending a bunch of my time in the car.
Second, the pricing is competitive for the area. Hotels in the area generally share the same price point but at University Plaza, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. The rooms are very spacious, they have great guest amenities and the hotel is currently being renovated! The room pictured is the new and improved renovated suite that we enjoyed for 3 days and it is LUXURIOUS! Again, click the link to read my full review of the hotel, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Eat in Springfield
*Note: I was not comped to mention any of the following restaurants!
Now, here is my favorite part. Let’s talk about FOOD! If you move past the chain restaurants on Battlefield (and there are TONS!) you will find Jewels in the downtown area. One of my favorite things about Springfield or Missouri in general is the fact that it is super easy to find GREAT food at an affordable price. I mean we’re talking about full meals under $10. Again, catering to the college students. This makes Springfield a budget friendly travel destination. We all know that buying breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks is the fastest way to eat up your travel budget (Pun intended)!
Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe
In the heart of Downtown, you’ll find Gailey’s Breakfast Café. From the outside, it looks like an old timey pharmacy but from the inside you get all the artistic coffee shop vibes. Art and photography adorns the walls and the laid- back environment embodies what the town of Springfield, Missouri is all about. Gailey’s serves traditional breakfast items like Belgium waffles, Omelets, Oatmeal, Grits, and more but it all tastes Amazing. It is also very affordable. The price point is typically between $4-$12 and here’s the best part…They serve breakfast ALL-DAY-LONG! So, if you’re a brunchy type of person like I am, sleep in late then grab yourself a waffle. You won’t be disappointed. If brunch isn’t your thing, don’t worry! They also have a lunch and dinner menu.
Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes
For lunch or dinner, you’re in for a treat! Across the street from Gailey’s Café is Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes. Before I went to Springfield I heard rave reviews of this place and I knew that I couldn’t leave without trying it myself. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint. At Black Sheep, they put their own twist on traditional American favorites. Here you’ll find monster burgers that taste wicked good and boozy shakes. If you’re not into alcohol like me, I am happy to report that you can get the same shakes without alcohol and for a much cheaper price I might add.
Although the stars of the show are supposed the burgers and shakes, the fries just don’t get enough credit. Their smoked fries are A-MAZ-ING! You know the little happy dance you do when you taste something good? I did one of those (or is it just me?). They didn’t need a drip of sauce! I can basically imagine tasting them as a type this and I’m dying to get my hands on them again. Although the menu is Al a Carte, the burgers are under $10 and the fries are around $4 in a sharable portion. You’re still looking at a reasonable bill and an excellent meal…Win Win!
*Chain Restaurant Option
Our last day in Springfield, we cheated and got food from a chain restaurant. I know I know, usually I am against it on vacation but I can never help myself when I see a Cheddars Scratch Kitchen. Again, affordability meets yummy goodness. Cheddars pretty much tops my list of chain restaurants because they have so many types of food to offer yet they get it all right. Very few restaurants are able to avoid having a niche and make it all taste good.
They have everything from Salmon to Ribs to White Mac and Cheese Crumble and even with a family of 3 or 4 you’re not stuck having a panic attack when you receive the bill. Also, the kid’s portions are GENEROUS. The kid’s pasta is basically the adult size you would get at other chain restaurants so families with kids, this is a great option for you.
The 4 days we spent in Springfield, Missouri just weren’t enough to try all the gems and activities it had to offer. Hopefully, the next time we return it will be warm enough to explore more of the city and of course, we’ll be taking you guys along on the journey with us. Seriously, if exploring Missouri is on your American Travel Bucket List, be sure to add Springfield to your destination list and take on the city less traveled. If you’ve ever been to Springfield, comment below and let me know your favorite place to Eat, Sleep or Play!
Check out this list of popular restaurants and attractions
- Avanzare Italian Dining
- City Butcher and Barbecue
- FD’s Grillhouse
- Hurts Donuts
- Springfield Brewing Co.
- SkyZone Springfield, Missouri
- Archery Range at the Davis Property
- Dickerson Park Zoo
- Ice Skating at Mediacom Ice Park
- Route 66 Museums
- Pythian Castle