Our foodie scene has really taken off in the past few years. We’ve got tons of great, new places in many different food genres from all over the planet. We’re teaming up with the Downtown Springfield Association to put together a list of the best restaurants in Springfield that serve cuisine from all over the globe. Check out the link at the bottom of this article to continue the list with downtown restaurants!
Located on historic commercial street, That Lebanese Place serves up a menu full of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. This business originally started as a food truck and evolved into a full restaurant just 5 months after opening. That Lebanese Place is one of the few establishments where you can find Mediterranean food in Springfield. The owner first decided what he would serve by writing down all of the most popular Lebanese dishes. Without doing it on purpose, he realized many of his dishes were vegan or vegetarian. These types of dishes usually feature greens with every meal and extra virgin olive oil is a must in any Lebanese cuisine, which is why Mediterranean food is so healthy. If you’re thinking about heading to this place for a meal, here are the must try options: the falafel, hummus beiruty appetizer (a blend of traditional hummus made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice topped with a ground beef mixture), lamb kebabs, the Pepper Joe (a spicy Lebanese take on sloppy joe) and the baklava for dessert.
Cafe Cusco is a great spot to lunch on Commercial Street. It’s described as a “fun little cafe with recipes inspired by the healthy cuisine of Peru and the Andes Mountains.” The Chaufa Pork Fired rice is a good choice if you’re looking for a kick. It’s spicy pork on top of fried rice with peas, peppers, corn, onion and carrot. If spicy isn’t your thing or you’re looking for something vegetarian or gluten-free, Cafe Cusco has plenty of choices for you, too!
OMO didn’t waste any time getting the attention of Springfield foodies. Since its opening in June, it’s already becoming a go to destination for authentic Japanese soul food. The staple dish at OMO is ramen, a dish that’s been defined by packets of flavoring in the past. This ramen isn’t the same as the kind you can get in packages of 100 for like, $5 at Walmart. This is a more refined dish. They are several different varieties with quality ingredients like pork, miso, sliced meats and seafood. Check out this profile by the News-Leader’s Greg Holman back in late June!
Soup is always a great way to warm up during your lunch break, but this isn’t a normal cup of soup. Pho Kim makes an amazingly fresh version of the classic Vietnamese dish, Pho. It’s a noodle soup with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, cilantro, a few jalapeños and some really tasty shaved beef. Delicious and really affordable!
If you’re a fan of meat, Rerico is a spot you need to check out. Servers hover through the restaurant with large cuts of delicious cuts of meat like lamb, steak, and plenty more. Wave ’em down and they’ll slice you off some meaty goodness right there at your table! It’s a pretty unique dining experience that won’t leave you hungry!
With its authentic Mexican cuisine, La Paloma brings hearty portions and high quality ingredients to its patrons in the Southern Hills shopping center in east Springfield. The burritos are absolutely amazing, especially the chicken chipotle burrito, which is stuffed with chicken, peppers, onions, rice and drenched in a savory, smooth sauce that will make you want to lick your plate. If no one’s looking, we’ll keep your secret safe! It’s that good!
This local food truck offers something super unique to the Springfield area–British cuisine. London Calling is bringing a little bit of the UK to SGF everyday. They serve primarily pasties (a handheld flaky crust stuffed with meat, potatoes and veggies), as well as other favorite British dishes and a vast array of desserts. A few menu items you won’t see everyday are the Chicken Tikka Masala pasty, bringing Indian and British cuisines together and the Banoffee Pie, an English favorite that consists of a graham cracker and butter crust filled with caramel, fresh bananas and whipped cream. They also have Irn Bru, which is Scotland’s #1 selling soda and London Calling is the only place in Springfield where you can buy it! Best of all, they have a giant red double decker bus with ample seating where you can eat your authentic British food.
There are a select few options for Indian food in Springfield and Taj Mahal is one of the best places to get authentic Indian cuisine. Taj Mahal brings the rich flavors of India to Springfield and offers the most extensive Indian lunch buffet and dinner menu in the city. Indian food is definitely worth a try if you’ve never had it before, and Taj Mahal is the perfect place to take that plunge. Using smoky and flavorful spices, some must-try dishes include the tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, chili chicken, or any of the other curries they offer. Even if you’re not a spicy food fan, you’re bound to like the creamy Butter chicken. And don’t forget to order the naan–the classic Indian flatbread. They have a lunch buffet everyday featuring most of these dishes and the staff is super friendly and helpful as well.
Zayka opened last fall after much anticipation by downtowners. The spot offers Indian classics like pakoras, tandoori dishes and some of the best naan around. If you’re new to Indian cuisine, Zayka also offers a rockin’ buffet featuring more than 15 dishes. Couples can eat like kings with Zayka’s “Royal Feast” meals for two, which go great with a cocktail from the restaurant’s full-service bar. Speaking of date night: The lush, exotic interior makes Zayka a perfect spot for a romantic night out. It’s also the perfect destination for vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free guests. Check out Feast’s coverage for more info.
Rama Thai is downtown Springfield’s go-to Thai spot, with a huge menu featuring favorites like pad thai, curry dishes and sweet Thai tea and coffee. It’s the perfect spot for everyone from spice fanatics to weenies, as each dish can be customized based on the patron’s desired level of heat. The portions are huge, and the prices are super affordable. Rama Thai’s lunch specials, which include soup and salad, make it easy for patrons to get a major Thai fix for under $10. Pro tip: Enjoy this year’s last few months of warm weather on Rama Thai’s breezy patio.
Downtown’s much-anticipated new Greek restaurant isn’t quite open, but we’re counting down the days. The new Walnut Street spot, opening later this fall, will offer Greek fare like gyros and dolmades—classic recipes that were handed down from owner John Tsahiridis’s Greek family members. Tsahiridis has previewed the cuisine at downtown festivals like Artsfest and Taste of SoMo, and we can confirm: It’s legit. We’re especially excited to get our hands on those classic Greek desserts like sweet, perfectly flaky baklava. The News-Leader’s got the full scoop on this one.
Riad offers Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at the corner of Walnut Street and South Avenue. The tangy hummus, warm pita and zesty baba ghanoush is all to die for. If it’s all Greek to you, try one of Riad’s burgers. The Mediterranean burger (pictured) features hummus, red onion and feta atop a juicy beef patty. Lighter fare includes a crisp Greek salad and tasty tzatziki dip.
Yoselin’s Mexican Cuisine and More opened late last year, and they’ve been steadily building buzz ever since. The incredibly affordable menu deviates from standard Tex-Mex fare and explores more traditional dishes like sopes and lengua—beef tongue. For the less adventurous patrons, Yoselin’s offers amazing taco specials including three crunchy tacos for—wait for it—$2.50. Yoselin’s also offers takeout and delivery through Tapingo, an online ordering service.