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During these past two years, with travel more restricted due to the pandemic, I’ve discovered that adventures are literally everywhere. I don’t have to travel far to find fun places to explore.
On a recent solo getaway weekend, my destination lay 75 miles east of my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Springfield is a big, sprawling city that offers many fun experiences. For this weekend, I chose a part of the city that I didn’t even know existed.
Come explore historic C Street in Springfield Missouri and see why I enjoyed my weekend so much!
Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri
C Street is what the locals call Commercial Street, in northern Springfield. This six block historical section of the city is home to coffee shops, a variety of restaurants and charming stores. It’s an oasis with a small town feel, in the midst of a big city.
My weekend here, with Culture Boutique Hotel as my home base, included doing an Adventure Challenge. The challenge was to explore in a new area, visit a restaurant and a museum or shop, and then create a fresh narrative about that place.
While I explored C Street, I created a story about this charming and delightful small town, in the shadow of a much larger one. Because those six blocks lined with 1870s and 1880s buildings reminded me of a thriving downtown in a small community.
When I later researched C Street, I discovered my made up narrative was actually the truth. Commercial Street used to be the hub of a small town, North Springfield.
The Origins of C Street
In 1870, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad came into the area. It bypassed the town of Springfield and laid tracks north, to the new community of North Springfield, established with the purpose of attracting the railroad.
A commercial district grew around the train depot and Commercial Street was born.
Many Springfield businesses moved to the new district, catering to the railroad personnel, inhabitants and travelers. Bars, restaurants, hotels and shops opened. Commercial Street was THE place to go for good food, unique shops and music.
North Springfield became a part of Springfield in 1887. The area continued to thrive until the 1960s. When rail travel declined, the population and businesses shifted south.
The Commercial Club, found in 1928, fueled interest in revitalizing the area. The street was designated a historic district in 1978 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Today it is once again a thriving area favored by artists, craftsmen, teachers, students and businesses.
Explore the Restaurants on C Street
You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food joints on C Street. Savor a meal in one of the area’s fine restaurants. From local flavors to ethnic foods, coffee or tea to breweries, C Street is a delight for the culinary adventurer.
The Artisan Oven 206 East Commercial – offering breads, pastries, desserts, coffee and tea and breakfast and lunch.
Basilico Italian Café 306 East Commercial – offering Italian food for lunch and supper.
Big Momma’s 217 East Commercial – offering coffee and tea and soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Café Cusco 2234 East Commercial – offering Peruvian inspired meals for lunch and supper. (Read my review of Café Cusco HERE). Reservation required.
Eurasia Coffee and Tea 445 East Commercial – offering casual dining for breakfast, lunch and supper plus coffee and teas. This café is part of Culture Boutique Hotel and open to the public.
Gilmore’s Tea Room 211 East Commercial – offering a variety of teas and sweet treats plus lunch.
La Habana Vieja 220 West Commercial – offering authentic Cuban cuisine for lunch and supper.
Linberg’s Tavern 318 West Commercial – the oldest tavern in Springfield offers drinks and meals from noon until midnight.
Pizza House 312 East Commercial – offers hand rolled, thin crust pizza from 11:00 until 9:00
Ruthie’s on C Street 504 East Commercial – offering soups, sandwiches, drinks and live music.
That Lebanese Place 338 East Commercial – offering authentic Lebanese food for lunch and supper.
Van Gogh’s Eeterie 334 East Commercial – offers Dutch inspired food for breakfast, lunch and supper. Reservation required.
Moon City Pub 420 West Commercial – offers craft beers and cocktails plus gourmet soft pretzels and live music
Q Enoteca 308 West Commercial – offering wine, craft beers and appetizers.
White River Brewing Company 505 West Commercial – offering beers and live music.
Explore the Shops on C Street
A variety of unique and fun shops await the visitor to C Street. I love that it’s easy to walk this six block area and discover so many interesting places to explore.
I share just a sampling of what’s available on historic C Street.
Askinosie Chocolate 514 East Commercial – offering award winning, made from scratch chocolates.
Chabom Teas & Spices 209 East Commercial – offering a wide variety of spices and spice mixes plus teas and tea blends.
Cymphony’s on C Street 426 West Commercial – offering unique clothing and treasures.
Footbridge Trading Company 320 East Commercial – offering unique gifts from local artisans.
Gypsy Girl Junk 225 West Commercial – offering vintage and flea market type finds.
Hakaar’s Bazaar 217 West Commercial – offering vintage furniture, decor and lots of fun stuff.
Ms Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase 211 East Commercial – located in the same shop as Gilmore’s Tea Room, this fun space offers clothing, new merchandise, collectibles and antiques.
Springfield Mercantile Co 326 East Commercial – offering natural home goods for a simple, sustainable lifestyle with zero waste.
A Wench in Gear 301 East Commercial – offering upcycled, sustainable corsets and clothing.
Although it is closed for the season, The C Street City Market, 321 East Commercial, offers local produce, soaps, baked goods, herbal tinctures and salves, gifts, jewelry and so much more, from April until October.
My Experience on C Street
I am so grateful that I ended up on C Street, for my solo getaway weekend.
I parked my car at the hotel and didn’t get in it again until I headed home. Within walking distance of the hotel are all the restaurants and shops I wanted to explore. I enjoyed breakfasts and suppers at Eurasia Coffee and Tea. Plus my first experience with Peruvian food happened at Café Cusco when I dined there for lunch on Saturday.
And I loved my leisurely explorations in the eclectic shops.
One of my favorite experiences was afternoon tea at Ms Gilmore’s. I seriously could spend an entire day wandering around that two story shop and the tea was delightful.
I look forward to another trip to historic C Street. One visit is not enough to see all that there is to see! I appreciate the warm, close knit community and all that it offers.
Are you ready to explore historic C Street in Springfield Missouri?
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