New life has sprung into Springfield’s historic Commercial Street over the past few years. Once a deteriorating neighborhood, popular eateries and trendy one-of-a-kind shops now fill previously empty buildings. Locals have dubbed the area C Street.
Commercial Street was born when the railroad came through the area in 1870. One by one, businesses erected buildings near the depot, thus the name Commercial Street. The area incorporated as North Springfield but became part of Springfield in 1887.
Fun fact: North Springfield originally incorporated on July 4, 1870, but two-thirds of the petitioners had signed illegally, as they had not been in the state long enough to become citizens. North Springfield was reincorporated legally in May 1871.
By the 1960s Springfield’s population shifted south. Businesses closed, and Commercial Street was on the decline.
With revitalization efforts, C Street is bustling again. We explored the neighborhood the last couple of times we visited Springfield and discovered several fun shops and restaurants.
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Since I am a dark chocolate fan, Askinosie Chocolate was first on my list to visit. Renowned chocolate artisan Shawn Askinosie makes chocolate completely from scratch, starting with the bean. He purchases beans directly from farmers in Ecuador, Honduras, Tanzania and the Philippines and makes each batch from a single source. Askinosie places the country of origin and the farmer’s picture on the wrapper and shares profits with the farmers. Askinosie Chocolate is by far the best chocolate I have ever tasted.
Chabom Teas + Spices
Another of my favorites is iced tea, especially herbal and fruity teas. Chabom Teas + Spices has a huge variety to choose from. I picked up a couple of flavors to take home with me but can’t remember now what they were, only that one had ginger and another was berry. Both were delicious. You can also get a cup of hot or iced tea to go if you choose, or sit and enjoy a cup in the shop.
Ms. Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase & Tea Room
At Ms. Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase & Tea Room you can sit for a more formal cup of tea or even stay for lunch. We didn’t eat there, but we did have fun browsing through all the eclectic merchandise in the shop.
Sisters in Thyme
Since our first visit to C Street and lunch at Sisters in Thyme, the deli and bakery has expanded to a larger space down the street. Sisters in Thyme offers deli or grilled sandwiches made with their own fresh-baked bread, soups, salads, made-from-scratch quiche and pasta dishes.
Located in a former brothel, Lindberg’s Tavern boasts that it is Springfield’s oldest tavern, in business since 1870. It was just a couple of months before we visited, however, that they began serving food. All of their fare has specials twists and made-from-scratch condiments. Many of the condiments include local beer as an ingredient. My burger was seared in duck fat and topped with provel, a cheese popular in St. Louis cuisine, and homemade mayonnaise. Lil’ Helper IPA mustard and green tomato relish top the deep-fried beer bratwurst. Lindberg’s hand-cuts their fries and serves them with homemade Table Rock Red ketchup.
At 562 feet in length, the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge is one of the longest footbridges in the United States. Built in 1902 as a safety measure for pedestrian traffic, the bridge connects a residential area with Commercial Street. The bridge is also believed to be one of the oldest pedestrian bridges still serving railway facilities.
If you visit C Street
The places mentioned in this article are only a few of the places to shop, eat and drink in the C Street neighborhood of Springfield, Missouri. Visit the Historic C-Street website for a full listing of businesses and an event calendar.
Accommodations in Springfield: Find the best hotel deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.
Disclosures: My visits to C Street were hosted by the Springfield Missouri Convention and Visitors Bureau. My meal at Lindberg’s Tavern was complimentary, but any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link, which means that if you book a room using this link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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