Downtown Springfield Association
Chef vito chops vegetables on a wooden cutting board
Downtown Business Spotlight, News Stories

Feast 50 honors many Downtown Springfield restaurants

October 17, 2019

We like to brag on the food scene in Downtown Springfield. Clearly we have a bias, but we think the quality and variety of places to eat and drink are second to none in the whole 417 area code.

Today, though, we’d like to offer up some evidence to support our argument. Feast Magazine has released its annual Feast 50 awards. Readers vote for these honors, which shine a spotlight on hometown favorites.

Feast Magazine hands out awards in several categories. Peruse this list, then go high-five your favorite winners and check out the award-winning places you’ve never been!

Chef Vito wins big

Vito Palmietto captured two of the 11 top honors given to Downtown Springfield businesses. He was named Chef of the Year and his restaurant Vito’s Kitchen (307 South Jefferson Ave.) took first place for Best Pizza. Palmietto has been in the Springfield dining scene since 2015. He not only operates the restaurant, but also hosts pop-up cooking classes and private chef dinners.

“Vito’s Kitchen promises a ‘socially charged culinary experience,’ one it definitely delivers on with its massive hand-tossed pizzas,” Feast Magazine said. “The traditional New York-style pies can easily feed three, with chewy cold-risen crusts that promise to delight even the most discerning pizza snobs. Stop in for dinner Wednesday through Friday to grab a slice and a cola.”

Mudhouse Coffee wins big, too

Longtime Downtown Springfield coffee shop Mudhouse Coffee also captured a pair of top honors. Mudhouse recently celebrated its 20th anniversary at 323 South Ave. Walk through those doors and you’ll find Feast Magazine’s Best Coffee Shop in Springfield. It features warm, inviting atmosphere and great coffee, tea, baked goods and more.

Mudhouse also took Best Coffee Roaster honors. The shop sources its beans from regions in Brazil, Ethiopia and Colombia. You can find their signature blends at several local eateries.

Other Downtown winners

Amycakes Bakery (1108 East Walnut Street), a downtown staple, took Bake Shop top honors from the readers of Feast Magazine. The Amycakes crew was runner-up for Best Confectioner. Best Bar Program — Cocktails went to The Golden Girl Rum Club (137 Park Central Square) Josh Widner, its co-owner, took Best Mixologist honors for his work at Scotch & Soda (310 South Ave.).

Aviary Cafe (400 East Walnut Street, Suite100) was named Best Brunch and Big Whiskey’s (311 Park Central East) claimed Best Happy Hour. Readers handed top honors for Diners to Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe (220 East Walnut St.) and Sandwich Shop to Druff’s (331 Park Central East).

Missouri Spirits (507 West Walnut) also won a first-place award, in the category of Distillery. Missouri Spirits has recently installed a stage. You can enjoy live music while you sip drinks made with its house bourbon, corn whiskey, gin, rum and vodka. Missouri Spirits uses regionally-grown ingredients in its alcohol.

Lots of runners-up, too

Downtown Springfield establishments captured 19 runner-up awards from Feast Magazine. Flame Steakhouse & Wine Bar and The Red Room at Flame Steakhouse (314 West Walnut) captured three of those honors, for Fine/Contemporary Dining, Happy Hour and Steakhouse.

The Coffee Ethic (124 Park Central Square) took two of them, for Best Coffee Shop and Best Coffee Roaster.

Second place in Best Burger and Restaurant of the Year went to Black Sheep Burgers & Shakes (209 East Walnut Street). Black Sheep shared the Burger award with Grad School (434 South Jefferson Ave.).

Hurts Donut Company (320 Park Central West) also earned a pair of runner-up honors, for Best Doughnut Shop and Best Food Truck — Sweet, for its Wham-bulance.

Other runners-up included:

Individual honors for two

Widner’s win for Best Mixologist made him one of three individuals honored by Feast Magazine. Mary Cooksey, of The Order inside Hotel Vandivort (305 East Walnut) was runner-up in the Mixologist category. Chef Clint McCann of Best of Luck Beer Hall (313 B. South Jefferson Ave.) was second place in the voting for Rising Star.