Love may be in the air, but so are the smells of some delicious restaurants. Springfield, Missouri is a place I have been lucky to call home for the past three years. And it's full of restaurants of all varieties, perfect for any Valentine—even the pickiest of eaters.
From casual dining to the finer side, Springfield has what you're looking for. By knowing some options besides Olive Garden, you can add a little variety to your dining experience and ensure a happy and romantic evening.
Take a look, build your appetite, and make your reservations early (if you can) so you can treat your date to the evening they deserve.
1. Aviary Cafe & Creperie
The Aviary Cafe is a Springfield favorite. This restaurant is open late, has a full bar, and serves sweet and savory crepes along with other traditional bistro items. The Aviary allows you to make reservations for Valentine's Day and even has a unique menu specifically for the holiday, which includes a pan-seared pork chop, pommes frites, and New York cheesecake made fresh in the bakery.
2. Flame Steakhouse
Flame is a great place to go for a more upscale and expensive Valentine's Day dinner if you're in the mood to wine and dine your date. Rated three dollar signs our of four on Yelp, this steakhouse and wine bar has everything from Alaskan King Crab legs to fresh flash-fried calamari to a dry aged 24 oz Porterhouse steak. This restaurant will no doubt be packed on Valentine's Day, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as possible.
3. Bambinos Italian Cafe
Bambinos Italian Cafe has some of the best Italian food in the Springfield area. Rated "Best Date-Night Dinner" by Missouri State University's newspaper The Standard in 2017 and Best Italian Dining in 2018 by 417 Magazine, this cafe proves it can back up that claim, too. This quaint Italian restaurant has some of the best food the city has to offer from crab cakes and pasta to tiramisu to some house pastas that are to die for. With vegan options, Bambinos is the place for everyone.
If you're looking for more casual of a dining experience, look no further. Druff's is known for it's incredibly tasty and different sandwiches and soups. For Valentine's Day, though, things are getting a little spiced up at this downtown hot spot. For just $45, you and your Valentine can experience the magic of Druff's with an appetizer, some sandwiches, soups, and a dessert. Make your reservation now, because it's going to be a busy night on Valentine's Day!
5. Metropolitan Grill
On the more expensive side, Metropolitan Grill is sure to make this Valentine's Day a romantic one. If you and your date come here for your evening, be sure to dress the part that this upscale restaurant expects. From pasta to steak to surf and turf, there's plenty of food to choose from. This fine dining experience is a great way to show your Valentine just how much they mean to you.
6. Nakato Japanese Restaurant
Nakato is a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar that will leave you and your date wanting to come back again and again. With a full bar and a hibachi grill experience like no other, you can have a great evening with food cooked just the way both you and your Valentine like it. Whether you're a sushi fanatic or experiencing it for the first time, Nakato is sure to provide a fun and interactive Valentine's Day experience.
7. Black Sheep Burgers & Shakes
Who says Valentine's Day needs to be steak and wine? Known for their fun alcoholic shakes and crazy burgers, Black Sheep is also filled with some yummy food. If fine dining isn't your style, relax this Valentine's Day with a nice decadent burger and a shake or beer. You don't have to go all out for Valentine's Day to make it a great one, and Black Sheep's burgers won't disappoint.
From burgers to steaks to grilled cheese, Springfield is known for all kinds of foods. With seemingly unending options for your Valentine's Day date, it's fair to say this list is not at all the only restaurants to consider.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter where you and your Valentine go out to eat, make your date special. With the right person, it doesn't even matter if you're eating at Steak 'N Shake or Applebee's. There's a lot of pressure to make Valentine's Day special and perfect, but as long as you think the person you're with is both of those things, you're set.