Dishes

Best Breakfasts in Springfield and Beyond

Find the ultimate breakfast in Springfield, Missouri and go all out for the most important meal of the day.

By Katie Pollock Estes

Apr 2021

Smoked Tri-tip and hash from Billy Gail’s in Branson MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Smoked Tri-tip and hash from Billy Gail’s is a non-pancake dish worthy of your attention. Purchase Photo

If you’re anything like us, breakfast at home is usually yogurt (with or without exciting toppings, depending on your grocery situation), or some sad little egg—either one more a utilitarian belly-filler than a culinary delight. But this story isn’t about breakfast at home; it’s about the days when you want to indulge in something better. It’s about waking up and dining, rather than waking up and eating. It’s about relentless cravings for crispy waffles, crispier bacon, burritos packed with absolutely everything and even some brunchy cocktails to start the day off on an extra-indulgent foot. So put down that plastic tub of yogurt, please, and read on for your guide to 417-land’s most creative and delicious morning meals.


Aviary by Lavender Falls

Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday
2144 E. Republic Road, Suite E120, Springfield

One of the few places to get crepes for breakfast, Aviary offers those darling French pancakes in both sweet and savory iterations—but that isn’t the only draw. A full breakfast menu has a little something for everybody, and we love their creative takes on things like shrimp and grits or breakfast hash (theirs is made with steak—yum!). 

What to Order at Aviary by Lavender Falls

For a sweet tooth: Banana Bread Fosters with whipped goat cheese.
For a savory bite: Poulet Perdu with French toast, fried chicken and hot honey.
For eating light: Salmon toast with fried capers and pickled onions.
For a gut bomb: Breakfast poutine with mornay sauce and three meats.
Must-try morning cocktail: Bottomless mimosas, because it’s been a long week. 
Mood: The “treat yourself” vibe that you want when you take your best friend out to brunch to celebrate her birthday.


Billy Gail’s

Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. daily
5291 State Highway 265, Branson and 1882 W. James River Road, Ozark

Ever since it opened last year, the second Billy Gail’s location (this one in Ozark) has been bustling. That comes as no surprise, though, since the original Branson location has been a hot spot for years. We think it’s due to the classic, nostalgic diner atmosphere that’s paired with reliably delicious morning fare. 

What to Order at Billy Gail’s

For a sweet tooth: Sweet cream vanilla pancakes bigger than the plate.
For a savory bite: Billion Dollar Bacon baked to sweet-and-spicy perfection.
For eating light: Mushroom omelet with cheddar jack cheese.
For a gut bomb: Smoked Tri Tip & Hash with fried potatoes and eggs.
Must-try morning drink: Go for the diner classic: warm coffee in a cozy mug. 
Mood: An old-school diner vibe with walls full of kitsch and a soundtrack of clinking silverware and satisfied “Mmmm”s.

Breakfast Illo - Coffee - By Sarah Patton

What to Order With Your Coffee

Five delicious reasons to grab a bite to enjoy with your morning coffee.

You’re Famished

Drink: Pour over coffee

You’re Feeling Fancy

Eat: Jammy Egg & Pesto on Rye
Drink: Cortado

You Need Nourishment

Drink: A seasonal latte

Your Sweet Tooth is Calling

Eat: Greek Bowl
Drink: A shakerato

You’re In the Mood for Veggies

Eat: The Mushroom Toast
Drink: A matcha latte


Early Bird Breakfast Pub

Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday
1717 E. Cherokee St., Springfield

The extensive menu at Early Bird Breakfast Pub has a few distinct personalities: the list of morning tacos and burritos for lovers of hand-held meals, the list of “bird’s nests” puff pastry meals for anyone who appreciates a pretty bite, and of course the classics like creative omelets and sammies for traditionalists.

What to Order at Early Bird Breakfast Pub

For a sweet tooth: Bluebird Bird’s Nest with fruit, granola and honey in puff pastry.
For a savory bite: Chicken In Waffles sandwich with crispy waffles in place of bread.
For eating light: Eggs Florentine with spinach, tomato and poached eggs.
For a gut bomb: The Original Breakfast Mac with eggs, bacon and corn flakes on top.
Must-try morning cocktail: Breakfast margarita made with orange marmalade. 
Mood: A place to gather with friends for a little hair of the dog and some good eats to absorb your sins from the night before.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes from First Watch in Springfield, MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Lemon Ricotta Pancakes from First Watch are wonderfully complemented by a glass of Morning Meditation. Purchase Photo

First Watch

Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. daily
2946 S. National Ave., Springfield and 3103 E. Sunshine St., Springfield

First Watch is a chameleon. Its wide tables, open dining room and huge menu make it ideal for a weekend breakfast with the whole fam. But its energizing vibe makes it a great weekday spot too—for those meal-slash-work meetings with a colleague. Who wouldn’t want to talk shop over a plate of that sticky-sweet Million Dollar Bacon?

What to Order at First Watch

For a sweet tooth: Lemon-ricotta pancakes topped with marinated berries.
For a savory bite: Smoked Salmon Benedict served on super-crisp ciabatta.
For eating light: Frittata Rustica packed with kale and roasted mushrooms.
For a gut bomb: Farmhouse Hash potatoes, bacon and avocado.
Must-try morning cocktail: Morning Glory with turmeric, citrus, ginger and vodka. 
Mood: Bustling and airy, flooded with light and the hum of conversation. It’s the kickstarter for a productive day.


Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe

Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. daily
220 E. Walnut St., Springfield

What was once a drugstore and soda fountain in downtown Springfield is now one of the city’s longest-standing breakfast joints. There you can find one of our favorite griddle goodies: sweet browns (a.k.a. hash browns made from sweet potatoes) among the huge omelets, stacks of pancakes, sizzling griddles and other classic diner breakfast fare that Gailey’s is known for. All served on colorful Fiestaware of course. 

What to Order at Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe

For a sweet tooth: Blueberry Hill pancakes with berries both inside and on top.
For a savory bite: Julia’s Tacos filled with chorizo and all the fixings.
For eating light: Mystery Jeff Greek yogurt bowl with fruit and granola.
For a gut bomb: Ball Park breakfast skillet with eggs, bacon, chili and jalapenos.
Must-try morning cocktail: A spiked coffee to add a little warmth from the inside out. 
Mood: Diner vibes in a historic building, for an overall feeling of classic Springfield nostalgia.

JW's Kitchen

Brunch served 7 a.m.–2 p.m., Weds.–Mon.
2144 E. Republic Road, Suite B101, Springfield
Andy and Misty Hampshire, owners of Farmers Gastropub, have expanded into the brunch biz when they opened JW's Kitchen in Farmer's Park. We love that there are some unexpected items on the menu, like the spicy breakfast soup that packs andouille sausage, veggies, cheddar grits and jalapenos into a miso broth with a poached egg. You can start with a southern American favorite (chicken and waffles) or indulge in The Full English that features sausage, bacon, black pudding, baked beans and more.

What to Order at JW's Kitchen

For a sweet tooth: Biscuits topped with Granny's Chocolate Gravy
For a savory bite: The Wife's Hash with spicy sausage, potatoes and veggies, curry seasoning and Cholula-basted eggs
For eating light: Cold Smoked Salmon Plate served with lemon-herb ricotta cheese, red onion, capers, dressed greens and a bagel
For a gut bomb: The fillings-heavy Breakfast Burrito, especially if you add gravy.
Mood: Welcoming and relaxed, like your favorite Grandma made brunch just for you.

Softshell Crab Benedict from Lindberg’s Tavern in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Softshell Crab Benedict from Lindberg’s Tavern is wildly indulgent and so creative. Purchase Photo

Lindberg’s Tavern

Brunch starts at noon on Sundays
318 W. Commercial St., Springfield

If you haven’t been eating at Lindberg’s Tavern, you’ve been missing out. This historic Commercial Street bar serves some truly delicious food, and the brunch service is no different. It’s a menu full of surprises and reliably impressive dishes that you can eat in a relaxed bar setting. This isn’t bar food though; it’s elevated and so creative. 

What to Order at Lindberg’s Tavern

For a sweet tooth: Berries and Basil Quesadilla that’s jazzed up with goat cheese and spicy honey.
For a savory bite: Lobster Benedict served on top of fried green tomatoes.
For eating light: Prime Rib Salad for something veggie-forward yet indulgent.
For a gut bomb: Soft Shell Crab Benedict served on a dill-garlic potato waffle.
Must-try morning cocktail: Bloody mary served with house-made jerky. 
Mood: A casual and low-key spot to visit on a double date with your bestie couple while your babysitter feeds the kids.

Best Morning Breakfast Sweets

You could start your day with a hard-boiled egg and some black coffee. You could do the responsible thing... Or you could live a little. We rounded up some of the best dessert-as-breakfast items from around town.

Maple-Bacon Donut
Springfield, Branson
The ultimate in savory-sweet (but mostly sweet... so, so sweet), this donut is seriously loaded with meaty bacon crumbles.

Old-Fashion Donut
Springfield, Ozark
The classic donut with just the right amount of sugary glaze, this donut is destined for dunking into a hot cup of coffee.

Raspberry Kringle
Springfield
Kringles come in many flavors, but we love raspberry the most: sweet, fruity filling inside a ring of zillions of layers of flaky pastry.

Almond Croissant
Springfield
Buttery, flaky, crisp perfection exists, and it’s any croissant from European Cafe. We are partial to the almond variety.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Springfield
Pie for breakfast? You’re a grown-up; you’ve earned this. You can order it alongside a classic diner breakfast or a killer skillet.

Beignets
Joplin
Pretty, airy little pillows of fluffy fried dough can be ordered with sweet raspberry coulis or rich Nutella, depending on your mood.
Pavlova French Toast from Rise in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Pavlova French Toast from Rise is almost too beautiful to eat. Purchase Photo

RISE

Breakfast served 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
105 Park Central Square, Springfield

Last month, European Cafe’s owners opened RISE just a few doors down on Park Central Square. The new spot has the same attention to detail, the same artistic touches, the same creativity—but now with a local-ingredient-packed breakfast menu that serves classics like egg sammies alongside some uncommon flavors too. For example, there’s a sweet potato and feta bowl topped with horseradish yogurt and a poached egg. Oh heck yes. 

What to Order at RISE

For a sweet tooth: Pavlova French toast with baked meringue and mango-passion fruit coulis.
For a savory bite: Savory rice pudding with caramelized mushrooms and roasted tomatoes.
For eating light: Creamed eggs with microgreens and cured salmon that’s cured in-house.
For a gut bomb: Croque Madame with mornay sauce.
Must-try morning drink: Ginger and black pepper house-made soda. 
Mood: A sunny, colorful and quite Instagrammable interior with food that is truly inventive and beautiful. Your camera will eat first.

Gable of Six from SPLIT Social Kitchen in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Gable of Six from SPLIT is rich in flavor and a sight for tired eyes. Purchase Photo

Sleepy Opossum Cafe

Open 7 a.m.–1:30 pm., Tues.–Fri.; 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Sat.
1427 E. Cherry St., Springfield
Owner Dani Hunnell runs Sleepy Opossum Cafe during the day in the same space that's home to The Royal at night. Go at night for live music and cocktails, and go in the morning for some truly creative breakfast fare that's always surprising, always satisfying and always fun. The hashbrown crust quiches come in rotating flavors and are always a good bed. But we recommend branching out to more unexpected fare, like a breakfast soup or salad, or a biscuit sandwich that features four-fruit jam. Hunnell also makes beautiful cakes with big, bold flavors, so be sure to grab a slice while you are there.

What to Order at Sleepy Opossum Cafe

For a sweet tooth: Brûlée grapefruit
For a savory bite: Breakky Soup with a creamy polenta base, fried egg and chili oil
For eating light: Breakky Salad with greens and veggies, maple-dijon dressing, fried egg and pistachios
For a gut bomb: Cottage House hashbrown bowl with cheesy potatoes, bacon, cottage cheese, fried eggs, chili crisp and charred tomato
Must-try morning drink: Just a really good cup o' Joe, in a cute mug
Mood: Charming and sweet, in a Wes Anderson sort of way.

SPLIT Social Kitchen

Brunch starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
3027 E. Sunshine St., Springfield

SPLIT’s irreverently fun take on all of their dishes—from the creative names to the clever flavor combinations—extends right into their brunch fare. Take for example their eggs benedict. Instead of sad ham, there’s crisp fried chicken and a creamy-spicy sauce that’s given even more punch thanks to jalapenos on top. That’s a benny to remember. 

What to Order at SPLIT Social Kitchen

For extra indulgence: Breaky Mac with mushrooms, sausage and jalapenos.
For a savory bite: JJ biscuit sandwich with bacon, egg, cheese and gravy.
For eating light: AVO-CA-TOAST with marinated tomatoes and microgreens.
For a gut bomb: Gable of Six fried chicken benedict with chipotle hollandaise garlic-avocado spread and sliced jalapeno.
Must-try morning cocktail: Clawmosa with White Claw and mango puree
Mood: When you’re there, you feel like you’re in a club with all the cool kids.

Springfield Brewing Co.

Brunch served 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
305 S. Market Ave., Springfield

Brew Co. has been slinging tasty food in a casual pub setting since 1997, but brunch is a relatively new addition that sprung up within the last decade. We love their elevated take on breakfast classics—even the breakfast burrito is taken up a notch with chorizo from Circle B Ranch. It’s where we go for a low-key vibe and reliably good eats. 

What to Order at Springfield Brewing Co.

For a sweet tooth: Beignets served with raspberry jam.
For a savory bite: Breakfast pizza that swaps marinara for rich breakfast gravy.
For eating light: SBC Oatmeal that adds bourbon-maple caramel for a little treat.
For a gut bomb: Honeycomb Chicken and Biscuit made with orange-rum glazed fried chicken.
Must-try morning cocktail: Brewco Bloody with a spicy Tabasco salt rim. 
Mood: Casual and welcoming, like it’s “your place” and has been forever.

Mediterranean Quiche from Tea Bar & Bites in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Mediterranean Quiche from Tea Bar & Bites is a not-too-heavy start to your day. Purchase Photo

Tea Bar & Bites

Brunch served 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday, breakfast starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday
621 S. Pickwick Ave., Springfield

If you’ve ever grabbed a couple of friends and flocked to a restaurant on the first warm day of spring, declaring that moment the start of “patio weather,” then you already know you will enjoy  a Tea Bar breakfast. This is patio heaven, and the food is reliably delightful—from muffins with the perfect crumble to quiches sized for one.

What to Order at Tea Bar & Bites

For a sweet tooth: Cinnamon rolls topped with sweet caramel icing.
For a savory bite: The Mediterranean quiche (or any of the quiche of the day options).
For eating light: Yogurt that’s served with sweet-and-crunchy house-made granola.
For a gut bomb: Special Omelet Bagel Sandwich served with herbed cream cheese made in-house.
Must-try morning drink: The house iced tea with its subtle clove flavor. 
Mood: The patio has the feel of European streetside dining—ideal for a group of girlfriends, or a treat for Mom.

Liege Wafels from Van Gogh’s Eeterie in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe Liege Wafels from Van Gogh’s Eeterie will satisfy any sweet tooth. Purchase Photo

Van Gogh’s Eeterie

Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. on weekdays
334 E. Commercial St., Springfield

Drawing inspiration from the cuisine of the Netherlands (and named for that ubiquitous Dutch painter), Van Gogh’s Eeterie has a sun-filled C-street dining room that feels like a breath of fresh air. The menu is known for Dutch pancakes with fun toppings (try the blueberry-topped Starry Night) all day, and a large and varied breakfast menu with European vibes.

What to Order at Van Gogh’s Eeterie

For a sweet tooth: Liege wafels baked with pearl sugar, served with fruit.
For a savory bite: The Brexit Breakfast for a full English breakfast.
For eating light: Morning in Den Haag with a veggie scramble over salad.
For a gut bomb: Red Light Madame meaty breakfast sandwich with honey cake French toast for the bread.
Must-try morning drink: Hot coffee with a stroopwaffle. Trust us on this. 
Mood: Sunshiney, airy and artful for a bright start to the day.

Katie Pollock Estes

About the Writer

Katie Pollock Estes is the Editorial Director at 417 Magazine. Katie has been working at 417 since December 2005. Her role includes writing, editing and planning stories while leading the team that produces 417’s editorial content. Read more about Katie.