Route 66 Cafe

Kent in front of the Motel part (now rentals).

Route 66 Cafe has a very long history or at least the building does.  Since I (Chris Russell) work for Hogan Land Title Company I utilized our title plant to do some research.  The original property was bought on April 24th, 1888.  It has since then had several owners and I mean several.  The building has caught fire twice and been rebuilt.  A Motel was added during the Route 66 days which I  understand it was the first Motel/Cafe on Route 66.  Now the building stands as a reminder of the past and what life was like before fast food and national chains.

Claim: Voted Best Catfish

Route 66 Cafe-Your Family Diner
2204 W. College Street
Springfield, MO 65804
(417) 860-7119
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7am-2pm
Saturday: 7am-12pm
Owners: Victoria and Robert
No Website
No Facebook

What We Ordered:
Catfish Dinner, Cole Slaw,Fries with Drink and Fried Pie-$12.48
Jeff: Chicken Bacon Cheddar Ranch Sandwich, Fries, Drink and Fried Pie-$10.98
Catfish Dinner, Coleslaw, Fried Okra, Tea and Fried Pie-$12.21

Fried Fruit Pies

Kent Kelso: Facebook –

Route 66 Cafe is another Real Deal Gem in Springfield, MO.! Established in 1889, destroyed in 1898 and rebuilt in 1929 it has been an icon on Collage St for over a Century!
They claim “The Best Catfish in Missouri”, that’s a mighty big claim, but, guess what, THEY ARE 100% CORRECT!!!

The atmosphere is quaint, the facility is clean and the food is OUTSTANDING! I had the Catfish dinner and savored EVERY BITE of the succulent feline fish. The crust was perfectly seasoned and golden brown (check out the pictures), the clean white flesh was perfectly cooked and accompanied by some of the best hand cut fries around ANYWHERE. The cold slaw was crisp and the sauce smooth; however; it was a little lacking in the seasoning dept. for my taste though after a gentle dousing of some Malt Vinegar it’s true character came out appropriately.

The service was very good and the bathrooms were clean and appropriately stocked though if you are over 6′ 3″, don’t stand up too quickly or you might need a visit from EMS. All in all, this was a VERY GOOD experience! I gladly rated the Atmosphere 4 Stars, the Service 4 Stars and the Food 5 Stars. Ray Kroc would be happy so I rated the bathrooms with 4 Stars! I can’t wait to go back very soon. I will also be trying their breakfast for the 1 pound ham steak looks AWESOME too! So don’t wait to rush over and “Get Your Kicks at Route 66 Cafe’!”

Kent's Catfish and Fries

Close Up of Catfish

Jeff Widmeyer:
Route 66 Cafe is a great little place with a big dose of history. I’m sure Chris will cover that in the lead-in story, so;

Food 5 Stars-I had the Friday special of “bacon cheese” anything, and I went with a grilled chicken bacon cheese on a toasted hoagie sandwich. It isn’t knock your socks off, but it was pretty good. I had fries as my side and they were hand cut with skin on,  and they too were pretty good. A safe and very satisfying meal. I had a hand made fried coconut cream pie for dessert; this was warm and “coco-nutty” and creamy, with a little powder sugar dusting. MMM, very good choice.

Service 5 Stars-We started with just two guys and they were friendly and attentive. I think some lunch help came on and we had a woman help us with the desserts, and she was excited and just knew we were going to love our desserts. They are all either family or friends and work together as such. And they all had some unique knowledge of the place to share.

Atmosphere 5 Stars
– The history of the place itself from the late 1900’s is interesting, and I’m sure we just barely scratched the surface. You have to walk outside and check out the “cabins”. Pictures and memorabilia of a various nature covering the last several decades add to the “diner” and tourist stop feel and invite people to take pictures and wander around the place.

Jeff's Sandwich

Chris Russell: Facebook –

Food- 4.5 Stars:  First… I am a huge catfish fan.  I have tried catfish all over including a really good spot in Norwood Missouri, but nothing has ever tasted this good coming from a small DIVE like this one or anywhere.  The claim Best Catfish FITS!  Now the Okra was just “ok” and the slaw needed serious help causing the .5 deduction.  Do yourself a favor and get the hand cut fries or onion rings.  Those were DELICIOUS.  Dessert was a treat too.  They offered a fried fruit pie (kind of pricey but good) that was fantastic.  The apple was really good but the coconut cream was REALLY good! They don’t make the pies themselves but still good.

Service- 3 Stars:  The guy was nice and friendly and quick but not who I want serving my food.  What Route 66 Cafe is missing is a “FLO!”

Atmosphere -3.5 Stars:  Let me explain. The building is a 10 out of 5! It really has “IT” and looks like something from 1955.  I expected more out of the inside I guess.  They have lots of nostalgic stuff on the wall but being a Route 66 Icon, how about making it really look like a 1955 Cafe instead of a record shop? Everything was clean and the smoking section clearly defined but I just was expecting more inside.

Overall 4 stars: Wonderful place and great catfish.  Would like to see more of a 1950’s style diner but still a good, fun place to eat.  I am ready to try them for breakfast.

Chris's Catfish and Okra

Fried Fruit Pies

View of the Dining Area

Bathroom Sign

Heard their Ham Steak is Good Too!


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