Where to Find the Springfield Horseshoe

horseshoe sandwich on plate

If you’re a Springfield resident, then chances are you’ve tried a Springfield Horseshoe. However, if you’re from Chatham, Rochester, or Decatur, you may have never heard of this Springfield delicacy. Well, let the staff of Springfield residents at Green Dodge walk you through how this famous dish came to be, as well as where to find the Springfield Horseshoe. We’re sure that once you know what the Springfield Horseshoe is, you’ll be dying to try it!

What is the Springfield Horseshoe?

So, you may be wondering, “What is the Springfield Horseshoe?” This Springfield staple is a sandwich that’s piled high with savory meats (usually ham or burger patties), a mound of french fries, and oh-so-good cheese sauce. While there isn’t any concrete story behind the origins of the Springfield Horseshoe, Springfield residents believe the town’s Leland Hotel originally sold the sandwich, starting sometime in the 1920s. Some think the hotel’s head chef, Joe Schweska, created the sandwich, while others tend to believe that the hotel’s 17-year-old dishwasher was the mastermind behind this legendary Springfield dish. Either way, this open-faced sandwich continues to live on to this day, being sold at numerous restaurants throughout Springfield.

Springfield Horseshoe fun facts:

  • While hamburger is the most common meat in this sandwich, some chefs use ham or chicken, as well as swapping the french fries for tater tots.
  • Breakfast Horseshoes are also popular and are made with bacon, eggs, and hash browns.
  • If the Horseshoe proves too large, many places also offer a “pony shoe” which is a half-sized sandwich with only one piece of bread.

Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery

Perhaps the best place to go to find the Springfield Horseshoe is Obed & Isaac’s, located right in the heart of downtown Springfield. At Obed & Isaac’s, you can find the Horseshoe in its full size and smaller portion, which they’ve dubbed the “Ponyshoe.” At this establishment, which also sells other appetizers, meals, and various craft beers, the Springfield Horseshoe begins with two thick-sliced pieces of toast, your own choice of meat (which includes pulled pork, chicken breast, veggie burger, and much more), a mountain of crispy french fries, and their “secret cheese sauce.” For a lot of our patrons, this is the premier place to go for the Springfield Horseshoe.

Address: 500 S. 6th St., Springfield, IL

Carryout orders available!

horseshoe from obed and isaac's

Westwoods Lodge

Another place you can go when you’re trying to find the Springfield Horseshoe is the Westwoods Lodge on Jefferson Street. Westwoods has named their version of this Springfield classic the “Snowshoe,” but it is still similar to this local favorite dish. Here, you can choose to add a fried egg to your Horseshoe or substitute the fries with onion rings and other sides.

Address: 2406 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL

Carryout orders available!

Ritz’s Lil Fryer

Ritz’s Facebook page proudly declares they have the best Horseshoe in Springfield, and they may be right about that. This retro-styled diner serves up both the traditional sandwich and a breakfast variation to tempt you all day long.

Address: 2148 N. Grand Ave. E., Springfield, IL

Carryout orders available!

Keefner’s

This classic diner likes to have fun with the Horseshoe, cooking up several combinations to keep diners wanting more. In addition to using fried chicken fingers instead of hamburger, Keefner’s has also been known to make what they call a “Club Pony” which uses ham, turkey, and applewood smoked bacon plus lettuce and tomato on top of their golden fries.

Address: 1941 W. Iles, Springfield, IL

D’Arcy’s Pint

Raise a glass to D’Arcy’s Pint, a cozy Irish pub serving up favorites from near and far. Diners can choose from multiple Springfield Horseshoes here, including a build-your-own sandwich and their rotating “ Weekly Horseshoe Feature.” When a restaurant has an entire section of their menu devoted to this local delicacy, they mean business!

Address: 661 W. Stanford Ave., Springfield, IL

Carryout orders available!

The Dublin Pub

If you’re looking to try the “original” white cheddar Horseshoe cheese sauce, make the trip to The Dublin Pub, which claims to be the only purveyor in town to use the vintage recipe. They also offer several pony sandwiches, including a Reuben pony, Philly steak pony, and pot roast pony.

Address: 1975 Wabash Ave., Springfield, IL

Carryout orders available!

Charlie Parker’s Diner

This diner was proudly featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” and was crowned the National Grand Champion of the Thomas Hometown Breakfast Challenge. Try their breakfast Horseshoe made with ham, bacon, or sausage, or one of their lunch combos like the Chili Cheese Horseshoe.

Address: 700 W. North St., Springfield, IL

Carryout orders available!

Boone’s Saloon

The final stop on our list is at Boone’s Saloon, which does their own spin on the Springfield Horseshoe. Here, you start with sourdough toast, which differentiates this selection from the others. Plus, you get two choices of cheese sauce, which can be a regular selection or spicy white queso. You’ll definitely want to try their Philly steak version of the Horseshoe!

Address: 301 W. Edwards St., Springfield, IL

Find Out More About Springfield with Green Dodge

Now that you know where to find the Springfield Horseshoe, why don’t you take a look at some other things to do in Springfield? We’ve also curated hand-picked lists that focus on the best restaurants, pizza places, and other great places to order your next meal. If you want to know even more about our great city, contact us today!

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