417 Magazine Best Italian Restaurants Bambinos Cafe

1141 E. Delmar St., Springfield, 417-862-9999, bambinoscafe.com

With its cozy building located just a quick walk from Missouri State University, Bambino’s Café gets a lot of love from college kids. But they’re not the only ones who adore this cozy restaurant. Since opening in 2000, Bambino’s has earned a respectable rep as a casual neighborhood restaurant that offers tasty food at affordable prices. The menu is just the right size with a nice selection of panini, pastas, personal pizzas, fresh salads and homemade soups. Andy Faucett owns the restaurant with his mother, Mary. In addition to soups, they make all of the restaurant’s breads and sauces. One favorite is the baked ziti dish. To make the sauce, they braise a beef roast for hours, then combine the robust stock with a tasty tomato sauce and wine. It’s then tossed with pasta and a little cream, and the result is a dish so tasty you won’t be able to stop eating it. Frequent diners also love the panini sandwiches, which are giant in both size and flavor. For dessert, try the homemade tiramisu or the gelato from Springfield’s Benissimo Gelato and Sorbet.