St. Louis is a quirky Midwest city Known for its Midwest BBQ rivalry with Its little sister Kansas City and the battle of the pizza rivalry with the Chicago pizza scene. What St. Louis lacks in size it more than makes up for by packing some big flavor. After living here for quite a while now, I’ve done a little bit of exploring to find some of the best places to eat in St. Louis. I’ve even tried some of its famous delicacies (even though there are a ton more for me to try out and report back). So, if you’re visiting St. Louis for a Midwest getaway or a foodie looking for a hot spot; here are a few of my Must Try Restaurants in St. Louis.
This list is ongoing and will be updated regularly with new finds.
Best Place to Eat in St. Louis
St. Louis BBQ @ SugarFire Smoke House 44
Fact, you just can’t come to the Midwest without indulging in BBQ. Here in St. Louis, you’ll find arguably some of the best BBQ in the country! SugarFire Smoke House’s famous St. Louis style barbecue takes tender and juicy meat and couples it with a sweet St. Louis style BBQ sauce… and it’s to die for. The menu gives you a ton of great options like pulled pork, burnt ends, ribs, fish, sausages and more in just about any way you like your BBQ served. Bun or no bun, sauce or no sauce; completely up to you. Plus, the portions are massive but the price is not.
This restaurant has been awarded over the years with titles like Best Sandwich in the world and featured on some of my foodie favorite shows like BBQ Pitmasters, Beat Bobby Flay and Burgers Brew and Que. I am telling you right now that it does not disappoint. I indulged in the Carolina which is a Pulled Pork Sandwich with slaw, Carolina Mustard and St. Louis Sweet BBQ sauce. I don’t even typically eat slaw but this sandwich together was the Bomb! My husband took on the massive Big Muddy Sandwich with brisket, smoked sausage and all the fixings’’. Come with an appetite for this one! Oh and by the way, don’t leave without picking up a homemade pie or pie milkshake. The Pecan Pie was delicious!
St. Louis style Pizza @IMO’s Pizza
While St. Louis has a pretty hefty rivalry with Chicago for the most unique style of Midwest pizza, I would have to give this one to the Gateway city! St. Louis pizza is a super thin cracker like crust topped with gooey Provel cheese (which is a classic combination of white cheddar, provolone and Swiss) and cut into squares instead of triangles. Another unique St. Louis delicacy is their famous DELICIOUS toasted ravioli which apparently dates back to St. Louis’s famous Italian neighborhood, The Hill. The story does that this goodness was discovered after a chef accidentally dropped ravioli into hot oil and fried them and we totally don’t hate him for it. Turns out, that both of these meals are a hit and must try if you ever find yourself in the LOU. These things you can only get in St. Louis. Nowhere else would do it justice.
If either one of these St. Louis signature dishes are on your list to try, I recommend doing them both at the same time by visiting one of the famous St. Louis IMO’s pizza locations. The company originated in St. Louis in the 60’s and today reigns supreme as the best Pizza in St. Louis (maybe even the Midwest).
St. Louis Fried Chicken @ Grace Meat + 3
There is quite a bit of debate here in St. Louis on if Missouri is southern or not. As a true southerner, I say no way! But this restaurant might just have what it takes to change my mind! Grace Meat + Three is St. Louis’s take on Southern American dining in STL’s Grove neighborhood. Fan favorites include chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and Friday’s special the Chicken Fried Steak. Drink it down with a glass of their house made sweet tea or an Arnold Palmer. In true southern fashion, I give this place a 10 for being the one and only place I’ve been able to find good sweet tea in the state of Missouri.
Grace Meat + 3 was voted “Best Fried Chicken in Missouri “and I’d have to say that they aren’t wrong. So, if you’re craving a taste of the south while visiting, I highly recommend visiting this restaurant for good Soul food in St. Louis and a down home feel.
Farm to Table Breakfast @First Watch
Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day so why not eat it 100% fresh and farm to table? First Watch STL is a daytime cafe and St. Louis local favorite for both breakfast and lunch. Even St. Louis native, Sterling K Brown, has spotted at the restaurant recently. They pride themselves on 100% fresh ingredients that are locally sourced. Even their coffee has a unique cause called “The Sunrise Project”.
This is no doubt one of my favorite breakfast spots in the city especially for their FAMOUS Million Dollar Bacon which is spiced hardwood smoked bacon topped with a maple drizzle, brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne. Seriously, this bacon is DREAMY! It’s just the perfect mix of sweet and savory. I also adore their French toast. Omelets are super fresh with great veggies and the their juice bar specialties are a great start to a day. The Morning Meditation drink has fresh orange, lemon, turmeric, ginger, beat and agave nectar. This drink always gives me a good morning boost and it tastes so darn good!
Best Tacos in St.Louis @Mission Taco Joint
If tacos are the last thing you think of in the Midwest you wouldn’t be the only one but when California native brothers, Jason and Adam Tilford, came to the Midwest; they brought a taste of Cali street food with them. Mission Taco Joint came to the city in 2013 and completely changed the foodie scene. Now, there are multiple yummy locations all over St. Louis.
Get your fix of tacos, burritos, tortas and fresh house made salsas. I love my seafood tacos and that was no exception here at Mission. After trying multiple versions of tacos on their menu, I highly recommend the Baja Fish and Mango- Hop- Anero Shrimp. The Baja Fish is crispy beer battered and topped with chipotle Baja sauce, shredded cabbage, Pico de Gallo, and Queso fresco. The crunch on this thing + the fresh fish and mouth- watering topping is a match made in heaven. The Mango- Hop- Anero Shrimp is the perfect combination of sweet heat. Its Beer battered shrimp, red cabbage slaw, fresh mango salsa, smashed avocado, and Mango-Hop-Anero aioli. Again, so good and the perfect flavor mashup. Highly recommend this place to get your taco fix!
Sunday Brunch in St.Louis @ Rooster STL
Every good food list needs a brunch spot and I am not here to disappoint. Good Food? Check. Boozie Brunch? Check. Farm fresh and locally sourced ingredients? Check. The Rooster STL is one of the very best spots in the city to find all this goodness and a vibe. The Rooster STL was voted one of the Best Brunch Spots in the state of Missouri and for good reason.
Rooster prides itself on creative dishes with the highest quality of ingredients. They have a farm to table mission that means supporting local farms that ethically raise eggs, meat and 100% fresh produce. The quality… you can absolutely taste it. They even own an Urban Micro-Farm in the city that grows flowers and herbs.
Slingers are an STL specialty and Rooster gets it right. The Pork slinger is to die for. It’s a dreamy mashup of sausage, bacon, fried egg, roasted potatoes & sausage gravy over thick-cut toast. Sub the toast for a biscuit and you’re in for a treat! This is a savory breakfast that you NEED to try. Another good find is on the Weekend brunch menu. If you love a sweet breakfast then their French toast is good way to go. Choose from toppings like berries & Crème’ fraiche, caramelized bananas or nuts apple pie for a treat. You won’t be disappointed.
Watch the Cardinals Game @Midwestern
Chances are, your thoughts of St. Louis are synonymous with Cardinals baseball, barbecue and bars. Well, you’re not wrong and Midwestern STL is the embodiment of all Midwestern things come to life in the form of a restaurant. Located just across the street from Busch Stadium, you’ll find this indoor/outdoor sports bar. With TV’s on every wall, live outdoor music, good food and proximity to the STL sporting events centers; this place makes for one of the best casual restaurants in St. Louis.
Chicken wings or a massive turkey leg covered in BBQ Dry Rub? Yes Please!! You can’t go wrong with choosing either option. Its mouth- watering meat coupled with a sweet crunch and makes for insane flavor. I hear the traditional bar foods are good too but hands down, this best place has the best STL vibe. So, if you find yourself going to a Blues or Cardinals Game, I highly recommend stopping here before or after a game to get a true taste of St. Louis culture.
Best Rooftop Restaurant in St.Louis @ 360 STL
If unique experiences and good food are your thing then you should check out 360 STL. 360 is a rooftop restaurant 400 feet above St. Louis in the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark hotel. Here, you’ll find gorgeous scenic views on one side of the Gateway Arch monument and the other side of the iconic Busch Stadium. This swanky modern style restaurant offers a ton of great menu options for breakfast or dinner and with each morning or night visit you get a stunningly different Birdseye view of the city.
The restaurant was voted one of the best rooftop restaurants in the world and top 5 rooftop wine bars. Reservation for this restaurant are necessary especially at night or during the holidays but the wait is well worth the experience. For brunch, I enjoyed 2 of the classic American style breakfast options but I hear amazing things about their Moonfish tacos for dinner. That’s next on my list to try!
For the next couple of months, I’ll be eating my way through the rest of the city and trying more of St. Louis’s quirky delicacies and famous recipe. Some honorable mentions that I’ve yet to try include:
- Park Ave Coffee for their 70+ flavors of St. Louis’s famous Gooey Butter Cake
- Jerk Soul for the best carry out in St. Louis and their innovative ways to serve jerk chicken
- St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain for their artesian milkshakes
- Ted Drew’s for their famous frozen custards
So, if you’re a St. Louis native or a foodie who’s been to the area, what are your favorites?
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