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The Best Food in St. Louis

November 3, 2009

Having lived in St. Louis for over 10 years, I’ve developed intimate relationships with specific restaurants and food selections. Thus I present to you my Best of St. Louis list. Bookmark this page if you ever decide to visit St. Louis, and comment below if you disagree or have something to add. I’ve listed these in no particular order. I’ve noted after each restaurant what I order (and how much the whole order costs), which, coincidentally, is what I highly recommend you order. I also mapped all of these restaurants on the map linked at the bottom of the post in case you choose your restaurant by location.

Best Steak: Iron Barley / Special Cut Smoked Ribeye Stake + BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Appetizer = $20

Best Burger: Liluma / The Burger = $9

Best Bar Food: Barrister’s / Blackened Tilapia Sandwich + Soft Pretzels and Guinness Cheese Sauce = $15

Best Dessert: The Cupcakery / Plain Confetti Cupcake Cookie = $2

Best Pizza: Dewey’s Pizza / Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza with Red Sauce = $14

Best BBQ: Pappy’s Smokehouse / Pulled Pork Sandwich + Sweet Tea = $10

Best Italian: Bartolino’s Osteria / Canoli = $15

Best Drink: Bailey’s Chocolate Bar / Chocolate Stout Beer Shake = $5

Best Mediterranean: Coffee Oasis / Deluxe Gyro with Tzaziki and Hummus = $9

Best Mexican: Chavas / El Mireko + Chile con Queso = $9

Best French: Atlas Restaurant / Grilled Lamb Loin Chops + Piccolo Frito with Lemon Garlic Aoli = $23

Best Vietnamese: Miss Saigon / Chicken Curry = $9

Best Japanese: Wasabi / Wasabi Special Roll + Clayton Roll = $20

Best Appetizers: 1111 Mississippi / Wild Boar Ravioli + Oak Oven Roasted Mussels = $22

Best Breakfast: Roosters / Banana and Nutella Crepe = $7

Best Vegetarian: Kaldi’s in Demun / Cheese Burrito = $6

Best Deli: Vivola Express / Boar’s Head Meat Sandwich with Spicy Mustard + Free Popcorn
View The Best Food in St. Louis in a larger map

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Grandma Fudge permalink
    November 3, 2009 9:48 pm

    I can’t think of a good category for Canyon Cafe.
    Though, it’s on a completely different level than these other restaurants. It would be like putting a man in a category with boys.
    Maybe “Restaurant of Champions” or “Restaurant That Reigns Over All Others.”

    But I definitely agree on best burger. Eating one of those from Liluma is like eating a slice of heaven with ketchup on top (yummy).

    • November 4, 2009 12:22 am

      I still haven’t gone there! But I sincerely doubt that they have better Mexican than Chavas. I know several people who wouldn’t mind climbing into their queso dip and living there!

      • Sid Hartha permalink
        November 4, 2009 1:22 pm

        I’m going to have to go with Grandma Fudge on this one. Sorry, Jamey. She seems to know her Saint Louis restaurants. Also, I was under the impression that Canyon Cafe was not mexican food and was more of the “southwestern” persuasion. But that’s just me. Word on the street is their veggie tacos are “thebomb.com.”

        p.s. living in queso dip sounds great, but take it from someone with experience, it’s not. People are always jamming chips into your face when you are trying to read or something. dreadful.

        • November 4, 2009 2:03 pm

          That’s a fair point that Canyon Cafe is more southwestern. I’ll go there and try their veggie tacos to see if they belong on the list.

          What about living in chocolate pudding? That seems pretty awesome too.

          • Leopold Von Doodleshanks permalink
            November 4, 2009 4:30 pm

            Living in chocolate pudding may seem to be an appealing, alternative lifestyle to some. Though, I must insist that it is really, rather gooey.
            It’s “gooeyness” is what makes it great in the beginning, but once you have lived there for a while it starts to take a toll on your psyche. Imagine what it would be like to wake up in goo, brush your teeth in goo, eat in goo (not eat the goo, after 2 hours you will develop a conditioned taste aversion to the pudding. it sucks.), call your friends in goo, and so on. So next time you think of filling up your respective dwelling with some pudding, think twice. It’s not as cool as it seems. seriously, normal chocolate pudding is refrigerated, yours won’t be (maybe if you live in an igloo it would be better).

  2. T-Mac permalink
    November 4, 2009 8:37 am

    Wow! This is amazing. This is the type of thing I could ponder at work for hours, then end up creating my own list, then get reprimanded for not actually doing any work…

    I do have one question. On the map, I saw a place highlighted called “Scotti’s Deli” that isn’t in your list. Is this the place we used to go for sandwiches while working at SPI? I thought that place was called “Vivaldi” (or something like that). If it’s not that place, what is Scotti’s?

    • November 4, 2009 10:34 am

      I couldn’t remember the name of that place, so I searched Google Maps and came up with Scotti’s in that location. Could they possibly have changed the name?

      • T-Mac permalink
        November 4, 2009 2:20 pm

        Jackpot! I got it! It’s Vivola Express @ 1911 Schuetz Rd.

        You won’t be disappointed if you try this place. Not only are the sandwiches amazing, but they have free popcorn. It’s one of the top 11 most wonderful places on Earth.

  3. T-Mac permalink
    November 4, 2009 8:38 am

    By the way, you might want to link to the blog entry that featured the “pizza-off” between Dewey’s and Pi, just to further Dewey’s credibility.

  4. November 4, 2009 10:34 am

    Good idea. Blackthorn was up there too, but if I had to pick one pizza, it would be a Dewey’s.

  5. Former SPi permalink
    November 5, 2009 2:54 pm

    Bad news, guys. Vivola doesn’t have free popcorn anymore…..but it still rocks!

  6. Colleen permalink
    November 12, 2009 4:23 pm

    Hey Jamey, your list is good. 🙂 I’ll have to try some of these places. Here are a few other local favorites that you may want to check out:

    Hodak’s – Fried chicken.

    McGurk’s – Irish pub with music.

    Merbs – Candy and chocolate covered strawberries.

    Nadoz Cafe – Fresh Fruit Crepe and Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Crepe. If you’re at the Brentwood location and feel inspired to make your own crepes, swing by Crate&Barrel and pick up their Crepe Mix, which is super-easy and only needs water, eggs, and oil.

    Ted Drewes Frozen Custard – The Cardinal Sin is my favorite (hot fudge and tart cherries over custard) and the Dutchman Delight is my second favorite (hot fudge, caramel, and pecans over custard). Try them both as sundaes. Three unique things Ted Drewes is known for – the concrete that you can hold upside-down; hangout spot after Cardinals games; and buying Christmas Trees from the parking lot during the holiday season.

    The Blue Owl in Kimmswick – Homecooking and pies.

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