If there’s one thing we have no shortage of in St. Louis, it’s good food. This city is seriously underrated by the rest of the country, but we definitely know our way around the foodie scene. You can find just about anything here, no matter what you’re in the mood for, but it can feel almost daunting to try to pick out which one to try next! We’ve put together a list of eleven essential restaurants in St. Louis to add to your bucket list. Some are fancy, others are casual, but ALL of them deserve a visit because they serve up some of the best food in the city.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Tony’s Restaurant
If you are looking for a spot to celebrate a special occasion, Tony’s is an excellent choice. It’s on the spendy side, but you pay for quality; this food is delicious. Tony’s is considered by many to be the best fine dining restaurant in St. Louis, and they definitely deserve that honor. The Lobster Albanello is a standout star, but the incredible attention to detail in every dish on their menu is clear and it is hard to find a dish that is anything less that fantastic. With an impressive wine list and some of the most decadent desserts you will ever see, Tony’s just can’t be beat.
One thing that makes this fine dining restaurant unique is their genuine desire to make every single person who walks in the door feel welcomed. Almost everyone out there has a story of a trip to a fancy, posh restaurant where they felt out-of-place, looked down on, or ignored entirely. That doesn’t happen here. The staff is attentive, knowledgable, and friendly, which makes the experience at Tony’s unforgettable.
Tony's Restaurant is located at 410 Market St., St. Louis, MO.
2. Farmhaus Restaurant
As the name suggests, Farmhaus is a farm-to-table restaurant, and you can definitely taste the fresh ingredients in their delicious dishes. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but ultimately, it’s what’s on your plate that really matters. The Butcher’s Plate is a great appetizer to start with, and both the Roasted Mushroom Salad and Soft-Shell Crab are fantastic.
Whatever you do, do not miss dessert at Farmhaus. The apple tart with homemade ice cream is heavenly, and the dessert French toast will make your taste buds very, very happy.
Farmhaus Restaurant is located at 3257 Ivanhoe Ave., St. Louis, MO.
3. Blues City Deli
We love great food, but you know what makes great food even better? Great prices. Blues City Deli will blow you away with how tasty their sandwiches are and everything on their fantastic menu is under $10! The Chicken Shack is a pretty universal favorite, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a sandwich on this menu that you don’t love.
As if the tasty food and great prices weren’t enough, Blues City Deli also hosts live music on Saturdays and Wednesdays. It’s a popular spot with a small dining area, so expect to wait a bit during peak hours, but everything about Blues City Deli is worth it. This place has a ton of character, a genuine St. Louis soul, and some of the best darn sandwiches in town!
Blues City Deli is located at 2438 McNair Ave. St. Louis, MO.
4. The Shaved Duck
The Shaved Duck serves up some awesome soul food! The pulled pork here is tender and some of the best in town; luckily, you will find it included in several of their menu items! The pulled pork mac and cheese is rich and delicious, and the smothered fries are impossible to describe… you’ll have to taste them for yourself to understand how heavenly they are! As their name suggests, duck is a big winner here as well. Check out the duck confit and mozzarella flatbread and the duck burger.
This restaurant is located in a cool little neighborhood spot and the atmosphere here is wonderfully casual and friendly. It definitely deserves a spot on your foodie bucket list.
The Shaved Duck is located at 2900 Virginia Ave., St. Louis, MO.
5. Pappy’s Smokehouse
Everyone knows St. Louis BBQ is the best, and Pappy’s Smokehouse serves up the best-of-the-best. Head on in here for the best rack of ribs you will ever eat in your life. They are tender, fall right off the bone, and seasoned perfectly, so you don’t need to bother with extra sauce (although they do have several varieties if want it). You haven’t truly lived until you’ve tried Pappy’s sweet potato fries.
Go early. This place is so popular that on the busiest days, they actually SELL OUT of meat. That’s how good it is. Be prepared to wait, but it’s totally worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize: the delicious, smokey, saucy prize. The best BBQ in the entire world is right here at Pappy’s.
Pappy’s Smokehouse is located at 3106 Olive St., St. Louis, MO.
6. Anthonino’s Taverna
This Mediterranean food restaurant has some excellent dishes to offer. In true St. Louis style, there are tasty toasted raviolis on the menu, which is always a good way to start your meal. Some of the standout dishes are their pizzas, which are arguably some of the best in the city. The Gyro Pizza and Bacon Cheeseburger Pizzas are great! There are tons of other tasty choices on the menu, including classic Greek and Italian entrees, authentic pasta dishes, tasty soups.
Anthonino’s was featured on an episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” so it can get busy at times, but service is quick and their food is definitely worth waiting for.
Anthonino's is located at 2225 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO
7. The Crossing
If you are looking for a new spot for a special date night, look no further than The Crossing. This is St. Louis dining at its finest. From the outstanding entrees (try the Fresh Tagliolini Pasta with Wild Mushrooms, or the Sea Scallops or Gemelli if you are seafood fan) to the epic desserts (the flourless Chocolate Torte is positively decadent), a meal at The Crossing is one you won’t soon forget.
One more reason to love The Crossing: the staff is phenomenal. Everyone is incredibly friendly, attentive, definitely knowledgeable of the menu, and are happy to help with suggestions or substitutions. The restaurant itself is beautiful, which only adds to the overall experience.
The Crossing is located at 7823 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis, MO.
8. Adam’s Smokehouse
Adam’s Smokehouse does BBQ right. It’s hard to even pick out a favorite on this menu, but the smoked salami, pulled pork, and tender brisket are definitely up at the top. They have several awesome sauces - try the Carolina sauce and the Cranberry Cayenne sauce. You won’t be disappointed.
Adam’s is a small neighborhood restaurant, so it gets busy for the lunch and dinner rush; luckily, they also offer takeout, so you can still enjoy the delicious ribs, melt-in-your-mouth meats, and to-die-for pit beans from the comfort of home!
Adam’s Smokehouse is located at 2819 Watson Rd., St. Louis, MO.
9. Brasserie By Niche
Sunday Brunch at Brasserie By Niche is hands-down the best way to spend a lazy weekend. The Eggs Benedict is phenomenal and the Croque Madame and Quiches are magical, and the sweet beignets… you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted these bad boys. Brasserie By Niche has an outstanding lunch and dinner menu as well, which showcase the culinary mastery of James Beard Award winner Chef Gerard Craft. We have yet to try a dish here that we don’t love, and it’s clear that each item on their menu is thoughtfully prepared.
And then there’s the bread. It’s absolutely legendary. Once you’ve tasted Brasserie By Niche’s bread, you will be spoiled for life. No other bread will ever live up to it.
Brasserie By Niche is located at 4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO.
10. Annie Gunn’s
Annie Gunn’s is another great spot to impress your date or celebrate a special occasion… without needing to get all dressed up to do so. Sure, it’s a little bit of an extra drive to head over to Chesterfield, but it’s definitely worth it. The menu changes frequently, so there is always something new to try, but the various steaks on the menu never disappoint. Even the burger is phenomenal. The BBQ Prawn appetizer is tasty (and the prawns are HUGE), and we definitely recommend rounding out your meal with one of their expertly concocted drinks or a glass from the impressive wine list.
The vibe here is more casual than some of the other fine dining options on this list, but we enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere.
Annie Gunn’s is located at 16806 Chesterfield Airport Rd., Chesterfield, MO.
The view from Cielo really can’t be beat; it’s located at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown and offers a spectacular view of the Arch. Once you tear your eyes away from the lovely sights, you will find equally beautiful ones on the plate in front of you. From appetizer to dessert, Cielo doesn’t disappoint.
If you just can’t choose between all of the tasty dishes on the menu, go for the Tour of Italy. You’ll get a sampling of several items and it’s an excellent way to experience the diverse menu. If you’ve never tasted Squid Ink Pasta, now’s the time to try it- don’t be put off by the black noodles, they’re delicious! Make sure to save room for dessert, because it should be a crime to leave Cielo without tasting the Tiramisu.
Cielo is located at 999 North 2nd St., St. Louis, MO.