Restaurant Guide–St Louis

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Illinois | Missouri


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Alton, IL

Morrison’s Irish Pub–200 State St. (Irish) Open Thu-Sun.  An Irish pub that puts as much emphasis on the food as it does the drinks (has a very interesting menu selection). Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Belleville, IL

Papa Vito’s–318 E. Washington St. (Pizza and American food) Closed Mon.  Pizza seems to be pretty good for the area, but the best reviews are for items like Philly cheesesteak sandwich, french dip, salad, and wings. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Saigon–1636 Lebanon Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say this is some of the best Vietnamese food in the SL metro. Banh xeo and bun bo hue are recommended. Chicken soup is also said to be very good (this is not pho, but the other type of Vietnamese soup). Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Chesterfield, MO

Thai Sawadee–171 Hilltown Village Center (Thai) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  Extensive menu–has items I do not see at most Thai restaurants. Food seems to be upscale. I would only go at lunch because of the prices of the dinner menu, but dinner may be good for a  special occasion (and may be upscale enough to be worth the price). Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

YaYa’s Euro Bistro–15601 Olive Blvd. (Italian) Open Daily. This is mainly Italian food but it is not “red sauce” food, but is more upscale. I’m taking a chance listing it because it is part of a chain, but the food seems to be good. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Crestwood, MO

Zen Thai & Japanese Cuisine–9250 Watson Rd. (Thai) Closed Tue (and closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  Good reviews, and menu looks good. Has pad ped, ginger stir fry, Chiang Mai noodles, and other dishes (and at reasonable prices). Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Creve Coeur, MO

Anis Hyderabad House–12637 Olive Blvd. (Indian) Closed Tue.  Said to have very good and authentic south Indian food with. Menu has a very large number of items. There are some negative comments about the biryani. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

East Saint Louis, IL

Eastside Express–1950 State St. (American) Open 1 pm to 8 pm Thu-Sun only.  Reviewers say this is a healthy alternative to the other restaurants in the area. Some items reviewers like are stir fried vegetables, fried fish, okra, and black bean burger. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Edwardsville, IL

Bann Thai–4 Club Centre Ct. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Probably what makes it stand out is that they have many good dishes that are not on the menu of most Thai restaurants (so it is a good place to experiment with new dishes). Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

Cleveland-Heath–106 N. Main St. (New American) Closed Sun.  Serves locally sourced food. Some dishes are Asian (ginger tofu, etc) and Mexican (tacos, etc). The Asian dishes get better reviews, though. Everything here is healthy and good (at least if you appreciate fresh flavors as opposed to things being highly salted or spiced). Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Ellisville, MO

Asian House–1374 Clarkson Clayton Center (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch (and closed from 2:30 to 4 pm).  Has Americanized Chinese food, but also seems to have a pretty good selection of authentic Chinese dishes. Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Eureka, MO

Super Smokers BBQ–601 Stockell Dr. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 7 pm.  Gil recommends this is one of the best he has tried. Ribs, pulled pork, and brisket are all said to be among the best anywhere. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Ferguson, MO

Ofure Palace–103 N. Harvey Ave. (Nigerian) Open 11:30 am to 8 pm Thu-Sat only.  Has Nigerian and American food–the Nigerian food is said to be very spicy. They offer samples before you order a whole plate of anything. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Florissant, MO

House of Jollof–503 Paul Ave. (Nigerian) Open 11 am to 7 pm–11 to 9 on Fri & Sat (closed Mon & Tue).  Has the same good ratings as Ofure Palace in Ferguson but also has east African food (so I think there are more menu choices). Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Kirkwood, MO

Sweetie Cup–2961 Dougherty Ferry Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 4 pm).  One of the highest rated Thai restaurants in the SL area. Pad thai, yellow and green curry, and spicy basil are recommended by reviewers. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Madison, IL

Marko’s Fish House–820 Madison Ave. (Seafood) Lunch only (Tue-Fri only).  Serves fried fish, and this is the main reason people come. Sandwich is described as “cod on cream bread” (it is a special bread). Also has chicken strips, potato salad, and some other items. Some say it is greasy, though (but even these people say it tastes good). Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Maplewood, MO

The Blue Duck–2661 Sutton Blvd. (American) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Executive chef Trenton Garvey won the Hell’s Kitchen Young Guns competition in 2021, so I figure it must have good food (and reviewers of the restaurant confirm this). The food is described as made from scratch, elevated comfort food. Eggs bene-duck and burger with pork belly are popular. I think any item with the word “duck” in it actually has duck meat. I assume the food will stay the same now that Chef Garvey is working at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in Las Vegas Map. (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Thai Table–7403 Manchester Rd. (Thai) Open 4 pm to 9 pm (closed Tue).  Rating is not as high as some other Thai restaurants, but apparently this is more authentic than others and people may not be used to this type of food. Green curry & nam tok are recommended (but I think some of the less popular dishes may be very good as well). I think it has an extremely interesting menu that looks like something from southern California. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

O’Fallon, MO

Asian Cafe–1260 Bryan Rd. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Tue).  For those looking for authentic Vietnamese, this is a good find for those in the suburbs. Map (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Sugarfire Smokehouse–9955 Winghaven Blvd. (BBQ) Open Daily 11am to 9pm.  Seems to be one of the best bets for barbecue in the St. Louis area. Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and turkey are recommended. Note: there are other locations in the metro area, but this is one of the ones with the best reviews. Map (Dining room is open 7-14-21)

Thai Kitchen–8632 Mexico Rd. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Authentic flavors and spice level. Ginger stir fry is one of the recommended dishes. Some reviewers say this is the best Thai in the St. Louis area, or even the state. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Olivette, MO

Sugarfire Smokehouse–9200 Olive Blvd. (BBQ) Open 11 am until sold out (estimated 7 to 8 pm).  One of the top barbecue restaurants in STL, but the reviews are more inconsistent than some of the other restaurants. Pulled pork and brisket have good reviews (and many like the smoked turkey). Many say the sauces are one of the big draws, and desserts are a must. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Tai Ke–9626 Olive Blvd. (Taiwanese) Closed Tue (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say this is the real deal. It has cheap prices and a large menu. Dishes are a little different from those in most Chinese restaurants, but they have many “safe” dishes along with the more adventurous ones. Web site says this is Taiwanese street food. Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Overland, MO

Chef Ma’s–10440 Page Ave. (Chinese) Closed Wed.  Started out as a small restaurant in an old Taco Bell with a short menu of the owner’s special dishes (mostly Hong Kong and Cantonese style)–now moved to a new location. Braised tofu is popular. Prices are very cheap (probably the cheapest in St. Louis for authentic Chinese food). Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Haveili Indian–9720 Page Ave. (Indian) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 4 pm).  Probably the most authentic Indian restaurant in town, based on the reviews of people from Indian. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Sides of Seoul–10084 Page Ave. (Korean) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say this is one of the best Korean restaurants in the Midwest. Small place where you order at the counter. Map (Takeout only 11-30-21)

St. Charles, MO

Big Woody’s BBQ–1821 Zumbehl Rd. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  This is apparently one of the best rated BBQ places in the SL area, but is a little bit off the radar of most people. Ribs and pulled pork are recommended. People are also complimentary of the side dishes. Map (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Hendricks BBQ–1200 S. Main St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  This is considered one of the top barbecue restaurants in SL, but Yelp reviews are not quite as high as some others. It is still very good, though. The strength here is that you don’t just go for the BBQ–it is a family restaurant and the total meal (with sides and dessert) is a very good dining experience. Map (Dining room is open 9-22-21)

Jafra–3551 Veterans Memorial Pkwy. (Middle Eastern) Closed Mon & closed Wed lunch.  Looks like a very good restaurant with more menu items than are found at most Middle Eastern restaurants. Prices look very good as well. Food is from Lebanon, Syria, & Palestine (which may be why they have more items than other restaurants that are only for one country. Map (Dining room is open 10-10-21)

Spiro’s–2275 Bluestone Dr. (Greek) Open 4 pm to 10 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Upscale restaurant with Mediterranean food, but the most popular items are Greek (such as the saganaki). I think you have a choice of very expensive dinners or more moderate (but still good) ones. Map (Dining room is open 11-30-21)

Tango’s–2418 W. Clay St. (Argentinian) Closed Sun & Mon.  Empanadas are the specialty. Popular because the food is “fresh and flavorful with a large variety.” Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

St John, MO

El Comal–8724 St. Charles Rock Rd. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Owner is from Oaxaca and has a few Oaxacan items on the menu, but can prepare a few others by special request (reviewers say they were very happy with this food). Map (Dining room is open 9-12-21)

St. Louis, MO

Anthonino’s Taverna–2225 Macklind Ave. (Greek & Italian) Closed Sun.  Serves both Greek and Italian food, and reviewers say both are excellent. Most go for the Italian food, though, because there are more menu items and many say this is some of the best Italian food they’ve ever had (pizza is the most recommended item). Greek menu is limited. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Blues City Deli–2438 McNair Ave. (Sandwiches) Open 10:30 am to 3 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Said to have very good sandwiches that would bring you here just for that, but it has the added attraction of live blues music Sat. and on Thursday evening. Map (Dining room is open and now has “occasional live music” 1-7-22)

Bulrush–3307 Washington Blvd. (New American) Open 5 pm to 10 pm (Thu-Sun only).  Owner formerly had the Curious Kumquat in Silver City, NM. Has a seasonal menu. Food is said to be a home cooking style “Ozark” cuisine. Food is very highly rated by reviewers (so it may be hard to get a table here). Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Dao Tien–820 Olive Blvd. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon (and closed between 2 and 5 pm).  Broken rice with pork chop is the favorite. Large menu. Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Grbic–4071 Keokuk St. (Bosnian) Dinner Fri-Sun; lunch Sat & Sun.  Uses European recipes & Missouri grass fed beef. Specialty is Bosnian food including klepe (minced meat dumplings) and sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls). Also has food from Italy, Germany, and Austria. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Italian on the Hill (these are some of the most famous Italian restaurants in the city):

  • Cunetto House of Pasta–5453 Magnolia Ave. Closed Mon & Tue; closed Sat & Sun lunch. Best known for its chicken spedini (but locals order quite a few other dishes). The house salad is very highly acclaimed. Map (Dining room is open 8-9-21)
  • Guido’s–5046 Shaw Ave. Closed Mon & Tue. Best known for its pizza. People also recommend their tapas and the salad. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)
  • Lorenzo’s–1933 Edwards St. Closed Mon (dinner only).  Northern Italian style. Risotto, penne with eggplant, and gnocchi are some of the specialties. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)
  • Trattoria Marcella–3600 Watson Rd. Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Menu is very representative of “St. Louis style” Italian food. The popular dishes here are the Italian standards–lasagna, ravioli, rigatoni, etc. Map (Dining room and patio are open 1-7-21)

Also on the Hill are:

  • Gioia’s Deli–1934 Macklind Ave. (Sandwiches) Open 10-4 (closed Sun).  Specializes in Italian sandwiches, with salami, meatball, and roast beef being popular (but there are many other choices and variations of the main sandwiches). Also has boxed lunches for takeout. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-22)
  • Missouri Baking Co–2027 Edwards St. (Bakery) Open 8-4 Tue-Sat.  Bakery that is known for Italian pastries as well as gooey butter cake (a Midwestern specialty). Map (Takeout only 8-22-22)

Meskerem Ethiopian–3210 S. Grand Blvd. (Ethiopian) Open Daily.  Combo (sampler) plates are popular in order to try the food. From my experience in OKC I would definitely go for the vegetarian plate. I think this is a lot less spicy than Nigerian food (and probably closer to the spice level of Middle Eastern food). I found this type of food to be tangy with a good flavor, though. Reviewers seem to think that Meskerem is the best place for Ethiopian food in SL. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Nixta–1621 Tower Grove Ave. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviewers really like the mole negro, and everything else seems to be good as well. Alta cocina food that is authentic in the “modern” tradition of Mexican food. The menu on Yelp showed the mole as costing $29, but a lot of other dishes are considerably less expensive. Map (Dining room and patio are open 1-7-21)

Onesto Pizza–5401 Finkman St. (Italian) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Has a full menu, but it’s best known for its east coast style pizza. Map (Dining room is open 1-7-22)

Pappy’s Smokehouse–3106 Olive St. (BBQ) Lunch only (closed Mon & Tue); open to 7 pm Fri & Sat.  World class BBQ, especially the ribs and burnt ends (according to reviewers). Line is long but customers say don’t panic–you will get a table. Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

Sidney Street Cafe–2000 Sidney St. (Fine Dining) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Excellent food at expensive prices. The owner is the grandson of the couple who opened La Tertulia in Santa Fe (the best New Mexican food I have ever experienced). Some sources say the restaurant serves some of the dishes from La Tertulia, but there are none listed on the Feb. 2019 menu  (but a possibility would be the chef’s tasting menu). Still, I’m listing the restaurant in case they have other choices on other menus. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Taft Street Restaurant & Bar–4457 Gravois Ave. (Bosnian) Open daily (open late night).  Cevapi is a specialty (grilled over wood with 5 or 10 per order and stuffed inside pita bread with kajmak cheese). This is a high end restaurant and also has steak. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

The Shaved Duck–2900 Virginia Ave. (Soul Food) Dinner Tue-Sat; Lunch Fri & Sat.  This appears to be a very upscale restaurant but does not have “fine dining” prices. Meatloaf and BBQ (ribs, pulled chicken, etc.) are some of the most popular entrees. Cornbread, mac & cheese, and smothered fries are recommended side dishes. There is not a dish to avoid, but some say the burnt ends are not up to KC standards. In 2019 this was the number 1 rated restaurant on Yelp in the St. Louis area. Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

Wei Hong–3175 S. Grand Blvd. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Tue).  Cantonese food (has authentic Chinese menu). Reviewers recommend the dim sum. Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

University City, MO

Cate Zone–8148 Olive Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Sichuan style food that can be fiery hot (ask about it if you’re not sure). Reviewers say the food is excellent. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Merhaba–6665 Olive Blvd. (Eritrean) Open Wed-Sat (dinner only). Food is similar to Ethiopian but Eritrea has its own take on some items. Reviews are good, and commenters say the food is fresh. Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

Private Kitchen–8106 Olive Blvd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Some call this upscale, but it is mainly because they have some upscale dishes such as Peking duck. It specializes in Shanghai style food, though, so a good choice is the Lion’s Head soup or the soup dumplings. One diner also mentioned the baby pork rib in plum sauce. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Ranoush–6501 Delmar Blvd. (Syrian) Open Daily (open late night).  Seems to be one of the best restaurants for Middle Eastern food (Jafra in St. Charles looks like another one). Shawarma is a popular item at Ranoush. Map (Dining room is open 9-20-22)

Salt + Smoke–6525 Delmar Blvd. (BBQ) Open Daily.  One of the top barbecue restaurants in SL (this is St. Louis style). Probably the biggest strength here is that all meats are good, so order something you normally would not choose at other restaurants. Map (Dining room is open 9-20-22)

Wei Hong Seafood Restaurant–7740 Olive Blvd. (Chinese) Open 10 am to 8:30 pm (closed Tue).  Authentic Cantonese food. Has dim sum, but reviews seem to indicate that the St. Louis location has better dim sum. Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Webster Groves, MO

Balkan Treat Box–8103 Big Bend Blvd. (Bosnian) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  Has the best reviews out of the several Bosnian restaurants in the SL area. Food seems to be a mixture of authentic food and Balkan fusion food (such as a Balkan burger topped by a red pepper relish). Reviewers think this is one of the best restaurants in St. Louis (I don’t think it is upscale and pricey–just good). Map (Dining room is open 11-21-21)

Wentzville, MO

Chillax Tap & Co–714 W. Pearce Blvd. (Beer Hall) Open 4-10 pm Tue-Thu; 2-11 Fri; noon-11 Sat (closed Sun & Mon).  Chillax only sells beer (I think most of it is on tap). There are food trucks for food or you can bring your own. It is family friendly and gets good reviews. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Dukes BBQ Shack–100 Ash St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & closed Mon evening).  There is a Sugarfire in Wentzville but a local place might be more interesting such as this one (that gets good reviews). Popular with people who do not like St. Louis style BBQ (I think this might be more Memphis style). Brisket, chicken, and pulled pork are recommended (not many mentions of the ribs). Map (Dining room is open 9-23-21)

Wildwood, MO

Thai Bistro–2436 Taylor Rd. (Thai & Lao) Open daily except Sun lunch.  People say the food is flavorful and owner talks to customers to see if they want anything specially prepared. Reviewers say the pad thai is especially good (I see this a lot for restaurants which serve Lao food). Map (Dining room is open 9-20-22)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

James Beard Foundation America’s Classics

The following are locally owned restaurants that are distinguished by their timeless appeal, and which serve quality food that represents the character of their communities:

  • St. Louis: Gioia’s Deli–1934 Macklind Ave

Note About “50 States, 50 Dishes” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Jul. 3, 2018 using various sources to compile a “list of the dishes that capture the hearts, souls, and (oh, yes) stomachs of these 50 states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico), and where you should order them.” For Missouri it was gooey butter cake for which many Midwestern bakeries have their own recipes that are richer and more silky-sweet than are generally found in home recipes.

The author suggests trying it at the Missouri Baking Company in St. Louis which adds almond paste for a different flavor than the others, and also has rotating seasonal flavors.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Missouri it was Bosnian cuisine centered in the Bevo Mill area of St. Louis (an area of resettlement for refugees of the Bosnian war in the 1990s).

In Bevo Mill are Taft Street Restaurant & Bar and Grbic Restaurants. Balkan Treat Box in Webster Groves mixes Bosnian recipes with the American backyard barbecue style of cooking. The Grbic family has also opened Lemmons, where American style smoked hot wings are glazed in a Balkan brandy.


Closed (Formerly on the Restaurant Guide)

  • Guerilla Street Food–43 S. Old Orchard Ave., Webster Groves (closed 2020) Filipino food with good reviews and a good selection of items

Sources:

James Beard Foundation (America’s Classics Award Winners)

Chowhound (former web site)

Condé Nast Traveler “50 States, 50 Cuisines: The Food Worth Traveling For in Every State”

Condé Nast Traveler, “50 States, 50 Dishes: America’s Favorite Foods and Where to Get Them”

Gil’s Thrilling (and filling) Blog

Google Maps

St. Louis Magazine “The Best Italian Restaurants in St. Louis”

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (St. Louis)

Zomato (St. Louis)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.