For five years we ran a local restaurant blog, before moving into the travel arena. Through that time, we came to realize that every dining establishment has its redeeming values. Some may have more flavorful dishes, but they all have at least one that they excel with. The key to successful dining when traveling is to find those specialties and enjoy them. St. Louis is a huge metropolitan city that has an over abundance of restaurants to choose from. Before our visit, we reached out to some food loving groups to get their recommendations. With over 600 comments, it was apparent that our visit would be flavorful. With a limited time-frame, and the need to not gain 20 pounds, we had to limit our selection to the areas that we would be exploring. This still left us with plenty of choices, as well as a chance to sample a variety of styles. Here is an overview of some of the places we found. Please note that many have more extensive articles, which can be found in the highlighted links. Our lodging was located on the Delmar Loop, so many of our meals were centralized to the region. Let’s start with those, before moving to another area of the city.
We want to thank the restaurants and Explore St. Louis for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
Loving The Loop
We really enjoy our breakfasts, and not just because we get coffee. There are plenty of unique places that make the morning meal a little more special. Run of the mill cafes and diners are enjoyable, if the food is good, but toss in something extra and the visit becomes memorable. That would certainly be the case for our stop in Peacock Loop Diner. We loved that they are open 24 hours a day, which means we don’t have to try to fit a visit in their schedule. Add to that their brightly colored decor and fun attractions, and you have a picture perfect opportunity. (You can read more about Peacock here>)
Coffee Lovers Unite
Sometimes we happen upon a spot that wasn’t on our original list. Blueprint Coffee began as a stop for an extra shot of caffeine, but after seeing their dishes, we knew a longer visit was in order. Luckily, we usually leave a little wiggle room in our itinerary for just this kind of occasion. A full blown breakfast turned out to be a wonderful way to meet some locals, as well as sample some true drip coffee. (You can read more about Blueprint here>)
All That Fizz
What do you get when you combine a local St. Louis craft soda bottler with a dining/dessert shop? Fitz’s Restaurant was a fun stop that draws huge crowds. We loved the high octane atmosphere of the place, as servers whizzed by with large trays of goodies. The sodas are SO good that it is hard to keep from chugging them. Fortunately, we had just enough will power to save some to accompany our meals. Next visit we have to try one of their over-the-top floats. You can make it with any flavor of soda. (Yes, mine will be Orange Creme.) (You can read more about Fitz’s here>)
Barbecue is like a lifeline for Kansas Citians, and we knew that we would need to see if we could find some in St. Louis. Sure enough, there are plenty of choices in the gateway City, and we settled in for a sample at Salt + Smoke. They had some options that we don’t see in KC, but when in Rome… The most important part of the meal was the delicious smokiness that was prevalent in the meat. That’s something that just can’t be faked. (You can read more about Salt here>)
A Sweet Treat
Life is always better with dessert. This could be our mantra. Just a short walk from our hotel we discovered Piccione Pastry. This family run bakery serves up a variety of sweet treats daily. We were fascinated watching the staff making cannoli and some other desserts. They also serve a breakfast and lunch menu, but who says you can’t just eat dessert for breakfast?
Eating In The East
There were a couple of stops that took us away from our home-base near Forest Park. In the Jefferson Barracks region we uncovered Cafe Telegraph. This local favorite is home to one of the largest dishes we saw in St. Louis. The Fred Flintstone is an immense pork steak that can easily feed two. (If not three or four!) We have to be honest and say just seeing one scared us away from ordering it. Being out-of-towners, we will use the excuse of not being able to deal with doggy bags. If you decide to tackle this monster, you will want to bring your “A” game. (You can read more about Telegraph here>)
Happy Hour Munchies
Sometimes we find ourselves needing a quick pick-me-up between meals. During our visit to City Museum, we became a little parched. Fortunately, I had planned a little rendezvous at a Mexican cantina just a couple blocks away. Rosalita’s offers a nice Happy Hour food menu, and some delicious $4 margaritas. We sampled a couple of their tamales, as well as a huge plate of Chicken Fajita Nachos. Add to that the chips and salsa we munched on, and we were refreshed and ready for some more play time.
A Missed Opportunity
Back at City Museum, we discovered that they have some dining options, as well. While we didn’t end up eating there, it appeared that those who did were truly enjoying it. We saw sandwiches, snacks, and even an outdoor grilling station going gangbusters. A short stop at Beatnik Bob’s provides a rest break from exploring to satisfy any liquid cravings. The day of our visit the roof wasn’t open, but we heard a rumor that they have their own little cantina up there. Once again, another visit will be required. (You can see more fun photos of City Museum here>)
Rest assured that a visit to St. Louis will not leave you hungry. With so many great eateries, you will find something for everyone in your group. (We barely scratched the surface.) Be sure to try some toasted ravioli, which the city is known for. So, pull up a chair, and come take a taste. We think you will be pleased. Bon Appetit!